Alumni Spotlight | UNCG Biology

Biology Alumni Spotlight

Graduates of the Biology Department at UNCG are uniquely qualified for a variety of professional avenues and opportunities. The training and education students receive in the Biology Department includes hands on research and field experience as well as diverse areas of study within the biology curriculum.



Shabnam Assar

UNCG Biology Alumnus, Shabnam AssarIn July of 2013, Dr. Shabnam Assar began her first year of her Internal Medicine Residency program at the Carilion Clinic – Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Shabnam received her BS in Biology in May 2007. While an undergraduate student, she did organic chemistry research in the laboratory of Dr. Darrell Spells in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and research with Dr. Bruce Kirchoff on using principles of cognitive psychology to teach visual expertise in plant morphology. After graduating from UNCG, Shabnam completed a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Upon completion of her master's degree, she pursued her M.D. degree at Ross University School of Medicine in the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. While in medical school, Shabnam volunteered for a student-run health clinic, and also volunteered for a school-based HIV/AIDS awareness program. When she has time, Shabnam enjoys hiking, camping, and kayaking.










Renekia Elliott

UNCG Biology Alumnus, Renekia ElliottRenekia is currently working at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in a research lab interested in developing Gene Therapy protocols for the treatment of Glaucoma. Their lab's goals are to identify genes affected by insults known to induce glaucoma and to develop effective gene delivery to glaucoma related eye tissue. Renekia's future goal is to obtain a doctoral degree and working at UNC has granted her the opportunity to pursue graduate level educational training in genetics and bioinformatics. Renekia believes that her time at UNCG definitely provided the right undergraduate education needed in the field of genetics and a foundation for graduate education. Renekia would like to thank Dr. Karen Katula for her help and training during Renekia's time in her lab as an undergraduate. Working in Dr. Katula's lab provided a hands-on approach to understanding research techniques and encouraged Renekia to pursue a career in research. She would also like to thank the dedicated professors at UNCG for showing a real concern for the success of their students. Renekia is truly grateful for her time at UNCG.






Matthew Stockard & Maureen Maurer

Christina Erikson & Vanessa Ajizian

Greg Pate & Aubrey R. Turner

David Gifondorwa & Melissa Kimes

Winnell Newman & Robert Isdell