UAB Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student selected as inaugural Howard Garrison Advocacy Fellow under FASEB

Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student Jazmine Benjamin was selected as an inaugural fellow for the Howard Garrison Advocacy Fellowship program.

University of Alabama at BirminghamInside BenjaminJazmine Speaker Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student Jazmine I. Benjamin was selected to be an inaugural Howard Garrison Advocacy Fellow under the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The 28-year-old native of Grovetown, Georgia, came to UAB in 2017 to pursue her graduate degree. Benjamin, a student in the lab of David M. Pollock, Ph.D., in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, developed a passion for advocacy and policymaking after working with Birmingham city youth.

“I intend to use the knowledge gained from the Howard Garrison Advocacy program to feed back into the community in Birmingham, Alabama,” Benjamin said. “My ultimate goal and first interest in policy stemmed from K-12 STEM education, and I hope to be able to use the things I learn in the program to better advocate for sustainable changes to the curriculum in my state.”

Over 10 months, the inaugural fellows will have opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in science policy, advocacy and science communications, while also exploring career opportunities and leadership development in the areas outside of traditional academia.

“I’m really excited to receive this opportunity, and to be a part of the inaugural class is an honor,” Benjamin said. “I am looking forward to learning all I can while representing UAB.”

Benjamin plans to utilize this experience to prepare her to invoke change in her immediate community by fueling her biggest goal of being a scientist in spaces that create policy.

“Scientists often play an integral role in the development of policies,” Benjamin said. “This fellowship will present me with hands-on learning opportunities and resources to learn and better understand the inner workings of the government and the processes associated with the movement of policies through governing bodies.”

This fellowship program underscores FASEB’s commitment to advance science policy goals, pursue sustainable funding for scientific research, and support researchers’ training and professional development.