Peer Advisors

Peer Advisors

Kara Anderson - Sociology

    Hi! I’m a senior majoring in sociology with a concentration in research methods and minoring in demography. I am currently working on my honors thesis as a 2020-2021 Haas Scholar, studying the effectiveness of publicly funded access to justice initiatives for unrepresented litigants across California. I previously worked as a research assistant for Unlocking Time by Abl and through URAP for Berkeley Law. I am especially interested in quantitative methods and data science for social justice. When I’m not researching, I’m reading, writing, dancing to showtunes, and drinking coffee!

    Louise Curtis - History

      I am a senior majoring in history with a concentration in early modern Europe, and a minor in French. I worked as a URAP apprentice during my sophomore year on a sociology project about refugees fleeing Europe in World War II, and I was a research assistant to a political scientist studying American electoral history. While studying abroad I was a research intern at the University of Strasbourg in the institute for European history, where I worked on a digital humanities project. This past summer I was a SURF fellow and researched the history of education during and after the French Revolution for my senior thesis. Outside of school I like cooking, going on hikes and reading!

      James Mang - Astrophysics & Chemistry

        Hi everyone! I’m a senior majoring in Astrophysics and Chemistry. I’m really passionate about exoplanets and looking for signatures of life in the universe; so my research, as part of the Astronomy department, focuses on modeling the atmospheres of these exoplanets. I also work at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) up on the hill developing hardware for telescope missions, an opportunity that I got through URAP. Outside of campus, I continue to collaborate on research projects with my mentors at the University of Toronto and at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, both starting from summer associateship programs I participated in. Beyond research, you can find me either playing or watching sports, especially my Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Blue Jays and of course, the NBA champions – Toronto Raptors.

        Casey Mogilevsky - Chemical Biology & Bioengineering

          Hey! I’m a senior majoring in Chemical Biology and Bioengineering, and I am heavily involved in chemistry and biology research on campus. Currently I am a member of the Doudna and Francis labs on campus, where I work on research involving CRISPR delivery, protein engineering, and bioconjugation. Bioconjugation is a subfield of biochemistry that focuses on using organic chemistry to attach molecules of interest to proteins, DNA and other biomacromolecules. In addition, I am also involved in the Berkeley iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) team, which is a student-led undergraduate research club that focuses on bioengineering and molecular biology research. When I am not working on research, you can find me playing cello for The Intermission Orchestra at UC Berkeley, a student-led group that performs music from movies, anime and video games. I also like baking, tennis and hiking.

          Jasper Murphy - Molecular & Cell Biology

            I am an incoming junior majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a focus on Developmental Genetics. I started working in the Gillespie Lab during the second semester of my freshman year, where we examine chemical recognition cues in an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian spiders. Additionally, I am a member of the Patient Support Corps (also through URAP), a group of health advocates and patient scribes who work at the UCSF Medical Center. Outside of school I enjoy playing tennis, hiking, and playing video games.

            Leyla Namazie - Geophysics

              Hey! I am a senior studying geophysics in the Earth and Planetary Science Department! I have been a SURF fellow for two years now, and am doing research in paleomagnetism at the Berkeley Geochronology Center. Paleomagnetism is the study of how rocks can obtain an induced magnetization record from exposure to the Earth’s magnetic field at the time of their formation. This magnetic information is very valuable because it acts as a record of a terranes position in time and space and allows us to observe how plates may have moved or rotated across the surface of the earth. It’s pretty cool stuff! Outside of the p-mag lab, I love to hike, swim, collect random trinkets I will never use, and lay in bed to binge watch The Office.

              Marina Norfolk - Molecular & Cell Biology

                Hey ya’’ll! I’m a senior majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a concentration in infectious disease. As a URAP apprentice I worked with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology as a student assistant in the museum’s specimen preparation lab as well as with a project aiming to discern a possible speciation event that took place in the spotted towhee bird population. This past summer I was a SURF-SMART Fellow with the Boots lab where I helped write a review paper focusing on the role of virulence evolution in emerging zoonotic epidemics, and where I will continue pursuing further research this year. Outside of the lab I serve as the mentorship program coordinator for EOP STEM, a program dedicated to fostering community growth and providing resources for all our fellow STEM bears, and work as a library assistant for the PFA Film Archive. In my free time I love to make sweaters, bake, hike, watch movies, and buy books I know I’ll never read.

