2017 Organizing Committee


EYH 2017 Organizing Committee:

Laura Manning, Co-director 

LauraManning  is a Ph.D. student in Neurobiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies the genes and proteins involved in neuronal development and communication. She loves talking to people about science, and EYH allows her to share this love with many different parts of her community.

IMG_9211.jpgK. Supriya, Co-director
K. Supriya is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. She studies interactions between birds and ants at low and mid-elevations in eastern Himalayas. She likes to think about ways to communicate and teach science and EYH gives her an opportunity to learn about that and promote diversity and inclusion in science.

Alyssa McRay, Fundraising Committee
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Alyssa is a neurobiology PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She studies the way neuron in the mammalian brain communicate with one another. She holds a MEd in science education, and loves to teach biology to students of all ages. EYH gives Alyssa the opportunity to combine her passion for science education with the ability to give back to the Chicago community. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and exploring with her husband and very large dog.

Cassandre Coles, Fundraising Committee, Lunch Committee

Cassandre Coles is a PhD candidate in Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the laboratory of Richard Minshall PhD. She is currently studying the role of caveolin-1 and CD36 in the transport of oxLDL to the sub endothelial layer. When she isn’t in the lab, you can find her playing with her dog, singing, dancing, or  playing sports.

Natalia Gonzales, Fundraising Committee, Parent Program Committee 
Natalia M. Gonzales is a Human Genetics Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. She is interested in the genetic etiology of complex behavioral and psychiatric traits. She spends her free time volunteering with STEM outreach organizations, cooking, drawing, traveling, and reading science fiction.

Erin Boyle Anderson, Student Registration Committee, Website Committee
Erin Boyle Anderson is a Ph.D candidate in Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Chicago. She researches fin and heart development in zebrafish. She spends a lot of her time outside of lab reading and trying to teach her dog tricks.

Jane Birman

Jane Birman, Website and Media Committee

Jane Birman is an undergraduate Chemical Engineering student at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a biochemical concentration. Her research is based on the surface properties of biomedical implants, and she is also involved in organizations supporting global health. Her other interests include photography, biking, and studying philosophy.

Lisa Nash, Workshop Leader Coordination
Lisa Nash is a graduate student in Physics at the University of Chicago. She studies topological mechanical metamaterials, which are analogs to topological quantum materials. Besides working with EYH, she also volunteers as an instructor with an organization that teaches programming and electronics to middle school students in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

Lesya Horyn, Workshop Leader Coordination
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Lesya Horyn is a PhD student in particle physics at the University of Chicago. She works with the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN to determine the smallest building blocks that make up the universe. She also loves podcasts, ballet, and exploring Chicago.

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Sam Fortin, Volunteer Committee

 Samantha Fortin is a neuroscience PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In the lab, Samantha investigates how changes in physiological state (e.g. hunger or thirst) impact motivated behavior and underlying dopamine neurotransmission. Samantha’s non-academic interests include cooking, crafting and gardening.

Dimple Modi, Volunteer Committee

Dimple Modi is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois Chicago with a focus on Ovarian Cancer Biology.  In addition to research, she is involved in volunteer organizations focused on promoting science education to the youth.  Apart from science, she enjoys traveling and exploring diverse global cultures and cuisines.

Nicole Wickliffe, Parent Program Coordinator
Nicole Wickliffe, M.A., M.Ed.L- Works within the Cook County ACHN clinics, IT & she is a Leadership/Mentoring instructor both in and around the Chicagoland area. She enjoys working with both children and adults educating them about the importance of education, community , leadership &a self-love amongst other things.


Tristess Burton, Parent Program Committee and MC

Tristesse Burton is a Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacognosy (developing medicines from plants and natural products) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research examines native Illinois plants traditionally used by American Indians for women’s health. She is first generation college and graduate student and her passions are dancing, mentoring, and volunteering with programs to increase minority representation in the STEM fields. She has been on the  EYH organizing committee since 2013.

Breyauna Spencer is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago-Honors College majoring in Applied Psychology with a career goal of Adolescent Psychiatry. When Breyauna is not busy studying, she enjoys tutoring her college peers and high school students in English and STEM subjects in addition to writing poetry.

Diedre Reitz is a PhD candidate in Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology at the University of Chicago in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Bishop. Her thesis research is focused on understanding how reductional segregation of homologous chromosomes is achieved during meiosis I. In her free time, Diedre volunteers with STEM outreach organizations, and enjoys cooking, traveling, and photography.

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Kathleen Proudfoot is a Ph. D. student in cell and molecular biology at the University of Chicago.  She is interested in how cells segregate chromosomes with high fidelity in order to avoid aneuploidy, the hallmark of many genetic diseases and cancer.  In addition to science, she enjoys exploring her artistic side, particularly through drawing, writing, and classical singing.

sujit picSujit Pawar is a Master’s student at the University of Illinois at Chicago from Mechanical Department. In the field of Mechanical Engineering design, he focuses on creating and drafting the plans for mechanical devices which leads to a creation of a product. Apart from studies he volunteers for EYH and enjoys traveling and playing soccer.

polinaPolina Navotnaya is a PhD candidate in experimental physical chemistry at the University of Chicago. Her work is focused on quantum electrodynamic processes happening upon interaction of light carrying orbital angular momentum with matter. In her free-of-lab time she enjoys playing guitar, photography and outdoor activities. She is very interested in promoting scientific thinking outside of classroom.

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Caitlin Castro is a postdoc at the University of Chicago. She is interested in immunology, specifically the structure and function of unusual T cell receptors and their role in tumor recognition. In her free time Caitlin enjoys photography, opera, and architecture, and volunteers as a tour guide with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

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Folabomi (Bomi) Oladosu is a post-doctoral research fellow at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Recently receiving her PhD in neurobiology, she now studies the underlying mechanisms that drive pelvic pain disorders in women. As a new Chicago resident and a food lovers, she enjoys exploring all the wonderful restaurants and cafes the city has to offer.

Amy face squareAmelia Manning is an account planner at AbelsonTaylor, an advertising agency focused on health and wellness. Though she works on marketing strategy, her love for science was ignited when she started working in pharmaceuticals. In her free time, you can find Amelia running, playing with her dog, cooking, or tending to her urban garden.

See past organizing committees here: 2015 Organizing Committee2016 Organizing Committee