Alumni Minority Panel Focuses on Science Careers
"Those of us that are determined are here."
With those words Slavica Matacic marked the start of the Minority Science Scholars Panel discussion held in early November at Haverford. The second annual panel was organized by Matacic, professor of biology, to bring to campus alumni who could provide advice and mentorship for Haverford minority students interested in pursuing careers in medicine and the sciences. The panelists were Andrea Morris '87, Hope Cohen Webb '94, Liza Ayuso '95, Stephon Alexander '93, Brian Jiang '91 and Lynda Marie George '93.
The alumni were once part of the Minority Scholars program at Haverford, a nationally recognized voluntary program which provides students of color majoring in the sciences with individualized advising, peer support and role models to encourage them to continue on in the sciences. The program was developed by Matacic in the early 1980s after faculty and administrators realized that few minority students were electing to major in the sciences or mathematics. The program, which has since inspired the creation of similar programs at colleges and universities throughout the country, has helped Haverford increase the number of minority students majoring in the sciences as well as substantially lessen the attrition rate of the same students.
"They are doing what they wanted to do when they were at Haverford - It's like a dream come true," Matacic said during the afternoon-long panel.After graduating with a B.S. in biology, Andrea Morris worked for a year at Rockefeller University. She is now studying molecular biology
at Princeton. Lisa Ayuso graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and a concentration in biochemistry. She is in her third year of Harvard Medical school. After graduating with a B.S. in physics, Stephon Alexander is now in graduate school at Brown University. Hope Cohen Webb is a graduate student in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Brian Jiang was accepted into New York University's School of Medicine where he spent one year as an intern at the University of Pennsylvania.
After earning her B.S. in biology, Lynda Marie George earned a masters in biotechnology from Johns Hopkin's University. She is now a medical student at Temple University.