Victoria Adebayo is a physics student from Stone Mountain, Georgia, who is interested in researching quantum computing or entering the medical field as a research oncologist. She chose Howard University because of her desire to attend a Historically Black College where she can learn and grow with the support of other Black students from across the world. Adebayo wants to enter the STEM field so she can find solutions to problems that disproportionally affect the Black diaspora. She looks forward to encouraging other young Black students to enter the STEM field, as well as creating opportunities for them through internships and research opportunities.
Teanna Barrett is a computer science student from Austin, Texas, and the proud daughter of Jamaican immigrants. With her undergraduate degree in computer science, she is committed to obtaining a graduate education in data science. Barrett wants to be in the forefront of cultivating a data-driven society that acknowledges and remedies institutionalized bias, such as racism and sexism. More specifically, she is interested in building data analysis systems that will not only quantitatively define institutional injustice, but also produce its solutions. She chose to attend Howard University because she says it is the ideal community for her to fully realize her goals. Whether it is the thriving Howard West campus or the numerous professor-led research opportunities in the various applications of data science, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science proves that Howard is moving forward to embrace the technological future. Barrett is honored to be a member of the Karsh STEM Scholars Program because she says the organization boldly establishes a legacy for all black STEM students to aspire to. She says the world is now being rebuilt with computer science.She wants to ensure that there are more empowered, Black, and female computer scientists leading the way.
Naomi Calhoun is a chemical engineering student from Snellville, Georgia, who plans to pursue a MD-Ph.D. to be a medical scientist. Her goal is to be someone who discovers new medicine to treat diseases and processes to deliver current medicine. She strives to be the role model for young black girls interested in a research career and to treat people who have access to fewer resources. Calhoun is interested in STEM because she says she is an analytical thinker, and loves solving scientific problems. She chose to attend Howard because of the various resources and opportunities she says are available—from lab spaces to the internship opportunities. Calhoun also says Howard has a rich history and legacy that she is excited and proud to be a part of.
Danielle Chew-Martinez is a New Carrollton, Maryland native, who is studying biology with a dual minor in chemistry and Spanish. Her plan is to obtain an MD-Ph.D. in natural products chemistry in order to research plant-based natural alternatives compared to expensively processed, harmful treatments that are economically unattainable for the disadvantaged. In addition, she wants to establish sustainable wellness centers and clinics in rural communities on an international spectrum. Her dedication and passion for the sciences motivates her to use her interests in STEM to make long-lasting impacts in disadvantaged communities. Chew-Martinez says Howard University is a great place to pursue a STEM degree because it has so many resources and serves to grow their students holistically as they enter their specific career fields.
Dominic Davis is a chemical engineering student from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He aspires to have a career in research and development, as well as academia—eventually becoming a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering. Specifically, he’d like to be a professor at Howard so that he can give back to the school that is currently giving him an opportunity to learn and grow. Davis plans to bring his ideas to life through the invention of new technology for the enhancement of society. Davis says he originally chose Howard because of the pool of great minds that have been developed at Howard and for the vast amount of opportunities, such as research in the Interdisciplinary Research Building. Davis’ desire to study a STEM-related discipline is because it will bring his ideas to life, especially as it relates to technology helping to move society forward.
Ruth Davis is a mechanical engineering major from Houston, Texas, who’s deciding between two disciplines and career options: A doctoral degree so that she can conduct space research and eventually become an astronaut or a dual MD-Ph.D. so that she can conduct research on tropical diseases and treat people in Africa. Davis chose to attend Howard because of the wonderful experiences both her parents had when they attended, as well as the opportunity to be around other Black students with similar goals and spirit of determination. She chose to pursue STEM because she wants to make the greatest impact on the world and believes she has the greatest ability to do that through this field.
Noah Drakes is a computer engineering major and music minor from Atlanta, Georgia. Drakes has an interest in the Internet of Things (also known as IOT) field and hopes to become a senior engineer, developing creative ways to integrate hardware and software to advance the standard of living for many communities. He chose Howard University because of the opportunities it offers students—from internships to personal development—and the many fortune 500 companies within STEM fields that it attracts. Drakes’ primary goal is to become an expert in his discipline, and he believes Howard will amply prepare him to pursue a Ph.D. route with a top graduate program. He chose STEM because he has always possessed an innate affinity toward the field, and his desire is to serve as an inspiration to other young Black males by being one of the few to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and math.
