Excellence in Diversity 2018

Illustration 1: Speakers and oral presentation winners of EiD 2018.

By the numbers, diversity in STEM is a battle for equality. A struggle that all underrepresented minorities (URM) are aware of, which is why events like Excellence in Diversity (EiD), held at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine by the Diversity Postdoctoral Alliance Committee (DPAC) is so important. On Tuesday, December 4th, 2019, Turner Concourse was transformed into a stunning sight of beautiful brown and black bodies. A place to showcase the amazing science conducted in the community on all levels.

With approximately 100 attendees and presenters from High School students to postdoctoral and clinical fellows, EiD can be considered nothing but a roaring success at “showcasing the excellence and tremendous contributions by scientists with diverse backgrounds to the forefront of science”. But there’s more. This year, EiD brought visiting URM trainees from Howard University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, NIH Bayview, and James Madison University to Hopkins. Not to be out done, Hopkins turned out as well with participation from the School of Medicine, the Brain Science Institute, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Kennedy Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Nursing.

It was a ‘you had to be there’ kind of event. Seeing bright-eyed High School students from Baltimore City, undergraduates, and post-baccalaureates mingling with graduate and medical students, along with JHU faculty. I can honestly say that I have never seen such a large gathering of scientists that looked like me in one scientific symposium. And the content was amazing.

Dr. Candice Bridge gave an amazing talk about her research that was both inspiring and engaging. While Dr. Alberto Roca spoke about his important work with Diverse Scholar whose mission is to “promoting the recruitment, mentoring, and success of minority postdocs to diversity the doctoral workforce”. And the trainee science was somehow even better. From chemistry to health disparity, the research presented was just as diverse as the presenters.

But it all couldn’t have come together without the immense help from the DPAC committee and JHPDA volunteers and the contribution and support from Drs. Damani Piggott and Peter Espenshade with the Office of Graduate Student Affairs, Drs. Ben Ho Park and Dana Boatman with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the JHPDA, and Dr. Nancy Kass and Mr. Fenimore Fisher in the Office of the Provost.

Altogether, I just can’t wait for next year.

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