GS: Where are you from?
TR: Aiken, South Carolina
GS: What degree will you receive and when?
TR: Ph.D. from Joint Health Sciences. My public defense was held March 22, 2013.
GS: How long have you been at UAB?
TR: Since 2008
GS: What is your research? 

We focus on Complement and its role in experimental cerebral malaria.

GS: Why did you choose UAB for your graduate studies?

The reputation for solid biomedical research and variety of studies that are performed here. 

GS: Have you received any awards or honors?

I received this year’s Joint Health Sciences/Graduate Biomedical Sciences Outstanding Student Award, 2nd place at the 2012 Inaugural GBS Student Research Retreat, and 3rd place at the 2012 UAB Graduate Student Research Days competition. I was also 1 of about 40 students that was invited to attend the international iFReC-SIgN Winter School on Advanced Immunology in Awaji, Japan. 


What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?

TR: Getting to know the students, faculty, and administrators that make up our graduate body. The cooperation between these individuals has given me a new understanding of what makes a successful and productive learning environment. 

Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?


My mentor, Dr. Scott Barnum, has been my greatest influence at UAB. He gave consistent and constructive feedback on my abilities, where I should focus, and, at times, gave me the confidence I needed in order to succeed at my graduate work. He also allowed me to work independently, which helped me to be creative in my research. The most important part of graduate school is finding the right mentor. I believe that for every student, there is a mentor-style that will amplify that student’s abilities and efforts in lab. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of Scott's lab.

GS: What is your motivation in your academics/research?
TR: I want to ultimately help people and provide a positive influence in the lives of many. I believe meaningful research does this on a grand scale.

What are your plans after graduating and for the future?

TR: I would like to continue in academic research, and branch into more translational studies.