2018 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society members at Yale with Dean DePauw and Dr. Christian Matheis

Dean DePauw and student Jordan Laney at Bouchet Society awards ceremony at Yale
2018 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society members at Yale with Dean DePauw and Dr. Christian Matheis

The members of the 2018 Bouchet Honor Society will be inducted in April at Yale University. The class includes:

Dannette Gomez Beane received her Ph.D. in counselor education at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on Virginia counselor engagement with race based advocacy. Dannette completed her degree as a part-time student while working as the Director for the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives in the Virginia Tech Graduate School. In addition to her professional role, Dannette has scholarship in the area of holistic admissions, self-care in advocacy, undocumented students, and enrollment management. She advises student chapter groups such as Queer People of Color, DREAMERS, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Society of Achieving Chicano and Native American Scientists. She currently teaches Counseling Diverse Populations and is the assistant teacher for Academic Integrity and Plagiarism, and Healthy Relationships: Understanding Self and Others. Dannette co-founded the first peer mentoring program for doctoral students in her discipline at Virginia Tech and has served on many boards and club leadership councils of cultural student organizations. Dannette will remain an administrator at Virginia Tech, but in a new role in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is married and has three children.

TeAirra Brown is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors of Systems and Product Design at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of tablet-based augmented reality applications to ensure students develop mathematical capabilities to levels beyond previous acceptable standards. Specifically, she works with fifth grade underrepresented students to examine how to best account for their cognitive processes when utilizing AR. TeAirra has received numerous fellowships and honors, which includes: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, New Horizon Graduate Scholarship, Bradley Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Fellowship, GEM Consortium Fellowship, and a suite of other honors. Additionally, TeAirra graduated summa cum laude from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science Engineering, where she was a recipient of the Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences full-academic scholarship. During the span of her collegiate career, TeAirra has worked diligently to excel not only academically but also as a mentor to encourage underrepresented minorities in her community. She is actively involved in several organizations with initiatives promoting hands-on STEM education to captivate and ignite students’ passion for learning: National Society of Black Engineers, Kindergarten to College, and Kids Are Scientists, Too. Ultimately, TeAirra aspires to become a globally engaged leader of revolutionary technology that will positively impact the community and educational system as well as meaningfully influence lifelong learning through technological advancements.

Adwoa Baah-Dwomoh is a Ph.D. candidate in the in materials science and engineering program with a concentration in materials for medical applications and biomechanics. Her research focuses on biomechanics of pelvic supportive ligaments in swine and human to aid in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse. Adwoa has been recognized as a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) MultiSTEPS Fellow, a Dr. Gary S. Clevinger Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship recipient, and a Virginia Tech Diversity scholar. She received a bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech, where she was a Virginia Tech Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity (VT-IMSD) undergraduate scholar. Adwoa also received a master's degree from the University of Florida, where she was a Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Research Fellow. Adwoa believes in enhancing inclusion and diversity throughout her community, especially in STEM fields. As a Virginia Tech Diversity Scholar, she started the VT Early Engineering Mentoring (VTEEM) program, a peer mentoring program first year underrepresented and minority graduate students. She also advocates for graduate students, as she serves as the Vice President for the Graduate Student Assembly. Ultimately, Adwoa aspires to work at the forefront of healthcare and medical technology to help improve the human condition.

Darren Maczka is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and has received a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies from Virginia Tech. His research focuses on barriers to inclusion in Computer Science that contribute to the lack of representation in the discipline. Darren has been recognized as a Fellow of the Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence at Virginia Tech an plays an active role in developing and facilitating events and workshops to support graduate teaching. Darren believes that engineering instruction must fully embrace aspects of race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and other markers that have historically separated who engineering is for and who can become an engineer. He strives to develop strategies and materials to help engineering instructors and students value the complex interactions between politics, society, and engineering design.

Mary Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program, with concentrations in Social and Ethical Thought, at Virginia Tech. Her research concerns structural racism in the U.S. federal government and she addresses areas of moral philosophy, governance and civics, and critical race theory and white supremacy studies in her dissertation. Mary is the recipient of a dissertation research grant from the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention’s Graduate Research on Violence program and has been recognized as a Diversity Scholar. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her master's degree from Marquette University. Mary is a founding editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal, Community Change. She has published numerous book chapters and journal articles on issues of surveillance, racism, poverty, democracy, and popular culture. Mary also has published poetry and written produced film scripts and plays. Ultimately, as a scholar on race, inequality, and morality, she will continue to advocate for changing societal and governmental structures to adopt urgently needed reforms for a more inclusive society.

Chantel Simpson is a Ph.D. candidate in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on the impacts of student-faculty relationships on the professional identity development and retention of underrepresented students in STEM and agricultural degree programs. Chantel is a recipient of the Virginia Tech George Washington Carver Fellowship and the 2016 Virginia Tech Graduate Citizen Scholar Award. Prior to beginning her studies at Virginia Tech, she completed a bachelor's degree and a a master's degree at North Carolina A  and T State University. In her spare time, Chantel volunteers in her home community, tutoring youth in math and science as well as volunteering with a number of other outreach initiatives sponsored by faith-based organizations, including those related to health, food and nutrition as well as assisting in the development of program initiatives to be utilized in a planned community center.

