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Jonathon Damota '19 is a Mellon Fellow who was selected for an internship at a neurobehavioral clinic.


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Jonathan Damota '19

Miami, Florida

Major in Biochemistry, Minors in Psychology and Health Studies

Jonathan helps children with developmental disabilities at a neurobehavioral clinic internship

Jonathon Damota '19 is a Mellon Fellow who was selected for an internship at a neurobehavioral clinic.

Describe your current internship.

My internship is called the MCHC/RISE-UP Program (Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement—Undergraduate Program). It provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training to focus on elimination of health disparities and promotion of health equity. My summer experience is at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

What do you do on a typical day as an intern in this program?

I have been placed to work in a Neurobehavioral Unit (NBU) outpatient center where we treat children and adolescents that have Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) that partake in severe behavioral problems such as aggression, elopement, pica, and self-injurious behavior. I have been able to participate in the treatment sessions and get first-hand experience with using the applied behavior analysis for treatment of problem behavior. It is also showing me how to apply a data-based approach to design a proper intervention for a patient. 

I am also performing a research project that examines the extension of this form of treatment in a different community in Columbia, Maryland. I am assessing the demographics, forms of problem behavior, function of behavior, diagnoses, and percent reduction of problem behaviors in patients. I have also had the opportunity to shadow in the neurodevelopmental pediatric clinic at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and I will be shadowing other physicians at the Johns Hopkins Hospital during my time here.

How did you choose this internship?

My selection for this public health internship was mainly due to the experience I had last summer at the University of Iowa, where I was introduced to the field of public health. Once I found an interest in the public health field, I found this program and felt it was a good fit for me to get more experience in this field of medicine.

How did you choose Knox?

I chose Knox after my visit because I really enjoyed the campus and the friendliness of everyone there. The small class sizes and student-faculty ratio also attracted me to get the help I need as a student and allow me to engage with my professor and advisors more easily. I would also be able to continue playing basketball at the collegiate level and have a good pre-med program.

Jonathan Damota '19 is the captain of the men's basketball team, president of the Best Buddies club on campus, and a brother of the Phi Gamma Delta chapter. He's also an organic chemistry TA and an athletic trainer. With the help of a Mellon Fellowship, Damota participated in a premedical enrichment program, the Summer Health Professions Education Program, at the University of Iowa last summer.

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Printed on Monday, October 18, 2021