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. Sreyoshi has a Bachelors in Mechatronics Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India in 2011. Sreyoshi also has a Diploma in Human Rights from the Indian Institute of Human Rights, New Delhi India. She earned her Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2013. For her doctoral dissertation, Sreyoshi is exploring ways in which machine learning algorithms can be used by instructors in engineering classrooms. She has been a proponent for the use of innovative instructional technology in the classroom as well as for education research. She believes that access is an important step in promoting critical thinking and diversity, and that technology may be effective if used as a tool to increase access of resources for more individuals. Sreyoshi is an advocate for Open Education and Open Access, and was selected to represent Virginia Tech for OpenCon 2015. Sreyoshi is a Fellow of the Virginia Tech Academy for Graduate Teaching Excellence (VTGrATE) and a 2017 Virginia Tech Diversity Scholar. In addition, she was a Global Perspectives Program Fellow in 2013. She has previously served as the Chair of the Council for Minority Engineering Organization (CAMEO) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, and has been the Graduate Student Liaison for the Society of Women Engineering (SWE) at Tech.
Adrien DeLoach, of Blacksburg, a Ph.D. student in higher education administration through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and graduate teaching assistant in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). His dissertation focuses on the career goal-setting processes of Black women engineering majors. Some of Adrien’s other research projects include assessing residential learning communities for first-year engineering students by gender-cohort, and investigating the relationships that exist between college basketball and learning outcomes for African-American men at predominantly white institutions. He currently serves as a member of the CEED student support and program staff where he is responsible for teaching seminar courses for first-year engineering students in the Galileo and Hypatia living-learning communities. He received a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a master’s degree in Counseling and Student Affairs, both from Western Kentucky University. He has more than 15 years of progressive higher education experience. For most of his career as a practitioner, Adrien’s responsibilities have included working with programs that aid in the retention and academic success of students from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, he plans to continue contributing to that particular area of the field by exploring new ideas for scholarly work that ultimately result in a better convergence and reciprocity with practice.
Amanda Halliburton, of Yorktown, Virginia, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology, with a concentration in clinical science. Amanda’s research focuses on adapting cognitive-behavioral interventions for developmentally appropriate use with youth, as well as investigating key mechanisms of change in these programs. Amanda has been recognized as a Founding Fellow in the Virginia Tech Academy for Graduate Teaching Excellence and a 2017 Virginia Tech Diversity Scholar. In addition, she was nominated by her department for the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award (2016), and she has acted as a student representative on the department’s diversity and inclusion committee (since 2015) and clinical science recruitment and diversity subcommittee (2014-2015), as well as a peer mentor (2013-2015). Amanda received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Mary Washington. Amanda is passionate about teaching and clinical practice, and she infuses topics related to diversity and inclusion into her curricula when possible. In addition, her work as a therapist focuses on meeting the needs of underserved populations, particularly residents of rural Appalachia, using evidence-based treatment. She aspires to build a career that combines her love of teaching with her passion for community-based clinical work.
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. Her dissertation research focuses on bluegrass music festivals as sites of identity construction. Jordan has been recognized as a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence Founding Fellow, Diversity Scholar (2014), is co-editor emeritus of SPECTRA: The ASPECT Journal, Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives Fellow (2015-2016), Virginia Tech Graduate Teacher of the Year (Instructor of Record, 2015), Community Voices member (2014-2015), student nominated Favorite Faculty Award winner, VT Beyond Boundaries Advisory (to the President) Committee (2016-2017), and International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Bluegrass Program Graduate (2013). While at Virginia Tech, she has received the certificate in Material Culture and Public Humanities (2015). Prior to VT, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College (2010) and a Master of Arts degree in Appalachian Studies with a concentration in Music from Appalachian State University (2013), where she served as a graduate assistant for the Women’s Studies Program. Jordan’s research, teaching, and service is informed by her experiences as a first generation college student from the Appalachian region. She has served as the co-chair of Young Appalachian Leaders and Learners (YALL), a subcommittee of the Appalachian Studies Association (ASA), and on the association’s Steering Committee. She is also member of the ASA ad-hoc planning committee (2017), served on the ASPECT Conference Committee (2015, 2016), and has mentored numerous undergraduates, preparing them to present at national conferences.
