K. Renee Horton, Ph.D.​TM

As a child, there was only one thing that Dr. Melody Kelley loved more than science, and that was talking about it. One might even say that her career as a scientist and scholar was destined. But growing up in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan presented its fair share of adversities. Ultimately, she graduated from Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School and Wayne State University (Magna Cum Laude) with her first degree in Chemistry.  During her tenure as a graduate student at The University of Alabama, she has been a recipient of many honors, including the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the UNCF-Merck Graduate Fellowship, the Ford Fellowship, and the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Fellowship. It is through these affiliations that Dr. Renee Horton came into her life as a valuable mentor and friend. Dr. Kelley received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2014. Her research interests center on the application of chromogenic materials to cosmetic science. Additionally, she aims to use cosmetic chemistry as a platform to recruit and retain underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines. She is currently a faculty member at Lawson State Community College, where she gets to research best practices for adjunct instructors at 2-year colleges as well as talk about science

Dr. Olivia Underwood is a 30 year old native of Brent, AL and a 2003 graduate of Bibb County High School. She’s the daughter of Saul and Joann Underwood. Despite her young age, Dr. Underwood has already attained an impressive list of academic credentials. She received her Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In May 2015, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science at University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is the first black to receive her PhD in the Materials Science program from University of Alabama in Huntsville. She has had the opportunity to work in some of the most prestigious academic and scientific schools and laboratories in the United States.  She also had the opportunity to work at the famed Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico which is the birthplace of the atomic bomb and the modern nuclear age. She has presented her research at several different conferences across the United States. She currently works at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a Post-Doctoral Appointee.  Among her many accomplishments, she’s a bodybuilder, Gates Millennium scholar, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In December 2014, she was featured on the cover of Parrillo’s Performance Fitness, Health, Nutrition, and Training Magazine

Dr. Olivia Underwood

"I truly believe each of us should give back just as we were given too.  Productive individuals in the world creates change and impacts society for the greater good.  Listed are a few of my past mentees and my current mentees. I evaluate each request to be a mentee and if I am unable to assist I can steer you in the right direction to someone who can be of more use to you."


Dr. Melody Kelley