Bouchet Honor Society to Induct Three INBT Students

The 2020 inductees for the Johns Hopkins University Chapter of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society have been announced and include three INBT students: Bria Macklin, Elmer Zapata Mercado, and Phillip Dorsey.

The Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society was co-founded in 2005 by Yale University and Howard University. Johns Hopkins University was inducted as an institutional member in April 2018. Edward A. Bouchet earned his doctorate in physics at Yale university in 1876 and was the first African American in the United States to receive a PhD. He was also one of the first African Americans to be elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Members are chosen for qualities that exemplify Bouchet’s commitments to scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for those traditionally underrepresented in academia.

Inductees will attend the Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education on April 17-18, 2020 at Yale University in New Haven, CT where they will be inducted. Johns Hopkins University will conduct a separate induction ceremony on the Homewood campus on May 5, 2020, with university President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar.

Bria Macklin (left in photo)

Bria Macklin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and is advised by Sharon Gerecht. Macklin studies stem cell-derived vascular cells and their potential use in regenerative medicine. Her research focus is aimed at understanding how these cells are able to create new vasculature and how these engineered constructs behave in complex environments.

“I am incredibly honored to be inducted into the Edward Bouchet Honor Society. The five pillars of the honor society: scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for those traditionally underrepresented in the academy, are core values that I strive to exemplify daily,” said Macklin.

Elmer Zapata Mercado (center in photo)

Elmer Zapata Mercado is currently a PhD candidate in the Program in Molecular Biophysics, and works under the supervision of Kalina Hristova. His research focuses on studying the thermodynamics of lateral interactions of receptor proteins in the plasma membrane of the cell by employing fluorescence-based techniques.

“I was thrilled when I heard I was selected for this honor society. I don’t think I would’ve achieved this, and other things, if it was not for the support of very important women in my personal, professional, and academic life. I would like to thank my mom and my PhD advisor, as well as my undergraduate and high school mentors,” said Zapata Mercado.

Phillip James Dorsey (right in photo)

Phillip James Dorsey recently completed his doctoral studies in chemical and biomolecular engineering and was advised by Rebecca Schulman. His research focused on the development of stimuli-responsive DNA-programmable biomaterials for applications including molecular diagnostics, biodefense, and drug delivery. Dorsey is also passionate about mentoring young scientists and encouraging students from underrepresented minority backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM research.

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition. I’d like to thank my advisor, thesis committee members, and mentors for their guidance during my graduate education. In the same way that they have supported me, I hope to continue inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM research,” said Dorsey.

You can also read the announcement posted on The Hub.