2 black women win first-ever Morgan State University vaccine research fellowship with Pfizer


Morgan State University (MSU) is partnering with Pfizer to bring more minority populations into the field of medical development, and two black women are the inaugural class of the fellowship.

Through the 2-year program, dubbed the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Fellowship in Vaccines Medical Development, participants “will gain invaluable training and networking opportunities to pursue successful careers in the biopharmaceutical industry,” according to a press release. that Pfizer shared with Blavité.

“This historic partnership with Maryland’s leading public urban research university is the Basic Public Health Fellowship within the Pfizer Biopharma organization,” said Ronika Alexander-Parrish, founding director of the DrPH fellowship, according to the MSU announcement.

“There are fewer than five HBCUs with DrPH programs in the United States. As such, we recognize and appreciate the unique value this scholarship brings to both Pfizer and Morgan,” continued Alexander-Parrish.

Dr. Kim Dobson Sydnor, Dean of MSU’s School of Community Health and Policy (SCHP), also spoke positively about the groundbreaking partnership.

“We appreciate this tremendous opportunity to partner with Pfizer to put the call for diversity, equity and inclusion into action, this is a defining moment,” she said, according to MSU.

“We look forward to seeing our students access the additional skills and insight traditionally granted to so many others and succeed in this industry,” Sydnor continued.

Nguhemen Tingir and Monica Ochapa, 2 current DrPH candidates, have been selected as the program’s inaugural fellows, and they are thrilled to be part of such an initiative.

“It is critically important that companies like Pfizer engage HBCUs and foster greater diversity among BIPOC talent, as this offers the opportunity to level the playing field and create a fairer society for the future,” Tingir said, reports the Baltimore-based HBCU.

Monica Ochapa added that this opportunity grants her “a platform to advance solutions to health inequities, increase health care for underserved populations, and create innovative approaches to disease prevention through research and to public health practice,” according to MSU.

Congratulations to Nguhemen Tingir and Monica Ochapa!


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