I am writing to apply for The American Society of Human Genetics 2016 Genetics and Education Fellowship. I first encountered genetics in 2006, while working with my undergraduate advisor to identify snail species. My responsibility was straightforward— to isolate DNA. In the summer of 2008, I encountered genetics again while participating in the Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at James Madison University. It was during a presentation on BRCA1 mutations in breast cancer that I realized the complexities of genetics. In fact, it was so complex I learned little. I left the presentation feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by both genetics and cancer research. Ironically, that overwhelming feeling stimulated much curiosity about genetics. In 2009, I began graduate studies at Howard University in the Department of Genetics and Human Genetics. Currently, I am preparing to defend my dissertation on the use of circulatory microRNAs as biomarkers for metabolic dysfunction and type 2 diabetes mellitus in African-American adults in April 2016.
As an educator, I am passionate about inspiring lifelong learning. The ability to inspire lifelong learning is essential to the success of the 21st century student. This becomes increasingly important in STEM disciplines, as our world is shaped by scientific discoveries. Genetics is at the forefront of many scientific breakthroughs. However, genetics is one of the subjects that repulse students with challenging concepts and principles that are often overly complicated by worn pedagogy and curriculum. As a teaching assistant in the Department of Biology at Howard University, I have witnessed this firsthand. There is a...
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...sue careers in STEM. This fellowship will further nurture my passion for both education and genetics. It is my goal to be a leading authority on how we teach and learn science. The experiences afforded by this fellowship will provide insight in developing innovative pedagogy and curriculums that exploit inquiry-based learning and the use of modern technology. The experiences gained during this fellowship will be instrumental in my success in academia as a future professor and university administrator, with a focus on improving learning outcomes for students in STEM. Moreover, it is my goal to develop programs that take STEM education into minority communities. This fellowship will be instrumental in developing creative methods and forms of communication that reach a broader demographic, all in an effort to inspire a new generation of geneticist to advance the field.
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