Alumni in the News

Usman Hameedi '12, a member of the first Science Posse, shares his inspiring story with readers of the Huffington Post

Huffington Post

In the fall of 2008, Brandeis University launched the first Science Posse program to attract and retain talented, underrepresented students in college-level science. Founded by Brandeis chemistry professor Irving Epstein in partnership with Posse, a highly regarded college-access program, the Science Posse recruits, trains, and provides mentoring for "posses" of 10 students each year to prepare them for studying science at Brandeis. A grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York helped support the development of the program.

Usman Hameedi is a native of Brooklyn whose parents immigrated to the United States from Pakistan. An aspiring doctor and accomplished poet, Usman majored in biology at Brandeis and graduated in May 2012. He now works as a research technician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and plans to apply to medical school. Here he tells what it meant to him to belong to the first Science Posse.

Growing up where I did, I didn't have access to rigorous prep classes or the opportunity to shadow doctors. Science Posse came into my life by accident. By the time I had gotten to the third round of interviews, I knew that I wanted it. It helped me push myself a little harder during high school.

Science Posse was new to everyone at Brandeis -- the students, the mentors, the faculty and the administration. You could tell there was a lot of interest in making it a success. People wondered: Was this too ambitious? Would this work? Are we shooting for the moon and we will miss it, or will this be something revolutionary? We knew that we were part of an experiment, but we liked that. We thought we could set the bar really high -- and I think we did that.

Read more of the Huffington Post item.
Read the story about the Science Posse program that Brandeis pioneered in "Carnegie Results."

Date: August 2, 2013