Panther Researcher of the Week

We support our researchers!  The following undergraduate researchers have either presented their work at one of our annual research symposiums or have traveled to present their work at a research conference.

This week’s Panther Researcher of the week is Christian Alexander!

Christian is a Junior, Art major with a concentration in Advertisement Design from Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a freelance artist since 2017 and is currently researching and applying advanced color theory in his art. His work is created using his personal philosophy, “Why Not? and Bruce Lee’s philosophy, “Be Like Water.” Creating artwork is a spiritual exercise for Christian that allows his mind to challenge ideas and create imagined realities in the physical plane.  Christian is also a Research Ambassador for the CURC.

Christian feels that his research is a launchpad to help him develop his artist style. He has learned so much throughout the process and is eager to see what he learns in the months/years to come. Christian believes that research is especially important to the HBCU community because in order to build a better future, we need to question what’s wrong with the present. Research propels humanity forward at an exponential pace. Without research there is no development, and stagnation kills the soul. The advice that Christian would give to those conducting research for the first time is to find something you’re passionate about and develop questions you have about said subject. Research starts with inquiry. As long as you’re questioning there’s always research to be done.

Christian says Clark Atlanta University has grown in many ways since his freshman year. There are more events now (art shows and DJs in the café, networking events, off-campus activities, etc.). CAU has definitely become more of a homely environment in his eyes, and has been his home for three years.

Christian’s plans for post-graduation are to ultimately become a university art professor. He is extremely passionate about his craft and jumps at any opportunity to teach others about it. Being an artist is undeniably his path in life. He has been creating since childhood and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

The legacy that Christian wants to leave in the AUC is to plan on working with the different art departments to fund a creative studio space. There is currently no open studio in the AUC where students can work on creative projects outside of the classroom, and Christian unfortunately has personally been subjected to working in his dorm room.

Christian’s motivation to do research was that as an artist, he is always doing research. He studies life throughout his day (tracing forms with his eyes, observing how colors interact with one another in different environments, as well as how light plays with different objects). Research is incorporated into Christian’s life every day due to the simple fact that he loves to learn and observe, as he is intrinsically motivated.

Keep up the fantastic work, beautifying the world.  We can’t wait to see where your gift takes you!



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is Therecia Lang!

Ms. Lang is a graduating Senior, Theatre Arts major from Mobile, Alabama. She has been a part of several productions not only at Clark Atlanta, but with her Atlanta based theater group called “Synchronicity Theater”. This year, she will be conducting research on her experience of going to New York City for the URTAS (University/Resident Theatre Association).

 Therecia believes that research is integral to the HBCU community. “If time continues to pass and continue, so does research. Every day we wake up to a world that is constantly changing, so re-evaluation and research should be done consistently as well. In terms of research within the HBCU community, I highly recommend high schoolers to research various HBCUs because although these schools share a commonality of being rich in culture and history, each HBCU possess their own uniqueness compared to the next school”.

For her personal goals, Therecia also believes research is an ongoing process, whether she is researching the different roles that she has to play, acting techniques for psychological drama, or even researching graduate programs for acting. The advice that Therecia recommends to anyone conducting research for the first time is to go in with an open mind and leave with an expanded mind. Do not expect a specific outcome, but instead allow what you find to show you more about yourself.

Since her freshman year, Therecia has seen many changes within Clark Atlanta University. She witnessed the development of Panther Fit, the student center was renovated to a more study/hangout friendly environment, and in terms of the student body, there is more male representation than her freshman year. Therecia’s first year, she thought CAU was a, “red/black version of Spelman, the ratio of women to men was 12 to 1, but now the ratio is looking more of 8 to 4.”

Therecia’s plans post-graduation are in the air but structured. She feels confident in the connections she has built over the past four years, and the training that she has been equipped with in feeling confident in stepping out as a theatre arts undergraduate student. She will continue to use her artistic abilities on stage and off, in order to portray stories and concepts that are needed in entertainment. As well as, use other talents in doing projects or assignments that make her feel whole.

