The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 12, 2013

Edgewood students learning about future career opportunities by networking with successful professionals


For the Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Calculus, Statistics and AP Biology classes were recently given a lecture by Kyle M. Walsh, assistant professor of Neurological Surgery, Division of Neuroepidemiolgy at the University of California Comprehensive Cancer Center. Walsh spoke to students about his work in genetics and cancer research.

“My broad research goal is to understand how risk for brain tumors can be inherited across generations,” said Walsh. “To address this question, my laboratory investigates genetic and environmental factors which are shared among individuals affected by Glioma and Meningioma. Our ‘gene hunting’ efforts are supported by modern sequencing techniques aimed at identifying mutations underlying brain tumor risk.”

Students were eager to hear about Walsh’s interesting work, as well as his path from high school to where he is now.

“What Dr. Walsh spoke about hit me on a personal note for two reasons,” said senior calculus student Mallorie Barker. “My Dad has rare stage-4 cancer and his tumors were just DNA-tested to find the chemo therapy that would be the most effective. And I also want to be a pediatric oncologist, so it’s interesting to learn now about part of the science that I will be working on in my future.”

Furthering Edgewood’s efforts to network with professionals to provide students learning opportunities, all female students were recently visited by several representatives of Praxair, a local plant. These representatives spoke to the female body about the future prospects for females in the engineering field.

“There is a very high demand for female engineers in Ashtabula, in places that are very near and dear to us,” said Edgewood head principal Karl Williamson.

One speaker, Tonya Fritz from ASHTA, said, “There are a lot of opportunities for engineers, with great career income… chemical engineers have one of the highest paying entry-level jobs at an annual salary of $93,500.”

Senior Anna Applebee was especially impressed with the presentation. “I was narrow minded (about engineering) at first, but now I see there are so many paths you can take in the engineering field. I can have a career in engineering along with another major, like marine biology,” she said. When asked if she will be pursuing a future in engineering, Applebee said, “Possibly, I’m looking at it as an option and am much more open-minded to the prospect now. One presenter spoke on how she traveled a lot. I never knew you could do that, and that’s definitely something I look forward to in a career... They told us there is a high demand for jobs in Ashtabula for engineers, and I like that because I’d like to stay close to my family and friends.”

Edgewood High School students are active in several projects that are giving back to the community. The Student Council is involved in a food drive that started on Dec. 3 and will end on Friday. Nonperishable goods are being collected and will be distributed to the Kingsville Area Ministerial Association.

Lisa Brown’s Financial Literacy classes have adopted four families for the Holiday Angels Loving Others (HALO) program. “The classes utilized budgeting skills to allocate funds for each family. They purchased gift cards for a holiday meal, toys and other items to make the holiday special,” said Brown.

Junior Giana Varchetto said, “I imagine being a little kid on Christmas without much, I put myself in their shoes. That’s what motivates me to give back and put so much effort in donating.”

Another fund-raising project the Edgewood students will be a part of is the “Red Out” basketball game between the Jefferson Falcons and Edgewood Warriors on Dec. 27. This event will benefit the American Heart Association. During the game, shirts will be sold and a Chinese auction will take place. Fans are encouraged to wear red to help the cause!

Edgewood will also be holding a few other events in the future to benefit the community. The school will be putting on a “Breakfast with Santa” on Saturday. For more information contact Tammy Crooks at her email: Tammy.Crooks@ledgemontschools.org. Edgewood will also be holding its third blood drive of the year organized by the National Honor Society on March 3. Mark your calendars!