URCAD 2008 Guest Speaker

Chiatogu Onyewu

Chiatogu Onyewu
’99, Biological Sciences
’07 M.D., Ph.D., Pharmacology, Duke

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Chiatogu Onyewu came to UMBC in 1995 from Sherwood High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. She was a Meyerhoff Scholar and MARC U*STAR Trainee, majoring in Biology. Throughout her time at UMBC, Chiatogu engaged in various research experiences. Most notably, she completed a summer research internship in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Tom Cech in 1997 and she received a Howard Hughes Fellowship to Brandeis University in the spring semester of 1998. Chiatogu graduated cum laude in 1999. She was accepted into the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. After completing two years of medical school, she joined the Pharmacology Department working under Dr. Joseph Heitman. Her research focused on antifungal drug targeting in Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast that causes systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals such as transplant, chemotherapy, and AIDS patients. In March 2006, Chiatogu defended her doctoral dissertation and went on to complete her final year of medical school. In May 2007, she was awarded her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Onyewu is the third African-American female to graduate from Duke’s MSTP program since it began in 1966.

As a graduate student, Chiatogu received several distinctions including an “Acres of Diamonds” award at the 2003 Minority Training Research Forum, a UNCF/Merck Graduate Dissertation Fellowship in 2004, and an NIH Minority Supplement Award in 2005. She presented her work at several national conferences, and has been a guest speaker for various high school, radio, and university events, including the 2004 UMBC MARC U*STAR summer seminar series. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on translational science, as she is charged with developing clinically relevant research studies and interventions to address metabolic syndrome and obesity among pediatric minority populations.

Scott Snyder

Scott David Snyder
’94, History and Certificate in Secondary Education
’99, M.A. Historical Studies

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Scott Snyder remembers his most prominent research during his undergraduate years as his senior project on Alexander MacKenzie’s westward journey through Canada in the eighteenth century. While mastering the techniques of academic scholarship he was engaged by the details of history. He particularly enjoyed reading a detailed account describing how a team of explorers reacted when one of their troupe carries a lit pipe over a pile of drying gunpowder. Scott graduated from UMBC in 1994, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Historical Studies with honors.

After two years in the banking and cable industries Scott returned to UMBC and his academic love: learning about history. His master’s thesis research focused on the dialogue between the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Office concerning the language and meaning of the Monroe Doctrine. Months of research in the National Archives and Library of Congress taught Scott the methods and rewards of scholarship. He emerged with one of the first bi-lingual theses in the history of the Historical Studies program. Scott received his Master of Arts in Historical Studies from UMBC in 1999 and has taught high school students ever since. He began teaching at the Garrison Forest School this school year after eight-years in the Baltimore County Public School system, where he taught World History, AP European History, and basic Economics at the Carver Center for Arts and Technology. To this day, he still does research in history and education, and loves every minute of it.