2014 Forty Under 40: Ayanna Jackson

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
jackson_ayanna_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

On the job: In Dow’s Mass Spectrometry Center, Jackson solves analytical problems to help develop products for improving crop productivity. “Typically,” Jackson said, “I’m going into the lab and running a series of samples to help identify an active compound and metabolites that have been generated.”

What happens with her data: “It will be part of a larger report submitted to various government regulatory agencies for review and feedback. In the end, we hope for approval and commercial release of products that help protect crops in the field.”

Planting seeds: “I do have a garden, but I don’t have a green thumb. I need plants that are very resilient.”

Schooling: From an early age, she enjoyed science experiments and counts herself lucky to have had teachers to encourage that interest. While an undergraduate at Xavier University, she focused on forensics, hoping to get a position with the FBI. An interest in chemistry solidified, leading to graduate studies at Purdue University.

Family influence: “My mother is a nurse/midwife. One of my sisters is a dentist. Schooling was always important to my family.”

AGE 30
Hometown: Brandywine, Md.

Family: single

Pushing science: Jackson is active with the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and advocates for science, technology, engineering and math education through the Science Ambassadors program at Dow. “Science isn’t your popular career avenue for most students,” she said. “Students want to be doctors or nurses, but they don’t really understand that the core fundamental piece is the sciences.”

The future: “I still see myself in the industry, hopefully climbing the leadership ladder,” she said. “Right now, I enjoy project management, so I could see myself as a leader over a project team.” She also hopes to do some adjunct teaching, the better to influence students.

Outside the lab: “My kitchen table is primarily dedicated to jigsaw puzzles as opposed to food,” she said. When she’s done with them, the pieces don’t return to the box. “I frame them and hang them up.”•


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.