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It’s Never Too Early to Introduce Students to STEM Says BMS Scientist, Rutgers Grad

The following Q&A and background was provided to HINJ by our friends at S2S.

Elizabeth Galella, a senior research scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, volunteers her time to teach and inspire New Jersey children through Students 2 Science Inc. (S2S), a non-profit model program which operates laboratories in Newark and East Hanover and provides hands-on, authentic STEM experiences to elementary through high school students across New Jersey. 

What is your background? Current position? I received my BS and MS degrees in chemistry from Rutgers University and have been employed at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) for the past 22 years. BMS is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. I am a Senior Research Scientist and my primary role involves managing the analytical development and support of small molecule drug product formulations. In recent years, I have become a subject matter expert in the area of pediatric product development, which has become a passion of mine.

What initially brought you to S2S? What sparked your passion for S2S? Back in 2014, I was invited by a BMS manager to be a part of a volunteer group which was making a day trip up to the S2S East Hanover facility. It was a really enjoyable day, and I left there knowing that I wanted to continue to volunteer for S2S in the future. The students were very excited to be there and that is what definitely sparked my passion for the program!

What do you like most about volunteering at S2S? Following my initial trip to the East Hanover facility, I have often volunteered for Virtual Laboratory sessions at local schools. I enjoy volunteering for this aspect of the program because I feel that the students truly appreciate having real scientists in their classrooms assisting them with their experiments. They also get to chat with me and ask questions about what it is like to work in a scientific field or a pharmaceutical industry.

Why do you think volunteering is important? Volunteering is important because it not only provides adults who are in STEM fields to step out of their day-to-day job and excite students about learning, but it demonstrates to the students that people are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to teach them and show them how important it is to have role models. 

Elizabeth Galella volunteering at a V-Lab at Auten School in Hillsborough.

Why do you support the mission of S2S? I thoroughly support the mission and objectives of S2S. This program offers very unique opportunities for students of various ages, as it is never too early to introduce children to the importance of STEM-related studies and activities. Through S2S, students are able to gain valuable hands-on experience and make connections with people who work in the field. It is a wonderful way to inspire!

If you would like to volunteer at S2S, please email us at info@students2science.org or call (973) 947-4880 ext. 516. Sign up today!

Volunteering at Students 2 Science

Students 2 Science, Inc. (S2S) is a national model in authentic science education and urban community development, serving to bridge the needs of the public and private sectors. Our mission is to inspire, motivate, and educate elementary, middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects). We do so by providing rigorous and hands-on STEM experiences in our state-of-the-art laboratories, complete with modern instrumentation and professional scientists. Additionally, we offer web-based, virtual STEM programs that broaden our reach to serve a wider audience.

Volunteers are an integral part of the success of the S2S model. Professionals (STEM and non-STEM) from the local community and corporations work side-by-side with our young students, providing them with support, inspiration, motivation and career advice.

S2S is currently recruiting volunteers for both our in-lab (ISAAC) and virtual (V-Lab) programs. For more information click here.

We make it easy for you to volunteer at S2S:

  • Flexible schedules to fit your needs –available slots from 5 minutes to 6.5 hours, once a year or as often as you can.
  • A variety of volunteering opportunities to choose from:
    • In our ISAAC program as mentors, lab assistants or instructors working with middle and high school students in our laboratories in East Hanover or Newark.
    • In our Virtual Laboratory program – as in-class or virtual mentor in a classroom at a participating school.

March 27, 2019

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