Our Research Advisors
The Solomon Research Scholars Program gives high school students a chance to work one-on-one on independent research projects with a research advisor who has a PhD, is a current PhD candidate, or is a postdoc. The PhD research advisor will work with students on every aspect of the research process, including research topic selection, guidance on how to conduct the research, feedback on the research process, feedback on the outline for the research paper, and feedback on the written research paper. In addition, a technical writing editor will assist with the revision of the final draft of the student’s research paper.
Our PhD research advisors come from a wide range of academic disciplines, ranging from the natural sciences to engineering to social sciences to business to the humanities. Many of our PhD research advisors have experience teaching students in a university setting. Our PhD research advisors coordinate with the student’s college admissions consultant to help pick the best research topic to maximize college admission odds and to strengthen the student’s positioning in the college application.
Available academic disciplines that our PhD research advisors can help students conduct research projects in include:
African American Studies
Chemical and Biological Engineering
East Asian Studies
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Film and Media Studies
Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Materials Science and Engineering
Near Eastern Studies
Slavic Languages and Literature
PhD Student in Learning Sciences and Technology Design
Areas of specialization: computer science, cognitive science, education
Adele graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2023, majoring in computer science and electrical engineering. She is currently pursuing her PhD in learning sciences and technology design, with her research focusing on the applications of artificial intelligence to learning tools. She's been recognized with notable fellowships for her academic excellence and contributions. During her undergraduate studies, Adele founded an educational technology company aimed at assisting students with complex needs in learning mathematics via personalized computer games and analytics. She led multiple projects in research labs dedicated to the future of learning and enhancing ability. These endeavors have earned her multiple awards for her company’s impact on the community and her innovative research, including a prestigious President's Award, an Engineering Innovation Competition award, and a Global Student Entrepreneur Association prize. In addition to her entrepreneurial and academic pursuits, Adele has interned as a software engineer for two summers at a prominent tech company. Furthermore, Adele has a long history of tutoring math, which began when she was in 8th grade, and has since included organizing a tutoring service for low-income students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PhD Student in Nuclear Engineering
Areas of specialization: chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, higher education, underrepresented groups, materials science and engineering
Adria earned her BS in Chemical Engineering and her M.Eng in Nuclear Engineering. Formerly a Nuclear Engineer at a prominent energy company, she is passionate about using higher education to foster both personal and professional growth, especially as a first-generation college student. Her experience in higher education encompasses developing a program for undergraduate women of color, conducting seminars and workshops for undergraduate students, and tutoring students in Math.
PhD Graduate in Religious Studies and History
Areas of specialization: religious studies, history, anthropology, media studies, politics, international relations
Alexander is a scholar whose expertise spans Religious Studies, History, Anthropology, Media Studies, Politics, and International Relations. After completing his BA, MA, and PhD, he has had the opportunity to teach at various renowned institutions and delivered lectures at several universities and conferences globally. His academic endeavors have been generously supported by numerous fellowships and institutions, including the Robert C. and Mary Layne Gregg Fellowship, the Margaret Ross Miller Fellowship, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation Academic Consortium, the Jewish Heritage Fund, Le Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT), and a well-respected academic center. He once worked as a research consultant at a prominent think tank. Alexander has made substantial contributions to academic literature. He co-authored a commentary in Frontiers in Genetics, and his research findings have been published in esteemed journals like AJS Review, the Journal of Semitic Studies, Jewish Film & New Media, and in a book titled "Demons in Early Judaism and Christianity: Characters and Characteristics" slated for 2022. Further, he has several forthcoming works, including a monograph, a journal article, a chapter for an upcoming edited volume, and a co-edited volume.
PhD Candidate in Religious Studies
Areas of specialization: political science, Arab studies, philosophy of religion, linguistics
Ali is a historian with a focus on the premodern Islamic world. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the field of religious studies and has earned two master’s degrees, one in near Eastern languages and civilizations, and another in religious studies. Ali regularly teaches courses on Islamic history.
PhD Candidate in City and Regional Planning
Areas of specialization: urban studies, city planning, security studies, urban history, African studies, human geography, development studies
Alli holds a BA (with distinction) in History and Political Science and an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning Studies, which she also achieved with distinction while holding a distinguished international scholarship. She is currently a PhD candidate in City and Regional Planning. Having passed her qualifying exams with distinction, she is working on a dissertation project that examines questions of security and urban governance in South Africa and India. Before embarking on her PhD journey, Alli engaged at the crossroads of academia and public policy. She held an academic position where she managed a research project designed to advise a major city government on an urban development initiative. Her portfolio showcases a range of publications—both academic and policy-oriented—including peer-reviewed journal articles and an edited volume for which she served as one of the editors. Teaching remains one of Alli’s foremost passions and strengths. During her undergraduate studies, she spearheaded a non-profit organization focused on teaching debate in under-resourced schools to foster critical thinking, public speaking, and argumentation skills among students. With over a decade of teaching experience under her belt, Alli has educated undergraduates and master's students at multiple institutions, mentoring them through their research processes. Among her advisees, two received departmental accolades for their exemplary undergraduate theses. Throughout her PhD, Alli continued teaching and was honored with an institution-wide award for her exceptional contributions as a graduate student instructor. Alli's commitment to education lies in her genuine desire to equip students with knowledge and watch them thrive.
PhD Student in the Philosophy of Religion
Areas of specialization: political science, Arab studies, philosophy of religion, linguistics
Aman is a research associate at a non-partisan research center. He earned his BA in political science and Arab studies, and his MA in South Asian studies with a focus on history. As a former journalist based in the Middle East and South Asia, Aman brings a vast array of global experience to teaching, admissions consulting, and mentorship. He is currently a doctoral student focusing on the philosophy of religion, the historical encounter between Indian and Islamic philosophical traditions, and contemporary Islamic political thought. Aman has worked with over fifty high-school and undergraduate students in shaping their higher education applications, including preparation for standardized tests (SAT, ACT, & GRE). An avid linguaphile, Aman speaks and reads Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Hindi, and Urdu. In his free time, he can be found studying grammar, organizing playlists of different types of music, or trying different cuisines.
