Current Fellows

Alexander Vorobiov is a third-year student from Chicago, Illinois. He is double majoring in Biology and Philosophy with a certificate in Global Health. He is planning on applying to medical school post-graduation and is heavily involved with the Red Cross and Alpha Epsilon Delta on campus. During his time as a URS Scholar, Alex worked in the Senes Lab investigating the structure and function of an essential protein involved with bacterial cell division. Outside of research and academics, Alex enjoys weightlifting, boxing, reading, and playing guitar. It is also said he could grill up a mean steak.

Ashton (Ash) Jenks is a fourth year student triple majoring in History, Anthropology, and Classical Humanities with certificates in Archaeology and Gender and Women’s Studies. During their time as a URS Scholar, they worked on the Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription project with Dr. Hutton helping to further analyze and categorize the Epigraphy of 2nd and 3rd century loculi inscriptions. Currently, Ashton works in Dr. Hawks lab in the anthropology department with a focus on their senior honors thesis, Sexual Dimorphism in Homo naledi and other hominin species. They are also going to begin a dual honors thesis between History and Classics with the topic of Genderfluidity in Adolescence in Ancient Greece. Ashton is also interested in Wisconsin Archaeology and historic preservation, specifically within the context of Tribal affairs. Outside of URS, Ashton works at College Library, is the President of Anthro Circle and a Co Consul for the Classics Society as well as being a member of Paleontology Club, and the UW Fencing Club and an L&S Deans Scholar. In their free time, Ash enjoys listening to history podcasts, trying to get through their TBR, and rewatching comedies.

Claudia Liverseed is a third-year student originally from Eagan, Minnesota majoring in English and Gender & Women’s Studies with a certificate in History. She works with Dr. Kasey Keeler in the departments of Civil Society and Community Studies and American Indian studies on two projects about how UW has contributed to and benefited from Indigenous land dispossession. Outside of research, Claudia works with community-engaged student organizations through the Morgridge Center for Public Service, works in fundraising for the Division of Continuing Studies, and is part of the Aikijujitsu club on campus. In her free time, Claudia enjoys spending her entire paycheck going out to eat, watching adult animation, and supporting local bookstores.

Dominic Catherino is a junior hailing from Washington DC. He is Majoring in Economics, Mathematics, and getting a certificate in the History of Science. As a URS Scholar he analyzed simulations of galactic bars for information about their development. Outside of URS he plays Dungeons and Dragons, reads and hikes. 

Eatai Sasson is a junior from Thiensville, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Neurobiology with a certificate in Education and Educational Services. During his time as a URS Scholar, Eatai did research in geochemistry using x-ray spectroscopy to better understand both the microstructure of ammonium bearing minerals such as jarosite, and how ammonium undergoes ionic substitution within them. Outside of URS, Eatai also works for the Center for Health Disparities Research which studies various factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. In his free time, Eatai loves to bake all kinds of treats, spend time with friends (especially at James Madison Park and the dog park), and binge watch tv shows.

Ethan Park is a third-year student from Woodbury, Minnesota studying Statistics and Economics with a certificate in public policy. As a Scholar, he was part of a sustainability lab in the chemical engineering department. Ethan is the president of Madison’s Economic Forum club, head of competition for its Federal Reserve Challenge team, and the chair of a small student government board. In his free time, he also enjoys competing in British Parliamentary debate.

Evan Wooldridge is a senior majoring in Consumer Behavior and Market Place Studies with a certificate in Afro-American Studies. He is a Posse Scholar from Los Angeles, California. Throughout his time at UW–Madison, Evan has worked at the Morgridge Institute for Research under the PATh Project. During his time as a URS Scholar, Evan worked on research under the Schoville Lab on identifying microbial organisms in resistant and susceptible Colorado potato beetle whole transcriptome RNA read data from Wisconsin. He currently works as a second-year URS Fellow and is a Social Media Manager for Herpetological Conservation International. In his free time, he enjoys binging Netflix shows, enjoying time with close friends, and indulging in a good meal.

Gráinne McDonagh is a first-generation student pursuing a major in Health Promotion and Health Equity whilst earning a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. She is a fourth–year student and proud Posse Scholar who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During her time as a URS Scholar, Grainne worked as an undergraduate research and promotions intern for the Social Media Adolescent Health Research Team under the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since, she has continued her research with the team and has presented nationally. In her future, Grainne anticipates applying to graduate school and pursuing a career in rehabilitative health. Beyond academics, she is a lover of travel, reality television, poetry, and holistic self-care.

Hailey Patel is a fourth-year student from Wisconsin studying Legal Studies, Public Policies, Criminal Justice, and Art History. As a URS Scholar, she worked with the Political Science Department studying public influence/lobbying efforts on the legislative law-making process. She is also part of Amnesty International on campus, helping lead the environmental team. Hailey loves trying out new coffee spots, taking long walks by Lake Mendota, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Ian Burton is a third-year from Hartland, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Psychology and History with a certificate in German Language Studies. During his time as a Scholar, he worked for the Kerr Parenting Lab in developing an anti-racist parenting program for families in Wisconsin. Now, he is a part of the Brauer Group Lab where he conducts his own research on misinformation effects and the influence that these have on a broader global scale through the Sophomore Research Fellowship. Outside of research and his studies, Ian is the Communications Chair of Psychology Club and enjoys reading, writing, spending time with friends and family, and cooking!


