Dr. Karelle Aiken, 2016 WCC Rising Star, is currently an Associate Professor at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. She is recognized for her outstanding work at GSU with undergraduate students, graduate students, and new faculty members.
Karelle Aiken was born in Jamaica. As a young woman, she was part of speech‐choirs in which she performed with family members. She admits that she was shy but that she really enjoyed the mentorship she received during those times. Karelle moved to the U.S. in 1996 to begin college. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Williams College and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire. The warm climate in Statesboro, and the strong student‐centered atmosphere in the chemistry department at GSU impressed Karelle. She has been at GSU since 2007.
Karelle’s research group’s projects are diverse and range from organic synthesis and characterization to synthesis of organic‐based semiconductors and sensors. She leads a highly successful and NSF‐funded departmental summer research experience for undergraduates (REU) program. Karelle has published papers with her students, and they have presented their work at regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society and National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Karelle was the founding member of the Georgia Southern NOBCChE chapter. Dr. Karelle Aiken’s dedication to mentoring student researchers has had a signiﬁcant impact on the lives of so many.