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Fairfield Prof Encourages Bridgeport Students

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Dr. Shelley Phelan wants to make sure young girls like she once was have the opportunity to pursue their love of science. That’s why the Fairfield University health sciences and biology professor started her annual summer camp at the school.

Now, thanks to a grant from the National Institutes of Health, she’ll be able to keep the program going for another five years. Phelan started the Broadening Access to Science Education (BASE) Camp in 2007.

Each summer she takes a group of female high school students from Bridgeport’s public schools to Fairfield for a two-week program. The campers work with other university professors on intensive research projects focusing on biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, psychology, math and engineering. The girls also work with Phelan in two-day sessions designed to help them get into college and pick a career in health care or science.

Phelan hopes the program will provide “a significant experience that will excite and inform students about the process and promise of science,” she said in an email. She also sees the camp encouraging its students “to pursue science and health career paths that will address public health issues.”

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