Rising senior earns spot in undergraduate research program for minority students at Keck School of Medicine of USC
Rising senior Adora Moneme is a vital component to the Rutgers women's soccer midfield, providing crucial leadership and unmatched athleticism. While Moneme aids the Scarlet Knights on the field, off the field she has her sights set on aiding children as a future pediatric physician.
The exercise science major took another step closer towards that career this summer. Moneme earned a spot in the Bridging the Gaps program at Keck School of Medicine of USC, which is an undergraduate summer research program for minority students.
"I heard about the program through O.D.A.S.I.S., the minority health professions program that I'm in," said Moneme. "Two students that I know from O.D.A.S.I.S. were in this program last year. My sister is also a medical student here at Keck School of Medicine of USC so this was one of my top programs that I wanted to get into this summer."
Moneme's success in the classroom translated to Academic All-Big Ten recognition for the last two seasons. This past academic year, she posted a flawless 4.0 grade point average to earn Big Ten Distinguished Scholar accolades. Moneme's focus and drive for her studies have pushed her to excel in her education, landing her this coveted position.
"In the program, each of the students are matched with a mentor based on their research interests. We work in our mentor's lab during the week and at the end complete a research project and create a poster that we will present," said Moneme.
"Our typical week starts with a biostatistics lecture, a didactic session, and a seminar on Monday. The following days are in your designated lab. Throughout the program you also get an opportunity to shadow at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)."
Moneme is enjoying her first experience in labs, specifically working with the human brain and studying neurons. Another session that has stuck out to her was about emergency medicine, where an emergency medicine physician from LA County Hospital shared her role, how she got there and the structure of the ER in general, along with demonstrating a helicopter landing.
While the opportunity to learn from the best stands out, it is also a great chance to make connections and learn about various roles in the medical field.
"On the surface, it's great that I get this opportunity to do research at a nationally ranked medical school like this, but with our sessions and the different people I have been able to meet and talk to it has it has definitely widened my perspective of what medicine and science is and how so many people contribute to the field," said Moneme.
"I have been able to meet the dean of the medical school, the dean of admissions, the director of the PhD program here, and current medical students. The coordinator of the summer program is the associate dean of educational affairs and my mentor is the head of the integrative anatomical sciences department. This program has given me to opportunity to make important connections here."
Perhaps the most important thing Moneme has learned from this program is that she certainly wants to make an impact with children.
"My ultimate career goal is to be a pediatric physician. I don't know yet what subspecialty I want to be in, but shadowing at CHLA has confirmed that I definitely want to work with kids. In the future, I also hope to be able to do work in the US and also overseas in third world countries," said Moneme.
Although weekday classes and seminars range on average from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day, the weekends have provided an open opportunity to explore California. Moneme has adventured to numerous spots, relaxing at Manhattan and Hermosa beaches, eating at a food truck festival in Venice, shopping at The Grove, The Galleria and the 3rd Street Promenade, experiencing culture at a Korean Festival in Korea Town, and walking the Hollywood Trail to see the famous Hollywood sign.
"My favorite experiences would probably be biking from Santa Monica to Venice Beach and watching the sunset over LA while at Griffith Park," said Moneme.
With weekdays dedicated to classes and seminars and weekends devoted to exploring, Moneme still finds time to get workouts in at USC's gym and track to prepare for this upcoming season for Rutgers women's soccer.
Moneme is excited to return to preseason, but is making sure to take in everything she can in her last few days in California.
"I know it'll be bitter sweet. California weather is beautiful and there are so many things to see and do, but I'm excited to start the season and practice with the team again," said Moneme. "With taking my MCAT last season, I'm excited to be fully devoted to soccer and end my last year with a championship ring.
"My big goal for this season is for us to win the Big Ten Championship and make it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. I really want to focus on just having more of a presence in the midfield and being more of a leader and a mentor."
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FULL SOURCE: SCARLETKNIGHTS.COM | Moneme Furthers Medical Studies in Bridging the Gaps Summer Program