First Cohort to Graduate Biomedical Sciences Program Makes Its Mark

Two Biomedical Sciences students working in the lab
September 28, 2021

Holland Stevenson ’21P remains humbled by the deep academic dive she was able to take as a biomedical sciences major at St. John’s University. 

“I explored an amazing variety of classes and filled my schedule with courses like pathology, medicinal chemistry, virology, and clinical chemistry. I had a ball taking these classes,” said Holland, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS). 

The aspiring physician and clinical researcher is now pursuing her graduate studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. “St. John’s allowed me to have opportunities I may not have had elsewhere,” Holland explained. “Succeeding in classes with that kind of rigor demonstrated to Johns Hopkins that I am capable of handling a heavy academic workload.”

“By choosing St. John’s for my undergraduate studies, I was surrounded by truly wonderful people. Dean Murphy was the hero of my experience at St. John’s,” she added, referring to Cathleen A. Murphy, D.C., Associate Dean of the Health Sciences programs. “Part of what attracted me to St. John’s is the biomedical sciences major is based at CPHS, which is a very high-ranking college.”

Holland is a member of the first cohort, composed of 22 students, to graduate from the Biomedical Sciences program since it was launched in Fall of 2017. She is part of a class that quickly distinguished itself. 

Holland Stevenson headshot
Holland Stevenson ’21P

Of the first cohort, 85 percent earned Latin honors (i.e., cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude)—a distinction that includes Holland, who graduated summa cum laude, the highest of the honors. 

The Associate Dean said other members of the first cohort are pursuing advanced studies in areas such as medicine, public health, and physician assistant.

The biomedical sciences major prepares graduates to identify and address administrative, management, and policy issues within the health-care field, according to Dr. Murphy. The program also prepares graduates for further education and training in programs related to clinical practices and scientific research.

“This cohort was an incredibly special group,” Dean Murphy said. “They persevered through a very rigorous curriculum, while becoming a very tight-knit community. They were active in the University and stayed true to our Vincentian mission. I am extremely proud of them.”