Skip to main content

Professor seeks cancer patients, survivors for service-learning project

Cheryl Jorcyk, a professor in the 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 patients or survivors who are interested in having students do background research for them about cancer, starting in early February 2024.

Those who are interested, or who have questions should contact Cheryl Jorcyk or (208) 426-4267.

Who might want to participate?

This opportunity may appeal to those 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. Students would also benefit from the relationship.

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 will vet all of the information students prepare to make sure the information is accurate and appropriate.

How will the project work?

Students will 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, if applicable) 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.