Kwesi Easton is a mechanical engineering student from Laurel, Maryland. His goal at Howard University is to gain knowledge that feeds his desire to understand more about biomedical engineering. Furthermore, with Howard University's rigorous course work , his hope is to pursue an MD-Ph.D. to conduct research on sustainable products in rehabilitation therapy and disease prevention. Howard University is a very nurturing and gifted school that prepares students for real-world problems and applications. Howard University has been a place for his developmental growth and it has been the school where many of his family members were educated. Easton looks forward to reforming how society treats injuries, while also exploring other real-world applications of mechanical engineering and biology. He also hopes to inspire other minority and youth groups, such as athletes, to pursue degrees in the STEM field.
Kymai Ellis is a civil engineering student from Sacramento, California. Ellis chose to study civil engineering because he loves to work with large physical structures. Ellis chose to attend Howard University because of its soulful student body and its extensive worldwide network. In the future, he’s interested in research and development of the optimization of the design of civil structures by use of artificial intelligence. Ellis looks forward to working in STEM because he is fascinated by the advancement of human technology.
Julian Francis is a native of Havre de Grace, Maryland, majoring in mathematics with interests to minor in computer science, sports management and/or political science. Francis has a strong career interest in improving society for the future, regardless of the profession he decides to pursue. He chose to attend Howard not only for the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, but also for its location and the culture of the University. Francis says he has always been interested in the STEM field, with mathematics being his favorite subject. He intends to give back by using any research he collects to better his community and society. What he most looks forward to about being a STEM professional is that he will work in a field that best suits him, while doing work that can benefit the world.
Caleb Freeman is a biology student from Silver Spring, Maryland. His goal is to pursue a career in research in the field of neuroscience. Freeman chose to attend Howard to become a part of the prestigious Karsh STEM Scholars Program and to immerse himself in the diversity of the environment, after attending primarily white schools for his entire life. He chose a STEM-related discipline because it has always been the subjects he most enjoyed and where he excelled academically. The main reason he looks forward to working in the STEM field is because there is always an opportunity for someone to change the world in a big way and advance humanity. This has been one of his aspirations since he was a child, and the STEM field, in his mind, is the best way to accomplish that.
Jonathan Gaither is a native of Rapid City, South Dakota, but most recently resided in Fairfax, Virginia. Gaither is a biology student with an interest in microbiology and bioethics or pursing an MD-Ph.D. professional track. The academic and economic proliferation of the African American and African presence in America is the main reason for his choice to attend Howard University. With the increase in opportunity for students of color to participate in STEM research, Gaither says he saw a chance for him to pursue his interest in biology, while also working toward becoming a voice for the field through application within bioethical questions. Gaither hopes to become a bedrock for his immediate research community and it offering more extensive opportunities to African American students pursuing biological studies.
Aaron Gibbs is a computer engineering student from Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. Gibbs studies computer engineering with plans to become a principal engineer. He chose Howard because of its active campus and diversity among the student body. Gibbs has always enjoyed taking STEM classes because he says there is always something new to discover. In the future, he hopes to be a mentor for other young Black engineers and to help guide someone into the vast world of STEM.
Lethan Hampton is a biology student from Houston, Texas. Hampton is interested in becoming a dermatologist as well as doing cancer research. He chose to attend Howard because he wants an inclusive community composed of African American administrators who will help him achieve his goals for the future. Hampton says he selected a major within the STEM field because of his passion for science from his childhood. As a STEM major, Hampton hopes to become an inspiration to all African American children who doubt their abilities and have yet to discover the purpose for their life. By leading the way and curing a form of cancer, young African American kids will have the motivation and inspiration to be great and make a change in the world.
Ayotimofe “Timofe” Idowu is a biology and community health double major and a French and chemistry double minor, who is originally from Lagos, Nigeria, most recently residing in Baltimore, Maryland. Idowu is dedicated to obtaining an MD-Ph.D. in the field of immunology, specifically neuroimmunology, before practicing medicine in the specialty of neurology. She chose a STEM-related discipline because she considers it a field that encourages continuous learning and growth, thereby providing the basics for further knowledge and skills improvement. Furthermore, it is the field that allows her to conduct research and find the answers for phenomena that exists in the world. Idowu eagerly anticipates being able to use her knowledge in the fields of medicine and science to work in her home country of Nigeria, and eventually around the world, to provide societies with the support needed to alleviate suffering in relation to healthcare.
