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85 students graduate from Camp xSEL inaugural class at UL

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Revised curriculum launched for medical school

By Winston W. Parley

At least 85 students have graduated from Camp xSEL (Excellence in Science Education for Liberia), a month – long preparatory program for pre – medical and pre – clinical students, run at the University of Liberia (UL) in partnership with United States-based partner universities, Yale and Vanderbilt and supported by the United States government.

The four – week program concluded through an official event held on the Fendall Campus of the University of Liberia Friday, 12 November 2021. Of the 85 graduates, 25 were females.

The Camp xSEL program is designed to equip incoming students with learning tools for their journey in pre-medical and pre-clinical studies at the University of Liberia.

Delivering a speech at the program, United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Michael A. McCarthy, said the Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization (BRIDGE-U), funded by USAID, is building off these initiatives to enrich faculty development and student – learning across the College of Health Sciences.

“These projects are models of innovation and impact, demonstrating the tremendous change we can achieve through partnership and collaboration. Our U.S. university and other partners are working side – by – side with your University of Liberia and Tubman University, just as we at the Embassy work side – by – side with the ministry of Health to reimagine medical education in Liberia,” said Amb. McCarthy.

Amb. McCarthy noted that the day was an especially proud moment “as we stand at the intersection of several different partnerships between the United States and Liberia.”

He added, “We are in the business of building a future together. That is why I am so excited by this joint event.”

He McCarthy described the partnership between the University of Liberia, USAID, and the American Embassy as laudable, expressing optimism that it would continue to flourish.

Dr. Moses Zinnah, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Acting President of the University of Liberia, received the Revised Medical School Curriculum presented during the program by Dr. Bernice Dahn, Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Liberia and Co-Principal Investigator on the BRIDGE – U: Liberia project, and Dr. Lawrence Sherman, Dean of the A.M.Dogliotti School of Medicine University of Liberia.

Dr. Zinnah lauded the U.S. government for its support to the University of Liberia, saying, it helped greatly to actualize the vision of the University Administration by attracting young people to the Sciences, particularly in the medical field.

“To launch this innovative, demand-driven curriculum which demystifies health care assures young people that they can be medical doctors,” Dr. Zinnah noted. He reaffirmed the University’s commitment to faculty development.

Also speaking, Vanderbilt University Principal Investigator Marie Martin, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Assistant Director of VIGH, commended the collaboration among the different institutions and the U.S. Embassy.

Given a reflection of her academic life when was the age of the young Camp xSEL graduates, Prof. Marie Martin explained that she too attended a four-week camp, and this experience allowed her to learn things she had never done before, and it changed the future of her life.

Making remarks, Yale School of Medicine Principal Investigator Assistant Professor Kristina Tolbert – Slagle, cautioned students to stand firm in the pursuit of their goal, saying she also had a camp experience that changed the course of her life.

Dr. Bernice Dahn, Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Liberia and Co-Principal Investigator on the BRIDGE – U: Liberia project,  explained that the numerous challenges students have faced in completing their nine-year medical program in the past have informed decision-making in the design of the new curriculum for the Medical School at the University of Liberia.

Speaking separately during the official closing event, student representatives expressed gratitude to all the partners and donors who ensured that the Camp xSEL program was successful.

Student Jesse Quoiquoi, Acting President of Pre – Med Student Council Section A Camp, remarked that it was such a great opportunity for them to participate in Camp xSEL, noting that what is sure is that their stay here for the past four weeks has greatly transformed their lives.

Student Tonita Printer, President of the Pre – Medical Program Section B Camp, thanked everyone who contributed to making Camp xSEL successful and also expressed excitement for the opportunity she had to associate with other young people who “look at human development beyond paper and pencil education.”

Student Cordelia K. Capehart, President for Pre – Clinical Section C Camp, said “just within a month’s time, we acquired amazing skills and great knowledge and rebuilt solid relationship that will hereafter bind most of us together for a very long time.”

For his part, student Benjamin Bedell, Jr., President of the Pre-Clinical Section D Camp, said Camp xSEL had connected students to different people that may be essential in their medical career. He thanked Camp xSEL planners and their many partners for providing an opportunity for the Pre – Clinical, and Pre – Medical programs.

The program aims to prepare incoming students to succeed in medical school, and participated in interactive classroom sessions throughout the Camp, focusing on math, chemistry, biology, physics, and various sections of English (reading comprehension and oral speech).https://thenewdawnliberia.com/university-of-liberia-faculty-returns-to-class-this-week/

NewDawn

The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by the Searchlight Communications Inc. Office is located on The UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is a bilingual (both English & French).

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