Meet the 2022 RSI-WAVE Fellows
This summer we are delighted to welcome a cohort of 11 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 in 2021, thanks to support from research institutes across campus, including the RSI, which sponsored undergraduates doing research across all our research initiative areas.
Ja'Nya Breeden is a rising senior at Francis Marion University double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Her goal this summer is to construct a database querying model that gathers electrochemical experiment data for deriving experimental parameters and promoting catalyst discovery, enabling the use of renewable, liquid solar fuels. Her hobbies outside of research include gaming, drawing, and listening to music.
Taylor Cason is currently an undergraduate at UCLA studying Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science with a minor in Conservation Biology. During her WAVE Fellowship, she will be working with Dr. Andrew Thompson, Lily Dove, and Mar Flexas to study the submesoscale spatial and temporal variability of physical and biogeochemical properties in Drake Passage using glider and float data. This research will provide insight into the Southern Ocean's ability to transport and exchange carbon from the atmosphere and surface oceans to the interior.
Marcelle Collares is from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and attending college in Albion, Michigan. Her WAVE project title is Approaches to Validating NISAR Time Series. It focuses on modifying Jupyter Notebooks written by the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Mission to demonstrate the calibration/validation workflow in different regions than the one evaluated on the Notebooks.
Luana Dos Santos
Luana Dos Santos is a senior at Salem State University majoring in chemistry. This summer, she's working with the Hoffman Group on a CO2 mitigation system.
Kyla Hudson studies chemistry at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She is engaged in analytical chemistry research related to Hg contamination due to small-scale gold mining. At Caltech, she is working on a project titled "Using cavity ring-down spectroscopy to measure methane and deuterated products from nitrogenase HCN assays" with the Okumura group and the Rees group.
Nuren Lara attends Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and studies Chemistry and Global Health studies. Nuren plans on moving forward to graduate school after his time at Mercer to acquire a doctorate in Chemistry. At the WAVE program, he is studying pinhole defects that form on semiconductor protective layers used to optimize solar water-splitting cells.
Giovan McKnight is a rising junior at Harvard College studying Chemistry with a minor in Statistics. As a WAVE fellow in the Reisman lab, he is conducting research on natural product synthesis. Giovan is interested in leveraging organic chemistry to produce therapeutics. Outside of lab, he enjoys running and listening to music.
Prani Nalluri is a rising senior at Rice University studying Computational and Applied Mathematics. Prani is very interested in computationally modeling geophysical fluid flows and hopes to pursue such research in graduate school. This summer, Prani is computationally modeling dry snow microstructure evolution with Dr. Ruby Fu's group.
Vincent Soldano is a first generation non-traditional student that is visiting Caltech from the University of Nevada - Reno. He is a geology major, and is also taking a minor in geotechnology. This Summer, he is using LiDAR data to map the relative age of depositional features across a floodplain of the Yukon River near Beaver, Alaska.
Mavis Stone (they/them) is a rising senior in physics at Harvey Mudd College. Their research interests include climate modeling, natural disaster prediction & mitigation, and machine learning methods. This summer they are researching the effects of climate change on the erosion and migration rate of permafrost river channels with Mike Lamb's research group. Outside of their research and studies, they enjoy crocheting, hiking, playing badminton, and discussing the latest news from Washington.
Tristan Villanueva is an RSI WAVE Fellow conducting research in the Bhattacharya group modeling crack nucleation on electrode particles using a phase field approach. Tristan grew up in San Diego and will finish his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley next year.