Stefanie DeFronzo C’20 Developed Skills, Connections in Drew University’s RISE Program

RISE helped solidify alum’s career path

September 2021 – Stefanie DeFronzo C’20 used her time in Drew University’s RISE program to learn scientific research skills, develop industry connections, and decide if a career in research was the right path for her.

Hint: It was.


DeFronzo credits Bayne with teaching her hard and soft skills that prepared her for her career.

Through RISE, Drew’s one-of-a-kind research program that pairs undergraduate science students with retired star researchers and industrial scientists in the lab for one-on-one, hands-on research, DeFronzo worked with Dr. Marvin Bayne, formerly Vice President of Discovery Technologies at the Schering-Plough Research Institute.

“In Dr. Bayne’s lab, I learned the framework for conducting scientific research and how to present the data that comes out of it,” said DeFronzo, currently a research associate at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“This framework helps me in every aspect of my career in research, whether I’m in an academic or industrial lab. In my lab at Sinai, for example, I’ve been able to genotype our mouse colony using PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis, two skills I was able to master during my time in RISE.”

In addition to the hard science skills she developed in the lab, DeFronzo also credits Dr. Bayne with encouraging her to effectively network in the field.

“With ample connections to the science world from their time in the industry, the RISE fellows always make a point to market their students and teach them how to be proactive in gaining opportunities and experiences,” said DeFronzo, who was also a Baldwin Honors and Civic Scholar as an undergrad and participated in the Drew Summer Science Institute.

“Without Dr. Bayne’s expertise, I wouldn’t have learned how to communicate so efficiently and put myself out there to secure the internships, opportunities, and jobs that I had at Drew any beyond. Spending hours in the lab each day makes it very clear whether or not you want to pursue a career in research. Because of RISE, I was able to decide it was a path I’d like to take.”

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