Brilliant is the New Black – great resource for young black men

Lead text written by Dr. Brian A. Burt (#15)

This article comes as a follow-up to the “Sexy Black Female Scientists” article published on June 14, 2014. That article highlighting Black women in STEM fields ranging from Biophysics to Medicine was desperately needed to offer alternative views of scientists with black and brown skin tones. Some reactions from that bold article sparked the response, “Where are the Black men in science”? This question comes at the amalgamation of scholars dispelling the myths of Black men and boys as delinquents, highlighting the experiences of Black men as high-achievers (see for example work by Dr. Fred Bonner; Dr. Sharon Fries-Britt; Dr. Shaun Harper; Dr. Ivory Toldson), and initiatives, like President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper,” aimed at empowering, encouraging, assisting young Black boys.

Black males, like their Black female counterparts, face unique challenges that require specific attention. One such challenge is seeing positive images from a wide variety of men who look like them. This is especially true today when young boys are bombarded with images from popular culture that continue to assassinate the Black male image (not to mention actual threats of violence to the lives of young boys and men).

Naturally, it was decided that a list of Black male scientists should be developed that highlights an alternative possibility for Black men, which is academic achievement in STEM. This list serves as evidence of examples of men who have overcome many challenges in their respective scientific fields and endeavors. Like the women featured in the “Sexy Black Female Scientists” article, this compilation of talented men defying the odds in academia will help to (re)define what it looks like and what it means to be young, gifted, Black, and interested in science for generations of Black men to come. Let’s change the narrative.’

picFrom Dr. Kyla McMullen

Similar to the initial article, all of the gentlemen featured in this article are people that I actually know or have at most one degree of separation. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, however, a small example to show the media that our Black men are not the thugs that the media so often chooses to portray. Without further ado, ( in no particular order , despite the fact that there are numbers 🙂 here are 105 Black male scientists who are helping to change the narrative.


Institution: B.N. Shape
Education: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. B.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dozie’s graduate research at Purdue focused on Neuroprostheses and Tissue Engineering. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Dec. 2010, Dozie worked for three years as a Product Development Engineer for Cook Biotech, which develops biologic tissue grafts using extracellular matrix technology. While working at Cook, Dozie also pursued his passions for entrepreneurship and health & fitness. He became a freelance writer, publishing articles for, the Southern Indiana Fitness Source, and his blog, He also started a fitness lifestyle clothing brand called B.N. Shape, which promotes the pursuit and maintenance of a healthy, fit community while encouraging the individuals who thrive within it. BN Shape has grown to over 100,000 worldwide followers through social media, and has sold products to 35 countries. He now runs B.N. Shape full-time while evaluating new business opportunities within STEM fields.

Fun Fact: Dozie has also been a music producer since 2006, specializing in hip hop, R&B, and pop music.
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Postdoctoral Fellow

Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Education: Ph.D. in Genetics from University of Chicago.

Avery is following his dreams – he uses his love of genetics and gene therapy to develop immunotherapies that treat cancer. In his field, patient T cells are genetically modified with a “sword and shield” that strengthens their ability to find, target, and kill cancer cells. He is an inventor on one US patent and two pending patents of chimeric antigen receptors and expression vectors for gene therapy. Several of Avery’s latest projects are in pre-clinical development and are aimed for Phase I clinical trials in 2015. He is a 2014 UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellow and intends to pursue an academic faculty position where he continues to invent and develop gene therapies to treat human disease. He will always be an advocate of opening doors in scientific research for underrepresented minorities.

Fun Fact: Avery was the first African-American male to graduate from the University of Chicago with a degree in Genetics, loves to run, play tennis, and sing.
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Senior Research Scientist

Institution: Shape Security
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University. M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University. B.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Nwokedi is living a dream. If ten years ago, you told him he would be the first African-American to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the first Department of Computer Science in the country–he would not have believed you. If five years ago, you told him that he would be briefing high-ranking government officials on matters of national security as a member of MIT Lincoln Laboratory–he would not have believed you. If one year ago, you told him that in 2014, he would join a Silicon Valley startup to develop techniques to fight robots and cyborgs–he definitely would not have believed you. Having now done all these things, surely he’s suspended his disbelief? Nope, he still can’t believe it.

Fun Fact: Nwokedi is a *huge* fan of black light yoga. He thanks Boston for introducing him to this “otherworldly” experience.
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Social Science Research Analyst

Institution: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Education: Ph.D. in Gerontology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. M.A. in Applied Sociology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. B.S. in Biology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

LT Cross is a scientist in the United States Public Health Service and is a Social Science Research Analyst at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Israel’s career interests lie in quality improvement activities in the post-acute care setting, emergency/disaster preparedness, identifying quality metrics and best practices, and public engagement and consumer outreach. Israel is also a part-time lecturer for the Erickson School of Aging on the campus of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Fun Fact: Israel has a passion for outdoor activities as he actively participates in football and kickball social leagues. He also enjoys triathlons, golf, massage therapy, playing instruments, and various DIY projects. Israel looks forward to buying a home with large enough yard to warrant buying a ride-around John Deer tractor

Assistant Professor

Institution: North Carolina State University
Education: Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The Ohio State University. M.A. in Quantitative Research, Evaluation, and Measurement from The Ohio State University. B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC).

DeLeon Gray is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Gray also holds an appointment as Mentor Faculty in the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research program has been recognized by the receipt of prestigious honors including the Research on Socially and Economically Underrepresented Populations Award (RiSE-UP) from the Association for Psychological Science, and dissertation fellowships from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. Most recently, he received the 2013 Outstanding Dissertation Award in Human Development from the American Education Research Association (AERA). Dr. Gray brings energy and commitment to the Professoriate, and has received honors related to his extension and outreach work with inner-city African American adolescents. Dr. Gray also is a 2014 inductee of NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension. Dr. Gray’s teaches doctoral courses in statistics, achievement motivation, and social processes.

Fun Fact: DeLeon enjoys bowling, karaoke, performing stand-up comedy, and having a winning fantasy football team.
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Post-doctoral Fellow

Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Education: Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Applied Physics from Morehouse College.

Jeremy D. Brown is a post-doctoral fellow at the Universiry of Pennsylvania. His research interests include surgical robotics, stroke rehabilitation, and human-machine medical interfacing. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, completing his dissertation on haptic improvements in upper-limb prosthetic devices. He was also part of the Atlanta University Center’s Dual Degree Engineering Program — obtaining two B.S. degrees. One was in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and the other was in Applied Physics from Morehouse College. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, most would describe Jeremy as a true Southern gentleman who enjoys good coffee, photography, spending time with family and friends, and traveling with his wife.

Fun Fact: Jeremy and his wife try to find a cooking class or food tour whenever they visit a new city. On their last vacation, they learned to make paella in Barcelona.
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Assistant Group Leader

Institution: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Delaware.

Kevin’s research is focused on developing cyber security in defense of the nation. As an Assistant Group Leader, he leads research teams focused on large-scale network traffic modeling and analysis by leveraging machine learning, pattern recognition, and artificial intelligence. During his Ph.D., he developed algorithms and methods that were awarded a patent for the diagnosis and prognosis of different lymphomas using flow cytometry. Kevin has written over 30 peer reviewed conference and journal publications.

Fun Fact: Kevin is pretty nice on the slopes, having snowboarded in Utah, Colorado, California, Nevada, Canada, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. And don’t sleep on the rhyming skills, as Kevin “Sleepy” Carter is pretty nice in the mic booth! Blakademics!
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Cancer Prevention Fellow

Institution: National Cancer Institute
Education: Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford. M.P.H. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Kenny started as a cellular-molecular stem cell biologist, and after completing the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, now conducts policy-relevant relevant research aimed at strengthening the research enterprise. His areas of focus include (a) graduate and postdoctoral training, workforce development, and diversity and (b) metrics for evaluation of research design and impact. You can follow him on twitter @KennyGibbsPh.D. and @StemPh.D.Careers

Fun Fact: I love the Lord, my wife, and deep, thoughtful conversation. Although I grew up in the south, I’m a very fast talker 🙂
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Senior Engineer

Institution: Qualcomm
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering from Michigan. M.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from . B.S. in Computer Science from U.C. Riverside.

As a computer architect at Qualcomm, Dr. Sewell works to make mobile technology smaller, faster, and more efficient. Dr. Sewell has expertise in CPU design, On-Chip Interconnects, Memory Systems, and Simulation Modeling. In his current role, Dr. Sewell specializes in memory system performance analysis for current and next-generation smartphones and tablets.

Fun Fact: I’m a firm believer in WORK HARD to PLAY HARD! I’m probably what you call a Sports-A-Holic at heart (Lakers/49ers!), but outside of work hours I’m into everything I can think of that’s fun: Music (listening and creating), Sports (watching and playing), Travel, … you name it I’ll try it! Most recently, I’ve found a “hidden” passion in coaching youth sports! While my son still thinks I’m a “cool dad”, I’m coaching his 6/7 yr old basketball team and loving it! Don’t be surprised if we have NB.A. scouts checking out the players *and* coaches in a gym near you! The Young Phil Jackson at your service 🙂
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Global Product Manager

Institution: ThermoFisher Scientific
Education: Ph.D. in Computational and Systems Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

As a Global Product Manager, Dr. Ihuegbu enjoys finding interesting opportunities, engaging others to also consider these topics, and collectively applying disruptive genomic technologies to develop satisfactory solutions. Earlier as a graduate student at WashU, he spent most of his waking hours developing efficient models and tools to search the human genome for regulatory portions and networks that help explain biology. His collaboration with colleagues at Harvard Medical School, resulted in the discovery of a new role for a critical protein involved in immunity against infections. Dr. Ihuegbu is excited to be part of an amazing team that is coming up with disruptive products that shape discovery and improve lives!

Fun Fact: Dr. Ihuegbu enjoys traveling, forging new experiences, and adding to his collage of stories. Additionally, he is fond of writing short stories and loves making omelets!


Institution: EMD Serono
Education: B.S. in Biology from Alabama State University. Ph.D. in Immunology from Vanderbilt University.

Nuruddeen Lewis is a scientist in the Cellular and Translational Immunology group at EMD Serono in Billerica, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. degree from Alabama State University and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. After graduation, he performed his postdoctoral studies in the pharmaceutical industry at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Ridgefield, Connecticut. There, his work focused on autoimmune diseases and the identification and validation of potential drug targets. He now continues his work in drug discovery for autoimmune diseases at EMD Serono by using translational cell-based assays and bioinformatic analyses. Nuruddeen currently lives with his wife and three children in Andover, Massachusetts. You can reach him on LinkedIn.

Fun Fact: Nuruddeen has two middle names, D’Antoni De’Shaun. He might seem like a kid when he’s rock climbing or skateboarding, but he works like a boss. Sleep is an inconvenience for him, while prayer is a multi-day ritual.
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Research Scientist

Institution: Intel Corporation
Education: Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Clemson University. B.S. in Industrial Design from Auburn University. B.S. in Industrial Design from Auburn University.

Joshua Ekandem is a research scientist at Intel Corporation. He is currently responsible for identifying and evaluating usages that help drive Intel’s automotive, IOT, and wearable technology strategy. While at Intel his most significant contribution has been has contributed to Mobii, a joint research project with Ford Motor Company focused on creating more secure and personalized in-vehicle experiences. Joshua attended Auburn University where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Design. He holds a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Clemson University, where he focused on defining an approach for reducing driver distraction, through ambient feedback. Joshua’s current research interests are the design and development of natural user interfaces primarily in automotive, mobile, and wearable contexts. His passion is innovation, as he loves to design and create. He enjoys travel, delicious food, playing recreational sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Fun Fact: I was an avid coin collector for around 7 years. I paid $50 dollars for my first car, a 1970 Buick Skylark. I have an amazing ‘shower’ singing voice.
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Environmental Consultant

Institution: EnviroBro LLC
Education: B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University. M.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan. Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan.

