On Oct. 19-20, students and alumni of the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) gathered in Boston for an inaugural reunion weekend, sponsored by the BUSM Alumni Association. EMSSP is a nationally recognized, early assurance program that provides a supportive environment with a gradual transition into the medical school curriculum during the summer terms after sophomore and junior years and the final undergraduate year. Students who meet all program requirements can expect to be promoted to Boston University School of Medicine upon completion of their undergraduate education. EMSSP alumni traveled from Florida, Georgia, and parts of Massachusetts to attend this new reunion.
The weekend kicked off Friday evening with a social hour at Café ArtScience, in Cambridge. Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Rafael Ortega, MD, and Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs Jean Ramsey, MD, welcomed the group. Energy was high throughout the night, but nothing quite matched the excitement when Malissia Evans arrived. Ms. Evans, the Administrative Coordinator of the Diversity & Inclusion Office, has worked in the EMSSP office for decades and knows each and every student. “It was precious. So many memories, so many tears and so many hugs… seeing these amazing, incredible and beautiful people took my breath away,” she commented.
The next morning, students and alumni gathered for a networking brunch and panel discussion moderated by Dr. Jason Sherer (BUSM’16), in Hiebert Lounge. For some alumni, this was the first time being back to BUSM since graduation.
Panelists included Aliyah Gaines (BUSM’21) and Drs. Alexis Gadson (BUSM’16) and Babafemi “Femi” Onabanjo (BUSM’14). They answered students’ questions about lessons learned, finding your “community,” and negotiating contracts. Other alumni in the audience volunteered advice, giving students the opportunity to hear a wide range of experiences.
Other attendees included Samantha Kaplan, MD, Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and Director of EMSSP; Lance Martin, Administrative Assistant in the Diversity & Inclusion Office; and Jennifer Mompoint from Student Affairs. Ms. Mompoint, who received a warm welcome from attendees, left BUSM at the end of October to start her own business. She reflected on the festivities, “The weekend was exactly the send-off I didn’t know I needed! The whole weekend filled my heart with so much joy, appreciation and love. I know many of the alumni felt the same way.”
Dr. Sherer is optimistic that this is only the beginning of a partnership with the Alumni Association. “My heart is still full from seeing so many of my classmates and catching up. The feedback I’ve received from the EMSSP alumni has been great! Everyone seems excited about future events.”
More photos from the event can be found here.
Submitted by Morgan Simko, Alumni Association