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College of Medicine student named Human Genetics Scholar

A national organization selected Penn State College of Medicine PhD candidate Jordan Hughey as a Human Genetics Scholar.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Jordan Hughey

Jordan Hughey, PhD candidate

The Human Genetics Scholar program is an initiative launched in 2019 by The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the Human Genetics Scholars Initiative Advisory Group, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche to help advance diversity and inclusion in the human genetics research workforce. Hughey, who is enrolled in the Bioinformatics and Genomics program, was selected from a highly-competitive group of candidates and will participate in the program through August 2022.

“I’m grateful and humbled to be recognized by a professional community that is driving the field of human genetics and genomics,” Hughey said. “It’s truly an honor to receive their award that champions diversity and inclusion in not only the human genetics workforce, but also the populations we study.”

Hughey will join ASHG members and participate in annual meetings, webinars and trainings. In addition, he will receive annual funds to pursue career development and outreach opportunities.

“We value diversity in the science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) field and make it a critical mission in our group to help train next-generation scientists from underrepresented minority groups,” said Dajiang Liu, associate professor of public health sciences. “This effort is well-aligned with the College of Medicine’s commitment to promote diversity.”

As part of the two-year program, Hughey will be paired with a mentor and gain support in building a network of peer and subject-matter mentors. During his second year, Hughey will orchestrate a community-level public engagement activity and evaluate its success. He was previously selected as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in 2018, and an Alfred P. Sloan Minority Fellow in 2019.

“The Human Genetics Scholar program offers a great opportunity for Jordan’s personal and career development. It will motivate many students like Jordan to pursue STEM as a career,” said Liu, who previously received a Champion of Diversity in Research Award for his mentorship and recruitment of underrepresented minority students.

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