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Meet the VASE Student Community

VASE stands for "Virtual Active Science Engagement", where we discuss science skills, careers, and tips for success. I try to build a safe space for VASE students to explore their interests, practice skills, and build a network of peers and mentors. VASE is open to passionate undergraduates and recently graduate undergraduates who have not yet started postgraduate study. If you are interested in joining VASE, please fill out this brief google form. We would love to have you as part of our community. Meet a few of our members below! 

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Emmanuella E.C. Kyllians

Recent graduate, BSc. Biology;

Incoming Masters in Biology Student, University of Kentucky

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Research Interests: The relationship between the gut microbiome, Genetics, and metabolic diseases (especially diabetes)

Non-Science Interests: Cooking, watching foreign movies, and singing

Career goal: Medical school

Awards & Accomplishments: First 2020 White House Competitiveness Scholar from Alcorn State University; Most Outstanding Senior, Class of 2021 (Alcorn State University); Peer Writing Consultant, Alcorn Writing Center (2018 - 2021); I am starting a small mentoring program where I help STEM students with their application essays to internships and graduate programs. 

Follow me at: @E_Kyllians or LinkedIn

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Danielle Garland

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. B.S. in Biological Sciences; 

Incoming M.S. in Biological Sciences student

Hometown: Greater Los Angeles Area, California, United States

Research Interests: Cell and molecular biology; microbiology

Non-Science Interests: Baking, cooking, walking my two dogs, and spending time with family/friends

Career goal: Earn my M.S. and get a job in industry while teaching part-time or get into a Ph.D. Program.

Awards & Accomplishments: Dean’s list, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member

Follow me at: LinkedIn 

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Nicole Ramos

UC San Diego, second year undergraduate

Hometown: Bay Area, California, United States

Research Interests: Genetics (regeneration and disease) and Science Education

Non-Science Interests: I like taking care of plants and cats. I am also heavily interested in education through tutoring, being an instructional assistant, and recently providing science demonstrations to elementary schools.

Career goal: Get some research experience and apply to medical school after obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree.

Follow me at: LinkedIn or email me at niramos AT ucsd DOT edu

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Nadia Haghani 

UC San Diego, 3rd year undergraduate, research intern at Salk Institute

Hometown: San Diego, California

Research Interests: Neuroethology, microbiology, behavioral sciences

Non-Science Interests: I enjoy playing soccer, surfing, and bringing my dog to the beach!

Career goal: I plan to apply to PhD programs in Fall 2021! I hope to pursue a career in academia and use my research experiences to support the teaching of undergraduate students.

Awards and Accomplishments: SACNAS Poster Presentation Award in Life Sciences/Microbiology (Oct 2020), Ledell Family Undergraduate Research Scholarship (Summer 2020), Provost Honors Award at UC San Diego, UCSD Women's Club Soccer Captain

Follow me at: LinkedIn email: nhaghani AT ucsd DOT edu

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Adeola M. Olowokudejo

Alcorn State University, Graduating Senior Psychology Major

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Research Interests: Neurodegenerative diseases

Non-Science Interests: Watching crime drama, playing with my dog, reading Chimamanda Adichie books

Career goal: Ph.D. in Neuroscience

Awards and Accomplishments: Outstanding Performance Award -National Association of African American Honors Programs (N.A.A.A.H.P), Best Committee Leader (N.A.A.A.H.P Model African Union), President’s List (4x), Dean’s List (1x), Provost Scholarship, National Society of Leadership and Success United by Purpose Scholarship Second Place Presentation Award - University of Florida Research Conference, UC Davis NIED Scholar.

Follow me at: LinkedIn 

"In every VASE meeting, I learn something new from either Molly, my peers or the speakers. There is also something calming and liberating about being in a "room" full of fun people who love science and are sociable. VASE is a safe space for learning, and building social and professional skills."

- Emmanuella 

"In the year I’ve been in VASE, I’ve learned a lot more than I did in all my years of college. I’ve learned to read a scientific paper and how to write an impressive CV. Molly has also taught me how common imposter syndrome is and that we’re never alone. From guest speakers to mini lectures, VASE has helped me grow into a better scientist and I can’t wait to see how far these newfound skills take me!"


"VASE has really helped me build a network with my peers and develop myself as both a scientist and as a person. I don’t think I would have developed the research interests as much as I have now without VASE."

- Nicole 

"One of the most memorable VASE meetings included Niba who spoke about her career as a science communicator--something I did not even knew existed! She talked about the communication of science to an audience, the associated problems with using jargon, and science journalism. Now, every time I make a research presentation, I think about limiting my use of jargon and creating an understandable presentation for all audience members."


"My favorite things about VASE is how supportive everyone is. It is a warm genuine space that promotes growth as a scientist and a person. My career goal is to get a Ph.D. and I was not confident in the path I was on but through the VASE speakers I learnt that there are many different paths to a Ph.D. and that has motivated me throughout my journey."


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