Undergraduate Research Scholars

College of Letters & Science
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Fellows 2015-2016

Ann Chapman

Ann Chapman is a junior from Clarendon Hills, IL majoring in psychology and Spanish, and hopes to utilizer her Spanish knowledge while traveling abroad. She has been doing research in Dr. Charles Kalish's Study of Children's Thinking Lab in the Department of Educational Psychology since her sophomore year. Although this is her second year in URS, it is her first year as a fellow. In her free time, Ann enjoys running, listening to music, and writing. She looks forward to helping scholars explore research and the academic opportunities available to them.

Nithin Charlly

Nithin Charlly is a senior pursuing a Bioloy major with a certificate in Global Health and Leadership. He has been working with Dr. Michael Sheets of the Biomolecular Chemistry Department studying a translational regulatory protein, Bicaudal-C. After graduation, he hopes to make use of his gap year and teach at a school for mentally and physically handicapped kids in India. Outside URS, he is a sports photographer for The Daily Cardinal, a dancer for the UW School of Bhangra, a HELP volunteer at Meriter Health, and a violinist in the UW-Madison All-University Orchestra.

Edwin Chen

Edwin Chen is a Nursing student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has completed a certificate in Environmental Studies. Born in sunny Southern California, Edwin chose to brave the bitterly freezing winters at UW-Madison because of a prestigious full-tuition scholarship offered by the Posse Foundation on campus. As an upcoming junior, he highly treasures any free time that he has, as he uses it to pursue his hobbies. His pastimes include playing basketball, watching Netflix, chilling with friends, and appreciating the environment and nature. With only two more years until graduation, Edwin has started to actively explore his post-undergraduate plans. His ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Edwin hopes to be able to use his education and experience to bring joy and happiness to those around him.

Olivia Cottrell

Olivia Cottrell is a junior from Lexington, Kentucky. She is pursuing comprehensive honors in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Olivia is a Biocore student and part of the Biocore outreach ambassadors. She is also serving as Co-President of UW’s Tri-Beta chapter, the nationally recognized biological honors society. For the past two years she has been researching virology at the University of Kentucky and UW-Madison. She is currently working with Dr. Andrew Mehle in the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology studying influenza virus. In her free time Olivia enjoys gardening, going to the farmers market, and seeing concerts in Madison.

Carol Coutinho

Carol Coutinho is a senior from Plymouth, Minnesota pursuing degrees in Biochemistry and Kinesiology. This is her third year in URS and second year as a fellow. Through a Hilldale Fellowship, Carol is currently working on a project in the Badger Athletic Performance lab with Dr. Drew Watson. In her free time, she enjoys running and staying active, trying out new recipes, and painting.

Nicole Lang

Nicole Lang is a senior and a Chancellor's Scholar majoring in Psychology and Political Science. A second year fellow, she is excited to connect with scholars as they adjust to the challenging world of research. Outside of URS, Nicole is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Dr. Jerlando Jackson's Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Lab (Wei LAB). After graduating from the UW this May, she hopes to pursue a Master's Degree in Sociology of Education with a special interest in researching and developing creative enrichment opportunities for at-risk, underprivileged girls. In her free time, Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of the Madison Misnomer (UW's satirical newspaper) and also writes and performs with UW's Manhole Sketch Comedy Team, of which she is co-director. Nicole is originally from West Allis, Wisconsin.

Joao Pedro Souto Maior

Joao Pedro Souto Maior is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is in his forth semester at UW-Madison. He is majoring in Economics (with Math emphasis) and Sociology. After graduation, he intends to go to graduate school and build a career as an economist, contributing for research projects and working closely with schools and universities. He currently works under the coordination of Professor Kathryn Moeller in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, studying different aspects of public education in Brazil. In his free time, Jõao enjoys playing sports and spending time with his friends exploring the many activities Madison provides.

Ruby Martinez

Ruby Martinez is a senior majoring in psychology. She hopes to get her master’s degree and work to counsel inmates in the prison system. She also loves photography and is hoping to jump back into that this year. A little more about her: she has a lovebird, collects cool fruit stickers, and is very excited to be a URS fellow once again!

Cesar Martinez

Cesar Martinez is a junior from Appleton, WI majoring in Neurobiology and French. He has been working with Dr. Rupa Sridharan studying HP1 protein‘s role in the acquisition of pluripotency in cells. After graduation, he aspires to enter medical school and hopes to pursue a career in cardiology electrophysiology. He enjoys tutoring bilingual students at the Eagle Wing’s Program and participating at the HELP program at Meriter Hospital. When he is not busy with school and work, he enjoys playing intramural soccer and working out at the SERF.

