STEM Students Recognized for their Research and Presentation Skills at 2023 National Diversity in STEM Conference

Portland, OR — Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded over one hundred graduate and undergraduate students from historically excluded communities for their research and presentation skills at their premier event, the National Diversity in STEM Conference held in Portland from October 26 through October 28. 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.

The 2023 National Diversity in STEM Conference Presentation Awardees are as follows:


Animal Sciences/Zoology, Marine Sciences & Plant Sciences/Botany
Miguel Angel Rosas, Washington State University

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Guadalupe Tovar Mendoza, University of Washington, Seattle

Biochemistry & Genetics
Natalie Sahabandu, University of California, Davis

Cancer Biology
Yvonne Vasquez, University of California, Santa Cruz

Cell/Molecular Biology
Manette Tanelus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Cell/Molecular Biology & Developmental Biology
Evan Morrison, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Chemical Engineering
Gabrielle Balistreri, University of Washington

Computer & Information Sciences, Statistics & Engineering
Juan Florez-Coronel, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Ecology/Evolutionary Biology I
Aracely Martinez, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans

Ecology/Evolutionary Biology II
Nicole Doran, University of Washington

Electrical & Mechanical Engineering
Luis Rafael Miranda Rodriguez, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Environmental Science, Earth Science, and Other Geoscience
Allison Chartrand, The Ohio State University

Inorganic Chemistry
Jenna Bustos, Oregon State University

Materials Research
Kimberly Lopez-Zepeda, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Luis Valentin, University of California, Berkeley

Neurosciences and Genetics
Jace Kuske, University of California, Davis

Neurosciences, Psychology (general), and Other Psychology & Social Sciences
Mia Pacheco, Texas A&M University

Organic Chemistry & Other Chemistry
Luis Cervantes, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Christopher Gonzalez, University of California Irvine

Physiology/Pathology & Public Health
Thien Phan, Texas A&M University School of Medicine

STEM Education & Learning
Janet Mansaray, Louisiana State University

Traditional Knowledge
Z Zenobia, Cal Poly Humboldt


Emmanuel Rivera-Iglesias, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Esai Lopez, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Life Sciences
Jaila Lewis, University of Houston

Life Sciences
Gabriel Escobedo, Baylor College of Medicine

Traditional Knowledge
Shania Tamagyongfal, University of Hawaii at Hilo


Samuel Mussetter, University of California Santa Cruz
Tan Nguyen, Pasadena City College
Ethan Chavarin, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Keyara Piri, California State University, Fresno
Isaac Garcia, University of California, Berkeley
Brianna Brooks Medina, University of the Incarnate Word
Idsa Gonzale, InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico Ponce campus
Mila Cordero, St. Mary's University
Alejandro Chavarria González, Emory University

Computer & Information Sciences
Analiese Gonzale, Cypress College
Ethan Tam, University of California, Berkeley
Haley Lepe, MiraCosta College
Mirakle Wright, University of Colorado Denver

Juan Castano, Universidad CES, Medellin, Colombia.
Wei Wang, Berkeley City College
Dominique Gooden, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mabel Espinoz, University of California, Merced
Darian Rosales, Mesa Community College
Elderson Mercado Rivera, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Polina Popova, San Diego State University

Alexis Lee, Augustana College
Madison Lin, Colby College
Frida Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso
Kimberly Maisonet Gonzalez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Rachel Pham, University of California, Berkeley
Tricia Wan, New York University
Cheylah Bitsui, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho
Gustavo Nativio, University of North Carolina
Lyza Lash, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Life Sciences, Animal Sciences/Zoology
Darlene Villalobos Cazares, California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt

Life Sciences, Biochemistry
Ángel Garza Reyna, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Isaac Melendrez, New Mexico State University
Adam Murra, University of California, Davis

Life Sciences, Biology
Mudita Goyal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sophie Lopez, Columbia University
Kimberly Rice, Northeastern Illinois University
Kayla Rendon-Torres, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
Allie Vann, Sonoma State University

