Please tell us where you are from and a bit about what you were doing prior to coming
I was born in Louisville, Kentucky and later moved to Bristol, Virginia after my father
finished seminary. I grew up there and then moved to Johnson City 2 years ago to finish
my chemistry degree. After graduating last May, I left my position of 4 years as a
full time sales associate at Home Depot and accepted a teaching assistantship with
the Biology department here at ETSU.
Please tell us a little bit about the research you are conducting for your Master's
The goal of my research will be to isolate and crystallize a mutagenic form of a glucosyltransferase
enzyme found in grapefruits. This enzyme is responsible for adding sugar groups to
flavonoids, which supposedly give grapefruits many of their purported health benefits.
.What made you choose the Master's in Biology program an ETSU ?
The Master’s in Biology program has a number of concentrations which will allow me
to use my chemistry background without narrowing my career options to industry or
academia. I chose Biomedical Sciences as my concentration due to an enduring fascination
with the multitude of molecular processes that allow the human body to function as
What has your experience at ETSU been like thus far and what do you expect from this
experience looking forward?
My experience thus far has been extremely rewarding. I am more intellectually stimulated
than I have ever been in my life and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges placed
before me. There is exceptional camaraderie within the biology department and I feel
as though I’ve found a family that is both supportive and congenial. I anticipate
many more rewarding experiences to come as I progress through my degree. I hope to
expand my knowledge and develop the skills necessary to be a successful researcher