MassBioEd Champions for Biotechnology Education

Nov 05, 2020

By Megan Schulz, Director, Communications and Events, MassBioEd

To celebrate outstanding support for biotechnology education in Massachusetts, MassBioEd is holding its 5th Annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Reception on Wednesday, November 18th, virtually. In addition to honoring a teacher, a school, and a company for their efforts to empower students to enter careers in the life sciences industry, MassBioEd is also awarding the first Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship to a student for their academic achievements in biotechnology in college.

Camila Wendorff

Framingham State University Transfer Student from MassBay Community College
Champion Student & Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship Recipient

Camila is an international student from Brazil. She began her college career at MassBay Community College where she earned her Associate’s in Biotechnology and transferred to Framingham State University where she continues her studies in the field. She was inspired to come to the U.S. by her grandmother who struggled with cancer and whose illness motivated her to pursue cancer research. In her memory, Camila plans to continue her academic studies in graduate school, focusing on epigenetics. The Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship recognizes a student committed to excellence and who aspires for a future career in the life sciences and provides $2,500 to a student towards college tuition. Camila not only meets such criteria but has gone beyond to provide mentorship to girls and young women to further their interest in STEM.  

“I am very honored to receive the first Henri A. Termeer Student Scholarship Award. This transfer scholarship represents the start of a new chapter of my academic career where I’ve been supported and acknowledged from day one. I am thankful for this opportunity and the motivation it has given me towards my academic career.” – Camila Wendorff

Sarah Goldberg

Biotechnology Teacher at New Mission High School
Champion Teacher & Henri A. Termeer Educator Grant Recipient

After years of experience and training in the lab, Sarah Goldberg is in her second year as a classroom teacher with a newfound passion for teaching. Sarah develops curriculum for the Biotechnology program and teaches both Biotechnology 1 and 2. She led the launch of the Career Technical Experience Pathway at New Mission, where she actively works to expose students to opportunities in laboratory research, increase the diversity of those who end up in STEM fields and prepare students to become the next generation of scientific leaders that we so desperately need to identify and address future challenges in biotechnology research. In 2019, the Henri A. Termeer Foundation began to support the MassBioEd Champion Teacher Award with a $2,500 grant to be used towards the purchase of equipment and supplies for life sciences education programs.

“I couldn’t have been luckier in my transition from the lab research to teaching when I was hired by New Mission to help create and teach the Biotechnology program. My students inspire me every day with their desire to understand phenomena in the world around and inside them as well as how we could use that knowledge to help others. MassBioEd has been essential as a collaborative partner in creating a curriculum and providing opportunities where the students can experience what they are learning “hands-on”, expand their horizons of what they originally thought they could do, and see themselves as a scientist in the lab.”


Champion Organization

Biogen is driven by their commitment to patients and their passion for neuroscience. As one of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen discovers, develops, and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as related therapeutic adjacencies. In addition, the company is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists through STEM education. Since 2002, the Biogen Foundation has been committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives, and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations. The Community Lab is a signature example of the company’s commitment to STEM education, serving over 55,000 students from groups historically underrepresented in science with hands-on learning. Most recently, Biogen launched its Virtual Community Lab curriculum in collaboration with Lemelson-MIT to bring online lab simulations and mentoring experiences focused on biotechnology and neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, to students and teachers. In 2018, the Biogen Foundation also launched the STAR initiative, an investment of $10 million to help catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems and drive education equity in Cambridge and Somerville. Biogen and the Biogen Foundation are also valued MassBioEd partners, granting over $250,000 over the past ten years.

East Boston High School

Champion School & Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year

East Boston High School (EBHS) had a recognized Biotechnology Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway, which they have developed in collaboration with their teachers, MassBioEd, Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE), Vertex, and BioBuilder. Over the last five years, East Boston partnered with MassBioEd and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to support grant initiatives totaling over $350 thousand to build a state-of-the-art biotechnology lab, provide professional development to teachers in the Biology department, and much more. Because of these diverse and supportive partnerships, the EBHS Biotechnology CTE pathway can incorporate a comprehensive array of labs to teach students the skills necessary to ensure success in college and future careers in science. Creating meaningful experiences in the life sciences that excite, engage, and empower students is core to the mission of the science department at East Boston High School, where they believe that exposing students to rigorous authentic STEM experiences will help eliminate the opportunity gap that many of their students experience.

There will be a virtual Networking Reception beginning at 5:30pm on November 18th followed by the virtual Awards Reception from 6pm to 7pm. If you are interested in attending, you can register for free or make a charitable donation in place of admission, here.

See all MassBio News