PhD Student in Developmental Psychology
Areas of specialization: psychology, linguistics, Latino studies
Ana is a graduate in Psychology with minors in Linguistics and Latino Studies. Currently, she's working towards her PhD in Developmental Psychology. As a first-generation college student, she became deeply passionate about guiding others through the college application process to help them find their best-fit schools. She boasts considerable experience in advising students and families throughout all stages of the admissions process, having worked with individuals both in the United States and China. Ana has been an active participant in workshops aimed at deepening US high school students' understanding of the admissions process. Furthermore, she's mentored high school students, guiding them through novel research. Using her skills to bring out the best in her students is something Ana is deeply passionate about.
PhD Student in Social Work
Areas of specialization: social work, poverty and inequality, international development, public health
With 20 years of experience in academic and professional writing, Andricus is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Social Work. Serving as a pre-doctoral fellow, he received training in social and behavioral sciences and has conducted studies exploring various issues, including poverty and inequality, entrepreneurship, and factors impacting student success from middle school through post-secondary schools. Andricus teaches courses in social policy and research methods to both undergraduate and graduate students. Before diving back into academia, Andricus served as the Associate Director of Research and Planning at a prominent college, where he led accreditation efforts and quality improvement initiatives. He also worked as the Development Coordinator at an international development center, supporting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in addressing economic, social, and environmental challenges in developing countries. Furthering his role as a program manager, Andricus crafted policies for workforce development programs and cultivated partnerships with NGOs, private-sector companies, government agencies, and other groups to encourage participation in international development projects. His additional experiences, which include roles as a legislative aide and a research analyst focusing on poverty reduction, community development, and international development, have solidified his passion for addressing global challenges.
PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
Areas of specialization: 2D materials, catalysis, ferroelectric devices, graphene synthesis, polymers, cleanroom manufacturing
Prior to his graduate studies, Arturo completed his B.S. in mechanical engineering. Throughout undergrad, he was involved in various projects, including a solar car, fuel cell project, and phosphorus wastewater treatment. Arturo’s PhD focuses on 2D materials, primarily for catalysis and memory storage. He is complementing his degree with a minor in physics, specializing in condensed matter physics. His mechanical engineering experience has allowed him to modify testing equipment in his laboratory for materials characterization. Arturo is well-versed in various characterization methods, mainly x-ray-based. During his PhD, he has worked as a TA in undergraduate and graduate courses. Teaching and tutoring are among Arturo’s many passions as he aspires to become a professor in the future. Hailing from a predominantly Hispanic community at the US-Mexico border, Arturo aims to expand access to higher education, particularly for underrepresented groups. Beyond research and school, he serves as the president of a prominent high school outreach program for science and technology, which introduces students to materials science and provides them with a fresh perspective on engineering.
PhD Student in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: sociology, anthropology, medical anthropology, human biology
Ashley completed her BA in sociology with honors and pursued a concentration in policy studies. Further, she earned her MA in interdisciplinary studies. Currently, she is a fully-funded PhD student in the anthropology department. Throughout her academic career, Ashley has earned numerous award-recipient grants, including the Mellon Mays Fellowship program. With experience teaching at the K-12 level, coupled with several years of experience as a tutor and writing mentor at the university level, Ashley has developed a flexible mentorship style that can benefit students of all ages.
PhD Candidate in Iberian and Latin American Languages and Cultures
Areas of specialization: radio, television, film, Latin American studies
Ashley holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Radio-Television-Film and another in Latin American Studies. She also possesses a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and is set to receive her Ph.D. in Iberian and Latin American Languages and Cultures in July 2023. Her research interests encompass gender and border studies, the examination of violence, trauma, and memory, Mexican literature and film, oral history, and crónica writing. She has contributed her works to various publications including Revista Anfibia, Pterodáctilo, Not Even Past, and the Student Journal of Latin American Studies. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ashley has an eight-year experience working in higher education. She has also advised and mentored students keen on studying abroad, pursuing a Juris Doctor Degree, or obtaining a Ph.D.
PhD Candidate in Ethnic Identity and Public Policy
Areas of specialization: public policy, South & East Asian policies, global health, economics, genetics, biochemistry
With nine years of teaching experience across various institutions, Caleb is currently a PhD candidate, studying the intersection of ethnic identity and public policy. Caleb has extensive experience in higher education, including roles as a student, staff member, and faculty. As an undergraduate, he pursued a triple major in international relations, politics, and biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, while also minoring in chemistry. In this period, he served as a writing tutor and business writing coach, and was a member of the teaching staff in the first-year seminar program. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Caleb spent two years in southern China, teaching first- and second-year undergraduate courses that varied from introductory writing to directing a women’s choir. He also held a deputy directorship for international staff and taught elective night courses open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Returning to the United States, Caleb pursued his master’s in international peace and conflict resolution, which he completed in 2018. During his studies, he worked across various roles including alumni relations, graduate admissions, and faculty research. Caleb thrives when balancing multiple roles. In addition to his own teaching and research, he has served on numerous scholarship committees, is a trained dialogue facilitator, and a former musician. These experiences equip him well to guide students in discovering their interests and taking charge of their own learning.
