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Black in STEM


Avianna Thompson.

Avianna Thompson


Major and Degree Pursued: Biology, B.S.

Prospective Graduation Year: 2024

Current Position: Clinic Intern, University Health Services; Undergraduate Research Assistant, Behavioral Neurogenetics Lab; McNair Scholar

Connect: Web | LinkedIn | Email


What motivates you to do/pursue science and/or medicine?

Curiosity and my passion for research have been driving forces in my pursuit of science. I recognized early on that I enjoyed being able to tackle complex issues for the benefit of others. Whether navigating health-care challenges or immersing myself in research, I honed my skills as an advocate, recognizing the need for change within the health-care system, particularly through the lens of my own experiences as a patient. I realized that I had to become the change I wished to see in the world. During my academic journey, I’ve been able to conduct research, intern at University Health Services, and gain experience translating scientific data into tangible information for the public. My aim after obtaining my Ph.D. in public health is to work with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, devising behavioral implementations for chronic diseases, raising awareness about health-care disparities, and educating the public.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is a time of reflection for me. It reminds me of how far we have come, but also how far we must progress. What I love about Black History Month is the recognition of hidden figures and the platform given to these untold stories. Representation is so important, especially to those growing up aspiring to go into fields where they may face adversity. Figures such as Guion Bluford, Daniel Hale Williams, and Zora Neale Hurston were among the many names I never learned in a classroom until Black History Month—but the impact they have on my identity will last a lifetime.