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Full Biographies of Du Bois Scholars

Tomisin Adebari headshot

Morgan State University

Tomisin Adebari

Tomisin Adebari, a rising senior studying Biological Sciences at Morgan State University is passionate about exploring the intersection of healthcare and technology. Through cancer research experiences at Johns Hopkins Medicine, she discovered a keen interest in leveraging AI for healthcare advancements. Beyond academics, Tomisin is a self-taught guitarist and her passion for music provides a creative outlet amidst her scientific pursuits. She also owns a blog titled “Inspire,” where she delves into self-confidence, helping others embrace their strengths and achieve personal growth. Committed to addressing public health equity issues, she believes everyone should have equal access to quality healthcare. Additionally, her interests extend to the field of cardio-oncology, where she hopes to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives through medical innovations. Inspired by the Ubuntu philosophy, Tomisin believes in the interconnectedness of humanity and seeks to make a positive impact by fostering a community where everyone thrives. 

Olayimika Adeyemi headshot

Delaware State University

Olayimika Adeyemi

Olayimika Joy Adeyemi is a third-year student at Delaware State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, where she is pursuing a degree in Biology (BS) and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. Olayimika, was born and raised in an environment where people suffer and die from infections and diseases daily. With Olayimika’s background and experiences, she is motivated to be in the medical field and help people live and live well. Olayimika, is passionate about genetics and captivated by the “faulty genes” that underlie human disease. Being aware of the ramifications of genetic diseases in reality for individuals, Olayimika hopes to be a medical geneticist. Outside of science, Olayimika enjoys listening to sermons, painting, and cooking. 

Kohl Crawford headshot

Texas Southern University

Kohl Crawford

Kohl Crawford is a driven third-year student at Texas Southern University, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Finance. Recognized as a Tomas F. Freeman Honors student, he consistently excels academically, earning a coveted spot on the President’s List. Kohl actively contributes to campus life as the External Affairs Senator for the Student Government Association and is a valued member of both Collegiate 100 and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Beyond his university commitments, Kohl serves as a Legal Assistant for Attorney Glen Austin, leveraging his passion for law and advocacy. He previously interned at Lowe Law LLC, gaining invaluable experience in the legal domain. With a strong foundation in political science and finance, Kohl aspires to attend law school upon completing his undergraduate studies, driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact in the legal profession.

Kai Dickerson headshot

Spelman College

Kai Dickerson

Kai Dickerson is a rising senior at Spelman College, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology, on the pre-medical track. Her dedication to community wellness is evident through mentorship, over 400 community service hours, ongoing research, and program development. In May of this year, Kai will study abroad in South Africa, where she will research opportunistic infections while analyzing social determinants of health. Through internships at Michigan Medicine, Silence the Shame, Inc., Morehouse School of Medicine, and others, Kai has gained invaluable experience in advocacy, research, and capacity building. Committed to professional growth, she has presented psychiatric research at conferences and received awards for her work. With a passion for mental, holistic, and public health, Kai aims to obtain her MPH in social and behavioral sciences, ultimately aspiring to become a holistic psychiatrist and contribute to improved population health outcomes. 

Esohe Edomwandagbon headshot

Prairie View A&M University

Esohe Edomwandagbon

Esohe Edomwandagbon is a senior at Prairie View A&M University where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. After completing her undergraduate degree at Prairie View, she plans to enroll in a dual degree program for her MD/PhD. Her research interests lie within biomedical engineering specializing in stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Inspired by her family, Esohe has a mission to push for more diverse spaces in scientific communities. Esohe aspires to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in hopes of working for the National Institute of Health. Outside of her lab coat, Esohe enjoys being within her Christian ministry and serving her community with the organizations she is in at her home institution. 

Talia Ford headshot

Spelman College

Talia Ford

Talia Ford is a rising junior attending Spelman College from Atlanta, Georgia. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences while on the pre-medical track. Talia aspires to become a physician and is passionate about improving the quality of life for all people, especially those from underrepresented communities. She aims to mitigate the health disparities that disproportionately affect these groups. Her interest in medicine and research began after her grandfather’s cardiac arrest, which fueled her advocacy for optimal health and equity. This event inspired her to pursue her academic goals with a dedication to working towards mitigating injustices and implementing change. Talia believes in resilience, responsibility, and challenging stereotypes and biases in healthcare and research. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Talia plans to apply to medical school to gain further knowledge and skills to transform medical practices, ensuring quality care for all. 

Jacquelle Joseph-Lainez headshot

North Carolina A&T University

Jacquelle Joseph-Lainez

Jacquelle Joseph-Lainez is a rising junior at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, pursuing a degree in Biology. Under the direction of Dr. Misty Thomas, she delves into microbiology research, focusing on two-component systems. Her dedication to biology stems from a desire to tackle health disparities. Jacquelle embarked on her microbiology journey as a Scholar in the NC A&T Summer Research Preparatory Program last summer. Post-graduation, she intends to apply to medical school, aspiring to pursue a dual career as a physician and researcher. 

