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Seventeenth Cohort 2019

Guadalupe Ceja

Guadalupe Ceja

Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania

PREP Mentor: Dr. Dana Hawley, Immunology

Current Status: Graduate Student, Purdue University

I was born and raised in a Hispanic community in South Texas.  I grew up on a farm around livestock all of my life and was inundated with the many beautiful aspects of country living.  I took a dramatic change and went to the city of Philadelphia where I studied Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.  I did full time research in an immunology lab for three years and got well-rounded experiences envolving animal care, biology, and minority communities, working at places such as the Philadelphia Zoo, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and Puentes de Salud. I want to continue to explore biological systems from a perspective that incorporates diseases, ecology, and immunology. My fun fact is that I grew up on a farm!

Marcos Cervantes

Marcos Cervantes

Undergrad: New York University

PREP Mentor: Dr. Padma Rajagopalan, Biomedical Engineering

Current Status: Ph.D. Student, University of Virginia

I am a first generation college student who now has the opportunity to pursue a PhD and do more research. My fun fact is that I was a Performing Arts Stage Manager for Engineering students during my undergrad.

Kerani Davison

Kerani Davidson

Undergrad: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Faculty of interest: Dr. Kevin Edgar, Polymer Chemistry

Curent Status: Graduate School, University of Tennessee

I have always wanted to pursue a PhD. My undergrad research lab focused on research areas I was interested in such as makeup and kids toys. I would like to continue doing research that I enjoy. My fun fact is that I used to be a bartender!

Jose Monclova

Jose Monclova

Undergrad: University of New Mexico, Chemical and Biological Engineering

PREP Mentor: Dr. Raffaella De Vita, Biomedical Engineering

Current Status: Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering at Penn State University

I am from New Mexico, in the Albuquerque area. I would love to pursue a PhD so that I can be a professor at a university. I want to be able to give back to my undergraduate mentors both in the IMSD at UNM and PREP at Virginia Tech. My interests are in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. My fun fact is that I like to go rock climbing!

Stefany Nunez Zavala

Stefany Nunez-Zavala

Undergrad: Cal State University San Marcos, Biological Sciences

PREP Mentor: Dr. Liqing Zhang,  Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

Current Status: PhD program in Math, Computational, and Systems Biology at University of California Irvine

I love Science and I am naturally curious. I would love to continue doing research and possible pursue a career in academia. In the future I would love to start a program like PREP and teach future Biologists about the importance of Math in this field. My fun fact is that I love meditating!

Claudia Perez

Claudia Perez

Undergrad: Johns Hopkins University, Molecular and Cellular Biology

PREP Mentor: Dr. Nisha Duggal, Virology

Current Status: M.S at Virginia Tech; Will attend PhD program at UMass, Fall 2022

My research interests include genetics, and infectious diseases, especially virology. In my free time, I like to play board games with friends and go out to new restaurants. I have always seen myself as a lifelong learner. I look forward to having projects of my own that I can teach others about. I enjoy the collaborative environment involved with advancing the field of science. One day I hope to be a mentor to others who are interested in the same things I am interested in, and to help lead them to make new discoveries and be proud of their work. My fun fact is that I used to play rugby!

Raven Ross

Raven Ross

Undergrad: Virginia Commonwealth University

Faculty of interest: Julie Dunsmore, Developmental Psychology

Current Status: PhD program, University of Virginia

When I was in high school, I took an AP Psychology class and I loved it. A PhD would help me develop my interest in Psychology. My fun fact is that I love cats! 

Kevin Santiago-Morales

Kevin Santiago-Morales

Undergrad: University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez

PREP Mentor: Ann Stevens, Microbiology

Current Status: Ph.D. Student, Michigan State University

I have always had a passion for science since high school. In pursuing a PhD, I would love to understand how microbes affect us and the environment. My fun fact is that I love to cook!