The legacy that Therecia wants to leave with Clark, involves people around her knowing her to be a hopeful, God-fearing woman. Though she has accomplished so much from being cast in at least one show per year, being a part of acting intensives in the states and abroad in London, possessing a paid internship and gaining leadership positions in her department, to being in a professional show and nominated for an award by Atlanta theatre committee, she is truly humbled and knows that everything that she haves has been a gift from God. She wants to leave a legacy of “working hard, but in a healthy way”.



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is Destine Jones!

Ms. Destine Jones is Biology major.  She was motivated to start doing research while taking microbiology lab.  The lab made her realize she wanted to continue working in labs.  She is currently working on proteins in Dr. David Logan’s lab.  She also worked at the University of Georgia on circadian clocks.  Her next step is to keep doing research and bring in other students who haven’t had these type of opportunities.  She participated in last year’s research symposium presenting the work that she solely collected in the lab.  Through her information gathering, she knows things that others don’t know and hopes to act as a bridge.

Ms. Jones believes that it is very important for the African-American community to always be conducting research because the community can offer different results that other majority-white communities.  At the CCRTD here at Clark Atlanta University, the focus on prostate cancer research led her to start doing research on certain bacteria which may or may not lead to treatments for cancer as well as other circadian clocks.

Since her Freshman year, she has grown more comfortable with her chosen interest within her major. She wants to leave a legacy of boldness.  She wants to encourage everyone to not be fearful of making mistakes.  Whether a person is inside or outside the lab, mistakes have helped her grown and everyone can learn from their mistakes.  For those conducting research for the first time she would say, “Don't be scared to jump in and get your hands dirty; throw on your lab coat, gloves, goggles, and other materials and get busy. Researchers are prone to make mistakes, but don't let that stop you from researching your topic.”

Upon graduation, Ms. Jones would like to attend either University of Georgia or Temple University to obtain her MD/PhD and become a medical doctor and researcher and eventually open up her own clinic. 

Congratulations Ms. Destine Jones!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you.  We are looking forward to watch you continue on your research journey.   



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is Queen Jonafa’ Tervalon!

Ms. Tervalon, presented in last year’s symposium and has been involved in the Undergraduate Research Club.  The CURC allowed her to become a peer mentor and able to break down and explain better methods and process of research.  Through this work, she has learned the elements of research and learned how to present information more thoroughly.  Queen believes that research is important because it uncovers new solutions and new ways to think about the world that we live in. It also rediscovers old history and/or people that we haven't heard of before and allows us to see them in new lights. For HBCUs especially it is important because, black history has been erased and rewritten so much in this country.  Research helps black students realize that there are many people that have contributed to our history versus the elite few that are heard about. The underdogs, women, and queer people that have played a part in Black history voices should be heard and not diminished due to society norms. 

Queen Jonafa’ was motivated to start doing research through a novel she’s writing.  The novel is a realistic-fiction dealing with African-American history and the "what could've beens," throughout our history. The need for facts for the foundation of this novel pushed her to do research. Her next step is adding more primary sources from Ella Baker, Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells.

Since her freshman year, Miss Tervalon thinks the university has grown the most with the new administration.  Our new president serves as a catalyst for change. We always need to evolve to the next level and reject top heavy structures between students and administration.  As a senior, she wanted to leave a legacy with a new sustainability project she’s working on. It would allow for CAU to be more earth-focused. Black people in history have been people who cared about the earth. She would also like to leave a legacy with the Isabella T. Jenkins Honors Program.  Her and her colleagues have created a list of programs during their time at Clark so other students can have a source to reference.

For those conducting research for the first time, Queen would recommend to just START.  Let your interests and passions guide you in finding a topic you are serious about putting time into.

Post graduation, Miss Tervalon plans to write academic journal articles prior to entering graduate school and then obtain her PhD in Political Science with concentration in Political Theory and Comparative Politics.  She will then use this to study Black Diaspora and how black women/religion contribute to political movements worldwide.

