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Researcher Seeking Cancer Survivors for Study

By: Sherry Squires   Published 6:32 am / June 16, 2017

Cheryl Jorcyk, Department of Biological Sciences, is seeking participants from the campus community (and beyond) to work with her senior biology students who are studying the molecular biology of cancer.

This project is part of a service-learning component of the class. Jorcyk is looking for four or five cancer survivors who are interested in having students do background research for them about cancer, starting in early September. Those who are interested should contact Jorcyk at by July 31.

Who might want to participate? 

This opportunity may serve as a welcome opportunity for people who are serious information-seekers or those who may be having difficulty understanding the complex language associated with cancer. This opportunity may also fit clients who are willing to share their story with a college student who wants to pursue cancer research or to become a doctor; these students would be inspired by — and benefit from — carrying with them the face and story of a cancer survivor. This opportunity is applicable who is anywhere along their cancer survivorship journey.

Jorcyk is aware that people may have concerns about getting cancer information from a student. Jorcyk will talk with all participants before they interact with students so they clearly understand what kind of information students will and won’t be able to provide. She also vets all of the information students prepare, to make sure the information is accurate and appropriate.

How does it work? 

Students meet with their “client” three to four times over the semester at a public location.

  1. At the first meeting the student listens to what their client knows about cancer, and offers personalized explanation of the basics of the biology of the type of cancer in question.
  2. At the second meeting, the student provides explanations supported by copies of articles or websites.  Often the student will draw pictures or offer analogies to help the client understand the technical aspects of chemo or radiation, or the progress of cancer through stages.
  3. At the third (and fourth) meeting the student provides additional resources that highlight prevention, future research, best sources for more information, and a list of local organizations that offer more specialized assistance.

If you have questions or comments about this opportunity, please contact Jorcyk at or  (208) 426-4267.