Movers & Shakers

For 60 years, the University of South Alabama has been one of the most influential innovators and collaborators in the growth and success of our region. Meet five Jags who make us proud on campus and in the community, while paving the way for future generations to continue the Flagship of the Gulf Coast’s legacy.

University of South Alabama campus
Portraits by Chad Riley

With the same fortitude as the giant live oaks that welcome students to campus, the University of South Alabama has grown from a fledgling commuter school to the northern Gulf Coast’s preeminent higher-education institution. The extent of its influence on our region — on education, healthcare, industry, community service, the economy — is nearly impossible to measure. It’s more sprawling than the oldest oak’s moss-covered branches, more prolific than the acorns scattered beneath them, deeper than the roots that burrow into the fertile Old Shell Road soil. 

Just over six decades ago, 31-year-old Frederick P. Whiddon found kindred spirits among Mobile’s corporate, industrial and civic leadership who shared his vision to establish a college that would educate the next generation while bolstering each of these spheres within the community. They joined forces, and their shared dream was realized when its first class of 276 students enrolled. 

On October 18, 1964, cloaked in his gown and mortar board, Whiddon delivered a dedication address outside South’s inaugural building. His vision still rings true and inspires leaders, such as current President Jo Bonner and his administration, to continue to foster those ideals and reach for excellence.

Whiddon said, “We dedicate our efforts to those high purposes for which it is founded: to the banishment of ignorance, to the enrichment of personal life, to the development of those individual talents and skills that will enable each person who studies within these walls of our university to serve to the fullest the needs of his fellow man. This, then, is our pledge to the citizens of this state, of this country, indeed to mankind. Less than this we cannot do, if we are to realize the hopes and faith of those who worked without stint to establish the University of South Alabama.”

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Meet a few of South’s finest who have graciously accepted this pledge and dedicate themselves to serving the university well, while making significant strides in our community. Like the oaks that grace campus, these figures are strong symbols of wisdom, honor, truth and longevity. Mobile and its citizens are all the better for it, as are the 14,000 students now enrolled at the Flagship of the Gulf Coast.

Dr. Natalie Fox

Serving South 

Natalie Fox vividly remembers the first time she stepped foot on the University of South Alabama campus at about 8 or 9 years old. A native of York, a small town in west Alabama, she was tagging along with her older sister while she registered for her college classes. “At the time, of course,” Fox says, “I had no idea how interconnected this place would become in my life.”

Growing up with parents who worked in healthcare administration, Natalie was no stranger to medical mission trips. She knew she’d found her calling serving others, but she was unsure of where. That is, until the summer after her senior year of high school when Natalie participated in a service project called Alabama Rural Ministry. “I really didn’t realize how much of a need there was in my own community, less than a mile down the road from my own house. It was eye opening. I loved going to Honduras and other countries to serve, but there was already a need right here.” 

That fall, in 2004, she followed in her sister’s footsteps to Mobile, enrolling in the University of South Alabama to study nursing. Exceptional professors and mentors poured knowledge into her, encouraged her and inspired her to always keep a patient-centered focus. Since then, Fox has gone on to earn not one, not two, but three degrees as a Jag, including a doctorate in nursing practice. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked for several years as a registered nurse before pursuing nurse practitioner school and specializing in pediatrics. She spent a brief stint in New Orleans, working with a high-risk youth population through Tulane University. While there, she realized that her heart was still in Alabama, and she returned to work in the USA Department of Pediatrics.

Fox recalls how, early in her nursing career, she attended a March of Dimes conference where Owen Bailey of USA Health gave a keynote address. While he was reporting stories of the invaluable impact that USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital was having on our community, she says that she could tell he genuinely cared about the patients. “I wanted to be like him, and I left there with a fire in me.” 

With her dedication and compassion, she rose through the ranks. It was while working as an assistant administrator and chief nursing officer for USA Health Physicians Group that she learned how implementing the right evidence-based processes, supported by technology, could create a greater impact on the patients served. That lesson became invaluable when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the Port City. The fire inside her became a roaring blaze as Fox led the charge on the front lines at the Mobile Civic Center pop-up clinic. She was even honored by the White House COVID-19 Task Force for her ingenuity and implementation of community testing and vaccination. “We had to think outside the box of the traditional ways to serve. I’d love for us to continue to challenge the status quo.”

