BioCORE Scholars Program

The BioCORE Scholars Program at Seattle Pacific University supports first generation students and those traditionally underrepresented in biological and biomedical sciences. This leadership program works to build community, promote academic success, and create mentoring networks. BioCORE scholars participate in weekly study workshops and perform authentic research during a summer internship at SPU. In addition, scholars are paired with peer and faculty mentors and network with professional scientists in quarterly pizza meetings.

Applications for the next cohort of BioCORE Scholars will be available in Fall 2019.

Give to the BioCORE Scholars Program

Please help us continue to support present and future BioCORE Scholars with your donation. Click on the "Give Now" button below to access the donation page.

Give Now Donation Button


Learn more about the BioCORE Scholars Program

(Many thanks to David Rither in Educational Technology & Media for creating this video.)

The BioCORE Scholars Program was also featured in The Falcon, SPU's student newspaper, The article, "BioCORE encourages community" was written by Lu Aleman and appeared on Oct. 24, 2018.

BioCORE Scholars and Mentors

Slideshow LinkPhotos of previous cohorts

Meet our 2019 BioCORE Scholars, Peer Mentors and Learning Assistant. (Back row) Yoska Habtom, Egypt Adams, Richo Abenojar, Zoie Bailey, Jessica Bekele, Seyed Emad Shirazi (Peer Mentor), Evelin Laris, Gio Gonzalez, Scarlett Amezcua, Abdullah Bashmail, Grace-Anne Valverde, Anahi Tapia. (Front row) Front row: Cienn Joyeux (current Scholar), Leslie Rodriguez-Salas (Learning Assistant), Angie Vazquez (Peer Mentor), Menna Hailemariam (Peer Mentor), Sydney Olea Suarez, Hailey Cheyney Kane (current Scholar), Victoria Bowman, Thy Bach, Jessica Cannon. [Not pictured: Peer Mentor Laarni Aquila]

At the "Welcome" reception, Scholars were greeted by Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences - Sciences Division, Dr. Bruce Congdon and by Dr. Sandy Mayo (Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). Scholars introduced themselves, then photos were taken of the new and current BioCORE Scholars. New Scholars then met with their Peer Mentors (Menna Hailemariam, Emad Shirazi and Angie Vazquez) and Learning Assistant (Leslie Rodriguez-Salas), while enjoying cake.

BioCORE Scholars Research Week

Beth Gebre, Cindy Huang and Marichung Duncan take a break from their work in Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith's lab.
Slideshow LinkResearch students and project descriptions

During the week of June 11-14, 2018, ten BioCORE Scholars participated in independent research with faculty in the Biology and Chemistry departments. The week culminated in a symposium, in which scholars presented their results to the SPU community. In four days, the scholars accomplished an impressive amount of work - developing an understanding of their project, learning and troubleshooting experimental techniques, and collecting data.

Past Symposia

The 2017 Symposium featured presentations from Jennifer Tung and Ketsia Kahambwe (working with Dr. Cindy Bishop), Laarni Aguila and Menna Yohannes Hailemariam (working with Dr. Jenny Tenlen), and Antavea Green, Ngan Dang and Lucress Saint-Louis (working with Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler).

The 2016 Symposium featured presentations from Anita Karr and Hayley Cheney Kane (working with Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler), Simone Neal and Cienn Joyeux (working with Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith) and Adelaine Buenavista and Leslie Rodriguez-Salas (working with Dr. Jenny Tenlen).   The Symposium was attended by a number of SPU faculty and staff, including SPU President Dan Martin.

BioCORE Scholars Activities

Slideshow LinkBioCORE Scholars Activities and Events

BioCORE Scholars regularly participate in community-building and networking activities, including social outings, meetings with researchers and health care professionals, and other events.

Above: Dr. Tracie Delgado, who will join the SPU Biology Department faculty in September 2019, was the keynote speaker at the spring quarter event on April 16, 2019.  Dr. Delgado inspired students with her own journey to becoming a PhD-trained scientist and educator.

2015 BioCORE Scholars and Peer Mentors

BioCORE Scholars Program

Learn how Leslie Rodriguez-Salas '19 and Diana Cabrera '17 found community and academic support as part of the BioCORE Scholars Program.

Elena Brezynski

Why I Teach at SPU

Elena Brezynski, Assistant Professor of Biology

“What I enjoy most is being in a classroom or lab talking with my students about biology. With the small class sizes at SPU, I know my students well and they know me. Questions and discussions flow best in smaller groups, and active, lively participation is the way students make critical connections among biological topics.”