Hailing from Kingsport, Tennessee, Richard Ezike moved to the Washington DC area in November 2012, where he currently works as an Environmental Consultant for EnviroBro LLC. Richard received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering the University of Michigan Ann Arbor where he researched on catalyst development to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in diesel-powered cars. Richard is passionate about environmental sustainability and promotion of alternative energies, and is committed to helping improve STEM education to the next generation of scholars. He also is committed to serving the community and has served on the boards of the DC chapters of NSBE and the National Urban League Young Professionals Network. Richard enjoys playing basketball and tennis, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Fun Fact: Richard is a sci-fi junkie as a big fan of Star Trek and Stargate. He also played drums all through middle school and high school and still pokes around on them today. He also enjoys various dances such as Detroit Ballroom and Chicago step.
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Postdoctoral Fellow

Institution: Medimmune
Education: B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill. Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Silver was born and raised in the small town of Warrenton North Carolina, and credits his exploration of the forests and streams around his hometown for nurturing his curiosity and appreciation of nature. This appreciation of the natural world would lead to his interest in science and was a major factor behind his decision to study biology and chemistry and UNC-Chapel Hill. It was here where he met Dr. Henry Frierson, who coordinated a program designed to shuttle minorities into the biomedical sciences, who was a key supporter of his decision to apply to doctoral programs. Jonathan then attended the University of Pennsylvania where he completed his Ph.D. in Immunology working with Dr. Chris Hunter studying the control and coordination of the immune response to the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii. He is currently in a postdoctoral fellowship at Medimmune and is studying antiviral innate immunity in the lungs.

Fun Fact: I have a twin sister but my parents did not know they were having twins until we were actually born because she was hiding behind me in the ultrasound and our hearts were beating at the same time!

Assistant Professor

Institution: Iowa State University
Education: Ph.D. in Higher Education from University of Michigan. M.A. in Higher Education Administration from University of Maryland, College Park. B.S. in Secondary English Education from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Brian A. Burt is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program at Iowa State University. His scholarly interests include graduate student learning, persistence and retention, STEM education, and the graduate student experiences of students of color. His dissertation explored how doctoral research experiences influenced engineering students’ learning about research, as well as perceptions of and preparation for the engineering professoriate. In addition, his dissertation investigated if there were any differences based on students’ social identity characteristics (e.g., race; gender; nationality) and prior experiences (e.g., parents education and occupation; undergraduate research experiences; previous work experiences).

Fun Fact: In his spare time, Brian enjoys going on artistic outings (e.g., musicals, operas, art galleries), reading recreational books (fiction and financial planning), watching movies at the house, and spending time with family and friends. Brian’s interest in the arts continues from his past in K-12 and college bands, and classical piano since the age of 6; he won three State of Michigan championships in piano by the age of 17.
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Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering

Institution: Atlanta Metropolitan State College
Education: Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Rice University. M.S. in Applied Physics from Rice University. B.S. in Physics & Math from Morehouse College.

Thomas received his Ph.D. in the Applied Physics in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at Rice University in 2011. His thesis work primarily focused on the magneto-optical properties of carbon nanotubes. Thomas currently serves as Assistant Professor of Physics & Engineering at AM.S.C, Adjunct Professor of Physics at Morehouse College and PI of the Atlanta Metropolitan Nanotechnology Lab. Current research projects pursued his lab include nanomaterial synthesis, electrochemical sensors, and THz metamaterials. During his career, Thomas has performed experiments at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, UCSB Free Electron Laser Facility, National Institute of Materials Science (Tsukuba, JP), and Tohoku University (Sendai, JP). In the summer of 2014, Thomas completed an appointment as a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab. Thomas graduated from Morehouse College with a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics. He is a native of Albany, GA.

Fun Fact: I’m an avid soccer fan especially USMNT and Arsenal. Led a team of Morehouse students on their first zero gravity research flight in Fall 2013.
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Research Associate Scientist

Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Education: Ph.D. in Pathobiology from The Pennsylvania State University. B.S. in Biology from Alcorn State University.

Dr. Caleph B. Wilson grew-up in Mississippi. Currently, he is a research associate staff scientist in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and the Department of Microbiology of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wilson investigates ways to teach T cells how to kill HIV infected cells and cancer through genetic engineering. Before coming to Penn, Dr. Wilson earned his doctorate in Pathobiology at the University Park Campus of the Pennsylvania State University and his undergraduate degree in Biology from Alcorn State University. In addition to research, Dr. Wilson is a dedicated mentor and engages in numerous STEM outreach programs. He also co-founded the National Science & Technology News Service (NSTNS), which works to connect media outlets with a more diverse pool of scientists and science journalist. Website: Twitter: @HeyDrWilson

Fun Fact: Dr. Wilson was affectionately referred to by his cousins and neighborhood friends as human encyclopedia. He loves listening to blues, going to the park with his family and playing pranks on his co-workers.
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Sr. Scientist in Research & Development

Institution: Banner Life Sciences/Patheon
Education: Ph.D. in Pharmacy from University of Georgia. B.S. in Biological Sciences from Clemson University.

Dr. Mervin L. Williams, Jr. is a native of Columbia, SC. Dr. Williams graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences in December 1997. Following his undergraduate studies, he went to graduate school at University of Georgia (College of Pharmacy) where he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pharmacy in December 2003. While attending UGA, Dr. Williams was an active member of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, Graduate Student Association (GSA), National Black Graduate Student Association (NBGSA) and Graduate and Professional Scholars (GAPS). He also was the recipient of University of Georgia Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award as an extraordinary Graduate Teaching Assistant, and inducted into the Alpha Kappa Chapter of the Rho Chi National Pharmacy Honor Society. From there, Dr. Williams joined Banner Life Sciences/Patheon in North Carolina (formerly known as Banner Pharmacaps, Inc.) where he currently works as a Sr. Scientist in Research & Development with over 11 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His primary job roles are formulation and process development optimization from lab scale to commercialization, project technical team leader on high profile customer ventures as well as commercially profitable internal projects, and operational excellence. During his tenure at Banner Life Sciences/Patheon, Dr. Williams was the recipient of two distinguished Service Awards, and also received his Green Belt certification from N.C. State University. As a certified Green Belt he is responsible for process and formulation improvements that result in significant cost and time savings (to date, he has saved the company over 14 million dollars); his company received a reward in acknowledgement of the noteworthy savings to the organization. In addition, Dr. Williams has authored and been a significant contributor to over 20 scientific publications/presentations over the span of his career in pharmaceutical academia and industry. As a result of his accomplishments, he has also been recognized as a UGA Alumni Associations 2012 and 2013 40 Under 40 Nominee. Dr. Williamss future plans include becoming a philanthropist, volunteering to assist others in need, and opening a consulting firm in his respective field. He is an active member of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Pi Alpha National Alumni Coalition (PANAC, member of the Board of Directors), Clemson Black Alumni Council (CBAC), Black University of Georgia Alumni (BUGAA), Banner Life Sciences/Patheon Safety Committee, United States Golf Association (USGA), and both the Clemson and UGA Alumni Associations.

Fun Fact: His interests include serving GOD, attending church, physical fitness, traveling, attending sporting events/concerts, investing, reading, organizational and professional development, philanthropy, scientific presentations and technical writing.
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Assistant Professor of Management

Institution: Rutgers University School of Business
Education: Ph.D. in Management from The University of Alabama. M.A. in International & American Cultural Studies from The University of Richmond. B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Oscar Holmes IV is an Assistant Professor of Management at Rutgers University School of Business where he teaches executive education, graduate, and undergraduate courses in Leadership and Organizational Behavior. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Management/Organizational Behavior at the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama. His research interests include examining how managers can maximize employee productivity by fostering more inclusive work environments that mitigate interpersonal and organizational threats. His research has been published in several academic journals and books. He was recently elected to serve a 3-year term to the Executive Committee as a Representative-at-Large for the GDO division of the Academy of Management and selected to serve a 3-year term on the editorial review board of Africa Journal of Management. He can be reached at @OHIV on Twitter.

Fun Fact: I love to dance and used to dance with 2 salsa groups and I graduated with my B.S. with honors in 2 and a half years.
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Publications & Research Scientist

Institution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Education: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Florida A&M University.

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Shereitte C. Stokes IV has always loved the sciences. As a child, he would drive his parents crazy by constantly asking them why? Instead of his parents saying because I said so, they cultivated his curiosity and rewarded his inquisitiveness by making him get the dictionary or encyclopedia, and guided him as he found the answers to his seemingly never-ending questions. Dr. Stokes is passionate about many things, and cherishes the time that he spends with GOD, family, friends, fraternity (Omega Psi Phi), community, and Philly professional sports teams. He has been a Christian since he was seven years old, and is earnest when it comes to loving The LORD your GOD with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving his neighbor as himself. Always down for a good laugh and a having great time, Dr. Stokes is a kid at heart.

Fun Fact: I am the first in my family to get a Ph.D. I am a diehard Philly Sports fan; I LOVE my Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Flyers. I have recently gotten into fitness and nutrition; My goals are to bench press 300 pounds and squat 400 pounds, and eliminate dairy (i.e., cheese) from my diet by January 2015. I am a Man of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I am old the oldest and tallest (6’4″) of four children. I led a childrens revival when I was eight (8), and gave my first sermon when I was ten (10) years old. I recently got engaged and am looking forward to my wedding ceremony in November, 2014.
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Hybrid Systems Researcher

Institution: General Motors Research & Development Center
Education: Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan. M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Cincinnati.

In his role as a vehicle propulsion systems engineer, Michael uses his background in multidisciplinary design of complex systems to develop innovative hybrid and electric powertrain architectures and associated control strategies. He is also passionate about identifying practical ways of integrating his lifelong interest in both styling and engineering design in the automotive and other high-tech fields.

Fun Fact: Michael also has a strong passion for music and aspires to become a minister of music at his home church.
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Assistant Professor

Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Georgia. B.S. in Chemistry from Erskine College.

Antonio graduated from the University of Georgia with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. His research involves the production and characterization of novel metal-containing molecules. He hopes to use his education and training to inspire and empower the next generation of scientists.

Fun Fact: Antonio was born and raised in Tobago and played soccer in college.
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Assistant Professor

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Virginia. M.S. in Computer Science from University of Virginia. B.S. in Computer Science from University of Pittsburgh.

Jason Mars is an Assistant Professor of the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. from University of Virginia in 2012. Mars’ work focuses on the design and optimization of the underlying system platforms that enable cloud computing. As companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft spend billions of dollars to construct and operate these cloud platforms, user demand for evermore computationally expensive services are outpacing the capabilities of these platforms. Mars’ work focuses on bridging this gap by designing solutions at the intersection of computer architecture, compilers and runtime systems. His work has received a number of awards, and has been featured in mainstream magazines such as Wired and the Register, among others. To learn more visit

Fun Fact: I have an album on iTunes/Spotify as Mars Complex. It’s electronic music.
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Postdoctoral Fellow

Institution: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from University of North Carolina at Chapel. B.A. in Music from Duke University.

Dr. Michael D. L. Johnson grew up in inner city Chicago (public schools represent!!) in a single parent home. He earned his B.A in Music from Duke University (Go Duke!!), and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Michael is currently a postdoctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Infectious Diseases where he is studying how Streptococcus pneumoniae, a causative agent of pneumonia, meningitis and ear infections, processes metals such as copper, zinc, and manganese to survive. When not working, Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with his wife of nine years and two daughters.

Fun Fact: Michael has played drums for Shania Twain, passed to Wynton Marsalis for the open jumper (which he was draining all day), and sang at a torch ceremony for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Australia.
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Injury Prevention Program Manager

Institution: United States Army
Education: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Richard’s research background includes musculoskeletal biomechanics and investigating blast and impact induced traumatic brain injury. His current job allows him to manage medical research and develop programs that will help improve the well being and physical health of our Service members. He is grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who have sacrificed for our country’s freedom.

