Keynote Speaker 2020


Dr. Keisha John
URCAD 2020 Alumni Keynote Speaker

Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia
’03 B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMBC
’09 Ph.D. Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dr Keisha John, Associate Dean and UMBC Alumni

Dr. Keisha John has spent most of her life engaged in research – first at the FDA as a high school intern, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a Meyerhoff Scholar, and finally as a Post-doctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University.

Although the scientific process and its potential to solve problems initially motivated her to pursue training in the sciences, her time spent as a scientist sensitized her to larger issues in the scientific community, especially those relating to STEM education, and the need for diversity in the scientific workforce. This knowledge and the desire to have an impact that reached beyond the research bench motivated her to pursue a career in academic administration.

She has served as an Assistant Dean in the Graduate School at Florida State University, and is currently the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in Arts and Sciences at University of Virginia where she collaboratively establishes programs and processes to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in the life and work of the School. While at UMBC, Dr. John was a Meyerhoff Scholar, and worked with her mentor, Dr. Rachel Brewster as one of the first undergraduate researchers in her lab. She is excited to return to UMBC and interact with current undergraduates as we celebrate their research accomplishments.

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker by Dr. Rachel Brewster, Department of Biological Sciences, UMBC and URCAD Keynote Speech by Dr. Keisha John