Event Recap

Bunker Hill Community College Welcomes Alumni for Career Conversations

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Faculty, staff, administrators, and current students had the privilege to reconnect and hear the inspiring stories of their alums.

September 19, 2023 was an exceptional day at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). Faculty, staff, administrators, and current students had the privilege to reconnect and hear the inspiring stories of their alums. Their journeys in the field of science not only celebrated individual achievements but also honored a cherished faculty member, Bob Steeper, marking his 50th year of devoted teaching. 

With an introduction from Dean Laura Rubin and breakout sessions led by Professors Elizabeth Dunphy and Belinda Kadambi, students engaged with alumni to learn their academic path through BHCC and how they achieved their career goals. A recurring piece of advice from alums was to use all the resources available at BHCC and apply for internships. The Biotechnology industry is thriving in Boston and actively hiring.  

Alumni that participated in the panel, in-person and virtually, included: 

Veronika Kivenson Veronika-K
BHCC Biology Graduate 
Veronika began her journey at BHCC and, with her passion and dedication, found herself at the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley. After transferring from BHCC to Mount Holyoke College, she achieved her Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2019. Veronika’s advice, “Talk to professionals in you interested field to understand what the profession is like," resonated with many. “Most people in the field are happy to tell their story and offer advice on how you can also be successful in your chosen career path. 

Vladyslav Riabov 
BHCC Biology-Med Prof Graduate 
A proud BHCC and UMass Amherst graduate, Vlad is now preparing for his MCAT and the medical school application process. Reflecting on his time at BHCC, Vlad said, “The community at BHCC felt like a family, supporting and guiding me throughout. The professors became family, especially during the toughest of times." 

Megan Chartier 
BHCC Biology Transfer Graduate 
Meghan’s transition to BHCC in 2017 was for a career change. She emphasized, “It’s never too late to decide what’s best for you. Being a community college graduate, I was afforded scholarship opportunities at Northeastern that would not have been provided otherwise.” She is currently at Sarepta Therapeutics working in Downstream Process Development. 

Nadifa Abdi 
BHCC Biotechnology Graduate 
Nadifa's journey has been commendable. From BHCC to Boston University, where she pursued a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Public Health, she now excels at Merck as an Associate Specialist, Quality Assurance - Quality Line Oversight Program in West Point, Pennsylvania. 

Thao ("Mandy") Duong 
BHCC 2021 Biotechnology Graduate 
After graduating from BHCC, Mandy pursued her Bachelor’s in Biotechnology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Her zeal led her to roles at renowned institutions like the Whitehead Institute (MIT), and she is currently making her mark at Harvard. 

John Colangeli 
BHCC Biotechnology Graduate 
John's dedication saw him transfer to Northeastern University and presently, he’s making waves as Resource Technologist at the Broad Institute (MIT), specializing in flow cytometry and cell sorting for infectious disease studies.  

Devyn LaLond 
BHCC Graduate 
Just like Vlad, Devyn is a proud BHCC and UMass Amherst graduate. She is now diligently preparing for her MCATs and setting her sights on medical school. 

Courtney Obiajulu 
BHCC Graduate 
Courtney, a recent 2023 BHCC graduate, has an impressive list of involvements, including advising, student government roles, volunteering, and leading as the president of the pre-med club. She is taking a year off to gain experience in the medical field before planning her transfer. 

The presence of such inspiring alumni serves as a testament to the excellence of Bunker Hill Community College. Their stories are not just their own but an inspiration for every student who dreams of achieving and giving back to the community that shaped them. 


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