Meet the 2021 RSI-WAVE Fellows
This summer we are delighted to welcome a cohort of 15 undergraduate researchers to campus as RSI-WAVE fellows. The Caltech WAVE program was started in 2015 to attract more undergraduates from historically minoritized communities to campus to conduct research while also receiving support and guidance from faculty and current graduate students. The WAVE program was greatly expanded [FN1] this year thanks to support from research institutes across campus, including the RSI, which sponsored undergraduates doing research across all our research initiative areas.
Marianne (she/her) is a rising junior studying Computing in the College of Creative Studies at UCSB with an interest in machine learning on graphs. She is optimizing protein engineering methods in the Arnold Lab by implementing graph neural networks that leverage protein structure to search for proteins with maximal functional fitness.
Makyla Boyd is a rising senior at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a physics major from St.Louis, Missouri and has a passion for music. Makyla has played trombone for about 9 years and loves jazz music. She's a huge fan of sports, mainly basketball and football. This summer at Caltech she is working with Dr. Julia Greer, Widi Moestopo, and Seola Lee on how the introduction of knots to woven structures affects deformation mechanics using friction.
Simon Chau is a Molecular Cell Biology/Physiology major at California State University, Long Beach with a background in reproductive biology and drug delivery pharmaceutics. His work at Caltech is aimed at visualizing and clearing mutant mitochondrial DNA in an effort to produce viable therapies for mitochondrial diseases and diseases of aging. Simon says he is excited and honored to be a Resnick Sustainability Institute WAVE Fellow.
Matthew Demer is a 3rd year chemical engineering student at UC Davis. His summer project in the Peters group involves characterizing pyridinium coated copper electrodes to increase product selectivity in carbon dioxide electrochemical reduction reactions.
Roulince is an undergraduate at Stanford University majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Economics. He is a Leland Scholar and the Co-Vice President for Professional Development of the Stanford Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AlChE). He is also a member of the Stanford Energy Club. His research interests involve Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Reduction of greenhouse emissions for environmental safety, Nanotechnology, and Semiconductor processing. Currently, Roulince is a Caltech WAVE Fellow working with Professor Richard C. Flagan in the Flagan laboratory to study the Particle Filtering Efficiency (PFE) of different categories of masks that are used to curb the airborne transmission of COVID-19. Outside of school and research, Roulince loves hiking, playing soccer and basketball, rock climbing, and learning the French language.
David Dumas is a rising senior majoring in chemistry and minoring in environmental engineering at UCLA. As part of the WAVE program this summer, he will be developing modified Lehn-type catalysts for CO2-reduction in the Agapie lab. The goal of the project is to reduce the overpotential of CO2-reduction which are present in every electrocatalytic system. Outside of the lab, David loves to hike, play sports (i.e. basketball, tennis, ultimate), and watch TV shows/movies.
Ellie Flint is a rising senior at the University of California, San Diego, currently studying Environmental Systems. During her WAVE Fellowship, she is working alongside Dr. Andrew Thompson and Lily Dove to study the global ocean carbon flux--specifically its role in net primary production. Using accessible data provided by the Southern Ocean Large Areal Carbon Export (SOLACE), she hopes to quantify scales of variability for physical and biogeochemical processes in the water column and evaluate the importance of ocean circulation on the exchange of POC from the ocean surface to the interior.
Katie Ann Huy
Katie Ann Huy is an Whittier College student participating in the WAVE fellows program. Her current research in Dr. Dianne Newman's lab involves the characterization of a novel bacteria species isolated from the soil rhizosphere. This bacteria is able to resists phenazines and forms a symbiotic relationship with susceptible fungi. Katie Ann aims to utilize information on this bacteria to provide insight to soil microbe interactions and the effects of phenazines on the rhizosphere.
Yolanda Reyes (Aapo/They/Them) is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering at California State University, Chico. As a first generation ChicanX / Akimel O'odam / Yaqui student they strive to remove barriers for others to access equal education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) fields. In order to expand access to reliable scientific equipment for community scientists they have undertaken the goal of designing, and producing additive manufacturing files for an optical spectrometer, laser attachment and sample holder capable of detecting petroleum oil contamination in a prepared sample of water or soil. This project https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3428991
Daniela Rodriguez-Chavez is a rising junior at Cornell University double-majoring in Environment & Sustainability and Applied Mathematics. This summer she is working with Dr. Jörn Callies to study and analyze oceanic currents and dynamics that will help provide insights for the NASA SWOT mission launching next year.
Milenia Rojas is a rising senior at the University of Rochester majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Environmental Engineering. This Summer, she will be working in the Peters lab analyzing the effect of additive deposition time on copper-mediated CO2 reduction.
Mya I. Serrano
Mya I. Serrano is a rising senior chemistry major at Rutgers University - Newark. Her current project is the "Synthesis of Ni-CODH Active Site Model" and she is working on this in the Agapie lab. Mya loves sharing her love of science with as many people as she can, and when she's not in the lab or doing outreach, she love to cook, write in her bullet journal, and spend time with friends and family - usually while playing silly games.
Megan Woods is currently a rising senior at the University of California, Riverside as a chemistry major. This summer she's performing laboratory studies of resonance stabilized radical reactions, which may lead to heterocyclic ring formation in Titan's atmosphere. As someone who is passionate about atmospheric sciences, Megan says this has been an amazing learning experience.
Kala Youngblood is a senior chemistry major at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. This summer she is studying the synthesis of phenazines, a class of compounds with antibiotic potential. In her free time she can be found running, hiking or skateboarding.