The Northern Ohio AGEP alliance (NOA-AGEP) funded by the National Science Foundation, was introduced to increase the number of underrepresented minority students and create a pipeline for students pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and prepare them for entry into the professoriate.

NOA-AGEP formed in 2015 as an alliance of seven northern Ohio universities:

  • Kent State University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Cleveland State University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Toledo
  • Youngstown State University

With Case Western Reserve University serving as the leading institution, each of the seven universities plays a vital role in the development, implementation and the study of the NOA-AGEP project.

Learn more about The NOA-AGEP Program

The multi-campus Kent State University system boasts a student body of more than 35,500 undergraduates and 5,500 graduate students who represent all 50 states and over 100 countries. Kent State ranks* among the top 77 public universities in the country (*Carnegie foundation). Within the STEM fields we offer doctoral programs in Biological Sciences (in Cell Biology, Ecology, and Physiology), Biomedical Sciences (in Biological Anthropology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Neurosciences, Physiology, and Pharmacology), and Chemistry (Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic, and Physical).


Cody Ruiz

Cody Ruiz NOA-AGEP head shot

  • Undergrad Degree and Major: Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences and Anthropology (University of Notre Dame).

  • Current Degree pursuing and Major: PHD- Cell and Molecular Biology program.

  • Research interest/current research: Current research focuses on the molecular evolution of primate genes and proteins, specifically the Y-chromosomes of macaque monkeys, in the context of social organization, mating systems, and  interspecies hybridization.

Christina Watts

Christina Watts

Undergrad Degree and Major: Bachelors of Science, Biology (Bryant University, RI).

Current Degree pursuing and Major: PHD- Biomedical Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Research interest/current research: Christina Watts is a member of Dr. Kristy Welshhans Developmental Neurobiology Lab, where she focuses on Down Syndrome and related cognitive impairments.

Danielle Jones

Danielle Jones NOA-AGEP head shot

Undergrad Degree and Major: Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology (University of Iowa).

Current Degree pursuing and Major: PHD- Biomedical Sciences (Neuroscience).

Research interest/current research: Danielle is working with Dr. Raghanti's Comparative Neurobiology Lab and Dr. Tosi's Primate Genetics Lab in the Department of Anthropology. She studied the evolution of social behavior in primates by using behavioral, genetic, and neurochemical analyses. Her current research is on the biological basis of differential aggression among macaque monkey species.

Kent State University NOA-AGEP Scholar Benefits

  • Stipend enhancements (in addition to department funding): 
    • AGEP Scholar awards: $1,000/year for 4 years.
    • Eligible for Graduate Dean’s Award: $2,500 per yr for 2 years.
  • Travel allowance to attend a research conference ($1,000 per year).
  • Opportunities to participate in professional development activities/community building events (e.g. academic coaching, mentoring circles, NOA-AGEP research symposia).