In the 20 years that I have been a faculty member in the Biology Department at Spelman College and at Dillard University and currently in the School of Science and Technology at Georgia Gwinnett College, I have developed a solid record of assisting undergraduates in the preparatory steps to enter their next level of training at the graduate and professional school level. Of the 26 students who worked on research projects under my guidance:
• eleven have completed doctoral programs (one in History, now self-employed in oil and gas industry),
• two are postdoctoral fellows,
• twelve have completed medical or podiatry school,
• one completed the U.S. Army nursing training program,
• one is employed as a laboratory manager in the Science Department at a state university in Georgia,
• one is employed as a triage coordinator for a non-profit low-income clinic in Duluth, GA, and
• one former trainee has not maintained contact.
I have served as an academic advisor for approximately 300 other undergraduate students and have assisted students from other institutions in identifying research mentors.
In 2003, I accepted the invitation of the Director, Isabella Finkelstein, Ph.D. to serve as the Associate Director of the Atlanta University Center-wide MARC-U*STAR Program which provided the opportunity to consider the impact of a variety of intervention strategies. At Spelman College, I had an impact on the outcomes of students, but felt my main role was one of nudging students, encouraging them to do and be what they could be….for the “talented tenth.” I attended the first Understand Inventions that Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers workshop in 2007 and realized that there was a great deal of work already published and in progress on student learning and on retention in STEM. I was drawn to Georgia Gwinnett College in 2009 for several reasons including consistent assessment of student learning in courses and the way the administration encourages faculty members to engage in SoTL research and to try out innovative approaches. I earned a M.S. in Educational Research in the fall of 2018 from the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University to bolster my skills in conducting and assessing science education projects.