The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was one of five historically Black colleges and universities participating in the second annual Leadership Exchange Program sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb in May.

UAPB’s group visited BMS’ New Jersey sites in Lawrenceville and New Brunswick. This year’s Leadership Exchange Program included UAPB students in addition to UAPB faculty and staff.

The program is part of the BMS Tomorrow’s Innovators Leadership Exchange Program, described on their website as an initiative that builds a sustainable bridge for diverse talent from HBCUs to the biopharma industry, according to a news release.

UAPB joined Howard University, North Carolina A&T University, Morgan State University and Florida A&M University at the exchange.

The UAPB group included faculty and staff members Anissa Buckner, Tanesha Ford, Zeeshan Habeeb, Angelisa Henry and Pamela Jenkins and UAPB spring 2023 juniors. Students included business administration majors Tolliver Hunt, Delashay Lawrence and Octavia Orr, and biology majors Jasmin Preston and Saniya McCoy.

The program started with an evening “meet and greet” dinner meeting.

The next day featured a trip to the BMS Lawrenceville Campus, where panel presentations covered topics on understanding the biopharma industry and on discovering the BMS skill sets for now and the future.

The panel discussions were moderated by the organization’s senior director of global inclusion and diversity and infused with activities that engaged the UAPB group with other students and BMS professionals.

The day concluded with a career showcase and networking event, where students talked and networked with the day’s panelists.

“It was great exposure for our students to engage with other students and faculty from the different universities,” said Ford, UAPB assistant professor in the School of Business and Management. “I enjoyed connecting with others and networking. The engagement that our students had was amazing. They asked questions and participated very well in the sessions.”

The final day of the Leadership Exchange included a trip to the BMS New Brunswick Campus to the Pharmaceutical Development Center, where the group heard from their Bio-Separation and Compendia Group and received information on what they would see on the lab tour.

The final BMS destination was the New Brunswick-Princeton Pike location, where the HBCU groups heard from top BMS executives, covering areas such as analytics, business insights, corporate tax, global internal audit and assurance, treasury, finance operations, business process and governance, worldwide and corporate marketing, commercialization, and pharmaceutical patents.

The session included an interactive breakout session on faculty and student hot topics.