A new group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), DIAS (the Diversity Initiative for the Advancement of STEM), held its first event Monday, a Special Seminar on Increasing Diversity in STEM featuring a talk by and Q & A with Dr. Medeva Ghee, the Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance.
The Leadership Alliance, founded in 1992, is a group of 36 institutions working to support and advance underrepresented minorities in higher education and leadership positions, and in her role, Ghee has led numerous programs to help prepare URM students for PhD training and familiarize them with opportunities in STEM.
For example, the Alliance offers summer research opportunities for undergraduate students through their Summer Research Early Identification Program, and, crucially, they follow up with the participants to provide further guidance and support as they advance in their careers.
In addition to supporting these existing (and highly successful) programs, Ghee is also working to expand the scope of the Leadership Alliance to include more institutions and private industry partners as well helping other groups institute similar programs.
Ghee earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from North Carolina State University in 1991, followed by a Master’s and PhD in microbiology from the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. She then conducted postdoctoral research on Parkinson’s Disease with CNRS (he French National Center for Scientific Research) researchers in Paris, France.
Before joining the Leadership Alliance (she was hired as Assistant Director in 2006 and elevated to Executive Director in 2011), Ghee worked as a Laboratory Systems Specialist with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. She turned the insight she learned from these experiences into a course on multidisciplinary HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa for Brown University students, where she is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
She is known as a great mentor to her students and was awarded the Ruth J. Simmons Award for Leadership from the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association. She was also named one of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s 2017 Leaders in STEM. We’re very honored she came to talk to the CSHL community and grateful to DIAS for organizing the event. We can’t wait to see all the great things Ghee, the Leadership Alliance, and DIAS will achieve (with the help and support of the entire science community of course – they can’t (and shouldn’t have to) do it alone!).
Photo credit: The Leadership Alliance