Fun Fact: Richard is half Jamaican and half Nigerian which means he is super fast! He loves to travel and spend time with his family (especially his little baby girl) and friends. He is an avid soccer fan, and will watch and play, whenever possible!
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Assistant Professor

Institution: Clemson University
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College.

Sekou L Remy works in the School of Computing at Clemson University and is a researcher with a Human-Centered approach to Cloud Robotics. Human-Centered Cloud Robotics is a discipline of robotics and automation in which robots, and their interaction with their human developers/operators, leverage Cloud Computing and Web Standards. Dr. Remy is currently an Assistant Professor and comes to Clemson from the University of Notre Dame where he was a Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow. He also had the pleasure of serving as a part-time instructor in Computer Science at Spelman College. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ph.D. ECE ’09, M.S. ECE ’04, B.S.EE 02) and Morehouse College (B.S. CS ’02), Dr. Remy leverages both engineering and liberal arts to enable change.

Fun Fact: Used to be a competitive swimmer. Loves music that features the upright bass. Is a connoisseur of the oatmeal raisin cookie and good roti.
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Energy Engineering Advisor

Institution: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Ryan Shelby is an energy engineering advisor that works on energy access, power sector reforms, technical designs, due diligence, and business models for micro-grids (<5 kW to 100 kW), mini-grids (<100 kW to 1 MW) and small scale grids (<1 MW to 10 MW) in Sub Saharan Africa and other emerging regions to support USAID Missions, the Powering Agriculture Energy Grand Challenge for Development and the Power Africa initiatives being undertaken by USAID.  Prior to his current position at USAID, Dr. Shelby was a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Science, Technology, and Innovation Fellow focused on the design and implementation of mini- and micro-grids to aid the expansion of modern electricity services in Sub Saharan Africa. Prior to his position at MCC, Dr. Shelby was a dual J. Herbert Hollomon and Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow within the National Academies that focused on engineering education in the US.

Fun Fact: Dr. Ryan Shelby grew up on a cattle ranch in Letohatchee, AL.
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Software Engineer

Institution: Northrop Grumman
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University.

Clarence has used everything from tiny Lego blocks to large blocks of code to create robots. As a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, he earned his B.S. in EE at Yale where he developed a passion for empowering people of color and technology. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and participated in several summer STEM opportunities involving robotics, controls, and sensor networks. His curiosity in robotics led him to pursue his M.S. and Ph.D. in ECE at CMU. While there, he specialized in using control and system identification theory to improve energy efficiency in buildings. He also served on the board of the Black Graduate Student Organization at CMU in order to bring together people of color in higher education. Clarence wants to be a part of the new wave of engineers to invent and develop technology and infrastructure in Africa. He credits his accomplishments to principles of faith, friendship, and, most importantly, laughter.

Fun Fact: Clarence spent a semester in Kigali, Rwanda as part of the newly established Rwanda campus of Carnegie Mellon University.

Pharmacist and Policy Analyst (CM.S.) and Staff Pharmacist (Grubbs Pharmacy, Capitol Hill D.C)

Institution: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CM.S.) and Grubbs Care Pharmacy, Capitol Hill, D.C
Education: Pharm.D in Pharmacy from Howard University.

Dr. Emeka Egwim is a Pharmacist with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CM.S.). He also practices in the community as a Pharmacist at Grubb’s Care Pharmacy on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Dr. Egwim obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the historic and prestigious Howard University in Washington D.C. Prior to that, he attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he studied Biology. He began his professional career as a clinician by practicing at in a community pharmacy where he continues to enjoy interacting with diverse patients on a personal level. His patients span the gamete of the less fortunate and dependent on social safety nets to many of the nation’s most recognizable law makers on the hill. There is a saying in Washington D.C. that says “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu”. As a result, for a broader reach, he advanced his career in the field of pharmacy policy, public health and governmental affairs by joining the Division of Pharmacy at CM.S.. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Egwim analyzes and writes policies that implement specific provisions of healthcare laws, which include (but is not limited to) The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and Section 1927 of the Social Security Act. The provisions include the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP), the 340B Drug Discount Program, the Federal Upper Limits (FUL) for pharmacy reimbursement, the Medicaid Expansion and Alternative benefit Plans (ABP), State Plan Amendments (SPAs) amongst others. He also provides the agency and law makers with clinical expertise and advice as it relates to emergent pharmaceutical treatment regimens and research. With each pen or key stroke, Dr. Egwim finds that he is able to significantly affect the lives of millions of lives and families. He finds his career in government alongside practicing pharmacy in the community setting, to be very fulfilling because he is able to help improve the health outcomes for patients (and communities) on a personal level in the as well as on a broader scale. Dr. Egwim is married to his lovely wife Nicole with whom he enjoys spending quality time and experiencing the many blessings life has to offer.

Fun Fact: He loves music, plays multiple musical instruments, and finds inspiration in some of life’s most mundane things. He also enjoys meeting people, believes a man can never be too sharply dressed, and is not afraid of the dance floor. Do not wait for life to happen to you. Instead, happen to life.

Child Clinical Psychology Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Outpatient Unit

Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Education: Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. M.S. in Clinical Psychology from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. B.A. in Psychology; French Minor from Morehouse College.

Dr. Alvin Thomas is a Clinical Child Psychology Postdoctoral Resident in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Thomas investigates risk and protective factors for Black boys who are situated in conditions that imperil them toward aggressive behavior. Specifically, he investigates father-son relationships and mental health in men and boys. This work has clinical and primary intervention implications – focusing on the resiliency of Black boys and their families especially in deficient neighborhood contexts. Dr. Thomas has received numerous awards including the Rackham International Student Fellowship, Patricia Gurin Research Award, Center for the Education of Women Award, and the Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant; he used the last grant to pilot an intervention aimed at addressing the mental health needs of juveniles in state custody on a Caribbean island. In 2010 Alvin was invited, via the Assembly of Scientist/Practitioner Psychologists (ASPP) Learning APA Governance Award, to attend the American Psychological Association’s (APA) general meeting in Washington, DC an honor bestowed on one graduate student annually. Alvin has presented his research at conferences across the U.S., the Bahamas, Jamaica, Switzerland, and Germany.

Fun Fact: Plays tennis and volleyball though not competitively; originally from the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia and returns as often as possible, enjoys spending time with family, especially young nieces and nephews; loves to cook and eat; enjoys nature (sight seeing).
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Assistant Professor

Institution: Wilmington University
Education: Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Marketing from Temple University.

Dr. Dan Young is the co-owner of GreenTV, an online infomediary for energy, sustainability, and green living. He is using this platform to educate the community on healthy living, green technology, and energy efficiency and conservation. He is the past President and CEO of Trustees of Color, Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to increase diversity on non-profit Boards of Directors. Dr. Young received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Delaware’s Honors Program and his Ph.D. in Marketing from Temple University. He serves as an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Business Administration program at Wilmington University and teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware. Dan has served on the Boards of many local organizations and is a founding member of the African-American Empowerment Fund of Delaware (AAEFD). Dr. Young currently serves as the Chairman of three organizations: the Council of Urban Empowerment, the Jefferson Awards Advisory Committee, and the Leadership Delaware Alumni Council.

Fun Fact: Dr. Young loves reading, food and wine events, and working out.
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Psychology Professor/Psychotherapist

Institution: Clark Atlanta University
Education: Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Capella University. M.S. in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. B.S. in Psychology from University of Georgia.

Atlanta-born and raised (and current resident) I obtained my undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and my Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. I obtained my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Capella University. I am also a licensed Psychotherapist. I am currently a Psychology Instructor at a small technical college just south of Atlanta, Southern Crescent Technical College, and hope to ultimately lend my talents to the CDC. While I am not directly a STEM researcher I am indeed a Social Scientist whose focus is primarily on the disparities in treatment of majority group members and African American male students in elementary school. There aren’t an overwhelming number of African American male Psychotherapists or Educational Psychologists but I am proud to be in the number.

Fun Fact: I am a singer and enjoy nearly all genres of music. I also be a bit of a fitness fanatic sometimes, partially due to my weight loss of about 80 pounds.
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Postdoctoral Fellow

Institution: Oregon Health and Science Univ
Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology from Meharry Medical College. B.S. in Biology from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Tunde is a trained cancer biologist who studied the effects of anti-diabetic drugs on prostate cancer progression during his thesis research and first postdoc at NYU. He is currently about to begin his second postdoc studying the effects of chemotherapy on alcoholism.

Fun Fact: Tunde is an avid reader, runner, and basketball player.
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Engineer: Research & Develeopment

Institution: General Electric Global Research Center
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. B.S. in Computer & Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Brett Matthews is an engineer with the Software Sciences and Analytics technology division at GE Global Research, developing advanced, analytical methods to build intelligent machines. Dr. Matthews specializes in digital signal processing, machine learning, and statistical pattern recognition for a wide variety of applications, including speech recognition and neurological signal processing. Brett was born and raised in Brooklyn.

Fun Fact: Traveled the world as a kid thanks to airline employee Mom, and still love to travel. Music enthusiast, amateur DJ (vinyl), and avid pool player.

Associate Professor

Institution: Howard University
Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley. B.S. in Math & Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Dr. John A.W. Harkless is an award-winning Associate Professor of Chemistry at Howard University. He actively pursues research in quantum mechanics using high-accuracy computational techniques learned from his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was inducted to Phi Beta Kappa at Morehouse College in 1993, before earning a Bachelor or Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry in 1995. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Harkless has balanced academic research with combining instruction and advocacy in STEM and minority education. This is strongly influenced by a belief in education as a public good, as evidenced by his upbringing in Mississippi. Dr. Harkless has over a decade of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating diverse student populations in the rigors of chemical sciences. This experience confers the practical ability to infuse the human element in STEM, so that all may have a personal understanding of the phenomena of the universe.

Fun Fact: 1. I’ve been on BET multiple times. 2. I play two musical instruments. 3. I’m the first Black Ph.D. produced by the first Black faculty member in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. 4. I am a bit of a comedian.
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Executive Director

Institution: Education for a Better America
Education: Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. M.A. in Public Administration from Florida International University. B.A. in Government and World Affairs from University of Tampa.

Dr. Marcus Bright is the Executive Director of Education for a Better America (EB.A.). EB.A. has launched a series of nationwide initiatives designed to increase the pursuit of post-secondary education, increase civic engagement, prevent school dropouts, increase the pursuit of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers among urban youth, and promote health and wellness across the United States. Additionally, he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has spoken across the country at universities, prisons, and other venues on a variety of topics related to civic engagement, education, and social justice.

Fun Fact: Dr. Bright played college basketball at the University of Tampa and is a political enthusiast.
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Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering

Institution: Columbia University
Education: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University.

Aaron has a passion for being in the classroom and helping students learn; his faculty role is focused on engineering education. He teaches a series of laboratory courses, bioinstrumentation, and Senior Design in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. He also works on the development of low cost medical devices for neonatal care in Uganda. He recently spearheaded the formation of the HypotheKids (Hk) Maker Lab, a STEM summer program for high school students from Harlem and throughout New York City. In this program, high school students will learn and apply the engineering design process to develop solutions to biomedical problems that they have identified.

Fun Fact: Aaron enjoys reading, working out, and watching movies with his wife and dog. He is slightly hooked on gummi snacks and usually has a pack of gummi bears with him when he travels. He also has an extensive and varied sock collection #sockgame
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Postdoctoral Research Scientist and UNCF-Merck Fellow

Institution: ETH Zurich Switzerland and Case Western Reserve University
Education: B.S. in Chemistry from Clemson University. Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Georgia.

