Scholar Spotlights

Discover the inspiring stories and impactful contributions of our featured scholars in Scholar Spotlights, where we celebrate their innovative research and achievements.
Academic Intervention Scholar Spotlight Dr. Lisa Zheng

Dr. Lisa Zheng, Ph.D.

CareFull Scholars Program inspires new line of research on HBCU students with disabilities

Dr. Lisa Zheng is an Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Psychology at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She received her PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Zheng has been serving on several editorial boards for academic journals in rehabilitation psychology including Journal of Rehabilitation, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation and Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling Research & Practice. She has conducted theory-driven and interdisciplinary research in attributions of discrimination toward people with mental illness. 

Inspired by HBCU STEM-US Research Center Faculty Fellows Research Program and the CareFull Scholars Program, Dr. Zheng is currently conducting research exploring factors of success among STEM African American students with disabilities at HBCU in application of the intersectionality and Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems theory (PVEST) Framework. Her research interests include promoting holistic health, and well-being of people with disabilities as well as exploring factors contributing to HBCU students’ successful learning outcomes. Dr. Zheng is passionate about improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and is dedicated to training the next generation of rehabilitation counselors.

Malik B. Malik, Ph.D

Malik B. Malik, Ph.D.

Contributing expertise in statistics and mathematics to the Science of Teaching and Learning at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Malik Beshir Malik was born in Sudan. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Khartoum. After graduating with honors with a degree in statistics, the university appointed him as a teaching assistant in 1976 and granted him a scholarship for graduate studies in the United Kingdom, where he received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Essex, England. He returned to the University of Khartoum where he taught and became chair of department and later registrar and assistant dean.

In 1994, Dr. Malik received the Fulbright senior visiting scholarship visiting Georgia State University. He taught at the Computer Learning Centers as lead instructor before he joined the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as an assistant professor in 1998. Later he became associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. He has written many papers i

Afiya C. Fredericks, Ph.D

Afiya C. Fredericks, Ph.D.

Understanding the Impacts of Mindsets on Motivation and Achievement

Dr. Afiya Fredericks is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of the District of Columbia. Her research agenda includes understanding the impact of implicit beliefs (mindsets) on motivation and achievement, and how to cultivate growth mindset-oriented environments. She is a recent recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER grant award for $1.6 million, focused on better understanding how mindset research can be leveraged to create more equitable learning environments for minoritized students in STEM.

Dr. Fredericks has been immersed in mindset research for over a decade now and is the former Director of Professional Learning at Mindset Works Inc. There, she supported the implementation of Growth Mindset programs and practices in schools and organizations for 6 years. As a life-long learner, she believes that embodying a growth mindset is a beautiful journey that she works on daily. Dr. Fredericks is a proud US Virgin Islander and enjoys opportunities to escape home to the beautiful island of St. Croix.

Dr. Jessye Talley

Dr. Jessye Talley

Supporting Doctoral Candidates’ Social-Emotional Growth at Sister Scholars  
Today we share the story of Dr. Jessye Talley, an assistant professor for the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Morgan State University. Through her own experience in a doctoral program, she has been inspired to support others throughout their doctoral paths. As the founder of Enginaire Culture and co-founder of Sister Scholars, Dr. Talley is giving back to her community and ensuring that the social-emotional needs, as well as scholarship needs, are met for doctoral candidates.