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Graduate Internship/Externship Experiences in NIBIB Funded Graduate Training Programs

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Research in Biomedical Pedagogy

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.650.1 - 24.650.16



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Paper Authors


Margo Cousins The University of Texas at Austin

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As a program coordinator, Ms. Cousins is the team lead in the Academic Advising Office for biomedical engineering graduate and undergraduate students. Ms. Cousins is responsible for student development programs, curriculum assessment and accreditation, NIH-funded graduate training program in imaging and informatics, senior capstone design program, and all other student advising activities.

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Mia K. Markey The University of Texas at Austin

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Dr. Mia K. Markey is an associate professor of biomedical engineering and Engineering Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, as well as an adjunct associate professor of imaging physics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. A 1994 graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Dr. Markey earned her B.S. in computational biology (1998) from Carnegie Mellon University and her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering (2002), along with a certificate in bioinformatics, from Duke University.

The mission of Dr. Markey’s Biomedical Informatics Lab is to develop decision support systems for clinical decision making and scientific discovery. For example, Prof. Markey leads a collaborative, multi-institutional team that is designing a decision support system to help breast cancer survivors understand their likely appearance changes following breast reconstruction and, therefore, enable them to choose a reconstruction strategy that will lead to maximal psychosocial adjustment.

Dr. Markey has been recognized for excellence in research and teaching, with awards from organizations such as the American Medical Informatics Association, ASEE, the American Cancer Society, and the Society for Women’s Health Research. She is a senior member of both the IEEE and the SPIE. Dr. Markey is the editor of Physics of Mammographic Imaging (Taylor and Francis, 2012). This new text gives an overview of the current role and future potential of new alternatives to mammography in the context of clinical need, complementary approaches, and ongoing research.

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Henry Grady Rylander III P.E.

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Dr. Rylander is a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Harry H. Power Professor in Engineering and a William J. Murray, Jr. Fellow in Engineering. Dr. Rylander is a co-director, with Dr. Mia K. Markey, of the department of biomedical engineering’s Imaging Science and Informatics Portfolio program, a comprehensive imaging science training program for doctoral students funded by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award training grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), an institute with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Rylander’s research is focused on imaging in ophthalmology. He has conducted clinical trials on a polarization-sensitive OCT system to measure the changes that occur in the retinal nerve fiber layer in glaucoma. Other projects include a drug delivery device for the eye and measuring blood flow in the eye. He is collaborating with researchers at Brooks City-Base, San Antonio, Texas, on a device to transiently change the refraction of the eye.

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Graduate Internship/Externship Experiences in NIBIB Funded Graduate Training ProgramsExperiential learning opportunities such as internships and externships are an important part ofgraduate education for many engineering students. Short-term off-campus training experiencescan help students see the ‘real-world’ impact of engineering research and broaden theirunderstanding of their career opportunities. Arguably, internship and externship experiences areparticularly valuable for students in interdisciplinary majors, such as biomedical engineering,which cross more traditional fields and career paths. Thus, interdisciplinary graduate trainingprograms, such as those funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging andBioengineering (NIBIB), often include an internship or externship component as a way to ensurebreadth in the educational program. The purpose of this study is to review the graduate summerinternship/externship practices of NIBIB funded graduate training programs (i.e., T32mechanism). Our review is based on a survey of the principal investigators (program directors)of graduate training programs (T32 sites) currently funded by NIBIB. Examples of factors beingreviewed include: (a) overall goals for the internship/externship; (b) type of internship/externshiphost institution (e.g., company, government lab, academic medical center); (c) duration of theinternship/externship; (d) source of housing and travel financial support for theinternship/externship; (e) policies for ownership of intellectual property generated during theinternship/externship; and (f) assessment methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of theinternship/externship. By comparing internship/externship practices across training programs, wehope to enable training program directors to reduce redundancy in developing policies andprocedures for internships/externships, improve this experience for graduate trainees, andprovide a baseline for internal continuous improvement purposes. 

Cousins, M., & Markey, M. K., & Rylander, H. G. (2014, June), Graduate Internship/Externship Experiences in NIBIB Funded Graduate Training Programs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20541

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