Pine Manor College seeks to enhance its ability to prepare undergraduate biology majors for careers in biomedical research by responding to the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity Initiative (BUILD). During a six-month planning period, Pine Manor will collaborate with our Research Partner;the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine, to lay the groundwork for a program that leverages existing strengths and develops new partnerships. Pine Manor College has championed educational programs for women from diverse backgrounds since the mid-1990s and has placed a high value on training in biology. Our majority minority institution serves highly disadvantaged students, a population with truly untapped potential. Between 60 and 65 percent of Pine Manor students are members of groups considered under-represented in science by the NIH and 80 percent of its students qualify for Pell grants, indicating high financia need. Most Pine Manor students arrive at the school with little awareness of careers in biomedical research at any level. The school has worked extremely hard to provide its Biology majors with access to research careers and advanced training. They have initiated an S-STEM NSF-funded Bio Scholars program and built links to NIH-funded pipeline programs at the Sackler School. Both of these initiatives have elevated the quality of biology training at Pine Manor. These experiences position the college to undertake planning for a BUILD program. Through our planning process, we will extend existing relationships with the Sackler School and other existing partner institutions. Our efforts will be grounded in a data-focused analysis of current successes and challenges. Planning will focus on identifying additional pipeline partners and developing novel strategies to engage their students, establishing an inquiry-based, competency-driven biology curriculum, leading to development of strong BUILD Scholar program. Our program will attract inquisitive young minds to a pathway encompassing strong baccalaureate training, exposure to biomedical research, intentional and focused mentorship and provides a clear path to advanced research training.
Developing a diverse biomedical workforce that reflects the American population is a high priority and needed to maximize the benefits of biomedical research for all citizens. Our planning process will position Pine Manor College and its Research Partner, the Sackler School at Tufts School of Medicine, to strength pipeline links and develop the curriculum needed to make a strong contribution to this goal.