SMDEP scholars participate in Cobb Research Lab Summer Research Program

By Nicholas Guthrie

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During their final three of their six week intensive program, 56 scholars from Howard University's Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) were able to conduct novel research on the Cobb Collection. SMDEP provides pre-dental and premedicine scholars with academic enrichment in the basic sciences and math, clinical experiences, career development activities, learning and study skills seminars, and a financial planning workshop. Unique to the Howard site, the HU SMDEP cohort conducted case studies on a selection of Cobb Collection individuals. Given only scarce details (possibly birthdate, death date, cause of death, name, and address), the scholars worked in pairs of two to provide a history and background of their CC individual. The final 2000 word essays contained colorful descriptions of the CC individual with details about their life story, migration patterns, standard of living, and neighborhood history. The scholars had to search public databases such as Ancestry.com, Familysearch.com and the National Archives to find information on their CC individual.  Furthermore, the scholars gave a detailed description of the cause of death of their CC individual, hypothesizing how the death occurred, why treatment may have failed, or if treatment was even available at the time. The Cobb Lab staff served as peer-mentors to each group, providing insights and wisdom throughout the process. At the end of their time with the CRL, each scholar was presented with a certificate of meritorious research, and each essay will be reviewed for publication. ***

The Cobb Research Lab would like to especially thank Dr. Donna Grant-Mills (CRL– Advisory Board) for coordinating this effort in such a short period of time and Ms. Andrea Clark (CRL-Volunteer) for her unwavering commitment to ensuring the success of this project.