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2013 Bouchet Scholars

Rodolfo Alaniz, Ph.D. Candidate in Science Studies

Rodolfo John Alaniz is a doctoral candidate in the Science Studies Program through the Department of History. His dissertation examines how deep sea invertebrate specimens helped naturalists to adjudicate evolutionary questions during the nineteenth century. This dissertation is part of a broader interest in the scientific concepts of biological generation, heredity, classification and their effects on society. Other research projects include the examination of race, class, and sexual orientation in relation to evolutionary theories during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. John is originally from Austin, Texas, and is a first generation high school graduate. He completed his Genetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was introduced to formal leadership theory, social justice organizing, and diversity in the college classroom research. He has been named a National Academies Fellow in Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow in Teaching in the College Classroom, and Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Scholar for his work on pedagogical development and diversity. Most of all, however, John loves lecturing on the history of science and creating vibrant academic experiences that explore the interactions between culture, knowledge, and the natural world. Service and organizing also form a large portion of John's activities outside of research and the college classroom. He also gives workshops on graduate diversity retention, leadership development in underrepresented communities, and academic mentoring.


Timia Crisp, Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry

Timia Crisp received her BS in Forensic Science with a minor in Chemistry at Chaminade University of Honolulu before participating in a Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at UCLA. Currently, Timia is a PhD candidate and AGEP Scholar in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCSD. Her research, conducted under the direction of Prof. Timothy Bertram, focuses on acidic gases in the marine boundary layer, their role in the oxidative power of the troposphere, and the implications on public health. As a graduate student at UCSD, Timia has been involved in various roles on campus, such as being a representative in the Graduate Student Association, a student representative on the recruitment committee in the Chemistry department, and a graduate student mentor. In addition, she has been involved with the National Science Foundation’s Gk-12 Socrates Program, where she brings her research to a chemistry classroom at Eastlake High School. She enjoys cooking, rock climbing, and science policy.


Tiffany Dunbar, Ph.D. Candidate in Biology

Encouraged and supported by my parents to pursue my passion for learning and teaching, I returned to school after a lengthy hiatus in the business world. I returned to Palomar College as a Biology major where I was introduced to laboratory research as a Bridges scholar. I continued on to Cal State University, San Marcos where I had the incredible opportunity to begin my research career in Dr. Matthew Escobar's lab. With his excellent guidance, I studied how plants respond on a molecular level to changes in soil pH. The programs offered to me as a Bridges, RISE, and MARC scholar helped me develop as a researcher and were critical to my success in applying to and gaining admission to graduate school. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from CSUSM with a BS in Biology in 2008 and started my PhD at UCSD that fall. I am completing my doctoral research in Dr. Emily Troemel’s lab, studying how the tiny roundworm C. elegans is able to distinguish the gram negative human pathogen P. aeruginosa from more innocuous bacteria, and mount a protective response against this ubiquitous pathogen. Outside of my research, I enjoy the fantastic support that our Biological Sciences department provides for my efforts to encourage and help prepare undergraduates from diverse backgrounds to pursue graduate education. I hope to continue to support these efforts as I continue through my career.


Joel Garcia, Ed.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership

As a health educator for a brain and spinal cord injury prevention program for at-risk youth, Joel Garcia was often asked questions about mentoring and how he got into the medical field. These inquiries about furthering education and career planning led him to return to school to pursue a career in teaching. Garcia began his career in education as a Teaching Assistant in 2002. He taught at Juvenile Hall and Toussaint Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, Garcia became the Vice-Principal of Monarch School, a K-12 educational program specially designed for children and youth experiencing homelessness. He currently serves as the Principal of Monarch—a position he has held since 2010. Garcia is currently enrolled in the Joint Doctoral Program with University of California, San Diego, and Cal State University, San Marcos. His dissertation, a comparative case study, explores the resilience-promoting protective factors available to homeless high school students attending two different school models. Joel successfully defended his dissertation in February of 2013 and will graduate with Doctorate in Educational Leadership in June. Garcia and his wife Cathy have three young children, Ella, Ryan, and Olivia.



Matthew Jarvis, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, Theory and Criticism

Mat Jarvis studies eighteenth and nineteenth century art under the advisement of Dr. Norman Bryson with a secondary field of study in film. He defended his dissertation Noir / Blanc: Depictions of Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in Eighteenth Century Painting in November and will be awarded his doctorate this June. Presently, with Dr. Bryson, Matthew is co-editing a book on the women in the work of Jacques-Louis David that will complete the unfinished writings of the late Mary Vidal, a former UC San Diego professor. Matthew is currently the Dean of Arts and Humanities Curatorial Fellow at UC San Diego in addition to serving as the President of the Graduate Student Association. Matthew has held various positions of campus leadership including four other executive positions in the Graduate Student Association, Art History cohort President, founding member of the Campus Allies Board, and a member of over thirty campus committees. His service has led him to work on such topics as bringing Safe Zone to UC San Diego, work on the fair trade policy, expanding graduate student housing, advocating for a Graduate Bill of Rights, and the graduate and professional student representative to the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Committee. Originally from Virginia, Matthew earned his A.B. from William and Mary in English and theatre. From 2010 - 2011 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton where he also advised McNair Research Scholars. Currently he is a lecturer of Art History for UC San Diego, Extension.