Congratulations Miss Queen Jonafa’ Tervalon!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you!



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is Saad Abdulrahman!

Mr. Saad Abdulraham is an international student from Saudi Arabia.  He is a sophomore, Criminal Justice major, who plans to attend law school after graduation.  In law school, he wants to focus on developing a better set of laws.

Saad’s past research dealt with the Code of Hammurabi, which was one of the earliest sets of law.  He feels that research is important because it is vital to gaining information about any topic, plus it allows the researcher to learn just as much as their intended audience. 

For those doing research for the first time, he recommends trying to collect as much information about your topic from a varied array of sources.  He has seen through the example of his sister, Amal Abdulraham who is a graduate student in the Chemistry department, that by being involved in research your experience will be deepened at CAU. 

Mr. Abdulraham plans to participate in the upcoming research symposium on April 7-8, 2020.  He feels encouraged by the support he receives from MISK (Mohammed bin Salman Foundation), which aims to develop and empower youth to become active participants in the future. 

Congratulations Mr. Saad Abdulraham!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you.  We anticipate his participation in the symposium and hope to follow his journey through law school. 



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is Elana Edusei!

Miss Elana Edusei is a Junior Mathematics major.  She is also one of only four other women at Clark Atlanta University receiving the prestigious Clare Booth Luce Scholarship. 

Elana began her research journey by presenting in last year’s research symposium.  It was a great experience because it showed her how to do research and allowed her to network and talk to other data scientists.  She had an inside view to the field where she glimpsed the importance of research and how it’s bigger than just looking up information on a topic.  To those participating in research for the first time her advice is this, “Go into your research with an open mind - don’t narrow your topic too soon.  Don’t get discouraged if your research shows results you didn’t want to see.”

She was motivated to get involved in research initially because she knew it would serve as a foundation for her career and benefit her in the long run.  Upon graduation, Miss Edusei’s plans are up in the air, but will most likely include attending graduate school unless an incredible job offer comes her way. As her legacy, she would love to encourage more girls to participate in STEM, especially math.

We are looking forward to watching Miss Elana Edusei pave her way in the world of mathematics.  Continue to make us proud!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, are rooting for you.



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is the unstoppable, Diamond Mayo!

Miss Diamond Mayo: Senior, Georgia native and an Education major. 

She is an extremely involved student on campus.  She lives by the motto that a well-informed person is a great person; so the more you know, the more proactive you can be in your community.  She was motivated by a professor to participate in the research symposium for the first time last year.  Her oral presentation on economic education segregation, helped to convince the audience why more funding should be provided to poverty-stricken areas.  Since then, she has become an advocate for making changes in her community.  Participation in the research symposium allowed her to see different people’s perspectives.  It made her realize that we can come together for the greater good to improve the lives of children and in our neighborhoods.  She now believes that research is very important in society and especially at HBCU’s. 


Diamond’s advice to anyone starting research for the first time is this, “Ask questions, don't be afraid to ask questions. The more you ask, the more you'll know about the topic/subject. Professors are also great resources for information. Depending on the topic, there's no telling how much info you'll get out of them.” 

Diamond wants to become an educational Psychologist.  With this, she can advocate in the classroom and in the courtroom.  She also wants to be a high or middle school teacher where she will teach the social sciences and work on bettering the lives of kids within her neighborhood and Georgia.  Miss Mayo is on her way to leaving a legacy as a leader who lead with integrity and respect.  She remains open and available to new opportunities presented to her as she continues on her journey. 

Thank you, Diamond!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, are excited for you and your bright future ahead!




This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is the one and only, Shah Awotwe!

Mr. Shah Awotwe (pronounced a – whe – toe – whe) is a Junior, Sociology major and a research ambassador in the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC).  Shah presented in last year’s research symposium for the first time and experienced the rush that comes from researching something he truly wanted to know more about.  His participation sparked his curiosity in the process and he had to learn more!

