Johns Hopkins University was inducted as an institutional member of the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in April 2018. Named for the first African American in the United States to receive a PhD, the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society seeks to develop a network of pre-eminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who traditionally have been underrepresented in higher education. It was co-founded in 2005 by Yale University—where Bouchet, a physicist and educator earned his doctorate in 1876—and Howard University to recognize and continue Bouchet’s pioneering contributions to doctoral education.
The 2020 nomination process is CLOSED. The process for 2021 nominations will open Fall 2020.
All PhD students who are All But Dissertation (ABD) by January 1, 2021 will be eligible to nominate themselves for consideration as 2021 inductees. All But Dissertation means that the student has finished all required coursework and passed all required qualifying and preliminary exams and is working on the dissertation research itself. These self-nominations must include the following:
Inductees are expected to attend the JHU Induction Ceremony and to present at the Annual Bouchet Conference in April in New Haven. Travel to the conference covered by JHU.
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Johns Hopkins has selected its 2020 class of PhD student inductees to the Bouchet Honor Society. These students exemplify the Bouchet qualities of outstanding scholarly achievement and the promotion of diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.
Phillip James Dorsey, PhD
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Dr. Phillip James Dorsey recently completed his doctoral studies in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and is advised by Professor Rebecca Schulman. His research focuses on the development of stimuli-responsive DNA-programmable biomaterials for applications including molecular diagnostics, biodefense, and drug delivery. Phillip has been recognized as a GEM (Graduate Education for Minorities) Fellow and a Whiting School of Engineering Diversity Fellow. Phil is passionate about mentoring young scientists and encouraging students from underrepresented minority backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM research. During his graduate studies, he has mentored and trained students who have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees and served as a campus tour guide and panelist for prospective graduate students groups. Phillip received a B.S.E. in Chemical & Biological Engineering from Princeton University in 2014.
Bria L. Macklin
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Bria L. Macklin is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Bria received her Bachelors of Science from North Carolina A&T State University in bioengineering. Her current research focuses on using stem cells to understand vascular regeneration. Towards this effort Bria has received the National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Award (F31). Bria is passionate about outreach and service and has held many positions during her time at Johns Hopkins. Bria has been a member of the JHU Graduate Representative Organization, The Homewood Graduate Board, and The Vice Provost for Graduate Education Student Advisory Committee. Bria has also been involved in many efforts to increase diversity amongst graduate students and JHU and the academy overall, including serving as co-chair of the Black Graduate Student Association, serving on the Diversity Leadership Council, the Homewood Council for Inclusive Excellence, and a Graduate Diversity Fellow. Bria hopes to continue her career in research and make meaningful contributions to science.
Kelley N. Robinson
Kelley N. Robinson is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Nursing at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON). Her dissertation is focused on examining the associations between housing instability experienced by women during pregnancy and maternal morbidities. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from Yale School of Nursing and a B.A. in Science from Hampton University. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society at Yale School of Nursing and is currently a fellow in the Nurse Faculty for the Future program at JHSON. Her midwifery practice over the last 15 years has included full-scope ob-gyn care in a variety of settings, from private practices to birth centers, and she has extensive experience in maternal/newborn care under both normal and higher risk conditions. Prior to her career as nurse-midwife, Kelley was a clinical faculty at JHSON using her extensive expertise in teaching public health and childbearing family nursing courses. She has a strong passion for improving health outcomes for women in global settings and has traveled to Haiti to participate in short mission trips in her earlier years of practice. Kelley continues to work for improvements in women’s health through her dissertation research and is committed to promoting equal access to quality women’s healthcare from birth to senescence. She currently practices at Baltimore Medical Systems caring for underserved women and voluntarily provides gynecological services on the Baltimore City Department’s Reproductive Health Mobile Van in downtown Baltimore in the nighttime entertainment district.
Ashley N. Stewart
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Ashley N. Stewart is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology with a concentration in metabolism and biochemistry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding how post-translational modifications regulate the structure and function of secreted proteins known as CTRPs, which regulate systemic lipid and glucose homeostasis. Beyond her research, she applies her scientific training through a Business Development Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. There, she helps establish partnerships between pharmaceutical industry partners and Johns Hopkins faculty by proposing research projects based on mutual interests. Through linking industry partners to academic researchers, Ashley helps turn basic and translational science into real-world applications. During her tenure as president of the Biomedical Scholars Association, Ashley has worked to create a more inclusive environment at her institution through a collaborative effort to enhance recruitment of underrepresented minority students across the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and School of Nursing. Within the Baltimore community, she volunteered on the executive board of Shine Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of domestic abuse develop financial independence. There, in her role as Partnership Director, she collaborated with local shelters to organize workshops for their clients. Ashley aims to use her skills in partnerships, business development, and biomedical research to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems in the biotechnology industry.
Elmer A. Zapata-Mercado
Elmer is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Molecular Biophysics (PMB) at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on studying the thermodynamics of lateral interactions of receptor proteins in the plasma membrane of the cell, by employing fluorescence-based techniques. Elmer was the recipient of the Francis D. “Spike” Carlson fellowship, given to outstanding students in PMB. Elmer also completed the requirements to receive the certificate from the Teaching Academy for Preparing Future Faculty. He graduated with honors in Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry, from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus. Elmer has always been interested in obtaining a faculty position, where he could incentivize other minority students to pursue graduate degrees. He also aspires to help bridge the gap between the scientific community and the government through science policy work.