Michelle Soledad is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on understanding the teaching and learning experience in large foundational engineering courses. Michelle is a Fellow of the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Excellence and participated in the Global Perspectives Program. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City, Philippines, and completed her undergraduate work as a Merit Scholar of the Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines. She worked as a software engineer for six years before returning to academe. She holds an appointment as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Ateneo de Davao University, where she previously served as Chair of the Electrical Engineering and Engineering Sciences & Mathematics Departments of the School of Engineering and Architecture; Chair of the Ecoteneo Advisory Board, which promotes environmental sustainability initiatives; and member of the University Research Council. Michelle is passionate about providing equally positive learning experiences across all students in engineering disciplines. Her long-term career goals include investigating and developing ways to support faculty as they facilitate learning in engineering classrooms and create effective learning environments for their students.

Martina Svyantek is a Ph.D. candidate in a self-designed and highly-individualized interdisciplinary program exploring how disability identity is situated within higher education. Her research focuses on disability-related institutional policies and campus activism, including observations on the accessibility of digital and physical spaces created by campuses. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, and will earn her master’s degree at Virginia Tech in May 2018. She returned home to Auburn, Alabama, as the 2016 keynote speaker for the Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM (AASD-STEM). Martina curates an ePortfolio detailing her varied experiences at martinasvyantek.com, tweets as @svyantek, and generally keeps to herself in large crowds. Ultimately, Martina aspires to continue working with the discipline-agnostic view of coursework (both teaching and learning), research, and impactful service that has developed during graduate school, weaving together connections and resources to strengthen community around Disability identities within higher education.

Shelby Ward is a Ph.D. candidate in the ASPECT program , where she teaches for the Political Science Department. Ward is a transdisciplinary scholar with backgrounds in critical, feminist, and postcolonial theories, and an emphasis on narratives, who investigates neocolonial power relations within current international relations. Her dissertation is “Strange(r) Maps: the geopolitics of Sri Lankan Tourism,” which looks at the neocolonial productions and representations in Sri Lankan tourist maps. She received the 2017 ASPECT Dissertation Research Fellowship to fund field research in Sri Lanka this past winter, is a current Associate member for the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence, and a co-editor of SPECTRA, a peer-reviewed and open-access journal. Her work is committed to critiquing unequal power relations and issues of positionality to create accountable structures.

The members of the 2017 Bouchet Honor Society class were inducted in April at Yale University. The class includes:

Sreyoshi Bhaduri, of Pune, Maharashtra, India, a Ph.D. candidate in engineering education

Adrien DeLoach, of Blacksburg, a Ph.D. student in higher education administration through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Amanda Halliburton, of Yorktown, Virginia, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology, with a concentration in clinical science. 

Jordan Laney, of McDowell County, North Carolina, a doctoral student in the interdisciplinary Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program, with concentrations in social and cultural thought. 

Erin S. Lavender-Stott, of Blacksburg, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Development with a family studies concentration. 

Shekila Melchior, of Dale City, Virginia, recently earned her Ph.D. in counselor education

Saul N’Jie, of Churchill’s Town, The Gambia, a Ph.D. student in planning, governance, and globalization program in the School of Public and International Affairs

Jennifer Turner, of Goochland, Virginia, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology with a concentration in women’s and gender studies. 

Atiyeh Vahidmanesh, of Tehran, Iran, earned her Ph.D. in economics in February. 

The members of the 2016 Bouchet Honor Society class were inducted in April at Yale University. The class includes: 

Michele Deramo, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program.

Anna Erwin, of Wilmington, North Carolina, a doctoral candidate in the School of Public and International Affairs’ Planning, Governance and Globalization program.

Homero Murzi, of San Cristobal, Venezuala, who earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education in the College of Engineering.

Jamie Sanchez, of Farmington, New Mexico, a Ph.D. candidate in the ASPECT program.

The inaugural class of the Bouchet Honor Society chapter members was inducted in April at Yale University. The class included: 

Christian Matheis, from San Antonio, Texas, who earned his doctoral degree from Virginia Tech in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought program.

Ashley Robinson, from Chesapeake, Virginia, a doctoral candidate in candidate in Computer Science and Applications.

Elizabeth “Eli” Jamison, from Roanoke, Virginia, a doctoral candidate in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought program with concentrations in social and political thought.

Kelly Cross, from Blacksburg, Virginia, a doctoral candidate in engineering education.

Nikhil Jain, from New Delhi, India, a doctoral candidate with the Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering.

Nicole J. Johnson, from Searcy, Arkansas, a is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education with certificates in Education Research and Evaluation and Preparing Future Faculty.

Monica Motley, from Danville, Virginia, a candidate for a master's degree in public health and a is a doctoral candidate in biological and veterinary sciences.