Sparks Heading to Summer Internship at CRISP

nicole sparks, CRISPMOUNT OLIVE – Nicole Sparks of Fort Walton Beach, Florida was selected to participate in the Clinical Research Internship Study Program or CRISP at the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Florida. This is the second summer in a row that a University of Mount Olive student will attend the prestigious science program.

CRISP is a plum opportunity for college students interested in careers in medicine, healthcare and science. Only the top students who apply are selected for the program. Students work under a physician mentor for 20 hours a week. They also work on their own independent clinical research project.

Sparks, a biology major, became interested in CRISP after learning more about the program from a friend. “My best friend, Laura Vega, and her mother encouraged me to apply for CRISP because of its great reputation in the field of medical research,” said Sparks. Vega, a senior exercise science major, attended the program last summer.

Sparks will use her time in CRISP to explore different fields in her major. “I’m really interested in the health sciences, and I’m hoping this internship allows me to find out where more of my interests lie.” She will work with an expert in the neurological field. “Knowing that Dr. Kevin Boylan has over 26 years of medical experience, I’m really hoping to learn more about his specialties and the research he has done dealing with neurological diseases.”

Sparks is confident that her experience as an MOC student has thoroughly prepared her for CRISP. “Attending MOC as both a student and an athlete has forced me to develop into a well-rounded person, since I had to manage time between academics, athletics, and a healthy social life. The close one-on-one interaction with our professors has also given me an advantage in furthering classroom engagement in class subjects.”

Her parents are excited to see her take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity. “My parents have always supported me, so they are especially proud of me for being accepted into such a prestigious program.”

Sparks will begin her internship at CRISP on June 3rd and conclude it on August 9th.

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit