Peer Advisor Profiles 2020-2021

Email uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com with an individual peer advisor’s name in the subject to contact them!

MAKENZIE BECKER

Year in School: Senior

Hi everyone! My name is Makenzie, and I’m a senior studying biology with certificates in Biocore, Health and the Humanities, and Leadership. I am also currently a Biocore Peer Mentor, so feel free to ask me any questions about peer mentoring! Outside of Biocore, I am the president of Sigma Alpha Omega Christian sorority, I volunteer at the UW-Hospital (in non-COVID times), and I am a member of AMSA. I also work as an undergraduate teaching fellow and co-facilitate the Wisconsin Experience Seminar class. When I’m not working or studying, I enjoy playing the ukulele, watching Disney movies, and going hiking with my family. If you have any questions about any of the above, feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


ISA BUTZ

Year in School: Junior

Hey! My name is Isa and I am double majoring in Neurobiology and Psychology with certificates in Biocore, Health and the Humanities, LGBTQ+ Studies, Health Policy, and Leadership. I currently work as an Undergraduate Research Scholars Fellow, and I am starting research for my honors thesis on implicit bias and the use of they/them pronouns. After I graduate, I plan to go to medical school and also earn a Masters in Public Health. When I’m not doing school work, I like to exercise, play video games, and hang out with my friends. If you have any questions about how Biocore fits into a schedule that tries to do it all, feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


CHELSEA CHEN

Year in School: Senior

Hi, my name is Chelsea Chen, and I’m a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish with certificates in Computer Science and Biocore, in the L&S Honors Program. I’m involved in undergraduate research in the Cavagnero lab (Chemistry department), specifically using fluorescence methods to explore the thermodynamic stability and rotational dynamics of ribosome-bound nascent proteins. On campus, I serve as the Volunteer Services Officer of the American Red Cross club and Skills Development & Networking Trustee of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). I’m hoping to pursue a medical career in the future. In my free time, I love traveling, baking, exercising, and binge-watching movies with my friends. Feel free to contact me using uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


MICHELLE CHUNG

Year in School: Senior

Hi! My name is Michelle. I am pursuing a major in Biology and Environmental Studies with certificates in Biocore and Graphic Design. After undergrad, I want to go to graduate school and focus on Science Communication. I work in Damschen Lab studying the pollen nutritional quality of prairies in WI. I also work as a Communications Intern at the Wisconsin Energy Institute/Great Lakes Bioenergy Center. Outside of class, I am a part of Stem Students for Social Justice and the American Cetacean Society. In my free time, I love painting, being outside, and gardening. If you’ve got questions about Biocore or just want to talk, I’d love to meet you! Send me an email through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


HANNAH DAVIDSON

Year in School: Senior

My name is Hannah Davidson and I am a student in the College of Letters and Science, Honors pursuing a degree in Biology with certificates in Environmental Studies and Biocore. This summer I worked hard to promote racial equity within Madison and, this fall, was appointed to Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. In addition, I am a member of the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board (WASB), a student led organization that promotes alumni connections and plans events around campus to build the badger community. Until recently, I worked at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC) as a telephone interviewer collecting data on WI residents’ behavioral health risk factors. In my free time I enjoy watching soccer, listening to music and spending time outdoors. After graduating, I plan to take a gap year where I gain work experience and hone what I wish to study in graduate school. Generally, I am interested in botany and conservation biology. Feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


MELANIE DEPAMPHILIS

Year in school: Senior

My name is Mel, I’m pursuing a Biology major with a certificate in German and Biocore! I work in a research lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research studying HPV and its effects on cancer. I am a pre-med student planning on going to medical school and work in the post surgical unit of the VA hospital in Madison. In my free time, I volunteer as a Biocore Outreach Ambassador and am a member of the ceramics club. I also have the pleasure of being an undergraduate TA for Biocore (so fun!). My hobbies include pottery, biking and I taking care of my freshwater aquarium when I’m home (ask me anything about fish- I love them.) Contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


NIKITA GONUGUNTA

Year in school: Junior

Hi! My name is Nikki and I’m currently a junior majoring in Neurobiology with certificates in Global Health, Development Economics, and Biocore. I work as a medical transcriptionist in the Department of Surgery at UW Health, and I’m also doing research in the Dey Lab where we study immune response to brain tumors. When I’m not at class, work, or in lab, I volunteer at Bristol Hospice and as a Biocore Peer Mentor. I am the president and founder of a mental health and wellness club here on campus called Wisco Mindfulness. After I graduate I plan on going to medical school and becoming a physician. In my free time, I love watching Youtube, playing tennis, and spending time with friends. If you have any questions about the pre-med lifestyle, Biocore, or mental health, feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


