Beth Scaglione Sewell, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Beth Scaglione Sewell has built her career around two missions: researching diseases and training the medical professionals who treat those diseases. As Valpo’s Pre-Medical Arts Fellow for the past few years, she got to do both simultaneously.
Professor Scaglione Sewell used the fellowship award to fund collaborative research with students. Together, they investigated how certain colon cells’ genes are altered as the cells become cancerous. The hope is that more information about colon cancer cells will lead to earlier diagnoses — and that exposure to research will improve students’ scientific abilities.
“In this program, like anywhere in the department, we’re trying to develop really good scientists. A good scientist is going to be a good physician,” she says.
Of the students Professor Scaglione Sewell has worked with under the fellowship, all but one have gone on to medical school. She also advised more than 50 pre-medical arts students and currently teaches courses on anatomy, physiology, and cancer biology.
For all of this work, Professor Scaglione Sewell received the 2011 Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award. She says that it was a tremendous honor to stand in front of her colleagues and receive that acknowledgement.
“I really do look at this as a vocation, a call. It is gratifying that my service is also preparing students to serve others in a healthcare profession,” she says.
That call to service is what encouraged Professor Scaglione Sewell to come to Valpo and what motivates her work.
“I wake up in the morning and think, ‘I get to go to work today. I get to do something I really enjoy’,” she says. “To get that award too, it’s like extra chocolate sprinkles.”