Even though COVID-19 impacted summer internships last year, New Mexico INBRE was able to overcome this obstacle by offering a NISE Bioinformatics virtual course.  This last-minute decision became a rewarding experience for students and instructors involved.  Students received the opportunity to research the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and other pandemics, helped them develop critical-thinking, research and basic bioinformatics skills.  According to Dr. Joann Mudge, Senior Research Scientist and NISE instructor, “It was great to see the students learn how to evaluate scientific information and to see their confidence grow as they started to understand the emerging scientific research and gain the confidence to share their knowledge with family and friends.”  Students worked on capstone projects which had them research how the pandemics played out in three countries of their choosing, that were having different levels of success in the current pandemic.  Also, they were able to learn vital career development skills like public speaking, stress management and how to apply for Graduate School. “It was impressive to see during the course, students became more confident in asking questions, stating opinions, and challenging simplistic viewpoints in the news and on social media,” said Dr. Mudge.  The NISE Bioinformatics virtual course was such a success and beneficial to students that New Mexico INBRE decided to add it to the NISE Summer Experience of this year. To learn more about our NISE Program please visit: NISE Program


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