Celebrating 20 Years of Inspiring the Next Generation of Health Services Researchers

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2019, The LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Program has been a success story of success stories. An incredible number of people both on and off the University of Pennsylvania campus have contributed extraordinary amounts of time, energy and resources to enrich the lives and broaden the career visions for SUMR's twenty cohorts of young scholars. The 36 individuals spotlighted below are representative of an even larger groups of both those who have made SUMR's operation possible year after year, as well as those students whose lives have been changed by the program.

Anniversary Conference  |  20 Years History of SUMR  |  More About SUMR Program

SUMR@20 Listing

Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP, Penn Medicine

Megan Lane-Fall has been mentoring SUMR Scholars since 2012.  "Both SUMR mentor and mentee get a lot out of it," she says.

Crucial partners in the SUMR program, Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett and Deputy Dean Michael Gibbons meet with the five 2018 scholars they sponsored.

Judy Shea

One of the first three SUMR mentors, Perelman School Professor Judy Shea, PhD, worked with mentee Melissa Pelaez-Merrick who went on to become a Senior CDC Epidemiologist.

Katrina Armstrong

In 2000 as the SUMR program was being organized and launched, Penn Medicine Professor Katrina Armstrong stepped in to be one of the programs three first mentors.

Penn Medicine Professor Emeritus Jerry Johnson was one of a four-member committee that in 2000 selected the first three students to become SUMR Scholars.

Therese Richmond

Penn Nursing School Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation  Therese Richmond is in her twelfth year as a SUMR mentor.

Ambar LaForgia

Ten years after SUMR changed her life, Ambar La Forgia picks up her PhD diploma and heads to New York to become an Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

David Asch

David Asch was Executive Director of LDI and Director of the VA Medical Center's CHERP when SUMR was founded in 2000. He provided significant support from both.

Perelman School Professor Scott Halpern and colleague Elizabeth Cooney-Zingman have mentored SUMR Scholars for 12 years.

Lisa Lewis

Penn Nursing School Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Lisa Lewis has been a strong supporter of the SUMR program and its focus on increasing diversity in research.

Arnold (Skip) Rosoff

Wharton professor and SUMR mentor, Skip Rosoff is a licensed boat captain who hosted SUMR scholars on boat rides at his waterfront home.

William Gipson

The Reverend William C. Gipson is Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access at Penn and a long time supporter of SUMR.

Francis Chesley, AHRQ

Francis Chesley is SUMR's continuing link to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), that provided the grant that made the creation of SUMR possible.

Carmen Guerra

Mentor Carmen Guerra was so inspired by SUMR, she helped form a similar program for 2nd year medical students at Perelman.

Judith Long, MD, Penn Medicine

Judith Long is a SUMR mentor and also Co-Director of CHERP at the Philadelphia's Crescenz VA Medical Center which has been a long-time financial supporter of the program.

Jaya Aysola

Jaya Aysola is this year mentoring her ninth SUMR Scholar in a research project that evaluates social influences, lifestyle decisions and cancer risk.