Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities

Your Location

Windsor, Ontario

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Dora Cavallo-Medved and Dr. Lisa Porter

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, transcending all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status. However, many Canadians are unaware that cancer is a diverse set of diseases that require different diagnostic tools and treatment strategies. Thus, public education focusing on cancer research is critical to change the current conversation around the disease. The development of educational tools that engage and clearly illustrate the mechanisms of cancer research is a justified social need that requires proper training. It is hypothesized that university students immersed in cancer research and education through experiential learning become effective community educators. The Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG) offers many experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students by connecting them to local researchers, health care professionals, patients and caretakers. To obtain an empirical measure of the program’s success and needs for improvement, a survey was developed that investigates how these opportunities enrich technical and transferable skills, reinforce interest in biomedical careers, encourage students to be community educators and build self-efficacy. The survey has been distributed to current and past student participants of WCRG’s experiential learning opportunities. After two weeks, results will be collected and assessed to obtain a better understanding of the effects of experiential learning while also demonstrating the impact of enhancing academic programs through experiential learning. Creating an accessible platform for the public to learn more about cancer research, and its impact on patient care also addresses a clear social need that promotes healthy and safe communities within Windsor-Essex.

Special Considerations

N/A

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Experiential Learning is the Key to Enriching Student Success and Advancing Cancer Research Education

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, transcending all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status. However, many Canadians are unaware that cancer is a diverse set of diseases that require different diagnostic tools and treatment strategies. Thus, public education focusing on cancer research is critical to change the current conversation around the disease. The development of educational tools that engage and clearly illustrate the mechanisms of cancer research is a justified social need that requires proper training. It is hypothesized that university students immersed in cancer research and education through experiential learning become effective community educators. The Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG) offers many experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students by connecting them to local researchers, health care professionals, patients and caretakers. To obtain an empirical measure of the program’s success and needs for improvement, a survey was developed that investigates how these opportunities enrich technical and transferable skills, reinforce interest in biomedical careers, encourage students to be community educators and build self-efficacy. The survey has been distributed to current and past student participants of WCRG’s experiential learning opportunities. After two weeks, results will be collected and assessed to obtain a better understanding of the effects of experiential learning while also demonstrating the impact of enhancing academic programs through experiential learning. Creating an accessible platform for the public to learn more about cancer research, and its impact on patient care also addresses a clear social need that promotes healthy and safe communities within Windsor-Essex.