Founder and Director of The FiLS Program
My story begins in Baltimore City, Maryland, where I attended public school from Pre-K through 12th grades. As a child, I was always fascinated by living things. I took my passion to Frostburg State University where I majored in biology. During my sophomore year of college, I was selected to be a Ronald E. McNair Undergraduate Research Fellow and to participate in two summers of paid research at the University of Maryland, College Park. The McNair Program was created to increase the number of underrepresented groups (i.e. minorities, women, low-income, and first generation college students) that participate in higher education and go on to pursue doctorate degrees. After completing the McNair Program and graduating from Frostburg, I began a Ph.D. program in Biology at Georgetown University where I focused on molecular biology.
In the following six years, I defended my thesis, obtained my Ph.D., and began a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NIH, I studied cellular biology and genetics. I am currently an American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology Policy Fellow placed at the National Science Foundation, where I focus on issues in science education.
I hope to share my passion for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) and to create opportunities for students that are underrepresented in the STEM career fields. I know that I did not make it to where I am on my own – my mentors have provided encouragement and guidance when I needed it most. I launched The First Life Science Program as the first step towards achieving my dream of doing for others what people have done for me.