Carmen Carrasquillo Jay, Ed.D. Candidate in Teaching and Learning

A graduate of St. Joseph's University (B.A.) and Temple University (M.A.), Carmen is a Professor of English at San Diego Miramar College. In addition to teaching all levels of composition and literature, Carmen coordinates the Honors Program and edits the campus literary magazine. Students named Carmen a Most Inspirational Faculty Member in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and recognized her as a Faculty Leader in 2010. Carmen is a fellow of the San Diego Area Writing Project. She has also been awarded the San Diego Fellowship. An advocate for an emancipatory approach to education, Carmen writes about ways colleges can transform education settings into places of true engagement and inclusion. Her scholarship includes “Digital Voices: Critical Pedagogy in the Community College Classroom,” an unpublished first year doctoral paper and “Teaching for Social Justice: Academic Rigor with Love,” published in Visions Across the Americas (2013). Her dissertation places student voice at the center and examines how disadvantaged, high-achieving students navigate the community college effectively despite economic, socio-cultural, political, and institutional impediments to their success. She is a member of several Teaching for Social Justice networks.



Timothy K. Mackey, Ph.D. Candidate in Global Health

Timothy K. Mackey is a PhD Candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health. He is also a Rita L. Atkinson Fellow, Inamori Fellow, and Carl L. Alsberg Fellow for Safe Medicines. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Political Science-International Relations at UCSD, and received a Masters in Advanced Studies Degree in the Joint Program in Health Policy and Law, UCSD-California Western School of Law. He has worked in both the public and private sector including completing an internship at the World Health Organization and has over 7 years of private sector experience in legal and compliance positions. His research interests include global drug supply chain safety, global health governance, health diplomacy, eHealth, and access to medicines. His current dissertation work, under Prof. Bryan A. Liang, focuses on the linkages between unregulated online health marketing and illicit access to pharmaceuticals.In addition to his research, Mr. Mackey is actively engaged in promoting health policy issues. This includes acting as the current chair of the American Public Health Association Trade & Health Forum, advocating for tobacco control at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement-13th Round of Negotiations, providing policy analysis to the Executive Office of the President, Intellectual Property Enforcement, and being featured on CSPAN-3 and ABC World News regarding online health safety.


Mindi Summers, Ph.D. Candidate in Marine Biology

Mindi Summers is a Ph.D. candidate in Marine Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her thesis uses phylogenetics to explore the diversity of crinoid echinoderms and the many animals that live with them. These associates include crabs, shrimps, clingfish, gastropods, brittlestars, and myzostome and scaleworm annelids—many of which ‘mimic’ specific featherstar hosts. Her undergraduate degree was in Geological and Environmental Sciences, with an honors thesis in coastal geophysics, from Stanford University. While a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, Mindi has also been involved in educational outreach that has engaged the public and local schools in her research. In 2010 she was the chief-scientist of an interdisciplinary student cruise that developed lesson plans and daily videos for classrooms and interacted with over 1500 students in San Diego and across the country. Mindi also worked with the Birch Aquarium in 2011 to create a ‘Name a Species’ program for six new species of worms that she and her lab are describing. This event solicited responses from over thirteen countries, with over 1000 votes on the final names. As part of her dissertation, she is now generating educational materials and is an editor for public databases as part of the Echinoderm Tree of Life project.


Tiffany Taylor, Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Sciences

I am originally from New Orleans, LA, where I lived until I began my undergraduate studies, as a first generation college student, at Howard University in Washington, DC. There, I majored in Biology and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008. Before entering into the Biomedical Sciences PhD program in 2009, I worked as a Life Sciences Researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University. It was here that I more defined my research interests: from general cancer biology to specifically, rare, but very lethal cancers. Hence, I decided to pursue my doctoral studies in the laboratory of Frank Furnari at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Our lab is interested in understanding the underlying basis for the maintenance of EGFR-driven glioblastomas. Currently I am a fourth year PhD Candidate and NRSA fellow, and specifically, my research seeks to identify genetic mechanisms of resistance to EGFR targeted therapies in an effort to identify putative targets for therapeutic development. Aside from graduate school, I am able to dedicate my time to serving the local disadvantaged communities. I am an active tutor for the Homework Helpers program at Mira Mesa library and the current Co-director of the Children’s Ministry at my church, in the Miramar area. Other fun activities that I enjoy and do in my spare time include hip-hop dance and Zumba.


Sharon Torigoe, Ph.D. Candidate in Biology

Sharon Torigoe was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a B.A. in Biology-Chemistry from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, where she is advised by Dr. Jim Kadonaga. For her dissertation, she is investigating the molecular mechanism of ATP-dependent chromatin assembly. Following completion of her graduate degree this spring, she will begin a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Robert Tjian at University of California, Berkeley to study regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. During high school, Sharon developed her love for teaching, when she began tutoring local middle school students. Throughout college and graduate school, she has been a teaching assistant, and she was also a senior teaching assistant for the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD, for which she trained and mentored TAs. She has also worked in the programs Summerbridge San Francisco and Breakthrough Collaborative San Jose, which seek to increase academic opportunities for student in underserved schools and communities. Her experiences in teaching and at Scripps College, a women's college, have sparked her interests in breaking down gender, racial, and socioeconomic barriers in education and science. In the future, Sharon aspires to become a professor, not only to pursue her research interests in molecular biology but also to continue her involvement as an educator and mentor.