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Become a Summer Virtual Undergrad Mentor

Posted by on Monday, April 27, 2020 in Announcements .

Expand your skill set in digital learning and science communication by becoming a summer virtual undergraduate mentor! 

Mentor undergraduate students completing a virtual summer research experience.

Mentors will help support a virtual summer program broadly addressing cardiovascular research and health. A major role will be working with a small group, 2-5, students who will develop 10-min video presentation on a topic related to cardiovascular pathophysiology, a therapeutic intervention, or a promising emerging research area. Mentors will learn about video production with a faculty mentor, and will be become experts with a variety of science communication approaches. Trainees will also have access to a broad range of virtual resources from the American Heart Association and other academic partners.

What will facilitator/mentors gain?

This is a valuable experience in science communication and digital learning. Mentors will become experts using a variety of platforms including Slack, Brightspace, as well as video production, website design, and scientific writing. Furthermore, mentors will assist undergraduate fellows by the identification and evaluation of resources, planning and executing digital learning projects, and program evaluation techniques. Examples of curricula, products, and evaluation instruments to support and assess digital learning approaches.

Do mentors need to be experts in the cardiovascular system?

No, your foundational science background will provide all the expertise needed to engage this program.

What is the time commitment?

It is anticipated that each mentor will spend 5 hours or less per week. They may spend more time if they wish to engage other components of the program with the students.

American Heart Association Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences (AHA SURE Program)


Promoting Academic Excellence with Community Engagement and Reach Multicultural Scholars Program (PAECER Program)

This is a summer, 10-week training program in cardiovascular science for under-represented, undergraduate scholars. The program provides an intellectually, socially and culturally rewarding experience to engage scholars at multiple levels. We leverage the expertise of Vanderbilt University to cultivate academic knowledge and research skills and American Heart Association’s (AHA) public health leadership position to provide an integrated training program against a social determinants of health backdrop. The leadership team is composed of senior individuals with overlapping expertise in cardiovascular disease, mentoring, and community engagement. In addition to an intense, mentored research experience in the area of cardiovascular science, we will offer unique perspectives and resources, provide a productive framework to fully understand health inequities, and foster invaluable connections among scholars and their mentors and communities. We posit that students on the path to professions in science, medicine, healthcare or public policy must also be trained on real-life community engagement and cultural competency. They must be aware and knowledgeable of the forces shaping the health disparities so prevalent in the nation, in addition to the social determinants of health that determine the nature and severity of those disparities. Our overall goal is ambitious and innovative; we seek to create a cadre of students that will ultimately become the integrators needed to connect science and systems of health care with underrepresented communities through their academic and professional credentials, ability to build and retain trust, and cultural competence skills. We will fulfill this vision through: an intensive academic research and training immersion experience, with mentoring as a central component; regular opportunities to interact with their peers and acquire the core values of collaboration, teamwork and personal enrichment; and exposure to AHA initiatives targeted to address health inequities through public awareness, education, policy and social change. Together, we will thus provide an exciting and comprehensive experience to minority scholars poised to make career-defining, life-changing decisions with future implications for the biological, behavioral, and social determinants of health across the nation.


For more info, please contact Joey Barnett ( or Kendra Oliver (

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