Meet 2012-2013 Learning Assistants
The following learning assistants particpiated in the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.
William Feng is a nutritional sciences and public health double major. He is currently serving as an organic chemistry learning assistant for a second consecutive year. His academic accomplishments include Dean’s List every semester and earning the 2012 Rutgers Academic Excellence Award and the 2013 Phi Tau Phi East America Scholarship Award. In addition to his scholastic endeavors, he is studying the cancer preventative effects of tocopherols (vitamin E) in the laboratory of Dr. C. S. Yang in the Department of Chemical Biology. He is currently managing his own project, which focuses on determining the bioavailability of tocopherols in CYP1A-humanized mice following dietary supplementation over prolonged periods of time.
Christopher Rathnam is a junior in the biomedical engineering department. Chris is participating in the Learning Assistant program for the second year, facitiliating recitations and leading study groups in the MATLAB course for first-year engineers. Since the fall of 2013 Chris has been participating in the ARESTY Program, which provides him the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. KiBum Lee. As an undergraduate researcher, Chris makes gold shell magnetic core nanoparticles to use as a drug delivery system to treat various types of cancer. During the summer of 2013 Chris participated in the Nanotechnology REU program at Stony Brook University. While working in the lab of Dr. Yizhi Meng, he used chitosan nanoparticles as a drug delivery system to treat osteosarcoma and tested the ability to micro-contact stamp these nanoparticles.
Melanie Davila works at the world's largest university-based biorepository, Rutgers University Cell & DNA Repository, where she prepares biosamples for researchers studying the genetic causes of disease. Melanie is also investigating the genetic mechanisms that underlie intenstinal disease, as part of an undergraduate research project headed by Dr. Michael Verzi in the Genetics Department. After Rutgers: In early June Melanie will be leaving for rural Xerem, Brazil where she will be volunteering with a non-profit organization called "Casa do Caminho". This organization supports an orphanage, community center, organic farm, and language school. Her main duties will be orphanage-related and will involve providing close supervision for children ages 4-12, planning activities that foster personal growth for the children, offering educational support/tutoring, and providing English lessons. She will also be responsible for tending the organic farm a few times a week. December 2013: "I have recently completed a 6-month volunteering project in Brazil where part of my duties included teaching English, Spanish, and basic science to at-risk and orphaned youth and adolescents. Everything that I learned in Peer Instructor Education (particularly related to collaborative learning environments) and through being a Genetics LA was incredibly helpful and without a doubt enhanced my ability to reach out and teach such a tough population."
Mohan Govindraj is a Scarlet Scholar, an Edward J. Bloustein scholar, and recipient of the SAS Academic Excellence Award. Under the guidence of Professor Andrew J. Gow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Mohan is investigating oxidative stress and inflammation, the results of which he presented at the Society of Toxicology's 2012 meeting in San Francisco. After Rutgers: Mohan will be joining Teach for America, where he will work in the Newark City School District to teach middle or high school science.
Aneesh Pirlamarla is researching two projects related to Radiation Oncology and breast cancer: how surgical clips, when planning radiation treatment, may affect the visualization of a CT scan of the cavity where a tumor has been removed and how radiation therapy may cause a higher degree of negative skin reactions and may prevent proper healing of the breast in patients who take diabetes medications.
Andrew Salib is a undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Michael Matise's laboratory at Robert Wood Johnson's Medical School, where Andrew is studying the role of a gene called "Sonic Hedgehog" (Shh) in the development of the spinal cord using mice embryos.
Jorge Sueing is researching the relationship between elevated serum cortisol levels and the stresses involved during extended driving periods, notably among Rutgers commuters. Along with several Rutgers public relations bloggers and graphic artists from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Jorge is creating a visual-based handbook for first-year students to help ease the transition from high school to Rutgers.
Amulya Kattimani is majoring in electrical and computer engineering, and she is continuing with the LA Program for a second year. She has participated as a learning assistant for both physics 123/4 and MATLAB courses. Amulya is grateful for receiving the 2012-2013 Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship from the Noe Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has allowed her to work with Dr. Dario Pompili in the Cyber Physical Systems lab, where she is helping to create - with a submarine known as the Neptune - a team of underwater vehicles that measure and enable adaptive samplings in water bodies. This past summer, Amulya was an intern at Texas Instruments. Amulya recently organized Interns Presents through the School of Engineering on December 2, 2013. This event provided "a unique forum for students, faculty, deans, alumni, and industry representatives to recognize the impact of internships and bridge the gap between university and industry."
Rahed Mohammad is a member of the Exercise Science Honor's Program and is researching cardiovascular effects on cognition with Dr. Brandon Alderman. Since coming to Rutgers, Rahed has never missed making the Dean's List.
Bavani Subramaniam is majoring in biotechnology, with a minor in biochemistry. After Rutgers: Bavani will join Teach for Malasia to teach middle or high school science.