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STEM Academy Starts Junior on the Path to Research & Medical Career

11/20/18

Shannon ProutyAfter she completes her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and psychology at MCLA, Shannon Prouty ’20 of Leicester, Mass., plans on a career as a research neurosurgeon. Just as she is majoring in two programs on campus, she intends to earn joint Ph.D and MD degrees at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.

Prouty hit the ground running before she began her MCLA career in fall 2017: the summer just prior to her first semester attended the College’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy. “It was a very full experience, but probably the most beneficial piece was the round-table dinner with the professionals, because that is how I got my internship,” she said.

This semester, she is an intern in the information technology (IT) department at Pittsfield’s Berkshire Medical Center. Prouty said a benefit is the opportunity to learn how all of the different departments work together as a cohesive hospital unit.

“In my work, I am learning the ins and outs of what goes into patient logging and medical record organization. I have had many projects to complete, seeing how to put patients into the patient portal and how to fix information in active directory,” she explained.

As an incoming student, Prouty’s STEM Academy participation made her transition to campus as a first-year student easy. “It was super useful to get to see how classes worked before I actually had to worry about them, and meeting new friends before coming to campus for my first semester made moving in much less terrifying,” she said.

Last summer, she worked as a STEM Academy fellow. “Working there as a fellow gave me leadership skills and taught me how to manage situations that need to be thought through,” Prouty said.