Dr. Gilliard is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at ETH Zurich Switzerland and Case Western Reserve University. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Clemson University and doctorate from The University of Georgia-both in chemistry. Dr. Gilliard specializes in the synthesis of novel molecules for various applications and has coauthored 14 publications thus far. He has received numerous awards, honors, fellowships, and grants which include several Outstanding Teaching Awards. In 2013, he received the Martin Reynolds Smith Prize for best chemical research publication from UGA’s chemistry department and was one of a select group of young American scientists chosen to attend the 63rd Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. Recently, Dr. Gilliard was awarded a $92,000 fellowship from the UNCF-Merck Science Initiative to synthesize a new class of molecules with applications in optoelectronics, biosensors, and drug discovery.

Fun Fact: A former student-athlete Gilliard played football, basketball, and ran track. He also spent a number of years training as a martial artist. Gilliard enjoys music and plays the piano and alto saxophone.
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Serious Game Software Engineer

Institution: AVEVA
Education: Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering: Computational Engineering from University of Alabama at Birmingham. M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alabama at Birmingham. B.S. in Mathematics from Alabama State University.

Alanzo’s research focuses on the use of virtual/mixed reality simulations for immersive training. He works to understand the uses of virtual reality to improve the areas of education and training in government, industry, and education. He has also developed a mixed reality training application for both virtual and mixed training that can be applied to any scenario. Additionally, he hopes to one day start a company to promote immersive training and education using virtual reality. Alanzo aspires to dedicate a portion of the proceeds earned from his company to develop a technical education program to provide underrepresented minorities with the technical skill sets or trades to succeed in today’s society. His journey has brought him from the projects to a doctorate, and he intends to give back everything that he can to make it easier for others like him to succeed in life.

Fun Fact: Alanzo is an athlete and artist. He also enjoys classical music and live theater performances. He always wanted to learn how to play the piano. His nickname is Dream.
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Newly Minted Ph.D.

Institution: UCLA
Education: B.S. in Computer Science from Michigan State University. M.S. in Computer Science from UCLA. Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA.

Jerrid Matthews recently graduated with his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA.

Fun Fact: In addition to his research, he has been the owner of a company that has worked with TV shows such as American Idol.
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Faculty Associate

Institution: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Education: Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. M.S. in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. B.A. in Public Health; History of Science, Technology, and Medicine from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Adam’s research focuses on the prevention of adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use. He research has explored the impact of alcohol outlets on adolescent exposure to and use of ATOD. This research has helped guide legislation of the zoning of alcohol outlets. He has also focused on tobacco use policies to reduce adolescent and young adult smoking. Adam also has a special interest in geospatial methods to address important public health issues. Adam currently serves as Co-Investigator on the CDC-funded JHSPH Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence. The Center has developed and is now implementing and evaluating a multifaceted intervention to reduce youth violence (ages 10-24) in one of Baltimore’s most violent neighborhoods. Adam is overseeing several components of the observational data collection and is assisting in the evaluation of the intervention. Adam also serves as a data analyst for a large-scale trial of school climate in high schools. He assisted with the development of an observational measure, the School Assessment for Environmental Typology, which captures several components of the school environment related to school safety and climate.

Fun Fact: Adam attends medical school at Wayne State University in his spare time. He enjoys watching football (Go Ravens!), going to concerts, and traveling.
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Professor of Astronomy

Institution: Harvard University
Education: Ph.D. in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley. M.A. in Astronomy from UC Berkeley. B.S. in Physics from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

After spending four years as an assistant professor of Planetary Astronomy at Caltech, he is now a Professor of Astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His primary research focus is on the detection and characterization of planets outside our Solar System, commonly known as exoplanets. He has been awarded the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, the David & Lucile Packard Fellowship, and the AAS Newton Lacy Pierce Prize “for major contributions to understanding fundamental relationships between extrasolar planets and their parent stars.” In 2013, he was named one of Astronomy Magazine’s Ten Rising Stars in astrophysics.

Fun Fact: John is an avid basketball player and can be found on Cambridge-area courts 4-5 times a week.
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Mechanical Engineer

Institution: Northrop Grumman
Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.

Leon White is a mechanical engineer whose research focused on biocompatible coating development for biodegradable magnesium implants. He conducted his research in the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (NSF ERC-RMB) at North Carolina A&T State University. In his role as President of the ERC’s student leadership council, he worked with his fellow students to ensure that the ERC conducted impactful education and outreach events in the community for K-12 and undergraduate students in addition to working with executive board members and program directors to engage in strategic planning. Leon also served on the education advisory board for the ERC where he helped to ensure that educational programs were developed to prepare graduate and undergraduate students to become part of a highly diverse and innovative engineering workforce. He completed his bachelor’s (Mechanical Engineering) at NC A&T SU in 2010 and earned his doctoral degree (Mechanical Engineering) in July 2014 at NC A&T SU as well. Leon has begun his career in industry working at Northrop Grumman in the Electronic Systems sector located in Linthicum, MD. He would like to one day help advance science and engineering initiatives on a global scale.

Fun Fact: I love healthy competition. I enjoy reading, exercising, and traveling. Love to be around family and friends.
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Associate Professor

Institution: Northwestern University
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. M.A. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Russ Joseph is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University. His research interests are in power and reliability aware computer architecture. His work examines cooperative hardware/software techniques that adaptively manage microprocessors to respond to environmental conditions, manufacturing variability, and hardware failure. Joseph has been a Northwestern faculty member since 2004. He is the recipient of a 2007 NSF CAREER Award and a 2009 BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader Award. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2004. He earned a B.S. degree with a double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999.

Fun Fact: Hobbies include distance running, golf, and basketball.
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Senior Data Scientist/Software Engineer/Mathematician

Institution: Courage Services
Education: Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. M.S. in Managment Science from University of Dayton. B.A. in Mathematics from University of Dayton.

Dr. Michael Silas is currently an adjunct professor at Excelsior, teaching mathematics courses in the School of Liberal Arts and Business and Technology since September 2006. In addition, Dr. Silas completed his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, with a Transportation focus, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Dr. Silas has also done extensive research, including work on projects funded by the New York State Department of Transportation, United States Departments of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration. From this work, Dr. Silas has co-authored several publications from these studies. Dr. Silas also has an extensive analytical background. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Management Science/Operations Research, both from the University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio. He also has an extensive background in computer science/software engineering, and serves as Senior Data Scientist at Courage Services.

Fun Fact: Weight lifting, Computer Programming, Game Programming, Data Mining and Analytics, and Application Development are my hobbies.


Institution: Proficiency Labs
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science from Imperial College – london. M.S. in Computer Science from University of the West Indies. B.S. in Computer Studies from University of the West Indies.

Dr. Tyrone W A Grandison is the CEO of Proficiency Labs International, which specializes in supporting organizations design, build and evaluate privacy and security solutions for their systems. He is one of the managing partners of METIS, Inc. – a services company that specializes in solving organizational problems. He co-founded, a service to help consumers to determine the privacy awareness of mobile healthcare apps. He is the co-founder of Hipaantrepeneurs, a service to help healthcare professionals with compliance with healthcare law. He is one of the founding chairs of the Diversity in Privacy and Security Seminar (Di-PaSS) series, which seeks to increase the number of minority professionals and researchers in the privacy and security space. He is a founding partner of Wonder Women Hacks, which is a hackathon dedicated to increasing the number of women in tech, providing a support system for female technologists and helping to solve issues relevant to women. He is a founding partner of Hacks for Humanity (a collaboration with Arizona State University’s Project Humanities), which seeks to develop technology to reconnect people to their humanity. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica. Dr. Grandison was the CTO/co-founder of EqualityTV, where he lead the platform and technical strategy initiatives.

Fun Fact: Ty likes latin dancing and writing poetry. (
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Director, Atmospheric Sciences Program, Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Geography/Atm. Sciences

Institution: University of Georgia
Education: Ph.D. in Physical Meteorology from Florida State University. M.S. in Physical Meteorology from Florida State University. B.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University.

As the 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society, Dr. Marshall Shepherd is considered a leading international expert in the area of weather, climate, and atmospheric related sciences, and recently briefed the U.S. Senate on climate and extreme weather. In 2004, he received one of the nation’s highest scientific awards (PECASE Award) at the White House from President Bush for pioneering research on urban-hydroclimate relationships. Dr. Shepherd serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board, the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visiting Expert Committee, City of Atlanta’s Natural Hazard Advisory group, and numerous other high level committees. He also co-authored a recent National Academy of Sciences report on Urban Meteorology and is working on the Wiley textbook, The Urban Climate System. He is frequently sought by the White House, Congress, and media as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. He has appeared on Face the Nation, The Today Show, Larry King Live, CNN, The Weather Channel, and in numerous other media outlets. He has written articles in scholarly journals as well as, Washington Post, and other outlets. Prior to joining the UGA faculty, Shepherd spent 12 years as a research meteorologist in the Earth-Sun Division at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. He was also deputy project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.

Fun Fact: He is the co-author of the children’s weather book, Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch. He hates mustard and mayonnaise. He wanted to be an entomologist before a meteorologist but a bee sting as a kid changed his mind because he is highly allergic. He also hosts the Sunday talk show Weather Geeks on the Weather Channel (every Sunday at noon) and will be receiving the Captain Planet Foundation, Protector of the Earth Award in December.
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Pegasus Professor and Trustee Chair Professor of Optics & Photonics, EE, and Physics

Institution: CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics, University of Central Florida
Education: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Rochester. B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The City College of New York.

Dr. Delfyett’s expertise is in the science, technology, and application of ultrafast optical pulse trains for communications, signal processing, manufacturing, and imaging. Prior to joining UCF, he was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Communications Research. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), OSA, IEEE, APS and has served as member of the OSA Board of Directors, the Board of Governors of IEEE-Photonics Society, and President of NSBP. Dr. Delfyett is the recipient of the NSF PECASE Award, the APS Edward Bouchet Award, the 2014 Medalist of the Florida Academy of Science, and the UCF Pegasus Professor Award, the highest honor awarded by the University. Dr. Delfyett has over 700 articles/presentations, and has been awarded 37 US patents. He also helped found Raydiance Inc., which manufactures the world’s first software-controlled ultrashort pulse laser systems for industrial manufacturing and research.

Fun Fact: Dr. Delfyett’s fun activities include, playing basketball, swimming, martial arts, and playing drums. Most recently, he has become an avid participant and performer in latin dance, specifically in salsa, bachata, and cha-cha. He has performed with Salsa Heat at Latin Dance Congresses across the country and has also performed at major sporting events for the NBA and MLB.
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Institution: Private Practice (Implant and Periodontal Associates Northwest)
Education: D.D.S. in Dentistry from University of Michigan – School of Dentistry. M.S.D. in Periodontics from Indiana University – School of Dentistry. B.S. in Anthropology-Zoology and Minor in French and Francophone Studies from University of Michigan – College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts.

Originally from Western Michigan (Muskegon and Kalamazoo), Dr. Duane Bennett is the former Chief Resident of Indiana University’s Department of Periodontics and first African-American to complete the storied program’s residency. He now resides in the State of Washington where he practices between his offices in Greater Seattle and Eastern Washington. His practice is one of the nation’s most influential and respected in his field. Prior to his residency training at Indiana University, he received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Michigan. As a Periodontist, he has expertise in oral plastic surgery, dental implants, ridge augmentation, sinus lifts, and IV sedation procedures. He has also written several articles in various academic and educational journals. Dr. Bennett is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He also enjoys spending time traveling, reading, and working out. He has a strong love for his family, God, and helping others.

Fun Fact: Dr. Bennett was classically trained in his principal instrument of the Alto Saxophone. In addition, as a teenager, he grew up playing at various regional and national conferences for the Church of God in Christ. Upon entering college, he “retired” from music performance in order to focus on academics.
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General Dentist

Institution: New York Hotel Trade Council & Dental Smiles Unlimited
Education: in Dentistry from University of Michigan. B.S. in Biology from Penn State University.

