A Brilliant Scientist, an Empathetic Physician, a Beloved Colleague, an Outstanding Mentor, a Wonderful Human Being, and a Strong Voice of Women Empowerment and Racial Equity: These are just a few words to describe Association for Women in Science Gulf Coast Houston (AWIS GCH) Chapter’s OWIS 2021 Spring award recipient, Dr. Rayne H Rouce.
Dr. Rouce is a Physician – Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, an Assistant Professor at Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine and Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. She also serves as the Associate Director of Community Engagement with the Office of Diversity at Baylor College of Medicine. Her journey as a medical scientist, her mentoring relationships and her outreach activities are a true depiction of her outstanding achievements in STEMM. Dr. Rouce and her contributions represent the core values of strong and independent “Women in Science” that we aspire to behold for our educational and scientific advancements in STEMM at personal and institutional lev
The OWIS seminar was held virtually on July 7, 2021, in honor of Dr. Rouce. “Dr. Rouce is one of the most empowering women who has inspired me maintain a positive attitude in life in and beyond my scientific journey and helped me understand the importance of using our platforms for the betterment of society”: This was just one of the many resounding sentiments expressed by seminar attendees who have been mentored by, worked with or have been in close association with Dr. Rouce.
Dr. Rouce’s talk following her award ceremony highlighted her career endeavors and scientific journey of her life as a Houstonian and her high-school life, her move to Louisiana for her undergrad, back to University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston for her medical school and Residency and her eventual move to Baylor College of Medicine for her fellowship and her life as a physician attending at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. She reminisced about how every time during her personal and medical journey she was clear about what she wanted and did not want, yet life paved a way to her ultimate life journey as a pediatrics physician and research scientist which she absolutely enjoys. Dr. Rouce aligned her life experiences with tropical storms and hurricanes in Texas and Louisiana. These experiences engraved her scientific journey with a deep-rooted love for community outreach, giving back to the society, her fight against health disparity, socio-economic inequity, and racism. Dr. Rouce emphasized the struggles of being a woman, a woman of African American descent and how she fought the stereotypes of her life to achieve her dream and how she has inspired others to do the same. Dr. Rouce highlighted the need for us young scientists and women in science to be vocal, be strong, stand our ground and continue our multi-disciplinary outreach and diversity inclusion efforts. She emphasized how women in her life, her mentors, her mother, her grandmother have inspired her to be who she is and that we should also seek to be role models for future generation. Dr Rouce was overwhelmed with love to see numerous loving, inspiring thank you messages typed for her in the chat during her talk by her colleagues, mentees, medical team, her patients, and their family. The event concluded with a lively Q&A discussing how we women in STEMM can achieve our full potential.
AWIS GCH is proud to honor Dr. Rayne Rouce and wishes her the best in her future scientific and personal endeavors.
OWIS Seminar Series is held bi-annually to acknowledge and honor distinguished women for their extraordinary contribution to a STEMM field, and for inspiring, leading and mentoring future scientists and STEMM professionals. The event was led by Sandhya Sharma, 2020-2021 OWIS Chair.
Summary by Sandhya Sharma, OWIS Chair, AWIS GCH
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