Brandi (Heath) Caughman

Atlanta, GA, US
Field of Work 
Medical Devices
Company 
NAMSA
Job Title or "Student" 
Manager - Project Management
Education 
Georgia Southern University, Washington State University, Central Michigan University
Degree 
Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, Research Administration
Education Level 
Masters
Profile Biography 
I am an only child raised in Smyrna, GA by way of Washington, D.C. and Pasadena, CA who ended up in Richland, WA after graduating college. I lived in northwest Ohio for two years and am now back in Georgia. How you ask? Well...it all began in high school...

In high school, I was enrolled in the Academy of Mathematics and Medical Sciences at South Cobb High School. In this program, students were enrolled in vigorous math and science classes. During their freshmen years, student chose a concentration pathway and studied it throughout their high school careers. Students were given the option of medical sciences or research. In 2002, I began my medical science studies with hopes of becoming involved in dentistry and orthodontics. My senior year in high school, I obtained an internship at a local orthodontist office where I worked four days a week, two hours a day. In May 2006, I graduated with honors from South Cobb High School and headed to Georgia Southern University as a chemistry pre-dentistry major. I'd always excelled in chemistry and the subject matter is extremely interesting to me.

While at Georgia Southern University, I was involved on campus in several ways. I worked as a peer leader and peer instructor for the office of First Year Experience and joined the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. As a peer leader, I worked with faculty to bridge the traditional gap between high school and college by co-teaching orientation classes. I provided a student perspective and served as a positive role model for my students. Over time, I gained leadership experience and each semester I took on more responsibility. Eventually, as a peer instructor, I was given my own section and allowed to fully take the reins of the course. In October 2006, just months after starting college, I was hired as a lifeguard at my campus recreation facility. I maintained this position until after my graduation in 2010. In my years at CRI, I served as a team leader, lifeguard instructor, and water safety instructor and upon my leaving I received an honorary award for my service to CRI.

Going into college, I planned to go to dental school to become an orthodontist but sometime my senior year that changed. I was sitting in my instrumental analysis class one morning when it hit me. I decided then that I wanted to work in industry and obtain a technical secondary degree. In September 2010, I was awarded an internship at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the Department of Energy in Richland, WA. I worked as an intern for two appointments and was hired as a Post Bachelors Research Associate immediately after. I held this position for two and a half years. During my three years at PNNL, I gave three oral presentations at national conferences and local venues and published several journal articles. In July 2013, I began working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia as an ORISE Research Fellow followed by a Non-Infectious Disease Research Scientist. I conducted analytical chemistry techniques on blood, urine, and serum to test for environmental toxins such as lead, mercury and arsenic. I graduated with my PSM Molecular Biosciences from Washington State University in December 2013.

After five years in the lab, I decided I wanted to move into a different type of role and embarked on my Master of Administration in Research Administration at Central Michigan University which I completed in April 2017. I was a study director and project manager for three years. Currently I am a Manager of Project Management at a medical device testing company.

I am an avid volunteer and have worked with many non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Mikey's Chance, Humane Society, and Susan G. Komen. In October 2011, I embarked one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-day for a Cure where I walked 60 miles in 3 days for breast cancer research and awareness. While doing all of that, I still make time to hang out with my 5 year old pup, Twix, and have some fun. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, knitting, playing volleyball, working out, paddleboarding, kayaking, racing in obstacle course races, and swimming.
Interests 
Pets, Dance, Reading, Video games, Travel, Sports, Acting, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
Black or African American
Level of Participation 
Field trip participation, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
Availability 
No Preference
Program Affiliation 
None

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