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Graduate School

Scholars

Current Scholars

Maxwell Akonde

Maxwell Akonde - Epidemiology

GJMPP Date: August 2020

Hometown: Sandema - Ghana

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Anthony Alberg

Career Plan: To become a cancer and infectious disease epidemiologist.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP provides both a family and an intellectual resource for me. It is a platform where I hope to connect and collaborate with people not just in the now, but for future activities as well. The workshops, seminars and activities are equally tailored preparing me for my career path.

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Douglas J. Archie III - Clinical-Community Psychology

GJMPP Date: August 2015

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Faculty Mentor
Bret Kloos, Ph.D.

Career Plans: Professorship/Research

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
I believe the GJMPP gives like-minded individuals the opportunity to connect, network and share experiences.  It serves as a way to highlight the accomplishments of African-Americans within the university setting.

shanikque blackwell

Shanikque Blackwell - Health Services Policy & Management

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Abbeville, South Carolina

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Nabil Natafgi

Career Plans: To pursue a professorship and perform research on health disparities and inequities.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP is an opportunity for me to access a network of mentors who can provide solid support and who understand the obstacles that I may encounter as a person of color in the world of academia. This program will allow for me to connect with those from different backgrounds and form interdisciplinary teams to conduct research, as well as pursue training opportunities that will help me hone the skills necessary to gain a professorship.

Mia J Brantley

Mia J. Brantley – Sociology

GJMPP Date:  August 2018

Hometown: Meridian, Mississippi

Career Plans:  To pursue research that addresses health disparities in the United States and the opportunity to teach, mentor, and train the next generation of scholars from underrepresented backgrounds.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
It is not uncommon for many doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds to experience a sense of alienation.  What the GJMPP means to me is that I will have the opportunity find community among a diverse interdisciplinary group of scholars, as well as the training necessary to pursue the professoriate in the future so that I can, in turn, provide a similar sense of community for those who come after me.

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Ramelle Brooks - Voice Performance, Music

GJMPP Date: August 2017

Hometown:Fayetteville, North Carolina

Faculty Mentor
Carl R. Wells, Ph.D.

Career Plans:  Teach college level music

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
I am thankful that a program like this exists.  It is a blessing to have a network of scholars and mentors to help aid and guide you through the doctoral academic process and foster your success.

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Anthony T. Carr - Educational Studies / Counselor Education

GJMPP Date: August 2017

Hometown:Adelphi, Maryland

Faculty Mentor
Ryan G. Carlson, Ph.D.

Career Plans: Professor

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
Opportunity to promote scholarship for ethnic minorities and to be an advocate for their interests in large academic realm.

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Samantha L. Case - Environmental Health Sciences

GJMPP Date: July 2016

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Faculty Mentor 
Jamie Lead, Ph.D.
Jamelle H. Ellis, Ph.D. -(AAPP/GJMPP Alumna)

Career Plans: To pursue a position in risk management and compliance with an emphasis on manufactured goods

Publications/Presentations: Outdoor Urban Nanomaterials: The emergence of a new, integrated, and critical field of study 2016; Science for the Total Environment 7/1/2016 557-558: 740-53

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
An opportunity of mentorship and growth, professional development, a sense of community.

Brittany Crawford

Brittany Crawford - Epidemiology

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Faculty Mentor
Susan Steck

Career Plans: To obtain a position as a molecular and cancer epidemiologist at an academic institution.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP provides me with the opportunity to connect with a diverse and supportive community of professions with similar experiences. I am confident that the networking opportunities, in addition to the workshops and activities, will foster my professional development and prepare me to excel in academia as a professor.

larissa daniels

Larissa Daniels-Hill - Anthropology

GJMPP Date:  August 2021

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Carlina de la Cova

Career Plans:  Public Health

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

The Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program is an opportunity to promote both diversification within the professorate and knowledge proliferation between disciplines. The opportunity to engage with diverse scholarship in this program is beneficial in creating contacts between fields and allows for broader thought and method development in the future.

Brittany Davis- GJMPP

Brittany Davis - Social Work

GJMPP Date: August 2019

Hometown: Bessemer, NC

Faculty Mentor 
Dr. Ronald Pitner

Career Plans: To obtain tenure-track Professor position.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

For me, GJMPP is a safe space for me to learn and grow as an African American PhD student and educator. GJMPP is also a source of financial support that helps me to redirect financial concerns to increased focus and attention on my studies.

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David K. Y. Denteh – Statistics

GJMPP Date:  August 2018 

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Career Plans:  To become a professor of statistics at a leading university

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
I see the program as a mentorship program which will provide an enabling environment to realize dreams.

Franklin Gause

Franklin J. Gause – Special Education

GJMPP Date: August 2018

Hometown: Loris, South Carolina

Career Plans:  To teach collegiate course and produce publications and research in Special Education

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you
It is an honor to be a Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program scholar.  The legacy of Dr. McFadden will live on through the work and scholarship I will demonstrate through my studies.

