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December 2004 Issue

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IvaDean Scholarship Helps Med Student Make Waves

Published December 2004

College of Medicine senior Michael Straiko, once a Jacques Cousteau wannabe, has been awarded the first scholarship from the IvaDean Medical Student Scholarship Fund.

Straiko, who plans an academic career in ophthalmology after a preliminary year in internal medicine, went straight from college to a job in marine biology.

"It isn't as glamorous as Jacques Cousteau makes it look!" he says.

"I spent a year conducting research on the lobster fisheries in Maine, and that included diving in frigid waters and working on fishing boats to monitor their catch data.

"Much of the time I was elbow-deep in rotten bait and trying to melt the ice off my clothes by the ship's diesel engine."

Eventually, says Straiko, he missed direct interaction with people.

"Medicine will allow me to pursue educational and research opportunities, as well as have lots of human contact," he says.

However, ophthalmologist-to-be Straiko hasn't given up on the sea. "I miss it and hope to end up near an ocean or the Great Lakes where I can own a sailboat some day," he says.

The IvaDean fund was established by the class of 2002 in honor of IvaDean Lair-Adolph. Now an assistant dean in the College of Medicine, IvaDean has worked in the dean's office and taken care of "her kids," the medical students, for over 40 years.

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