Mr. Awotwe’ topic was “Mentally Drained, Emotionally Broken: How Abusive Relationships Affect an Individual Mentally and/or Emotionally.” He believes his research is very beneficial to the AUC community because he referenced experiences of students within the community.  He feels that it could even be used to prevent the likelihood of students getting into abusive relationships.  Being involved was a great opportunity to jumpstart his experience with research.  The next step in his process will be to do more surveying and interviews on abusive relationships within the AUC and use the additional information gained to create change.

His advice to anyone doing research for the first time is this, “Take your time and go at your pace, just make sure the research is thorough and you learn as much as your audience will.” 


Shah’s plans after graduation include relocating to the Prince George’s County area of Maryland.  Once there, he wants to work in the prison system or in a school as a counselor.  The legacy he would like to leave is that who you are, what people think you are, and where you think you should be does not and will not stand in the way of what you can do.

Best of luck, Shah!  Your future is bright.  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, know you will accomplish wonderful things with your dedication and drive.



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is the lovely, Miss Paris Grady! 

Miss Paris Grady is a Junior Biology major, from St. Louis who is ready take over the medical field by storm.  She has presented her research at several research conferences including the 2019 Research Symposium at Clark Atlanta University and at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.  She feels that all of her research experience is impacting her future, because it is showing her how much she enjoys it!  She has learned about the scientific method, what sources to read for proper information and what it would be like to become a researcher.  She seemed to always know she needed to do research because of her goal to attend medical or professional graduate education.  When Paris traveled to present her work, it taught her to be understanding; understanding how to speak to people, understanding that not everyone has the same level of knowledge on subjects, and then how to teach what she understands to somebody else. It has also taught her how to be thorough and professional with presenting my research. 

When asked how important research is to society, herself and the HBCU community, she said, “I believe it is very important because, it creates new things, innovations, cheaper applications, and even medicines. In the AUC community I think it is important for us to get exposure to different types of research that is available to us.”  She has seen Clark Atlanta University grow since her Freshman year, especially the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development (CCRTD) where ground-breaking work is being performed every day.

For those conducting research for the first time, Paris offers the following advice, “Humble yourself.  You don’t have the knowledge on what you’re researching so be open minded, transparent, willing to learn, available, ready to work, and ready to listen.” 

Miss Grady hopes to be remembered as a student that was very involved and was successful in making it through.  She would love to come back post-graduation and give back to CAU and maybe even be a mentor.  Right now, she’s continuing with the same structural component with her research, but with a different application from what I did first.  She hopes to find a research internship that does naturopathic medicine.  Upon graduation, she plans to continue her education, although she is still unsure of whether she will go to medical school or graduate school.  She would also love to give back to CAU, maybe even be a mentor.

Congratulations Panther!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.



This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is none other than Miss Passion Peoples!  Miss Peoples has been a research ambassador since 2018.  Curiosity motivated her to start research for the first time.  She said, “Just me being curious about different things. I feel that everything is socially constructed and that made me want to learn more about the world, how everything works, and why we do certain things.” 

Passion and her team also presented at the 2019 Research Symposium.  Her research dealt with student involvement and community involvement.  With those trying to make an impact in our communities, including protesting for black equality.  Her research taught her a lot about what her generation is doing versus what her grandparents’ generation did. It motivated her to focus her emphasis on what she’s doing and why she’s fighting for what she believes in.  Because of this, she plans to attend law school in the Fall of 2020. 

As a graduating Senior, she has had time to reflect on her 3 ½ years at Clark Atlanta University.  She believes she has grown a lot as a person.  Trying to find herself in a new city and meeting new people has allowed her to find a voice.  CAU has become more like home through the years and help shape the woman she has become today. 

If she had any advice for those conducting research for the first time, it would be this:  “Research something you’re passionate about because, if you’re not interested in it or don’t want to learn more about it then it will be a waste of time. It won’t be intriguing or beneficial for you or your community. Always research something that spikes your interest.”

