SUPER-Grad Fellows 2019-20

Emmanuel Alvarez imageEmmanuel (Manny) Alvarez

RISE Scholar: Summer 17
Program: Ph.D. in Neuroscience

Emmanuel (Manny) Alvarez is pursuing his Ph.D. through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. His current research interests include deciphering the role of the reward system in psychiatric disorders. A Gates Millennium Scholar, Manny graduated from the honors college at Rowan University with a Bachelor’s in Psychological Science and minored in Biology and Neuroscience. During his tenure at Rowan, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Dinzeo, he examined physiological factors that potentially underlie subclinical schizophrenia and bipolar spectrum disorders. In the summer of 2017, as a RISE Scholar, he worked alongside Dr. Steven Silverstein in the Division of Schizophrenia Research where he tested new methods for electroretinography for use in clinical populations. The academic rigor, professors, and love of the campus drew him back to Rutgers University. He is honored to return to Rutgers as a RUP-IMSD and SUPER-Grad Fellow. In his spare time, Manny enjoys cycling and searching out great places to eat.

Zachary Finkel imageZachary Finkel

RISE Scholar: Summer 18
Program: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Zachary Finkel graduated from Rowan University in 2019 with both a B.S. in Biochemistry and Biological Science. During summer 2018, as a RISE Scholar, he conducted research in the Advanced Materials Division at Rutgers University with Dr. Meenakshi Dutt of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. A publication resulting from research conducted during the RISE program is currently under review by multiple academic journals. The RISE summer program and associated experiences with Rutgers’ School of Graduate Studies played a major role in his decision to pursue a doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is now returning in the fall of 2019 as a SUPER-Grad Fellow. Above all, Zachary is eternally grateful to Rutgers University for the plethora of opportunities allowed by the department and is delighted to spend the coming years at an institution he loves.

Robert Green-Warren imageRobert Green-Warren

RISE Scholar: Summer 18
Program: Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Robert is originally from Muskegon, MI, and graduated in April 2019 from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. He was a McNair Scholar, and a math and physics tutor at EMU and in the Ann Arbor School District. Robert participated in the 2018 RISE Advanced Materials REU program under the supervision of Prof. Richard E. Riman. His research analyzed the hydrothermal production of sodium silicate for sustainable methods of glass and ceramic production. The RISE program exposed him to new elements of research and professional development that showed him that Rutgers invests in its people. Thus, promoting the advancement of science and individuals through active engagement. This hands-on experience and the amazing culture and food surrounding New Brunswick are why he selected Rutgers to pursue his doctoral studies. This fall Robert will begin his graduate studies as a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering program under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan P. Singer. Robert's research focuses on the synthesis of ZnO for nanoimprinting metal onto polymeric surfaces with applications to flexible electronics.

Zakiyah Henry imageZakiyah Henry

RISE Scholar: Summer 18
Program: Ph.D. in the Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology

Zakiyah Henry is a native of Nashville, NC. She attended Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC, where she obtained her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with minors in Chemistry and Physics. As an involved student, Zakiyah was a MARC U*STAR scholar and was active in conducting and presenting her research revolving around using heat acclimation to improve different factors associated with type II diabetes. She had the amazing opportunity to present her work in the form of an oral presentation at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) this past November in Indianapolis, IN. During the summer of 2018, Zakiyah participated in the RISE and SURF programs where she worked in the lab of Dr. Debra Laskin to understand the mechanisms of sulfur mustard-induced lung injury. During this time, she was exposed to the numerous resources and programs that Rutgers has to offer, including a first-hand look into the Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology (JGPT). She was amazed by the immense support she received during the summer, the innovative and exciting research she was conducting, and the friendly campus and surrounding city environment. Zakiyah truly felt at home and is now a first-year student in the JGPT. Being a part of the RISE and SURF programs have helped to guide Zakiyah on her path to graduate school. She is truly grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to her. Finally, during her free time, she enjoys cooking, singing, playing her bassoon, and attending dance workout classes.

Stephen Mut imageStephen Mut

RISE Scholar: Summer 18
Program: Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Stephen graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and a minor in Biomedical Engineering. During his studies he developed a keen interest in solving complex biological problems through the lens of an engineer. During the 2018 RISE at Rutgers program, he developed his aptitude for research and an interest in pursuing an advanced degree. Stephen participated as a scholar in the REU of Cellular Bioengineering working for Dr. Jeffrey Zahn to study the effects of electroporation as a means for cellular therapeutic particulate drug delivery mechanisms. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the RISE program and is excited to return to the Rutgers community to pursue his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.

Joshua Randolph imageJoshua (J) Randolph

RISE Scholar: Summer 18
Program: Ph.D. in Women's and Gender Studies

J is an incoming Ph.D. student in the Women's and Gender Studies department at Rutgers. They graduated from Beloit College with a B.A. in Anthropology, Russian, and Critical Identity Studies in the Spring of 2019. There, they were awarded the Weissberg Scholarship in Human Rights and Social Justice and the Mellon Graduate School Exploratory Fellowship (GSEF). During the Spring of 2018, funded through their a Weissberg Scholarship, J worked with Free Write Arts and Literacy in Chicago, a prison abolition organization working with youth in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. That following summer, through a partnership between the Big 10 Academic Alliance and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest facilitated through GSEF, J was partnered with Dr. Ethel Brooks in the Women's and Gender Studies department at Rutgers-New Brunswick during RISE 2018. There, they conducted research on linguistic and representational racism against the Roma with a focus on the Third Reich’s lasting policy impacts on the Roma. J has several research interests that they wish to pursue, though issues of identity as they relate to language, popular culture, and current trends and fads are a consistent interest. More specifically, J has been continuing research from Beloit College on the use of queer astrology and occultism in contrast to queer/ed organized religion (with emphasis on the Abrahamic religions). J chose Rutgers because of the connections that they made with the Women's and Gender Studies department and the wide range of academic interests that are represented by the department.