                Andy Q. Chen - Molecular & Cell Biology

                  Hi! I’m a junior majoring in MCB (Biochemistry emphasis) and minoring in physics. I’m part of the lab of Carlos Bustamante here at Cal, studying nucleosome unwrapping and disassembly with optical tweezers! For the past summer, I have been lucky to be a Rose Hills Experience fellow under SURF. Outside of lab or classes, I play the pipe organ, one of the most complex man-made machines before the telephone exchange was invented. I also enjoy sleeping, learning useless facts on wikipedia, and getting lost in long walks around the area.


                  Stuti Raizada - Physics & Applied Mathematics

                    I am a physics and applied mathematics major. I do research in nuclear physics in which I study Quark Gluon Plasma which was the state of the universe until approximately 10 microseconds after the Big Bang. The aim is to understand the strong force which is one of the four fundamental forces alongside electromagnetism, weak force, and gravity. I participated in SURF this summer. My favourite things include good internet speed, warm socks, and tea. 

                    Neha Simha - Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health

                      Hello! I am a junior majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Public Health. I am going into my fourth semester in the Scott Lab through URAP. I work on characterizing a second-order sugar and water sensing neuron in the fruit fly brain. I use optogenetics to silence the neuron of interest and measure behavioral output. I visualize the neuron by dissecting and imaging the fruit fly brain with fluorescent labels. I received a summer stipend through URAP to continue my research this summer. Outside of research, I am involved in a club called Jeeva Clinic that focuses on combating health disparities in cardiovascular disease. I enjoy reading, painting, curating playlists, and watching basketball in my free time.

                      Robin Stewart - Psychology

                        Hey! I am a senior majoring in Psychology focusing on Clinical Psychology. I first worked for The Whitney Lab through URAP, where we examined combinations of Gabor stimulus conditions measuring serial dependence in visual cognition. I currently work for Professor Sheri Johnson’s Lab (CALM Program) in which I code audio instances of Interpersonal Emotion Regulation between couples. Aside from studying, I like to try new skills so I started cooking and I built a computer for 3D modeling.

                        Kenneth Trang - Microbial Biology

                          Hi everyone! I'm a junior majoring in Microbial Biology and I’m interested in community ecology at both the macro and micro level. As a SURF Rose Hill Fellow and URAP participant, I've been constructing ecological niche models to explore the hypothesis that different host-parasite union structures (known as haustoria) confer different levels of abiotic constraint relaxation on continent-wide mistletoe spatial distributions. I'm also a student curator at the UC Herbarium and more recently, began studying gut-microbiome interactions in C. elegans as a member of the Shapira Lab. Outside of research, I religiously follow Olympic and collegiate-level swimming and recently started working my way through the Merchant-Ivory films.

                          Denissa Widiarto - Molecular & Cell Biology

                            I’m a junior majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a focus in Immunology. I first got involved in research my freshman year at Berkeley through URAP, working in the Emotion and Social Interaction Lab where we studied the effect of Broad Minded Affective Coping technique on increasing positive emotions in patients with schizophrenia. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, I started working at the Molofsky Lab in UCSF where I am currently studying the interactions between neurons and glial cells during early development. In the summer of 2019, I was selected as a SURF fellow. During my free time, I enjoy going on hikes, trying out new food places, and doing acroyoga! 

                            Allison Zau - Geophysics

                              Hello! I’m a 4th year majoring in geophysics and minoring in GIS and art history. I work at the River Lab in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. For the past year, with funding from SURF Rose Hills, I’ve been studying shallow aquifers in the Sierra Nevada through geophysical field surveys. On top of that, I also work at the Critical Zone Observatory sampling wells and coring trees, so I spend a lot of time mucking around in forests way out in the middle of nowhere. Besides research, I’m usually binging Keanu Reeves’ entire filmography with my friends or practicing my Korean on Duolingo.