Where Are They Now...
Godfrey Rangasammy (PhD, '17, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) has been a P-20 science educator for 30 years. Originally from British Guyana, Godfrey obtained his B.S in Biology/Chemistry from University of Guyana, with a subsequent Master's in Science Education from Georgia State University. Godfrey has taught Biology, Chemistry, and AP Chemistry, College Physical Science in Guyana, the Caribbean, New York, Georgia, and Maryland. While earning his Ed.D. he served as the K-12 Science Supervisor for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) - a large, diverse urban school district in Maryland. Godfrey is a member of numerous professional organizations including the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA), the Association For Multicultural Science Education (ASME), and Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST). His dissertation An Investigation of Teachers’ Reported Use of Scientific Practices in Elementary Instruction: Implications for Student Outcomes and Principals’ Self- Efficacy provides insights on the use of the science and engineering practices from the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) to revolutionize and lay a strong P-20 STEM Pipeline foundation in the K-5 environment. Several recommendations to address access, equity and barrier issues are also addressed. Currently, in an effort to help all students in PGCPS, especially non-dominant student populations, Godfrey is applying his research skills to implement a K-12/NGSS-aligned curriculum with resources. Concurrently, he is also designing, and delivering professional development programs for K-12 science teachers as the NGSS pedagogical framework continues to shift.
Yacong Yuan (PhD, '17, Journalism) is currently a faculty member in the Communication Studies program at University of Maryland, University College. She teaches students from around the globe in an online environment on how to collect, and verify information from reliable sources, conduct effective interviews while creating clear, concise, and interesting stories for audiences in the age of social media. Yacong has a passion for understanding audience behaviors in the changing media landscape. Her doctoral dissertation explored audiences’ trust of news in a cross-cultural communication context between China and the U.S.
John Kerwin (PhD, '17, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) joined Biogen in January 2018 as a member of the Gene Therapy Manufacturing Sciences team. Biogen develops gene therapy, and gene editing technologies for therapeutic approaches that target the retina, skeletal muscle, and the central nervous system. John helps establish manufacturing platform approaches for Biogen’s next-generation gene transfer technology using adeno-associated virus gene delivery vectors. John's doctoral thesis investigated novel approaches for intracellular, circular recombinant protein delivery for therapeutic applications. While researching, and writing his thesis, he initiated and developed a new research group for UMD’s Biotech Research and Education Program (under the direction of Dr. Ben Woodard) developing methods, and manufacturing platforms for cell culture-based processes. John's group led efforts to build gene, and cell therapy programs for UMD and key stakeholders. Prior to Maryland, he was a Process Development Engineer for the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation in Rockville, MD.
Wendy Marie Laybourn (PhD, '18, Sociology) recently accepted a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Memphis. Her research focuses on racial, and ethnic identity development, and the effects of cross-racial interaction, and popular culture. Her book, entitled Diversity in Black Greek Letter Organizations: Breaking the Line, was published this April. As a Memphis alumna, Wendy looks forward to giving back to the community that first ignited her interest in sociology.