Now, a little over 25 years after her first visit to South, Fox still proudly cheers on her alma mater as she serves as the chief physician enterprise officer for the USA Health. It’s a position in which she played a vital role in the recent acquisition and merging with the Providence Hospital system. During that exciting yet taxing time, while implementing best practice systems, she educated new employees about contracts and managed the massive undertaking of transferring the electronic medical records. Determined not to swoop in with preconceived ideas about how to lead, she was conscientious about setting the vision in collaboration with the providers. She valued listening to them to learn how to best serve their populations so that together, they could make the greatest impact on the community. “Throughout that process, patient care was always the number-one goal. We tried incredibly hard to make sure that none of these challenges impacted the quality of care for the patients.” While she says the transition hasn’t been without its ups and downs, overall, it’s been smooth. She also calls it a privilege to get to work alongside Bailey, who now serves as CEO and senior associate vice president for medical affairs of USA Health.

In total, USA Health comprises more than 700 physicians and advanced practice providers, many of those primary care practitioners at 40 sites stretching all the way to Citronelle and even Moss Point, Mississippi. This makes the University of South Alabama the largest employer in the area. In a state that tends to rank dead last or next to last in healthcare outcomes, Fox is passionate about the impact that USA Health can make in the lives of citizens all along the Gulf Coast. The providers she oversees are responsible for nearly 455,000 outpatient encounters and 300,000 inpatient encounters each year. “I never could have imagined our growth over the past five years, but there are still so many opportunities to make a deliberate effort to spread the word into our community to address health inequities.” For example, many of the services offered at USA Health are the only ones of their kind in the region. “Without us bringing these health services here, many people wouldn’t have the opportunity for treatment at all. They’d have to drive to New Orleans or Birmingham for this sort of care, and that may not be feasible for them. That’s what makes me excited and makes me want to get up every day. I feel like I have an opportunity to make a difference.” 

Fox certainly has and will continue to make a difference in countless lives right here on the home front. She has been recognized for her contributions with numerous accolades including a prestigious Alabama Nurse Lifetime Achievement Award, USA’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award and the Exceptional Citizen Leadership Award from Mayor Sandy Stimpson. She’s also been appointed to the Alabama Certificate of Need Review board and served as the first LGBTQ+ liaison for the City of Mobile.

Dr. Natalie Fox is a testament to the outstanding education she received as a three-time student at South and a prime example of the extraordinary influence that can and does come as a result of one student’s life. “The University of South Alabama is so woven into all parts of me now. I can’t separate the two.” 

Dr. Sean Powers

The Restorative Powers of Fishing

There’s just something about the water. Gentle waves rising and falling as reliably as the sunrise each morning, while countless creatures swarm beneath, their mysteries yet to be uncovered. These waters, these creatures, ignite a passion in Dr. Sean Powers. He simply must know more about each species and — more importantly — how to protect it for future generations. 

There isn’t a time Sean can recall when he wasn’t in awe of the vast wonders that call the Gulf Coast waters home. A native of New Orleans, Sean grew up spending time in the Lake Pontchartrain estuary, exploring the waterways and marshes of the Louisiana coast with his dad and uncle. He cut his teeth baiting hooks and angling for redfish, black drum and bluegill. He knew those waters like the back of his hand and even in his short lifetime, he recognized the changes that were becoming more and more obvious. With pollution devastating their habitat, the fish weren’t as abundant. 

When it came time to choose a path for college, Sean cast his love of lakes and lures aside though and decided to follow his grandfather’s direction — just not in the way he expected. “My grandfather was a bright kid, and he had no choice but to go to med school,” says Powers. “But he knew I had choices and told me, ‘Make sure you like what you do.’ What I liked was fishing.” Studying biology and chemistry at Loyola University, Sean still believed he was med school bound like his physician grandfather — until spring semester of his junior year when he enrolled in an ecology class. He was able to spend time out in the field, and professors explained to him that there were other options besides med school for biology majors. Sean says that when he realized he could make a career out in the environment that he loved, suddenly, his future came into focus. 