Journey Prack is a fourth-year student from Denver, Colorado, majoring in Entomology with a certificate in Environmental Studies. As a URS Scholar, Journey worked with the Anthony Ives lab to research how food sources affect parasitic wasp dispersal among aphid populations. Through her work in the Ives lab, she got the opportunity to go to Mývatn, Iceland as a REU intern to study midge population dynamics. Currently, Journey is completing her senior thesis in the Kerri Coon lab, researching the pitcher-plant mosquito and its associated microbiota as a potential symbiotic driver. In her free time, Journey likes to cook, read, and spend time outdoors and with friends.

JP Gutierrez is a fourth-year student originally from Chicago, Illinois. JP is majoring in Political Science and Life Science Communications and is getting a certificate in History and Public Policy. In his time as a URS Scholar, he researched the morphological aspects of underground and aerial roots from giant corn in the AneLab. This past summer, he worked for a nonprofit that focuses on debt relief called Jubilee USA Network as a Development and Executive Associate. JP is focusing on getting into law school in the near future. In his free time, he watches movies, anime, and cheers for his favorite NFL team the Chicago Bears.

Malee Thor is a fourth-year student and First Wave Scholar, where her academic journey intertwines with her artistic pursuits. As an art major with a passion for creativity, she has applied her talents across various mediums, pursuing a double minor in French and Film to enrich her understanding of visual storytelling. Beyond her studies, Malee finds enjoyment in music and the narratives of cinema, and bringing polymer clay to life. Amidst her academic commitments, Malee’s research within the program has been an exploration of the evolution of Shetland knitwear within the realm of Vogue, showcasing.

Malee served as a URS Research Fellow in fall 2023.

Maria Gleason is a fourth-year student from Fairfax, Virginia majoring in International Studies and Scandinavian Studies with a certificate in German. As a URS Scholar, Maria worked with University of Wisconsin’s Language Institute researching the value of multilingualism. Maria’s involvement on campus includes being the Vice President of Wisconsin’s Model UN team, on a student-run dance team, and involved with Greek life. She enjoys going for long walks in nature, playing games with friends, and spending time with her family.

Mason Thao is a second-year transfer student from Manitowoc, Wisconsin majoring in Neurobiology. He’s also a UW-Madison Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO) Scholar. Mason enjoys being at the forefront of novel science. During his time as a URS Scholar, he investigated the efficacy of 223RaCl2 as a radiopharmaceutical therapy in reducing and inhibiting the spread of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Outside of academics, you can find Mason outdoors biking, fishing, or camping.

Mushtaq Ali is a rising junior majoring in biological systems engineering with a minor in biology. She is CeO Scholar and previous CeO peer navigator. During her time as a Scholar, Mushtaq conducted research on neural networks using liquid crystals to predict the concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. In her free time, Mushtaq enjoys riding her bike and going on picnics with her friends.

Mushtaq served as a URS Research Fellow in fall 2023.

Nora Wali is a third year student from Long Island, New York pursuing double majors in Neurobiology and Psychology with a certificate in Health in the Humanities. As a URS Scholar, she worked in the Pediatric Auditory Experience and Brain Lab where she spent some time researching the impact of household noise on language outcomes of Latino children. She also joined the Pfleger lab to research genetic sequences in Yeast variations. In her free time, she enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets, reading, spending time with the people closest to her, and exploring outdoors.

Samira Pal  a third-year student from Cupertino, California, is pursuing a degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Her passion for medical research has led her to her current position as a researcher in the same lab where she began as a URS Scholar. Samira’s work focuses on the discovery and synthesis of personalized drugs to combat cancer. With aspirations of attending Pharmacy School and establishing a career in Clinical Pharmacy, she is dedicated to improving patient outcomes. When she’s not immersed in her studies and research, Samira enjoys spending quality time with friends, expressing herself through dance, and exploring her culinary skills.

Simon Bushmaker is a fourth-year student from Stevens Point, Wisconsin studying geology and geophysics. He is interested in studying geologic events through geologic mapping of structures and the distribution of natural materials. During his time as a URS Scholar, Simon utilized electron microscopy (EPMA and SEM) to characterize the geochemistry and micro-structure of jarosite and related ammonium-bearing minerals. He has worked within the Department of Geoscience as a lab assistant dating glacial landscapes and now works within the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey. Outside of research, Simon is the president of Undergraduate GeoClub and enjoys running, painting, and canoeing.

Susan Lei a third-year student from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin majoring in Neurobiology with a certificate in Graphic Design. She is currently a research assistant in the same Motor and Brain Development lab she began in as a URS Scholar. The lab works with the Social and Behavioral Development lab aiming to determine the connections between autism and ADHD to facilitate more effective treatments for kids. When she’s not in the lab or out studying, you can find her at hockey games, at boba shops, or out with friends

Yasmin Mirhashemi is a current fourth-year student from Appleton, Wisconsin studying English Language/Linguistics and Spanish. Her research as a URS scholar was focused on psychology and investigating the limitations of our own knowledge. Yasmin is a pre-law student who spends most of her time outside of class participating in Mock Trial here at UW-Madison. She also works as an advisor for the Intensive Law and Trial Camp hosted in conjunction with Stanford Law School during the summers. She is spending her first semester of this year abroad, where she is studying in Spain and interning at the Barcelona Bar Association. When she isn’t in class or participating in extracurriculars, Yasmin loves to spend her free time exercising and lifting weights!