Rebecca A. Eikey was born in 1975 in Pittsburgh, Pa., the third of four sisters. She graduated cum laude from Chatham College in Pittsburgh with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. During the summer of her junior year she was awarded a NSF REU scholarship to study van der Waals complexes at USC, where she met her fiancé. They are scheduled to be wed on August 11, 2001.
Rebecca was awarded the Geor Gregory Research Fellowship Award from UCLA and the American Institute of Chemists Foundation Award from Chatham College and was a Named Scholar at Chatham College. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Chemistry at UCLA under the direction of Mahdi Abu-Omar, synthesizing novel rhenium complexes and studying nitrogen transfer reactions. She expects to graduate from UCLA in Spring 2002, and, after concluding postdoctoral work, plans to teach chemistry at the college level.
She is currently a facilitator at UCLA for MS2, in collaboration with the CARE program, whose objective is to encourage students from minority groups to stay in the sciences by giving them specialized instruction before and during their first year of classes. Since she was assisted in my undergraduate career by Act 101 at Chatham College (a summer bridge program for students in financial need), one of her real interests and commitments is to teach underprivileged students and those who have been underrepresented in the sciences.
Jonathan Gayles is from Atlanta. He earned his B.A. in Psychology at Morehouse College, and he is currently a doctoral candidate in the Applied Anthropology Department at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He expects to complete his degree in May 2002.
Jonathan’s area of research is educational anthropology. He is currently examining the manner in which high-achieving African American males assign and maintain achievement in different socioeconomic environments. He also has a sincere interest in media anthropology.
He wants to continue his research upon his graduation and either serve his community as a professor or return to nonprofit work. If he moves into academia, one of his central goals will be to empower students to see themselves as thinkers, as scholars, as critics, and as actors in their worlds. Although they may not reach their full potential in his class, as a result of taking his class, Jonathan wants them to come to see their potential as something that absolutely must be fully pursued.
He is a music collector and holds a brown belt in judo.