Philippe is a general dentist and has been practicing in the NYC area for over 5 years. He is originally from Rochester, NY, and graduated from Penn State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology. He then continued his studies at the University of Michigan and earned his D.D.S. in 2009. After leaving Ann Arbor, Dr. Rouchon completed his residency at Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons/Harlem Hospital and has remained in the area ever since. He loves working in the healthcare field and being a part of the dental community.

Fun Fact: In his free time, Philippe enjoys watching sports and listening to music. He also likes to go out and try different restaurants.
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General Dentist

Institution: Private Practice (Orchard Maple Family Dental)
Education: D.D.S. in Dentistry from University of Michigan School of Dentistry. B.S. in Psychology from University of Michigan. B.S. in Afroamerican and African Studies from University of Michigan.

Warren E. Woodruff, DDS, is currently an Associate Dentist at Orchard Maple Family Dental in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he practices with his wife and father. Dr. Woodruff believes that one should never stop learning. He frequently takes continuing education courses to stay up to date with the latest technology and advances in the field of dentistry. Dr. Woodruff is a strong believer in mentorship and dental outreach. He has volunteered at dental clinics and career days at various local schools and health fairs. He also mentors underrepresented minorities with aspirations of entering the dental profession. During his final year of dental school, Dr. Woodruff completed a two-week dental mission trip with four of his classmates in Kenya where he provided dental care to over 600 children and adults. Dr. Woodruff also served on the National Executive Board of the Student National Dental Association while in dental school.

Fun Fact: Dr. Woodruff has many interests outside of dentistry. They include traveling, technology, video editing, movies, home design, photography, fantasy football and spending time with his wife and puppy Quincy. He hopes to one day turn one of his hobbies into an entrepreneurial venture. Dr. Woodruff also enjoys playing golf and basketball. He is an avid sports fan of all of the Detroit sports teams and the University of Michigan football and basketball teams.
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M.D. and Ph.D. candidate

Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Education: B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Isaac Kinde is a medical scientist with an interest in academic and commercial molecular diagnostic tests. He is currently pursuing both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in a combined program at Johns Hopkins University. His doctoral research produced novel cancer diagnostics based on improvements in DNA sequencing technology. Notable resultant applications include a prototype screening test for ovarian and endometrial cancer from Pap smears, a noninvasive method of monitoring bladder cancers from urine, and a revelation in the development of treatment resistance from analyzing the blood of patients with colon cancer. Descriptions of his inventions and their applications appear in prominent scientific journals such as Science Translational Medicine, Cancer Research, and Nature and are the subject of several patent applications. He has been recognized nationally as one of Forbes Magazine’s ’30 under 30′ in Science Healthcare and a Game Changer’ by Men’s Fitness.

Fun Fact: My favorite things to do are working out, biking on trails and in the city, and drinking high-quality coffee.
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Flight Test Engineer

Institution: NAVAIR
Education: M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Michigan. B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College.

Stanford Goss is an Aerospace Engineer who originally hails from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stanford works on the F-35 Integrated Test Force as a structural loads engineer at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). As a control room flight lead of over 30 flights, he has successfully guided teams of loads engineers through high risk flight testing, performed troubleshooting of any structural loads exceedances, documented and applied lessons learned directly from flight test experience, and interfaced with test pilots to develop desired test maneuver execution. Additionally, Stanford actively promotes STEM development and opportunities in the community as a volunteer tutor of local K-12 Math and Science students. His efforts in improving study skills and subject understanding have helped provide growth opportunities for potential STEM students.

Fun Fact: Stanford was captain of the Morehouse tennis team. In 2014, he earned the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) as a Modern Day Technology Leader.
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Institution: HUM.A.N STORM LLC
Education: B.S. in computer science from Frostburg State University. B.S. in Physics from University of Maryland.

An inventor, mentor, & Social Impact Entrepreneur – He is building technology that revolutionizes how humans learn mathematics. The name of this amazing technology is Miyagi (Move If You’re A Genius Inside). With Miyagi, kids will learn to solve equations using body movement and music. He is CEO of the education tech startup company, HUM.A.N STORM LLC. He began college in remedial math class, having failed his math placement test. Armed with self-determination, he eventually was inducted into the National Math Honor Society, National Physics Honor Society, and International Computer Science Honor Society. He has earned numerous awards: 2013 Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, 2014 Baltimore Social Innovators award, 2010 NASA John Mather Nobel Scholars award, 2004 National Black Engineer of the Year Award for Student Leadership. In 2014, he delivered a thought-provoking presentation at Ignite Baltimore. His presentation was titled, “Not Ritalin: Unlocking the Math Genius in Hyperactive Children.”

Fun Fact: From Baltimore, Maryland. Started college as an art major. Enjoys break dancing, cooking, and martial arts. Majored in physics to help figure out how to achieve interstellar space travel. Enjoys writing and listening to poetry…
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Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
Education: M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Brandon J. Johnson, 28, is a doctoral student and National Science Foundation Fellow in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research is concerned with fidelity in advanced multidiscipline design methods for commercial transport aircraft. This work is supported by The Boeing Company, where Johnson is employed on educational leave. Johnson received his Master’s in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University and Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland Baltimore County. Johnson, originally from New Jersey, now resides in Atlanta, GA. Johnson has been very involved in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and has served on the Regional and National Executive Boards. Recently he was the NSBE 2014 National Convention Chair for  the annual convention in Nashville, TN. He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Fun Fact: Brandon is pretty adventurous; he’s been skydiving, and has started private pilot training, and rides a motorcycle. His adventurous spirit also applies to the kitchen where he loves to cook and try new and exotic dishes.

Ph.D. Student

Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Education: M.S. in Energy and Resources from University of California, Berkeley. B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Applied Physics from Morehouse College.

Pierce is a dual NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Energy and Resources Group. His research intersects fields of design thinking, product development, and impact analysis of products and services for the abject poor. He completed the Dual-Degree Engineering Program while obtaining summa cum laude degrees at both Morehouse College and the University of Michigan. He is both a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi, and obtained approximately $300,000 in scholarships to attend school. He also serves as the president of the Black Graduate Engineers and Science Students, as a member of many black graduate organizations on campus, and as an active member of the Development Impact Laboratory’s Idea Team. He also served as an instructor for the GRE and the SAT for Sherwood Test Prep, and has conducted community service with the Bay Area Morehouse Alumni Association and Bay Area Scientists in Schools.

Fun Fact: I served as the section leader for the drumline of the Morehouse College Marching Band. I’ve traveled to five continents. I do graphic design for flyers, business cards, and other paper documents as a side hustle.
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Networking Systems Engineer

Institution: DELL INC.
Education: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

Byron is an electrical engineer with nearly 15 years of experience. He works with Fortune 500 companies and with the government to build and design computer networks, both domestically and internationally. His main focuses of expertise are in Routing & Switching, Wireless, VOIP/Video Conferencing, and Physical Security. Before working at Dell, Byron worked for Cisco Systems, Progress Energy and the I.R.S. Throughout his career, Byron has been diligent in his work to promote inclusion and diversity in large corporations. He has served as president of the DC chapter of the Cisco Black Employee Network and has held membership in the National Society of Black Engineers for over ten years. He has a passion for STEM education and volunteers with organizations serving youth such as INROADS, of which he is an alumnus.

Fun Fact: Byron enjoys international travel and has a goal to fill his entire passport. He also owns a large collection of watches and colognes from around the world. Lastly, he’s a huge fan of comedy and trivia and never misses an episode of Jeopardy.

Subsea Controls Engineer

Institution: Wood Group Kenny
Education: M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Math from Morehouse College.

Dominic stands out above the rest as an aerospace engineer who also ran track on a collegiate level through his undergraduate and graduate study! While at Michigan, Dominic studied multi-scale computational methods for polycrystalline alloys, fiber reinforced composites, metallic foams and ultra-high temperature ceramics to model the effect of microstructure on the overall deformation, fatigue, and failure. His most recent endeavor would be adding on fatherhood and married life!!

Fun Fact: Dominic speaks Latin fluently, coaches, and has taken a liking to ballroom dancing.

Software Engineer

Institution: Booz Allen Hamilton
Education: B.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Charles had a passion for working with computers and coding ever since father let him take apart the Pentium 100 he brought home from work. Charles went on to graduate from the University Of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a B.S. in Computer Science. He has worked for IBM, Northrop Grumman and currently is a Software Engineer for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Fun Fact: I’m a Software Developer by day and a Muay Thai Coach at night. I train/coach several amateur fighters as well as also training and fighting as an amateur myself. I’m also a member of the Baltimore area press and write reviews for movies/TV shows and will be covering San Diego Comic Con as press on my website and podcast.
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: M.S. in Electrical engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Electrical engineering from Howard University.

Iverson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan. His research interests include spacecraft design, electric propulsion, and plasma physics.  He has a passion for science, education, and mentoring students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Fun Fact: Iverson enjoys drawing, writing, cooking, capoeira, and stand-up comedy.
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Doctoral Candidate

Institution: University of Florida
Education: M.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Florida. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from California State University Los Angeles. B.S. in Computer Engineering, Minor: Mathematics from San Jose State University.

Corey is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Engineering and conducts research in cyber physical systems with emphasis in: socially cognizant routing, delay tolerant networks, wireless sensor networks, and health care. Mr. Baker is CEO and President of 1 Degree Technologies LLC, a start-up that specializes in communication for disaster relief, emergency response, and the internet of things. In his free time, Corey blogs about Mentoring Our Future, Road To Ph.D., and Blacks in Engineering. Baker gives back to his community by serving in leadership roles in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where he is a former National Treasurer.

Fun Fact: Corey serves as a mentor for young adults in NSBE and his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He also likes to play basketball and is always in search of a good pick-up game.
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Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: Clemson University
Education: M.S. in Software Engineering from Auburn University. B.S. in Computer Engineering from Auburn University.

Shelby Solomon Darnell is a Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at Clemson University. His current research entails using physiological sensors along side video and expert notes to better understand student engagement in the classroom.  Shelby’s other research interests include computational intelligence, biometrics, computer vision, and human centered computing.  As a trained software engineer which experience in the previously mentioned areas of interests Shelby fancies himself a Human Centered Software Architect.

Fun Fact: He taught himself back-flips at the age of 9 (street gymnast on deck).
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Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Education: Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. M.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

Brandon’s dissertation research involves the evaluation and development of multimodal/multisensory in-vehicle displays and interfaces for the aging population. He works in the The Human-Automation Interaction and Cognition (THInC) Laboratory, which focuses on better understanding how people process information in various sensory channels and its implications for display design. He studies these topics within the context of data-rich, high risk, complex environments such as driving, aerospace, military, and medicine to reduce the number of human-machine related accidents. He also has a passion for teaching and mentoring, and wants to combine these passions to become a full professor at a major research institution. Brandon has been involved in a number of outreach activities, at the high school and college level, to encourage more underrepresented minority students to pursue STEM careers.

Fun Fact: Brandon has always had a passion for airplanes and airports, and wishes to one day obtain a pilot’s license. For fun, he likes to travel, swim, paint and draw, listen to music/watch movies, and fellowship with family and friends. One of his personal long-term goals is to take his family overseas.
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Project Lead Engineer for Power Generation, Oil and Gas Engineered Solutions

Institution: Rolls-Royce Corporation
Education: M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee State University.

Originally from Tennessee and having obtain a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Samuel is currently a Project Lead Engineer at Rolls-Royce. He has served on the ASEE Diversity Council, the College and Industry Partnership, and the Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration. He was honored with the 2005 Black Engineer of the Year Award – Modern Technology Leader and was Ebony Magazine’s Top 30 under 30 Young Leaders. His advice to others: Be inspired by the accomplishments of others and the limitations before you. Be passionate about helping others achieve the same, if not, more than you have. Be driven by the desire to achieve above and beyond what is expected of you, and believe that your achievements can open the doors of opportunity for others. For you truly do not know where you are in this world, unless you can tell someone else how to get there.

