The intensive science and math program, hosted by PCOM for local high school students,
recently concluded its third year.
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Science and Math Summer Academy recently concluded its third year with a graduation
ceremony for students from Olney High School and Esperanza College who took part in
the intensive, two-week program.
The event’s keynote speaker was Monique Gary, DO ’09, an oncologist specializing in
minimally-invasive breast surgery. She developed the Cancer Genetic and Risk Assessment
Program at Grand View Health in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, and is the founder of
“Angels Against Breast Cancer,” a service and empowerment organization that fundraises
and links patients to breast cancer resources in the Delaware valley.
During the ceremony, Academy students received their “diploma”— a certificate of completion
signifying their commitment to pursue studies and careers in the STEM+M fields (science,
tech, engineering, math and medicine). PCOM students—who served as mentors to the
Academy students—also shared thoughts, praise and congratulations with their mentees.
“I wish I had this opportunity when I was considering medical school, so I’m proud
of you all for taking advantage of this program,” Aloysius Ibe (DO ’22) told the Academy
The Summer Academy is designed to raise awareness of, and interest in, STEM+M careers
among this population. It offers high school students the opportunity to augment and
accelerate their STEM+M skills, learn about the college and medical school admissions process, explore career possibilities, and learn interactively in PCOM’s clinical simulation and anatomy labs and through field trips to local scientific institutions.
“We’re incredibly proud of all of our participants in the Summer Academy,” said Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer. “They’ve shown a dedicated interest
in the STEM+M fields, and our hope is that interest will follow them throughout their
studies, and that we will one day see them back here at PCOM as one of our students.”
African-Americans and Latinos remain underrepresented in STEM+M. According to a report
by the Pew Research Center, African Americans occupy just 6 percent of STEM jobs,
despite making up 11 percent of the total workforce. For Hispanics, those numbers
were 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
“Having a diverse workforce of physicians, health practitioners and researchers means
better outcomes for everyone,” said Denah Appelt, PhD, professor, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology and program coordinator for
the Summer Academy. “Programs like this allow students to become empowered and follow
The PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy serves as the cornerstone of a year-round
academic partnership between PCOM, ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania (which oversees Olney
Charter High School) and Esperanza College.
Funding for the Summer Academy was provided by the 3M Foundation, Hologic, Teva Pharmaceuticals
and the VWR Foundation.
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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