Erin S. Lavender-Stott, of Blacksburg, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Development with a family studies concentration. Her research is broadly on gender and sexuality within the family context and across the lifespan, primarily focusing on sexual minority individuals, couples, and families. She is a founding fellow of the Academy for Graduate Teaching (GTA) Excellence and participated in the Virginia Tech Graduate School Global Perspective Program in 2015. She currently serves as the Chief Justice of the Graduate Honor System and as a Student/New Professional Representative for the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Hollins University where she was a Trustee Scholar, and her master’s in psychology from University of North Carolina Wilmington. With her goal of remaining in higher education, within the areas of teaching, research, and service/leadership, she tries to bring in her values of diversity, inclusion, and advocacy.
Shekila Melchior, of Dale City, Virginia, recently earned her Ph.D. in counselor education. Her research focuses on the social justice identity development of school counselors who advocate for undocumented students. Shekila is a National Certified Counselor and Licensed School Counselor. She was a recipient of the National Board of Certified Counselors Minority Doctoral Fellowship Program for her commitment to working with diverse populations. She is also a recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Graduate Student of the Year Award for the College of Liberal Arts. Shekila currently serves as a Graduate Residential Fellow in West Ambler Johnston Hall. She earned her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and her Master’s in School Counseling from North Carolina A&T State University. Shekila’s goal is to obtain a faculty position to further her research of undocumented students while also continuing her work as an advocate.
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. Saul’s doctoral dissertation is examining the potential effectiveness of commercial and nonprofit, cooperative micro-finance institutions, engaged in the burgeoning enterprise of economic development and poverty alleviation. Empirically, his research examines the International Monetary Fund and World Bank programs in The Gambia, and the impacts of other alternative forms of development like micro-finance on the Gambian economy. Saul received a bachelor's degree from Bluefield State College. He also was a Ronald E. McNair post-baccalaureate scholar at Concord University. Saul received his Master's degree in Government and International Affairs from Virginia Tech. Saul is a visiting professor of Political Science and Geography at Bluefield State College and has been involved with myriad microfinance, gender and development, community development, capacity building, poverty alleviation initiatives in The Gambia. Saul co-founded a nonprofit organization, geared towards capacity building, mentorship, and the education and sensitization of women, girls and youths. Saul aspires to work with low income women in The Gambia, West Africa.
Jennifer Turner, of Goochland, Virginia, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology with a concentration in women’s and gender studies. Her dissertation focuses on how low-income Black single mothers receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits interpret the nexus of mothering, motherhood, and employment. Jennifer is a Graduate Scholar for the Multicultural Academic Opportunities program and has been recognized as an Associate of the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Excellence. She also served as secretary for the Black Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) from 2014 – 2015 and has played a vital role in organizing graduate students in her department around common issues. Jennifer received her bachelor's degree from James Madison University and her master's degree in Sociology and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Old Dominion University, where she received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award from the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the Nancy Topping Bazin Scholarship from the Women’s Studies Department. She considers teaching a form of activism and encourages her students to use the knowledge they gain in her courses to become active agents of social change.
Atiyeh Vahidmanesh, of Tehran, Iran, earned her Ph.D. in economics in February. Her research is broadly on inequality and education focusing on inequality of educational opportunity as well as estimation of the Human Opportunity Index for Middle Eastern countries. The HOI is a new tool to learn about the human development in a country with taking into account the effect of inequality of opportunity in basic services such as clean water, sanitation, and primary education. She also worked on estimation of return to education in Iran. Atiyeh was a delegate of Economics department for three semesters and also selected as a secretary of GSA in 2014. She also won a pre-doc research fellowship from the Middle East Initiative of Harvard University for her research on education and inequality in the Middle East. Atiyeh also is a diversity scholar of Virginia Tech and she did her best to bring values of diversity and inclusion in her classes as a graduate instructor. She earned both her bachelor and master degree from Sharif University of Technology in Iran in Industrial Engineering and Systems Engineering respectively.
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.
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.