Anika is a Minnesota native. She attended North Carolina State University, where she received a B.S. degree in chemistry, with a minor in African-American studies. After completing her Bachelors' degree, Anika obtained a M.S. degree in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University, and then attended the University of Florida where she earned a certificate in Forensic Science with a Drug Chemistry concentration, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering. She has been a postdoctoral researcher under the direction of Dr. Craig Hawker since October 2007.
Through her combined instructional and research experiences, Anika realized her passion for teaching and scientific exploration. She became dedicated to learning how to inspire “Critical Thought” in students through non-traditional educational and scientific methods, and continues to serve the community through mentoring and tutoring students, specifically women and minorities, in the STEM areas.