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Akron Children’s Hospital announces 2019 summer research scholars

05-30-2019 (Akron, Ohio )

Thirteen students were competitively selected to participate in Akron Children’s’s Summer Pediatric Research Scholars (SPRS) program this summer. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the SPRS program at Akron Children’s.

The students – college sophomores or juniors contemplating careers in healthcare – will conduct clinical research projects and be mentored by physicians, surgeons, nurses, therapists and other experienced hospital investigators. These mentors design research projects that can focus on enhancing patient safety or quality of care; evaluating effectiveness of new treatments, technologies, or methods; or improving the healthcare experience for patients and families.

“The SPRS program offers highly motivated undergraduate students hands-on experience conducting a clinical research study under the tutelage of Akron Children’s most experienced investigators,” said chief research officer Michael Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. “At the same time, these students are helping hospital researchers answer significant questions to improve our overall patient care.”

SPRS students also attend weekly educational classes on biomedical research and shadow Akron Children’s clinical teams in several pediatric medical disciplines. The 10-week program begins in June and culminates in August when the students present their research study results to members of Akron Children’s medical staff, researchers, academic partners, family members and peers.

Akron Children’s 2019 Summer Pediatric Research Scholars are:






Elizabeth Fonte

Miami University of Ohio

Psychology and Pre-Med (class of 2020)

Copley, OH

Katilyn Malek

Indiana State University

Biology, Pre-Med (class of 2021)

Stow, OH

Nina Marich

Xavier University

Biology, Deaf Studies (class of 2020)

Seven Hills, OH

Nicole Bennie

Miami University of Ohio

Speech Pathology (class of 2020)

Medina, OH

Brittani Smith

Trine University

Biomedical Engineering (class of 2020)

Indianapolis, IN

Annika Kisha

Walsh University

Biology, Pre-Med  (class of 2020)

Canton, OH

Chloe Wise

Ohio State University

Health Sciences (class of 2021)

Kent, Ohio

Sarah Turley

University of Mount Union

Biochemistry (class of 2021)

Sagamore Hills, OH

Kyle Pruitt

Kent State University

Biochemistry (class of 2021)

Ravenna, OH

Joshua Kasburg

University of Akron

Biology, Pre-Med (class of 2021)

Canton, OH

Morgan Rittenberger

Cleveland State University

Health Sciences and Linguistics (class of 2021)

Macedonia, OH

Elise Rickert

Kent State University

Speech Pathology (class of 2020)

Greenville, PA

Cecilly Kelleher

Ohio State University

Health Sciences and Pre-med (class of 2021)

Massillon, OH


Sponsored by the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute, Akron Children’s SPRS program began in 2006. To date, more than 150 students have completed the program and several student investigations have been presented at national professional conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Additional information about the SPRS program, including criteria, eligibility and important program dates can be found at

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