MDC’s School of Science hosted a White Coat Ceremony to welcome a new class of Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences students on April 15 at North Campus. Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu, U.S. Department of State Jefferson Science Fellow was keynote speaker. MDC President Madeline Pumariega and alumna Latonya Leshawn Gibbs also delivered remarks.
The annual White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of students’ journey in the bachelor’s program, which includes hands-on curriculum, state-of-the-art labs, and access to exemplary faculty and facilities. During the ceremony, students received their white coats and a pin representing the year they entered the program with a chemical element symbol. The element for this year’s class was calcium.
“This is an important rite of passage for students and it focuses their attention on successfully completing requirements to earn the B.S. in Biological Sciences degree,” said Dr. Victor Okafor, dean of the School of Science. “Students must first complete pre-requisite courses and earn an Associate in Arts degree before applying for the bachelor’s program.”
Many graduates of the program, such as Gibbs, who now works as a pharmacist, have continued their education and obtained advanced degrees in medicine, the sciences, health and allied professions, or joined the workforce after graduation.
“The School of Science programs are dedicated to bridging the gap between completion and relevant experiential training that MDC students need to succeed in STEM careers,” said Dr. Loretta Ovueraye, MDC’s vice provost of Workforce Development and Professional Learning.
Dr. Esiobu is a distinguished academic and entrepreneur. She is director of the Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Davie campus, where she has developed and taught many courses and labs. With an extensive track record in building scientific enterprises, she was awarded a Jefferson Science Fellow by the U.S. Department of State; Distinction of Service Award from the National Biotechnology Development Agency in Nigeria; and the FAU Faculty of Distinction for academic excellence and contributions to national and global scientific enterprise. She is also the founder of Applied Biotech Inc., which focuses on consulting and training the workforce in biotechnologies around Africa and the U.S.