Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Terra D. Irons, Ph.D.

Posted: March 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Where are you from?
Hampton, VA
Where are you currently?
I work in Washington, DC and live in Alexandria, VA.
What year did you graduate?
2006
What was your major?
Chemistry
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Ph.D. in Toxicology
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Toxicologist, Post-Deployment Health, Department of Veterans Affairs
I consult with Congress on environmental exposures experienced during deployment that may cause long-term illness/injury.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a full scholarship program that aims to prepare minorities to get advanced degrees in STEM fields. It includes a rigorous curriculum and peer tutoring and mentoring, and it also emphasizes summer research both on and off campus.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
Being a part of such a prestigious program has definitely impacted my life. I was able to participate in a summer research program at the University of North Carolina that had taken many students from DNIMAS before me. That summer research experience enabled me to gain acceptance to their graduate program in Toxicology, one of the most heralded in that field in the country, where I published in the scientific peer-reviewed literature and presented my research both nationally and internationally.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS exposed me to being a part of a community, which taught me to help others even when there is nothing in it for me.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
(Is this a REAL question, Doug???) LOLOLOL…. I tutored for STARS… does that count?
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
My favorite memory is when DSA threw a costume party that spanned half of the 3rd floor in Lee Smith. We got in trouble ofcourse, but it was definitely a lot of fun!
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
What I liked least about DNIMAS was the added pressures put on students to perform once funding issues increased (e.g. curriculum changes, GPA requirements, peer tutoring/mentoring). Although I understand why this happened, I think that it was counterproductive in a lot of ways, and retention seemed to suffer. I think that, instead, recruitment efforts should have been strengthened to make sure that the caliber of incoming freshmen remained the same from year-to-year.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
A lot because I wouldn’t know how to ask for help, and no matter where you want to go in life, you can’t get there on your own.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes, I met some of my best friends in/through DNIMAS. I also keep in contact with DNIMAS and STARS faculty on a regular basis.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
DON’T GIVE UP! Through all the challenges and frustrations, if you can teach yourself to be disciplined enough to see it through, it will be one of the most valuable experiences of your life.


William P. Jackson

Posted: September 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

What year did you graduate?
2006

Where are you from?
Atlanta, GA

What was your major?
Chemistry

Do you have any advanced degrees?
M.A.T in Science Education

What are you currently doing (professionally)?
After Teaching the Physical Sciences for 4 years in Secondary Schools, I am in my first year PhD student in Educational Psychology, at UNC-Chapel Hill

How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
The best thing that could happen to a young african-american male, an awesome opportunity to receive undergraduate training for free in a very supportive environment. I had a first class education that I would put up against anyone else’s in this country. I was prepared for a career in my field and for life. I can’t say enough to describe and praise this awesome program.

How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
Exceedingly Instrumental! It has directed my life to my current path without DNIMAS I would not be where I am today.

How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
I met life long friends. I was supported by help systems that gave me experiences that have largely shaped my views on life and my purpose.

What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I played a year of Basketball for NSU, I played intramural football and basketball every year after that. I joined an awesome fraternity Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. I was also apart of the STARS tutoring program.

What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Sitting in the dorm rooms talking trash to my fellow DNIMAS brothers.

What did you least like about DNIMAS?
It was love hate thing for Study Session, and the Dorm mandated life, I loved it sometimes and hated it other times, I wouldn’t change a thing.

What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
Everything, from student loans, to my current position.

Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Most Definitely, I have a brother and sister because of DNIMAS, I was an only child when I came!!

What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Make the most of your current experience, make as many enduring friendships as you can, never take for granted the blessing you have in a free education, remember the program after you graduate, and give all that you have every day of your life to make a change in this earth because just by your presence in the program you have been afforded so much.


Donald Quincy Goggans

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
NSU – 2006, North Carolina State University – 2008
Where are you from?
Concord, North Carolina
What was your major?
Bachelors of Science in Physics
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Im an electrical engineer at M.C. Dean in Northern Virginia
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a scholastic program that helps provide a platform for students to excel in the sciences at Norfolk State University.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
It made my undergraduate experience a lot more feasible.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
It connected me to a lot of my lifelong friends.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Intramural football and basketball,  research at Jefferson Labs, and tutoring with student support services and the STARS program.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
I jumped over a couple rows of stairs during APS my senior year.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Being mandated to do volunteer work.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I’d have a lot more student loan obligations!
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes, I still keep in close contact with a lot of people I graduated with, along with others that live in the DMV area.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
The practices, rules, and regulations that are currently in place are not going anywhere…  So you might as well comply.  Study with the classmates that are motivated to succeed.