Carissma McGhee is a physics major and computer science minor, on the astronomy and astrophysics track, from Bear, Delaware. McGhee is dedicated to obtaining a Ph.D. in astrophysics and says Howard University inspires her to reach her full potential. Before being accepted into the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, McGhee served as the first Black female senior intern at Mount Cuba Astronomical Observatory, Delaware’s only nonprofit space research center. In addition, her experience with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and love for the facility with its abundance of research opportunities is a key factor that attracted her to the Washington, D.C. area. During her undergraduate tenure, McGhee is interested in expanding her background in physics through research on a variety of topics, such as gravitational-wave motion, supernova formation, photon jet streams near blazars, and high energy particles released by celestial bodies. She plans to be a part of an expanding cadre of women of color in STEM who bring fresh perspectives and advanced theories to life, while taking on the toughest and most exciting socio-technological issues of this modern era.
Katherin Odugwa is from Dallas, Texas, and intends to pursue a career in the field of trauma as an MD-Ph.D. Odugwa chose to attend Howard for both her love of Howard’s culture and the Washington area. She chose STEM because she has always been fascinated by the sciences. Odugwa looks forward to having the opportunity to change lives for the better and impact the course of the future as a STEM professional. One of such interests is to improve the lives of first responders and the patients that are affected by their well-being.
STEM Scholar, Class of 2023
Trinitee Oliver is a freshman biology major double minoring in chemistry and journalism from Baltimore, Maryland. She is interested in obtaining a combined MD/PhD in the future and becoming a physician scientist. She hopes to spend her clinical time as a pediatrician specializing in either rheumatology, dermatology, or nutritional sciences. Although she is unclear of the research she wants to do, she is adamant about discovering something that will assist her in advancing communities for the sake of children. She has always wanted to give back to communities subject to health disparities like Baltimore by creating sustainable clinics that provide workshops for all classifications of health and discounted medicine for those who cannot afford it. She says that she chose Howard not only because it is the best HBCU in the country, but also because there are so many successful African American professionals that she has met who are alumni of this prestigious institution.
Makayla Ollivierre is a biology student from Bowie, Maryland. She aspires to earn a Ph.D. in microbiology and to also become an orthodontist or oral surgeon. Ollivierre says she chose a STEM-related discipline because of her passion for discovering new things. Learning something new about the world or the universe drives her to work even harder and to find out more about the unknown. She chose Howard because she wants to work and learn with people who not only have the same passions as her, but who look like her and can relate to her experiences. Ollivierre wants to be someone kids can look up to. She says she wants young kids to look at her and say, "she looks like me and has accomplished so much, maybe I can too." Ollivierre wants to instill the same passion she has for STEM into someone else so they can also find joy in new discoveries.
Aaron Patterson is a biology major from Stone Mountain, Georgia. His ultimate career goal is to become a clinical and research psychiatrist, focusing new methods and treatments to combat the nation’s growing mental health crisis. Patterson is passionate about STEM and his coursework will enable him to help people across the country and the world, specifically those who are most in need. He chose Howard not only because it is the largest producer of black STEM professionals, but also because it is a place where every student can help each other to succeed. Patterson believes that what he will enjoy most in his future career will be to see how the conditions of patients improve over time.
Morgan Rameau is a biology major with a double minor in chemistry and psychology from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Her career aspiration is to obtain an MD-Ph.D. so that she can research and treat mental health disorders. She’s also interested in research to find causes and treatments of heart disease. She chose a career in STEM because she says it is a fundamental way to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Advances in STEM work toward helping us all live a better life, and that is something that she dreams of being a part of. Rameau chose to pursue this goal at Howard University because she wanted to be surrounded by students who not only look like her, but also have her same determination and ambition. She looks forward to pursuing her educational and professional goals so that she can help her community and be an inspiration to aspiring STEM professionals.
Katelyn Robertson is a biology (pre-med) student double minoring in chemistry and Spanish, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Robertson’s career interest is to pursue an MD-Ph.D. in neuroscience and become a neurosurgeon, doing research in stem cells. She chose to attend Howard because she says it feels like home. She is confident in Howard's ability to challenge and nurture her, both academically and socially. Robertson says it is a beautiful feeling to see other like-minded individuals who she can identify with, pushing each other for greatness. She’s chosen a career in in STEM because some of her family members have been affected by neurological disorders and diseases. When completing school, clinical, and other things in her career, she says it will not be a job, but a lifestyle to help others. Eventually, she would like to see paraplegics and quadriplegic gain the ability to walk again through stem cell regeneration to help families that have endured similar things that her and her family have endured.
