Tri-Institutional Minority Society Fall Programming Fosters Community

TIMS Inaugural Fall Reception

On October 13, 2015, members of the Tri-Institutional Minority Society (TIMS) gathered for a Fall Reception under the sunset visible through glass ceilings of Weill Cornell’s Belfer Skylight Lounge.

The social was the society’s inaugural event for the 2015-2016 academic year. Founded in Fall 2014, TIMS is a partnership between Weill Cornell, Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide community and support to traditionally underrepresented minorities in science. All members of the tri-institutional community are welcome.


Members of the Tri-Institutional Minority Society converse over drinks and dessert at the Belfer Skylight Lounge, Oct 13.

The atmosphere was abuzz with conversation over wine and dessert as jazz played softly in the background. Live jazz was performed by a well-known, Brooklyn-based trio: Owen Erickson on drums and Devin Starks on bass kept spirit-lifting rhythm while Mike Wilson added soothing melody, alternating between saxophone and vocals.

Over 65 Lab technicians, medical students, graduate students, postdocs, administrators and faculty mingled together in one space. Members from Weill Cornell Women in Science (WiS) also attended the event, showing further support for the new society.  


Drs. Joseph Osborne and John Blenis strike a conversation, accompanied by live jazz in the background.

Conversation varied, ranging from professional development to personal connections. For example, an immunology PhD student connected with a faculty member for a postdoc opportunity and one pair of researchers discovered they worked on the same floor and planned a lunch. After an announcement by TIMS founding co-chairs Tanya Nauvel and Fon Powell, several members were recruited to join the executive board.  

Oct 29, TIMS hosted a “Mentorship Meals” event in the Rockefeller Research Laboratory of Memorial Sloan Kettering. The event featured faculty members Dr. Joseph Osborne MD PhD, Radiology & Nuclear Medicine Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Andrea Morris PhD, Director of Career Resources & Professional Development at Rockefeller University.

Over an intimate lunch, 26 lab technicians, students, postdocs and faculty members discussed career paths and the unique challenges faced by minorities in science. Morris highlighted her experiences as the first African American woman to receive a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. Osborne used examples from his own dual training as a physician-scientist to stress the importance of mental health and work-life balance.

Upcoming events include a monthly general meeting at 5:30 pm on Nov 9 in CRC-406 at Rockefeller University and “Mentorship Meals” event on Nov 18 at 1:30 pm featuring Weill Cornell’s Dr. Catherine Hartley PhD, Assistant Professor at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology.

For more photos and information about the Tri-Institutional Minority Society, please visit

- Photos by Michael Gutkin -

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