K’Yana is from Goldsboro, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in chemistry. During her time at UNCP she was most proud of research that she started with Dr. Connor Sandefur. When K’Yana came to UNCP the honors college gave her the small community relationships she had been looking for, which was rewarding to her.
K’Yana’s senior project was about Lumbee Native American traditional herbal plants that are used to treat diabetes. She collected the plants from Sampson’s Landing in Pembroke and dried out the leaves to make tea. After making the teas she placed them on bacteria to see how the herbs would affect the bacteria.
After graduation K’Yana worked to help pay off college loans while applying to pharmaceutical school. Her freshman year semester kick-off block party was her greatest memory because she remembers having so much fun and making memories with new friends. K’Yana advises honors students to not limit the possibilities when coming in as a freshman. She said, “Explore and find something different and new--opportunities may come out of it!”
Thesis: Medicinal Properties Found in Native American Traditional Plants Used for Diabetes
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Conner Sandefur