STEM Students Recognized for their Research and Presentation Skills at 2022 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded 110 graduate and undergraduate students from historically excluded communities for their research and presentation skills at 2022 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference held in Puerto Rico from October 27 through October 29. Student research presentations help equip young researchers with the skills and mentoring they need to be successful on their STEM journey. This experience helps them refine presentation skills, receive one-on-one mentoring and feedback on research, and connect with a supportive community of peers, mentors, and role models.

“As a young scientist, the National Diversity in STEM Conference is where I learned the skills needed to present my research. Watching the development of this program and seeing how many more students are participating now than have in the past shows the importance of a supportive community of peers and mentors. This work highlights the next generation of diverse scientists and STEM leaders while giving visibility to their research institutions, making science more accessible for everyone, bringing us closer to True Diversity in STEM.” said SACNAS President Dr. Pam Padilla.

2022 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference Presentation Awardees are as follows:


Analytical Chemistry
Eliza Herrero, University of Minnesota

Animal Sciences/Zoology, Marine Sciences & Plant Sciences/Botany
Savanah Leidholt, Oregon State University

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Nhat Quang, Tran University of Texas, Austin

Biochemistry & Genetics
Oandy Naranjo, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering & Engineering (general)
Ester Alvarez Benedicto, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cancer Biology I
Elizabeth Delgado, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Cancer Biology II
Omar Lujano Olazaba, San Diego State

Cell/Molecular Biology 1
Viviana Maymi, Cornell University

Cell/Molecular Biology II
Arely Diaz, University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Chemical Engineering
Clary Rodriguez Cruz, University of Pennsylvania

Chemistry, Physical Chemistry & Materials Research
Maricely Ramirez, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Computer & Information Sciences, Statistics & Engineering
Rodolfo Corona, University of California, Berkeley

Life Sciences, Microbiology
Shaun Cross, Colorado State University

Ecology/Evolutionary Biology
Chandana Gopalakrishnappa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ecology/Evolutionary Biology & Other Life Sciences
Yeraldi Loera, Princeton University

Geoscience & Environmental Science
Layra Cintron-Rivera, Brown University

M. Fabiola Pulido-Chavez, University of California, Riverside

Neuroscineces, Genetics & Other Life Sciences
David Silva, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

John Castaneda, Northern Arizona University

STEM Education & Learning
Rhonda Harley, University of San Diego

Traditional Knowledge
Maricela Arce, University of Illinois Springfield


Caitlin BrabbleRose, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Life Sciences
Hadassah Mendez, Colorado State University

Life Sciences
Gabriella Perez, Baylor College of Medicine

Life Sciences
Luuli Tran, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

Psychology & Social Sciences
Maribel Hernandez, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis

Psychology & Social Sciences
Meenakshi Richardson, Washington State University


Kerianys Torres, University of Puerto Rico in Ponce
Sky Harper, Drexel University
Serli Khanbabaei, California State University, Long Beach
Ryan West, California State University, Fullerton
Shaneily Colon, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
Audrey Washington, San Diego State University
Jasmine Hang, California State University, Fresno

Computer & Information Sciences
Jocelyn Sotelo, Northeastern Illinois University
Charles Lett Jr., Langston University

Jasmine Amaya, Diablo Valley College
Scott Garcia, University of California, Merced
Jessy Gonzalez, University of California, Santa Barbara
Andrea Valero, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Jonathan Chinana, Navajo Technical University
Antonio Loaiza, University of California, San Diego
Angel Cortez Ramirez, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt

Kaitlin Marry, New Mexico State University
Kiara Burgos, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Sarah Perez, Pennsylvania State University

Jeitzel M Torres Rodriguez, National Institutes of Health
Estephannie Alvarez, University of California, Berkeley
Kelly Beym, New Mexico State University
Kirk Balderas, Texas Tech University
Sydney Fisher, Brown University

Life Sciences, Animal Sciences/Zoology
Noemi Rodriguez, Cal Poly Humboldt

Life Sciences, Biochemistry
Fa’alataitaua Fitisemanu Wesleyan University
Mae Hurtado-Thiele University of Wisconsin - Madison

Life Sciences, Biology
Gabriella Cale, Utah State University
Nishoni Huber, Northern Arizona University
Alejandra Cardenas Montañez, University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón
Jasmine Jung, University of California, San Diego

Life Sciences, Cancer Biology
Rohda Yase, University of Washington
Amber Amparo, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Peyton DiSiena, Cornell University

Life Sciences, Cell/Molecular Biology
Sophia Huang, San Francisco State University
Kai Brantley, Fort Lewis College
Veronika Zenkeviciute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Brenda Garibay, San Francisco State University
Valery Ortiz, University of California, Santa Cruz
Luis Garcia-Pena, University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine
Celyna Becerra, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Life Sciences, Plant Sciences/Botany
Helena Heiberger, University of North Alabama

Life Sciences, Developmental Biology
Maria Rojas, University of Washington
Yaniris Molina, Johns Hopkins University

Life Sciences, Environmental Science
Maya Matsumoto, Western Washington University
Emily Montes, California State University Long Beach
Christopher Kalman, The Ohio State University

Life Sciences, Ecology/Evolutionary Biology
Stephanie Castro Marquez, Oakland University
Michael Fernandez, University of Guam
Jordan Rodriguez, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Heidi Waite, University of California Irvine

Life Sciences, Genetics
Rocio Cisneros, Stanford University
Jasmine Esparza, University of California, Davis
Samantha Zaninelli, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University
Kimberly Heath, The Jackson Laboratory for Mammalian Genetics

Life Sciences, Marine Sciences
Kaylee McKay, California State University Monterey Bay
Ann Gobei-Bacaylan, University of California, Santa Cruz

Life Sciences, Microbiology
Margaret Tyer, Colorado State University
Julianna Harden, Howard University
Travis Santana, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus
Thomas Chen, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Life Sciences, Neurosciences
Leeanne Vazquez Ramirez, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
Victoria Cuevas, University of Connecticut
Jose Zepeda, Vanderbilt University
Blanca Perez, Brown University
Harrison Katz, Brown University, Department of Biology

Life Sciences, Other Life Sciences
Chantel Tsosie, Northern Arizona University

Life Sciences, Physiology/Pathology
Daniel Veronese Paniagua, Washington University in Saint Louis

Materials Research
Alfred Vargas, University of California, Berkeley

Anna Diaz, Heritage University
Zoe Markman, Swarthmore College
Jorge Lopez-Nava, Swarthmore College
Janiah Kyle, Spelman College

Physics & Astronomy
Aniket Sanghi, The University of Texas at Austin
Julissa Cesareo, University of California, Santa Barbara

Psychology & Social Science
Arianna Fritz University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Kennedy Patterson University of Washington, Seattle
Anna Carpio University of Pittsburgh
Maria Peraltilla Georgia State University

STEM Education & Learning
Talofa Fe’a, American Samoa Community College
Fatima Herrera, University of Detroit Mercy


Justin Platero, Navajo Technical University

Jonathan Chinana, Navajo Technical University


Reham Perry, New York University

Life Sciences
Kameron Richardson, University of Idaho

Click here to download the full 2022 SACNAS conference Student Research Presentation Abstract Book.

For nearly 50 years, SACNAS has served as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM. Today, the organization serves a growing community of over 20,000 supporters including 9,000+ members, and close to 130 student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.  Learn more about SACNAS at sacnas.orgFacebook, or Twitter.


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