Virginia Tech® home

Nineteenth Cohort 2021


Shuristeen Joubert

Undergrad: BS, Biology, University of New Mexico 

Year in PREP: 2021     

Faculty of InterestDrs. Rafael DavalosDavid Popham, and Daniela Cimini                                                                                   

Lab SelectionDr. Daniela Cimini's Lab 

Aspirations in pursuing a PhD: I would like to pursue a PhD to be in an environment full of people with different backgrounds and experiences who can come together over a shared passion. After my PhD I wish to use my platform to help bridge the gab of understanding science as a subject vs. a career field for young underprivileged children.         

Current Status: Ph.D. Student Emory university               

Fun Fact: I had to listen to Queen's "Don't stop me now" to give me the courage to jump out of a plane.                                   

Hobbies/ activities beyond research in Blacksburg: In my spare time I like to hike around Blacksburg, roller skate, and snowboard when the weather is right. 

Cameron Tate

Undergrad: BS, Washington University in St. Louis, Psychological and Brain Sciences 

Year in PREP: 2021                             

Rotation LabsDrs. Roseanne FotiCharles Calderwood, and  Rosanna Breaux                                                                              

Reasearch Interests: Racial stereotypes impact leadership perceptions                                                                                             

Lab SlectionDr. Roseanne Foti's Lab

Current Status: PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill

Fun Fact: I've seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy so many times I can recall the majority of the script word for word. 

Alana Smith

Undergrad: BS, Wake Forset University, Psychology/Neuroscience

Year in PREP: 2021                                                               

Lab RotationsDrs. Daniel EnglishMichelle Olsen, and Julia Basso.

Lab SelectionDrs. Daniel English and Julia Basso's Lab

Research Interests: Neuroscience, Animal Behavior, Food Intake, Obesity

Current Status: Ph.D. Student Virginia Tech

Fun Fact: I love to knit, crochet, and cross-stitch!

Gabriel Maldonado

Undergrad: BS, University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo 

Year in PREP: 2021

Lab RotationsDrs. Nisha DuggalZhaoming Yang, and Amy Pruden                                                                                             

Lab SelectionDr. Amy Pruden's Lab        

Current Status: M.S. Student Virginia Tech                                     

Fun fact: I have re-watched New Girl seven times and I am going for the eight.

Jacobi McGrew

Undergrad: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Year in PREP: 2021

Rotation LabsDrs. Timothy JaromeElizabeth Gilbert, and Susan Campbell                                                                               

Research Interets: Addictive Behaviros and Addiction Recovery, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Behavioral Psychology

Lab SelectionDr. Campbell's Lab   

Current Status: M.S. student Wake Forest University

Fun Fact: I am the only person in my immediate family who likes dogs

Tiffany Thorn

Unndergrad: BS, Biology, Oakwood University

Year in PREP: 2021                           

Lab RotationsDrs. Bryan HsuCoy Allen, and David Popham    

Lab SelectionDr. Bryan Hsu's Lab             

Current Status:  MPH (M.S. in Public Health)  student University of Albama Birmingham

Fun Fact: My favorite trilogy is the Hunger Games

Fernando Gutierrez Garcia

Undergrad: BS, James Madison Univeristy, Biotechnology 

Lab RotationsRaj GajiIrving Coy Allen, and Xin Luo

Research Interests: Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Pathology.

Lab SelectionDr. Xin Luo's Lab

Aspirations in pursuing a PhD: I want to get further education and training in immunology to ultimately do research in the biotech industry. 

Current Status: Ph.D. Student Brown University

Fun Fact: I was in the top 5% of players in Call Of Duty: Modern warfare. 

Hobbies/activates: Go to amusement parks, video games, cooking and fishing.