Pine Manor College leverages its program strengths in Biology, Psychology, and Community Health to create pathways for students interested in careers in healthcare delivery and biomedical sciences. This initiative builds on the proven success of our graduates as mental health counselors, social workers, laboratory researchers, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, and healthcare administrators. Students benefit from faculty mentoring, financial support through National Science Foundation-funded STEM grants, scholarship opportunities, and active learning through strong community partnerships and community-based research.
As part of their learning path, students have aligned with:
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Harvard School of Public Health
- Research Labs at Tufts University
- United Healthcare
- Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
- EasCare Ambulance
- Cambridge Health Alliance – Institute for Community Health
- Children’s Hospital
- McLean Hospital
- Upham’s Corner Community Health Center
- The Home for Little Wanderers
Diane Mello-Goldner, Ph.D.
Dean of the College and Associate Professor of Psychology
“By refocusing our academic programs on the increasing need for well-trained and broadly-educated employees in the healthcare marketplace, we are preparing students for successful careers in addition to more traditional fields. The role that our talented faculty play in the Senior Seminar and the Senior Internship programs also builds on the College’s academic strengths. The Senior Seminar ties all that students have learned from their three previous years together with critical thinking and communication skills. The process requires students to demonstrate a tangible body of work, and this gives them a competitive edge in the job market.”
Susan Bear, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
“The strength of the biology major is that it prepares students to enter numerous careers. Our students go on to graduate programs in clinical medicine, basic research, and biotechnology. They are employed in a wide spectrum of jobs in healthcare, and the biomedical sciences. They are able to do this because the biology major focuses on foundational knowledge and skills. The curriculum is rich in molecular and cellular biology, organismal and systems biology, chemistry, and a broad spectrum of electives that allow a student to choose courses that serve his or her interests. The number of required courses and the depth of core studies is robust and this is necessary to help a student build strength for the next step.”
“A signature strength of the biology major is its relationship with organizations and universities in the Boston area. A strong partnership with the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences of Tufts University provides a two-way path. Our students benefit from professionals who come to campus to teach courses and serve as role models. Our students do internships in world-class laboratories where they receive individual mentoring. The lab experience builds upon the knowledge they are learning at Pine Manor and helps them acquire specific and current lab skills. This experience builds skills in inquiry-based learning that are important for any career a biology major chooses, including clinical medicine or community health.”
William Vogele, Ph.D.
Co-director, Community Health Program
Professor of Political Science
“Healthcare is undergoing tremendous transformation, driven in part by the Affordable Care Act, but also by the economic and social challenges that prompted that legislation. One growing and critical area for work is in the field of public health or community health. Community health professionals engage in research, education, direct service, care management and other interventions that interact with clinical professionals but do not require clinical training. At Pine Manor, we designed the Community Health major in response to student desires to work in this emerging field. Our consultations with public health professionals led to a program that is interdisciplinary and practice focused. The multicultural backgrounds of PMC students, plus the diverse learning environment of the College, make our students highly desirable in both work and graduate school settings. Recent Community Health graduates are employed in various positions in community health and counseling centers; a number are enrolled in graduate work in MPH programs or MSW programs.”
Community Based Research
All Psychology, Community Health, and Sociology and Political Science majors complete a distinctive two-semester course sequence during which they learn about research methods and statistics and work with a community partner to design an original research study. Using a community-based research model students work collaboratively in groups and are partnered with off-campus or on-campus community partners to design a research project to answer questions posed by the partner. At the conclusion of the second semester, the groups produce an Executive Summary sent to the partner and present their findings at the College’s Achievement Day. Since 2012, 100% of Psychology and Community Health graduates have presented their research projects at the annual conference of the New England Psychological Association. Recent community partners include:
- The Second Step Program (Newton, MA)
- The Sportsmen’s Tennis Enrichment Center (Dorchester, MA)
- Pine Manor College Child Study Center (on-campus partner)
- Brookview House (Dorchester, MA)
- Dating Violence Intervention Program (Cambridge/Somerville, MA)
- Steps to Success (Brookline, MA)
Careers in Basic Research and Biotechnology
The Boston area is a major center of biotechnology and offers the possibility of exciting and productive careers for Pine Manor graduates. The College’s Biology Department has partnered with the Metropolitan College of Boston University (BU) in order to offer a Biotechnology Certificate in addition to the B.A. degree. Pine Manor students can therefore graduate with a BA in Biology from Pine Manor and the Biotechnology Certificate from BU. The foundational knowledge in Pine Manor’s Biology program, coupled with the certificate, prepares students for direct entry into research or biotechnology labs as research technicians. A research technician position is a common stepping-stone to the next stage in a career in the biomedical sciences, which is usually the pursuit of an MS/MA or PhD research degree. In addition, partnerships with the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Science at Tufts University provide research lab internship opportunities, and research faculty partners to teach upper level courses at the College.
National Science Foundation BioScholars
The Pine Manor Biology Program is the recipient of a second NSF S-STEM grant. This $600,000 award spans four years and provides scholarships and campus enrichment activities for biology majors identified as young women of promise in science.
A spectrum of experience and knowledge has been gained by many Pine Manor students through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) S-STEM BioScholar Grant. The students, all BioScholars in the program, benefit from internships and networking opportunities, as well as from individualized mentoring and critical scholarship assistance. Their exposure to a wide variety of career paths has helped them discover areas they enjoy and understand areas they would rather not practice in. The program opens students’ eyes and broadens their horizons to STEM careers that may otherwise be foreign to them. Professor Elizabeth Gardner was the first to bring the NSF grant to Pine Manor and is, together with her colleagues, the spirit and force behind the program today.
A program with Tufts University graduate school professionals provides role models for our students
The Biology Program at Pine Manor College has partnered with a program at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Studies at Tufts University. This program, funded by money from the NIH is one of only 6 in the country that is committed to the training of biomedical research faculty to teach effectively in undergraduate classrooms, particularly those with a high enrollment of underrepresented minorities. The program, called TEACRS (Training in Education and Critical Research Skills Program) pairs post-doctoral students from Tufts with faculty at local partner institutions. These post-doctoral trainees design and implement a course of their choosing, mentored by the faculty at the partner institution. The TEACRS grant also provides funds for equipment and supplies to support the initiatives of the department in this endeavor.