Meet the 2022 Bouchet Honor Society Scholars over celebratory tea | VTx – Natural Self Esteem

Five graduate students were selected as the newest members of the Virginia Tech chapter of the national Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. The Graduate School will recognize Isil Anakok, Gabriela L. Carrillo, Anaid D. Shaver, Michelle White and Johnny C. Woods Jr. at a tea reception on Wednesday, March 23 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room des Graduate Life Centers at 155 Otey St. on the Blacksburg campus.

The reception is open to the Virginia Tech community. It offers an opportunity to learn more about the Honor Society and network with current scholars while enjoying refreshments provided by the Graduate School. President Tim Sands and Graduate School Dean Aimée Surprenant will provide comments. Sands received the Bouchet Society Legacy Award in 2016.

Interested parties are asked to register via this link.

The society was founded in 2005 by Yale and Howard Universities and is named after the first African American to earn a doctorate in the United States. Bouchet earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University in 1876. This year, the annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education will be held virtually, with the induction ceremony for new members scheduled for April 8.

“We are so proud of these remarkable scholars who have earned this honor for their outstanding achievements inside and outside the university,” said Surprenant. “Their leadership and advocacy make them inspiring role models for people of all ages, and we are grateful they are members of our community.”

Virginia Tech is one of 19 university partners with Bouchet Society chapters across the country. Each year, the graduate school receives nominations for membership in the society, and a selection committee selects five for admission. The Society’s goal is to create a network of scholars and professionals who “will serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students traditionally underrepresented in the Academy,” according to the Yale University website.

Learn more about the Bouchet Honor Society 2022 Scholars:

Isil Anakok is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Engineering Education. She holds a master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree from Kocaeli University, Turkey. Her main research interest is engineering ethics education in design courses. She earned the Graduate School’s Preparing Future Professoriate Certificate and is a Graduate Assistant for the Graduate School’s Office of Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion. She is also a Graduate Ambassador and works with the Support Hub of Inclusive Practices to promote diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. She was recognized as a 2022 Diversity Scholar with a project focused on strengthening international graduate students’ sense of belonging to higher education in the United States.

Gabriela L Carrillo is a PhD candidate in the Translational Biology, Medicine and Health program with a focus on Neuroscience and Immunology as well as Infectious Diseases. She investigates the neuroimmunological mechanisms underlying the loss of neuronal connections in long-term parasitic brain infections. She has been recognized by numerous professional organizations and has received several awards for her work. She is passionate about making science and higher education accessible to students from underrepresented backgrounds and has mentored numerous students through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia, the Women in STEM Mentorship Program at Virginia Western Community College, and neuroSURF translational Neurobiology served as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She was also awarded an F99/K00 D-SPAN grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Anaid D Shaver is a candidate for a Ph.D. in Counselor Training and Supervision in the School of Education. Her research focuses on counselor well-being, clinical supervision of school counseling, and the implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs. Shaver has been recognized as a Michele Dowdy Emerging Leader by the Virginia Counselor Association. She received her bachelor’s degree from Siena College and her master’s degree from the University at Albany. Shaver is currently assisting school departments to implement comprehensive school counseling programs to support the achievement and success of pre-12th grade students through monthly meetings and workshops. She also helped develop, implement, and facilitate the American Counseling Association’s mentoring program, a multicultural leadership development opportunity to advance the counseling profession. Shaver aspires to serve as a learning agent for counselors to promote anti-racist, multicultural and social justice and promote evidence-based practices that are inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible to develop their counselor identity.

Michelle White is a doctoral candidate in the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM) program. Her research aims to understand microglia-induced inflammatory responses after both blasts and impact-related traumatic brain injuries. She was a Virginia Tech Joseph Frank Hunkler Memorial Scholar and a Virginia Tech New Horizon Scholar. She also serves as a graduate student representative on the College of Engineering Dean’s Student Advisory Board and on BEAM’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She has also been a peer mentor to graduate, undergraduate and high school students. White earned her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and aspires to work at the intersection of neuroscience, engineering and health justice with a passion for improving science communication, advocacy and health care within the black community.

Johnny C. Woods Jr. is a PhD student in the college program at the School of Education. He received his master’s degree from Makerere University, Uganda and his bachelor’s degree from AME Zion University, Liberia. Concurrently, he is a research assistant for the Graduate School Global Perspectives Program, a graduate teaching assistant for the Preparing the Future Professoriate course, and serves as a research doctoral student in the Engineering Education and Higher Education programs. He is a recipient of the Diversity Scholar Award and the Don G. Creamer Research Award, is a Fellow of the VT Graduate Academy of Teaching Excellence, has served as Vice President of the African Graduate Students Organization, and has served on the School of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. His broader research focuses on inclusive academic environments for marginalized populations through the practice of wealth-based frameworks. He focuses on access and equity in STEM education, the internationalization of higher education, and the experiences and outcomes of black African sub-Saharan African colleagues.

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