UMBC STEM BUILD Trainees have rewarding internship experience at NIDA

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By Sarah Hansen

Every year, six UMBC students—a mix of Meyerhoff Scholars and STEM BUILD Trainees—have the opportunity to participate in research internships at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Baltimore. The internships are possible through a supplement to the NIDA EDUCATE grant awarded to UMBC in 2021 to generate a scholars program for students interested in addiction research.

The following STEM BUILD Trainees participated in the NIDA research internships: 

Precious Oyinloye

Precious Oyinloye, a rising senior chemical engineering major, completed a virtual internship during the 2021-22 school year. Her project involved analyzing data to identify chemical compounds involved in addiction. 

“I’m more curious about computer science,” she said, after learning how to code in the Python programming language as part of her NIDA experience. “Being part of a research project offers a sense of fulfillment—I’m really contributing to science.”

Zoha Faraz

Zoha Faraz graduated in Spring 2022 with majors in psychology and biological sciences. She used her NIDA internship in 2020-21 to gain important skills. 

“Through the internship, I was able to learn a lot about the research process, and I feel more confident in testing my research skills,” she said. “I think it also improved my scientific communication, because I had to make a presentation about my project.”

Faraz and Oyinloye may or may not pursue addiction research long term. However, their reflections on their NIDA experiences reveal how the internships sharpened their skills, boosted their confidence and helped set them up for future success.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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