THOMAS HARR

Year in school: Junior

Hi everyone! My name is Thomas and I am studying Biochemistry with Honors in the Major and getting a certificate in Biocore. I am unsure of what lays beyond graduation, but I am debating medical or dental school, continuing education in Biochemistry, or biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Currently, I am in the Sandbo Lab at the UW-Hospital in the Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Division researching Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis using the mouse model. Other than academics, I am a leader in Badger Cru, a student ministry on campus. I am also a Biocore peer mentor as well! I am a huge sports fan so you will see me at almost every Badger football, basketball, and hockey game. I also love to play any sport and in the winter I love to ski! If you have any questions about how Biocore fits into my time here and hopefully your time at UW please reach out uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


TERESA JING

Year in school: Junior

Hello! My name is Teresa, and I am a junior majoring in Biochemistry with certificate in Biocore. I am currently working in a lab in the cell and regenerative biology department and mainly focus on developing a primer sets for varies genes in mice fetal leydig cells. Besides studying, I am also a member of the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA). After graduated, I am planning to go to graduate school to continue doing more research and hopefully get a PhD degree. My dream job will be to become a lecturer or professor in the university. In my free time, I like reading novels and hanging out with friends. Contact me uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


CASEY KAELBER

Year in School: Junior

Hi! I am Casey Kaelber; I am pursuing a major in global health with certificates in Biocore and possibly health policy. I plan to graduate early in December of 2022 and find a career in health informatics or health policy analysis. When I am not studying, I love participating in the events run by the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors (BOA). When I am home in the summer, I coach youth girls basketball with a travel program in Deerfield, IL. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, traveling, and just being outside. If you have any questions about how Biocore fits into the global health major or about my Biocore experience, feel free to contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


NIKKI KEHOE

Year in school: Senior

My name is Nikki, and I am pursuing a Neurobiology major with certificates in BioCore, Global Health and Religious Studies. I work at the clinical simulation program at UW Hospital and participate in a research lab studying Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. When I am not in class, at work, or in my research lab, I volunteer with BioCore Outreach Ambassadors (BOA) and Badgers for Special Olympics and am also a BioCore peer mentor. I am a pre-med student who is pursuing comprehensive honors, so if you have questions about how to balance BioCore and other honors courses into your schedule, feel free to reach out. In my free time I love to bike, play sand volleyball, travel, and cook! Feel free to contact me with any questions at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


HAANIA KHAN

Year in School: Senior

Hello! My name is Haania Khan. I’m majoring in Biochemistry and Religious Studies with a certificate in Biocore. I intend to go to graduate school to pursue a PhD. I work as an undergraduate lab assistant in Dr. Peter’s lab in the West Wedge which is right by WIMR, and we study signal transduction pathways associated with glaucoma. I’m pretty rooted in the Biocore community, as I am also a Biocore lab assistant, peer mentor, and co-chair for Biocore Outreach Ambassadors. I’m also in the L&S Honors program and a FASTrack scholar. As a WOC in STEM, I aim to emphasize the importance of cultural humility and aiding those that may feel underrepresented because of their identity. In my free time, I enjoy playing mobile games and ACNH, cooking, reading, and drinking bubble tea with my friends! I also hope to have a green thumb in the near future. For any questions about Biocore, pursuing a degree in Biochemistry, pursuing a double major, or just want to have a safe space to talk about any struggles associated with diversity, you can contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


SHUKA KONISHI

Year in School: Senior

Hi everyone! My name is Shuka, and I am a senior studying Biology and Psychology with certificates in Gender & Women’s Studies and Biocore! I work at the Office of Student Financial Aid as a FASTrack/BANNER peer advisor. I am also part of an organization called Building BASES that supports families and children experiencing homelessness as the Fundraising and Social chair. For research, I am an undergraduate research assistant in the BRAVE Research Center which focuses on the effects of adversity and trauma on brain development and family. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering and am part of the Badger Volunteers executive board in the Community Development committee. I love spending time bullet journaling, trying new restaurants and finding ways to enjoy the outdoors such as by hiking and kayaking! Feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


CARTER KREFT

Year in school: Senior

Hi, my name is Carter. I am currently working on degrees in Biochemistry and Neurobiology with a certificate in Biocore, and I’m looking to go to medical school to become a medical scientist. I also work in an Oncology Lab at the WIMR, Lifeguard at the YMCA, and clean examination rooms at Access Community Health Center here in Madison. When I’m not working or in class, I am an avid member of Swim Club UW and HOSA. In my free time I practice guitar, work on my Spanish, lift weights, or swim. If you’re wondering how Biocore can help you in science, if you want to talk about 90’s rock or even just how to stay active in college. eel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