After graduation, he decided to pursue his master’s at the University of New Orleans and began to explore the ins and outs of research while studying his beloved Lake Pontchartrain. His thirst for knowledge in marine sciences still unquenched, he went on to obtain a doctorate degree from Texas A&M, specializing in ecology and evolution, zoology and biostatistics. Afterward, he completed a post-doctoral traineeship at the prestigious Institute of Marine Sciences at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

“Throughout my entire academic training, I’d constantly heard that there aren’t enough scientists studying in the Gulf of Mexico. We had major issues, so I knew that’s where I wanted to make my impact.” Powers came to the University of South Alabama not knowing much about the school, all because he’d heard of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. When he learned the connection between the two, he was hooked. 

Powers now serves as the director of the Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences and senior marine scientist for the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. In his 20 years of service to the school, his research has been awarded millions upon millions of dollars in grant funding. In 2013, Powers was named to the 50 for 50 list, recognizing the 50 most outstanding faculty in the university’s 50-year history, and just last year, he was honored with South’s Research and Technology Innovation Award. 

“The campus and resources have changed dramatically since I first came to USA, especially over the last decade. South has built a reputation in marine sciences.” The program is now attracting students from all over the nation; in fact, most attend from out of state. Many of the graduate students come from large undergraduate programs at prestigious institutions. Powers says this is a direct result of the partnership with the sea lab and the recent $10 million investment the university and state have made. That funding was used to not only improve the campus facilities and equipment, but also launch an undergraduate program in 2021. The department now offers a Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences program, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. Both are growing more rapidly than leadership ever imagined. The initial goal was to enroll 80 students in four years; however, only two years in, they’ve already gained 200. With obvious enthusiasm from students, professors, researchers and administration, the possibilities for positive change in our local waterways are tremendous.

“South is in the unique position to have daily access to the Gulf and Delta. It’s an incredible place. We’re in the most productive area of the U.S. in terms of fisheries and energy.” 

As the university’s marine sciences program grows, many students are taken aback at the diversity of our environment. “The number of species we have here is shocking to them, and there’s always an excitement when they encounter a new species,” he says. That excitement is often a catalyst for action. Powers has seen many an out-of-state grad student fall in love with the area and decide to stay in Mobile. As the undergraduate program continues to expand, that number will certainly increase. Accordingly, as the number of environmental advocates here multiplies, with any luck, so will conservation efforts. Consequently, sea life populations should continue to increase, which is the ultimate goal.

Powers is extremely proud of the department’s initiative to integrate the ecology and sociology issues of the region into their programs of study. “There’s this rich environment here, but very few, other than the wealthy who can afford boats, are able to really experience it.” To better understand these disparities, students are going out in the field to public fishing docks, surveying the fishermen and testing seafood for levels of contamination. Through these efforts, they hope to develop proposals for federal and state grants to implement better and safer access points throughout the area. This is just one of many ongoing research projects. 

Perhaps, someday, out on one of these piers, another youngster will reel in a big one, and with it, a passion for conservation and sustainability. The effects of these sorts of programs on the community, our waters and the native species are boundless. And it’s all thanks to one bright, young fisherman with a rod, reel and zeal who landed right here at the University of South Alabama.  

Chandra Stewart

Shining Bright

With her whip-smart intelligence and heart for service, Chandra Brown Stewart has always been a bright light. Growing up in Mobile, she attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in 1991. At the time, she couldn’t wait to venture out into the world, find her way and make a difference in a big city. “I had my heart set on leaving Mobile, living this fabulous life in a massive city and doing all these great things.” 

Stewart had excelled in her high school psychology class and decided to follow that passion to the pre-med program at Xavier University in New Orleans, which was the top school for Black students being accepted into medical school. Once she delved into her courses though, she realized that aside from psychology, the rest of medicine didn’t hold the same intrigue for her. She finished her undergraduate degree and returned home to the Port City to figure out her next steps. 

During that gap year, Stewart immersed herself in everything she thought she might want to do. Exploring all sorts of possibilities, she volunteered at the local rape crisis line and in a group home. She worked as a substitute teacher and mentored kids in foster care, all while applying to several graduate school programs. Her mother, a master’s graduate of South, gently suggested that she consider her hometown school. Stewart wasn’t so sure. Like so many young people at the time, she viewed the University of South Alabama as a commuter school. But Stewart also knew she didn’t want to take on more student loans. She asked herself: Can I have the career that I want and not still be in debt 30 or 40 years later? 

