Academy Class of 2023 Cohort 1 Graduates at the Cape Ann Museum

Photo credit: Francois Studios

A few short days after completing their three-month internships, the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy’s Class of 2023’s first cohort celebrated their graduation. Friends, family, GMGI staff, mentors, and internship partners gathered at the Cape Ann Museum to recognize the group’s incredible achievements over the past ten months.

Lead Teacher, Dr. Steve Anderson, spoke about the transformation the Academy’s seventh graduating class underwent and what helped them stand out from previous classes. He spoke of their unique ability to look at science through the lens of art, finding creative ways to combine the two disciplines. He applauded them for their bravery, describing the group as “15 brave souls who 10 months ago made the decision to change their lives.”

After opening remarks from Executive Director Chris Bolzan, Education Director Dr. John Doyle, and Dr. Anderson, Teaching Assistant Mel Drexler introduced Mariah Verga as the 2023 recipient of the Zhu-Millman Scholar Award, named in honor of Academy supporters Chi-Chi Zhu and Robert Millman — in recognition of outstanding academic and leadership distinction. Will Mumford was selected by the teaching staff as the student speaker, and both he and Mariah spoke about the profound impact the Academy has had on their lives.

Following the students, Dr. Ming Proschitsky, Head of BioTherapeutics at Walden Biosciences, delivered the evening’s commencement address. Dr. Proschitsky’s lab has taken numerous academy interns over the years, and she praised these graduates for their attention to detail. She spoke of their resilience and recognized the determination it takes to be successful in the life sciences, saying “…you stepped out of your comfort zone believing you can make a change…”

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of certificates from Mel Drexler and Instructor Sadie Salazar, followed by Dr. Doyle presenting the newly minted graduates to a standing ovation crowd.

Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is still accepting applications for the remaining openings in the incoming Class of 2024. Two cohorts will be available, with classes beginning on August 21st and November 27th. Recent high school graduates (or with an equivalent certificate) are encouraged to apply. The program is provided at no cost to students, and stipends are available to those who qualify. Please visit for more information.