Our Team

Sherilynn Black, PhDSherilynn Black, PhD Director

Dr. Sherilynn Black is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Medical Education in the Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology (Biology minor) as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with Highest Honors. She then completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University and completed additional studies in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research focuses on identifying the common variables associated with successful STEM student-development interventions in higher education, and in creating computational models that are predictive of the success of higher education intervention programs. Dr. Black currently serves as the founding Director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity for the Duke University School of Medicine. Her office works to bring talented underrepresented graduate students to Duke and to enrich their experiences over the course of their doctoral studies through a series of professional development opportunities, academic enrichment programs, mentoring programs, and cohort-formation activities. Dr. Black is also a co-Principal Investigator of the Duke Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program referred to as the Duke Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement (BioCoRE). Duke BioCoRE provides extensive mentoring and scientific engagement opportunities for talented and diverse undergraduate and graduate students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Dr. Black also serves in a number of additional roles in the Duke community, including serving as a member of the a President's Council on Black Affairs, the co-Advisor for the Duke Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), a faculty advisor for the Duke Bridges to the Doctorate Program, and as a faculty affiliate for the Duke Center for Science Education. Dr. Black is deeply engaged in promoting STEM diversity efforts on a national level. She currently serves the international membership of the Society for Neuroscience as a faculty stakeholder in the Neuroscience Scholars Program and as a member of the Professional Development Committee, and she is also an appointed member of the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT). She also works with the National Institutes of Health to lead national workshops on diversity initiatives in the basic sciences. Dr. Black continues to form institutional partnerships across the nation to build programmatic and institutional collaborations directed towards increasing diversity in the biomedical and basic sciences.


Devyn Gillette, PhDDevyn Gillette, PhD
Program Director, Duke BioCoRE


Devyn Gillette, PhD was born in New Jersey, but was raised in Columbia, SC.  She obtained her BS in Biology from Winston-Salem State University in the spring of 2010.  Dr. Gillette completed her PhD training at The Ohio State University in the Biomedical Graduate Program, with an area of emphasis in Immunology and Microbiology.  Her graduate studies and post-doctoral work at The University of North Carolina focused heavily on the characterization of host innate immune responses to intracellular pathogens.  Throughout her biomedical training, she has continually been involved in the implementation and coordination of programming initiatives which enhance the training of underrepresented students in the biomedical sciences.  Dr. Gillette is committed to developing and assisting in successful recruitment strategies  and  designing initiatives which positively aid in underrepresented students’ interest, retention, and success in science.


Deborah K. Fidelman, MBA, Ed.S.Deborah K. Fidelman, MBA, Ed.S.
Financial Analyst


Deborah Fidelman is a financial analyst with Duke University School of Medicine in the Basics Science Administration Unit.  In this role Deborah provides financial/grant management support for office operations.  Deborah is no stranger to higher education.  She was the graduate school’s registrar/operations manager at Northwood University for 11 years; academic dean/director for academic services for Davenport University for three years covering three campuses; and then decided to relocate to the great state of North Carolina.  Deborah was nominated for the Tyrus R. Wessell Leadership Award at Davenport University by faculty/adjuncts.  While at Northwood University, she received her MBA degree and then went on to receive her Ed.S. from Central Michigan University.  Deborah enjoys volunteering at the tri-city area’s Independent Animal Rescue.  


​Kimberly McLean, B.SKimberly McLean, B.S
Staff Assistant


Kimberly McLean is the staff assistant with Duke University in the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity. In this function, Kimberly provides assistance to   the day-to-day clerical, calendar, financial, record keeping or processing duties for the OBGD and BioCore teams. Kimberly is adding over 7 years of Administration experience to the team. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree from North Carolina Central University in 2008. Now pursuing Master's Degree in Business and Product Development.



Special Interest Group Student Leaders

OBGD Graduate Student Leaders
Angel Martin, PhD Candidate

Ariana Eily, PhD Candidate

Goke Ojewole, PhD Candidate
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Mónica Gutierrez, PhD Candidate
University Program in Genetics and Genomics 

Vanessa Punal, PhD Candidate

Preliminary Qualifying Exam Preparatory Group
Rossie Clark-Cotton, PhD Candidate
Cell Biology

Julie Totzke, PhD Candidate

Scientific Outreach/Community Engagement Group
Steven Marinero, PhD Candidate

Dianna Amasino, PhD Candidate
Cognitive Neuroscience

Wellness Group
Scott Barrish, PhD Candidate

OBGD Retreat Student Leaders
Jessica Child, PhD Candidate
Cell Biology

Raymond Allen, PhD Student 
Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

OBGD Postdoc Associate Intern
Brandi Johnston, PhD