Our Team

Keisha John, Ph.D.
Co-Founder

Keisha has spent most of her life engaged in research - from her time at the Food and Drug Administration as a high school intern to her appointment as a post-doctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University. Although the scientific process and its potential to solve problems initially motivated her to pursue training in the sciences, her time spent as a scientist sensitized her to larger issues in the scientific community, especially those relating to STEM education and the need for diversity in the scientific workforce. This knowledge coupled with her desire to have an impact that reached beyond the research bench motivated Keisha to pursue a career in academic administration. Previously an Assistant Dean in the Graduate School at Florida State University, Keisha is currently as Associate Dean at University of Virginia (UVA). At UVA, she collaboratively establishes and implements recruitment and retention programing for students from underrepresented backgrounds. In all of her endeavors she strives to ignite the fire within students for graduate education and a career in any field that aligns with their passions and strength.

Education

THE WATSON SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE (COLD SPRING HARBOR)
Ph.D., Neurobiology

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY
B.S., Biochemistry


 

Tamika Payne, Ph.D.
Co-Founder

A native of Guyana, South America, Tamika is a scientist with multi-discipline experience in academia, government (research and federal policy development), and industry. Tamika earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from Duke University. While at Duke, Tamika engaged in many activities that encouraged her passion for mentoring and scientific program development, evaluation, and refinement. After completing a postdoctoral appointment at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Tamika served a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). As a PMF, Tamika received formal training and professional experience in data analysis, leadership, communication, and management (project, program, and personnel) while serving as a microbiologist for the federal government.

Tamika’s currently serves in the private sector as a business consultant in a role that allows her to marry her educational and professional background to her passion for  communication, innovation, and program development. Clients benefit greatly from her experience in various scientific organizations, relatability, and aptitude in synthesizing information.

Education

DUKE UNIVERSITY
Ph.D., Genetics and Microbiology

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY
B.S., Biology

 

 

Michael E. Payne II, M.S.
Director of Marketing

Michael is a Senior Software Engineer at Reed Business Information (RBI) and a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Clemson University. Before his current role with RBI, Michael served as a Senior Software Engineer at RELX Group on the company's Innovation Team. He earned his Master of Science in Computer Science at North Carolina A&T State University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

 
 

Education

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
Ph.D., Computer Science (currently enrolled)

NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL AND TECHNICAL STATE UNIVERSITY
M.S., Computer Science

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
B.S., Computer Science