 Timothy Blake Hite

Timothy (Blake) Hite - Anthropology

GJMPP Date:  August 2020

Hometown: Pembroke, NC

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Courtney Lewis

Career Plans: Tenure Track Professor

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

It means that I am able to meet and work with scholars from various academic disciplines with the same goal; to change the face of academia.

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Akeen L. Hamilton – Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

GJMPP Date:  August 2018

Hometown:  Burlington, North Carolina

Career Plans:  To obtain a Post-Doc appointment for HIV Prevention research

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
I believe that participating in GJMPP will equate to my gaining guidance and support in being a productive member of the professoriate at a university. It is also my belief that the program will be vital to my career success and will help me to develop into an effective mentor and faculty member upon the completion of my degree.

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Theresa M. Harrison – Educational Foundations and Inquiry

GJMPP Date:  August 2018

Hometown: Cleveland, Tennessee

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Michelle Bryan

Career Plans:  To obtain a faculty position in a higher education administration program and continue to conduct research on community engagement

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
GJMPP is very important to me as a doctoral student.  In addition to the necessary financial support to pursue my degree, GJMPP will provide me the guidance, networking, and mentorship needed to accomplish my goals.  I am excited for the opportunity to learn from faculty, alumni, and peers committed to excellence in their fields of study.

marco hernandez

Marco Hernandez - Biology

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katie Kathrein

Career Plan: I would like to teach biology at the undergraduate level, preferentially in an institution with a large population of minority students.

Career Plans: The GMPP is a stepping stone that will help me to gain experience in teaching and mentoring. This way, I can incorporate these skills into my personal tool kit and utilize them while giving back to my future students.

gwendolyn hopper

Gwen Hopper - Analytical Chemistry

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Kings Mountain, North Carolina

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Career Plans:  My career goals involve teaching general chemistry and environmental/aquatic chemistry at the university level while continuing water quality related research. In addition to teaching and research, I would like to work towards making information from scientific research more accessible to the public in terms of what is happening in the sciences, the influence of policy and management, and what this means for specific communities. Outside of academia, I look forward to participating in diversity, equity, and inclusion work within the sciences through outreach programs in under-funded communities

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

To me, the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program is an opportunity to learn more about the foundation of educating others and to gain the necessary skills to achieve my goal of becoming a professor. This program not only minimizes financial worries of students, but also gives us the chance to collaborate, network, and learn from like-minded individuals with similar career interests.

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Cynthia D. Duncan Joseph - Political Science

GJMPP Date: August 2017

Hometown:Buffalo, New York

Faculty Mentor
Todd. C. Shaw, Ph.D.

Career Plans: Teach at a liberal arts four year college/university

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
The Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program means support and engagement.  I look forward to being part of a community that supports the ideas of the scholars and recognizes the importance of giving back to the community outside of higher education.  I am confident that the support from current and previous fellows along with our mentors will be honest and engaging to allow us to take risks and grow from our mistakes without attacking our identity as scholars nor diminishing the importance of our ideas.

christian lampkin

Christian Lampkin - Music - Flute Performance

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley

Career Plans: To teach at a college or university.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP means the opportunity to leave the world better than I found it. It means the chance to honor all people of color that came before me and fought for my right to be educated. It also means having the opportunity to establish the visibility of BIPOC professionals. This program allows me to continue establishing and culturally sustaining my passion for educating Black youth.

kenya moore

Kenya Moore - Exercise Science

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Sanford, Florida

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee

Career Plans: Becoming a professor in a professional Athletic Training educational program; Continue clinical work in Athletic Training.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP is an opportunity to collaborate with a group of other minority scholars and will provide the opportunity for me to have development and training to reach academic/professional success and further my ability to serve my community. This program will help me be a professor with impact and I am grateful for the support and empowerment to excel as a young professional.

Christina Myers

Christina Myers - Mass Communications

GJMPP Date: August 2020

Hometown: Irmo , SC

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Kenneth Campbell

Career Plans: Journalist and Tenure - Track Professor

Publications: “The Movement in the Message: Bob Dylan, Ideology and the Lived Experiences of African Americans During the Civil Rights Movement” – presented at AEJMC Annual Conference 2020

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

GJMPP is an opportunity to be part of a legacy of academic excellence at USC, surrounded by young professionals who are striving to make an impact in scholarship while giving back to our community. I am humbled, honored, and excited to learn from my peers and distinguished faculty.

prince addo

Prince Nii Ossah Addo - Epidemiology

GJMPP Date:  August 2021

Hometown: Accra-Ghana

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Monique J. Brown

Career Plans:  Become a college professor, where I can endeavor to have a positive impact on public health through research and teaching.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

I am convinced that the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program will help me to realize my professional goals and equip me to make the most constructive contribution possible to the lives of others. Furthermore, the faculty mentorship and professional development opportunities will equip me with knowledge and research skills to join the public health experts in the world to combat preventable illnesses such as HIV and other associated mental health conditions, in order to have healthier populations.

alana perez

Alana Perez - Poetry

GJMPP Date: August 2020

Hometown: Providence, RI

Faculty Mentor
Samuel Amadon

Career Plan:  I hope to follow a career that allows me to publish books that incorporate my poetic and academic voices. Currently, I am a Writing Coach for McNair Scholars at Rhode Island College; I hope to continue to help people become better writers. Additionally, I hope to expand my creative pursuits beyond poetry in a way that inspires truth and community building. 