Fun Fact: Favorite hobby: motorcycle riding
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Institution: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Education: M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. M.S. in Technology and Policy Program from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Passionate about all-things space, energy, and STEM outreach related. Deep interests in advanced nuclear energy systems, space energy systems, space propulsion, and human physiological responses to long range space travel. Currently conducting research on solar electric propulsion systems at NASA JPL, in contribution to NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).

Fun Fact: If I could choose any other profession outside of science and engineering, it would have to be music.
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Sonification Specialist at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: M.A. in Media Arts from University of Michigan. B.A. in Performing Arts Technology from University of Michigan.

Robert Alexander is a Sonification Specialist with the Solar Heliospheric Research Group at the University of Michigan, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Design Science program (defending in December!). As a NASA JPFP fellow, he works with scientists at Goddard Space flight Center to uncover new features in the solar wind through auditory analysis. Using this novel approach, his collaborative team produced the most sensitive diagnostic of the electron temperature in the solar wind source region. For this research, Alexander received an Outstanding Achievement award from the International Community on Auditory Display, and his work has received support from organizations such as Yahoo!, the Rackham Graduate School, and NASA. He has constructed software interfaces for sonifying data from a wide range of sources including the human genome, real-time EEG data streams, weather patterns, celestial orbits, and binary-star systems.

Fun Fact: I try to have a dance party *every* day. Yes, you can make music from the sun. And yes, you can make new scientific discoveries by exploring solar-sounds:
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Ph.D. Candidate in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Institution: MIT
Education: M.A. in Computational Neuroscience from Boston University. B.S. in Biology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Joe is a final-year grad student conducting human brain imaging research on the natural progression of aging and associated cognitive decline. His current research program seeks to uncover the neural underpinnings of mind-wandering in older adults. Eventually, he hopes to employ methods that may curb the maladaptive effects of a wandering mind and create interventions that could enhance individuals’ capacity (old and young) to lead independent lives and potentially decrease the social burden of caring for those with diminished cognitive ability.

Fun Fact: In his spare time, you can find Joe watching the Baltimore Ravens (and O’s), out in the city, or unwinding at the gym.
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Shift Technical Advisor

Institution: D. C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant
Education: M.S. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT. M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT. B.S. in Physics from Morehouse College.

Christopher Copeland is a shift technical advisor at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant in Bridgman, Michigan and an associate evaluator with the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) in Atlanta, Georgia. He was recently adjunct faculty to the department of physics at Morehouse College. Throughout his academic career, he has gained both a breadth and depth of knowledge in the nuclear arena garnered through nine years of numerous research experiences at places such as the University of Michigan, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Additionally, he performed research abroad with the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France and the Tokyo Electric Power Company in Tokyo, Japan, affording him the opportunity to work with scientists and policymakers alike on issues of concern such as the technological capabilities of geological disposition of nuclear waste and the assessments of regional nuclear energy, respectively. As a graduate student, his research focused on the application of antineutrino detection for nuclear nonproliferation and security verification measures aided in part by members from the Managing the Atom Project at Harvard Kennedy School, Novel Technologies Unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Applied Antineutrino Physics Group at LLNL.

Fun Fact: Chris values the importance of mentoring youth and enjoys being a positive influence of the younger generation through mentoring initiatives and speeches. An avid health and travel enthusiast, Chris enjoys trying his hand at all forms of athleticism and fitness activities as well as trying different foods from around the world.
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Ph.D. Student in Computer Science

Institution: UCSD
Education: M.S. in Electronics from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. B.S. in Computer Engineering from Bournemouth University.

Michael hails from London England and cut his scientific teeth at Intel UK. He then spent several years getting cultured, educated and exploring business ventures in Asia. Michael returned to his primary passion of computer science R&D by starting his Ph.D. at UCSD in California last year and is presently saving the day at Intel once more on a summer internship.

Fun Fact: Michael lived in China for 3 years without speaking Chinese Michael had a short modeling career (to match his height) Michael has attended 3 universities in 3 different continents Although a Computer Science researcher, Michael is a cave man that cannot use gadgets, has no apps and does not use facebook.
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Education: B.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Berook is working on his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He studies the electrophysiological behavior of cells in the dorsal premotor cortex in primates while they perform hand-eye coordinated tasks. His focus is on understanding if the behavior of these cells changes based on task conditions and/or training and if so, why these changes occur.

Fun Fact: He co-hosts a movie review podcast called the Cinema Bun podcast (see what we did there?), loves to sing, and can have full conversations using gifs.
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan.

Chris is currently a Ph.D. Student at the University of Michigan and is entering his 3rd year. He has already collaborated with his colleagues and professors for publications. He is also very involved in mentoring the youth in the Detroit area.

Fun Fact: In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing Volleyball and watching the Detroit Tigers.

Ph.D. Student

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins. M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan. Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan.

Brandon Demory is currently a Ph.D. Student at the University of Michigan. He studies photonics. When he is not in class, Brandon enjoys going out with friends and doing outreach projects with local middle school and high school kids.

Fun Fact: Brandon has enjoyed going skydiving and he is getting married next July!

Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: Stanford University School of medicine
Education: Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford Unversity School of Medicine. B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College.

Luke is a 4th year Ph.D. Candidate at the Stanford University School of Medicine where he is pursuing his doctorate in Biomedical Informatics. While his current studies involve investigating rare diseases, he is generally interested in determining methods to investigate diseases that are generally understudied due to the low sample sizes (e.g. diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations). By determining effective methods to combine heterogeneous genomic data, Luke is attempting to elucidate the genetic mechanisms by which these diseases afflict individuals within various populations. Beyond research, Luke is also passionate about the recruiting and retention of minority scientists to top-tier research institutions for graduate studies. As such, Luke is heavily involved with the diversity outreach efforts at Stanford and often visits conferences and college campuses to encourage students to pursue advanced degrees in STEM fields.

Fun Fact: Outside of research, Luke also has a passion for the arts. He has trained in many dance styles (including jazz, hip hop, ballet, modern, liturgical, and many others), plays piano, sings, acts and directs various productions.
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Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: Northwestern University
Education: B.S. in Applied Physics from Morehouse College.

Currently, I am working on a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in the Dunand Group. My project involves testing, characterizing and modeling ferritic alloys for high temperature applications. These alloys exhibit the same gamma- gamma prime microstructure that gives Ni-based superalloys their notable strength and creep resistants. These unique properties combined with relatively cheap base materials makes this alloy ideally suited to be used in future generations of coal power plants. Our alloys could help increase the efficiency of these plants, thus leading to decreased fuel consumption.

Fun Fact: Mike is an avid sports enthusiast. He enjoys going to various sporting events soccer, football, basketball. If the Bulls are playing, he is right there in the front row.
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Software Engineer

Institution: General Electric
Education: M.S. in EE from Stanford University. B.S. in ECE from Ohio State University.

Clinton Buie, a native of Shaker Heights, OH, obtained his B.S. (2006) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University, and an M.S. (2010) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Upon graduation, Clinton joined GE Global Research in Schenectady, NY as a Software Edison Engineer. His work includes several research solutions for GE involving sparse distributed memory, FPGA graph algorithms, and data visualizations for CEED, a collaboration between DARPA, MIT, and GE for crowd sourcing the design of military vehicles. Currently, Clinton is based in San Ramon, CA at GE’s Software Center of Excellence. He is working as a lead mobile developer for Predix Go, a cross platform solution for developing HTML5 applications for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. In his spare time, Clinton enjoys working out at his local Crossfit gym, practicing Wushu, reading, volunteering within the community, and spending time with his friends and family.

Fun Fact: He enjoys being involved in the local art communities in the various places he has lived. He starred as “Travis Younger” in the play “A Raisin in the Sun” at age nine. Despite the many hours he spends in lab, he always makes time for museums, plays, and art shows. He also is an sculptor himself.
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Site Business Manager

Institution: ExxonMobil
Education: B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College. M.S. in Industrial Engineering from University of Michigan.

Although I managed to do a few things in the first 25+ years of life, I consider my life to have really begun when I became a father. My daughter Sophia and son Nicholas are the jewels and my wife Inna is the crown in which they are set. So far, these special folks are my life’s major accomplishments. Besides family, I have had a successful engineering career with ExxonMobil Corp (7 Years) in the field of Project Management. Having spent the last 6 years living abroad (Nigeria, Qatar, Malaysia, South Korea), my time with big oil has taken me around the world and exposed me to amazing people and cultures. Since graduating UMich, my professional career has taught me how to plan and execute major projects… in short, to turn ideas into reality. Thankfully this is a skill that translates well to the rest of life!

Fun Fact: Every member of our family has been born in a different country and our lucky kids will end up with three citizenships to pick from when the time is right (rooting for the USA).
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: Howard University
Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry from Howard University. M.S. in Chemistry from Howard University.

Ugochukwu is a Ph.D. graduate student studying analytical chemistry. He studies inorganic complexes that mimic the catalytic properties of metalloenzymes in the hydrolysis of phosophate esters which are of particular interest due to the role they play environmentally and physiologically.

Fun Fact: Ugochukwu went to high school for four years in Nigeria and is a big Redskins fan.

Ph.D Student

Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Education: M.S. in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineer from University of California, Berkeley. B.S. in Civil Engineering from University of California, Davis.

Ebuka is currently a Ph.D. Student in Civil (Geosystems) Engineering working on potential research of modeling expansion in clay or clayey soils. He is attempting to create a means to predict the shrink-swell potential of soils which pose threat to engineering projects. Ebuka wishes to serve the community and pave an easier path for fellow young black men to become valuable individuals and achieve greatness. He is also interested in teaching and hopes to become a professor.

Fun Fact: Ebuka enjoys woodwork, watching and playing all sport (especially football (soccer), american football, and basketball), playing the guitar, making beats, snowboarding, movies, and many more.
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Graduate Research Assistant

Institution: Iowa State University
Education: B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. M.S. in Agricultural & Biological Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Maurice Washington is a native of Camp Springs, MD and is a product of the Prince George’s County public school system. He’s a 2009 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. He began his graduate work at Penn State University, where he graduated in 2012 with his M.S. Mr. Washington, is currently entering his third year as a Ph.D. Student at Iowa State University in the department of Agricultural & Biosystems engineering. His work focuses on water quality, specifically investigating the transport mechanisms of emerging contaminants in subsurface soils. His career goals are to continue to work in water quality while gaining experience in Ag policy. Ultimately, he wishes to return to NC A&T as a researcher/professor and to recruit more minorities into the STEM disciplines.

Fun Fact: I love fishing, cooking, and I’m an avid collector of vinyl records.
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: Harvard University
Education: J.D. in Law from UCLA. M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA. B.A. in Psychology from Morehouse College.

Gregory Davis is a native of Detroit, MI and a proud graduate of Detroit Public Schools. Having finished his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Morehouse College, as well as his law and master’s degree in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, Gregory will begin his doctoral studies at Harvard University studying African-American Studies with a heavy concentration in psychology this fall. In his science, Gregory studies admissions and hiring and the social psychology behind evaluations, selections, diversity, and inclusion. Gregory combines his experimental research with a keen eye to legal and policy subjects like affirmative action and meritocracy. He also does advocacy for students of color and LGBT groups and is an avid cultural critic.

Fun Fact: Gregory loves movies and television – and will debate endlessly the tropes and contours of things like Spike Lee, Scandal, or superheroes. Also, being 6’9″, I am often mistaken for an athlete, so I often have to bust my brain out for people to show I am more than my height!
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Educational Administrator

Institution: St. Louis University
Education: Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from St. Louis University. M.B.A in Finance from Webster University. B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Langston University.