Jawara Allen, PhD
Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Dr. Jawara Allen earned the combined MD and PhD in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research focused on elucidating how Bacteroides fragilis, a gut microbe found in up to 60% of healthy individuals, contributes to the development of colorectal cancer. Jawara received a bachelor of science in biology from Duke University with a focus on genome sciences and policy. As a Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar he organized lectures and events centered around issues of racial disparities and inequality. Afterwards, he worked at the National Institutes of Health as an NIAD INRO fellow and learned more about health disparities as a part of the NIH academy. Jawara was recognized as an HHMI EXROP scholar and an HHMI Gilliam Fellow. Throughout his time at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jawara worked with various organizations to mentor and advocate for individuals underrepresented in science and medicine including MERIT, Thread, the Gertrude Stein Society, the Student National Medical Association and the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program. Jawara plans to pursue a career as a physician scientist, working on issues related to infectious diseases in both the clinic and the laboratory.
Blaine M. Connor
Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, and Biophysics
At the time of induction, Blaine M. Connor was a Ph.D candidate in biology with a focus on neurobiology of the sympathetic nervous system. His research addressed fundamental questions of how essential signaling proteins are transported to their sites of action in polarized sympathetic neurons during nervous system development. Blaine is a recipient of the Nathan Boggs Memorial Fellowship for underrepresented graduate students with academic merit, as well as the Victor Corces Teaching Award for outstanding teaching as a teaching assistant at Johns Hopkins University. Blaine received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Magna cum Laude. Blaine has an insatiable curiosity for science and is humble about learning. He served as a committed mentor who genuinely enjoyed applying his time and effort toward teaching junior students; he is specifically committed to advocating for diversity in STEM fields and identifying avenues to increase opportunities for young, underrepresented students in these disciplines. Blaine volunteered his time toward student recruitment at undergraduate focused conferences such as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and professional development conferences at local universities in Baltimore. Ultimately, Blaine aspires to run his own research group one day, working to better understand how neuro-metabolism influences animal physiology.
At the time she was inducted, Sabianca Delva was a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She is also a recipient of the Ruth Kirschtein F31 fellowship grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund her doctoral work. Her research focused on using mobile health technologies such as Fitbits and smartphone apps for management of cardiovascular diseases in Latinos using a community participatory approach. This process was firmly rooted in the belief that engaging the community will be the key to developing viable solutions to the ever-evolving challenges in health care. Sabianca has years of clinical experience and has witnessed firsthand the hardships immigrants undergo navigating the US healthcare system. The non-English speaking patients often experience structural, cultural and linguistic barriers when accessing the health care system, especially for self-care management of cardiovascular diseases. Because of her commitment to helping the Latino community, Sabianca received several accolades including poster awards at the annual Hopkins Diversity Symposia and the Center for Disease Control Latino Health forum. Sabianca was also an active leader on campus and served as the Newsletter Chair for the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She was also Vice President and President of the PhD Student Association, where she helped to organize professional development programs and promote collegiality among her peers. Sabianca paid it forward while at JHU by mentoring high school students from underrepresented backgrounds in Baltimore City. Her excellent academic record, dynamic leadership and contribution to the community made her an ideal candidate for the Bouchet Society.
Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Sara Haile grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to San Jose, California when she was 15. The cross world move was a culture shock in many ways, including realizing the importance and power of seeing people who look like her being successful. While working on her degrees in Bioengineering and Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (go banana slugs!), Sara developed her two passions: structural biology research and encouraging those underrepresented in science to enter and be successful in STEM. Her interests were fostered by the STEM Diversity Programs, where she received basic scientific training but more importantly, was provided with an environment of driven people with similar backgrounds. When Sara was looking for graduate programs, she sought out a similar atmosphere. Upon arriving at Hopkins, she joined the Biomedical Scholars Association (BSA), the largest student group that supports underrepresented minority graduate students. BSA provided her with a space and community where she felt comfortable expressing herself, and discussing things like imposter syndrome and stereotype threat. Later, in her role as president for the BSA Sara worked hard to ensure that underrepresented minority graduate students felt comfortable and supported to succeed.
History of Medicine
At the time of induction, Ayah Nuriddin was a PhD candidate in History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She served as Dissertation Fellow at the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (CHSTM). She was a Graduate Fellow in the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 2017-18. She holds a Masters in History and Masters of Library Science (MLS) from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation, entitled “Liberation Eugenics: African Americans and the Science of Black Freedom Struggles, 1890-1970,” analyzed African American engagement with eugenics, hereditarian thought, and racial science as part of a broader strategy of racial improvement and black liberation. Ayah aspires to use her scholarship and activism to create space for diverse voices and experiences in the academy.
Maria del Carmen Vitery (Posthumous Inductee)
Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Maria del Carmen Vitery was born in Peru and migrated to the U.S. as a teen. She obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with honors from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins. Maria matriculated in the Cellular and Molecular Physiology program at Hopkins in 2016, where she was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service awardee and made seminal contributions to the understanding of novel chloride channels. Maria’s citizenship and service was exemplary. She was a volunteer on medical missions with the Peruvian American Medical society, Vice President of Policy for the Hopkins Graduate Student Association, Public Relations Chair of the Biomedical Scholars Association, and Secretary of the Hopkins chapter of the Society for Advancing Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Maria selflessly devoted multiple hours each week to children and teens in the Baltimore community, as a mentor for high school students facing significant struggle, teaching science and art to 3rd through 5th grade students, as a child life hospital volunteer, and teaching dance, an activity for which she herself was tremendously skilled. Maria brought joy and compassion to others not only through service, but also in all her daily interactions. Maria’s peers and colleagues remember her as an exceptional scholar, an outstanding leader, a dedicated citizen, and an even greater human being. Her goodness was contagious and she was a light on the mountain top, shining brighter and brighter, who will keep shining in everyone’s hearts.
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