KEELEY KURU

Year in School: Junior

Hi everyone! My name is Keeley and I’m a junior studying biochemistry with certificates in Biocore and Health in the Humanities. Currently, I am also a Biocore Peer Mentor and now newly a Biocore Peer Advisor. I’m involved in undergraduate research through the Baum lab in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery where we study the origins of life on early Earth. I’m hoping to pursue a degree in academia in the future after graduate school. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, sailing, traveling and reading. If you have any Biocore related questions or questions related to anything I’m involved in, feel free to send me an email through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


BRAD LI

Year in School: Sophomore

Hello! My name is Brad. I am a sophomore double majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish along with a certificate in Biocore! Within the Biocore program, I am involved with Peer Mentoring and Biocore Outreach Ambassadors. Some other student organizations I am part of are the Wisconsin Admission Volunteers (WAVs), the Chinese American Student Association (CHASA), and the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi (ΠΚΦ). I work at University Health Services as a Student Medical Assistant and volunteer at UW Health’s Occupational Therapy clinic. Additionally, I am a research assistant in the Ge Lab, where we utilize analytical and biochemical techniques to study proteins associated with cardiomyopathy. I enjoy staying active, playing the alto saxophone, and cooking healthy meals in my free time. Please feel free to reach out with any questions through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


KATIE MCDONALD

Year in school: Senior

Hi, I’m Katie McDonald! I am a biology and global health major. After graduating, I am considering joining the Peace Corps for 2 years then attending medical school. On campus I am involved in AED Pre-Medical Honors Society and the Eagle Heights Community Garden. I am currently in a research lab studying mosquito dietary effects. Last summer I had a research fellowship with the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector Borne Disease studying the same mosquitos. I have a phlebotomy certification and work for UW Health lasts year. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, baking banana bread, and caring for my many houseplants. Contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


MADELINE MEINECKE

Year in School: Senior

My name is Madeline Meinecke, I am majoring in biochemistry and psychology. I am also a premed student and plan on applying to medical school in 2022. On campus I work at the biochemistry capstone student lab, preparing all the solutions and equipment students need for their lab. Off campus, when I am back in Milwaukee, I work at my family’s hardware store. I am also a member of the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors. Outside of school I’m on the club field hockey team, and I love camping, hiking, biking, and just being outside. I am also an avid believer that dogs are the best animal on the planet and will always defend my claim. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


MYRA MOHAMMAD

Year in School: Junior

Hi! My name is Myra and I’m a junior majoring in neurobiology with a certificate in integrated liberal studies. I had the unique privilege of being involved in a virology lab during COVID, which gave me insight into the complexities of SARS-CoV-2. I’m also an undergraduate writing fellow and help run a science communications journal here on campus. I hope to use the knowledge and skills I’m acquiring through Biocore to pursue a career in medicine. In my free time, I enjoy reading, biking, and watching TV. If you have any questions about Biocore, anything pre-med related, or if you just want to chat, feel free to reach out at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


LUCY MCGUIRE

Year in School: Junior

Hi! I am Lucy McGuire, a current Junior majoring in Biochemistry with certificates in Biocore and Environmental Studies! I work in the Renz lab on campus which studies methods of controlling weeds and invasive plants in Wisconsin. I began an independent study through Biocore last year with a few peers studying the effects of green light on growth of Brassica rapa and we are currently working on our manuscript for the project. In addition to academics, I am the current Director of Academic Excellence of my sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and love to do anything involving being outside! A fun fact is that this past summer I lived and worked in Yellowstone National Park and cannot wait to check more parks off my bucket list! Feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com with any questions!


MILCAH PULIYELIL

Year in School: Senior

Hi there! My name is Milcah Puliyelil and I am a senior studying Biochemistry. I am also a pre-health student and am planning on taking a gap year after graduating. On campus I am a part of the Undergraduate Entomology Society (UES) and Biocore Outreach Ambassadors. In my free time I love to hike, camp, and bake. If you have any questions about Biocore, courses, pre-health, or anything else feel free to contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com.


GRACE QIU

Year in School: Senior

Greetings! My name is Grace, and I am pursuing a biochemistry major, with certificates in Biocore, Health and the Humanities, and Physics. I research the immune response after stroke in the Famakin lab, and also work as a general chemistry lab teaching assistant. During my free time, I enjoy exercising, playing tournaments through UW Club Tennis, or watching TV. Feel free to reach out if you ever want to grab some bubble tea and chat! Feel free to contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


CRYSTAL QING

Year in School: Senior

My name is Crystal. I’m working towards a double major in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences with certificates in Graphic design and Biocore. I’m currently volunteering in Dr. Eide’s lab which focus on zinc deficiency and glucose metabolism. I’m planning on going to grad school after graduation. I’m a Chinese native speaker and I’m learning Japanese right now. In my free time, I love to create digital illustration, reading, ice skating, and skateboarding. Contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


