Three doctoral students named Bouchet Fellows

Three doctoral students were inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at the annual Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education March 29 at Yale University.

The three 2008 Bouchet Fellows are Keona Ervin from the Department of History in Arts & Sciences, Henrika McCoy from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Tracy Nicholson from the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.

The Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.

Its network of preeminent scholars exemplifies academic and personal excellence, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

Sheri Notaro, Ph.D, associate dean of the graduate school of Arts & Sciences, coordinates the WUSTL chapter of the Bouchet Society.

“It is a privilege to participate in the recognition of the talented Washington University students who are selected as members of the Bouchet Honor Society,” Notaro said. “Their scholarship, activism and dedication to improving the lives of others is truly inspiring.”

Ervin’s research interests include African-American women’s working-class resistance, the Civil Rights movement and the intersections of class, gender and sexuality in African-American social movements. Ervin is a Chancellor’s Fellow and the recipient of the Organization of American Historians’ Huggins-Quarles Award and the Mellon Mays University Fellows Travel and Research Grant.

McCoy specializes in child and adolescent mental health, juvenile delinquency, African-Americans and social work education. Also a Chancellor’s Fellow, she will begin her academic career as an assistant professor at Boston College this fall.

Nicholson studies the role of the Gram-negative chaperone protein SurA and its substrates in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli. She is a member of the Association of Black Biomedical Graduate Students, the Student Advisory Committee and the Biomedical Research Apprenticeship Program.

She promotes science outreach through work with the Young Scientist Program and the Junior Scientist Institute.

At the conference, the Bouchet Fellows presented papers, networked with other graduate students and discussed job leads with deans and administrators from other universities.

The Bouchet Society was established in 2005 by Yale and Howard universities to recognize the life and academic contributions of Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African-American to earn a doctorate from an American university. He earned a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1876.

WUSTL was invited to become a Bouchet chapter member in 2007, joining Georgetown and Cornell universities and the universities of Michigan and Washington.