Publications:
hushed pulse, Self-published chapbook, March 2020

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

A community of like-minded scholars drawing from similar backgrounds and shared experiences. It’s an honor to be part of this.

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Don S. Polite, Jr. - History

GJMPP Date: August 2016

Hometown:Bronx, New York

Faculty Mentor
 Matthew D. Childs, Ph.D.

Career Plans: Tenure Track Professor/Director of Cultural Heritage Institution

Publications/Presentations:  
“Reimaging Afro-Puerto Rican Historian Arturo Schomburg” Presentation for African American Intellectual History Society, March 2016, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
An opportunity to learn from and gain access to a network of scholars and professionals who have been in my position

sowmya raghu

Sowmya Raghu - Mechanical Engineering

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Jamil Khan

Career Plans: To become a Professor in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering 

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program has provided me with a great opportunity to further my educational and research endeavors while being amongst a diverse and inclusive group of academics. GJMPP serves as a platform for holistic development of the underrepresented scholars who call “Carolina Their Home” with a breadth of professional development activities, mentorship, service opportunities, and more, to ensure the scholar’s continued success. It is an honor to be a part of the GJMPP program representing India and Women in STEM.

Lauren Reid GJMPP Scholar Headshot

Lauren D. Reid - Public Health/Epidemiology

GJMPP Date: August 2017

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Faculty Mentor
Angela D. Liese, Ph.D.

Career Plans: University Professor and Director of Health Department

Publications/ Presentations:  “Hot Fitness Trends to promote health and physical activity in minority communities”, Symposium presented at American College of Sports Medicine conference, June 2017

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
It is a wonderful opportunity to network with minority Ph.D. students at USC while building my curriculum vitae to prepare me for a career in academia.

Nancy Uriegas

Nancy Uriegas - Exercise Science

GJMPP Date: August 2019

Hometown: Humble, TX

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee

Major: Exercise Science

Career Plans: To pursue research that focuses on Feeding and Eating, Athletic Triad and Energy Availability in performing arts, and athletics,  and to teach within a professional Athletic Training Program.

Publications: “Perceived Gastrointestinal Distress Symptoms Among University Marching Band Musicians” – Journal of Athletic Training, 2019

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you? 
GJMPP means support and opportunity to excel in higher education and research as a minority.  I firmly believe that being a part of this program will motivate me to be a better student, and a true mentor and role model for upcoming minority scholars.

janay vacharasin

Janay Vacharasin - Biomedical Science

GJMPP Date: August 2019

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Sofia Lizarraga

Career Plans: To be a professor.

Publications: “Unlocking the Secrets of the RNF 138 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase during HR Mediated Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks”; “Elucidating the Role of TMF1 in Neuronal Development”

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

This program will help me develop towards my goal of becoming a professor, while at the same time I can stay engaged with my community and develop my transferable skills.

denetra walker

Denetra D. Walker – Journalism and Mass Communications

GJMPP Date:  August 2018

Hometown:  Houston, Texas

Career Plans:  Professor

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?

It’s a great opportunity to learn, network and fellowship with a diverse group of professionals who strengthen and diversify academia 

julian garcia walther

Julián García Walther - Biological Science

GJMPP Date: August 2019

Hometown: Mexico

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Nathan Senner

Career Plans: Work in academia and in nature conservation related projects.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
The GJMPP program is a springboard that can help me develop in areas of teaching, research, and service early in my career. Also, it is a community of people with whom I have built friendships with, and hope to create collaborations with, for years to come.

 

serge wandji

Serge Wandji - Nursing Science

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Douala, Cameroon

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Demetrius Abshire

Career Plans: Professorship, and conducting population health Research in underserved rural communities in the South of the United States and in Africa. 

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
The Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program to me, means quality professoriate development and greater scholarly connectivity. The GJMPP is a growing University-wide, and transdisciplinary scholarship that facilitate a dynamic shared-learning environment among minority scholars; thereby creating a synergetic platform that promotes growth and fluency in integrative scholarly thinking. I seek to strengthen my leadership abilities in holistic methodology, integrative strategies and practical mentoring and coaching.

james white

James White III - Exercise Science

GJMPP Date: August 2021

Hometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina

Faculty Mentor
Dr. Glenn Weaver

Career Plans: To pursue a career in academia.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
As an aspiring professor, the GJMPP means an opportunity to gain additional preparation for my future career within a vibrant, growing community. Moreover, the program means a chance to fellowship with faculty, staff, scholars, and alumni associated with the program, as well as an opportunity to gain financial and academic support for my graduate studies. I am excited to learn and grow within this community as I pursue my PhD


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