~ Welcome Dr. Kenya Goodson ~
It is our extreme pleasure to welcome Dr. Kenya Goodson to the Valenrich Team where she will serve in the capacity of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) Diversity Consultant. Dr. Goodson is the first African American female to earn a doctorate from The University of Alabama's Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering department; earning her PhD in Civil Engineering.
Dr. Kenya L. Goodson is originally from Tuscaloosa, AL. In addition to her doctorate, she has earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Cum Laude honors from Stillman College and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from Samford University. Dr. Goodson’s professional experience includes inspecting onsite wastewater treatment systems with the Alabama Department of Public Health in Tuscaloosa County as a Public Health Environmentalist. Her research on the treatability of emerging contaminants in wastewater during wet weather flows explores the effects of stormwater inflow and infiltration in the treatment of certain pharmaceuticals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides in wastewater treatment.
Dr. Goodson has been presented at various conferences such as the Environmental and Water Resources Institute and the Water Environment Federation. She co-authored a final report for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on emerging contaminants in wet weather flows. She is also collaborating on a book chapter on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in wastewater. Dr. Goodson is committed to environmental justice and activism with a focus on environmental research involving vulnerable communities impacted by low socioeconomic status.
Through the Valenrich Wellness signature program titled ‘Supporting Diversity in the STEM Fields’, Dr. Goodson teams up with Dr. Nadia Richardson to explore the socio-cultural factors that impact women and minority persistence in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields. It has been found that women and minorities who intend to complete STEM related degrees are less likely to persist towards completion (Price, 2010). Dr. Richardson has found that many underrepresented STEM students use this startling fact as motivation to succeed; often to the detriment of their mental wellness. Dr. Goodson combines her experiential insight with her passion for increasing the presence of minority students and faculty members in the STEM discipline to provide strategies for creating culturally inclusive academic and professional environments that diversify the field and foster life-balance.
Again, Valenrich Wellness welcomes Dr. Goodson and applauds her commitment to promoting wellness that builds community, values individuality, and fosters integrity.