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October 27, 2023

MassBioEd Celebrates Eighth Annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Gala

Event Honored Local Champions of Biotechnology Education, Awarded Student with Scholarship for Life Science Studies

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), the leading life sciences workforce development and education nonprofit organization in Massachusetts, recently celebrated its Eighth Annual Champions for Biotechnology Education Awards Gala at the Museum of Science in Boston. Also serving as MassBioEd’s yearly fundraising event, the gala honored several individuals and organizations for their commitment to fostering science literacy and announced a scholarship to a local high school student to advance their studies in the life sciences field.

The honorees include:

  • Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who was honored as MassBioEd’s Public Advocate Champion for her fierce dedication to establishing the City of Boston as a national life science hub through education, training, and outreach. Mayor Wu and the City launched the Life Sciences Workforce Initiative, which aims to train and hire 1,000 Boston residents into the life sciences by the end of 2025. With a focus on equity and inclusion, the initiative includes initial grant funding to create training programs in partnership with local organizations and support for residents who are underrepresented in the industry and want to enter the field.
  • Cummings Foundation, which was recognized as the Organization Champion for their support of the life science industry and science education, including teachers, students, and schools. This includes a major donation to the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, rebranded to Franklin Cummings Tech, to help students who are typically underrepresented in higher education;
  • Julia Buben, a science educator at North Quincy High School, who was recognized as this year’s Champion Teacher for her passion for expanding access to STEM education and her efforts to build out a biotechnology course within her department;
  • And Genesis Gonzalez, a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, who was honored as this year’s Student Champion for her ongoing dedication to life sciences learning and being a leader for other young Afro-Latina women. She was awarded a scholarship to further her education in the life sciences field.

“We at MassBioEd know that meaningful expansion and diversification within the life sciences workforce starts with education and opportunity,” said Sunny Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of MassBioEd. “I am grateful for our partners in government, industry and philanthropy who share these values and am humbled to witness the educators and students advancing this work every day. MassBioEd looks forward to continuing these combined efforts to increase biotechnology education and build the workforce pipeline for a stronger, more equitable future.”

Both the Educator Award and Student Scholarship Award are supported by the Henri A. Termeer Foundation in honor of Henri A. Termeer and his commitment to scientific discovery and mentorship of aspiring and accomplished scientists. The Termeer Foundation is focused on increasing inclusivity within the biopharmaceutical industry, particularly in recognition of historically underrepresented groups.

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate both Julia and Genesis for their remarkable accomplishments and support them in their pursuit of and commitment to STEM education,” said Michelle Mischke, Vice President of Biotechnology Education Programs at the Termeer Foundation. “It is paramount that all communities are represented in this quickly evolving field, and we are proud to recognize two women who are making an impact on the life sciences industry.”

Also recognized at the Champions Gala was the Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year, Tyngsborough High School. This important distinction is supported by the Joshua Boger Family Foundation and named after Joshua to recognize his sustained commitment to excellence in science education. The Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year Award was presented at a school-wide event in Spring 2023.

To learn more about the Champions Gala and this year’s honorees, visit this link.

About MassBioEd:

Our mission is to build a sustainable life sciences workforce in the region through educational programs that engage and excite teachers, inspire and propel students, and illuminate the pathway from the classroom to career with a focus on expansion, opportunity and diversity.


MassBioEd Media Contact:

Name: Helen Harding | Email: | Phone: 857-998-0260