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College of St. Scholastica multidisciplinary student team to present at Mayo Clnic

The Innovation Scholars team from St. Scholastica at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., during their orientation. Submitted / College of St. Scholastica

On March 1 The College of St. Scholastica Innovation Scholars team will present their project recommendations to Mayo Clinic licensing managers and innovators at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, as the culmination of the Innovation Scholars Program.

“The Stender School of Business, Leadership and Professional Studies is delighted to sponsor the Innovation Scholars program, a unique, high-impact experiential learning opportunity,” said Dr. Brenda Fischer, dean of the Stender School. “We have an incredibly talented interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from business and the sciences."

Working at the intersection of science, healthcare and entrepreneurship, the multidisciplinary team of four St. Scholastica students spent four months tackling a challenging tech transfer project focused on ways to predict resistance to cancer-treating drugs in chemotherapy.

The College of St. Scholastica’s 2023-2024 Innovation Scholars team includes Fabian Andrade ’25 (business management and computer science; data analytics minor), Greta Kos ’24 (biology, pre-PA; psychology and sociology minors), Jad Saouma ’24 (computer information systems) and Sarah Vlasich ’24 (biochemistry and psychology; pre-med). Campus mentors include Dr. Amber Schlater, Dr. Jenean O’Brien, Dr. Melissa Goodson, Dr. Melanie Talaga and Amy Pocrnich. Augsburg University MBA student Andy Thomson leads the team.

"I'm truly excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Innovation Scholars program,” Saouma said. “It's a chance to contribute to important research at the world's best hospital, Mayo Clinic, aiming to ease people's suffering. This experience will be incredibly beneficial for my career, exposing me to various new fields in healthcare, marketing, business and Technology. What really makes me proud to be part of this program is the chance to make a difference, no matter how small, in improving people's lives.”

Innovation Scholars is a nationally recognized experiential learning program that engages teams of liberal arts students in the complex processes of translational medicine, taking an idea "from the bench to the bedside." Project partners include the Mayo Clinic and early-stage Medical Alley companies. Read more about Innovation Scholars at

St. Scholastica is a private, independent college established in 1912 and founded in the Catholic Benedictine tradition. It is nationally recognized for quality and value. The U.S. News & World Report includes it on its Best National Universities and Top Performers on Social Mobility lists. The College is ranked on Money magazine’s “Best Colleges for your Money” list and Princeton Review’s list of Best Midwestern Colleges. A First Forward Institution, St. Scholastica, is recognized for developing new initiatives to support first-generation student success. The College’s six-year graduation rate is higher than the state, regional and national average. Learn more at