Passion would like to leave a legacy that allows students to just be themselves, find their way, make friends, network, be open minded and just get involved!  Miss Peoples is currently working on writing a scholarly article with her research mentor, Dr. Barbara Combs, that they are hoping to publish by the end of spring semester.

Congratulations Panther!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.



It was this country’s founding fathers who believed that everyone in society has a role and obligation to humanity. This obligation requires us to use our gifts and culture to aid those who need help no matter how small. This weeks Panther Researcher of the Week used her gift of having an eye for fashion to potentially be an aid to society as a whole. This week’s Panther of the Week is the wonderful Miss Yaraimi Padron, known to her peers simply as Yaya. Miss Padron is a Junior fashion design major coming across country to attend Clark Atlanta University by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Padron is a multi-cultural, multi-talented young woman. Padron is a Cuban-American scholar being fluent in both Spanish and English, graduating with high marks from Valley High school, and honing her skills as a designer and seamstress.

This past 2016-17 academic school year, Padron spear headed a follow-up to the 2016 research project by the Fashion department under the direction of Dr. Cynthanie Sumpter. The “Fabric Farm” research topic is an initiative Dr. Sumpter initiated with conjunction with Ms. Deborah Butler of Morehouse where various fabrics are buried to see the deterioration processes over time and gain a better understanding of why the fabrics react to the soil the way they do. As one of the leaders of this unitiative Padron did a lot of the heavy lifting and lab work on behalf of the department. Though this may seem like an easy task it came with many obstacles. Ms. Padron had this response to this adversity, "at times I didn’t want to continue with the research due to certain difficulties within our group members. The fact that this research can possibility aid with finding missing children is what motivated me”. Padron has a passion for children as well, realizing this passion for nurturing the next leaders she plans to get a certificate in early childhood education and possibly teach youth; starting as young as kindergarten.

The very humble Padron had this to say in regards to leaving an impact on CAU, “I don’t care much for leaving a legacy. I’d rather leave Clark knowing that I’m a strong, intelligent woman that will have a successful future.” You have certainly accomplished that and by doing so you’ve left a lasting impact on CAU, the model for generations to come.

Congratulations Panther!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.Padron photo


Ella Fitzgerald once said, “It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.” This quote speaks volume to this weeks Panther Researcher of the Week. Paola Urbaez is a graduating Senior Biology major and is a first generation college student. Being the first in her family to go college was not an easy process, but Miss Urbaez stood up to the challenge and made the most of her college experience. Urbaez is a Dean’s scholar and is a part of the Isabella T. Jenkins Honors program. Through hard work and determination Urbaez excelled in scholarly endeavors. This dedication to excellence afforded her scholarship to the great institution that is Clark Atlanta University but also a plethora of awards and accolades; including, but not limited to, Ronald McDonald House scholarship, Discover PayDay Scholarship Award, and Dean’s Scholar Scholarship Award. Our selection for Panther Researcher of the week embodies the school motto of a culture for service by using her intellectual gifts for the advancement of the community. Miss Urbaez was inspired to become a doctor by being introduced to the Eight Millennium Developmental Goals; one of which was to combat the spread of malaria and other serious diseases. She has worked with Computational Bionanoscience in the National Science

Foundation HBCU-UP Research for the data analysis and creation of biosensors that could be used to detect diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. In addition, she played a role in prostate cancer research through The University of Nebraska Medical Center department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. These, along with other research Urbaez is associated with, will have a lasting impact on medicine and overall health of society at large.


With all of the work being done by Miss Urbaez she still makes time to actively serve the community. As a mentor in the HBCU Rising STEM Mentoring Program she works with at-risk middle school students. She also serves as a member of the Urban Alliance Alumni Advisory Board, serving as the voice of the under-represented high school scholars. Her activities on campus also include: the RISE program, The Living Green Club, Toastmasters, and a part of the M.A.P.P.S program.


Paola Urbaez was one of the surest candidates for Panther Researcher of the week because of her involvement in research events on campus but also because of her devotion to health in all areas. When asked about what stimulated this drive she had this to say: “I know that as each day passes and I step into the lab I know that I am closer to making an impact on the health of our world.”


