Palau Community College reopens STEP-UP laboratory


issx9999ns153076Palau Community College recently opened a laboratory for the Palau STEP-UP Program. A ceremony was held on Jan. 8, 2014, to commemorate the new facility. Present at the ceremony were Pacific STEP-UP Program director George Hui, Pacific STEP-UP Program coordinator Danielle Clements, PCC director of Development & Palau STEP-UP program coordinator Tchuzie Tadao, NIDDK director of the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination Dr. Lawrence Agodoa and his wife.

Also present at the ceremony were Guam STEP-UP program coordinator Kristina L.C. Torres and U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires Thomas P. Daley. PCC vice president of Admissions & Finance Jay Olegeriil, Dean of Academic Affairs Robert Ramarui, and Dean of Students Sherman Daniel were also present. PCC student trustee Dizzette U. Dolmers was the mistress of ceremony during the event.

Principals from Palau High School, Belau Modekngei High School, and Emmaus High School as well as PCC student Masami N. Andreas were invited to the ceremony. Andreas participated in the STEP-UP Program last summer along with Lindon M. Kohama. The two STEP-UP participants conducted researches over the summer on diabetes and alternate foods. Andreas and Kohama were given the opportunity to present the results of their researches in Maryland in August.

The Pacific STEP-UP Program is a component of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) Program. The program extends to the islands of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

NIDDK formed the STEP-UP Program as a means of encouraging research on health issues plaguing communities of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, particularly research conducted by members of the underrepresented communities. By introducing the research process to students, the program hopes to inspire generations of researchers in these areas of the world.

Students participating in the STEP-UP Program are given the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced researchers/mentors at their local participating institutions. The research internship spans eight weeks over the summer months. Each participant receives a participation allowance and may be eligible to travel to Washington, D.C. to present their summer research at the National NIDDK STEP-UP Scientific Symposium held each year in August.

Students interested in the STEP-UP Program must be a third-year (junior) or fourth-year (senior) high school student at the time of application. S/he must also meet one of the following criteria: an underrepresented racial or ethnic group in biomedical research described by the National Science Foundation; disadvantaged as defined by annual family income; first generation in the family to attend college; or diagnosed with a disability limiting one or more major life activities.

Students interested in the Pacific STEP-UP Program may apply or learn more about it at the website: https://stepup.niddk.nih.gove/hs.aspx. (PCC)

PCC Dayao
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