An Ideal Alumni Event

For the final event of the year, the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society, with support from the IDEAL committee, hosted a  Career Panel with 9 diverse Penn alumni on Friday June, 23rd. including:

Daniel Villarreal, PhD University of Pennsylvania, CAMB – Gene Therapy and Vaccines.

Lashon Pringle, PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology – Cell Biology and Physiology

Senthil Kannan, PhD University of Pennsylvania, CAMB – Gene Therapy and Vaccines

Steven Tuyishime, PhD University of Pennsylvania, CAMB – Gene Therapy and Vaccines

Arnaldo Diaz, PhD Texas A&M University – Biochemistry

Heather L. Bennett, PhD Brown University

Luis Cocka, PhD University of Pennsylvania, CAMB – Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology

Shilpa Iyer, PhD University of Pennsylvania, CAMB – Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology 

Nyamekye Obeng-Adjei, PhD University of Pennsylvania – Pharmacology/GTV

These folks hailed from all stages of their careers and were pursuing their passions in industry, consulting, science communication, government, academia and public health. Following the afternoon panel,  alumni and attendees enjoyed an evening reception held at tStratus Rooftop Lounge in downtown Philadelphia. 

This was a great opportunity to bring successful scientists back to Penn to inspire and advise the next generation of biomedical trainees.

Conversations about Campus Climate

For the spring session of Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society's biannual seminar series, we featured Sherilynn Black,  Assistant Professor of the Practice in Medical Education at the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Black is also the founding Director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity for the Duke School of Medicine and has engaged in many diversity initiatives to support underrepresented minorities in STEM.

Her talk. “Climate Change: Expanding the Impact of Diversity Interventions in the Scientific Community” featured both her own experiences living within and reforming the STEM education culture and quantifiable results from targeted initiatives at her institution.

EE Just members, faculty and Biomedical Graduate Studies administrators alike had the privilege to gain constructive insight from Dr. Black's visit to Penn's campus.

Explicitly Discussing Implicit Bias

Implicit bias affects people of all backgrounds and academic fields. To bring attention to this issue, the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society gathered a diverse group of Penn community members for a teach-in.

Detailed coverage of the event was reported by Penn News and by the CAMB Student Newsletter

We hoped this event  provided a safe and supportive environment for attendees to share and discuss their experiences and reflections of implicit bias.

Pi Day Party

EE Just and Penn Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (PGWISE) teamed up to invite the Penn community to celebrate Pi Day on March 14th.  Amidst the celebration of circles was a fundraiser for the Science Education Academy, Inc (SEA). Founded in 2008 by enthusiastic scientists in the Penn community including former EE Just members, SEA brings hands-on science modules to elementary students in West Philadelphia.

For a small donation, participants had the opportunity to enter any round shaped baked good into a bake-off or judge the entries. This was a fun filled event where people sampled various sweet treats and learned about how to get engaged with STEM outreach in their local community. At the end of the evening, once the ballots were cast and collected, winners in the baking competition received punny Pi prizes.

However, lest we forget, let it be known that in 2017 banana cream reigned supreme!




Making Better Happen on Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Every year, Philadelphia hosts one of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in the nation with multiple service projects and locations. Ernest E. Just Members joined this national effort with City Year Philadelphia, an education-focused non-profit organization. Ernest E. Just members arrived bright and early on Monday, January 16th at Warren G. Harding Middle School located in northeast Philadelphia. With the assistance of over 1000 volunteers, City Year Philadelphia facilitated the transformation of the school building into a more colorful, inspiring, and harmonious space for its students. By painting murals and working alongside various individuals hailing from all corners of the city and beyond, Ernest E. Just members demonstrated their commitment to education equality and community building.

Welcoming a Stellar Seminar Speaker

On November 10th, the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society hosted Dr. J. Victor Garcia-Martinez from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for its biannual Seminar Series. Dr. Garcia’s lab is notable for developing a humanized mouse model to investigate HIV pathogenesis, human immunology, and virus-induced cancers. Dr. Garcia was also the 2013 recipient of the Ernest E. Just Award from the American Society for Cell Biology, which recognizes outstanding scientific achievement by a minority scientist. Members had the chance to meet Dr. Garcia and learn from his career path.


Holiday Potluck

What better way to build community and friendships than around the dinner table? Every year, Ernest E. Just members came together to share dishes and stories hailing from around the world. Troubles and turmoil alike were remedied with good food and company. Attendees left with smiles and also a sprig of thyme (or basil).