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.
Matthew Stockard came to the biology department of UNCG because of an article in the Greensboro Daily News in the early 1970s. It described groundbreaking research taking place in the laboratory of Dr. Laura Anderton, who headed a lab that was among the first to culture human cells. Matt, a high school senior at the time, went to meet Dr. Anderton, eventually withdrew his acceptance from another university and ultimately became an undergraduate researcher in her lab. His fascination with complex systems combined insights from cellular and metabolic physiology from the laboratories of Dr. Robert E. Gatten and Dr. Anderton, microbiology studies with Dr. Robert Cannon, biochemistry with Dr. William Bates and genetic studies with Dr. Bruce Eberhart and Dr. Edward McCrady. Matt graduated with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in biology, and became an Instructor for the department. Discerning his path towards a biology PhD took him in another direction altogether—to another Master's degree, this time in Theology from The University of the South in Sewanee and ordination as an Episcopal priest. He served parishes in the dioceses of North Carolina and East Carolina before entering again into the insights of complex system theory. He became the primary clergy assistant to the Bishop of East Carolina in 2000, and works in an organization development capacity for the seventy Episcopal churches of that diocese. He co-authors a blog on vocation for the wellness organization, CREDO. Those days of carefully mixing laboratory materials aren't gone either: he's an established North Carolina potter and brushwork he did long ago on Friday afternoon breaks with Dr. Eberhart still shows on his pots today. He is thankful each day for many lessons learned in the Department of Biology at UNCG.
Maureen graduated from UNCG in 1997 with a B.S. in Biology. After graduation, she spent six months working as a laboratory technician studying Neisseria gonorrhea, but soon thereafter joined the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa. From 1998 to 2000, Maureen lived in a small town called Manantali, where she learned French and Bambara, the local language. Working in collaboration with primary school teachers, Maureen developed an environmental education curriculum in French and Bambara and coordinated two Earth Day events involving more than 400 students. She also delivered weekly radio programs on environmental and health issues, in Bambara, reaching a 45-mile radius. In 2001, Maureen pursued her Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. As part of her graduate work, Maureen conducted a needs assessment of female refugees in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, identifying physical and mental health concerns as well as need for continued follow-up. In 2003, Maureen joined the Chapel Hill office of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a not-for-profit behavioral and social science research organization, where she has remained for 10 years. As a Senior Researcher in AIR's Health Policy and Research group, Maureen currently leads large research projects and tasks related to engaging patients and consumers in health care, health policy, and research; explaining medical evidence to consumers and clinicians; and eliminating health disparities. She is a highly experienced qualitative researcher, responsible for designing research studies and program evaluations, conducting interviews and focus groups, and analyzing the results of large-scale qualitative research. Maureen treasures her time at UNCG. Her course work, professional opportunities, and interactions with students and professors ignited her passions in health care, social justice, research, and international travel. She is especially thankful for Rob Cannon's mentorship and support.