Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Tri-I Outreach Committee (TORC)

Tri-I Outreach Committee (TOrC) focuses on STEM outreach initiatives for K-12 through undergraduate students, primarily for underrepresented minorities and students from low-income families.

TOrC is led by Jaina Wollowitz (TPCB), Leandro Pimental Marcelino (TPCB), Brittney Bobowski (WCM Pharmacology), Divya Koyyalagunta (CBM), Mia Haraguchi (TPCB), and Yanira Guerra (WCM BCMB). TOrC aims to make science more accessible by spreading awareness about careers in science, inspiring others to follow their passion in STEM, and providing them with resources to help them excel. In parallel, we strive to bridge Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and The Rockefeller University by connecting members of the Tri-I with a common passion for outreach and mentorship.

In 2020, TOrC student leaders (Ifé Akano, Gianna Stella, Ilana Kotliar, Maria Sirenko, and Alexa Strauss) founded the Tri-I Mentorship Initiative (TIMI) to empower those interested in applying to graduate programs through one-on-one mentoring. Current Tri-I graduate students are paired with undergraduates or recent graduates who are applying to biomedical PhD programs. Mentors receive training and dispatch their own experiences with the application process to help mentees select schools to apply to, craft their personal statements, and improve their interviewing skills. This year, TIMI matched 79 mentor-mentee pairs and included participants from across the U.S. and 13 countries around the world. Over 65% of TIMI mentees self-identified as an underrepresented minority and/or qualify as disadvantaged by the NIH. TIMI aims to arm its mentees with the tools necessary to be successful PhD applicants. The program has been highly effective, with 96% of U.S. students receiving at least one admission offer in 2023.

To increase the visibility of STEM outreach opportunities in NYC, TOrC launched the Tri-Institutional Outreach Fair in February 2022. Nearly 70 members of the Tri-I community came together virtually to hear presentations from 12 professional and trainee-run outreach organizations, including BioBus, the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) STEM Mentoring ProgramsRockEDU, the Tri-Institutional Minority Society (TIMS) Summer Scholars Research Program (SSRP), Weill Cornell Graduate School Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS), and more. Attendees were also able to connect directly with outreach representatives in breakout sessions. A survey revealed that 90% of participants learned about at least one new outreach group and 50% signed up for a new volunteer opportunity. The Outreach Fair is now an annual event held each spring.

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