Harmon Hines named recipient of Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education
Advocate for diversity in STEM disciplines awarded American Society for Cell Biology’s highest honor
|Deborah Harmon Hines, PhD, professor of cell & developmental biology and vice provost for school services|
The American Society for Cell Biology has named Deborah Harmon Hines, PhD, professor of cell & developmental biology and vice provost for school services, the recipient of its 2015 Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education. Awarded annually since 1998, the society’s highest honor recognizes an individual who has demonstrated innovative and sustained contributions to science education, with particular emphasis on the local, regional and/or national impact of the nominee’s activities.
“The committee was impressed with [Dr. Hines’] long-standing contributions to bringing underrepresented students into STEM fields and helping them to be successful in their education, at all levels from K–12 to professional and graduate school,” wrote ASCB education committee chair Sue Wick, PhD.
Over the past 25 years, Hines has reached thousands of students through her actions in managing and overseeing several educational programs. In 1995, she established the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative with the Worcester Public Schools to increase the numbers of students from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds entering careers in biotechnology, biomedical research and the health professions. The program continues to this day, with thousands of K–12 students from eight schools involved every year.
Additionally, Hines has directed the UMMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program since 1993, and oversees the College Summer Enrichment Program, the UMMS Health Sciences Preparatory Program, and the High School Health Careers Program, all of which serve underrepresented minority, economically disadvantaged or educationally disadvantaged students.
Throughout her career, Hines has also reached students through her actions on a smaller scale, spending considerable time personally mentoring individuals, with notable ripple effects over the many years of her career.
The recipient of numerous honors including the 2008 University of Massachusetts President’s Public Service Award and the 2013 Chancellor’s Medal for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity, Hines will accept the award on Dec. 13 at the society’s 2015 Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Previously at UMMS, Hines' associate Sandra Mayrand received the Bruce Alberts Award in 2002. Mayrand, who founded the Regional Science Resource Center at the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research, continued to direct the statewide K-8 STEM outreach program after the foundation's 1997 merger with UMMS.
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