Jackson Moran

Jackson Moran is a third year student from Edgerton, WI. He is studying Nutritional Sciences with a certificate in Global Health. He is currently conducting an independent research project in Dr. Eric Yen’s Nutritional Sciences Lab. In addition to his involvement with URS, he works for University Health Services as a student medical assistant and serves as an officer for both UW Dietetics & Nutrition Club and CALS Health & Research Society. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, hiking, biking and sailing. Jackson aspires to attend medical school after completing his undergraduate degree.

Meghan Padron

Meghan Padron is a junior from Marshfield, WI studying Nursing. Meghan also works for Campus and Visitor Information as an Information Guide. This is her first year as a fellow. In her free time she loves to explore Madison on bike. She is a free thinker, hoping to grow intellectually from her time with scholars. After graduation, she hopes to travel and take a few adventures before finding a position as a Registered Nurse and begin a wonderfully exciting new chapter in life.

Cassidy Pumper

Cassidy Pumper is a Junior from Minnesota studying Biology with a certificate in Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering and Society (ISSuES). She plans to go to medical school after completing her undergraduate studies. As well as being a URS Fellow, she waitresses at Camp Randall, and studies the metabolic pathways involved with the protein complex mTOR in the Lamming Lab in the department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the UW-Madison School of Medicine. She also helps teach riding lessons to individuals with special needs at Three Gaits in Stoughton, WI. In her free time, she loves being outdoors, reading books, and drinking coffee.

Erik Sanson

Erik Sanson is a senior and a PEOPLE Scholar studying Evolutionary Biology and earning certificates in Global Health and Leadership. After graduation, he hopes to take some time off before pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. Currently, he is working under Dr. Susan Paskewitz in the Department of Entomology, analyzing the Borrelia burgdorferi genotypes across the state of Wisconsin. Outside of URS, Erik is the President of CALS Student Association, a member of the CALS Dean’s Advisory Board, a CALS Ambassador, and a PEOPLE mentor for upcoming freshman. During his free time, he enjoys cooking different cuisines and jogging around campus.

Emily Strack

Emily Strack is a junior from Brookfield, WI. She is majoring in Operations & Technology Management, Supply Chain, and Management and Human Resources and pursuing certificates in Global Health, Health Care Management and Leadership. She aspires to combine her love of business and healthcare, and improve the healthcare vulnerable populations receive. As a freshman, she worked with Prof. Elisa Torres in the School of Nursing, studying the potential relationship between physical activity and white matter hyperintensities. On campus, she’s the secretary of the Global and Public Health Club, a member of the professional business fraternity-Alpha Kappa Psi, and a Student Leadership Consultant at the Accenture Leadership Center. Emily enjoys all things active, and if she’s not stopping dogs on the street to pet them, you can find her running, biking, or knitting.

Rehan Tariq

Rehan Tariq is a junior from Brooklyn, New York double majoring in Microbiology and Sociology. His research involves finding kinase inhibitors that can effectively inhibit antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Recently he started research involving how effective autism diagnosis is in the medical community. In his free time, he enjoys playing several sports including but not limited to soccer, basketball, tennis and racquetball. When not occupied with school work, he enjoys watching tennis, particularly the Grand Slams. Through the organization HOPE, he mentors high school students from low socioeconomic status and fosters their interests in health professions. He volunteers at the food pantry, Second Harvest Bank, and in the emergency department of Meriter Hospital. Last but not least, he is a proud POSSE Scholar who is willing to meet new people and optimize his college experience.

Aldo Ventura

Aldo Ventura is a senior pursuing a Civil Engineering degree with a focus on structural engineering. He was born in the Dominican Republic but has spent most of his teenage years in Queens, New York. Aldo spent a year working under Francisco Moya’s supervision in the McMahon EBPR Lab studying microbial ecology and the process of Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal used in wastewater treatment plants. When Aldo is not busy with school or work, he enjoys cooking, listening to music, mentoring students, and working out. This will be Aldo's second year as a Fellow!

Cory Washington

 Cory Washington was born in Dallas, Texas and spent his most of his middle and high school years in Milwaukee, WI. He is a proud PEOPLE Scholar, a McNair Scholar, and Peer Learning Association’s Psychology course coordinator. He a junior majoring in psychology and legal studies with aspirations to pursue his Ph.D. in social psychology. He is interested in how students learn in academic settings. Cory’s research experience includes working in a lab that studies motivation, and in another lab that studied small group conversation in the communication arts department. Cory enjoys mentoring, tutoring, cooking, and hanging out with his friends in his free time.

Nikala Wickstrom

Nikala Wickstrom is a super senior at UW-Madison pursuing majors in Spanish and Electrical Engineering. She worked as a research assistant in Dr. Hammer’s Laryngology lab and as an intern at Extreme Engineering Solutions and Alliant Energy. This is her 3rd year as a URS fellow. In her spare time Nikala enjoys traveling, running, and petting llamas. In the future, she hopes to apply her Spanish language and cultural skills in order to consult on engineering projects internationally.