Jada Mowatt

PhD Student

Jada Mowatt (second standing from the right) stands with her class of undergraduate students, where she taught EAS 498 Research Methods during summer 2022.

Jada Mowatt (second standing from the right) stands with her class of undergraduate students, where she taught EAS 498 Research Methods during the summer of 2022. The students were part of NSF REU summer programs, such as the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

Hello! My name is Jada Mowatt, I’m from Brooklyn, NY, and I’m a second-year PhD student in the CBE department. My anticipated graduation year is 2026. I completed my B.S. degree, also in Chemical Engineering, from UB in May 2022. I have been interested in chemical engineering since my sophomore year of high school (I attended Brooklyn Tech, a specialized high school in New York City, and the largest in the country). I always loved science and math growing up, but chemistry and AP Chemistry specifically were very interesting classes for me. At Brooklyn Tech, I was able to select a major to study at the end of my sophomore year and I chose Chemical Engineering. I took college-level classes during my last two years of high school and I enjoyed the introduction to the field. I chose to attend UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) because I was intrigued by how excellent their research opportunities were for chemical engineering majors, even for lower-level undergraduate students. I even participated in undergraduate research with the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program during my first year at UB and investigated the crystallization of calcium oxalate via polymers, in relation to kidney stone formation. Currently, as a Research Assistant under my advisor Professor Marina Tsianou, I have switched projects and am working on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their interfacial phenomena at the air-water interface and adsorption onto solid surfaces, which in turn will assist with future environment remediation and risk assessment efforts. 

I am proud to be involved on UB’s campus and have been since my first year at UB. I’ve worked in the Orientation, Transition, and Parent Programs office as a Welcome Weekend Leader, Orientation Leader, Orientation Team Leader, and Orientation Student Assistant from 2019 until now. I currently work in Campus Living as a Community Assistant and previously held roles as an Academic Assistant, Resident Advisor, and Conference Host since 2020. Additionally, I hold positions as a First Impressions Student Assistant for Dean Kemper Lewis of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Graduate Student Representative of SEAS Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Executive Committee, and the President of UB’s STEMinism organization for women of color in STEM. One of my most enjoyable and important positions occurred last summer in 2023, where I served as a Lecturer for EAS 498: Research Methods and taught a class of about 30 students.

After graduating with my Ph.D., I would like to work in a Research and Development department of a company, such as Proctor and Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Honeywell, or L’Oréal working on surfactants, polymers, or other material science projects. Later in my career, I would like to complete a post-doctorate program and become a professor! 

Aside from completing impactful research, my passion is to always lend a helping hand and make STEM more diverse. As a black woman in STEM, my advice for all students, and especially other students of color/marginalized identities in STEM is to find your community and support systems at UB (they do not necessarily need to be in your major) and reach out for help when you need it. I would also advise students to ask lots of questions, take the initiative and time to look for opportunities, and finally be kind to themselves and others.