IJAH MONDESIRE-CRUMP, M.D. ’98

Ijah Mondesire-Crump, M.D. ’98 is a Bronx native.  After attending kindergarten at a public school in the South Bronx, he was chosen to participate in Early Steps, a program that promotes diversity in New York City independent schools.  He attended St. Bernard’s from first grade to eighth grade, where he developed a love for the natural sciences and was awarded the Science Prize at graduation. 

In 1998, he matriculated to Riverdale Country School; he continued his studies of the natural sciences, but also took a particular interest in research methodology and the scientific process.  Upon completion of his sophomore year, he was the first summer research intern at Riverdale; he helped found Riverdale’s Summer Science Research Program under the guidance of the head of the biology department.  In addition to his involvement with the sciences, he was also a four-year triathlete (soccer, fencing, lacrosse), president of the chess club, co-president of the Students of Color Coalition (SCC), and member of the Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students (DAIS).  Upon graduation, he was awarded the Astronomy Prize and received national scholarships through the Ron Brown Scholar Program, Magic Johnson’s Taylor Michael’s Scholarship Program, and the Venture Scholars Program.
 
He matriculated at Harvard in 2002, where he was an honors biology major with a minor in health policy.  In the Harvard community, he was a member of the fencing team, an active participant in the Black Men’s Forum and the Black Students’ Association, a volunteer at the University Lutheran Homeless Shelter (UNILI), and a member of the Phoenix S.K. club.  He wrote a senior thesis entitled, “The Effect of HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) on Protein Degradation, Antigen Processing, and Immune Response,” a work which helped him achieve cum laude within the Department of Biology and gain admittance into medical school.  
 
During medical school at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, he started a chess club, was an active member of the Surgery Interest Group, the Liver Transplant Team, and went on an obstetric surgical mission trip to Honduras.  He continued his medical training as an intern in the department of general surgery of the joint for the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals system. Since that time, he has been working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in the Brain Tumor Center, the department of neurosurgery, and the department of surgery.  He currently works as a clinical research coordinator in the department of pediatric ophthalmic oncology.  Throughout his career, he has been heavily focused on research publication and has authored articles in the fields of AIDS research, neurology, and ophthalmic oncology.

He enjoys backpacking and frequents the Catskills, among other outdoor activities.  He is involved in CERT NYC (Community Emergency Response Team).  Professionally, he is looking to leverage his medical degree either as a clinician or within healthcare venture capital, administration, research, or consulting.
 
When asked about his time at St. Bernard’s Mr. Mondesire-Crump shared the following:
 
St. Bernard’s provided me access to an unmatched educational foundation; not only did I learn challenging academic content, but also an analytical framework to succeed in the sciences and beyond.  St. Bernard’s’ pedagogical methodology gave me enough structure to stay focused on my studies, but also allowed enough flexibility and creativity to apply what I was learning in new contexts.  Through my education at St. Bernard’s, I learned the values of tradition and appreciation for other cultures; I was exposed to different ways of thinking that I still appreciate and utilize to this day.  In addition, many of my current interests were cultivated at St. Bernard’s, including love for the natural sciences, sports and chess.  When I return to campus, I always feel known and at home  ̶  I deeply appreciate the sense of family that the school continues to foster in my life.  Harvard may be my university alma mater, but St. Bernard’s is my first alma mater.
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