“I doubled down on what education meant to me and worked to pay for it out of pocket,” she says. It was a decision she doesn’t regret for a second. “Xavier was a place that helped me identify who I wanted to be, but USA helped me find my voice.” She says that she was a very shy student until she enrolled at South. As a Jag, she found her platform and learned to better communicate her ideas so that she could truly make a contribution for change.

Since graduating with her Master of Science in Community Counseling, Stewart has rediscovered her love for her hometown. Through her role as the executive director for Lifelines Counseling Center, Stewart has become a fierce advocate for the distressed in Mobile. The nonprofit organization provides counseling, assistance, referrals and education to struggling individuals and families with the goal of building a healthier community. Even outside of her work duties, she has volunteered with countless other philanthropies, including St. Mary’s Home, Feeding the Gulf Coast, Dumas Wesley Center and Family Promise. She served as the first Black president of the Junior League of Mobile and has been a longtime member of the board of trustees for the University of South Alabama. For her heroic efforts, Stewart has been recognized with numerous awards, including being named one of This is Alabama’s Women Who Shape the State, USA’s Young Alumni of the Year and an Alabama Bright Light. She was even honored with the
opportunity to carry the actual torch for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics on its tour through the U.S. prior to the games. 

Through Lifelines, Stewart continues to carry the metaphorical torch, too, while shining a light on others who want to make a social impact. “Coming out of the counseling program, I wanted wherever I worked to be a space where our future counselors could participate in some capacity. From professors I worked with at South, I learned the importance of creating an intersection where research and actual practice meet.” To that end, Lifelines offers volunteer opportunities and internships for social-work students and potential counselors. This partnership has allowed the organization to provide quality services from those who are specifically trained in trauma response. Stewart says she’s proud that they’ve been able to gain several grants to be able to offer this program, benefitting both the citizens and the students.

Another achievement that has come about as a result of Stewart’s pursuits converging is the development of a sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) room at USA. During Stewart’s time as Leadership Mobile dean, her team partnered with several practitioners from South Alabama who believed in the importance of implementing this resource for our community. “My first full-time job was at the rape crisis center. Prior to this being offered, I found it was very common for a victim to have to wait 10 or 12 hours to be seen because they weren’t seen as an emergency. With this new space, a victim could be in and out of the hospital within two hours so they aren’t retraumatized, struggling in silence for hours.”

These sorts of projects make Stewart even more excited about South Alabama’s growth and the positive effects that it will have in our community. “I hope to see us continue to build on all the things we’ve worked so hard on the past few years.” She says that the outlook is promising as the University of South Alabama embarks on a new era as the Flagship of the Gulf Coast. 

“Everyone I’ve come across at the university loves the university and works very hard for it,” she says. “From President Bonner to the people who clean the floors, plant the landscaping or welcome you at the stadium, I’ve yet to come across anyone who doesn’t take pride in the school. They have a love for what they do each and every day in the pursuit of making the campus better for the students and the community. I’m always impressed by that level of care for our future, because that’s what each of those students represents.” No doubt, the future is bright for these students, the university and a torchbearer like Chandra Brown Stewart.

Jeb Shell

Chief Furtherance Officer

Jeb Shell found his calling at the University of South Alabama, and it wasn’t at all what he’d expected. For much of his life, the Mobile native had his sights set on becoming a physician. His father, Fred Shell, was a healthcare practice consultant and longtime business manager at Children’s Medical Group. Recognizing the benefits of connections he’d established in the community through his dad, Jeb decided it would be wisest to attend undergrad at USA.

After graduating from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in 1995, he made the short drive down Old Shell to study biomedical sciences and pre-medicine. At the time, Shell says, many of his classmates viewed South Alabama as “a consolation, the school you enrolled in if you didn’t get into your first choice or a school for people who got married and started their families. It was a commuter school. The average age of students was 27 or 28.” Nevertheless, when 18-year-old Jeb pledged Kappa Alpha fraternity, he realized just how erroneous those impressions had been. There, he found his place when he met a group of young men who saw a spark in him and encouraged him to get involved on campus. An athlete in high school, Jeb had never delved into student leadership beyond his role on a successful varsity soccer team. However, he found he had a knack for engaging in tough conversations with opposing groups, and he learned how to work through conflict. He credits those South relationships with fostering early leadership skills in him. “That started a big progression in me.” 

