PARAMUS – Danbee (Sarah) Chae of Bergen County Community College completed a six-week summer internship program in clinical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Montvale facility. Sponsored by the Clinical Oncology Open Learning (COOL) Scholars Program, the initiative encourages undergraduates to consider careers as oncology physicians. 

 “I am beyond thrilled to have been part of an eye-opening experience with Memorial Sloan Kettering,” Chae said. 

Chae, aspires to become a physician and wants to make significant changes in the medical field, citing her family friend’s struggle with cancer. She has participated in medical mission trips: India, Vietnam, and Cambodia and provided volunteer support to local medical centers, such as Englewood Health and the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative. 

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“It was a valuable opportunity, as it served as an important stepping stone toward my career goal,” she said.

Chae participated in Bergen’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the STEM Scholars Program.  BCC represents the first community college to participate in the COOL program, making Chae, of Old Tappan, the inaugural community college student participant.

 “The COOL Scholars Program has existed for 15 years and this was the first time it was offered to any community college. We had 20 excellent applicants, and Danbee was selected by the team at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Danbee was a wonderful candidate," Margaret McLaughlin, BCC career counselor said.  

“She is friendly, very smart, dedicated and confident, and the program has brought her one-step closer to her goal of becoming a physician,” she said.

The COOL program educates students about the different types and presentations of cancer and teaches basic principles of cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. Students participate in clinical observation, multidisciplinary conferences and one-on-one teaching with Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians. Students shadow physicians, providing them with hands-on exposure to the clinical management of cancer, including surgical, medical and radiation oncology consultations.