• Leonard Webb

Ethnic GEM: Waverly Rose

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

Company: John B. Pierce Laboratory (Yale University Affiliate)

Title: Neuroelectrophysiology Research Assistant

State: Connecticut

By Samantha Williams, Sr. Contributing Writer

T his native Little Rock, Arkansas transplant, Waverly Rose found her way to Connecticut eight years ago, during her sophomore year in high school. Waverly Rose has always been intrigued by the STEM field. She stated, “Science is a spiritual endeavor for me. Understanding how the world works makes me feel closer to God.”

However, as Waverly Rose began her pursuit of STEM education, she learned she would be essentially all on her own. Feeling abandoned by her mother, Waverly Rose understood she would need to finance her college education alone. She also experienced limited on-campus emotional and financial support. Feeling distraught, Waverly Rose sought the counseling services of the campus psychologist at Western Connecticut State University. It was during one of her counseling sessions that she had an epiphany. If she didn’t have the support system she needed, she was going to build one herself!

The lack of a not having a strong support system can impact college students to reach their college potential to graduate. Unfortunately, this was an issue that significantly impacted Waverly Rose Brim as she attempted to achieve her undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State University without the support of her mother. However, Waverly Rose persisted and was determined to earn her degree, and she did.

One of Waverly Rose’s greatest accomplishments was founding Minorities in Medicine, which is a student organization and program to support and uplift individuals in the science and medicine fields. Recently, in May 2019, three years after her graduation, students organized an event, “Founder’s Day,” to recognize and acknowledge Waverly Rose, as well as all alumnus of the Minorities in Medicine program. This program is now viewed as Western Connecticut State University’s most prolific and highly awarded initiatives. Waverly Rose is proud of her efforts in establishing Minorities in Medicine. Last summer, Minorities in Medicine members had the opportunity to travel to Bal Harbor, in Miami, Florida to participate in a pre-surgical internship with Dr. Michael Salzhauer, also known on social media as “Dr. Miami.” Students received daily Operating Room observation time and one-on-one instruction from the surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses, staff, and other clinicians. Waverly Rose proudly stated, “We are changing lives, paving the way for marginalized people, and creating community.”

Minorities in Medicine has continuously provided a place of refuge and support to students in need. The program is open to medicine and science students of all ethnicities. It is Waverly Rose’s hope that a space such as Minorities in Medicine is no longer needed in the future because students will find the support they need from their friends, families, and on campus. Until this happens, Waverly Rose is passionate about expanding Minorities in Medicine, making it a nonprofit organization, and introducing it to other universities across the country. Waverly Rose’s goal is to ensure all students in the science and medicine field have the support they need when they need it, so they don’t have the same experiences she endured.

Waverly Rose currently works as a Neuroelectrophysiology Research Assistant at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, which is located at Yale University/Yale School of Medicine. Her goal is to attend medical school and become a Neurosurgeon. She hopes to accomplish this goal through the support of her mentors, Vincent A. Pierebone, Ph.D. and Dr. Melvin T. Thornton, MD, who has been instrumental in her career development. Waverly Rose commented, “They believe in me in ways I couldn’t fathom.” Waverly would also be remised if she did not thank the woman who used her power to uplift her, Dr. Nina Stachenfeld.

Her accomplishments also include being recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities. When Waverly Rose isn’t striving for excellence in neuroelectrophysiology, she enjoys playing intramural volleyball with New Haven’s traveling team, and she also loves art and hiking.

Waverly Rose is a testament of self-motivation, resilience, and determination, and

we are proud to acknowledge her as an Ethnic STEM GEM!

Join us quarterly as we celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of New England's Ethnic GEMS!

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