The UNC Center for Bioethics is proud to launch a new ambassadorship between the Center and the undergraduate students of UNC-Chapel Hill. The new Bioethics Student Liaison position has been created to make the student population more aware of the work of the Center and to offer opportunities to explore the complex bioethical questions of today. The Bioethics Student Liaison will be the direct link between the Center for Bioethics and the UNC Bioethics Society, a student organization sponsored by the UNC Parr Center for Ethics. “We have a great relationship with the Parr Center and look forward to engaging with UNC undergraduates in more ways through this liaison with its bioethics student group,” said Arlene Davis, Center Director. “Sarah Stroud, Parr Center Director, and I see this role as an important link between our communities for both discussion of issues and exposure to the work of bioethics.”
The Center’s first Student Liaison will be Akankshya Jena. Akankshya is a fourth-year Quantitative Biology major. She’s currently a research assistant for Dr. Scott Williams’s lab and works in the UNC Health Emergency Department. Her prior experiences include serving as a float certified nursing assistant and co-vice president of programming for the UNC Bioethics Society. “The field of bioethics is so exciting in that it integrates science and philosophy to explore modern societal issues,” said Akankshya. “The liaison position is important because, with the support of the UNC School of Medicine, we can expand awareness of bioethics to the undergraduate student body.” Akankshya is excited to make a difference on campus by showing health science students the appeal, the relevancy, and the opportunities of bioethics. “Akankshya participated our inaugural shared event this past year,” said Davis. “Her enthusiasm for bioethics and her experience in clinical care really resonate with our Center’s missions. I am delighted that she has accepted this role.”
The Bioethics Society of UNC provides a space for students to consider complex bioethics issues and engage in conversations about how to better improve the field of bioethics and medical humanities. From gene editing to patient autonomy, students have the chance to learn about a variety of topics that will affect their future careers. They will be able to hear from renowned bioethics professors about cutting edge research. In addition, members have the chance to problem solve through medical cases and research different ethical topics that are pressing.