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NIH SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) Chapter Virtual Lunch: Supporting and Empowering Minority Students Through the Graduate School Application Process

Discussion Group/Brown Bag: Networking Opportunities; Wellness

Online: Link will be sent to registrants on the day of the event
Sep 22, 2021 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This event is recommended for: Summer Interns; Postbacs; Graduate Students; Postdocs/Fellows.

The NIH-SACNAS Chapter (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) would like to invite you to their September virtual event. 

Join us on Wednesday, September 22nd at noon (EST) for our event on  “Supporting and Empowering Minority Students Through the Graduate School Application Process.” The NIH-SACNAS Chapter welcomes Dr. Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Dr. Ivelisse Irizarry, and Dr. Joyce A. Lloyd who would share their insights into challenges faced by minority students during the application process, how to overcome them and put their best self into a successful application. They will also share strategies/tips to empower students during and after the process.  

REGISTER HERE and you will receive the link for the zoom meeting prior to the event.

For any questions, please contact Dr. Natasha Lugo-Escobar at  

Below are the bios of our speakers!

Dr. Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez is the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Diaz Vazquez received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Diaz Vazquez completed postdoctoral training in cancer pharmacology in the Blair Laboratory at the University Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Diaz Vazquez has extensive experience developing and implementing targeted outreach, recruitment strategies, and research programs to train and support underrepresented students pursuing PhDs in biomedical graduate programs. In the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern, Dr. Diaz Vazquez works to strengthen and support programming geared towards recruiting, training, and retaining UR trainees. Dr. Diaz Vazquez co-directs the UTSW's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and AMGEN Scholars programs. Dr. Diaz Vazquez also co-directs UTSW Provost's Initiative for Diverse Emerging Scholars (PROVIDES). This program offers resources to early-career scientists from UR backgrounds and supports their transition into independent faculty positions. 

Dr. Ivelisse Irizarry received a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Rutgers University in 2017. She is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Natural Sciences at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Irizarry was the Project Director of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support and mentor undergraduate minority students to participate in research experiences and pursue graduate studies in STEM fields.

Dr. Joyce Lloyd is a Professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the School of Medicine, and Associate Dean in the Graduate School at Virginia Commonwealth University. In part motivated by the relevance of her globin gene regulation research to sickle cell anemia, Dr. Lloyd became interested in research training for students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. For more than a decade, she has served as PI for a postdoctoral training program for aspiring faculty, VCU IRACDA (>80% obtain faculty positions) and for the VCU Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (VCU PREP, >80% go to graduate school). In 2018, she began to serve as co-PI for the undergraduate and PhD research training program, VCU IMSD. On the national level, she serves on the external advisory boards for several training grants, and has served on 37 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study section meetings to review F (pre- and postdoctoral), K (junior faculty) and T32 training grant awards. Other leadership responsibilities have included Vice Chair for her Department, Director for the PhD concentration in Cancer and Molecular Medicine, and more recently as Associate Dean of VCU Graduate School.  She teaches a VCU course that allows graduate students and postdocs to explore career options outside of academia.

Who are we?: We are a professional SACNAS chapter that provides a supportive and welcoming environment for Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans trainees and staff at the NIH to get together, exchange ideas, network, share successes, and strategize about future goals. Our chapter holds monthly meetings focus on scientific communication, networking, outreach, and career development to provide our members with resources and tools to improve and advance their careers. We are part of the National SACNAS organization (Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science). We welcome everyone to be part of our events.  If you are interested in joining the chapter, please sign-up to our list-serv (NIH-SACNAS). 



To request sign language interpreters or CART Services, you can contact NIH Interpreting Services by phone at 301-402-8180, by using the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, or by submitting a request online. If you have other, disability-related accommodation requests for an event, please email Requests should be made at least 5 days in advance of the event.