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3125 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

I am passionate about expanding our pool of scientific knowledge and training the next generation. This has lead me to obtain my PhD, and now continue into a postdoctoral position at Cornell University. I am currently tackling the effects of chronic infection in Drosophila melanogaster together with two talented undergraduate researchers in the Lazzaro lab.

I believe that biology education should focus on training critical thinking and instilling a passion for biology through connections to everyday life. This is critical not only for future researchers, but for the entire community.

Community Involvement


At each stage in my career, I've thrived by being connected to the broader community.  I believe that stronger communities make for happier and more productive lives. I have participated in diverse ways at each university with contributions to outreach, mentoring, residential life, athletics and music.

Cornell Women's Water Polo Club

Cornell Women's Water Polo Club


Judge, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, Easton High School, February 2016

Assessed science projects by middle school and high school students in the Lehigh Valley.

Volunteer, Insectapalooza, Cornell University, October 2014

Talked with members from the community about immunity research in fruit flies.

Volunteer, Scientist Constellations, Barron Park Elementary School, May 2012

Ran a demonstration on my PhD work geared towards 2nd graders (3 sections)

Volunteer, Exploring New Worlds, Stanford University, May 2009

Ran demonstrations and activities for elementary students exploring polymers.

Volunteer, Junior Science Olympiad, Stanford University, April 2009

Lead a group of early elementary students orienteering around Stanford Campus.

Volunteer Teacher, Expanding Your Horizons, San Jose State University, March 2009

Co-organized and executed activities for female elementary students exploring chemistry.

Volunteer, Science Olympiad, Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Winter 2005

Traveled weekly to the school to help students prepare for the ‘Human Diseases’ Event.

Student Advocacy

2009-2011 Graduate Representative on the Acts of Intolerance Advisory Committee, Stanford University

Advocated for graduate student awareness of Acts of Intolerance literature and protocols

2009-2010 President, Stanford Bioscience Student Association (SBSA; formerly BioMASS)

SBSA Retreat 2010

SBSA Retreat 2010

Chair of the Stanford biomedical graduate student organization. Served as an advocate for graduate students, a liaison to the Stanford School of Medicine Faculty Senate and Dean for Graduate Education, and organized social, educational, and career development events.  

Specific achievements include pioneering the 1st year mentoring program and obtaining a larger budget for future years from the Dean’s Office.

Previous positions include: Camping Trip Coordinator, 1st Year Mentor, Member at Large

M&I Recruitment 2008

M&I Recruitment 2008

Tamika and Lena, undergraduate guests @ the M&I retreat 2007

Tamika and Lena, undergraduate guests @ the M&I retreat 2007

Departmental Service

Microbiology and Immunology Admissions Committee, Winter 2010

Served as a student representative; responsibilities included attending all admission   meetings, reading applications, and interviewing candidates.

Microbiology and Immunology Recruitment co-chair, Winter 2008

Organized and ran the recruitment activities for Microbiology and Immunology. 

Host for Microbiology and Immunology Diversity Recruits, October 2007

Hosted 4th year undergraduates at our yearly departmental retreat as part of a diversity recruitment program.

Welcome BBQ - Fall 2010

Welcome BBQ - Fall 2010

Residents - Welcome BBQ

Residents - Welcome BBQ


Community Associate, Residential Life, Stanford University, Stanford CA 2009-2011

Mediated basic residential conflicts, organized social events and served as a representative for a graduate housing neighborhood on Stanford’s campus.

Summer Residential Associate, Residential Life, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 2004

Mediated basic residential conflicts and organized social events for summer residents living on MIT’s Campus.

Burton-Conner Dormitory Government

Vice President; 2004 – 2005

Secretary; 2003 – 2004

Dormitory Floor Chair;  2003 – 2004

Organized dormitory wide social events, recruitment, and renovation of shared spaces while also serving as a liaison between the housemaster (professor in residence) and the dormitory students.

Memorial Church Choir

Memorial Church Choir


2009-2012 Alto Section Leader, Memorial Church Choir, Stanford University

2007-2009 Singer, University Singer, Stanford University


2016 - present Faculty Mentor, Buckenell Women's Water Polo Team

2013 - 2015 Volunteer Coach, Cornell Women's Water Polo Club

2005 - 2006 Captain, MIT Women's Water Polo Club (player 2002-2006)

2002 - 2006 Member, MIT Women's Swimming and Diving Team (Varsity)