Deondre Henry smiling into the camera.


Hendrix College, Conway, AK

Major: Biology BS

Deondre is a rising junior from Blytheville, Arkansas. He currently lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas with his mom. His love for science led to a NSF S-STEM scholarship at Hendrix College, where he is majoring in Biology.

Deondre says he didn’t see himself doing research during his undergraduate years, yet his academic advisor encouraged him to look into it for the experience. He said he is glad he found the RIT REU program. He is interested in teaching and is grateful for this research education program as he is gaining insight and alternate opportunities to assure he makes good future choices. He also hopes to share these pathways with his students if his career post-college is as an educator.

Working this summer with Dr. Scott Franklin as his mentor, Deondre is interviewing undergrads about their personal identity (how they identify themselves in race, gender, etc.), the community culture where they are doing their research, and how those play into their research experience. The students interviewed are undergraduates from RIT and other colleges or universities. The recruitment process was done by Dr. Franklin by reaching out to professors and researchers in the STEM field asking for suggested students to take part in this. A letter to the participants then follows describing the project and their involvement.

Once the interviews have taken place, and the data has been collected, the data will go through a coding process pulling out commonalities and themes.

Deondre says although the virtual aspect presents the difficulty of looking at a computer screen all day; all students and faculty have done a great job adapting. He feels the program leaders have especially done a good job of making it a comfortable space which has been easy to adjust to, including the ability to get to know each other and collaborate.

Deondre’s future plans include applying to a program in Arkansas to obtain an alternative license to teach at the high school level, which for him will hopefully include coaching football.