Anayla McClendon headshot

Spelman College

Anayla McClendon

Anayla McClendon is a senior at Spelman College where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English (Writing Concentration) and minoring in Japanese Studies. Prior to becoming a Du Bois Scholar, Anayla became a UNCF Mellon-Mays Fellow in 2022 and studied abroad at the historic Tsuda University in Tokyo, Japan in 2023. Her primary research interest is East Asian Studies, with a focus on Japanese literature and society. She is also interested in Gender and Sexuality studies, classical Chinese literature, medieval literature, British & Irish literature, and classical literature. In her spare time, Anayla enjoys reading manga, cosplaying, and fashion.  

Manuela Niamke headshot

Xavier University of Louisiana

Manuela Niamke

Manuela Niamke is an international student finishing her second year at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is pursuing a degree in Biology pre-med with a minor in Chemistry. Having seen a very close family member struggle with illness for months at a time when doctors could not understand encouraged her to pursue medicine so that she could help her family in times of need and many other families. It is an honorable act to be able to help people. Also, chemistry is an impressive science; it allows us to understand how the world works and make beautiful discoveries. She left her country, Côte d’Ivoire, to come to the United States to get a high-quality education with the best instruments, learn a new language, and meet new people. It was not easy, but it was a challenge that taught her many lessons. Manuela enjoys playing sports or reading in her spare time to improve her vocabulary. 

Yasmeen Olass headshot

Delaware State University

Yasmeen Olass

Yasmeen Olass, a rising junior at Delaware State University, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Psychology. She proudly holds both the Dream. US Scholarship and the Agilent Scholarship, which have facilitated her education and involvement in diverse research endeavors. As a first-generation student, Yasmeen is determined to excel. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, she aims to pursue graduate education to deepen her understanding of biology and work toward her aspiration of becoming an anesthesiologist. 

Ellison Richardson headshot

Howard University

Ellison Richardson

Ellison Richardson is from Chicago, IL, and a junior honors student at Howard University, double majoring in Political Science and Afro-American Studies. As an Eagle Scout, he has pursued service through the political system to focus all of his efforts toward racial equity, with a particular focus on the Black community. Formerly interning at the White House, Supreme Court of the United States, and in Congress he refined his knowledge of the political system in the spaces where minorities often do not have a single seat at the table. These efforts are not limited to the domestic sphere, as he continued this ambition in South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar. In spreading this ambition, Mr. Richardson has presented his research at the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. After completion of his undergraduate studies, he intends on enrolling in graduate school to continue his study of the intersecting fields of race and politics. 

Oluwatomisin Salami Headshot

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Oluwatomisin Salami 

Oluwatomisin Salami is a junior at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, majoring in Biology with a pre-med concentration. Raised in Nigeria, she witnessed the challenges within the medical system, motivating her to pursue a career in healthcare to make a difference in people’s lives. During her academic journey, Oluwatomisin had the privilege of participating in an internship with the LSAMP program at UMES, where she engaged in research on nhe3 gene expression using zebrafish models. Outside of academics, she enjoys cooking, crafting bracelets, and listening to music while walking. 

Jayden Seay headshot

North Carolina A&T University

Jayden Seay

Jayden Seay is a rising fourth-year student and inaugural February One Scholar at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, studying Secondary History Education. He is a researcher, advocate, and educator with a passion for educational equity and advancing justice. He has shared this passion on platforms including Good Morning America, the Washington Post, Uninterrupted’s “HBCUs Rising”, and many other state and local publications. He holds various leadership roles, such as Vice President of Campus Outreach for the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments, Community Service Co-Chair for the NCA&T Honors College Ambassador Program, and incoming Vice President of the Honors Student Advisory Board. Through these roles, he has worked to advocate for educational equity, student civic engagement, and social change in his community and beyond. He is a strong communicator and leader and is dedicated to helping others recognize their potential and be able to communicate it effectively. 

Joanne Simon Headshot

Clark Atlanta University

Joanne Simon

Joanne Simon is a third-year student at Clark Atlanta University at the School of Arts and Sciences, where she is pursuing a degree in Biology (BS) and a double minor in Public Health & Psychology. She was an American Heart Association HBCU Scholar where she not only focused on research methodologies but also the social impact that health disparities and inequities have on the Black community. She learned how diverse perspectives enhance scientific investigation, and how cultural sensitivity can create trust and improve clinical outcomes. In her studies, Joanne is focusing on Biology and Medical sciences where she learns different scientific methods. Her interest in medicine stems from her goal of advocating for the importance of medical equality amongst all. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she intends to complete a master’s degree in medical sciences and apply to medical school to further her knowledge of the medical field.  