Mark was raised in a two-parent home by doctors and has one sister. He is a St. Louis native and attended University City High School in St. Louis, Missouri. He enrolled in college courses at Langston University in Oklahoma during his senior year, completing most of his freshman year of college by the time he graduated high school in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree in three years. Mark went on to do very well at the collegiate level, pledging into the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at age 17, becoming one of the youngest members in the fraternity’s history, earning several awards, including highest GPA in the national fraternity for the 2002-2003 school year. While earning a M.B.A.. degree from Webster University in Saint Louis at age 23, Mark began his career in education as a high school teacher. He quickly moved up the career ladder in subsequent roles such as vocational administrator for agricultural programs and vice principal. He is also licensed for the educational roles of principal and superintendent. Currently, Mark is a doctoral candidate at St. Louis University. His dissertation research focuses on the perceptions and experiences of black male superintendents.

Fun Fact: Mark serves as a deacon at the New Sunny Mount Baptist Church in St. Louis. He is also a member of the Prince Hall Freemasons and founder of the St. Louis Greek Picnic organization. His Ghanaian name is Kweku Afedzi. He enjoys car shows, road trips, HBCU football classics, and marching bands. Although he believes Langston University is the greatest HBCU overall, he is a firm believer that Jackson State and Southern Universities have the best marching bands in the world. He would love to return to Africa sometime (he’s been eight times with his family), preferably to view the pyramids at sunset in Egypt for part one of a three-part honeymoon with the wife of his dreams.
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Doctoral Candidate

Institution: Northwestern University – Feinberg School of Medicine
Education: Ph.D. in Life Sciecnes from Northwestern University. B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College.

Miles Fuller is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Life Sciences at Northwestern University. As a member of the Layden Lab in the Endocrinology Department, he is working to elucidate role of the gut microbiome in regulating β cell function in an effort to gain insight into new therapies to address metabolic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes. As an undergraduate, he was successful in winning numerous awards for his research presentations at national conferences, a trend that he has continued in his short time at Northwestern. Miles currently serves as the Recruiting Relations Officer for Northwestern’s Advanced Degree Consulting Alliance to strengthen the institution’s network with firms interested in hiring doctoral graduates. He has also served as the Financial Coordinator on the executive board of the Black Graduate Student Association, where he worked to build meaningful relationships with the graduate school administration and students of color.

Fun Fact: If scientists are supposed to be boring, then someone should have told me. I’m always ready to try new things. I have modeled, bartended, sailed the pacific, and even shot a music video. While I enjoy presenting my research at science conferences, I’d rather torture the audience in the karaoke bar. Life is full of new experiences, so I try one every now and then.
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Institution: University of Southern California
Education: M.S. in Robotics from University of Birmingham. B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Emmanuel graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a degree in Computer Engineering.  He has distinguished himself both as a scholar and leader. Emmanuel has served in various leadership roles such as President of the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Chancellor’s Academic Review Commission, and the Regional Board of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). During summer breaks from his studies at A&T, he conducted research in robotics at the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. As the first North Carolina A&T State University Fulbright Student Awardee, Emmanuel completed a Master’s Degree in robotics at the University of Birmingham in England. He is currently interning at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and looking forward to continuing his graduate studies at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2014 as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

Fun Fact: I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and sharing new ideas.
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Ph.D. Student

Institution: Washington University in St. Louis
Education: B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College. B.S. in Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Jabari is a current graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Originally from Stone Mountain, GA, Jabari went to Morehouse College for undergraduate studies after graduating Stephenson High School in 2008. While at Morehouse Jabari received a bachelors degree in both biology and chemistry. It was here Jabari became interested in research while working in a crystallography lab on campus. Jabari went on to complete two REU programs at Princeton in 2010 and Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, where he ultimately ended up pursuing his Ph.D.. Jabari now studies the role of viral proteins involved in host immune evasion through structural and biochemical studies.

Fun Fact: Jabari loves playing golf and plays 5 instruments.
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Graduate Assistant

Institution: University of Florida
Education: B.S. in Civil Engineering from University of South Florida.

Christopher Alexander graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering in 2010. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida where he will obtain a master’s of science in civil engineering and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. His research aims to develop a device that can non-destructively detect corrosion in bridge tendons using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. His interests include alternative energy, electrochemistry, and structural health monitoring.

Fun Fact: Christopher loves to travel and spends his free time trying various outdoor activities including jet-skiing, biking, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing, and scuba diving.
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Ph.D. Student in educational psychology

Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Education: B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana.

As a second year doctoral student in UC Berkeley’s school psychology program, Roberson’s research spans the fields of education and psychology to examine the relationship between academic achievement and positive, non-cognitive, psychosocial variables that have been identified as important contributors to high functioning such as resilience, grit, self-efficacy, and mind-sets. His research aims to identify the psychosocial variables that enable high achieving, low-income minority students to overcome adversity and excel in academics despite living in degenerate environments, to help close the pervasive achievement gap between majority and minority group members.

Fun Fact: Cyrell can be spotted in movies such as 21 Jump Street and The Campaign. He’s also a menswear enthusiast. He has a men’s fashion and lifestyle blog, Lux & Lennox. Cyrell also plans to one day move back to his favorite city, London, and make it his permanent home.
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Ph.D. Candidate

Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Education: B.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Robert was raised in Prince George’s County Maryland. His childhood experiences shaped his interest in computer science, especially in using technology to improve the retention, dissemination, and learning of students in engineering. His research broadly focuses on human computer interaction. He has done research in computer science education, judgement and decision making, and visualization and design. He has previously conducted research at Northwestern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and IBM Research Almaden. Currently, Robert is in his fourth year of his doctorate degree at UIUC. His work focuses on classroom response systems in both physical classrooms and online classrooms. Outside of research, Robert is the President of UIUC’s Computer Science Graduate Student Organization, a huge DC sports fan, and a graduate student mentor.

Fun Fact: Robert enjoys playing basketball, golf, and tennis. He has licensed software based on his work on hybrid cognitive task analysis. He is also thankful to be in a healthy relationship with his best friend, also a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology.
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Ph.D./M.B.A.. Graduate Student

Institution: Wake Forest School of Medicine
Education: B.S. in Biological Sciences from Louisiana State University.

Bryan A. Wilson, B.S. is currently a Ph.D./M.B.A.. graduate student in Molecular Medicine and Translational Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wake Forest School of Business in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Bryan’s research utilizes innovative science techniques to explore how dysregulation of blood pressure, contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. As a nationally recognized science trainee, Bryan has presented his research at numerous national meetings and has won awards for his science excellence including the 2014 Endocrine Society’s Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology Research award and the 2013 Intersociety Council for Pathology Information award. Bryan is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and received his B.S. in Biological Sciences and Nutritional Sciences from Louisiana State University in 2008. Upon graduating from LSU, he was awarded the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award/Certification in Biological Sciences, demonstrating proficiency in written, spoken, visual, and technological communication in Biological/Nutritional Sciences.

Fun Fact: Aside from his laboratories studies, Bryan supplements his passion for research through the generation of science oriented media outlets. Bryan is an award winning science journalist and has held several science media positions. Some of these include serving as the official media blogger/representative for the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) since 2012, where his service earned him the inaugural 2014 ASIP Executive Award for Media Outreach. Additionally he has served as a media representative/blogger for the Endocrine Society and serves on their Minority Affairs Committee where he highlights the research and accomplishments of under-represented science/medical trainees, fellows and investigators. He currently serves as editor-in-chief his own science media website titled Science Reflections.
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Ph.D. Student in Materials Science and Engineering

Institution: University of Michigan
Education: Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Michigan. B.S. in Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Andre was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. At Morehouse College he was a John Hopps Defense Research Scholar, MBRS RISE Scholar, elected a member of Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. During his first year as a graduate student at the University of Michigan Andre was awarded the Rackham Merit Fellowship, GEM Fellowship, and the National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) Fellowship. He was also able to publish his first article in his first year of graduate school. His current research is characterizing structural changes that arise in the polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide (PEO-PPO-PEO) amphiphilic triblock copolymers as a function of temperature through Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). He is also measuring how adding small amounts of ternary additive drugs perturb the structure and the driving force for micelle formation in aqueous PEO-PPO-PEO solutions with different block lengths.

Fun Fact: In his spare time, Andre LOVES to play many sports (Basketball, Football, Softball, Dodgeball, Table Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Whirlyball, Broomball, Paintball, Foosball, Miniature Golf, Bowling, and Go-Cart Racing). He was also born left handed but over time he became ambidextrous. Andre will also be the first doctor in his family.
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Ph.D Student

Institution: Emory University
Education: B.S. in Chemistry / Minor in Mathematics from Morehouse College.

Wallace is a research assistant at the Emerson Center for Scientific Computation at Emory University. His research utilizes mathematical models, and high-performance computing to simulate dynamic chemical phenomena. He is currently interested in developing new density functional techniques in order to further our understanding of molecular excited states. Wallace was recently awarded the highly prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which supports outstanding students in the science, engineering, technology, and mathematics disciplines currently pursuing research based graduate degrees. He is also interested in youth outreach and is currently volunteering at Conley Hills Elementary School to help strengthen their STEM education program.

Fun Fact: He enjoys collecting vinyl records. Old classics and new hits, everything is spinning on his turntable.
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IT Project Manager

Institution: Accenture
Education: M.S. in Engineering Physics from University of Virginia. B.S. in Physics from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Darrell Gullatt took his science and engineering education to the world of technology. After completing his master’s thesis on Silicon Carbide formation via laser ablation, he shifted paths to utilize his problem solving skills in the business world. As an IT Consultant at Accenture, he has worked with the federal government to help implement IT solutions that make their business run smoother. As the government continually looks for ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost, he has been one of their partners at the IRS, US Mint, US Postal Service. On the commercial side, he also worked with Disney to help improve their customer experience through digital technology. He enjoys the unique challenge that every IT project brings, and the satisfaction that comes when his clients are finally able to solve a critical business problem once that project is complete.

Fun Fact: Darrell is married to the city of Washington DC. You can find him at various events across the city such as Jazz in the Garden, Hill Country Backyard Barbecue, or even Yoga on the Mall. He also enjoys impacting the community in a positive way. Most recently, he coordinated a fundraiser for his firm that raised $67k for the local Junior Achievement branch.
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Environmental, Health, and Safety Engineer

Institution: General Electric
Education: M.S. in Environmental Engineering from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

C is a native from Virginia Beach, Va where he developed a love for water. His passion for water and reading about diets as he began his journey as a pescatarian led him to study chemical engineering. Through industry experience and service learning trips, C decided to further his education by studying environmental engineering. C now works an EHS engineer where he focuses on recycling and employee health.

Fun Fact: C is an adrenaline junk and an avid volunteer. He just completed a 150 mile bicycle ride to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.
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Teaching Assistant

Institution: Howard University
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science from Howard University. M.S. in Computer Science from Norfolk State University. B.A. in Computer and Information Science from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.

I am a Ph.D. Student at the Department of Computer Science at Howard University. I am working in the area of Cyber security. My research interest involves exploring better ways of securing electric health records and Cloud computing Security. I am also a Teaching Assistant.

Fun Fact: When i’m not working on my research project or grading papers, I love attending Jazz concerts!! and working out. I am also involved in my church choir.
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Dual PharmD/M.S Candidate-Pharmacy Intern, Research Intern

Institution: Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Education: M.S. in Biotechnology/Chemical Sciences from Roosevelt University. M.S. in Clinical Research from Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Saint Xavier University.

