Where They’re Headed: Cora Hersh ’16

The physics major will spend six months as a fellow for the National Cancer Institute.

On June 6, Cora Hersh ’16 started her six-month stint as a science communications fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Rockville, Md. During her fellowship with the NCI, she is assisting the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) communications team with writing newsletters, posting to their social media accounts, helping with press releases and news inquiries, and updating the DCEG website.

Hersh majored in physics at Haverford, and earned her fellowship after spending her spring break shadowing Jennifer Loukissas ’96, DCEG communications manager, through Haverford’s Center for Career and Professional Advising’s externship program. After Hersh spent those few days in her office, Loukissas offered her the job.

Hersh is interested in science communications and education and sees this fellowship as an opportunity to be around “really cool and important research” as a first stepping-stone to a career in those fields.

“I think my NCI fellowship is a great place to start because I’ll learn a lot of widely applicable science communication skills,” she says.

Hersh has always liked science, but it was during her time at Haverford when she became more interested in sharing her science knowledge with others as an educator or reporter.

“No matter how great the research being done is, it can’t have as much of an impact on the world if the public doesn’t know about it,” she says. “It needs to be presented to the public in a way that promotes clear understanding of scientific concepts and reduces the perception that science is an impenetrable ivory tower.”

In addition, she is concerned about the underrepresentation of women and minorities in scientific fields, for which she feels that “the fields of science communication and education have a lot of power to change this for the better.”


“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.