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Marquea King

Marquea KingField:  Biochemistry
SR-EIP:  University of Pennsylvania (1996)
Undergrad:  Delaware State University (1997)
Graduate School:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2002)
Current:  Toxicologist, Environmental Protection Agency

Could you talk about any memorable experiences from your Leadership Alliance summer research at Penn?
The Leadership Alliance gave me the opportunity to do hands-on research.  I had done other summer research programs, but this was my first time doing this type of advanced research.  My mentor, Dr. Mike Robinson, was good.  It was a learning experience for both of us, and it challenged me to go above and beyond in the lab.

Can you talk about how your Leadership Alliance summer experience prepared you for graduate school?
I did five summer research programs before graduate school, so I had very comprehensive preparation.  The Leadership Alliance program helped me figure out what kind of research I wanted to do in graduate school.

Can you talk about your work as a mentor for the next generation?
I take mentoring very seriously and I have mentored students since graduate school.  I talk to chemistry classes at my alma mater, Delaware State University. I’m a full member of the Society of Toxicology, where I’m on the Diversity Planning Committee and serve as a host mentor to students.  I am currently the Vice President of Toxicologists of African Origin (TAO). I also serve as a board member on my local Boys & Girls Club along with coaching flag football and teaching a self-designed special emphasis course. I travel to universities to talk about graduate school and toxicology.  I have recently spoken at North Carolina Central University and LaGrange College in Georgia.

Can you talk about the importance of the Leadership Alliance alumni network?
I’ve probably done more outside of the Leadership Alliance alumni network, but I’m always in support of it and continue to inspire upcoming doctoral students to take full advantage of it.

What advice would you give to this year’s Leadership Alliance participants?
When I talk to students I always say that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you've always gotten.  If you want something new, you have to be the one to do it.  Take the initiative.

Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
Having a family is not a hindrance to continuing your education or career.  I’m a single mother of two beautiful boys who do nothing more than give me great inspiration and motivation to pursue and achieve all of my goals in life.


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