Research Experience and Training Coordination Core

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The specific aims of the Research Experience and Training Coordination Core (RETCC) are to:

  • provide high quality transdisciplinary training, education, professional development and mentoring experiences to diverse trainees at the institutions participating in the PROTECT program;
  • collaborate and share best practices with other SRP centers to jointly develop and deliver professional development, training and networking opportunities for trainees across multiple SRP centers;
  • facilitate trainee interactions with the Community Engagement Core, the Human Subjects and Sampling Core, and the research translation component of the Administrative Core to promote trainee engagement with cultures and communities connected to our collaborating institutions to provide place-based, experiential environmental health and justice education; and
  • provide ongoing interaction with the Data Management and Analysis Core, through various training modalities and mentorship, on the use of data analytics as a research tool and the importance of well-designed and implemented data management as an environmental health practice.

To achieve these aims, we have developed activities for our trainees in four areas:

  • Recruitment/Orientation
  • Education and Training
  • Community Building, Networking, and Mentoring
  • Professional Development

We provide training, education, and mentoring to develop technical and professional skills that orient and prepare trainees for successful careers in their fields, and promote a culture of transdisciplinarity and community engagement that complex problems such as environmental health demand.

The RETCC will integrate with the overall Center in a number of ways. Each PROTECT trainee will work with their mentor to develop an Individual Development Plan that extends their experiences beyond their disciplinary research. We will promote team activities that connect institutions, project/cores, and disciplines. We will collaborate with the Data Management and Analysis Core to introduce trainees to foundational and applied aspects of data analytics. Working with the Community Engagement, Human Subjects and Sampling, and Administrative Cores, we will develop collaborative sessions that involve trainees in presentations to professional student organizations, community members and research participants.

We must engage a diverse student population in a multicultural environment to properly develop our nation’s workforce and prepare future science and engineering leaders. PROTECT is uniquely positioned for this effort since the program study site is in a developing part of Puerto Rico with a traditionally underserved population, and partner institutions are located in areas where various other underserved populations experience environmental health and justice challenges.

Thomas C. Sheahan, Core Co-Leader

Senior Vice Provost for Curriculum and Programs, Northeastern University
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University

t.sheahan@northeastern.edu

Kristin L. Hicks, Core Co-Leader

Director of Operations, Northeastern University
k.hicks@northeastern.edu

Aidsa I. Santiago Román

Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Engineering Sciences and Materials, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
aidsa.santiago@upr.edu