Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Four get NCGDMES fellowships

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 08 - October 12, 1995

Andrea Bowens of Florence, Ala., Hope Harley of Clinton, Md., Michelle Waddell of Gary, Ind., and Andrea Williams of Nashville, Tenn., have received fellowships from the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Inc. They will pursue their academic careers at Virginia Tech.

The fellowship recognizes the students' undergraduate achievements and potential for contributions as graduate students.

Bowens has been interested in science since high school. Summer programs sparked her interest in chemistry and she completed a five-year bachelor's/master's degree program in chemistry at Clark-Atlanta University this spring. As a Ph.D. student, she will do research on polymer synthesis-creating new materials.

She says she decided to continue working for her doctoral degree after working for two years at 3M. "Seeing the small number of female Ph.D.'s prompted me to go on for a Ph.D." Her goal is to be a research scientist and go on to head a technical group.

Bowens was a member of Beta Kappa Chi and Alpha Kappa Mu honor societies, the honors program at Clark-Atlanta, the Chemistry Club, and Zeta Phi Beta sorority. She was also part of the science and math mentoring program in the Atlanta community.

Harley became interested in computer science because "it is an area that can be applied to almost any field or facet of life and is becoming a part of everyday life." She earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in computer science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University. She was also a GEM fellow at the master's level, sponsored by the David Sarnoff Research Center of Princeton, N.J., where she interned. Harley also interned at Honeywell. Her goal is to return to an historically black college or university to teach.

Waddell is a Ph.D. student in chemistry. "I've always been interested in chemistry," she says. "I want to do research to develop new medicines." Her goal is to work for a pharmaceutical company and some day lead her own research group.

Waddell is an alumna of Inroads, a member of the Beta Kappa Chi science honor society, American Chemical Society, and Sigma Gamma Rho sorority.

She earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Hampton University this spring.

Williams, a master's-degree student in civil engineering, also chose her field because there were few women-because it was considered "dirty" engineering. She has wanted to be an engineer since high school. "I decided to continue my studies when I was offered the GEM fellowship because the higher I can go, the more opportunities I will have."

Her goal is to work in industry "to improve waste-water treatment or the water supply, and maybe someday earn a Ph.D."

She is a 1994 graduate of Tennessee State University's civil engineering program, and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.