For career inspiration, Erin looked no further than her family of first responders and their calling to “help people on their worst days.”
In January, Emmanuel College formally launched the PEER->CELL program, funded by a $50,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The Persons Excluded for Ethnicity or Race (PEER) Center of Excellence in Leadership and Life Sciences (CELL) program has been designed not only to prepare these students for successful careers in the field, but to cultivate a diverse talent pipeline for the ever-growing number of life sciences companies in Massachusetts.
Led by Emmanuel Associate Professor of Biology and incoming Associate Dean of the School of Science & Health Padraig Deighan, the PEER->CELL program will serve 32 traditionally underrepresented students across the Colleges of the Fenway (COF). The program will provide these students with direct resources and support for career readiness, internship placements and professional mentorship.
Emmanuel College’s exceptional track record in educating undergraduates in the sciences, strategic location in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, and top-notch facilities in the Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center, mean outstanding opportunities and resources for student success.
“We at Emmanuel pride ourselves on excellence in science education, which goes back to the very founding of the College,” said Dr. Deighan. “What has also been integral to our mission for more than 100 years is providing access to education, particularly to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity. Partnering with the Massachusetts Life Science Center allows us to elevate what we can deliver both in and out of the classroom and prepare students for the careers of tomorrow.”
Through the PEER->CELL program, students within cohorts will be guided and prepared for summer jobs or internships, at leading Boston-area life sciences companies. Student scientists will participate in 3 hours of mentored lab research each week, and have access to additional open lab time, to hone and document pre-internship research skills and readiness. Faculty and professional staff will assist students in finding internship placements aligning with their strengths, interests, and career objectives, and ultimately will help secure professional mentors in students’ desired field of study.
“The PEER->CELL program at Emmanuel and its potential to develop impactful, career launching experiences for underrepresented students directly aligns with our mission of supporting the growth of the life sciences in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Kenn Turner of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “We look forward to collaborating with Emmanuel College on this important endeavor.”
A key aspect of this initiative is developing partnership agreements with life sciences companies throughout Greater Boston. These partnerships will represent a pipeline for student internships and ultimately job placements.
To complement its undergraduate programs with the School of Science & Health, Emmanuel recently launched a new Biotechnology major as a direct response to the growing need for a skilled workforce in scientific discovery and research. In addition to coursework, students at Emmanuel are exposed to myriad opportunities to conduct research with faculty and through experiences off campus.