Cohort Four: Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology (Spring 2022)

Cohort Four, Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology program pairs high school and college women as near-peer mentors and connects them with diverse professionals from STEM careers in Maryland and across the greater Washington, DC area, with a focus on DOD-connected careers in STEM fields.

This fast-paced, hybrid program introduces high school and college women to biotechnology and DOD STEM jobs, in an all-female cohort environment. Students will get hands-on laboratory experiences and meet female luminaries from all across the spectrum of STEM careers.

Mentors lead high school participants through career and hands-on investigation activities while developing relationships to help support each other as they pursue their STEM goals. The program introduces participants to STEM professionals and entrepreneurs in biotechnology to learn more about the careers and industries located in their own communities.

Cohort Four, Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology, begins on April 7, 2022.

Cohort Four Open To:

  • College students: Student currently enrolled in a two-year or four-year college
  • High School students: Must attend a public high school
  • Individuals who identify as female, cisgender, transgender, and non-binary
  • Priority will be given to those from groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including Black, Latina, and Native American women, as well as military connected students.

What will you do in Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology?

  • Meet strong women who are kicking butt and taking names in STEM fields
  • Learn lab skills + techniques that will set you apart when applying to college and that first job
  • Practice “soft skills” like making connections and public speaking, which are in super high demand in science jobs
  • Learn about STEM careers, internships, and scholarships through the Department of Defense
  • Build friendships with college and high school women who have similar interests
  • Get a completion certificate to add to your college application or résumé

What will you get out of this program? Hear from our Cohort One participants what they thought!

What to Expect as a Participant

The program consists of two parts:

PART ONE: Bi-weekly virtual workshops (April 7 – June 23, 2022)

Virtual sessions will highlight keynote speakers from industry, research, and the Department of Defense and workshops to develop laboratory skills and career readiness. Prior to the workshops, all participants will receive an At Home Science Kit containing laboratory materials and equipment to be used during the skills workshops and for homework assignments.

  • Virtual sessions for all participants will be held Thursdays, 6-8PM, via Zoom.
  • Virtual sessions will be held on the following dates: April 7, April 28, May 12, May 26, June 8, June 23

PART TWO: Laboratory Intensive Course (July & August, 2022)

A two-week, in-person laboratory course will focus on building research and laboratory skills. During the lab, students will explore CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and genetic engineering. Students will gain expertise in transformation, CRISPR, gel electrophoresis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

  • In person sessions will be held Tuesdays-Fridays from 9AM- 12PM
    • Labs will be stationed locally in Frederick City, Montgomery County, and Prince Georges County
    • Frederick County Laboratory Intensive Dates: July 19 – 22; July 26 – 29
    • Montgomery County Laboratory Intensive Dates: August 2 – 5, August 9-11 (*new location added)
    • Prince Georges’ County Laboratory Intensive Dates: August 2 – 5; August 9 – 11

College student (mentor) additional info:

  • Mentors are required to attend virtual orientation
  • Mentors will receive a stipend of $500
    • Stipends will be split and received in the middle and at the end of the program
    • Mentors must attend 90% of all sessions to receive a complete stipend (no more than 2 absences)
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to receive a stipend

High school participant info:

  • To receive a certificate of completion participants must attend all laboratory sessions.
  • Students must commit to having their camera on for all virtual small group sessions
  • High school participants will receive a $50 travel stipend at the end of the program

All participants are expected to:

  • Attend 90% of all sessions to receive a certificate of completion
  • Have their cameras on during virtual workshops
  • Be on time for both virtual and in person sessions
  • Engage with their peers by posting and commenting in virtual classroom
  • Complete homework assignments in a timely manner

Please feel free to contact program manager Dr. Benedetta Naglieri with any questions.

Thanks to DOD STEM & The Defense Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Consortium (DSEC) for supporting this program.