MADELYN REILLY

Year in School: Junior

Hello! My name is Madelyn Reilly, and I am a junior majoring in Biology and pursuing certificates in Global Health and Biocore. As an aspiring physician, I plan on applying to medical school after my undergrad. Here on campus, I am the VP of Public Relations and Member Recruitment of NSCS, I am a member of AMSA, I am a peer leader through WISCIENCE, and I work as an undergraduate researcher in the Duncan Laboratory where we study glial cell transplantation and the biology of myelin disorders in the central nervous system. Additionally, I volunteer at a free health clinic in Stoughton, and I am a CNA at an assisted living facility on the east side of Madison. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering, spending time with my friends and family, and playing the piano. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com


ELLEN ABAD SANTOS

Year in School: Junior

Hello! My name is Ellen! I am pursuing a major in Biology with certificates in Biocore and Public Policy. Within the Biocore program, I am involved with Peer Mentoring and Peer Advising. Some other student organizations I am a part of include the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), and the Filipinx-American Student Organization (FASO). In ASM I work as an administrative associate, and I also am a coordinator for their intern program. Previously with ASM, I had worked on updating campus policy regarding voting access. Additionally, I am a research assistant in the Odorico/Sackett Lab through the Department of Surgery at UW Medical School. In that lab, we use mouse models to develop methods of stem cell treatments for individuals with diabetes. I enjoy staying active by running and doing yoga. Furthermore, I spend my summers working as a camp counselor at YMCA Camp MInikani. Please feel free to reach out with any questions through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


NICK SCHULZ

Year in School: Junior

Hello! My name is Nick Schulz and I am junior studying Neurobiology and Spanish, with a Biocore certificate. I work in the Bendlin lab on campus, studying Alzheimer’s Disease and neuroimaging. Also, I have a job as an office assistant for the Neuroscience Training Program in the graduate school. When not studying or working, I enjoy hanging out with friends, going to the gym, and watching all types of sports. I plan on attending medical school, so if you have any questions about how Biocore helps with that preparation, please reach out at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com


VISHAL SRINIVASAN

Year in School: Senior

Hi everyone! I’m Vishal and I’m a senior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am pursuing a major in biology, with certificates in Biocore and French. I hope to attend medical school after I graduate. I currently work as a CNA at St. Mary’s hospital and I am an undergraduate research assistant in the MELD Lab, where I study cognitive psychology and math education. Through my student organizations, including the American Medical Students Association (AMSA) and Rotaract Club, I am involved in community service and other volunteering opportunities. In my free time, I love playing sports, cooking and traveling! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


ANNA TURDO

Year in School: Junior

Hello! I’m Anna, and I’m a junior studying biochemistry with a certificate in Biocore. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2023 and go to medical school to become a pediatrician. Currently, I’m a Biocore peer mentor, a CNA, involved in HOSA, and work in the Cantor Lab. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, snowboarding, and watching all types of Wisconsin sports. If you want to learn more about the amazing opportunities that Biocore can offer, contact me through uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com


LUKE WHEELER

Year in School: Junior

Hi everyone! My name is Luke Wheeler (He/Him), and I am a junior majoring in Biology with a certificate in Biocore. Currently, I am one of the co-chair elects for the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors (BOA), so please reach out if you are interested in hearing more! Outside of Biocore, I am a certified phlebotomist and I volunteer with my local church organization. Free time hobbies of mine include playing soccer, binging Netflix/Hulu/whatever, and spending time with my family and friends. Please feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com!


CHRISTY ZHENG

Year in School: Senior

Hey everyone! My name is Christy and I’m a senior double majoring in Biology and Asian Languages and Culture with certificates in Asian American Studies, Chinese Professional Communication, and of course Biocore! On campus, I am involved with Community Health Volunteers of Madison (CHVM), which is an organization dedicated to educating students on and eliminating the social health disparities that are apparent in the Madison community, such as being a Health Coach for patients at the Wingra Family Medical Center. Also, I volunteer at the Central Wisconsin Center and the River Food Pantry as a team leader in Badger Volunteers. If you can’t tell already, I love interacting with the amazing community members that are located right here in the Madison area. So, feel free to contact me if you are interested in experiencing out of the box extracurricular activities as well! In addition to these experiences, I am also involved in Biocore Peer Mentoring as well as working as a CNA. In my free time, I LOVE cooking, baking, and just bingeing the next Netflix show! After graduation, I hope to apply myself in a health profession dedicated to helping others! If you have any questions or would just like a friend to talk with, please contact me at uwbiocore.peeradvisors@gmail.com! Hope to hear from you soon!