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McNair Scholars 2015-2016 Cohort

Dainelle Allen is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences with a major in Biological Sciences. Her research interests, stemming from her childhood spent in both Jamaica and Brooklyn, are focused on diseases affecting Caribbean and Caribbean-immigrant communities, such as diabetes, some types of cancer and strokes. After graduating from Cornell, Dainelle hopes to pursue a dual degree, an MD-PhD, and become a Physician Scientist.
Edgar Barraza is a sophomore majoring in Applied Engineering Physics and minoring in Computer Science in the College of Engineering. He is currently on the Cornell Cup project team where he is helping create a numerical simulation of a rollercoaster, which can then be inputted onto a machine that people can ride. He is currently interested in researching ultracold atomic gases, which at nanokelvin temperatures can be used as quantum sensors. Edgar aspires to pursue a PhD in Physics and then teach and conduct research as a faculty member of a University.
Amelia Bennett is a sophomore in the college of Arts and Sciences pursuing a major in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology. Her research interests include immunology, epidemiology and virology. After graduating she hopes to pursue a PhD in Immunology and work with infectious diseases. Amelia would like to not only conduct biomedical research afterwards but also play a role in informing people about prevention methods and making information accessible to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Sofia Da Silva is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She studies Anthropology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Education. From New Haven, CT, she hopes to one day work in educational administration and research how social justice work affects student outcomes. Over the summer, Sofia worked for the Prefreshmen Summer Program and mentored incoming first year students. She works at First in Class at OADI as a student organization mobilizer and works to build community for the first-generation network at Cornell. She also holds the position of co-president for Early College Awareness, a club that prepares young students for the college application process. Sofia is involved as a facilitator for Lavender, a queer women's support group on campus, as well as a facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue Project.
Jailene Hidalgo is an Environmental Science and Sustainability major with a concentration in Environmental Biology and Applied Ecology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She aspires to get her PhD in wildlife biology while working towards animal conservation through research and community outreach. Additionally, Jailene wishes to be an educator and mentor for underrepresented students of color and to encourage their involvement in the natural sciences.
Lucinda Li is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in Environmental Engineering with goals to minor in business. Living in the infamously dirty city, New York City, she has developed an aspiration to better the natural environment, specifically through waste removal. She hopes to apply her interests and ambitious nature to break scientific boundaries by pursuing a career in research of waste treatment systems. Lucinda’s career plan includes obtaining a bachelor's degree and Ph.D., gaining first-hand engineering experience, conducting research, and ultimately becoming a professor in Environmental Engineering.
Summer Lopez Colorado is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Sociology with minors in Education and Inequality Studies. Her current research interests include educational gflex-3th among Latin@s in elite universities, educational disparities, and multicultural learning models. Summer hopes to pursue her PhD and continue to conduct research as a college professor.
Rosario Majano is a sophomore in the college of Human Ecology majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences and is currently working in the Finkelstein Lab. She is interested in researching the role that immigration plays in the health outcomes of migrant populations. This includes looking into how immigration status affects the prevalence and transmission of diseases as well as the access and utility of health care systems. Rosario’s goals are to enter into a Ph.D. program in Public Health upon completing her undergraduate degree and pursuing a career in academia.
Miguel Martinez is a sophomore Government major in the College of Arts and Sciences with minors in International Relations, Inequality Studies, and Latina/o Studies. Although he is still unsure of the type of research he would like to pursue, he is interested in international affairs, human rights, social justice, and immigration. After graduation, Miguel plans to pursue a Ph.D. and use his studies to continue to advocate for marginalized communities. His ultimate career goal is to work with nonprofits at the grass root level and use his research to bring attention to a variety of international social justice/human rights issues.
Lee Puckett is a charismatic, intuitive, and crafty young man pursuing his Chemical Engineering degree in the College of Engineering. Lee’s current research, under Dr. Bonassar, involves cross-linking collagen to understand the complexities in chemical bonding of repaired defected spinal discs. He aspires to create a positive imprint on humanity by partaking in advancements in science and technology. Lee dreams of a world with biological computers and hopes to continue research throughout the rest of her career at Intel.
Sebastian Roubert Martinez is a sophomore in the College of Engineering majoring in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of Naval Architecture, mainly boat design and dynamics. He is currently doing research in Professor Ruina's Biorobotics and Locomotion Lab on Cornell's Autonomous Sailboat Team. On the mechanical sub-team, he works specifically on the building and design of the sailboat. Sebastian plans to pursue a Master’s and PhD in Naval Architecture.
Jesse Enrique Sanchez is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences currently pursuing dual majors in History and Government as a part of the Cornell College Scholar Program. Jesse is currently researching the relationship between geopolitics and minority rights in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. In addition to geopolitics and minority rights, his research interests include post-communist transitions, inequality studies, pan-nationalism, and intersectionality. Jesse's long-term goals include pursuing a doctoral degree in history and a career in academia to fulfill his life-long passion for education and research.
Samarra Scantlebury is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in marine biology. Spending her childhood summers in Barbados, has led her to fall in love with the ocean and the organisms that live there. She is interested in studying communication and behavior in marine vertebrates as well as conservation of marine ecosystems. Upon graduation she wishes to earn her Ph.D. in marine biology. Samarra also wants to encourage minorities to get interested in marine science and pursue careers in ecology and environmental science through community outreach and teaching in minority neighborhoods.
Alexandria Stansell is a sophomore in the College of Human Ecology, majoring in Human Development with a concentration in Neuroscience. Her research interests are stigmatization and prejudice within affective and social neuroscience. Her future plans after completing her B.A. are to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology and work with patients with brain damage. Later in life, Alexandria would want to end her career in academia.
Alex Wong is a sophomore in College of Engineering at Cornell University, majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a member of the Lunar CubeSat Project at Cornell, a team which is creating an accompanying spacecraft for the novel electrolysis propulsion system for entry into the NASA CubeQuest Challenge. He is working on the software defined radio by using his knowledge of signal processing and on the avionics system. He is interested in spacecraft design and device physics and hopes to conduct research in these fields. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Alex wishes to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering specifically in device physics.