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  SPRING 2013

   Society for Developmental Biology

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Choose Development! Program Launches with Mentor Workshop

By Graciela A. Unguez, Choose Development! Grant PI

The Society for Developmental Biology Choose Development! Program was launched on April 18-19, 2013 at the Northeast Regional SDB Meeting at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. A workshop was held for all participating faculty and lab (graduate student or postdoctoral fellow) mentors who will host an undergraduate in their labs for a summer research internship. Built upon a culture of inclusiveness, Choose Development! is a three-year project funded by the National Science Foundation through which the SDB aims to augment the diversity of undergraduate students that enter doctoral (PhD) programs in pursuit of research careers in fields related to developmental biology. This pioneering program emphasizes professional development and research training of undergraduates with disabilities and also to those belonging to under-represented minority (URM) groups under long-term and continuing supervision by expert developmental biology research faculty.

Choose Development! Mentor Workshop participants

The workshop's goal was to increase understanding of the roles that faculty and peer mentoring can play in enhancing the academic and professional outcomes of undergraduate students who are members of underrepresented minority groups. At the workshop, mentors from each laboratory were provided with information, resources and strategies to assist them in mentoring their Choose Development! students (SDB Fellows) beginning this summer.

The workshop featured David Burgess, professor and cell biologist at Boston College, whose second line of research deals with the underrepresentation of minority students in the sciences. Burgess will serve as the Master Mentor for all faculty, graduate students and postdoc fellows hosting and working with the SDB Fellows. Also featured was Charles Haughton, Director of the Office of Organization Effectiveness at the University of Pennsylvania, who led a very energetic and highly interactive session discussing the mentors' profiles on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) with an emphasis on the MBTI's applicability towards mentoring. On the second day of the workshop, mentors were informed of the approach and process that will be implemented to evaluate the accomplishments of the Choose Development! Program by Christine Weston, a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University. The organizers: Karen Bennett (Program Coordinator), Ida Chow (grant co-PI) and Graciela A. Unguez (grant PI) emphasized their aim for the workshop to carry over the theme of inclusivity to all the SDB membership, encouraging them to actively support these SDB Fellows and all our future scientists in training!

The eleven teams of undergraduate students and academic/lab mentors are:

SDB Fellow Mentor Team
Chibuzo Anojulu
(Penn State Lehigh Valley)
Celeste Nelson, Academic Mentor
Victor Varner, Lab Mentor
(Princeton University)
Naiga Cottingham
(University of Pittsburgh)
Judith Yanowitz, Academic Mentor
Mainpal Rana, Lab Mentor
(University of Pittsburgh)
Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez
(University of Hawaii Manoa)
Alexandra Joyner, Academic Mentor
Alberto Rosello Diez, Lab Mentor
(Sloan-Kettering Institute)
Edgar Gutierrez
(College of The Sequoias)
Suzanne Mansour, Academic Mentor
Lisa Urness, Lab Mentor
(University of Utah)
David Lakomy
(Rice University)
Daniel Wagner, Academic Mentor
Sol Gomez de la Torre Canny, Lab Mentor
(Rice University)
Jennifer Lidgard
(Boise State University)
Mary Dickinson, Academic Mentor
Ross Anthony Poche, Lab Mentor
(Baylor College of Medicine)
Davys Lopez
(University of Florida Gainesville)
Jeremy Nance, Academic Mentor
Diana Klompstra, Lab Mentor
(New York University)
Jesus Martinez-Gomez
(University of Washington)
Verónica Di Stilio, Academic Mentor
Kelsey Galimba, Lab Mentor
(University of Washington)
Christopher Pineda
(San Francisco State University)
Laura Burrus, Academic Mentor
Lab Mentor (TBA)
(San Francisco State University)
Brittany Prioleau
(Winthrop University)
Heather Evans-Anderson, Academic Mentor
Pooja Pardhanani, Lab Mentor
(Winthrop University)
Krissie Tellez
(San Francisco State University)
Carmen Domingo, Academic Mentor
Julio Ramirez, Lab Mentor
(San Francisco State University)