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Craft students visit Calipari Lab at Vanderbilt

Students from Morehead State’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to visit Dr. Erin Calipari at the Center for Addiction Research and the Calipari Lab at Vanderbilt University on Friday, Nov. 1.  

Craft Academy students were exposed to the body of research being conducted in Calipari's addiction research lab. Through this experience, the students were able to learn about connections between addiction research and the fields of statistics, entomology, animals, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychiatry, chemistry and laws involving addiction.  

Kentucky and neighboring Tennessee have been devastated by the nation's opioid crisis, with the states leading the country in the number of opioid prescriptions. Craft students now better understand how science can be used to combat addiction and can apply the skills they learn at the academy in solving problems in their communities.   

"I had never considered it before, but after listening to Dr. Calipari, I want to join the cause and help combat drug addiction in my home state," said Craft Academy senior Josh Loiacono from Somerset.  

Other students who attended the trip said their time in Calipari's lab inspired them to passionately pursue their interests.  

"Dr. Erin Calipari's presentation on her research deeply intrigued me and her patience with answering all of the questions was much appreciated. Most of all, it was an eye-opening experience to visit the labs where Dr. Calipari was conducting research; seeing all the undergrad and medical students working so hard in the lab has inspired me greatly and fueled my passion for neuroscience," said junior Maiqi Qin from Morehead.  

"Seeing a woman in STEM speak so passionately about her work while still being approachable and friendly put a new perspective on the career aspects of neuroscience and made me even more excited for my future and the future of neuroscience," said Emma Collins, a Craft Academy senior from Georgetown.   

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is a dual-credit residential high school for academically exceptional Kentucky students. The Craft Academy's purpose is to meet the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. The academic rigor of the Craft Academy challenges students to excel at their highest level through project-based STEM+X courses and hands-on learning experiences, with emphasis on innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.  

For more information about the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/craft-academy, email craftacademy@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2093. 
Photo: Students from MSU’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics visited the Calipari Laboratory at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Addiction Research on Friday, Nov. 1.   
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