Five Cornellians were inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society — which recognizes outstanding scholarship and promotes diversity and distinction in doctoral education and the professoriate — at Yale University from April 5 to 7.
Among Cornell’s 2019 Bouchet scholars are Elaigwu Ameh grad, Lory Henderson grad, Marysol Luna grad, Aravind Natarajan grad and Monet Roberts grad.
Ameh, who studies performing and media arts, conducts research that merges theater for “social change, human displacement, black studies, gender mainstreaming and performance theory to give voice to those who are underrepresented,” according to a University press release.
“Being a Bouchet scholar is embracing the vocation to serve humanity better and to create a better world for all, irrespective of our existential affiliations,” Ameh said in the statement. “It’s about a call to empathetic action driven by an unapologetic pursuit of the common good.”
A graduate student in microbiology, Henderson was recognized for her research on contamination in the dairy industry and how to adapt processing mechanisms to reduce health risks.
Luna, who is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, researches the development of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, and how it impacts the mechanical performance of the bone.
Natarajan, a doctoral candidate in microbiology, was honored for his research that employs E. coli bacteria to alleviate thalassemia, leukemia and malaria.
Pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, Roberts was recognized for her research merging engineering and medicine, particularly the causes of cancer-derived microvesicles.
Named after Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American man to receive a doctorate from an American university in 1876, the Bouchet Society seeks to foster a network of scholars who have traditionally been underrepresented in academia.
The sixth person in the Western hemisphere to earn a doctorate in physics, Bouchet was also one of the first African American to be admitted to the famed Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
The society’s co-founders, Yale University and Howard University, sought to recognize scholars who exemplify five characteristics — scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy.
The society now boasts chapters at more than 15 universities across the U.S., including Emory University, Northwestern University and the University of Florida, among others.
“We all aspire to be the giants whose shoulders others can stand upon and, with this new network of movers and shakers, we can leverage our connections to get closer to that goal day by day,” Roberts said.