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Vanderbilt MSTP Attends SACNAS and ABRCMS Conferences

Posted by on Monday, November 25, 2019 in Science Advocacy.

by Megan Williams, PhD (MSTP Leadership Team)

Recently members of the MSTP Leadership Team attended the SACNAS and ABRCMS conferences. These are two conferences aimed at increasing diversity in science that we attend each year. SACNAS is The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science and each year they host The National Diversity in STEM conference. Vanderbilt also has an active, local SACNAS chapter that undergraduate and graduate students can join. ABRCMS is the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students which is managed by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). These conferences bring together cutting-edge science, motivational keynote speakers, numerous professional development sessions, cultural celebrations, and an inclusive community aimed at increasing diversity in the STEM workforce. Graduate students and undergraduate students can present their research at SACNAS and take advantage of all of the wonderful professional development opportunities. ABRCMS presentations are only open to undergraduates, but graduate students can attend the professional development sessions and help judge the presentations. The Vanderbilt MSTP, graduate programs, and medical schools participate in the exhibit hall to recruit these talented young students and support them in their development. This year the MSTP was represented at both conferences by Director, Dr. Chris Williams, Assistant Director, Dr. Megan Williams, and G2 student Courtney Edwards.

A highlight of the conference is getting to reconnect with our MSTP Summer Scholars, the students from our summer research program!
Vanderbilt MSTP student Courtney Edwards was a panelist for the “MD-PhD: Is it right for me?” Session at 2019 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference.
Vanderbilt MSTP Assistant Director, Dr. Megan Williams, worked with the AAMC MD-PhD Communications Committee to organize a session “MD-PhD Career Paths: Conversations with Physician-Scientists” at ABRCMS 2019.