PhD Candidate in History
Areas of specialization: history
Dahlia is a research advisor with significant academic and teaching experience, guiding high school students through the research process. She is currently a PhD candidate in the department of history and a Benjamin Franklin fellow. She also holds a Master of Arts in Arab studies and a certificate in refugee and humanitarian emergencies, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in international relations with a minor in management, all received with high distinction. Dahlia's teaching experience is diverse, including roles as a teaching assistant for courses like Arab-Israeli Conflict through Literature and Film, Africa Before 1800, and Ottoman History. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct lecturer, where she teaches an intensive three-week language course every summer. Furthermore, she is a faculty instructor at a prestigious pre-college program, where she has been teaching every summer since 2015. There, she has developed and taught several college prep courses for high school students on topics such as global issues in the Middle East and South Asia, and immigration and migration in a changing world. In addition to her teaching roles, Dahlia has held various positions in academic outreach and programming. As an outreach coordinator for a Middle Eastern institute, she established partnerships with K-12 schools, designed and implemented faculty/teacher workshops, and developed an outreach program strategy. As a program director of a center for studies, she managed the center's operations and activities, including programming, community outreach, fundraising, fellowship admissions and management, and media/communications. Dahlia also served as a researcher for a program focused on the Middle East & North Africa at a journalism protection committee. In her role as a research advisor, Dahlia excels in guiding high school students through the research process, from selecting research topics to conducting research and developing writing skills to produce high-quality, college-level research papers.
PhD Graduate in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
Areas of specialization: molecular biology, neuroscience, genomics, RNA sequencing, evolutionary biology
David is a distinguished doctoral graduate who earned a double PhD in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience. He conducted groundbreaking research on the genetic mechanisms underlying the diversification of sensory systems using advanced techniques like transient transgenesis and high throughput genomics. He further established an innovative methodology based on single nucleus RNA sequencing to study the genetic aspects of the yellow fever mosquito, deciphering the code responsible for odor preference in this significant insect. Prior to his doctorate, David received his Bachelor of Sciences in Natural Sciences and pursued an International Master of Sciences in Molecular and Cellular Biology, specializing in evolutionary biology. During this phase, he delved into complex systems and conducted research on evolutionary genetics. He also earned a Master of Philosophy with a specialization in animal physiology and embryonic development. Recognized for his academic prowess, David was the recipient of a notable scholarship, further enhancing his expertise in areas like viral immunity, post-transcriptional regulation, and neurodevelopment. With over 15 years in the academic realm, David has mentored numerous students across four languages (English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese) at the undergraduate level in both classroom and laboratory settings, specifically in biology and neuroscience. Having been selected by elite global institutions, he possesses invaluable insights into the rigorous academic admissions process.
PhD Student in Environmental Engineering
Areas of specialization: environmental engineering, developmental engineering, wastewater management, pathogen transmission
Denise has earned her B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering and is currently a third-year PhD student focusing on Developmental Engineering within the field of Environmental Engineering. With over four years of research experience, she has delved into various environmental engineering topics, including wastewater treatment, water filtration, and wastewater-based epidemiology. During her PhD, her research primarily focuses on detecting the transmission of pathogens in communities through different water sources, and she is currently in the process of completing the first chapter of her dissertation and working towards publishing her findings. Aside from her academic pursuits, Denise is also deeply passionate about tutoring. As an underrepresented minority and a woman in the STEM field, she is motivated to support other students in pursuing STEM careers. Denise is eager to use her extensive research and tutoring skills to assist students in achieving their college aspirations.
PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Areas of specialization: biology, environmental science, ecology
Ellie is a PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She earned an MA in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, and prior to that, she received a BSc in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. Ellie has a strong passion for science mentorship, ecological research, and transdisciplinary initiatives that bring science to practice considering the social context. She has published 7 scientific articles in evolution and ecology, focusing on how populations respond to anthropogenic change. In addition, she has mentored more than 30 students in research, from the high school to MSc level. Ellie loves to see students engage with research and discover newfound passions while approaching the world around them with curiosity. With a strong interest in community engagement and STEM education equity, she co-created an afterschool class on urban bird ecology with an education equity organization. Ellie has also contributed scientific grounding to public arts initiatives that respond to the intersection of environmental injustice and ecological crisis.
PhD Student in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: anthropology, human trafficking
After receiving a prestigious scholarship, Emily earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology, sociology, and Spanish. She graduated summa cum laude and went on to secure a full scholarship for her master’s degree in the social sciences with a concentration in anthropology. Currently, Emily is working towards completing her PhD in anthropology with specializations in both archaeology and sociocultural anthropology. In addition to conducting her own academic research, Emily is completing mentored teaching experiences, which include teaching assistantships, coordinating undergraduate events for the department of anthropology, and more. Beyond academia, Emily also works as a market research consultant, managing all phases of independent projects, including research and instrument design, setup, fieldwork, analysis, and reporting. Emily finds joy in teaching and mentoring. She believes that helping others discover their passion for research and refining their analytical skills is vitally important.
PhD Graduate in Chemistry
Areas of specialization: chemistry, chemical engineering, data science, computer science, materials science and engineering
Emily has a B.S. in chemistry and a BA in psychology. She went on to receive her PhD in chemistry. As an undergraduate, Emily spent two years as a tutor and mentor with a CRLA level 1 tutoring certification, leading one-on-one and large-group sessions to help her peers build the tools necessary to succeed in a diverse array of classes. Additionally, she participated in laboratory research for her dual degrees, completing a study to optimize the catalytic degradation of atmospheric toxins with a high-school student mentee, while also researching the effects of social support and stress on college student performance and behavioral patterns. While pursuing her PhD in chemistry, Emily taught a general chemistry lab to over 200 undergraduate students. Here, she mentored several of her students outside of class, facilitating their participation in scientific research. She personally mentored an undergraduate in her own research lab, with whom she published a peer-reviewed article in a respected journal. This facilitated her student’s acceptance to a graduate program in applied physics. Along with her mentoring experience, Emily has 6 years of experience in scientific research and communication in academia, publishing 5 peer-reviewed articles with 3 more articles in the review process, which will result in 7 first-author publications. Moreover, she has collaboratively written 3 research grant proposals, garnering substantial funding, and has given talks at over 10 international scientific conferences, including co-moderating a national meeting. Emily’s expertise in the world of academia has provided her with a specific knowledge of the expectations required of students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM. She is passionate about utilizing her knowledge to aid and inspire younger generations to achieve their goals.
PhD Student in Historical Musicology
Areas of specialization: musicology, music history, cello performance, French Baroque music
Eric is a musicologist specializing in the cultural symbolism and music theory of French baroque music. With a background in cello performance, he holds a B.A. in this field, an M.A. and a Master of Interpretation of Early Music—Research and Practice. Currently, he is a PhD student in Historical Musicology, engaging deeply with the subtleties and nuances of French baroque music. In addition to his studies, Eric also serves as a Teaching Assistant and is an Adjunct Professor of Music History, bringing his extensive knowledge and passion for music to students and helping them understand the rich and complex history of music. His unique approach to musicology combines practical performance skills with theoretical knowledge, providing a comprehensive understanding of music in its cultural and historical context.
PhD Candidate in Musicology
Areas of specialization: musicology, jazz, education
Hannah is researching the Creole jazz clarinet tradition in New Orleans and its effect on a prominent jazz composer's work. She received her MA in musicology en route to her PhD and her BA in music. As she nears the completion of her PhD, set to defend in Spring 2023, she is currently working as an adjunct instructor. Hannah is deeply committed to both scholarship and teaching. She has been published in reputable journals, including Jazz Perspectives. As a research mentor, she prioritizes ensuring that students are diving into meaningful research topics supported by existing literature. Her approach emphasizes the exploration of research from a place of genuine curiosity. By meticulously guiding students through the research process, Hannah aims for their initial encounters with research to be enlightening and methodical.
PhD Student in Nutrition and Metabolism
Areas of specialization: biochemistry, nutrition, metabolism, education
After achieving his BS in Biochemistry and MA in Education, Hoang transitioned into a PhD program focusing on Nutrition and Metabolism, and is also a prior medical school matriculate. His current research project centers on using bioinformatics to characterize adipocyte progenitors and their crucial role in assessing disease risk. Possessing a passion for research and teaching, Hoang aims to make significant contributions through innovative advancements in strategies that can positively impact human health and evolution.
PhD Candidate in History of Art
Areas of specialization: photography, film, art history
Isabelle specializes in modern and contemporary art, and the history of photography, film, and media art. Her research also extends into the history of architecture and 19th-century art. As a native French speaker, she holds an MA in Art History and has worked at various arts institutions in Canada, the United States, and Iceland.
PhD Student in Biopsychology
Areas of specialization: psychology, Spanish, biopsychology
Ivette graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology and Spanish, and a minor in Biology. She began her journey towards a PhD in Biopsychology in 2019. Throughout both her undergraduate and graduate careers, Ivette has been dedicated to mentoring undergraduate students from various backgrounds. She has guided students in designing thesis projects, preparing manuscripts, and teaching them the skills required to become independent researchers.
PhD Candidate in Hispanic Linguistics
Areas of specialization: linguistics
James is a linguist specializing in language contact in the Ibero-Romance world. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Hispanic linguistics and has published work in a variety of peer-reviewed journals. With a commitment to education, he frequently teaches courses on Spanish and linguistics at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
PhD Student in Computer Science
Areas of specialization: computer science, electrical engineering, pure mathematics, applied mathematics
Jay is a computer science PhD student with a research focus on wireless networks and communication. He holds a BS in electrical and computer engineering as well as a BS in mathematics. He has been involved in a variety of projects related to satellite networks and connectivity. Jay has also designed machine learning algorithms for satellite sensing applications.
PhD Student in Physics
Areas of specialization: physics, biophysics, environmental science
Jiani is a first-generation graduate who earned her bachelor’s in physics. She has collaborated with several research labs, amassing both academic and industry research experience, contributing to peer-reviewed publications and abstracts, and tutoring math and physics at the undergraduate level. During her undergraduate studies, she developed various research skills ranging from data analysis to computer programming. Currently pursuing her doctorate in physics, she has further honed her abilities in reviewing scientific literature. Jiani is passionate about supporting the growth of students for a career in the sciences by strategically guiding students through independent research that fits uniquely to their needs.
PhD Candidate in Economics
Areas of specialization: macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, data science
Jihoon is an accomplished student in the field of Economics, with his dissertation research focusing on the topic of business groups, internal capital markets, and resource allocation. Before embarking on his PhD journey, he worked as a Research Professional. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics, graduating with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
PhD Student in Physics
Areas of specialization: ethnographic research, mental health, Black studies, culture, and communication,
Joelle is a dedicated researcher and PhD candidate in Anthropology. She embarked on her research journey as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, where she executed a two-year protocol for a self-designed ethnographic research project within the Haitian community. Currently, her doctoral dissertation delves into the mental health repercussions of regional immigration policies on Black migrants throughout the Americas. During her graduate studies, Joelle played an instrumental role as a Teaching Associate, overseeing and facilitating courses such as Intro to Black Studies, The Study of Social Systems, Culture and Communication, Careers in Anthropology, and Border Studies. In addition to her teaching endeavors, she served as an academic advisor for early undergraduate students, familiarizing herself with all academic policies. Joelle's rich experience in ethnographic research design and analysis, combined with her aptitude for individualized student mentorship, underpins her belief in the transformative power of curiosity. She is fervently committed to nurturing and maximizing the potential of each student she collaborates with.
PhD Graduate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology
Areas of specialization: science and technology
John holds a PhD in human and social dimensions of science and technology. He is an active researcher specializing in science and technology policy and sociology of science. His research focuses on social processes of technological innovation, governance of emerging technologies, and government research funding strategy. John has published twelve peer-reviewed research articles in journals such as Research Policy, Minerva, Futures, and the Journal of Responsible Innovation, utilizing various research methods including synthetic and analytic literature review, case studies, interviews, surveys, documentary analysis, and focus groups. During his PhD education, John gained experience instructing and evaluating undergraduate students involved in independent research projects in bioethics and futures studies. He also provided mentorship to undergraduate and graduate students in preparing applications for the U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, an award that John himself received in 2019. John takes great pleasure in guiding students through the conceptualization, design, and execution of independent and innovative research projects. His mentoring focuses on helping students develop skills in information search and synthesis, critical and analytic thinking, argumentation, and writing.
PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: cultural anthropology, archaeology, Spanish
Kasey is a cultural anthropologist and archaeologist currently finishing her PhD in anthropology. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in archaeology and Spanish, and a master’s degree in historic preservation. She studies cultural heritage, politics, and historic preservation in a rural region as part of a community-focused heritage preservation and development project. Her goal is to explore the broad uses of heritage and cultural representation through collaboration with local communities. She employs community-led and collaborative approaches to study how heritage, particularly that of Indigenous communities, is politicized, commoditized, and controlled by actors in the pursuit of power over the past. Her primary field research is a multimodal anthropological project that examines governance over heritage as well as the material legacies of colonialism and colonization.
PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: anthropology (political and economic), urban studies, public policy, gender studies
Katy is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with honors. Her research areas span political and economic anthropology, urban studies, development studies, public policy, and gender studies. Recently, she finished twelve months of ethnographic research for her dissertation on the emerging middle class and political participation in Kampala, Uganda. Her research has garnered support from notable institutions such as the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and a global research institute. Katy teaches undergraduate courses in anthropological theory and methods and is deeply committed to aiding students in crafting research projects that highlight their intellectual curiosity.
PhD Student in Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
Areas of specialization: environmental sciences
Kieren holds a BA and a master’s degree in environmental science. During their master's study, they led multiple studies on climate change adaptation planning and led student groups focused on environmental justice advocacy and community building. Kieren has worked in numerous research, education, and environmental policy positions at various academic institutions, nonprofits, and government institutions. They have provided research mentoring and tutoring services to high school and college students for over 8 years where they have covered a variety of STEM and social science subjects. As a PhD student, their research focuses on climate change adaptation and environmental justice with a regional emphasis. Kieren is also very engaged in fostering equitable education programs on campus, and, as a first-generation college graduate, has a passion for supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds.
PhD Graduate in Political Science
Areas of specialization: educational public policy, comparative political science and political economy, tech policy, history of science, public policy, public administration, science and technology studies (STS)
Konrad holds a PhD in political science and has earned multiple degrees in political science and physics. His academic focus is on the comparative politics and political economy of technology regulation and governance. Konrad has taught for 10 years across political science and political economy subjects, focusing on helping students develop their ability to craft compelling arguments based on evidence. His areas of expertise include the varieties of capitalism, national models of welfare capitalism, regulation and governance, and the politics of science and technology policy. Before embarking on his PhD journey, Konrad worked in the private sector as a consultant, dealing with e-commerce data production and management. He enjoys engaging with some of the technologies he studies, including sewing, 3-D printing, platform economy pro-sumption, and legally modifying cars.
PhD Student in Space Resources
Areas of specialization: geology, additive manufacturing, mineralogy, volcanology,
planetology, astronomy, chemistry, environmental science/earth science, space
Kyla is a 3rd year PhD student with a focus on melting simulated lunar dirt and casting it into shapes suitable for construction materials, specifically for the construction of Lunar launch pads. She is also actively working on several NASA projects, including a project on molten regolith electrolysis (MRE) aimed at extracting metals from lunar dirt. Before relocating, Kyla lived in Hawai’i where she earned her bachelor's degree in Geology, with a particular focus on planetary geology, Hawaiian-type volcanology, and astronomy. After graduating, she began working for an aerospace agency dedicated to promoting the aerospace industry through economic development, workforce development, applied research, and outreach and education. At this agency, Kyla held the position of Geology and Material Science Technician. Leading the Materials Science Research, she investigated if all basalt feedstocks—regardless of their chemical and mineral abundances—are suitable for making durable construction materials for potential future bases on the moon and Mars. Her research involved creating tiles through a process known as sintering. Furthermore, Kyla was the outreach and education coordinator, dedicating time to teaching science in classrooms, mentoring summer interns, and helping students achieve their academic goals. Overall, she boasts over 10 years of experience assisting students in their educational pursuits.
PhD Candidate in Global Health and International Development
Areas of specialization: public health, bioinformatics, data science, social justice
Larisa is an interdisciplinary scholar working across fields of global health and international development. Her extensive education includes a Master of Public Health, a Master of International Policy Management, and a Bachelor of Science in biology. Larisa earned full scholarships for nearly all of her studies through competitive essay-based applications. Larisa previously worked as a Global Health fellow and then as a biologist, primarily focusing on research initiatives and programs for HIV prevention in medical and laboratory settings in Southern Africa. She has been published in peer-reviewed scientific publications, and has also published informal works through blogs and other features. Before her work as a fellow and biologist, Larisa was a Peace Corps volunteer and worked for a year as a domestic violence and rape crisis prevention educator and advocate. From her varied experiences, she applies an innovative science-informed approach to address global health and social justice issues. Her current PhD work is on transnational migrant health and global governance, with a dissertation focus on Ukrainian refugee health and decision making. She also manages survey design for research projects on enumerating homelessness and teaches sustainability consulting. Larisa enjoys arts and culture, has lived or traveled in more than 50 countries, speaks Russian, and has been learning Arabic for several years.
PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering
Areas of specialization: biomedical engineering, data analysis, tissue engineering, biomaterials, inflammation, immunology
Laura is an accomplished researcher dedicated to inspiring and mentoring fellow scientists. She attained her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering with top honors and served as a mentor, contributing to the design of a new laboratory course for her department. Currently pursuing her Ph.D., Laura's research spans data analysis, tissue engineering, biomaterials, inflammation, and immunology. Throughout her graduate studies, she has actively mentored both undergraduate and graduate students and has served as a teaching fellow for a Biomaterials course. Her exceptional academic achievements and mentoring abilities make her an ideal research mentor.
PhD Candidate in Spanish Linguistics
Areas of specialization: linguistics, Spanish, healthcare, molecular biology
Madison combined her interests in healthcare and language to pursue a double major in molecular biology and Spanish linguistics. In graduate school, her research interests focus on the intersection between these two fields; Madison studies second language acquisition in children with developmental disorders such as autism, specifically from a phonetic perspective. In addition to her experience developing research questions and conducting experiments as a PhD candidate, Madison has experience mentoring future generations of academic researchers. She served as an undergraduate scientist mentor in a mentorship program for students. Madison also has ample teaching experience. She worked as a teaching associate for two years, prior to receiving the prestigious Graduate Research Mentorship fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year, with 70% of her students earning a grade of 90% or higher.
PhD Graduate in American Studies
Areas of specialization: ethnic studies, gender and sexuality, Latin American studies, urban studies, science and technology, anthropology, political economy, media, social science research methods
With 9 years as a Graduate Researcher and 1 year of experience as an Admissions Intern, Maile obtained her PhD in American Studies, complemented by a certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She also holds an MA in Latin American Studies and a BA in Sociology/Anthropology, graduating summa cum laude. As a PhD applicant, Maile received admissions offers from several prestigious institutions. Her areas of expertise encompass ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, Latin American studies, urban studies, science and technology studies, anthropology, political economy, media studies, and social science research methods. Maile's dissertation, "Tropical Connectivity: Race, Affect, and U.S. Digital Capital in Contemporary Havana," earned a nomination for a national prize in American Studies. Her work has been featured in esteemed publications in Latin American Ethnic Studies and in a Brazilian journal as part of a Queer/Cuir Américas project. Dr. Maile has a passion for collaborating with students on social science and humanities research projects, as well as on study abroad projects. She has served as an instructor, an ethnographic mentor, and a trip leader. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
PhD Candidate in Philosophy
Areas of specialization: philosophy, gender studies, history of science
Maja is a PhD candidate in philosophy and a former lecturer. Her main areas of research are metaphysics, the history of philosophy, general philosophy of science, metaphilosophy, and feminist philosophy. Her writing, including her dissertation, focuses on the challenges that pregnancy raises for metaphysical assumptions about individuality and for scientists' chosen target systems. Other interests include political philosophy, ethics, and bioethics.
PhD Graduate in Mechanical Engineering
Areas of specialization: trustworthy artificial intelligence, safe autonomous vehicles, engineering
Mansur is a researcher working to ensure advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and robots are safe and benefit society. He wants to help people understand how artificial intelligence systems make decisions so we can trust them. His PhD research involved developing new ways to test autonomous vehicles and "look under the hood" at their AI programs. He created simulations to check how self-driving cars react in dangerous situations. He uses methods like statistics and machine learning to validate AI decision-making. This helps find problems early before accidents happen. In his current role, Mansur is creating tools so AI can scale up people's ability to plan safely. He collaborates with companies to apply his safety methods in various engineering, computer science, and sustainability applications. Outside his research, Mansur is a returnee and currently an active volunteer for a high-school exchange program, so he understands how important it is for young people to learn from each other globally. He believes the best innovations come when we are curious, creative, collaborative, and care about helping others. He hopes his work paves the way for trustworthy and safe AI to improve lives.
PhD Candidate in History
Areas of specialization: history
Martijn is currently pursuing a PhD in history. His research centers on Eastern European, American, and transnational history. He graduated cum laude and holds an MSc in international and global history as well as two MA’s. As a PhD candidate, he has supervised dozens of successful student research projects in a wide array of historical topics, ranging from medieval Russian history to post-Civil War American history and 20th century international relations. Martijn is passionate about teaching students the core principles of academic history and guiding them in the conceptualization and execution of exciting research projects.
PhD Candidate in Public Policy
Areas of specialization: public policy, human rights, social justice, environmental studies
Mayank is a PhD candidate and a former civil rights lawyer. He holds bachelor’s degrees in law and the arts, and two master’s degrees in environmental and public policy. Mayank has also worked as a consultant for prominent international organizations. He has a breadth of teaching experience, having lectured on a number of subjects at several institutions. Mayank has many years of experience helping students gain admissions into both undergraduate and graduate programs. As a teacher, he has helped hundreds of students with writing their research papers - from helping them identify important topics for research, understanding how those topics resonate with the students' own lived experiences, and producing papers that have gone on to be published in journals, as well as presented to esteemed organizations.
PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: anthropology, archaeology
Melina earned her BA in anthropology and her MA from a prestigious university. As an underrepresented minority in the field of anthropology, she has developed a passion for sharing her work outside of a university setting. She believes that anthropology is intriguing, informative, and easily relatable to other disciplines.
PhD Graduate in Computational Biophysics/Bioinformatics
Areas of specialization: data science, biophysics, bioinformatics
Nayere is a data scientist and bioinformatician with years of experience in both academia and industry. She completed her PhD in computational biophysics/bioinformatics, during which she was involved in a variety of projects that resulted in several publications. Alongside her studies, Nayere served as a teaching and research assistant for five years, exhibiting a deep passion for mentoring students in their research journey. She possesses extensive experience in working with computational techniques and implementing AI solutions to enhance understanding and learning from biological and clinical data, with the goal of contributing to the study of biological systems.
PhD Candidate in Metabolic and Computational Biology
Areas of specialization: biology, biomedical engineering, computational biology, materials science and engineering
Naveed is a PhD Candidate studying Metabolic Biology and Computational Biology. Before that, he got his master’s degree in bioinformatics and a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering, where he was a Regent’s scholar. Naveed’s research currently spans the intersection between biochemistry and computational biology, and he has prior experience spearheading research projects in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral psychology. Naveed has extensive experience in teaching and mentorship – being a teaching assistant for seven different courses during his graduate career and tutoring high school students in math and writing.
PhD Student in Organizational Behavior
Areas of specialization: business, organizational behavior
Nicole is a doctoral student focusing on organizational behavior. Her research examines how leaders can create climates of safety and inclusion, where everyone feels safe to express their thoughts. Utilizing group laboratory experiments and conversation analysis methods, including natural language processing, she aims to further understanding in this field. Nicole's research has been published in renowned journals and covered by major media outlets. Nicole holds a BA and an AM degree. Before commencing her doctoral studies, she worked as a product manager for a tech startup, which was named as a leading startup in the Middle East for consecutive years. Nicole also has experience as a full-time researcher with a government body, and as a research associate at a behavioral lab at a well-known business school.
PhD Candidate in Culture, Institutions, and Society
Areas of specialization: philosophy, education, African studies, Middle Eastern studies, history, art history
Orelia is a graduate in history and African American studies and also holds an MS in education. She is currently a doctoral candidate focusing on culture, institutions, and society. She is a recipient of many awards, including most notably a National Academy of Education Dissertation fellowship. Orelia has taught various courses, from qualitative research methods to ethics general education courses. Over the last eight years, she has continued to work with students online, teaching history, social studies, English and supporting students with college application essays. Prior to her doctoral work, Orelia taught history at a prestigious school.
PhD Candidate in English Language and Literature
Areas of specialization: English, comparative literature, gender studies
Oriah earned her dual BA with honors in English language and literature and gender studies. She also holds an MA in English language and literature and is currently completing her PhD. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the relationship between liberal politics and Victorian fiction. Oriah currently serves as a teaching fellow where she has taught twelve courses to undergraduate students of all majors. These include introductory college writing and specialized courses on topics such as literature and technology, food studies, film and visual studies, and gender studies. She has received distinction for ranking in the top 10% of teachers in the English department based on student course evaluations. Oriah finds it especially rewarding to help students refine their critical thinking skills and develop their voices as writers. Being able to conduct thorough research and articulate it clearly in writing is an indispensable skill that sets students up for success in their college careers and beyond. Oriah has written numerous letters of recommendation for former students who have gone on to successfully pursue graduate education in medicine, law, and other fields.
PhD Candidate in Religion and Comparative Literature
Areas of specialization: religious studies, comparative literature, language, area studies
Peter is an accomplished academic with a background in Religious Studies (Islamic Studies/Middle Eastern Studies/South Asian Studies) and Comparative Literature (English, Persian, and Arabic). He has also served as a Senior Resident Tutor, where he closely mentored undergraduates in their academic pursuits and provided guidance as a fellowships advisor. Throughout his academic journey, Peter has taught classes spanning literature, languages, area studies, and religion. His dedication and prowess in his field are evident through the numerous grants and fellowships he has been awarded, such as a Presidential Scholarship, a Fulbright grant, an international fellowship in Interreligious Studies, several Critical Language Scholarships, and a University Traveling Fellowship. He is passionate about assisting students with their research projects and helping them achieve both academic and personal success.
PhD Student in Civil Environmental Engineering
Areas of specialization: computer science, computational linguistics
Qiyang is a PhD student in civil environmental engineering and also holds a second master's degree from a computer science department. His research focuses on implementing machine learning and deep learning technology into the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) domain. Qiyang's research goal is to develop an advanced knowledge network to support improved maintenance decision-making for bridges. He has already completed information extraction on bridge-related textual reports and images by using natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV) technologies. His paper was published in the I3CE conference and was chosen as one of the top 10% papers. Throughout his academic journey, Qiyang has completed many projects related to machine learning and deep learning. For instance, he developed a convolutional neural network (CNN)-based model to predict pneumonia disease with an accuracy of 85.98%. Additionally, he developed a logistic regression-based model for movie reviews sentiment analysis, achieving a 97% AUC score. Qiyang received his first master's degree from a reputable institution, during which he completed many projects related to natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV). His most challenging project was the Relational Visual-Text Attention Networks for Memex Question Answering. In this project, he and his teammates implemented a relational network with an attention mechanism, surpassing the state-of-the-art by 11% in accuracy.
PhD Candidate in Educational Psychology
Areas of specialization: psychology, Spanish, education,
Former Operations Specialist for a national community-driven educational transformation initiative, Rebeca is a three-time graduate and current doctoral candidate studying Educational Psychology. She has earned her B.A. in Organizational Studies and Spanish, an M.A. in Education, and an M.S. in Psychology. As someone deeply rooted in her hometown, Rebeca developed a passion for the college admissions process, particularly reflecting on her own journey as one of the few from her community to attend a top-tier research institution. Notably, she secured full-ride merit-based scholarships for all her degrees. Before her doctoral studies, Rebeca was involved in operations for a social change organization focused on community-driven educational transformation. Her interdisciplinary approach empowers her to mentor students from diverse backgrounds and interests, as she engages with various industries and community spaces regularly.
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology
Areas of specialization: gender studies, psychology, religious studies
With more than 5000 hours of research experience and over 500 hours spent on informative interviews of academics, Rebekah's experience in admissions is dynamic. She has been involved in recruitment and decision-making for university research projects and worked in a supervisory role for a summer research fellowship program, mentoring students from minority backgrounds aiming for graduate/medical school. Rebekah has also worked as a peer leader, applying the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) model to nurture future leaders and academics by assisting professors and leading classes. Rebekah started pursuing psychology and graduated summa cum laude with honors and a sole-authored undergraduate publication. She has collaborated with several universities during her gap years before successfully matriculating into a clinical psychology PhD program. Her thorough understanding of graduate programs, gained through numerous informative interviews with academic professionals, makes her a skilled mentor for students seeking to navigate the application process. Rebekah's main research interests are religious trauma, intersectionality, and epistemic injustice. She is an interdisciplinary scholar with special attention on women’s, gender, & sexuality studies, focusing particularly on studying trauma experienced by LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and communities from an intersectional social-justice/health-equity perspective. She is also a co-founder of a research collective focused on religious trauma. Her insights on research and its applications are current and offer a clear understanding of what an excellent "fit" for a research/mentor/program/university might look like for students.