Taylor Southward is a biology student, minoring in Spanish, from Pontiac, Michigan. After reading Dr. Ben Carson’s biography, Gifted Hands, Southward decided she wanted to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon. And after reading stories about individuals who have died in hospitals because of improper conditions, Southward decided to dedicate her time to studying the brain and to make that medical knowledge public information for everyone. Howard University comes along with a reputation for crafting young, black students into their best selves, which she says drew her attention to the University. Southward says she is impressed by the University’s rich history infused within the culture of the school. Most importantly, she decided to pursue a career to address the lack of representation of minorities within the STEM field.
Salim Stewart was born in Chicago, Illinois, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and finally settled down in Detroit, Michigan, where he has been living for the past 10 years, before attending Howard University. Stewart is a biology student with an interest in genetics, as well as doing research on cloning, artificial insemination, and prosthetics. He is leaning toward medical school and becoming a heart surgeon or heart specialist. Stewart decided to come to Howard not only because of the full-ride scholarship offered by the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, but also because he heard so many good things about the University. He chose STEM because of his love for superheroes. Stewart says many superheroes are phenomenal scientists, so for him to be a superhero, he would have to be a phenomenal scientist, too. Stewart looks forward to improving the lives of all people through medicine, prosthetics, and/or cloning.
Iyinoluwa Tugbobo is an Elmont, New York, native studying computer science and minoring in mathematics. Tugbobo is interested in a career as an analyst in cybersecurity and software developer. He chose to come to Howard because of his desire to continue her education in a majority African American environment. He feels that being here will help him utilize many of the essential skills he gained during high school. Tugbobo, who has always had a very high aptitude for math and science, chose a STEM major because of his interest in mechanics and engineering. As a STEM major, he hopes to be a leader in the field and show that African Americans can not only thrive in high positions in STEM fields, but also be an active advocate for more representation of African Americans in STEM fields.
Justin Walkup is a civil engineering student from Fulton, Maryland, who looks forward to working with commercial development and urban infrastructure after obtaining his Ph.D. As a student in the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, Walkup wants to do research in civil engineering. His mother attended Howard and he says, after multiple visits and learning about the Bison STEM Scholars Program, he found Howard to be the place for him as well. He says he chose a STEM-related discipline because he has always been fond of mathematics and science and wants both subjects to play a part his career. Walkup looks forward to setting a standard for other African Americans in civil engineering to work in impoverished areas.
Lindsey Whitmore, a chemistry student from Houston, Texas, chose to attend Howard University because of her desire to be among a community of like-minded, forward-thinking, and intelligent individuals who look like herself, and intend not only to reach the same heights but encourage others to do the same. She intends to pursue a MD-Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry and anesthesiology, respectively. Whitmore chose to pursue an education and career in STEM because of her grandmother who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. She plans to dedicate her career to researching and creating a cure for pancreatic cancer and other diseases that disproportionately affect African American and individuals of African descent.
Jonathan Williams is a Bowie, Maryland, native pursuing a biology and psychology double major. Williams is interested in doing research in neuroscience and chemicals within the mind. He chose to attend Howard because of its rich history and strong background in biology, and for the fact that he will be able to grow among scholars who look like him. Williams says he loves STEM because it allows his altruism to truly make a difference in people's lives on a physical, mental and emotional level. He hopes to become a professional within the field to inspire other young men to be willing to explore not just the world around us, but the world that exists within our brains.
Kayla Young is a biology student from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her career goals are to earn a MD-Ph.D. and go into neurological research for issues such as autism and Alzheimer's. Young says she chose to attend Howard to immerse herself in a new environment and to push herself outside of her comfort zone. Howard represents a community that she has craved to be a part of throughout her entire life. Young is pursuing STEM because she passionately believes that all STEM fields working interdependently are the solution to many of the problems in the world. She is eager to jump into this next phase of life, and she is confident that Howard is the place to be. Through her future career goals, Young would like to serve as a STEM mentor for young black girls and be a positive role model for those who don't believe that achieving their big goals can be accomplished. Young says more representation is needed in many fields across many industries, and she hopes to show that it can be done with hard work and determination.