Winthrop University: Winthrop Women’s Coalition Event to Feature Alumnae Panel of Women in Medicine
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Winthrop Women’s Coalition Event to Feature Alumnae Panel of Women in Medicine

September 27, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The free Oct. 5 event will begin at 7 p.m. in Dina’s Place. It is an approved cultural event.
  • The three panelists will discuss their experiences with undergraduate research at Winthrop University and working as women in the medical field, as well as obstacles and opportunities they have faced working within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – A clinical laboratory director, a Duke University dermatology resident, and a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) disease prevention specialist – all outstanding Winthrop University alumnae – will headline “Women in Medicine: A Panel Discussion in the Context of COVID-19,” the latest offering from the Winthrop Women’s Coalition.

The free Oct. 5 event will begin at 7 p.m. in Dina’s Place. It is an approved cultural event.

The three panelists will discuss their experiences with undergraduate research at Winthrop University and working as women in the medical field, as well as obstacles and opportunities they have faced working within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q & A session. The panelists are:

*Ashton Brock Nelson ’11, Ph.D., clinical laboratory director, Sonora Quest Laboratories

In her role at the Arizona-based Sonora Quest Laboratories, a system comprised of more than 10 hospitals, Nelson specializes in toxicology and helps develop the general chemistry and toxicology tests that are used in patient care, consulting with physicians about their patients’ results, e.g., how to interpret them. She also helps implement new technology to keep her laboratories at the forefront.

Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a biochemistry specialization and a biology minor at Winthrop. She was a McNair Scholar and describes herself as “lucky to be a member of Dr. Takita Sumter's biochemistry laboratory.” She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Virginia and completed a fellowship in clinical chemistry in the School of Medicine there.

*Amy J. Petty ’12, M.D., Ph.D., dermatology resident, Duke University

Petty double-majored in biology and biochemistry at Winthrop. She also fell in love with research under the tutelage of Takita Sumter, now dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. After graduation, she matriculated into the medical scientist training program at Duke University. Her Ph.D. investigated the role of the hedgehog signaling cascade in tumor-associated macrophages and immunosuppression in the tumor environment. The work was funded by a competitive National Cancer Institute F30 pre-doctoral fellowship. 

After completing her residency, Petty plans to combine her medical training with her research to help patients with debilitating dermatologic disorders.

*Felicia Mullins Pickering ’97, ’00, DrHA, disease prevention specialist, SCDHEC

Pickering serves as the community engagement program manager within the STD, HIV and Viral Hepatitis division at SCDHEC. She also serves as the co-chair for the S.C. HIV Planning Council. As a certified senior prevention specialist, she has more than 20 years’ worth of practical experience in facilitating support services at the local and state levels, with the keen ability to plan, implement and facilitate prevention and intervention programs for the public. 

Prior to her current role, she provided infectious disease and intervention services to individuals battling alcohol and other substance abuse. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in business administration from Winthrop and her Doctor of Health Administration degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.

The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Disney, faculty liaison for the Winthrop Women’s Coalition, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, and director of the women’s and gender studies program. 

About the Winthrop Women's Coalition:
The Winthrop Women's Coalition was founded on the idea that women's strength is at its best when women work together and that a relationship with the institution is mutually beneficial: the institution fosters the individual to succeed and the individual helps to support the institution. In the coalition, one will find a connection to other women of diverse personal and professional backgrounds, and opportunities for personal and professional enrichment while helping to contribute to the university's mission and philanthropic needs. To date, the Winthrop Women’s Coalition has contributed $75,000 in Commencement Bridge Scholarships to help Winthrop students graduate.

To learn more about the coalition and get involved, please visit Winthrop Women's Coalition.

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Last Updated: 7/13/22