Karmen Smith headshot

Spelman College

Karmen Smith

Karmen Smith is a junior Chemistry major at Spelman College. The Atlanta native actively engages in diverse research spanning from organic chemistry to cellular and molecular immunology. Their research on the inflammatory response of human lung epithelial cells has been presented at prestigious conferences, including NOBCChE and ABRCMS. On campus, she serves in executive board positions as treasurer of the Chemistry Club and secretary of the Transfer Student Association (TSA), alongside her involvement in the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program. Karmen is dedicated to tutoring Calculus I & II students and volunteers with organizations such as the Atlanta Science Festival (ASF). She also participates in additional scholar programs, including the LINCS Scholars and UHSA at Morehouse School of Medicine, both groups emphasizing a commitment to STEM fields and providing space for minoritized individuals. Post-graduation, she aims to pursue a PharmD to contribute to healthcare as a licensed pharmacist. 

Evan Spann headshot

Morehouse College

Evan Spann

Evan Spann is a second-year scholar at Morehouse College majoring in Psychology. Intrigued by kindred interests, he has been involved in the Black Men’s Research Institute, The Identity, Art, and Democracy Lab, The Maroon Tiger, the Cigna Social Justice Mental Health Scholars Program, and the Student Government Association. He has also been fortunate to travel abroad three times to Liberia, West Africa, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, participating in service-learning, social justice advocacy, and African diasporic exploration. Evan has interned with Feet of Clay, Decide Dekalb Development Authority, and Project Community Connections, Inc. He enjoys weekly volunteering at Bear Creek Middle School as a mentor and at Dunbar Elementary School as a third-grade teacher’s assistant. The Howard County, Maryland native knows that antiquated systems intentionally disregard psychological wellness among globally underserved communities. After graduation, he aims to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 

Landen Thompson Headshot

Morehouse College

Landen Thompson

Landen Thompson is a rising junior, double majoring in Biology and Sociology from Bay St. Louis, MS, attending Morehouse College. His passion lies in the intersection of biology, medicine, and social determinants of health. Landen’s career aspiration is to become a clinical research physician after obtaining an MD/PhD. He aims to bridge science and its social implications within the field of healthcare to curate institutionalized changes. Landen is actively involved in various organizations — Morehouse’s Student Ambassador Program, Morehouse College’s McNair Program, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, and Emory Hotspotters. His interests in the field were sparked while participating in a summer research immersion program at the University of Michigan where he researched the pharmaceutical development of an antimalarial drug. The experience strengthened his dedication to contributing to the field of medicine and improving healthcare outcomes for underserved communities. 

Ana Villavasso headshot

Spelman College

Ana Villavasso

Ana Villavasso is a second-year Presidential Scholar at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, pursuing a B.A. in Art with a double minor in Math and Computer Science. Her focus uses object-based CAD software such as Fusion 360, SketchUp, and more to create three-dimensional renderings of complex objects in a variety of industries, including medical models and tools. She served as one of the Microsoft Innovation Lab Maker Fellows in the 2023-2024 school year at Spelman, where she developed a specific product related to her three-dimensional design interests. She also serves as a 3D Modeling Liaison for classes that specify making biological and scientific models. She is in the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, serves as the current treasurer of Afrekete, her college’s only LGBTQ+ organization, and is a member of multiple other organizations on campus. In her free time, Ana enjoys painting, working out, and listening to music. 

Nichele Washington Headshot

Spelman College

Nichele Washington

Nichele Olivia-Lanett Washington is a third-year Political Science major, and Philosophy minor at Spelman College. Her passion for rectifying Black maternal health inequities has led her to participate in fellowships such as the YWCA Georgia Women’s Policy Institute and The Century Foundation as a Health Care Scholar. During her time at The Century Foundation, Nichele published a commentary that hypothesizes that the social epidemiology of hypertension contributes to a disproportionate Black maternal mortality rate within the United States. This school year, Nichele was able to present her Black maternal health research at the Georgia Collegiate Honors Conference and is eager to analyze a broader range of environmental health disparities this summer as a Du Bois Scholar at Harvard College. It is her hope that by further researching the causes and manifestations of health inequities, she will be in a better position to one day pen progressive healthcare legislation. 

A'Nyah Williams Headshot

Hampton University

A’Nyah Williams

A’Nyah is a dedicated second-year student pursuing her bachelor’s in English and her master’s in education at Hampton University. With a remarkable GPA of 4.0, she demonstrates a strong commitment to academic excellence. She is passionate about research, literature, language, and the field of education, aiming to make a positive impact in the lives of students by advancing an agenda of equity, diversity, and inclusion by using effective teaching methods and inspiring curriculum development. In addition to her academic pursuits, A’Nyah is actively involved in the student recruitment team, where she helps promote the university and engage with prospective students. She also serves as a pre-calculus and Spanish tutor, providing academic support to fellow students in these challenging subjects.