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The Porter Physiology Development Program benefits from annual formative feedback from program participants and regular 5-year follow up surveys of past participants to assess long-term program impacts. Links to reports on the follow-up survey results are provided in the Resources below.

2000 Survey Results Summary: About a third of the responding Porter Fellows were still completing their doctorate (20%) or in postdoctoral positions (14%). Nearly two-thirds (64%) were working in professional positions as physiologists. Only one of the Porter Fellows (2%) did not complete a doctoral degree. Virtually all of the past Porter fellows were working in science or science administration in academia, government, or industry. Among those employed, most were in a variety of academic positions. Many were in tenured or tenure-track positions. Those who held positions in government or industry tended to be in significant managerial or administrative positions. For example, government employees included the head of an NIH institute and deputy directors of an NIH center and an NSF division. Industrial positions included a director of international regulatory affairs. More than half of the employed fellows spent at least a portion of their time in research, three-quarters spent at least a portion of their time engaged in teaching, and two-thirds allocated time to management/administration.

Fellows commented on the impact that the program had on their careers. Comments were overwhelmingly positive, emphasizing the role of the fellowship in their own careers and those of their students. Two Fellows summarized their thoughts in the following way:

  • This prestigious award played a critical role in defining my career path as a physiologist, both as a teacher and a researcher. It increased my commitment and devotion to the physiological sciences because I became part of a selected and highly distinguished group of scientists that defined the knowledge and direction of what constitutes physiology today.
  • I was always told by my colleagues that I would be a good role model to minority students. Having fellowships like the Porter Development Fellowship insures the training of minority professionals. Young minority students can have hope of becoming scientists when they see those of us who have made it. I have graduate students who tell me that they want a laboratory and to do research like I am doing which makes me feel that I have accomplished something.
In summary, the 2000 survey of past Porter Fellows indicate that the program has an important and long-lasting impact on the career development of minority physiologists.


Resources

Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith Discusses the Impact of the Porter Physiology Development Program

Pamela Gunter-Smith, PhD, president of York College of Pennsylvania and Past Chair of the APS Porter Committee, discusses the impact of the Porter Program, and other similar APS programs that encourage diversity amongst students and professionals in the physiological sciences.

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