Life Sciences, Cancer Biology
Maria Parrilla, Emory University
Alines Lebron-Torres, Davidson College

Life Sciences, Cell/Molecular Biology
Amy Rios, University of California, Los Angeles
Emily Chase, University of California, Berkeley
Prashant Jha, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Alena Albertson, University of Hawai'i Manoa
Elizabeth Abedi, UNC Charlotte
Maribel Solano Alcantara, Western Washington University
Vincent Lotesto, Northeastern Illinois University

Life Sciences, Developmental Biology
Elena Pearson, New Mexico State University
Hamelynn Harzman, Iowa State University

Life Sciences, Environmental Science
Ivory Bacy, Northern Arizona University
Evelyn Martinez, University of Houston

Life Sciences, Ecology/Evolutionary Biology
Patricia Sanchez, University of California, Riverside
Derick Gil, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus.
Ricardo Hernandez, Georgia State University
Olivia Maule, University of Florida
Alizee Gamber, University of San Francisco
Yichao Ma, Boston College

Life Sciences, Genetics
Payton Compton, The Ohio State University
Aydin Karata, University of California, Los Angeles
Angelina Betie Dulay,  University of Portland

Life Sciences, Marine Sciences
Alexandra Larson, The University of Tampa
Ally Wilkins, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Angie Stefannia Tasayco, University of Central Florida
Anya Isabelle Ocampos, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Keenan Larriviere, University of Texas A&M - Corpus Christi

Life Sciences, Microbiology
Elizabeth Negron, University of Texas at San Antonio
Celine Lopez Padilla, University of Oregon
Carmina Chavez, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Alejandro Rivera-Madera, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
Marianna Velasco, San Jose State University
Andrea Laboy-Figueroa, University of Puerto Rico Humacao Campus

Life Sciences, Neurosciences
Rojan Javaheri, University of Southern California
Ella Wasel, University of Houston Downtown
Ella Say, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Maria Tavares, University of San Diego
Ana Armenta Vega, University of California, Davis
Ashley Yeh, University of California, Santa Barbara

Life Sciences, Other Life Sciences
Brent Riley, Lovelace Biomedical Research Institution

Life Sciences, Pharmacology
Joaquin Parrilla-Garcia, University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

Life Sciences, Physiology/Pathology
Natasha Castañeda, University of Oregon, Eugene

Life Sciences, Plant Sciences/Botany
Radha Srinivasan, University of California, Berkeley
Cecilia Regalado Diaz, California State University, Monterey Bay

Materials Research
Layla James, Navajo Technical University

Emrys King, Pomona College
EunSang (Patrick) Park, University of California, Merced
Ethan Bassingthwaite, The College of Idaho
Yuan-Jen Kuo, University of Connecticut
Esteban Ayala, Pomona College
Oscar Murillo-Espinoza, California State University Monterey Bay
Cabrini Aguon, University of Guam

Physics & Astronomy
Yoshi Levey, Fort Lewis College
Isabella Macias, University of Florida
Benjamin Awad,    California State University, Fresno
Katie Barajas, Harvard University

Psychology & Social Science
Pansée ElGhayati, University of California, San Diego
Tristain Lewis, Southern Nazarene University
Olivia Ortiz, California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt
Mariana Gonzalez-Torres, Marquette University
Yesika Menera, University of San Diego

STEM Education & Learning
Brandon Patrick Respicio, University of Guam, Guam
Amy Wu, University of California, Berkeley
Kely Juan, University of North Texas

Traditional Knowledge
Taecia Akana, University of Hawaii at Hilo


Mariah Lee, Diné College

Materials Research
Layla James, Navajo Technical University


Brianson Yazzie, Northern Arizona University

Life Sciences
Olivia Anderson, University of Washington

Psychology & Social Sciences
Mariah Brigman, Washington State University

Click here to download the full 2023 SACNAS conference Student Research Presentation Abstract Book.

For 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 10,000+ members, and more than 140 student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, the promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.  Learn more about SACNAS at, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, or X/Twitter.


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