Chemistry professor honored for advising


By Eric Foster

Toni Trumbo-Bell, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at BU, was named Public University Adviser of the Year by the Health Professional Student Association Student Advisory Council.

Trumbo-Bell, who serves as the pre-medical sciences studies certificate program coordinator, was nominated anonymously by former students who have gone on to study in a medically-related graduate school. 

“Getting into professional school is complicated,” said Trumbo-Bell, who has advised students going to medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and pharmacy schools. “There’s more to it than taking classes. And it’s tough, sometimes the students need a cheerleader.”

“I enjoy advising a lot. When they’re successful, I’m successful. That’s the joy of this job,” said -Trumbo-Bell. “I tell students that it’s important to keep up with things you like outside of science. Give yourself a place to decompress. All science all the time isn’t healthy. 

“Congratulations to Dr. Bell on being recognized for her work,” said Diana Rogers-Adkinson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Bloomsburg University. “This is quite an honor which demonstrates how deeply she is concerned about her students and their future success. A lot of time and effort goes into being a good adviser and to know that she was nominated by her former students is gratifying.”

Trumbo-Bell’s nominators appreciated her care and support. “She made sure I was on track, and she never let me lose confidence in myself,” wrote one. Another shared, “When the time came for me to apply to medical school, she was certain I was going to get in, even when I sometimes felt doubtful. I feel extremely fortunate to have her in my corner because I know I can always count on her.”

The Health Professional Student Association helps students from underserved communities to become healthcare providers in their communities. In February 2022, the association’s Student Advisory Council invited students to nominate advisors who had helped them during their pre-health and health professional journey. From the nominations received, the Council selected an advisor from a public and private university as the inaugural award recipient.