Class of 2014 Profiles: Fixed Focus

Chantal Adlam wins a W. Burghardt Turner FellowshipChantal Adlam has known she wanted to pursue an education and a career in science since she was very young. Now she’s graduating with a B.S. in Forensic Science and preparing to move on to a doctoral program in Chemistry at Stony Brook University with a full scholarship.

“Dating back to my years growing up on the island of Jamaica, where herbal medicine was the order of the day, my grandmother would often prepare tea using an assortment of plant leaves,” she recalled. “The potency of these plants in eradicating or subsiding the effects of the flu virus, fever and other ills was mind-boggling for a seven-year-old — and the beginning of a lasting sense of curiosity that served as the fuel to propel my interest in the sciences.”

Adlam moved to the United States full time in 2008, and entered the CUNY Justice Academy program at Borough of Manhattan Community College — primarily because it provided a pathway for her eventual transfer to John Jay.

Once at John Jay, she was accepted into the Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors (PRISM), and through that was paired with no less a mentor than Professor Anthony Carpi, now the College’s interim Associate Provost for Advancement of Research. “Having Dr. Carpi for a mentor is like winning the Oscar for a student researcher,” said Adlam. Her scholarly work as an undergraduate earned Adlam an invitation last November to the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, where she did a poster presentation using the skills she was taught through PRISM.