Every contribution, to Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Cardiology Visualization and Analytics Lab (4D CAVA Lab) Student Support Program, will go directly to supporting hospital badged students and their research projects. Your donation will support student research time and fund student developed and led projects in the 4D CAVA Lab (www.phoenixchildrens.org/4dcavalab). These badged students have already volunteered their time to support the 3D Printing Program of the Cardiac 3D Print Lab and they are committed to pediatric research with the end project-goal of publishing their own works in peer-review journals. Your donation will help support these students’ works and contributions to both Phoenix Children’s Hospital and to pediatric medicine. Your financial support will help alleviate the economic pressures of students needing to hold secondary jobs not related to their field of study so they can focus on their research and technical development as students working in clinical research.
Personal story about the importance of supporting students from Jonathan Plasencia, Ph.D.:
The following is a personal story about myself. I present this story to demonstrate how pivotal early student support can be for a student with a passion for science research and technological advancement, to grow and succeed in their field of interest. It are these early college experiences that I hold close when I work with students – I try to make opportunities for them to succeed because, in return, society has the potential to benefit from their current and future works. Phoenix Children’s Hospital and its patients benefit from our hospital’s badged Student Learners in the 4D CAVA Lab because they help support the 3D Printing Program and are working on pediatric clinical research with the goal to go to publication.
My story starts when I was a college undergraduate. As an undergraduate, I had received a modest scholarship that waved the majority of my tuition. The scholarship was extremely helpful, but it did not cover daily expenses. To help cover my cost-of-living, I was working 1 to 2 part-time restaurant jobs while going to engineering school and trying to volunteer my time in a research lab to develop my technical skills. Although I managed my time well, things would slip time-to-time because of all my commitments – a grade here or there, or pulling back on my volunteer time in a research lab where I was more or less working an apprenticeship.
It was in my 3rd year of college that I was first awarded a semester long undergraduate student research stipend to continue my research work with just enough of an income that I could quite my restaurant jobs. Over a 5-semester period, I was awarded the stipend 5-times to continue developing my technical skills in research. During both my 5th - and last year - of undergraduate and my 5 semester of student research stipend funding, I applied for a Graduate Student National Science Foundation Fellowship. I was awarded the fellowship and it ended up funding half of my Ph.D. studies. The fellowship did pave the way for where I am today; however, there was a sombering reality I learned the day I was awarded my fellowship.
The day I was awarded my fellowship, I learned through my reviewers' comments that they suggested I was behind the curve in my research and publication experiences – they were questioning my likely success as a Graduate Student National Science Foundation Fellow. My reviews looked like I just made the cut for the fellowship – my application’s personal statement likely saved my candidacy. I could not believe I was halfway through my 5th semester of student research stipend support at the time I submitted my application – but, ironically, I was behind, according to the reviewers. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had dropped my secondary, restaurant jobs a semester or two later so I could focus on my student research work. My guess is I wouldn’t have been accepted into a Ph.D. program and therefore I probably wouldn’t be here running a research group at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Although, there are several other factors that confound this story – ranging from personal health to family support – I can point to the research student stipend and the early research opportunities as some of the most pivotal landmarks in getting me to where I am today.
It was my personal student research experiences that have driven me to want to support student researchers. By donating here you will be helping me to financially support research opportunities for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Student Learners in the 4D CAVA Lab. This will allow deserving students to focus on their research by helping me give them modest student stipends and pay for research coordinator time. These coordinators – who are not a part of our Lab – will help me facilitate these student led projects by pushing and updating the necessary paper documentation needed to run these student driven clinical research projects. Additionally, as needed, these donations will also be used as part of a modest material start-up fund to help prevent students from needing to limit their projects to only materials and equipment that are readily available in Lab.
My goal is to raise $30,000 each year to help support 3 to 4 students – and their projects. Any donation amount helps. Thank you for your support; either through, (1) a donation, or (2) sharing this fund raising webpage with others.
Jon; Principal Investigator of the 4D CAVA Lab