Dr. Rhonda Jack graduated from Hampton University in May 2011 and continued to the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She successfully defended her thesis on November 21, 2016. Rhonda will begin post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan in January 2017. The primary focus of her work will be to develop an automated approach for detecting and enumerating cancer cells in a microfluidic device. This is an extension of her thesis work, which will ultimately enable a more time efficient and inexpensive method to be implemented in cancer studies. Additionally, Dr. Jack will be involved in the establishment and development of a new Single-Cell analysis core at the university. The goal of this core is to study cancer and other disorders with the intent to resolve different cellular mechanisms involved in disease onset and development.
Dr. Courtney Mitchell, also a May 2011 Hampton University graduate, is a Senior Engineer at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering company (Paulsboro, NJ). At Exxon, Courtney formulates drivetrain lubricants (axle oils and transmission fluids) for passenger and commercial vehicle applications. Dr. Mitchell completed her Ph.D. in 2016 from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her dissertation work was at the interface of microbiology and engineering devices, specifically investigating the use of blue light as an antimicrobial therapy. At Vanderbilt, Courtney was active in several student organizations, including leadership positions in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association, the Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students, and the Vanderbilt University Women in Science and Engineering. She also served as a graduate student recruiter for the Graduate School and the School of Engineering, in addition to tutoring and mentoring undergraduate students in course work and research. Courtney received prestigious fellowships during her graduate school tenure, including the GEM and NDSEG fellowships.