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Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Student Organizations

DIG: Diversity Interest Group
Membership: Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Student Leader(s): Monika Chitre, Ciearra Smith, Thuyvan Luu, Debanjan Goswamy, Natasja Hirabayashi
Faculty: Javier Irazoqui, PhD
Email Contact:
Social Media: Facebook & Instagram @DIGgsbs
Description: The Diversity Interest Group represents and promotes diversity within the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. This organization is a safe space for students from underrepresented groups to discuss issues that affect all graduate students through the lens of diversity and inclusion. We hold events on and off campus throughout the year that foster relationships between the students in different years as well as cultivating relationships with faculty. We are here to make sure we are all heard. Come to our monthly meetings to keep up to date on our events!


Project Linus: This is a chapter of a national organization called Project Linus. The group makes blankets (knit, crochet, quilt, fleece) to be given to children in the hospital, after traumatic events, or following natural disasters. The goal is to make blankets to give to Jody at UMass Volunteer services who will distribute them in the hospital, a contact at WPD to give to children who witness opioid overdoses, and to local homeless shelters.
For more information please contact: Maureen Hester (

MassTERi Entrepreneurship Club (eClub):
 eClub is a student and post-doctoral fellow-led initiative that was launched in 2014 as one of the key elements to the MassTERi program. MassTERi eClub aims to facilitate the translation of UMass Chan discoveries into drugs, products, technologies, and companies. The MassTERi eClub has four goals:
1) develop a community of entrepreneurs at UMass Chan that includes students, post-docs, staff, and faculty; 
2) foster a culture of entrepreneurship at UMass Chan and inspire entrepreneurial ideas out of basic and translational research; 
3) educate UMass Chan scientists in the skills required for entrepreneurship; 
4) provide opportunities for networking with a global community of innovators, scientists, investors, legal and business professionals.
For more information please contact: Shuwen Cao (
Visit: Website:

 It is a South Asian association aimed at creating a platform for students and post docs to interact, know more about the campus, various programs and make new friends and also enjoy traditional festivals like Diwali and Holi. Our goal is to create a broader network of current and UMASS alumni to benefit graduate students and post docs.
For more information please contact: Sumeet Nayak ( and Neha Diwanji (

Plantation 2 Peak: UMass Chan Medical School Outing Club:
 We aim to share our love for the outdoors with all interested members in the UMass Chan community - whether you are a seasoned mountaineer or you are interested in going on your first hike. We lead various outdoor activities around New England such as paddling off the coast of Rhode Island, exploring local trails in central Massachusetts, hiking and skiing the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and backpacking in the Maine Wilderness. We also host workshops and gear demonstrations to educate members on safe hiking practices in all seasons. Our monthly trips provide an opportunity to meet other students while enjoying safe and challenging adventures that serve as an excellent break from your studies. The mission of Plantation 2 Peak: UMass Chan Medical School Outing Club is to provide the UMass Chan community members with safe and inclusive outdoor activities that encompass wide ranges of skills and experience.
For more information please contact: Claudine Mapa (

Industry Exploration Program (IndEx):
 The primary objective of the group is to provide both graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to explore PhD-level careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. We organize site visits in the Massachusetts and New England area to allow trainees to observe company cultures, learn about the structure and function of industry research and enhance their knowledge of careers in industry. The program also provides an opportunity to interact directly and network with industry professionals and obtain valuable career guidance.
For more information please contact: Socheata Ly (student) ( and Sudesh Pawaria (postdoc) (