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STEM DAY Speaker

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"Fostering a Dream into Reality"


Ketia L. Shumaker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

The University of West Alabama

Dept. of Biological & Environmental Sciences

Co-Director of Engage, MSEIP U.S. Dept.

of Education Grant
Professional Biography:

Dr. Ketia L. Shumaker has been a part of the UWA’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences since 2004. She teaches courses in biology and environmental science, while also serving as the Student Success Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  Her research interest lies in the field of phytoremediation (an innovation green technology that uses plants to remove contaminates from soil and water) water quality monitoring, molecular biology and plant genetics. In addition to her research focus, Dr. Shumaker mentors and recruits undergraduate students for summer research internships.  Since 2009, Dr. Shumaker has been able to take undergraduate students with her to Pennsylvania State University to participate in a ten-week long paid summer research program. Funding for these summer programs have been provided by grants from The Natural Science Foundation (NSF) and The United States Department of Agriculture. Although Dr. Shumaker travels during the summer, she enjoys her southern living.  She was born in a small town called Ackerman, Mississippi. She completed both her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology Pre-medicine and Masters of Science degree in Biology at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi (  By age 28, she had earned her doctoral degree in environmental science from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi ( She has participated in several academic and research support programs throughout her education; such as Upward Bound, Ronald E. McNair Scholars program, the Alliance for Graduate Education in Mississippi, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship programs.


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