Dr. Sears, next presenter at Young Bahamians Conversation Series in Washington
By Oswald Brown
Nov 2, 2015 - 12:43:24 PM


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dr. Khandra T. Sears, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Vaccine Development at University of Maryland School of Medicine, will be the next featured speaker for the Embassy of The Bahamas’ “YOUNG BAHAMIANS CONVERSATION SERIES” on Friday, November 6, 2015, at the Embassy, 2220 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Presented under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, the “YOUNG BAHAMIANS CONVERSATION SERIES” is an initiative aimed at providing a forum for young Bahamians in the diaspora “to present and dialogue on their research or work and cultivate ideas for the betterment of The Bahamas.”

Previous presentations have been made by Ms. Aisha Bowe, a Bahamian aerospace engineer, who has worked as a researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center and is currently is CEO and Founder of STEMBoard; Ms. Tenaj Ferguson, Founder and CEO of Lady Epicure Gourmet; and Dr. Peter Blair, Assistant Professor of Economics at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.

Dr.  Sears will speak on the topic: “How to do Science and why Learning to do Science is Important for a Healthy, Thinking, Thriving Population.”

Dr. Sears graduated from St. Anne's High School in Nassau in 1998 and subsequently earned Ontario Academic Credits at a small school in Toronto before heading to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill.

She gives credit to her high school science teachers for helping cultivate her interest in science by letting students do small experiments outside of class time.

“Beyond regular courses at Cave Hill, I took project options in Analytical Chemistry, Microbial Ecology and Microbiology that afforded a wide variety of research experiences,” she recalls. “In the summer between my third and fourth year and after I graduated, I took a year off and volunteered in a research lab at the American Red Cross Holland labs in Rockville, Maryland, where I was mentored by another Bahamian, Dr. Gregory Carey. I learned how frustrating but also how rewarding basic research can be and the implications it could have in the real world. Dr. Carey also taught me skills and practices that I continue to this day as a post-doc.”

Dr. Sears is the daughter of former Bahamas Ambassador to Washington, D.C., Joshua Sears (2000 to 2006) and Michelle Sears and many Bahamians in the D.C-area Diaspora can very well remember her dedication and passion in promoting the Bahamian cultural expression of Junkanoo during the annual D.C. Carnival parade.

As she now modestly recalls, “For the brief period when we all lived in DC and I wasn't swamped with grad school, I also tried to help my parents in their efforts to strengthen the Bahamian community in this region. We participated in DC Carnival for two years while they were there and the year after they left. It gave me a greater appreciation for my home and culture since at home Junkanoo is still a pretty exclusive affair and more people spectate than participate.”

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