Dr. Renã Robinson to Give Prestigious Jean Dreyfus Lecture, Nov. 3

Dr. Renã Robinson to Give Prestigious Jean Dreyfus Lecture, Nov. 3

Renã Robinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University, will present, “Why Diversity in Proteomics Study Design Matters for Disease Understanding,” a College of Arts & Sciences STEM event in partnership with Bridgeport Public Schools.

Media Contact: Robby Piazzaroli, rpiazzaroli@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2597

The College of Arts and Sciences’ Chemistry and Biochemistry departments will host the distinguished speaker Renã A. S. Robinson, PhD, professor of chemistry and Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow of Vanderbilt University, for the Jean Dreyfus Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 10 - 11 a.m. in the Oak Room at the Barone Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Robinson is an internationally renowned analytical chemist and a leader in the fields of proteomics and mass spectrometry, studying the biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as racial health disparities. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is committed to using the Jean Dreyfus Lectureship Award to uplift and strengthen the role of women and underrepresented communities in the field of science.

Additionally, through a partnership with Bridgeport Public School District's science coordinator, David Henry MA’07, and with Fairfield’s director of the Center for Social Impact, Melissa Quan, EdD, 70 high school juniors interested in science from the district will take part in a field trip to campus to experience Dr. Robinson’s lecture.

“As educators, we love to expose our learners to successful adults who have similar backgrounds as them,” said Henry, whose parents — Paula (Class of  '72) and Patrick K. Henry '71 — are StagMates. “We also enjoy providing opportunities for our students to learn about college programs."

The 70 high school students represent all of Bridgeport’s public high schools — Bridgeport Military Academy, Central, Bassick, Harding, Fairchild, and Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture School — and are also invited to attend a lunch and participate in a Fairfield University admission information session.

"Fairfield University has such a beautiful campus," said Henry, "and has long been a source of strength for the town of Fairfield, and is part of who I am. To coordinate with Fairfield University professors on this event that ideally inspires some of the Bridgeport Public School students we serve gives me a strong sense of community and connection." 

Fairfield was one of just seven institutions across the country selected to receive the esteemed Jean Dreyfus Lectureship Award this year. Associate professor of chemistry Jillian Smith-Carpenter, PhD, and Amanda Harper-Leatherman, PhD, professor of chemistry, wrote the successful proposal.  

"Dr. Robinson’s lecture has the potential to inspire many future scientists from the community, including many students from groups historically excluded from the STEM fields," Dr. Smith-Carpenter said, adding that "during Dr. Robinson’s visit, she will also lead a discussion in [my] class to help students see connections between cutting-edge research and lecture material."

There will be many informal opportunities for Fairfield undergraduate students and visitors to interact with Dr. Robinson through meals and a social, as well as one-on-one sessions to talk about ongoing research projects in the department. Dr. Robinson will be also be the guest speaker during the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department's research and seminar time on Friday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m., where she will speak on her proteomics research in detail to all interested faculty and students.

Find optional registration online or contact Dr. Harper-Leatherman at aharper@fairfield.edu.

Posted On: November 1, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 40

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.