Students, faculty and staff served as judges for hundreds of STEM projects and showcased
the College’s academic programs.
Supporting the Gwinnett Science, Engineering and Innovation Fair, the premiere showcase
in Gwinnett County which honors elementary, middle and high school students’ demonstrated
excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is a five year tradition
for PCOM Georgia.
As the presenting sponsor, the College has numerous opportunities to interact with
these award-winning students, all of whom are representing their schools as top winners.
According to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Jessica Holden, Director of Science,
grades 6-12, and Deborah Martin, Director of Mathematics, grades 6-12, the goal of
the event is to open students’ minds to a new line of thinking, allow them to discover
new passions, and, ultimately encourage them to innovate ways to change the world.
About 30 faculty members, along with students and staff from PCOM Georgia, served
as judges for the event, themed the “Promise of Innovation,” which was held February
22, 2019, at the Infinite Energy Forum in Duluth. More than 650 middle and high school
students presented projects, while 79 elementary school students, who had showcased
their projects at their schools, joined them at the evening awards ceremony.
Professor Ali Moradi, MD, MPH, DrPH, the interim associate dean of clinical integration,
said “As a parent and educator, I truly appreciate PCOM Georgia’ vision and support
for our children. The science fair provides opportunities for young scientists to
experiment, explore and engage in science play and practices in order to build a solid
foundation for future applications of the scientific inquiry process…I truly enjoyed
judging middle school scientific projects and presentations this year where I had
an opportunity to see future leaders in science and technology.”
Simulation Center Director Jeff Adams and Manager Moriah Newman represented the Simulation Center as breakout speakers
for high school students. They used task trainers to teach the students hands-only
CPR and demonstrated high fidelity mannequins and their usefulness in teaching health
In the middle school breakout session, Jayden Lee, PharmD, BCACP, CACP, assistant
professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, asked students to use their cell phones to create a word picture to describe a pharmacist.
Medicine man, life-saving, hero and hard-working were some of the words entered and
then students were quizzed on what they learned following his presentation.
In another area of the fair, middle and high school students experienced prescription
dispensing through the use of M&Ms. Pharmacists, a pharmacy resident, student pharmacists
and admissions representatives helped man the table coordinated by Kim Lucier, the
campus administrative services and events manager.
H. William Craver III, DO, vice provost and chief academic officer of PCOM Georgia, and Thomas Wagner, division
director, administration, had the opportunity to represent the campus at the evening
awards ceremony and lunch sessions.
Shirin Madzhidova, PharmD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, who judged the middle
school projects, said, “The students were so confident and knowledgeable. I felt like
I was judging my pharmacy students.” She added, “Talking with these young students
made me believe in the future of STEM and that these kids are truly the future we
are looking forward to.” The Physician Assistant department’s Sonya McMichael concurred,
“The best part of judging for me was meeting such talented and friendly young people.”
William Delp, DO, assistant professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine, enjoyed the experience of judging as well. He said, “It is fun to see how the young
minds approach things. I talked extensively to a young man who is working on a way
to prevent thumb fractures in lacrosse players. He has suffered two himself and has
come up with some interesting ideas.” He noted, “These are the types of kids who need
encouragement and will likely make lives better in the future.”
According to school officials, 18 middle school projects and 28 high school projects
will move forward to the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Athens,
Georgia, March 28-29, 2019, and three projects were selected by judges for the Intel
International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Phoenix, Arizona this May.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant
studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational
excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus
is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine
clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: