2018 Program Participants

Katherine Cyr is a senior at Amherst College pursuing a BA in Mathematics and Health Decision Science (Interdisciplinary). Before transferring to Amherst College from Quinisgamond Community College, Katherine worked as a clinical medical assistant. Now, Katherine works as a research assistant at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and for Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Health Ethics Committee. For her senior honors thesis, Katherine is studying the relationship between adolescent substance abuse and social network topology. She aspires to earn a PhD in either applied mathematics or biostatistics.

Michael J. Figueroa Muñiz was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, but raised in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico since he was 4 years old. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Natural Sciences with a concentration in Computational and Statistical Mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. Michael will graduate by 2020 and hopes to enter graduate school to study Applied Mathematics. Once he graduates, he would like to be a professor at a university or enter work as a statistician.

Aparna Kachalia is a mathematics major at Dartmouth College. She developed an interest in biostatistics through her research on the impact of climate and geography on the population dynamics of Anopheles Gambiae, a mosquito species that carries the deadliest form of malaria. Her research inspired her to use mathematical tools to better understand urgent public health issues. By becoming a biostatistician, Aparna plans to use statistical methods to examine the socio behavioral factors that impact early brain development and the biological pathways of mental illness. She hopes that her research will one day shape health policy. Aparna will graduate in June 2018 and plans to pursue a PhD in biostatistics.

Angela Lam is a senior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will graduate in May 2018 with a B.S. in Public Health and minor in Spanish, and plans to pursue either a Master’s degree in Biostatistics or an MPH degree in epidemiology and biostatistics. She is passionate about big data because it can be applied to improve many different areas of public health, especially to reduce health disparities. She hopes to one day build a career as a data analyst working to provide evidence to policymakers and researchers who have the tools and power to effect large-scale changes in the health field.

Steven Lawrence is a RISE Scholar in the CUNY Medgar Evers College.   He is a senior Biology major and Math minor expecting to graduate in the fall of 2018. In his spare time, he participates in the MEC Jazz Ensemble as a Pianist, and tutors precalculus and calculus one. He is also participating in research projects looking at pollution concentration equilibriums in lakes, and antibiotic resistance.   Steven’s interests are in mathematical approaches to solving biological problems using computing power. He hopes to pursue a Phd in Biostatistics using his acquire skills to help advance the healthcare system in disadvantaged communities.

Line Nana Mba was born in Cameroon. She is a Junior and RISE scholar at Medgar Evers College working toward a Bachelor in Biology, minor in Mathematics, expected in spring 2019. Line’s goal is to pursue a PhD in Biostatistics, and she has basic knowledge of R programing, SPSS and Maple. Line has participated in conferences which include ABRCMS, UMBC, MACUB, and presented a poster at ABRCMS 2017 and is a recipient of Dean’s list Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, RISE Award, and HCCPP Award. Line was previously a high school Mathematics teacher in Cameroon, and taught for five years.

Garrett Parker is a computer science major and bioinformatics minor at Santa Monica College, a community college in Santa Monica, CA. He is planning to transfer to a four-year university either this fall or next fall where he will complete his bachelor’s degree. For the past year he has been doing research at UCLA and is working towards publishing a research paper as a coauthor. After transferring to a university and earning his undergraduate degree, Garrett plans to apply to a bioinformatics PhD program.

Quinn Ramirez is an undergraduate student majoring in economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently on track to graduate in May of 2019. He first gained exposure to biomedical research while working as a research assistant at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. While working as a research assistant, he realized that statistics and mathematics play a crucial role in the production of biomedical research. Consequently, he has become interested in learning more about the role of quantitative analysis in public health and medicine. Quinn is considering attending graduate school for a degree within biostatistics or bioinformatics. With regards to his career aspirations, Quinn is still exploring career paths. However, he aspires to develop into a role where he can contribute to the advancement of public health and medicine.

Carlos Samuels is currently a senior at Medgar Evers College majoring in Mathematical Science with a minor in Computer Science. As of now, he plans to pursue a PhD in an area that is heavily related to Mathematics. However, he has yet to decide on a definite field as he is still searching within himself and exploring various fields of interest (for example Biostatistics). Carlos has a strong appreciation for the interdisciplinary approach of Mathematics. Therefore, he believes that his ideal graduate field will be one where he is able to use math skills to make a difference in society. Throughout Carlos’ life, there have been exemplary individuals who guided and mentored him along the way. Perhaps, without these mentors he would not have been the person that he is today. For this reason, Carlos is very passionate about pursuing a career as a Professor. Having a support system is a vital part of a successful individual. Therefore, being able to mentor future generations and make a difference in someone’s life will be truly fulfilling

Jaziel Torres is 20 years old. Since high school, he has been interested in mathematics by recognizing it as the universal language, and so he decided to study a bachelor degree in Mathematics. He simply likes to solve mathematical problems, what he calls having fun with numbers. Jaziel attended a high school with an advanced curriculum, and specialized in Science and Mathematics. Currently he is a third year undergraduate student of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, majoring in Mathematics and Computer Sciences. After finishing his bachelor degree, expected in May 2020, he will attend grad school in order to obtain a PhD in Applied Mathematics. Jaziel’s goal is to be a researcher, and be part of Academia.

Jeanette Varela is a senior studying statistics and applied mathematics at the University of New Mexico. Following her graduation in May 2019, she plans to attend a doctoral program in biostatistics. Her career aspiration is to integrate her passion for mathematics and helping others by conducting research in areas of public health. Her research interests include substance abuse, education, environmental issues and mental illness

Quest L. Whalen is a Junior Mathematics major at Tuskegee University. She is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society. Also, she is a MAKERS scholar working with a small group to improve the campus wide communications. Upon graduating in May 2019, Quest plans to pursue a graduate Master’s degree in Statistics. She is particularly interested in Biostatistics in the area in community and health. Her career aspiration includes researching for companies to improve health disparities in the African American community.

Ryan Zunker is a Math and Computer Science double major at Lake Forest College and will be graduating from in 2019. His plan is to peruse graduate school and eventually a PHD in Mathematics and eventually become a professor in Mathematics. Ryan is not currently sure which branch of Mathematics he would like focus in, but he has always loved solving puzzles so any field that can give him that satisfaction piques his interest.

Program Post-Bacs

Alexis Garretson graduated from George Mason University in May of 2018, earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Environmental and Conservation Biology and minors in Public Health, Economics, and Applied Global Conservation Studies. Her research interests include bioinformatics and complex-system modeling, particularly as it relates to ecological interactions and infectious disease spread. Alexis hopes to pursue a career in academia, where she can continue pursuing her research interests. In the fall, she plans to begin her masters in biology at Brigham Young University and she anticipates pursuing a Ph.D. in biostatistics or mathematical ecology.

Van Truong earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at the University of Florida in 2017 and completed an NIH research fellowship in Computational Epidemiology at Virginia Tech. In the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory, Van worked extensively with local and federal data sets to develop a predictive model for the opioid epidemic by leveraging links from individual and population-level tendencies. Her current research interests include biostatistical applications in genomics and proteomics and the implications of representation in Big Data. She plans to pursue a doctorate degree in biostatistics or a complementary discipline.