Janay was raised in Red Springs, NC. She attended North Carolina A&T State University, where she received her B.S. in Biology in 2017. After graduating, she began a post-bac in the UNC-Chapel Hill PREP program, where she conducted research in the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. Here, Janay worked under Dr. Joyce Besheer while studying the potential anxiogenic-like effects of predator odor on alcohol consumption via self-administration. At the conclusion of her post-bac, she began her graduate school journey under the Neuroscience Curriculum in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at UNC-Chapel Hill. Currently, her research in the Reissner lab focuses on identifying the potential mechanism(s) for the decreased astrocytic structure observed following prolonged abstinence of cocaine self-administration. Janay is an advocate of increasing educational equity and is passionate about increasing diversity and support for diverse populations within the STEM field.