Congratulations Panther! We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.

Paola Urbaez


Leadership. Integrity. Intelligence. Commitment. Pride. Fidelity. To the ordinary student, these words appear as a collection of words that would appear on in an essay; but to this week’s Panther Researcher of the Week, Maxine Mathis, these few words are the personification of her character. The senior Criminal Justice major and Chicago native, is a proven leader and professional holding offices both on campus and nationally.  Her campus involvements include Executive Board for the Orientation Guides, 2016-17 Junior class Vice President and advisor to a local Girl Scouts of America Troop. She has managed to do all of this while maintaining a GPA well over a 3.2.

She is a genuine and outspoken woman who never changes her views based on societal pressure, but rather bases her policies on the facts and the well-being of the community. In the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium she presented a research poster on Students Attitudes Towards Crime and Punishment: A Focus on Methodology. Under the direction of Dr. Celeste M. White, her research gave “a physical perspective on how mass incarceration effects more than just the person incarcerated” said Miss Mathis.  This research earned a notable mention by the CURC and is currently presented in the Thomas Cole Research Center.  

Upon graduation, Maxine has plans to attend graduate school at Georgia Tech or University of Chicago for an M.S. in Computer Science.  The legacy Miss Mathis will leave on CAU will last for some time following her graduation. She had this to say about the impact she is leaving: “My work ethic is the legacy I would like to leave at CAU. I believe that as students we should work hard for things we are passionate about. Passion not only pushes you to be better but it also makes your quality of work better as well.”

Congratulations, Panther! We at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.

Maxine Mathis


Clark Atlanta University prides ourselves on achievement, scholarship, and service. Originating from Baltimore by way of Bladensburg, Maryland, this weeks Panther Researcher of the Week, Alexis Carey, was selected because she embodies this level of excellence in every endeavor. Alexis Carey is a Senior Biology major, sporting a 3.92 GPA, who has aspirations to conduct research about the biological aspects of mental health of degenerative brain disorders.

This dedication to hard work and merit secured Ms. Carey a second place win in the 2017 CAU Undergraduate Research Symposium poster presentation.  She also holds a spot in the “Who’s who among students in American Universities and Colleges”, is a member of the Isabella T. Jenkins honors program, and has completed a research internship with Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Carey has been featured in 6 academic journals and currently serves as the president of CAU Student Chapter of the NAACP.

When asked “How important does she believe research is to society, herself, and the HBCU community?”
She had this to say: “Research is important to society, myself, and the HBCU community. It has allowed me to visit different states, learn about different cultures, and even open doors for me that I never thought could open. Like many HBCU scholars, we are told that the world is against us and we must work ten times as hard as everyone else to succeed, research is one crucial way to level the field. Instead of focusing primarily on your background, the focus is shifted to the research you have unfolded. It also serves as a medium to improve society one experiment at a time and the more society understands the process of science the more they will see the great truths it holds.”

Congratulations Panther! We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.

Alexis Carey


A new school year is upon us and with that comes the FIRST official CAU CURC Panther Researcher of the Week!!!

We kick this school year off with the enchanting Miss Nancy Cooley. Hailing from the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Miss Cooley is a Junior, Psychology major with a concentration in Sociology. True to her study her favorite past time is reading anything regarding Psychology/Sociology, (She is an avid fan of the popular TV Show Game of Thrones as well)

Under the direction of university professor Teri Platt, Cooley’s project on Class Dimensions to Child Discipline Preference among African Americans captivated the judges, fellow researchers, and the director of the CURC so much in fact that she was selected as the first Panther Researcher of the Week.

When asked to give words of encouragement to those considering conducting research she had this to say, “Fear was something that almost hindered me from participating in research last year, especially because I felt that nobody would be interested in my presentation. So my advice to first time researchers is to believe that your research idea is valid and don’t be nervous.”


Congratulations Panther! We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you and you have our continued support.

