The Bridge to Biostats committee was formed in June 2020 by biostatisticians in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department in response to the #shutdownSTEM movement’s fundamental question, “How can you help to create a more just, equitable and inclusive STEM field?”
The mission of Bridge to Biostats is to conduct biostatistics outreach activities among under-resourced and underrepresented high school students in New York City who have demonstrated interest and aptitude in math and science. Our objectives are (i) to create awareness of and interest in the field of biostatistics, and (ii) to provide learning and mentoring opportunities on the pathway to further study of biostatistics.
The Bridge to Biostats committee was awarded the 2021-2022 American Statistical Association Biometrics Section Biostatistics Outreach Grant. With this grant, we plan to create an innovative suite of interactive biostats “statistical thinking” activities to use in both our “Biostats Day” exposure program and enrichment class curricula. See below for more information about our programs and activities.
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The Bridge to Biostats Committee has developed multiple programs to reach students across NYC. Programs include a high school biostatistics/data literacy enrichment course in conjunction with BEAM (Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics), a 1-1/4 hour virtual “Biostats Day” outreach program targeted to students involved in STEM community partner organizations, and a biostatistics-specific track of MSK’s 6-week summer exposure program for NYC high school students. Read more about current and upcoming programs on the Programs page.
To reach our target students, Bridge to Biostats partners with existing NYC programs that already serve this population.
CUNY’s STEM Research Academy is a spring and summer program for NYC high school students to learn the skills necessary for and get hands-on experience in STEM research.
From CUNY STEM RA’s website: “STEM Research Academy (STEM RA), provides eligible NYC high school students with the opportunity to take a pre-college College Now science course in the spring and engage in research across several STEM disciplines at a broad range of skill levels during the summer.” Learn more.
Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM)
BEAM works to create pathways for underserved students to become scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and computer scientists (and hopefully statisticians!).
From BEAM’s website: “Despite decades of effort, low-income and minority students remain vastly underrepresented in science and math related fields. BEAM works to address these statistics by meeting students early and bridging the gap between their aspirations and the opportunities provided to them.” Learn more.
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Office of Diversity Programs (ODP)
From the ODP website: “One of the greatest challenges of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s recruitment efforts has been the limited pool of minority physicians and postgraduate researchers seeking careers in oncology. The Office of Diversity Programs (ODP) has implemented institution-wide and program-specific minority recruitment initiatives, many of which are focused on increasing the number of minority researchers and professionals in oncology.” Learn more.
The ODP developed the Summer Exposure Program (SEP) to provide exposure and support to underrepresented minority and under-resourced high school students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions: “Students learn about aspects of clinical cancer care, explore the interplay between research and clinical practice, and meet people in different health and scientific professions by shadowing a clinical or research mentor for the summer. Since 2005, more than 70 students have participated in the program. Learn more.
Einstein Enrichment Program (EEP)
From the EEP website: The EEP is part of a New York State–funded enrichment program called STEP (Science Technology Entry Program). Its mission is to serve minority and/or economically disadvantaged high school students who have been historically underrepresented in the medical and scientific professions. Learn more.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more about partnering with Bridge to Biostats!
Email: [email protected]
Committee Members: Esther Drill, DrPH (Chair); Jessica Lavery, MS (Secretary); Samantha Brown, MS; Joanne Chou, MS; Jessica Flynn, MS; Zoe Guan, PhD; Hannah Kalvin, MS; Richard Koppenaal; Shireen Lewis, MPA; Stephanie Lobaugh, MS; Katherine Panageas, DrPH; Venkatraman Seshan, PhD; Kay See Tan, PhD