Alex completed several biomedical and health disparities research summer programs, as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and M.A.RC Scholar, at Northwestern University, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Nebraska, and University of Iowa. After graduation, Alex completed a Post-Baccalaureate Research Scholars Program at the University of Chicago-Department of Molecular Genetics and received an ORISE Research Fellowship appointment at the U.S EPA Chicago Regional Laboratory. While completing his M.S in Biotechnology at Roosevelt, he was a research assistant at Northshore Behavior Genetics Unit and the only 2010 BIO Fellow recipient with a M.S degree. The first African-American male to complete a NIH Minority Health & Health Disparities International Research Training Program at the University of Cambridge-Department of Genetics. At UNC-Chapel Hill, he was a research scientist studying influenza A trapping in human airway mucus. Currently, he’s a 1st year PharmD/M.S. clinical research candidate with career interest in pharmacogenomics research.

Fun Fact: Alex is a Chicago native, high school All-City pitcher, and professional gospel and jazz drummer. He received 1st place in his very first science fair competition “The tomato growing process” thanks to his mom. Alex loved going to the Museum of Science & Industry, where his dad purchased his first chemistry set. Alex started college on first year academic probation for low ACT scores but received Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities & Colleges 2003 and nominated for the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award 2003 at Saint Xavier University. While at the University of Chicago, Alex had the pleasure to learn western blots from child prodigy Sho Yano, the youngest person to receive MD/Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Invited twice as a University Inaugural Scholar for President Obama Inaugural Ceremony. The first to establish three chapters of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at Saint Xavier, Roosevelt, and Campbell University. Currently, Alex aka “Scholar” is establishing an innovative science outreach program at Campbell University called BrainSTEM to engage and introduce minority males to STEM careers through hip-hop music. Alex “Scholar” loved to rap in elementary and high school and is using his past struggles and triumphs to help others see the connections between science and the arts. He is working on a documentary with his sister titled “N.E.R.D.S” that caught the eye of Storyhunters/POV, which captures the inspiring stories of four black men reaching back into their communities through music, community empowerment, and academics to bridge the education achievement gap among African-American males.
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Graduate Marriage & Family Therapist

Institution: Virginia Tech
Education: M.A. in Psychology from North Carolina Central University. B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina Central University.

After a successful career in software sales, Leonard Sturdivant (Len) decided to go back to school to pursue his masters in psychology from North Carolina Central University with the intent of becoming a therapist. Upon completion of the masters in 2010, the thought of completing a doctorate in marriage and family therapy would give him more political weight and stronger voice than with just a masters degree. Fast forward to the oldest marriage and family therapy (R1) doctoral program at Virginia Tech, and the fruition of his dreams of becoming a therapist would begin to manifest. Three published articles and a book chapter provided the impetus for his dissertation on marital reconciliation in couples considering divorce, a much needed service in the black community. With a passion and desire to help black families, his clinic will be serving the community of Durham, NC upon graduation from Virginia Tech (2015).

Fun Fact: Avid tennis player and jazz enthusiast, Len loves to spend time with people sharing knowledge and lecturing all around the country about white validation syndrome and the effects on African Americans throughout the diaspora.
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Ph.D Student

Institution: Howard University
Education: M.A. in Psychological Anthropology from University of Memphis. B.S. in Biomedical Illustration from University of Memphis.

I am currently a Ph.D Student at Howard University under the John H. Johnson School of Communication, Culture and Media Studies with a research interest in Health Communication. My primary research interest involves exploring and analyze front stage(physician-patient) and back stage(physician-staff/patient-family) communication phenomenon as a tool that influences an individual or a community decision regarding about health as a minority population in the United States.  As an African American social science scholar, I desire to study/investigate how African Americans and other minorities engage in communication behavior (face to face, media, storytelling, utilize symbols) as ways develop and share meanings about health that address communication and cultural issues.  My other research interests involve conversation engagement and health behavior of African Americans, African American health discourse & cultural interpretation phenomenon, and Health Narratives.

Fun Fact: During my spare time, I enjoy working out, traveling, reading, engaging in conversations about health, art and education. In addition, I volunteer my time with various social organizations to uplift young people as a role model and leader. I am a proud member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.
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Manufacturing Engineer

Institution: International Automotive Components
Education: B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from University of Michigan.

Michael is a Manufacturing Engineer International Automotive Components, a tier 1 supplier of interiors for the auto industry. He works on a team that assures injection molding tools operate efficiently and produce good parts as well as providing technical support with any issues that arise during the manufacturing process.

Fun Fact: Michael enjoys learning new things. One of his favorite hobbies is language exchange with people from all over the world. His favorite language is Mandarin Chinese followed by Korean. He also had never been on a plane before but decided to take his first flight to South Korea by himself. It was a 20 hour flight.
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Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin

Institution: Iowa State University
Education: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Howard University.

Brandon hails from Marietta, Georgia by way of Mobile, Alabama and Duncanville Texas. As an electrical engineer by degree, he currently acts as a system engineer at Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida. His systems engineering experience ranges from requirement development, product simulation, sub-system integration and testing, user training and product delivery. He is a part time student at Iowa State University where he is obtaining his Masters of Engineering in Information Assurance. His plan is to use his experience with system planning, testing and integration to streamline the management of project development for secure systems.

Fun Fact: Brandon enjoys living life in the moment by focusing on physical, mental and social fitness. His favorite activities involve exploring different countries, cultures and styles of art. This has led him to his love for a variety of music, food, craft beer and people of the world.
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Executive Director

Institution: STEMNETICS
Education: B.S. in Engineering from University of Michigan.

Seun started his professional career as a Senior Electrical Engineer at Motorola Mobile Devices, where he focused on audio circuitry and accessory compatibility.  He has always nursed a keen interest in giving back to his community and youth mentorship. Seun went on to co-found the Chicago-based non-profit, Project SYNCERE, with the mission to increase the number of minority, female and underserved students pursuing careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  At Project SYNCERE, Seun served as the Director of Programs where he oversaw the development and implementation of all programs.   Seun is currently at the helm of affairs at STEMNETICS, based in Michigan, where he is the Executive Director.  The mission of STEMNETICS is to prepare students with 21st Century Skills through the utilization of hands on activities.

Fun Fact: Climbed to the top of the Great Wall of China at temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It was his last day in Beijing.
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Technical Software Consultant

Institution: AirWatch (a VC backed software company)
Education: B.S. in Physics from Morehouse College. B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan.

Dwight is a young innovator from Compton and Long Beach, California. As a young innovator, he has the ability to see the future, has uncanny expertise in focus, and courageously and powerfully moves toward the objective even if it means overcoming extraordinary challenges in the face of failure. Dwight has been a research assistant at UC Berkeley and University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, and has worked for Goldman Sachs. He has published a paper in Germany entitled Inkjet Printed Resistive Temperature Detectors for Biological Microfluidic Applications. His current project is working with Echoing Green fellows to harness the innate hustle, skill, and creativity of communities not typically targeted for innovation and catalyze the power of communities to determine their own future. Dwight is currently prepping himself for doctoral programs.

Fun Fact: I enjoy exploring the intersection of the creative world and tech, big data, and private equity. I was training for the LA Marathon in middle school and ran track for Morehouse College. I enjoy basketball, soccer, and Salsa dancing. Oh, I’m also a beach bum.
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Systems Engineer

Institution: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Education: B.S. in Applied Physics from Morehouse College. B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan.

Bakari hails from a tiny town in South Carolina called Pendleton. He is currently employed at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a systems engineer. His work involves developing cutting-edge sea-, air-, and spaceborne technologies that enhance the country’s capabilities in key areas of national defense. Bakari will soon return to school to pursue a Ph.D. in robotics.

Fun Fact: I’ve been racing bicycle motocross for 14 years (currently taking a hiatus). I was sponsored by Factory Supercross, ranked 6th in the nation, and 9th at the World Championships in Australia. When I’m not dreaming of traveling to Mars as an Astronaut, I can be found doing the Lindy Hop, Balboa, teaching myself Hindi, or working on side engineering projects and inventions.
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US Navy Engineering Duty Officer

Institution: Naval Postgraduate School
Education: B.S. in Physics from Morehouse College.

In December of 2008 Yemi received a Bachelor of Science in Physics and was commissioned in the United States Navy. His first assignment was as the STRIKE Officer onboard the USS FITZGERALD from 2008 to 2010 where he managed 11 personnel as well as the maintenance and upkeep of 90 missiles for a Forward Deployed ship. His next assignment was to be the Executive Officer and Weapons for PC Crew Alpha from 2010 to 2012. There he administravely and operationally managaed 30 Sailors throughout a deployment to the Arabian Gulf conducting Aircraft Carrier escort duties, Oil Platform Defense and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure. Yemi currently attends the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, CA pursuing a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering. On-campus he serves as the Community Service Chair for the National Naval Officer Association, Monterey Chapter where he oversees the “Breakfast For Your Brain” program which services the Monterey Peninsula with free tutoring on a weekly basis.

Fun Fact: -Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc -Sportbike Rider -BBQ Pro! -DJ house music -Baltimore Ravens Fan

Army Space Operations Officer

Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Education: B.S. in Physics from United States Military Academy.

Julian is an Army Space Operations Officer with over nine years of active duty service. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2005. Julian deployed to Iraq as a Signal Officer for 15 months in 2006-2007 and 11 months in 2009-2010. He also spent two years serving in the Army 1st Space Brigade. Julian is currently a Master’s Candidate entering his second year of study at the University of Pennsylvania. Julian’s next assignment will be teaching undergraduate physics courses at West Point. His career goals are to become a NASA Astronaut and an executive business leader.

Fun Fact: Julian loves to scuba dive and plans to obtain his rescue diver certification in the future. He also formerly played trumpet for nine years and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Space.
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Lead Application Developer

Institution: Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, UC Davis
Education: B.S. in Computer Science from Sonoma State University.

Rudi De Marco Ramey completed his undergraduate studies in Northern California wine country at Sonoma State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Rudi now has over 7 years of hands on experience with the complete software development life cycle and multi-tier application development. Rudi has had the opportunity to apply his education and skills developing innovative software solutions with an emphasis in environmental information management systems for Fortune 500 companies and now laboratory informatics. He is currently the Lead Application Developer for Crocker Nuclear Laboratory (CNL), an Organized Research Unit (ORU) at UC Davis. CNL conducts aerosol sampling for the Interagency Monitoring for Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE), a long-term environmental monitoring program.

Fun Fact: Prior to pursuing a degree and career in Computer Science, Rudi participated in the local Bay Area music scene for several years and worked out of various recording studios as a song writer, producer and recording engineer. While attending Sonoma State University, Rudi also did minor studies in jazz theory and recording arts. Although he isn’t doing much music these days, Rudi has a new found passion for traveling the world and experiencing new cultures and food (he is a huge foodie), and has been to several countries including China, Thailand, Brazil, Italy and more.
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Designer/Web Producer

Institution: San Francisco Chronicle
Education: B.A. in Mass Communication from Grambling State University.

An Inglewood, Ca. native, Grant understood the value of education a little too well, having attended Grambling State University as a Visual Communication major and Savannah College of Art and Design in Digital Arts. It wasn’t enough. He dotted the country with print design internships throughout his college years; most notably The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, The Baltimore Sun and The Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Still wasn’t enough. In recent years he carved out time to learn Front-End web development while designing for print editorial and is now bringing UI/UX design skill to the San Francisco Chronicle as they make a digital push in the world’s leading tech market. Meanwhile he’s still adding to that education by way of coding bootcamps and hackathons, and educating young people of color on how to design/code through mentorship. (NOTE: Continuing school and is enrolled to complete final coursework at Grambling this December 2014 – form would not send without specifying degree)

Fun Fact: – Scorpio – Reads Esquire religiously. – Is practically ambidextrous. – At age 32, has lived in 6 cities. – Entrepreneurial spirit. – Son of a custom hardwood floor contractor/designer/installer. (which means he works well with a hammer and nail) (which also means he’s good at fixing things that break)
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