College of Education; College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Creative Inquiry program recognizes faculty, graduate student mentors


Angela Alexander-Bryant with President Jim Clements and Provost Bob Jones
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Angela Alexander-Bryant, associate professor of bioengineering, has been recognized for her work mentoring undergraduate researchers with the Phil and Mary Bradley Faculty Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry. 

Alexander-Bryant has been a Creative Inquiry (CI) mentor since 2018 with more than 55 undergraduates participating in her projects. She currently leads three CI projects, ranging from image-guided drug delivery to nanobiomaterials for delivery of cancer therapies to diversity outreach in bioengineering. She is director of the NIH-funded Call Me Doctor ESTEEMED Scholars program, and she received a Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation in 2021 for her research on peptide-based delivery systems for gene therapy.

“Dr. Alexander-Bryant is by far the most helpful and enthusiastic mentor when it comes to research,” wrote one student nominator. “She is fully committed not only to furthering her students’ expertise in the field of research but also to helping us with our future endeavors. She will always make time to help a student, whether it be by answering questions about the project or providing guidance for us in life outside of the lab. Dr. Alexander-Bryant is the kindest, most caring, and most compassionate mentor out there, and no one deserves this award more than her. She has helped me gain knowledge in the bioengineering field and provided me with numerous opportunities to demonstrate my knowledge to others in the field at conferences and poster seminars.”

Alexander Bryant holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson.

Graduate student Mya Kelley with President Jim Clements and Provost Bob Jones

Mya Kelley, a doctoral student in special education, received the Graduate Student Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry. 

Kelley previously worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools and pediatric rehabilitation settings. She works as a graduate research assistant in the College of Education and provides pre-service teacher instruction for the Mixed-Reality Simulators CI Project, which offers future special education teachers a virtual classroom experience. Kelley earned a bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State and master’s degree from UNC Greensboro.

“When I first came to Clemson, I expected to make many friends and live the college experience, but imagining myself on a research project was never on my mind. Now, I see myself conducting research throughout my career, and I have Mya to thank for that,” wrote one nominator. “Mya Kelley is a fantastic person with a work ethic and a passion for education. She strives to improve the field with her research and is teaching the future of education, pre-service teachers. I am forever grateful to her for introducing me to my passion and inspiring me to be the best I can be.”

About Creative Inquiry + Undergraduate Research

Creative Inquiry + Undergraduate Research combines experiential learning, multi-disciplinary interactions and team-based research. Since it began in 2005, more than 62,000 students from every major have participated in Creative Inquiry projects.

Today, approximately 2,500 students participate in Creative Inquiry each semester, exploring a wide range of topics. Projects typically last for multiple semesters, allowing students and faculty to dive deeper as they tackle tough questions and search for solutions to life’s challenges.

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