HAMPTON, Va. – Two Hampton University graduates, Erin Evonne Jean and Noel Jackson, have successfully completed their time in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program and will now go on to prestigious and competitive Ph.D. programs.
“Congratulations to these two accomplished young ladies. They have upheld THE Standard of Excellence these past four years, and we know that their futures are bright,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
The MARC program is a premier scholarship program, which started at Hampton University in 2014 when the Department of Biological Sciences was awarded a five-year $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. This program addresses the need to reduce the disparity in the number of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research careers. The long-term goal of this program is to prepare HU graduates to be leaders in biomedical research by improving their preparedness for Ph.D. programs or combined M.D.-Ph.D.
There is also a Pre-MARC program, which is specifically designed for freshmen and sophomore students who are interested in learning about research careers and in becoming academically prepared for them. This program increases and enhances the pool of MARC trainees at Hampton University by developing the students’ critical thinking, problem solving, quantitative reasoning and more. Participation in the Pre-MARC program helps increase the student’s chances of being accepted into the MARC program.
See below for the profiles of the two MARC students.
Erin Evonne Jean
Erin, who is originally from Frederick, MD., graduated with a biology degree this past Mother’s Day. She completed the pre-MARC program through her freshman and sophomore years and was accepted into the MARC program in 2017. She has participated in three different 10-week research internships, including the Brandeis MRSEC REU, University of Virginia SRIP program and the University of Pennsylvania SUIP program. Erin is also a member of the Hampton University Freddy T. Davy Honors College, the Student Recruitment Team and a committee chair for the Hampton Chapter of the NAACP.
As an undergraduate researcher, Erin presented her scientific research, in oral and poster form, at a multitude of national conferences including the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the New England Science Symposium at Harvard University and at a number of local and regional conferences.
A member of the Hampton University class of 2019, quintessence 10, Erin plans to continue her education in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing her Ph.D. in immunology.
“The MARC Program helped me grow not only as a scientist and a professional, but as a peer mentor, leader, and friend. I will forever be grateful for my time in this life-changing program.” – Erin Evonne Jean
Noel graduated with a cellular and molecular biology degree, and a minor in psychology. She is originally from San Antonio, TX. Noel is a MARC scholar, training as a research scientist, which has helped prepare her to matriculate into a high-caliber research program at the Ph.D. level to join the next generation of biomedical science leaders.
Noel has trained at the Hampton University Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. During her time at Hampton, she was a member of the Hampton University Freddy T. Davy Honors College, an Emerging Leader at the Gloucester Institute, president of the Biology Club and an HU Presidential Fellow.
After being accepted into eight fully funded, competitive Ph.D. programs, Noel has decided to pursue study in biological and biomedical sciences at Harvard University. She has received the Graduate Prize Fellowship from Harvard due to her outstanding academic achievements and exceptional promise upon building the university’s tradition in innovative scholarship. Noel’s career goal is to become a professor in neuroscience and to help develop brain therapeutics by opening her own lab at a research institute.
“When I first enrolled at Hampton, biomedical research was far from my career plan. As a pre-MARC student, I learned that being innovative and creative in the lab can open the door for treatments and cures to diseases, like neurodegeneration and cancer. Thanks to the MARC program, I have trained to successfully enter a competitive biomedical research PhD program. I chose to join this program, because it helps bolster my undergraduate curriculum through collaboration with R1 research and opportunities for higher-level undergraduate coursework. Through research experiences and mentoring, the MARC program has shown me how to incorporate my love for science into a career that encompasses research and teaching while being a role model for underrepresented groups in science.” – Noel Jackson