Margarett McBride


Margarett is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program within the Psychology and Neuroscience Department. Her research interest focuses on how Black family development (lifespan, intergenerational) in the context of their communities and neighborhoods. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Community Action and Social Change. She is a Saginaw, Mi. native.

Gaby Alvarez


Gabriella is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. As student in the Social psychology area, she studies the role of the brain-body connection in responses to stress in under-resourced populations. Ultimately, she is interested in documenting the societal and psychophysiological factors underlying disparities in mental and physical health disparities. She is a Coral Springs, Fla. Native.

Markia Smith


Markia is a third-year doctoral student in the Pathobiology and Translational Science program. Her research focuses on understanding racial differences in tumor biology (including genetic and environmental determinants), with the goal of informing the development of novel prevention and intervention methods to reduce disparities. Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, she received her B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Chinese Studies from the University of Delaware. In her free time, she is a volunteer doula and love weightlifting!

Ileana Fenwick


Ileana is a first-year graduate student in the Marine Science Program. Her primary research focus is to understand how valuable marine fisheries and the interactions within them are shifting in response to climate change. Ultimately, she hopes to tie her passions for outreach, policy and research into creating effective management strategies for our oceans. Ileana received her B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University and is a Bowie, MD native.

Aliyah Griffith


Aliyah is a second-year Ph.D. student in the marine science department. her primary research focus is investigating natural disturbances, such as hurricanes, and their impacts on the growth of coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. Aliyah received her bachelors of science in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University. She is a Prince George’s County, Maryland native.

Charity Lackey

Co-Service Chair

Charity is a third year Ph.D. student in the School of Nursing but longtime Tar Heel. She received her bachelor’s degree from UNC School of Nursing and is currently working as a nurse within the women’s hospital. Her research interests are centric to improving maternal and child health outcomes especially for Black women, with a more specific focus on how mental illness may play a role in the health of this community. Fun fact,  she brought two siblings and a cousin to UNC with her #familyaffair!


Moriah James

Co-Service Chair

Moriah James is a 2nd-year doctoral student in Anthropology. After receiving her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park, she worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center. Alongside her interests in museums, Moriah’s current research focuses on African American heritage preservation and the intersections of class and race.

Xavier Bonner

Co-Programming Chair

Xavier, a Morehouse College undergraduate and third-year graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, currently studies how HIV-1 viral proteins become incorporated into human cells.  In the future, he aims to lead a team of researchers that study acquired diseases.  In his free time, Xavier enjoys hiking and mentorship opportunities.  He is looking forward to serving as the 2020-2021 Programming Co-chair.

André Martin

Co-Programming  Chair

André Martin is a third year Marketing doctoral student at Kenan-Flagler Business School. His holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. André was a software engineer and program manager in his past life. He brings his interest and experience in emotional intelligence, team building, and problem-solving to the BGPSA as its program chair. He is a native of the Caribbean island of Dominica (not Dominican Republic lol).

Metika Ngbokoli

Co-Public Relations Chair

Metika is a fourth-year graduate student in the Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience Program. Her primary research area of interest focuses on investigating the neurobiology of drug addiction and how decision making is affected. In addition to research, she is also passionate about science outreach and wants to help increase the visibility of women of color in STEM. Metika received her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and she is a proud native of Yonkers, NY.

Amari Pollard

Co-Public Relations Chair

Amari is a second-year Roy H. Park Fellow studying Strategic Communication at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Before graduate school, she worked for online publications in the areas of audience development and social media. Her writing has been published at The Week, Bustle, Reader’s Digest, Inside Lacrosse, and more. She has a B.A. in Communications from Le Moyne College and is a Syracuse, NY native.


April Highlander

 Co-Social Chair

April is a fourth-year graduate student in clinical psychology. Her research interests include evidence-based treatments for children with behavior disorder and family oriented approaches to identifying vulnerability and protective factors for young children. She is also interested in research and professional opportunities that are aimed at better serving diverse and under-served populations. She received her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University. She is a Union, West Virginia native.


Maku Orleans-Pobee

Co-Social Chair

Maku is a fourth-year graduate student in clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research interests include examining psychosocial interventions for first-episode psychosis, as well as studying racial/ethnic disparities in schizophrenia treatment (e.g., differences in diagnostic rates, access to care, and treatment outcomes). Maku is a Christchurch, New Zealand native but grew up mostly in Northern Virginia, and she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The College of William and Mary.