DSU: How did you originally decide to come to Delaware State?
JENEL: In the spring of 1999, I believe, I went on a tour of a few Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I loved the overall feeling of Delaware State. I remember thinking that the campus itself was beautiful, and that the students seemed to really be enjoying themselves there. During my visit, I had the opportunity to speak with the president at the time, who looked at my transcript and application and told me about some of the scholarships that would be available to me. I discussed it with my family and we decided DSU would be a great fit for me.
DSU: How did Delaware State help you on your career path?
JENEL: The position that I have now requires a strong research background, a lot of which I gained during my time at DSU. My freshman year general biology professor was the first to lead me in that direction – he introduced me to a researcher at the University of Delaware, where I interned and realized my love of research. But I’d say the biggest impact Delaware State had was leading me on the path to earning my Ph.D. in Pharmacology. I was involved in the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, which gave me more research experience and guided me toward graduate school.
DSU: Can you speak a little more about the MARC Program?
JENEL: The MARC program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and aims to help underrepresented students in the sciences be better prepared for education at the Ph.D. level. Starting my junior year, I was able to get financial support from the program, in the form of a scholarship and stipend. We also attended weekly meetings where we were introduced to researchers from different universities and exposed to the career possibilities that were available to us. I also completed my own undergraduate research each summer.
DSU: What other memories do you have from your time at DSU?
JENEL: One of my favorite memories is all of the time spent at football games, watching the band. There are certain songs that the band plays where everyone in the stands gets up and does a dance. It’s a really fun atmosphere. Even for people who weren’t necessarily interested in football, the games were a place to socialize and get into the spirit. The energy at the games is something that I think is really special to Delaware State.