Real World Experience

by Sarah Borich - Cedarville, OH

Want to conduct a study on human frailty? Look to the marmoset.

It’s true that Cedarville students sharpen their minds in the classroom while studying under some world-class professors and instructors—but numerous CU students also test their skills in unique and exciting real-world settings as well. One University student worked hard to secure his summer internship—and ended up with some pretty interesting research subjects. Just one of many instances of Cedarville students advancing ahead with quality internship experiences.

Senior psychology major Kenneth Davis completed his psychology internship at the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas. Housed at the Southwest Biomedical Research Foundation, it is the largest primate holding facility in the United States. During the course of his internship, Davis was able to collaborate with a group of researchers to begin a preliminary study regarding human frailty. Enter the marmoset. Davis spent significant time collecting observational data on the small primates. Because of their weak bone structure and relatively short lifespan, these monkeys are one of the best models for this type of research exploration. He also assisted in conducting ultrasounds, MRIs and blood draws on the animals.

Davis advocates that his education at Cedarville had an immense and positive impact on his preparedness for such a task. “Although I learned a great deal of biology during my internship,” he says, “my education in the psychology department at Cedarville gave me the confidence to understand the research process as well as to substantially contribute to the formation of a rather detailed study.”

“It was also amazing how much respect I was given at the Foundation,” Davis continues. “There was a great deal of trust and freedom given to me to develop findings for the study.”

At the end of the summer, he and another student presented their work at an in-house conference. Their supervisor was very pleased with the results and hopes to use the data to accrue grant funding for a larger-scale investigation of the topic.

Currently, Davis is applying for a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, and plans to pursue a career in neuropsychology, counseling, research and clinical work.

The type of discipline-related experience Davis received as a result of his internship is an important foundation for any career. With an estimated 1.3 million people earning a bachelor’s degree each year, employers continue to stress the importance of experience. Leaving college with only a degree and a GPA puts an individual behind in the job search. Davis is just one example of Cedarville University’s commitment to helping students obtain an edge in the professional world, along with a Biblical perspective on their respective chosen fields.