Spotlight on ...
Cynthia Mesh: Program Manager, Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program
Cynthia joined Brandeis in 2012. Throughout her career, Cynthia has worked in both higher education and women’s health. With a Ph.D. from Yale in French and Francophone Studies, she first taught at Colorado State University where she most enjoyed advising students and developing new programs. From there, she returned to school for a Master of Public Health at Harvard where she focused on maternal health and medical ethics. After completing her MPH, Cynthia managed the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies where she advised students including many with interests in health as a human right. A number of her advisees at Harvard went on to post-bac premedical programs and are successfully enrolled in medical schools around the country. Cynthia is also a certified birth/labor doula and childbirth educator.
Judith Hudson: Director, Pre-Health Advising
Judith joined Brandeis in 2009, although her career in higher education began in 1980. She particularly enjoys advising post-bac premed students and hearing about their academic and career goals. Judith also brings with her a wealth of educational experience, with a BA in English Education, a MA in Student Personnel Administration, and an EdD in Social Justice Education that focused on the Mississippi Freedom Schools. Aside from her commitment to social justice, Judith is also an avid advocate for the arts. She has lived and traveled in Europe and the Far East, and recently returned from Korea, where she participated in a reunion of former Peace Corps Volunteers. Judith also enjoys hiking, swimming, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.
Support and Advising
The Brandeis University community encourages and empowers students to reach their academic goals. Our small cohort of approximately 20-30 post-bac premedical students receives support through all aspects of the post-bac premedical program and the admission application process for health professions schools, including:
Post-baccalaureate premedical students receive ongoing academic support from the departments, from the post-bac program manager, and from the director of health professions advising. Students with disabilities access specific support and accommodations through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Health Professions Experience and Assistance with Clinical Volunteer Placement
In addition to taking courses, post-bac students are strongly encouraged to gain relevant experience through the wealth of world-class medical resources that the Boston area has to offer. Post-baccalaureate premedical students volunteer at local hospitals, clinics, and social service agencies in Boston, Waltham and surrounding communities. Some of the sites have included Brigham & Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
SPECIAL OPTION: Our post-bac premedical program has a special collaboration with Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston where students receive hospice training and are assigned to serve one patient at a time.
Our year-long clinical seminar for post-bac students only, led by a physician, meets 6 times each semester in the first year and features guest speakers from a variety of health care practices.
Highly-Structured Support for the Application Process
In the process of applying to health professions schools, students are assigned an advisor from Brandeis' Board of Premedical Advisors. All students are interviewed by the Board, and a composite letter of recommendation is prepared for each applicant. In addition, workshops are offered throughout the year on the application process, personal essay writing, and interviewing.
Composite Letter of Recommendation
Each post-baccalaureate premedical student receives a composite letter of recommendation, in which a summary is written regarding his/her candidacy to health professions schools. All faculty recommendations are included and sent to the schools that the student designates. Many health professions schools prefer composite letters of recommendation to individual letters.