Meet our 2021-2022 Leadership Board!
PRESIDENT: JESSICA OCTAVIO
Jessica is a fourth year Microbiology major from Anaheim, CA. She likes writing, art, and trying new food. Jessica has done research at the SDSU Viral Information Institute, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and a behavioral health start up called Cognoa, with research topics including autism disease modeling and bacteriophage therapy for cystic fibrosis. She’s super excited to reach out to other women and nonbinary folks in STEM this year!
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VICE PRESIDENT: IXCHEL URBANO
Hi my name is Ixchel and I am a third year Biology major with an emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology! I am from Whittier, CA in LA County and am a huge Dodger fan. On campus, I am an RA and participate in research through the House lab where I’ve gotten to study ovarian cancer. My time at San Diego State so far has been great, and I look forward to making more memories this year!
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SECRETARY: CLAIRE MCGURK
Hi everyone! My name is Claire McGurk and I will be a third year kinesiology pre-pt major with hopes of becoming a PA! I’m from Chicago and I am super passionate about music, working out and traveling! If I’m not at the library, you can probably find me at a coffee shop or the beach! I love hanging out with friends and trying new restaurants in San Diego! I joined WSS my freshman year in hopes of making new friends and getting involved. I can confidently say now as a junior, that WSS has positively impacted my college experience. I am so excited to be on the leadership team and I hope to empower new members to be confident women in STEM.
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TREASURER: SHILPA MUDUMBE
Hi! My name is Shilpa Mudumbe and I am a third-year majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. I joined WSS my first semester of college and since then, I have made so many amazing friends and received wonderful opportunities. I love WSS because I believe it is important to have a strong support system as you navigate college and adulthood. I've learned that even though it seems like everyone has it together, people are still figuring things out just like you and it's okay to be unsure about certain decisions. Aside from being the Treasurer for WSS, I am also a Peer Mentor at the College of Sciences Student Success Center, so please feel free to reach out if I can help you with anything!
When I’m not studying, I love traveling the world with my family, exploring San Diego, and unnecessarily buying things at Target. My favorite genres to watch are comedy and medical dramas. I'm super excited for this school year and I can't wait to see everyone at our events!
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EVENTS COORDINATOR: ADEN ALEMAYHU
Hi everyone! My name is Aden and I am a third year Chemistry major with a minor in Sustainability. I am from Irvine, CA, and this is my third year being involved in WSS. On campus, you can find me as a peer mentor for the College of Sciences, or in Dr. Carrano’s research lab. In my free time, I love painting, watching reality TV, and taking care of my plants! I’m also a big foodie and I’m always on the hunt for a new favorite restaurant. I joined WSS my freshman year because I was eager to be a part of such a strong community of women with similar interests and I’m so grateful to have found that home throughout the past few years. I’m so grateful for all of the connections and experiences that I have gained because of WSS and I’m so excited to continue on this year as events coordinator! On leadership, I hope to continue making WSS an inviting and encouraging environment for women in STEM to build lasting connections.
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PROGRAMS COORDINATOR: SOFIA RIVAS
Hi! My name is Sofia Rivas and I am entering my third year as a Pre-Med psychology student. My favorite thing to do in San Diego is to spend time tanning at the beach or trying new restaurants with my roommates! My favorite place to study on campus is at the patio area outside of Storm Hall because the view is amazing and even more beautiful at sunset. There were a lot of nerves and unknowns for me when I first arrived on campus as a freshmen being that I am a first generation college student. However, thanks to WSS, I was able to feel confident in my abilities as a woman in stem and have since been connected with a plethora of opportunities and resources to help me succeed. This year I am most excited to be more involved in WSS and meet all of you beautiful stem ladies in person! I can’t wait to serve you all as this year's Programs Coordinator!
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DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS: SAMANTHA RIVAS
Hey friends! I’m Samantha Rivas and I will be starting my third year here at SDSU as a Pre-Med Psychology major! In addition to my position on the Executive Board, I am also a Pathmaker intern in the Surgical Acute Care unit at Palomar Health. If you’re interested in learning more about this clinical opportunity, feel free to reach out with any questions! When I’m not studying, you can find me at the beach or on my couch watching Bachelor/Bachelorette with my roommates! I am so excited to be serving as this year’s Director of Public Relations alongside an amazing group of women who are just as eager to lead as I am. One of the best decisions I’ve made so far during my college experience has been taking full advantage of all that WSS has to offer. All of the challenges have been made more than possible with all of the amazing resources WSS provides for its members. I can’t wait to meet you all and to share this wonderful organization with you!
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OUTREACH COORDINATOR: LAUREN GRAEVE
Hello everyone, my name is Lauren Graeve and I'm so excited to serve SDSU and the surrounding community as Outreach Coordinator this year! I plan to graduate in Spring of 2022 with a degree in Kinesiology and minor in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Future plans include working in the medical field, whether that be through clinical practice, research, or education. I love the empowerment that Women in Science Society brings to members-- and I cannot wait to further that supportive environment through community involvement.
CONTENT COORDINATOR: KADYN KENNEDY
Hi everyone! My name is Kadyn Kennedy-Larkin and I am a third year studying Public Health with a minor in Child Development on the Pre-Physician Assistant track. I hope to one day work in a clinic that specializes in pediatrics or hemophilia thrombosis and I can’t wait to go into a career that combines my passion for science and helping others. Outside of school I work as a Medical Assistant for a chain of primary and urgent care clinics around San Diego County where I get the opportunity to shadow providers in my field and get hands-on experience working with patients. In my free time I love to read, cook (or at least attempt to), and go on spontaneous adventures with my friends.
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FACULTY SPONSOR: REBECCA LEWISON, PHD
Rebecca Lewison is a professor of Biology and serves as the Chair for Research and Scholarly Excellence for the Division of Diversity and Innovation at San Diego State University. Her research is at the vanguard of innovating applied conservation science as it relates to resource and land use, developing actionable science in partnership with practitioners and policy makers. Dr. Lewison’s research focuses on the impact of resource and land use on vulnerable wildlife populations that face pressing conservation challenges, in both terrestrial and marine environments. Her projects also explore coupled human-natural populations and systems around the world. What unites the research is a common focus - understanding the complex relationships between human and ecological processes using innovative field, quantitative and lab-based approaches to advance applied conservation science. Dr. Lewison’s diverse research portfolio receives funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation, as well as Federal, State and local resource and land management agencies. In addition to her ecological research, Dr. Lewison has been leading efforts to support diversity, inclusion and excellence in the academy. She serves as a co-PI on a UC-CSU collaborative NSF ADVANCE award “Center for Research, Excellence, and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS)” and leads several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, innovation and excellence at SDSU.