• Brittanny Polanka, Ph.D.

    Brittanny Polanka, Ph.D.

    Polanka’s interest in medicine came after her dad experienced a health scare when she was 16 and her family was uninsured. It was at this time that Polanka’s interest in how people think about and manage their health began to…

    Read More

  • Demario Overstreet, Ph.D.

    Demario Overstreet, Ph.D.

    Even as a child, Demario Overstreet, Ph.D. knew he would pursue a career in the sciences. After school, he would tune into the famed 90s television production – Bill Nye the Science Guy – to watch experiments, learn about natural…

    Read More

  • Jessica Jaiswal, Ph.D., MPH

    Jessica Jaiswal, Ph.D., MPH

    Department of Family and Community Medicine Assistant Professor Jessica Jaiswal, Ph.D., MPH did not even consider attending college until her junior year of high school. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Jaiswal joined the debate team in 10th grade—a decision…

    Read More

  • Kirsten Schoonover, Ph.D.

    Kirsten Schoonover, Ph.D.

    Originally from rural West Virginia, Kirsten Schoonover, Ph.D., obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Japanese studies from West Virginia University. First eyeing a career as a lawyer, Schoonover realized after completing a law internship that the…

    Read More

  • Kristen Allen-Watts, Ph.D., MPH

    Kristen Allen-Watts, Ph.D., MPH

    Born and raised in Birmingham, Kristen Allen-Watts, Ph.D. began her academic career with a degree in Health Sciences from the University of Alabama (UA). Afterward, she attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) School of Public Health to work…

    Read More

  • Stacy Lloyd, Ph.D.

    Stacy Lloyd, Ph.D.

    Stacy Lloyd, PhD, MPH, began her academic career in her home state of Texas, where she attended Prairie View A&M University. During her senior year, Lloyd became a co-survivor to her grandma’s breast cancer diagnosis—a defining moment for Lloyd and…

    Read More

  • Taylor Taylor, Ph.D., M.Ed.

    Taylor Taylor, Ph.D., M.Ed.

    Before becoming a Benjamin-Carver FIRST Scientist, Taylor Taylor was Tennessee born and raised in Huntsville. Taylor began her academic career at Auburn University with a degree in Health Promotion and Wellness and a Master of Education in Exercise Science. In…

    Read More