By the summer before his junior year, Jeb realized he wasn’t excited about pursuing medicine. When he told his dad, his father suggested a switch to accounting since it would be useful whatever he decided to pursue. Jeb took his advice.

Once a student in the College of Business, Shell discovered what he was passionate about: leadership. He soon became president of the Interfraternity Council, which led to an elected term as senator for the College of Business and eventually the position of Student Government Association president. “I wish I could say it was mostly the academics that prepared me for life, but just as much it was building relationships outside the classroom.” And not just those with his peers. Jeb was fortunate to be at South Alabama during the changeover of two great leaders in the university’s history. After 35 years of service, Dr. Frederick P. Whiddon, the university’s forefather, passed the baton to V. Gordon Moulton in 1998. The Moulton years brought about significant growth for USA with more than $500 million allocated toward construction and expansion, resulting in new healthcare facilities, research programs, increased employment and an astronomical overall economic impact for the city as a whole. Shell had a front row seat for much of this, spending time with President Moulton, whom he greatly admired. He watched, and he learned.   

In 2000, Shell graduated from South, and after a couple years working in an accounting firm, he earned his CPA license and joined Hargrove Engineers and Constructors. At the time, the Mobile business was comprised of only 45 employees. That number has grown exponentially in less than 20 years — almost fiftyfold! — to an astounding 2,200 team members within 15 offices. Shell now oversees the company as chief financial officer. Despite his demanding career, Shell has remained active in his community. Recently, Shell was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Community College System, which came about as a direct result of relationships he made through his time as SGA president two decades ago. “There are very few connections I can’t tie back to a relationship or experience from South Alabama.” A loyal Jag through and through, Jeb has remained active on the USA leadership front to give back to the place that has given him so much, even serving as president of the National Alumni Association. 

He’s excited to see what the future holds for Jag nation. For many years, Shell recognizes, the university kept to its corner of Old Shell Road, rarely engaging with the community or inviting neighbors’ opinions or even their money. “Now President Jo Bonner is ushering in a coming of age of the university as a major player in the city, and the region.” Shell says that the catalyst for this growth is President Bonner’s zeal for engaging with the community and building relationships. “We can draw top talent to the area with university programs, and then supply companies, like Hargrove, with incredible talent that we want to keep here.” 

“With President Bonner at the university, Mayor Sandy Stimpson at the City of Mobile and Bradley Byrne at the Chamber, it’s a perfect scenario for us to harness the full potential of our city, the region and the university.” With this trifecta of leadership working together, the sky is the limit, and South Alabama is poised to reach new heights, rivaling the tiptop of Moulton Bell Tower. “For years to come, we’ll recognize this incredible opportunity we’ve got here. As long as we take advantage of it.” 

 Shell says he’s already extremely proud of how the campus has blossomed in recent years. “Dr. Whiddon did an amazing job of starting the university at only 32 years old, but when you’re on a slim budget, things don’t always look pretty. Thankfully, they had the foresight to plant so many trees that are now maturing beautifully.” Not only has the landscaping flourished, but also the architecture has dramatically improved as new structures have been built. “If people haven’t been on campus in a while, they need to check it out. It’s gorgeous.”

The second area Shell says he’s seen significant change is in the student population demographics. That average student age of 27 or 28, from when Jeb enrolled in 1995, has dropped to 21 or 22, aligning with conventional college campuses. The university boasts the aesthetic and feel of a traditional campus, and Shell couldn’t be more pleased. “Students are choosing South as their first choice now. They say, ‘You’re darn right I go to South, and I’m proud of it.’” And the Jags certainly couldn’t be prouder to have a distinguished alumnus and community leader like Jeb Shell cheering them on.

Dr. Marie Migaud 

True Chemical Phenomenon

Some children grow up constantly asking their parents how things work. Little Marie Migaud always questioned why. Growing up in Paris, France, she was an extraordinarily inquisitive youngster who followed her curiosity and discovered that chemistry came naturally to her. After high school, she took a road less traveled when she chased her interest in chemistry and chemical engineering to the Universite Pierre & Marie Curie and Ecole Superieure de Chimie Organique et Minerale (ESCOM). The first in her family to attend college, Marie never dreamed she’d eventually earn a doctorate, much less become a world-class researcher, instructing students all over Europe and the United States. She even conducted clinical trials in conjunction with NASA. 