PhD Student in Education
Areas of specialization: economics, education, capital markets, investing
Ryan earned a B.A. in Economics and later acquired Master's degrees in both Education and Economics. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D., focusing on capital markets and impact investing. His research delves into optimizing policy incentives to prioritize investments in high-impact areas such as education and access to infrastructure. During his earlier academic endeavors, he served as a high school math teacher for four years, developing a deep passion for assisting students in reaching their objectives.
PhD Candidate in English
Areas of specialization: English, Black speculative fiction, gender, environmental humanities, African-American literature, Caribbean literature and culture
Seanna is a Ph.D. candidate in English, with a focus on African-American, Global, and Caribbean writers. She is particularly interested in Black speculative fiction, gender, and the Environmental Humanities, actively participating in a Caribbean Literatures, Arts, and Culture research cluster. Her research journey began after earning her Bachelor of Arts in English and Education, leading her to work as a Fulbright Student Researcher. With extensive experience working with high school and undergraduate students, Seanna has served as a writing mentor, instructor at a nonprofit, and a tutor at a writing center. She has also had the opportunity to teach her own writing-intensive course, guiding first-year students through various forms of writing - including academic essays, creative writing, public-facing writing, and research papers. Committed to fostering a sense of critical inquiry and learning in the writing process, Seanna is dedicated to supporting students as they navigate through their academic journeys.
PhD Student in Chemistry
Areas of specialization: chemistry, psychology, chemical biology, drug discovery
Shelby has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Psychology. She is currently in the last year of her Ph.D. program in Chemistry. Her research focuses on using Chemistry for biological and pharmaceutical applications. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Shelby worked in several research labs focused on Chemical Biology and drug discovery. As an undergraduate, she also served as an AVID tutor and mentor for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). During her Ph.D. studies, she taught undergraduate Organic Chemistry labs and served as a mentor for Women in Chemistry. Additionally, she has published research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. With years of research experience, Shelby is adept at guiding students throughout the research process. She possesses expertise in drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, and mentoring young students.
PhD Graduate in Musicology
Areas of specialization: music, music history, art history, environmental history, American history
Taylor is a scholar who studies the intersection of music, art history, and environmental history. Her work has been recognized and supported by numerous fellowships, and her research has been presented widely at national and international conferences. While her most recent work focuses on 20th-century American music, she has taught courses covering topics from medieval chant to 19th-century opera to popular music. In addition to training with some of foremost scholars in the field of musicology, Dr. Taylor has been an undergraduate educator at multiple colleges and universities and she has a passion for guiding students in finding their own voices as researchers and scholars.
PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering
Areas of specialization: computational mechanics, environmental engineering, machine learning
Tommy received a BS in Environmental Engineering Science while minoring in Mechanical Engineering before starting his PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Motivated to study methods in climate change mitigation, Tommy initially aimed for a career in air quality engineering before pivoting to mechanical engineering. Tommy has either lead or been a member of multiple projects relevant to energy science and ﬂuid dynamics across his academic career. He has employed both machine learning and coupled multiphysics for design of digital twins, as well as evolutionary algorithms for discovering ideal design parameters. He has several years of tutoring experience as well as time spent in the nuclear fusion industry.
PhD Student in Computer Science
Areas of specialization: computer science, robotics
After completing both a bachelor's and a master's degree in computer science, Victor briefly worked as a software engineer at a prominent tech company before deciding to further his academic career by pursuing a PhD in computer science. Victor is an experienced educator and tutor, having guided high school and college students in a range of subjects, from physics, math, and Spanish, to astronomy and computer science. His research interests lie in the realm of motion planning for robotics and high-performance computation.
PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Areas of specialization: anthropology, Islamic studies
Will received his B.A. in Anthropology and Islamic Studies. He is now a PhD Candidate in Anthropology, where he also received his M.A. in Anthropology. Having conducted extensive fieldwork in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala during and following his undergraduate years, Will’s research trajectory has come full circle and he is presently conducting his dissertation fieldwork in his hometown. His transdisciplinary project examines the material intersections between race and industrial labor in the Jim Crow South across the twentieth century. Will’s undergraduate education was generously supported by a full scholarship program, which awarded him full tuition, room, and board. The scholarship is awarded to applicants demonstrating a commitment to solving society’s most pressing problems, be it through community service or activism. After his second year in his undergraduate studies, Will was invited by a professor to join a summer archaeology project in Peru. This experience propelled him onto the circuitous path he has followed for the past decade in the eclectic field of anthropology. At his current institution, Will works “betwixt and between” disciplines, and feels at home in such divergent spaces as sociocultural theory seminars, advanced poetry workshops, and spatial analysis labs. His graduate studies are supported by graduate student fellowships and several grantmaking bodies have funded his fieldwork. He presents his research at national and international conferences. Will has worked closely with undergraduates as a Teaching Assistant and Co-Teacher for five undergraduate core Social Sciences courses. Will has been a student at the undergraduate and graduate levels for eight years now and is incredibly fortunate in that he has never taken out a loan or, in fact, spent a dime on his education. This is particularly noteworthy since he was not an exceptionally high-performing high school student. Will has a knack for positioning his seemingly disparate interests in relation to each other and to ideas of broader import. He is adept at weaving many discreet threads into a compelling and cohesive narrative. He looks forward to helping prospective students do the same.
PhD Student in Computer Science
Areas of specialization: computer science, gender inclusivity, cognitive science, neural engineering
Zoe is a Computer Science PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She first got involved in research during her undergraduate degree. Since then, she has been a co-author on 13 research publications, and first author on 2 of them. Her research work ranges from topics on gender inclusivity and Human Computer Interaction, to cognitive science, neural engineering, and applied machine learning. She was a teaching assistant for introductory computer science courses for four quarters and also mentored students in a project-focused neural engineering capstone course. She has also mentored younger students (two high school and four undergraduate) as co-authors on her research works throughout her research career.
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