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Graduate School

Scholars

Current Scholars

Maxwell Akonde

Maxwell Akonde - Epidemiology

GJMPP Date: 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.

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

Faculty Mentor
Carl R. Wells, Ph.D.

Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina

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

Faculty Mentor
Ryan G. Carlson, Ph.D.

Hometown: Adelphi, Maryland

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.

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Brianna R. Cornelius - Linguistics

GJMPP Date: August 2013

Faculty Mentor
Tracey L. Weldon, Ph.D.

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

Career Plans: To conduct research concerning language variation across the globe and apply what I have learned through instruction at the university level

Publications/Presentations: 
Presentation: SUNY - Brockport Graduate conference 2013 – “The Linguistic Power of African-American Women”

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
The GJMPP is a program designed to give future African American professors a head start in their careers by encouraging research, publications and establishing a presence in their respective academic fields while also being a vital point of contact among fellow students as well as potentially influential alumni.

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Brittany Davis - Social Work

GJMPP Date: 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.

 Timothy Blake Hite

Timothy (Blake) Hite - Anthropology

GJMPP Date: 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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Cynthia D. Duncan Joseph - Political Science

GJMPP Date: August 2017

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

Hometown: Buffalo, New York

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.

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Lesley Joseph - Civil Engineering - APOGEE

GJMPP Date: 2019

Hometown:

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yeomin Yoon

Career Plans: Appointment to a private practice and teaching at a university level.

Publications: “Removal of heavy metals from water sources in the developing world with low-cost materials: A review”. Chemosphere Volume 229

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

I am thankful to be in a program with other minority PhD students and to receive funding to pursue my PhD. This program means that I have a great opportunity to be more than I am and a support network to get me there.

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.

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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

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michelle Bryan

Hometown:  Cleveland, Tennessee

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.

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Destiny L. Hemphill – Creative Writing/Poetry

GJMPP Date:  August 2018

Hometown:  Conway, Arkansas

Career Plans:  To pursue tenure track positions in creative writing or English/Literature

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
It is a thrilling opportunity personally, professionally, and politically.  I am honored to be selected as I am confident that it will give me the structure I personally need to deepen the connection between my creative practice and my scholarly work.  Furthermore, I am even more honored to be part of its commitment to making the academy more equitable as well as imagining and enacting the liberator potentials of knowledge production.

Christina Myers

Christina Myers - Mass Communications

GJMPP Date: 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.

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Alana Perez - Poetry

GJMPP Date: 2020

Hometown:

Faculty Mentor:

Career Plan:

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

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Don S. Polite, Jr. - History

GJMPP Date: August 2016

Faculty Mentor
 Matthew D. Childs, Ph.D.

Hometown: Bronx, New York

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

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.

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Benedicth O. Ukhueduan - Biological Sciences

GJMPP Date: August 2017

Hometown: JOS, Plateau State, Nigeria

Faculty Mentor
Rekha Patel, Ph.D.

What does the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program mean to you?
The GJMPP is an opportunity for me to learn the skills I need to become a professor that can have an impact on my community and be a role model for other African American kids hoping to be in my career field in the future.

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Nancy Uriegas - Exercise Science

GJMPP Date: 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.

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Janay Vacharasin - Biomedical Science

GJMPP Date: 2019

Hometown:

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 

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Julian Garcia Walther - Biological Science

GJMPP Date: 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.

 


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