The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Penney Gilbert as the new Associate Director, Community & Inclusion. In this newly created role, Dr. Gilbert will play a crucial part in shaping the future of BME by fostering an environment of mentorship, inclusivity, and collaboration among students and faculty.
“As a first-generation university graduate, and Canadian immigrant, I benefited tremendously from the altruism of those who demystified academia and provided encouragement. It’s my honour to accept this role in our Institute and pay it forward,” said Dr. Penney Gilbert.
Dr. Gilbert brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to community-building and inclusivity in academia. She is involved with and has spearheaded academic, and community-based initiatives inside and outside of the University of Toronto. Dr. Gilbert will provide essential support to help them navigate the challenges of graduate studies, cultivate a healthy work-life balance, and thrive as productive members of both the academic and Toronto communities. Since joining BME in 2012, Dr. Gilbert had mentored more than 50 trainees, and participated in nearly 100 graduate committee meetings and exams.
Furthermore, Dr. Gilbert’s role extends to faculty members, where she will be a driving force in fostering professional growth and development. Her mentorship will empower faculty at all levels to find meaningful support structures and mentors to guide their academic pursuits. Dr. Gilbert’s initiatives will be particularly invaluable in assisting junior faculty as they navigate their path towards tenure review, ensuring they approach this critical milestone with confidence and ease.
Lastly, Dr. Gilbert’s primary objective is to create a BME culture that is not only academically enriching but also inclusive, supportive, and nurturing. She plans to organize a variety of mentorship programs, peer support initiatives, and engaging events that will facilitate meaningful interactions, allowing all members of the BME community to connect, socialize, and thrive together.
“Penney is an outstanding member of the Institute who deeply cares for the students, faculty and the institution. Penney is an ideal person to nurture and encourage a supportive and inclusive culture at the Institute. I am absolutely delighted that she accepted this appointment!” said Dr. Milos Popovic, Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.