Tia’Asia James, a 2017 May graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, recently received an acceptance letter to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas. The daughter of Leslie and Darryl James Sr., the Pine Bluff native majored in Chemistry while attending UAPB on a full-ride, academic scholarship and is an active mentor and women’s health advocate around the city of Pine Bluff. She is an extremely active member of First Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves as a Youth Advisor, usher, choir member, and Woman of Vision. She was a proud member of various activities on campus, including: STEM Academy, American Chemical Society, the Carolyn F. Blakely Honors College, the Delta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Student Support Services, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. James is very excited to attend UAMS in the fall of 2018 and encourages everyone to “shoot for the moon, for even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“Tia’Asia is a student that I have felt has exceled through diverse trials and tribulations, and has always come out on top,” Dr. Grant Wangila, Chairperson of the Department of Chemistry and Physics said. “She is meticulous, filled with humility, attentive, and marvelously devoted to any and everything she strives toward.”
James is the eldest of her siblings and the first person in her family to graduate from college. She humbly paves the way for her sisters and other women around the Pine Bluff community while exceling through a rigorous science discipline where she leads the pack among her peers. Her journey to the medical profession has consisted mainly of following advice from STEM Academy and mentors within the department. Every summer since joining UAPB, James participated in for a summer internship. As an NSF-REU Academy Intern, she has traveled across the United States doing presentations on the research she conducted at the University of North Texas and Texas A&M University. She even received research funding from the NASA Space Grant Consortium. The summer of her junior year, the research conducted at Texas A&M was preeminently based on synthesizing lanthanide ligand complexes that engender promise in cancer theranostics. She also has a publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the publication is entitled, “Lanthanide Triangles Supported by Radical Bridging Ligands.” Additionally, she has participated in research forums around the state of Arkansas where she was often named best overall presenter.