Gabbi Rozumek

By Anastazia Hartman | July 2

Gabrielle_Rozumek sq 500.jpgGabbi Rozumek's name is often recognized in the Department of Pathology with a ring of research excellence, service, and a list of awards. Over the last year, the Molecular and Cellular Pathology graduate student was recognized as a semifinalist during University of Michigan President, Santa J. Ono's poster session and received the T32 award from the National Eye Institute, the Best Oral Presentation and MCP Service awards at the 2023 MCP Symposium, a travel award from Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) to deliver an oral presentation, and earned the 2024 Phyllis M. Wise Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Service for her efforts within the graduate student community. Finally, she was selected to present an oral presentation at the international Gordon Research Seminar – Visual System Development.

President Ono's poster session was a highlight for Rozumek. Although her group’s proposal ultimately did not receive funding, the opportunity to discuss her work with the Developing Future Biologists program with university leaders was an invaluable experience. The goal of the submitted proposal aimed to enhance diversity and training in STEM fields, addressing the issue of representation amongst faculty and students.

After receiving her T32 award, Rozumek mentioned how this award not only fueled her confidence as a scientist but exemplified the academic and professional community's faith in her proposed research project. “This award helped boost my confidence in myself, my research, and my passions.” Aligning with her passionate commitment to participate in science conferences, the T32 also facilitated funds for her to attend and engage with the intellectual community at these events, an avenue she finds exceptionally rewarding for her personally and professionally.

Gabrielle Rozumek with Dr. Jeff Rual - Best Oral Presentation Award During the MCP symposium, Gabbi shared the fulfillment she finds in communicating science effectively. The award for best oral presentation was a testament to her ability to tell a compelling story that is both understandable and impactful to a wide audience. She proudly advocates that excellence in scientific communication is crucial for research to have a real-world influence. The travel award associated with the ABRCMS conference served as a platform for presenting her research while engaging with and learning from other scientists who identify with being from minoritized backgrounds. The experience was transformative, as Gabbi’s personal history as an individual from a first-generation and low-income background resonated with the conference's mission.

The Phyllis M. Wise Award further highlighted the ethos of service to the community and mentorship that Gabbi embodies. Her work extends beyond the benches of laboratories and aims at developing strategic partnerships with communities to ensure the intentions align mutually, rather than imposing one's own goals onto others. Finally, the most recent of Rozumek’s many achievements, her selection for an oral presentation at an international meeting with the prestige and stature of a Gordon Research Seminar, is a testament to her developing expertise and recognition of her scientific acumen well beyond the walls of the University of Michigan.

Another passion of Rozumek’s is delving into the climate of diversity and inclusion where she has emphasized the importance of bringing attention to scientists from historically excluded groups. Her approach involved acknowledging their past contributions and amplifying voices as a method of fostering a sense of belonging and representation within the research enterprise at U-M.

Rozumek’s passion for helping others is clearly seen in her efforts to share advice for individuals seeking to engage in service, especially in communities they are not a part of. “I stress the importance of understanding and respecting the community's needs and desires and would recommend students to reach out to the Ginsberg Center for funding and guidance on community-centered outreach, an idea imprinted on me from my participation with the Center’s workshops,” she said. “For those who may feel like outsiders in the world of STEM, I encourage you to find mentors and champions who believe in your potential to help you persevere through challenges.”

Gabbi’s story is not only one of individual success but also one of commitment to lifting others as she climbs. As she continues to gather accolades and foster change, her footprint on the university's initiatives and the broader community promises to be substantial and lasting.