2016–2017 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Scholars
(L-R) Assistant Dean Dr. LaRuth McAfee, Rastafa Geddes, Alexandra MacMillan Uribe, Albert Burgess-Hull, Natalie Guerrero, Evelyn Hammond, Dean Bill Karpus, Nadia Khan.
The Bouchet Society is named for the nation’s first African-American doctoral degree recipient, who earned a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1876. It was established in 2005 by Yale and Howard universities to recognize this historic event and to promote diversity and excellence in doctoral education and among professors.
Local chapters are formed by invitation only, and must be at doctoral institutions with a sustained record of training scholars who are traditionally underrepresented in the academy.
The UW–Madison Graduate School formed a chapter in 2010. Each year, the school may sponsor a limited number of graduate students to become members of the national Bouchet Society.
Albert Burgess-Hull is an Advanced Opportunity Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a doctoral candidate in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) in the School of Human Ecology. Albert completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington, where he studied psychology. Albert currently studies how an individual’s social network influences substance-use behaviors. In addition, he is interested in the use of advanced quantitative methods to inform behavioral research. In this area, he is particularly interested in classification methods such as finite mixture modeling as a way to uncover individual heterogeneity in a population.
Albert has received a number of awards and research funding from both regional and national outlets. He is currently a Social Networks and Health Fellow at Duke University’s Network Analysis Center where he is working with collaborators to examine how marijuana-use spreads within the social network. He has received a National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored mini-grant from the UW-Madison’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention and has received multiple awards including the School of Human Ecology’s (SoHE) Dissertation Award and Summertime Academic Research Awards (STAR) from both SoHE and HDFS. He has presented his research at a number of regional and national conferences.
Albert is also heavily invested in the promotion of social justice at the UW and in the Madison community. During his leadership roles at SoHE and in the HDFS department, he has helped organize a number of community outreach programs, organized professional development activities for students, and advocated for underrepresented groups at UW-Madison.
Dr. Rastafa I. Geddes was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica and raised in New York City. Dr. Geddes, or Ras, is a product of several socially-driven educational programs aimed at reaching an underrepresented portion of the population (i.e., poor young black males). The most notably of these programs were the equal opportunity program (EOP) and the Ronald E. McNair research scholars program. Over his almost 20 years of educational training in neuroscience and neurosurgery, Dr. Geddes has developed a reputation for personalizing his mentorship or training style to reach each student he has mentored and/or supervised. Armed with a passion for his discipline and a determination to improve “how we educate our biomedical professionals and the masses”, Dr. Geddes has dedicated his career not only to researching therapies for neurological diseases, but to providing similar opportunities that were afforded to him as an impoverished youth. Dr. Geddes is an underrepresented minority in the biomedical field, and as such continues to be in communication with, and hopes to provide ample opportunity to, youths with a similar backstory that are interested in learning more about biomedical research, more specifically TBI and aging-related neurological disorders.
Natalie Guerrero is an MD/Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences. Her research interests include racial/ethnic health disparities in maternal and child health, as well as poverty and immigrant health.
Natalie has been the lead author of manuscripts in these research areas, publishing her work in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including the Wisconsin Medical Journal and Preventing Chronic Disease. She has presented her research at national conferences of the American Physician Scientist Association and the American Public Health Association. In her dissertation, she examines the relationship between maternal depression and child problem behavior. Her career goal is to serve economically-disadvantaged communities as a primary care physician and to lead research that aims to improve the health of these populations.
Guerrero is a Training, Education, and Mentoring (TEAM)-Science Scholar through the Center for Women’s Health Research at UW-Madison. She is a student representative on the MSTP Diversity Committee, a co-president of the UW MSTP Student Executive Committee, and the chair of the Baha’i Campus Association at UW. In her spare time, Guerrero enjoys serving as a mentor in the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program in Madison.
Evelyn Hammond is a doctoral candidate at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Her dissertation explores public perceptions of frac sand mining in western Wisconsin. Preliminary results of her research were presented at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management last summer. Hammond’s research findings will not only inform state and national policy on frac sand mining, but will also worldwide policy on mineral and non-mineral resource management. She is a member of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources. Hammond holds an M.Sc. from the University of Stuttgart, Germany and a B.Sc. (Hons) from the University of Ghana.
Hammond loves teaching and has taught classes in zoology and environmental studies. In April 2016, she was inducted into the UW–Madison Teaching Academy as a Future Faculty Partner. After her Ph.D. program, she will pursue a career in teaching and research in higher education to contribute to scholarship in natural resources management.
Hammond holds various leadership positions in the community. She is the President of the Ghana Association of Madison and previously the Vice President of the African Women’s Association in Madison. She is also on the PTO of Shorewood Hills Elementary School and part of the Fundraising Committee there. Hammond supports programs and events aimed at reducing inequities and disparities in her community. She derives strength from her Christian faith and from the love of family and friends. She’s grateful for the family she’s found at Living Springs Church in Madison where she’s also a Children’s Service teacher.
Nadia Khan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biology graduate program at UW–Madison. She is currently a member of Dr. Avtar Roopra’s lab where she focuses on how gene expression in the brain can become reprogrammed after events like traumatic brain injury, which can lead to epilepsy long-term. Prior to coming to UW–Madison, Khan earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, and worked as a research scientist at the University of North Carolina Gene Therapy Center with Dr. Steven J. Gray. She currently holds three publications with Dr. Gray in the journals Gene Therapy and Discovery Medicine.
While at UW–Madison, Kahn has received a number of awards to present her research both in the U.S. and abroad. She also received Honorable Mention for her application to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2015. Outside of the lab, Kahn is involved in a number of science outreach activities, including being co-chair of the Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) Outreach Committee and serving as a course instructor for high school students in the Pre Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) program. She is also an active member of the SciMed GRS Peer Mentoring Committee where she helps first-year underrepresented students navigate the first year of graduate school. Kahn’s long-term goal is to become a tenured professor at a research-intensive university and begin her own lab studying gene regulation in cognition and memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.
Alexandra MacMillan Uribe
Alexandra MacMillan Uribe is a doctoral candidate in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in human nutrition from Arizona State University. For her master’s thesis, she investigated the predictive capacity of ecological attitudes on ecological behaviors among Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members and published in Appetite. She became a registered dietitian after completing her dietetic internship through the University of Michigan. Her experience interning for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and her commitment to resolving health disparities inspired her to shift her research focus to maternal and infant nutrition among low-income populations. She currently works for Dr. Beth Olson and investigates how to increase the effectiveness of maternal and infant nutrition education to positively affect behavior change. Within this focus, she investigates the mother-infant dyad relationship and how the food environment, created and controlled by the mother, influences maternal and infant nutrition and health outcomes.
MacMillan Uribe is dedicated to service within her community, helping low-income women learn about nutrition and make beneficial dietary changes. She co-leads the West Madison Community Kitchen Program, a series that teaches women basic cooking skills and nutrition while fostering a sense of community. She would like to pursue an academic position and, as a Hispanic woman, hopes to mentor young women from underrepresented backgrounds and advocate for increased inclusion in higher education.