Meet the 2020-21 Fellows

Natasha Ramos Padilla

Natasha photo

Undergraduate Studies: University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez 

RISE Scholar: Summer 18

Program: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Kat Dawson

Ph.D. Research Topic: Microbial biogeochemical cycling on estuarine systems

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP). Also received an honorable mention by the Ford Foundation. 

Current Status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: Prioritize finding a research advisor with whom you feel comfortable and happy

 

Gustavo Rios Delgado

Gustavo Rios Delgado image

Undergraduate Studies: University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez 

RISE/ Cellular Bioengineering REU Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences

Thesis Advisor: *Pending

Ph.D. Research Topic: Gustavo is mainly interested in Immunology. Some additional research interests include infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, the impact of the gut microbiota on the body, and the regulation of inflammatory responses.

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: *Pending

Current Status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: *Pending

 

Santos Rivera-Cardona

Santos Rivera-Cardona image

Undergraduate Studies: University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

RISE Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Political Science 

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Jan Kubik

Ph.D. Research Topic: Santos’ main research interests are: (1) civil society, social movements, and protest politics; and (2) the relationship between politics and culture.

Support post-Super Grad Award, other notable awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments:  Paper presentation at LASA 2021 Conference in Vancouver (virtual conference) entitled  “Flag Performances: Political Symbolism of Community, Resistance, and Transformation in Puerto Rico”

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: These are challenging times we are all living in, and graduate school is not an easy journey, so please, do not hesitate to seek help. One does not know how many resources, support, and opportunities are available until we become vulnerable and seek help. You are not alone!

 

Catherine Rojas

Catherine Rojas image

Undergraduate Studies: Stockton University 

RISE/SURF Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Debra Laskin

Ph.D. Research Topic: Molecular and histological changes to mouse lung after acute exposure to ozone.

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: IMSD Fellowship

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. Student/2025

Advice for prospective graduate students: Just because you don’t see anybody like you, doesn’t mean you don’t belong. Make a path for yourself and others to follow.

 

Yadiel Varela Soler

Yadiel Varela Soler image

Undergraduate Studies: University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez

RISE/GET-UP REU Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Charles Roth

Ph.D. Research Topic: Drug Delivery through bacterial biofilms

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: Also a Rutgers Presidential Fellowship recipient. Participant of Rutgers’ Biotechnology Training Program. 

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students : All undergraduates interested in research should seek external summer research experiences, in addition to doing research at their respective institutions.

 

Navar Mercer White

Navar Mercer White image

Undergraduate Studies: Vassar College 

RISE/Advanced Materials REU Scholar: Summer 18

Program: Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Kate Waldie

Ph.D. Research Topic: Use of Organometallics as catalysts for renewable liquid fuel systems

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: *pending 

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: *pending

 

SUPER-Grad Associates

Zachary Clifford

Zachary Clifford image

Undergraduate Studies: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) 

RISE/GET-UP REU Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Charles Dismukes

Ph.D. Research Topic: Zachary is interested in materials chemistry research with a focus on green energy and sustainability; catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction reaction

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: N/A

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: Make sure that the research group you choose to join is a good fit for you. It is important to join a group that is working on projects that interest you. But, it is just as important to make sure that the PI/other group members mesh well with your personality and how you tend to operate.

 

Liam McDermott

Liam McDermott image

Undergraduate Studies: Iowa State

RISE/GET-UP REU Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Sanghyuk Lee

Ph.D. Research Topic: Liam is specializing in biophysics in Dr. Sanghyuk Lee's lab. He is currently spearheading a project to better image Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: *pending

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: *pending

 

Talia Seymore

Talia Seymore image

RISE/SURF Scholar: Summer 19

Program: Ph.D. in Toxicology

Undergraduate Studies: Penn State University

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Phoebe Stapleton

Ph.D. Research Topic: cardiovascular and reproductive health effects after exposure to nanomaterials 

Support post Super Grad Award, other notable Awards, fellowships, publications or accomplishments: 

  • IMSD fellowship
  • Prenatal exposure to an environmentally relevant phthalate mixture disrupts testicular steroidogenesis in adult male mice. R Barakat, T Seymore, PCP Lin, CJ Park, CMJ Ko - Environmental research, 2019
  • Outstanding Oral Presentation (ABRCMS 2018), Prenatal exposure to an environmentally relevant phthalate mixture disrupts testicular steroidogenesis in adult male mice

Current status in graduate program/Expected graduation: Ph.D. student 

Advice for prospective graduate students: Trust your process and enjoy every step of it. Although you may have doubts, think about a time when you hoped to be EXACTLY where you are now. Celebrate yourself every step of the way.