Posts classified under: HBCU

Charles Smith

Year in program: 2020

UCLA Mentors: Dr. India Nichols

HBCU Mentors: Dr. Valerie Haftel


Current Institution: Morehouse College

Growing up in Tennessee, Charles always had a passion for understanding the mind. This led him to develop a keen interest in understanding how social, psychological and physiological factors alter a person’s ability to store and retrieve memories, as well as affect the learning process. His overall goal is to improve academic success by understanding how negative factors, such as stress, imposter syndrome, poor eating habits and sleep schedules, makes it harder for students to succeed. Outside of learning and memory-based research, Charles also enjoys spending time with his dogs, abstract painting and taking pictures of beautiful scenery.

Rubi Guadarrama

Year in program: 2020

UCLA Mentors: Dr. Stephanie White

HBCU Mentors: Dr. Hakeem Lawal


Current Institution: Delaware State University

Born in Mexico Michoacán and migrated to the United States at the age of nine, Rubi is an Opportunity Scholar who feels blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Delaware State University and pursue a double degree. The desire to serve, learn, and discover new things is what drives her to continue her education in graduate school. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in neuroscience and would like to fill in the gaps in the knowledge of how the brain modulates social interactions. Specifically, understand the neurobiological underpinnings of social constructs and how beliefs about others modulate interpersonal relationships. She would like to explore how meditative practices might facilitate neuroplasticity and strengthen our interpersonal relationships. It is through the process of discovery that she aims to make a positive impact for people who have faced disadvantages and marginalization and give back to the community, and advocate for diversity.