Thursday, March 24, 2016

UVI Grads Moving Onward and Upward

Dr. Charnise Goodings '09
As part of the Emerging Caribbean Scientist Research Seminar Series, Dr. Charnise Goodings, University alumna, returned home to share her knowledge and experiences with a room full of young graduate school hopefuls. She gave insights on the grad school application process and the things that one would need to successfully complete grad school. She also talked about the research she conducted while at Vanderbilt University and the work she is currently doing at St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Both of Dr. Goodings’ research projects are based on the study of cancer biology, specifically leukemia. This disease is a result of the deregulation of hematopoiesis, which is the process in which hematopoietic stem cells self-renew and differentiate into blood cell lineages. The research is aimed at understanding the role of certain genes in the development of normal and malignant lymphoid cells.

Dr. Gooding gave an honest account of the grad school process, from application through graduation. When asked if grad school is hard, she replied, “Yes, it is going to be hard. You will cry. You will want to quit. You have to try though; go in there with an open mind and just try.” Throughout her presentation, Dr. Goodings emphasized on being a good student and going the extra mile to get the job done.

“Your science speaks for you,” she says. Dr. Goodings touched on responsibility, work ethic, and independence being key traits necessary for success; and it was her experiences at UVI that taught her that. Dr. Goodings says while at UVI she learned good work ethic. “You have to be responsible for yourself, your research, and your own work,” she says. During an interview, Dr. Gooding gave an account of the time her research advisor became unavailable to her due to medical reasons. She explained that even though her main source of aid was gone, she knew what was required her – the work had to be done despite the circumstances.

Dr. Goodings, who is steadily forging her pathway to greatness, graduated from UVI in 2009 with a degree in biology. She headed to Vanderbilt University that same year under their Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity program. She received her Ph.D. in cancer biology in 2015. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is the daughter of UVI alumna, Denise Turnbull-Goodings. Her brother, Chaz Goodings, is a senior at UVI and recipient of the Afternoon on the Green Volunteer Scholarship. It is safe to say that getting an education at UVI is certainly a Goodings’ tradition.