Ja’Nya Breeden is a first-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science with an interest in Machine Learning at Duke University. She is also an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar. Ja’Nya received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from Francis Marion University. She has been a passionate member and leader in many student organizations and clubs. Jane hopes to continue to support and guide students of all backgrounds toward STEM fields and make an impact in the scientific community.
Bryan Castillo is a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics at Duke University. His research is focused on the relationship between partial differential equations and probability theory. He is an Alfred P. Sloan 2023 Scholar. Bryan received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude, with a minor in computer science from the University of Arizona. He is passionate about helping students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, and has pursued this passion through his work in tutoring and mentoring programs. Bryan hopes to inspire students of all backgrounds to pursue a career in STEM.
Lavonia Duncan is a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Her research focuses on understanding the effects of aging on developing an in-vitro model to study age-associated changes in the hippocampal brain. She is an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar. Lavonia received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Classics from Union College. She has also received her Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where she researched the effects of MitoTempo as a ROS Scavenger in skeletal muscle cells as a GEM Fellow. She has been involved with mentoring programs for students from underrepresented minorities. She aims to keep supporting and encouraging underrepresented students to pursue higher education and to become involved in the community through different volunteering efforts.
Robert (Trey) Highland is a first-year Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering focused on biophotonics at Duke University. His research focuses on understanding how carcinogenic transformation can affect the mechanical properties of cells, and has presented his work at the Biophotonics Congress: Biomedical Optics 2022. He has received the Pratt School of Engineering Diversity Fellowship and an Alfred P. Sloan 2034-24 Scholar. Trey received a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He hopes to provide a framework and support system to encourage minority students to pursue engineering and other fields in STEM.
Osiano Isekenegbe is a first-year Ph.D. student in Mathematics at Duke University and an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar. His current research concerns algebraic, geometric, and combinatorial approaches to mathematical neuroscience. Osiano received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with minors in Interdisciplinary Science and French from Florida State University and graduated with Garnet and Gold Scholar Society honors.
Gwen Jacobson is a first-year Ph.D. student in Statistical Science at Duke University. Following a lifelong interest in mathematics and its related fields, she is excited to learn more about statistics and new developments in Bayesian methods. She is also an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar. Gwen received a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics, a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Classical Studies from the University of Chicago. She has enjoyed tutoring and volunteering with students from underrepresented minorities through her work in STEM tutoring and college preparation programs. Gwen looks forward to continuing to support and guide students of all backgrounds towards STEM fields.
Anthony Mack is a First Year Ph.D. Student in Chemistry at Duke University. His previous research experience focuses on the photodynamic and photomechanical behavior of σ-Azidostilbene derivatives and the synthesis and study of Polymers and Polymer Networks. Anthony received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Cincinnati. He is also an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-2024 scholar and has volunteered for the Cincinnati community and mentored students from underrepresented minorities in STEM. His current research interest lies in Polymer Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Materials Science.
Morgan McCloud is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering department at Duke University. She works in Dr. Joseph Izatt’s Biophotonics Laboratory, studying the intersection between medical robotics and optical coherence tomography imaging techniques. Morgan graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical/Computer Engineering, Cum Laude, with Departmental Distinction in Biomedical Engineering. Morgan is passionate about mentoring students and hopes to support students from diverse backgrounds to excel in the STEM community.
Chelsea Middleton is a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in drinking water treatment at Duke University. Her research focuses on understanding how biofilms collect on different filter media and the impact that has on drinking water quality. Before beginning her time at Duke, Chelsea worked for Brown and Caldwell, helping formulate water treatment plans for different forms of pollution. She is also an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar and a recipient of the Dean’s Graduate Fellowship. Chelsea received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a minor in Engineering Management from Vanderbilt University. Chelsea hopes to continue to support and guide students of all backgrounds towards STEM fields.
Ricardo Mendez is a first-year Ph.D. student in Physics at Duke University. His research focuses on Nuclear Physics, studying active interrogation and detection of radioactive material and nucleon-nucleon forces. He is also an Alfred P. Sloan 2023-24 Scholar. Ricardo received a Bachelor of Science in Physics, with High Honors, from Duke University. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Ricardo looks forward to helping guide and support students of all backgrounds pursuing education and careers in STEM fields.