Nancy Cooley


The end of the 2016-2017 school year is finally upon us, and so is the final CURC Panther Researcher of the Week. This researcher hits close to home, as this week’s Panther Researcher of the Week is the CURC’s very own Azaria Cooper.  Azaria Cooper is a graduating senior, Fashion Design major, from South Carolina. Cooper has been a diamond in the Clark Atlanta fashion department competing in a variety of design competitions and has set a higher bar for the next wave of fashion design students. Cooper has earned many accolades and received many opportunities based on her creative mind and dedication to the arts.  One of which, was an opportunity to study abroad in Italy last summer. Cooper has been a part of multiple research projects and also assisted in the development of symposium participants in the creative works category. In the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium, Cooper was involved in not one, but two separate research projects; including her immaculate wedding gown that she designed and constructed with her own two hands.

Post graduation, she plans to be a freelance bridal and graphic designer.  Cooper feels that her research impacted her future in many ways.  Typically when you think about design, you don’t immediately think about research.  However, when making garments you have to gather information about the best ways to put fabric together, what fabric is best for fit and feel, and what colors go together.  The research continues as she comes up with new and innovative designs and learning from other designers.

Cooper is one of the original research ambassadors serving as a part of the CURC team.  Her hard work and dedication to research and her school laid the foundation for the operations of the center for years to come. It saddens us to see one of our best ambassadors depart from us, but we couldn’t be any prouder of Azaria Cooper. As she steps into the professional world, offering her design and creative talents in her own business, we wish Azaria nothing but the best as she continues to embody Clark Atlanta University’s culture for excellence!

Azaria Cooper


The beautiful thing about Clark Atlanta University is not only the culture of excellence that is instilled into every student, but also the immense amount of talent in every field. This week’s Panther Researcher of the Week, Tessence Pearson, is a walking example of this CAU culture. Tessence Pearson, a senior mass media Arts major from Atlanta Georgia, oozes with talent and achievement. Pearson’s performance resume is filled with her work on over a dozen productions before graduation. In addition, Pearson has been professionally trained in many avenues of theatre including, but not limited to, Acting by Robert Connor with the Annette Tanner and Broadway Stars- Broadway Dreams Foundation, and voice by Miss Lori Ann Christian. During her time on CAU’s campus she has been involved in the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society, Clark Atlanta University Campus Activities Board, and a Spring 2016 initiate of the Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. While prevailing in the classroom, on stage, and in the community, Pearson also took time to complete research. During this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, Tessence placed first in the creative works category with team captain, Joanelle Polk, in the creative works category with the topic: A Stage Manager’s Prompt Book: Recalling the Production of “Yellowman”.

What are your plans post graduation?
After graduation, I plan to perform in theatre or film. I love the arts, so I want to continue to pursue that.

What legacy do you want to leave at Clark Atlanta University?
The legacy I want to leave is knowing how powerful and how far self-motivation can take you. People have to believe in themselves and CAU students really need to cherish the motto, "Find a way or make one."

 What advice would you give to those conducting research for the first time?
Be open to new things because that's why you conduct research. You have to trust that there is a reason you are learning about other sources. You never know what you might pick up from just being in the room.

Congratulations Panther!  We, at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, applaud you.  You have our continued support and we wish you nothing but the best after graduation!

Tessence Pearson


This weeks Clark Atlanta University’s Panther Researcher of the Week is the multi-talented, highly educated Joanelle Polk. Joanelle is a Sophomore, mass media major, with a concentration in Theatre Arts and is no stranger to campus success and leadership. She is currently serving as the President of the CAU Drama organization, The CAU Players, and on the executive board for the Philharmonic society as the wardrobe coordinator. We at the CURC are very fortunate to have Miss Polk present her research topic: A Stage Manager's Prompt Book: Recalling the Production of "Yellowman" in this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. Joanelle has high praise for her department, having this to say:

“The Speech Communication and Theatre Arts department has some awesome faculty that will make it their personal job to mold each student in their craft. Each one of them gives us what we need in order to thrive in the theatrical field. They have been, and still are, molding and preparing me so much that sometimes the pressure gets overwhelming.”