In 1991, she began a doctoral program at Purdue University studying what she calls “the basic chemistry of life,” how biological molecules work in relation to enzymes. When her supervisor moved to Michigan State, she followed. After graduating, Migaud returned to Europe, pursuing fellowships in the school of pharmacy at the University of Bath in England and the chemistry department at the University of Oxford. These experiences gave her the opportunity to explore the intersection of science and industry, as she delved into collaborations with global biopharma company GSK. 

However, it was her time at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland that she credits with sharpening her as a professor. The institution’s small chemistry department was struggling to survive. “To save it, I quickly learned, we had to engage with the community.” She says learning that lesson early in her career was invaluable. 

As she rose through the ranks, Migaud navigated toward cancer research, cell biology and pharmacology. In her 16 years at Belfast, she and her colleagues also managed to not only save but also significantly grow the program. While there, Migaud also won awards for Green Impact and Internationalization, as well as multiple UK Scientific Women Academic Network (SWAN) honors for supporting females as an integral part of academic institutions. 

In 2015, she took a sabbatical and followed her curiosity back to the U.S. for a year-long visiting faculty position in biochemistry at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. While on this side of the pond, she was invited to check out a new research facility being built in Alabama. Curious as ever, she boarded a plane on a snowy runway in Iowa, then soon touched down in sunny Mobile. With a giddy giggle, she remembers that very first ride down Springhill Avenue. While Iowa was still sleeping under a blanket of snow, here, the azaleas were showing off their vibrant fuchsia blooms, warm sun beating down on the car windshield. As she turned into the parking lot of the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, Migaud became even more enamored. It was everything she could’ve ever hoped to find — a brand new, state-of-the-art facility where clinicians and researchers collaborate on a daily basis for top-notch treatment. “To have the clinicians and researchers within the same building where I could provide support and understand the biology needs and learn from them in the process was exactly what I’d been looking for. The patients are just right down the corridor. It’s a reminder that I’m here not for me, but for them.”

“Within 20 minutes, I was on the phone with my husband, telling him, ‘We are moving here.’” Without question, Migaud jumped at the opportunity to work in this environment and raise her two sons here. “Mobile is such a warm place, and so are the people.” 

As she learned at Belfast, Migaud continues to engage the community, frequently speaking to middle and high school students. She says she gives the big “flash-and-bang, show-and-tell lecture” to get students excited about all these scientific resources in their own backyard. Otherwise, the next generation may never know about these incredible opportunities to learn here. One such offering is the American Chemical Society’s program, Project SEED, in which high school students with an interest in these sciences can participate in mentorships; Migaud currently supervises four placements. “MCI is a beautiful showcase of what it means to acquire an education and apply it. I like to show these young students that yes, research is fun, but it has a purpose. This is what that research does.” 

In the seven years since she arrived at the MCI, Migaud has continued to strive for academic excellence, asking tough questions while inspiring her students to do the same. It comes as no surprise that Migaud has been awarded the Olivia Rambo McGlothren National Alumni Association Outstanding Scholar Award and the Mayer Mitchell Award for Excellence in Cancer Research. 

Her current area of focus is on a fundamental molecule called NAD, which is extremely important in maintaining the body’s DNA. This past April, she began a new project through NASA’s astronaut health grant. The link between cancer research and spaceflight may seem extraneous; however, Migaud says there’s a common thread that she and other scientists are examining. When humans are exposed to radiation and oxidative stress, there are consequences on our DNA, she explains, and the molecule NAD is necessary to repair that. Since astronauts experience a much more oxidative stress level during spaceflight than humans on earth, they are the perfect models to investigate what’s going on in the body. Migaud says the thing she’s loving the most about the NASA project is that with this new challenge, she gets to not only wear her biology and chemistry hats, but also her engineering one to figure out how to conduct experiments in the extreme space environment. When she’s not exploring these questions, Migaud continues to stay busy lecturing on oncologic sciences and pharmacology in the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine, consulting for numerous pharmaceutical and wellness supplement companies, and raising her boys along the Gulf Coast. For Dr. Marie Migaud — chemist, researcher, professor and mother — there’s one fervent question that needs no answer: What more could she ask for?

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