The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and partners recently hosted the inaugural “Rising Stars in Health Sciences Symposium.”
The symposium, which focused on networking, science, mentoring, and career development, was tailored to underrepresented minority (URM) scholars who are in the early stages of their careers, including advanced Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows, and early-career faculty. Attendees were selected from institutions across the United States based on their academic experience, productivity, and recommendations from senior scientists.
The goal of this meeting (and hopefully future meetings) is to nurture and mentor URM rising stars in the health sciences to positively impact vital research and practice.
An additional aim of the symposium is to inspire attendees to remain invigorated to continue pursuing excellence in their academic careers.
A distinguished lineup of keynote speakers included Dr. David Hayes Bautista from University of California Los Angeles, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo from University of California San Francisco, Dr. Holly Nicastro from the National Institute of Health (NIH), and special guest, Dr. Gary Gibbons, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH. These speakers, as well as distinguished speakers from Indiana University, offered lectures about scientific contributions and perspectives on public health, career development initiatives, and personal talks describing the paths taken to achieve their success. Participants commented that they felt that they were in a more of a “safe space” (which allowed for open conversations around careers and interactions as URM scholars in academia) than they have ever felt anywhere else. One participant stated that it was the best conference she had ever attended.
Virtually all commented on how valuable the sessions on career development and networking were. After the meeting, participants continued to offer positive feedback, remarking that they hoped that we would continue the practice and involve them as cohort (we pledged to explore ways to do so) and in an especially potent statement, noted that they were awestruck that Indiana University would invest so much time and effort to hold such an outstanding event. Because this is such a vitally important cohort to the future of academic health sciences, we sincerely hope we can again.
For more information about the Rising Stars in Health Sciences, please contact: