(February 17, 2022) – A Biotechnology student at Alamance Community College (ACC) has been accepted into a one-week program this summer that will provide opportunities to learn about the pharmaceutical industry and a chance to network with industry professionals.
Jeffry Garcia, 26, of Burlington will spend the week of June 5-10 in Philadelphia, Pa. among about twenty fellow college science majors in a nationally competitive program operated through the University of Delaware and the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL).
“This is a tremendous opportunity for a community college student like Jeffry to compete on a national level with students at four-year universities. We are extremely proud of his achievements,” said Michelle Saboun, Department Head of Biotechnology at ACC.
Funded by an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NiiMBLE eXperience this summer will be geared toward minority college underclassmen and is an exclusive in-person, all expenses paid immersion program designed to introduce them to biopharmaceutical careers. Through hands-on learning and personal interactions, students have an opportunity to earn a deep understanding of how the industry and federal agencies work together to develop and manufacture life-saving medicines, according to the organization’s website.
A native of Massachusetts, Jeffry Garcia dropped out of high school and worked various jobs over the next few years. Eventually he earned his GED and returned to school at a community college.
Despite leaving traditional high school before graduating, Jeffry had always cultivated a great interest and talent for biology. At the community college in Massachusetts, he began studying biology and liberal arts. Then COVID-19 interrupted and Jeffry soon realized that remote learning was not ideal for him. In 2021, a cousin who lives in Alamance County invited Jeffry to transfer to Alamance Community College to take advantage of the school’s long-running biotechnology program.
“Jeffry hit the ground running at ACC and will be completing our biotechnology degree program in one year. He is an engaged student who works hard to get results. He’s inquisitive and always asking questions delving deeper into the concepts we cover,” said Saboun.
Garcia is one of only a few minority students in ACC’s Biotechnology program. He knows what a great opportunity this summer’s NiiMBLE eXperience program will be.
“I’m really looking forward especially to the professional development and networking,” said Garcia. “Learning about different careers in the biopharmaceutical industry should be a great benefit because that is my focus here at ACC. I’m also anxious to learn how biopharmaceutical works with federal agencies.”
Garcia’s goals after graduating from ACC include working at Research Triangle Park in molecular biology.