Addison Leabo of Lee’s Summit, Missouri is one of 34 specially selected students participating in the Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health at Truman State University. The Academy was developed in partnership with A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and the Northeast Missouri office of the Area Education Centers (AHEC).

The Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health (STAPH) is designed to enrich the learning process of rising high school juniors and seniors by exposing them to coursework in health professions. The scholars are nominated by their schools’ principals or counselors from among students entering 11th or 12th grade by June of 2016. This year’s scholars completed a rigorous application process and were selected on the basis of their formal application, school transcript, a teacher recommendation, an essay and a grade point average in the sciences.

STAPH is a one-week intensive session that offers talented students a head start on their future by allowing them to spend time on campus exploring high-tech health facilities, simulations and a working cadaver lab. Unlike other medical summer programs, the curriculum is broad-based, giving students exposure to fields as wide-ranging as sports medicine, nursing, nutrition, communication disorders, psychology and covering sub-fields such as anatomy, physiology, epidemiology, environmental health and microbiology. The curriculum is aimed at helping students sort out career possibilities as well as reinforcing interest in chosen paths. Instruction is conducted by experts in their field. Students completing the program will be Basic Livesaver (BLS) certified and will finish their stay with a formal research presentations focused on an assigned topic.

Truman students who serve as preceptors for the program also live in the residence hall with the STAPH scholars. The preceptors are available to provide academic assistance and to help Academy participants during structured activities and free time.

The Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health was founded at Truman in 2011 to serve as a summer institute for gifted and talented high school students interested in science and health. This mission complements the University’s role as the statewide public liberal arts and sciences university for Missouri.

Leabo, who will be in the 12th grade at Lee’s Summit West High School this fall, is the child of Todd & Denise Leabo.

Founded in 1867, Truman is Missouri’s only highly selective public liberal arts and sciences university. U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of “Best Colleges” ranked Truman as the No. 1 public university in the Midwest region for the 19th consecutive year.