CAU is proud of you, we at the CURC are proud of you, and we can assure you that you are making your family and department proud.

Congratulations Panther!  We applaud you and you have our continued support.

Joanelle Polk


This Weeks Clark Atlanta University, Panther Researcher of the week is one of our very own; Center of Undergraduate Research and Creativity Research Ambassador Karmen Townsend. Though an identical twin her mind and thirst for knowledge and impactful research is one of a kind. The political science major from Ohio believes that research is essential to the betterment of society, the HBCU sphere, and her personal life having this to say:

“Research is the life-force of any thriving society. Research is responsible for cures to diseases, innovations in technology, and further clarity on issues that impacts societies as a whole and on an individual level. Research is important to me specifically because it gives me an opportunity answer pressing questions methodologically and concretely while cultivating my ability to be inquisitive and innovative. The HBCU community is responsible for graduating hundreds of thousands of Black Americans, research is essential to the progression of this community and Black’s as a whole because there are so few people that look like us, studying us. Black scholars have a responsibility to have autonomy over the way we are studied and the conclusions that are made about us. HBCU’s should be at the forefront of this mission.”


Directly after graduation Karmen will be attending American University at Paris’s Summer Institute on Democracy. Following the program, Karmen plans to move to New York City to co-direct a documentary that will seek to prove her thesis through the stories of others.

Congratulations Panther and distinguished ambassador, we support you 100%.

Want to know what her thesis is? Tune into this year Undergraduate Research Symposium to find out!

Karmen Townsend


This weeks Clark Atlanta University Panther Researcher of the week is none other than Miss Adrienne Clewis. Miss Clewis was a team leader in the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium under the guidance of Dr. Mustapha Alhassan, but it is her story that lead to her nomination and this week’s spotlight. Raised in foster care her entire life and emancipated at the age of 16, Adrienne refused to be a product of unfortunate circumstances and worked very diligently to excel. Miss Clewis is now a graduating Senior on course to obtain a Bachelors in Social Work, and boasting a 3.0 GPA. In addition to her scholastic endeavors she is active on campus serving as a Panther Diamond, Student Orientation guide, and a biological science work study student. Her post-graduation plan is to attend graduate school to obtain a Masters in social work and public health with a concentration on human behavior and mental health. When asked “What legacy do you want to leave on the campus of CAU?” she had this to say:

“The legacy I want to leave at Clark Atlanta University is to always smile and be true to yourself. When my name gets brought up on this campus I want people to not only smile but remember that I was always around to lend help. I want the mindset of helping others to stay and grow into a movement that will not only impact the campus, but the surrounding community as well.”

Congratulations Panther!  We at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity applaud you and you have our continued support.

Adrienne Clewis


Adrain A. Artary, a Jamaican native, is a senior Sociology major that attends the illustrious Clark Atlanta University (CAU).  Last year he presented a poster presentation at CAU’s first Undergraduate Research Symposium on “Beliefs and Perceptions of Students Regarding Immediate Personal Violence at CAU and the  Role of Public Safety." He collaborated with Mr. Timothy Williams, a graduate student with a Sociology Major.  Adrain is thankful for Mr. Williams’s guidance.  Working on this project will greatly impact Adrain’s future; as he planning to attend graduate school.  He learned that as an undergraduate student hoping to pursue a master’s degree; conducting research is a necessity.


Adrain is the voice that Clark Atlanta students rely on as he serves as the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Student Government Association President. He’s working diligently to ensure that students have a centralized location for a wellness center and to improve campus safety.  Being that students are the primary stakeholder of the university, he also works to ensure that CAU remains student- centered. Thanks to the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Adrain is currently prepping for Graduate School. He plans to teach with Teach for America while pursuing his Master's in Education. Ultimately, Adrain aspires to be the Prime Minister of his home country of Jamaica.

 Adrain Artary