[Press Release] The Academy Graduates Fifth Class
(GLOUCESTER, MA) On June 3, a short nine months after they began at Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, 12 students gathered on the pier outside Maritime Gloucester. They were ready to take the next step in their journey, graduating from the Academy with unparalleled readiness and confidence as they enter the biotech and life sciences workforce.
The Class of 2021 – the Academy’s fifth graduating class – began in the height of the pandemic, with a limited class size and strict safety protocols. Over the course of the nine-month program, students were trained on cutting-edge equipment in a working biotech lab, mastering the technical skills, instrumentation, and quality control measures required to work as entry-level lab technicians. Following their training in the lab, the students embarked on three-month, paid internships at biotech or life science organizations in Boston, Cambridge and the North Shore. This year’s internship partners included Abbvie, RAN Biotechnologies, Revitope Oncology, LifeMine Therapeutics and Synlogic. (Thank you!)
“This group of students persevered through some very challenging obstacles, and did so with grace and confidence,” said Education Director Dr. John Doyle, who has led the Academy for all five classes, “I’m incredibly proud of them, and can’t wait to see what they do next.”
The evening event, attended by families and friends of graduates as well as GMGI staff, board members and volunteers, featured some truly inspiring speeches. Dr. Doyle spoke glowingly about the Class of 2021, noting how far the students have come since their first day last August. Massachusetts State Representative and long-time GMGI advocate Ann-Margaret Ferrante was the evening’s Commencement speaker, inspiring all in attendance with her speech reminding everyone to ‘always give the world your best.’
Following Rep. Ferrante, two student speakers took the stage, Dylan Martino and Nicole Waitt. Martino, who completed his internship at Revitope Oncology in Cambridge, was the 2021 recipient of the Zhu-Millman Award. This award, named in honor of Academy supporters Chi-Chi Zhu and Robert Millman, is presented to a student in recognition of outstanding academic and leadership distinction. Nicole Waitt, a Gloucester native who completed her internship at Abbvie, spoke about her limited career options after graduating from a local university, and how the Academy reignited her passion for science. Both students spoke about their classmates, the inspiration they drew from each other, and how the unwavering support from the teaching staff enabled their success.
The evening concluded with the presentation of certificates from instructors Rebecca Barnard and Che Gardiner, and rousing standing ovation from the audience as they honored the accomplishments of the Class of 2021.
With two-thirds of the spots filled, Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is still accepting applications for the remaining openings in the incoming Class of 2022. Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 7th. High school graduates (or with an equivalent certificate) are encouraged to apply. Please visit gmgi.org/education/apply for more information.
Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) is a non-profit enterprise that addresses critical challenges facing our oceans, human health and the environment through innovative scientific research and education. By bringing world-class science and transformative workforce development to Gloucester’s historic waterfront, GMGI is catalyzing the regional economy. Please visit www.gmgi.org and follow GMGI on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more information.