Notable IMSA Alumni – Dr. Jasmine Kwasa ’09

Jasmine Kwasa, Ph.D., is a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow and Special Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Originally from the south side of Chicago, Jasmine developed a passion for creating outreach, access, and exposure opportunities for underrepresented groups at IMSA after she attended EXCEL. Graduating in 2009, she went on to study biomedical and electrical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis on a full ride as an Ervin Scholar, and went on to earn her M.S. and Ph.D. from Boston University and CMU, respectively. Her dissertation focused on the cognitive neuroscience of attention in young adults with ADHD using electroencephalography (EEG) and signal processing. During her schooling, she created and maintained several leadership roles in outreach/exposure activities serving Black and Brown students through the National Society of Black Engineers, the Clinton Global Initiative, and an independent non-profit for which she served as National Director, the E^3 Mentoring Program.

As a post-doctoral fellow and lead engineer at Precision Neuroscopics Inc., Jasmine now researches and develops emerging neuro-technologies optimized for coarse, curly hair and dark skin, such as EEG and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Through this work, she fiercely advocates for racially and phenotypically inclusive medical device design within and beyond the neurosciences. Her work in the ethics space has been featured in Nature Neuroscience (link), the International Neuroethics Society, the Emory Neuroethics Blog, and the international #BlackInNeuro initiative.

Jasmine has received several honors and awards to fund her burgeoning scientific career, including being named a New Face in Engineering (2013), a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Ford Foundation Fellow (2015), and a Society for Neuroscience Fellow (2017), a National Institutes of Health Brain Initiative F99/K00 Fellow (2019), a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Fellow (2022), and a “Rising Star in Biomedical Engineering” by MIT.

In her free time, Jasmine is a dance fitness instructor and enjoys staying involved with IMSA through the Black Alumni Association (link), which she co-founded in the Summer of 2020. She also enjoys travel and relishes time with her enormous half-Chicagoan, half-Kenyan family. Dr. Kwasa is available for speaking engagements related to best practices for inclusive design, STEM education pedagogy, and DEI&J in higher ed; technical talks on her findings in auditory neuroscience and inclusive EEG design; training and workshops for grant writing, essay writing, resume/CV polishing, and admissions at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels; and inspirational lectures for youth and college students in STEM.