Ochsner Welcomes STAR Program Class of 2013

High School Students Explore Interests in Healthcare in Summer Science Program

NEW ORLEANS – Now in its 7th year, the Ochsner Community Outreach Division’s STAR Program has selected 16 Student Scholars for its unique and popular, high school science program featuring actual, hands-on research in a laboratory with medical scientists and rotations in nearly 40 departments throughout Ochsner Health System. The STAR program (Science, Technology, Academics and Research) is a free, educational summer camp specifically for high schools students throughout the state of Louisiana that seeks to support high school science curriculum through inquiry based research projects and engage students in healthcare careers through practical learning and innovative educational opportunities. This highly successful program has led to over 70% of participating students continuing their studies in healthcare-related college programs and boasts a 100% College Acceptance rate among students. Only students who have demonstrated an interest in science, healthcare and community service and have come highly recommended from their high schools are chosen for the STAR program.

Participants must also meet other criteria, including:
• Be entering their Junior or Senior year
• Demonstrate a focus on and dedication to academics and community service
• Be at least 16 years old

Applications for the 2013 program were received from 65 highly qualified students in the South Louisiana region. After review by the STAR Administration, 25 students were selected to the interview portion of the application process. Ultimately, 16 students were selected for the coveted spot as a Student Scholars. The 2013 STAR class includes high school students from Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes. Students are as follows:

Manahil Cheema Bonnabel High School
Chiara Dellihoue Edna Karr High School
Michael Denham Mandeville High School
David Dupart Holy Cross High School
Jacob Elnaggar Benjamin Franklin High School
Madeline Evans Dominican High School
Kathlen Garmendia West Jefferson High School
Sharon Luc Academy of Our Lady
Sydney Monix Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy
Sarah Normand Academy of the Sacred Heart
Celeste Reames Cabrini High School
Allen Stenson Sci Academy
Lekha Thangada Isidore Newman School
Sarah Wang Benjamin Franklin High School
Jaymalisa Whatley West Jefferson High School
Richard Williams Jesuit High School

The STAR Program gives students an opportunity to participate in hands-on scientific research in a laboratory setting with research-funded scientists in the areas of Molecular Genetics, Infectious Disease, Liver Transplant Research, Rheumatology & Translational Cancer Research and more. Leadership & Development classes including a full Medical Terminology Course, Team Building, Resume Writing, Presentation Skills, Medical Publishing, Bioethics, Leadership 101, Interview Skills, Executive 1-on-1 Discussions are included along with Clinical rotations and courses in Neurosurgery, Clinical Research, Psychology, Radiology, Pediatric Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Radiation Oncology and many others, Students also spend a significant amount of time with the students from the Ochsner Clinical School-University of Queensland learning phlebotomy, suturing, and other basic clinical skills before participating in a “Mock Clinical Exam” to test their learned skills in Beside Manner.

The STAR Mission Statement:
The Ochsner STAR Program provides qualified high school students, particularly those with limited means and access, a cost-free opportunity to explore the world of healthcare. Through a rigorous, hands-on summer course focusing on science, technology, academics, and research, STAR aims to engage and inspire students to pursue further education and careers in science and medicine.

For more information on the Ochsner STAR program, please visit www.ochsner.org/STAR or contact Allison Fischtziur-Sharai, Senior Project Manager, Community Outreach, at (504) 842-5321 or asharai@ochsner.org.


Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by nine hospitals, both owned and managed, and more than 40 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has been named the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 17 consecutive years and is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across 11 specialty categories. Ochsner employs more than 14,000 employees, over 900 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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