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African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era$
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Jeannette E. Brown

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190615178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190615178.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Life After Tenure Denial in Academia

Life After Tenure Denial in Academia

(p.239) 6 Life After Tenure Denial in Academia
African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era

Jeannette E. Brown

Oxford University Press

The year 2014 was absolutely devastating for me professionally and personally; I was denied tenure and I lost both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. Reflecting back on that time in my life, I am certain that I would not have been able to survive the experience without the support of my close family and friends. I truly believe that the story of my journey will help others experiencing difficult challenges in their careers. After graduating from Henry Ford High School in Detroit, MI, in 1988, I enrolled at Highland Park Community College (HPCC) in nearby Highland Park. My mother was working as a secretary in the nursing department at the time, so I was able to take advantage of the tuition benefit offered to the college’s employees. I enrolled in a chemistry course for non-science majors, which I absolutely loved! Needless to say, after earning my associate’s degree in 1990, I decided to pursue chemistry as a major. I enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and attended two semesters before transferring to Wayne State University (WSU), in Detroit. My experiences as an undergraduate chemistry major at WSU led me on the path to pursue a doctorate in chemistry. In the fall of 1992, I was awarded an NIH-MARC (National Institutes of Health-Minority Access to Research Careers) Fellowship. This fellowship provided me not only funding support, but hands-on research training in the laboratory of Professor Regina Zibuck, a synthetic organic chemist. The environment in the Zibuck laboratory was very supportive and due to this mentoring experience, I wanted to earn a doctorate in chemistry. As a MARC Fellow, I was engaged in research and presented a poster on my research efforts at a national conference for the first time. Thus, I was developing fundamental laboratory and communication skills as an undergraduate researcher. Also during this time at WSU, I became involved in the WSU-NOBCChE chapter, where I found a supportive network of African American students pursuing undergraduate degrees in chemistry. The chapter adviser was Dr. Keith Williams, Director of Minority Student Initiatives in the chemistry department.

Keywords:   Highland Park Community College (HPCC), Lawrence Technological University (LTU), Marburger STEM Center, LTU, Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Fellowship, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Ohio State University (OSU), inorganic chemistry

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