Tell us a little bit about yourself I attended the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, FL (#GoKnights!). I...
1st Year PhD Student
Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
I thought I would be an obstetrician after watching episodes of the Cosby show. I’m still a doctor, just not the kind that works with babies! I graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelors degree in Biology.
How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?
I LOVED science in middle and high school. While other students dreaded dissections and experimentation, I always looked forward to those classes.
After grad school, what’s next?
I will apply for a fellowship to work at the NIH for a year and hopefully use that as a stepping-stone into government.
What do you do to unwind?
I either binge-watch my favorite shows on Netflix or sleep!
My Grad School Experience
Why did you choose to go to Grad School?
I chose to go to grad school to become fully trained and prepared to meet my career goal which is to use my research to implement government policies of the public and private health sectors that affect men and women of reproductive age. I’m also interested in environmental and reproductive toxicology, maternal and fetal health, translational genetics and reproductive organ development and functioning. Having my PhD will give me the freedom to explore these areas. I want my research to influence the community and I want to be a leading researcher and scientist in my field. I also want to mentor young girls to instill in them that they can do anything they put their minds to.
Do you ever feel discouraged? How do you get around that?
Yes, I have felt discouraged more times than I can count. I’ve thought about quitting so many times and I’ve wondered if I was competent enough. I look around me at my friends and old classmates as they get married and have kids and I’m STILL in school. However, there is something in me that won’t quit—I can’t. I have been through so much, too much, to leave my dream unfulfilled. I have survived Hurricane Katrina, constant displacement, abuse (physical, mental and emotional), homeless shelters and the uncertainties of direction and purpose. In order to overcome discouragement, I remember that I do indeed have a purpose, a calling greater than I can imagine. I also remember that I’m on this journey for the future generations, friends who are inspired by me and family members that look up to me. When I do feel discouraged, I cry, I fuss, I call my mother or my best friends to vent and then I cry all over again. After the tears have dried, I drop to my knees and I pray. I ask for strength, guidance and perseverance to finish the race.
Who are some of your biggest cheerleaders?
My biggest cheerleaders include: my mother, my best friends, my mentors and advisors from undergrad. My graduate program advisors and mentors are also on the squad.
What do you want to say to upcoming MelaninGenius?
KEEP GOING. You got this.
What has been the most useful life advice you have received?
What is for you will always be for you. No person or thing can block what is for you.
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