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Expanding Opportunities-SVCC Student, Kala Karrow, Receives NIH Internship

Kala Karrow, a freshman at Sauk Valley Community College, will spend her summer in Bethesda, Maryland, interning at the headquarters of the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Many may ask what the big deal about this student internship. Kala earned a spot with 1100 other interns that more than 7000 students apply for each year. NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. The institution is made up of 27 research centers, with the main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Although Kala is a pre-med major, she does not know exactly what field of medicine she wants to make her career. The opportunity to intern at NIH came into existence after she met with Cyrus Kooshesh, director of student support services at SVCC. “Cyrus and other faculty members really helped me research what was out there for internships,” Kala stated. “Before he mentioned this opportunity, I didn’t even consider internships as a freshman in college.” Soon Kala started researching NIH website and finding out more about its summer program, specifically its community college program. From there she applied online with a resume, cover letter and recommendations. “I specifically mentioned in my cover letter that I did not know what I specifically wanted to study but that was my reasoning for applying, to be open to explore and find out what careers are for me.”

Kala will work from June to August in different areas of medicines and research with some of the leading scientists in the world. She hopes to learn more about neuroimaging, NIH’s research in physical therapy, genetic traits related to cancer and more.

After she graduates from Sauk in May 2013, Kala hopes to attend the University of Iowa to major in biology and work toward medical school. Kala is the first student from SVCC to receive an internship at NIH. At Sauk, she is involved in the honors program, TRiO and student government.

To find out what the National Institute of Health does for our nation and our world, visit To learn more about SVCC and Student Support Services, visit www.