BME BIO: Karen Evans, Kristen Henlin, Jocelyn McArthur

Feb 16 2021 | By Alexis Newman

In honor of Black History Month, get to know our exceptional BME faculty, students, staff, and alumni throughout the month of February.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

KAREN EVANS - Financial Assistant


Karen Evans

 

Education

  • BA Psychology, 1981

Where are you from?

New York City

What is your current position?

Financial Assistant

How did you become interested in Columbia BME?

Since I started working here in 2017

Tell us about your family. Who has/have been your strongest influence(s) in life?

Really my mother, because she teaches me how to roll with the punches and that, with age, your life will change, but it doesn’t mean that it’s over. You just figure out how to make the most of the life you have.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

When I was younger, Black History Month used to be Black History Week, now it’s a month. Maybe someday it’ll be a year.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?

That I’ve held more than a few administrative positions at Columbia, that I have gone from working with a calculator, paper and pen, to word processing machines to computers (First Gateway and then Dell).

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that going for the money isn’t as important as serenity and peace of mind.


BME holiday party 2019

 


At Stonehenge

 

KRISTEN HENLIN - Career Placement Officer


Kristen Henlin

 

Where are you from?

My family is originally from Jamaica, but I was born and raised in New Rochelle, NY.

What is your current position?

I’m the Career Placement Officer for the Biomedical Engineering department.

How did you become interested in Columbia BME?

I enjoy counseling students, and assisting them in planning their next steps. BME students are passionate about changing the world through health and medical technology. I was excited by the prospect of being a part of that process.

Tell us about your family. Who has/have been your strongest influence(s) in life?

My parents are my strongest influence. As immigrants, they were forced to adapt to a new country and understand new customs, which is no easy task. They assimilated to a new environment, thrived, and provided their children with access to a great education. They created connections in a country where they had few resources, and I find that incredibly admirable.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black history month is not only about understanding our past. It is about understanding the systemic racism that persists today. This month is about amplifying black voices, and making space for those who have been marginalized through actionable practices. Black history month should not start or end in February. This representation should happen each and every day. When we normalize conversations about race, equity and inclusion, we are forced to think introspectively. This work breeds progress.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I’m very proud of the work I’ve done in the department so far. I am the first Career Placement Officer our department has ever had. Many of our career events, alumni chats, seminars etc. have never been done before. I hope to grow our BME alumni network, and expand the career services our department is able to offer.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t compare yourself to those around you. Focus on your goals, and bloom where you are planted.

 


Setting up Carleton Commons for our Welcome Back Ceremony with Helen Cen!

 


BME retreat at Governors’ Island with Department Chair, Ed Guo.

 


My lovely parents!

 

JOCELYN MCARTHUR - Student Affairs Specialist


Jocelyn McArthur, MBA

 

Where are you from?

New York

What is your current position?

Student Affairs Specialist

Tell us about your family. Who has/have been your strongest influence(s) in life?

My parents have been my strongest influence in my life; they both stressed the importance of having an education.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black history month is an extremely important month to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, however they should be recognized throughout the year.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?

My proudest accomplishment is receiving my MBA, and I hope to continue my education in the future.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Continue to network as early as possible, because personal and professional relationships will last a lifetime.