Amanda Howard is from Palo Alto, California and will be receiving a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. Throughout her time at Brown, Amanda has created a number of new initiatives that are innovative for how they develop community among graduate students and welcome future students to STEM careers. She has taken the lead in several efforts to help make Applied Math a more diverse field which include organizing and co-founding the Applied Mathematics Graduate/Undergraduate Mentorship Program, founding the student chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) which won the national AWM Student Chapter Award for Scientific Excellence under her leadership last year and organizing the Women Educators in STEM Discussion Group for the 2017-2018 academic year. Amanda has demonstrated a deep commitment to engagement, inclusion, and enhancing Brown’s teaching and learning communities through her work as a Head Teaching Consultant at the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning where she has served as a mentor and co-coordinator for the 40+ graduate members of the Sheridan graduate teaching consultant community, offering guidance on consulting and workshop mentorship for larger programs such as New TA Orientation. She also received the Simon Ostrach Fellowship (May 2018) for distinguished academic record. After graduation, Amanda will continue her work as a postdoc at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory starting in July 2018.
Rafael D. González Cruz is from Aguada, Puerto Rico and will be receiving his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Outside of the classroom, Rafael’s innate sense of duty and responsibility has brought him into a variety of leadership positions. These include serving as the President of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) from 2015-2017, student representative of the Initiative to Maximize Student Development Internal Advisory Board from 2016-2018, student mentor for the Post Baccalaureate PREP Program from 2016-2017 and co-founder of the Puerto Rican Student Association in the fall of 2017. While dealing with his family’s suffering in rural Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, he took it upon himself to be an advocate for institutional redress and interpersonal support on campus and advocated to bring students from University of Puerto Rico to complete their studies at Brown. After graduation, Rafael hopes to become a tenure-track professor in Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences or Biotechnology and pursue original research. He is also committed to continue to mentor minority students pursuing careers in STEM, particularly helping students from Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries to gain exposure to STEM research and academic/professional development opportunities.
Eboni Chambers is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will be receiving a Ph.D. in Pathobiology, and a Masters of Public Affairs through the Open Graduate Education Program. During her tenure at Brown she has been a mentor and role model for students of color and other historically underrepresented groups particularly in the STEM fields. Her involvement includes being a mentor for the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program, the Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative, the African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Mentoring Program and the Postbaccalaureate Research Experience Program (PREP). She was also the 2015 Graduate Advisor for the Leadership Alliance (LA) and provided novel collaborations and mentorship for students interested in the biomedical sciences. Eboni has advocated and aimed to provide community for students on color on campus, particularly in her current role as the President of the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association. Moreover, Eboni’s advocacy as part of the executive board of the Graduate Student Council has directly contributed to permanent improvements in graduate student lives. She contributed to advocacy efforts that supported sixth year funding and the establishment of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). Currently, in her role as the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Council, she has advocated for and successfully increased support of graduate student conference travel, advocated for improvements to the graduate grievance processes, additional graduate exclusive spaces on campus, graduate housing, and improved parental relief policies. After graduation, Eboni hopes to use science in a meaningful way and translate scientific advances into global policy initiatives for the betterment of society.