The specific aims of the Training Core are to: 1) provide high quality interdisciplinary biomedical and environmental science training, education and mentoring experiences to diverse trainees at the institutions participating in the PROTECT program; 2) extend applicable PROTECT training experiences to the greater SRP community; and 3) serve as the coordination point for training activities with, and trainee participation in, the Community Engagement and Research Translation Cores. Meeting these aims entails development of an effective Training Core program that:
- enables trainees to understand and integrate the problems and concepts of health impacts assessment of contaminated systems, contaminant detection, fate and transport, exposure routes, remediation, and information management;
- develops trainee competence in the applied methods underlying research core activities;
- advances trainee technical, professional and personal skills/knowledge/attitudes to motivate and prepare them for successful careers in these fields;
- provides opportunities for our trainees to participate in and contribute to CEC and RTC activities;
- promotes environmental health fields to underrepresented populations through recruitment activities; and
- serves as a resource for the RTC for training opportunities to the greater SRP community.
These goals require the inclusion of conventional and non-conventional training, educational, and mentoring strategies for the development of technical and professional skills (communication, ethics, leadership, teamwork, management, organization) that will motivate and prepare the trainees for successful careers in these fields, and create a culture of interdisciplinarity that complex problems demand, particularly when science, engineering and public health are at the nexus of those problems. We intend to provide a “menu” of opportunities for our trainees, with meaningful contributions by our investigators and continuous improvement based on a comprehensive assessment and evaluation program. Achievement of our training goals will include the establishment of innovative approaches to expose underrepresented students to the research and career opportunities available in the environmental health fields. We believe that we must engage a diverse student population in a multicultural environment to properly develop our nation’s workforce and prepare future science and engineering leaders. PROTECT is uniquely positioned for this recruitment outreach since the program is focused on a traditionally underserved population in a developing part of Puerto Rico.
Thomas C. Sheahan, Core Leader
Kristin Hicks, Executive Director
Melanie H. Smith, Coordinator
Rita Loch-Caruso, Training Core Liaison
University of Michigan
Ingrid Padilla, Training Core Liaison
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez