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Mount Mercy Students Experience Cutting Edge Technology

by Pat Burns


Mount Mercy Students Experience Cutting Edge Technology


Seven students from Mount Mercy Academy’s Health and Science Academy and Health Care Career Club had the experience of a lifetime recently.  The students visited the Jacobs Institute and were able to practice and learn about cutting edge technology.

Aubrey Monaco, a senior from Buffalo, is planning on a career in science. "This field trip reassured me that science is the path that I will follow. It is an ever-changing area that continues to help our worlds grow," Monaco remarked. 

Buffalo resident Jillian Schneck, a junior, was inspired by the tour. "I thought it was impressive that they all were determined to continuously improve the Institute's technology to then improve the treatment and care provided to the patient. The innovation, care, and information that the Institute possessed were very inspiring.”

The Jacobs Institute’s mission is “to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies through collisions of physicians, engineers, entrepreneurs and industry. “  The Jacobs Institute is located in the Medical Corridor and “provides industry with access to leading neurovascular, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology and vascular surgeons and boasts the latest hands-on learning tools.”

The students received a tour of Jacobs Institute and had the opportunity to listen to and talk with a graduate student about her path to biomedical engineering.  They also viewed a pre-recorded surgery. In addition, the group completed an engineering activity where they had to invent a prototype with household materials that would open a clogged artery.

Monaco enjoyed the engineering part of the trip. "On the Jacobs’ Institute field trip, I enjoyed getting to learn about engineering and having a deeper understanding about the fact that everything in our world was made by engineers. The engineering experiment made engineering a more realistic idea, and not something that seems exclusive to very science and math-oriented people," Monaco commented.

Senior Sydney Gunner of East Aurora also enjoyed the hands-on experiment. " I really enjoyed the engineering experiment. It was really fun to collaborate with the others on the field trip and a great introduction to vascular disease," Gunner stated. "I also enjoyed our hands-on activity of making a device to remove plaque from arteries." 

Schneck found the trip to be helpful for her as she contemplates her future. "The most interesting thing about the Jacobs Institute was seeing some of the 3D printed objects their Institute produced like a heart, skull, and different artery formations. It was intriguing to be able to visually see what most don’t as well as the problems or complications within those printed objects that caused it to be observed by professionals," Schneck said. 


The students were able to learn about a valuable resource that is in their own backyard. Monaco was surprised to learn that the Jacobs’ Institute is highly respected across the country and that it combines technology research with healthcare. Gunner discovered that the Jacobs Institute combines the research from UB students with medical engineers and physicians to create innovative procedures.  She was intrigued by the fact that they have a secret lab for medical engineers to patent their devices 

Although the students valued and appreciated the opportunity to tour the facility and speak with those involved in the medical profession, the definite highlight of the trip was the opportunity to see and hold the 3D-Printed Vascular Flow Models and use the Advanced Patient-Specific, Catherization Simulator Lab. They used both models and mannequins to practice. 

Jacobs Institute hopes to improve the treatment of vascular disease in Western New York by providing hands on experiences for engineers and physicians and to help provide support for the University of Buffalo Medical School as well as Buffalo General Hospital.

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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