STEM Students Recognized for their Research and Presentation Skills at 2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Digital Conference

Contact: Kate Rose, SACNAS Press Liaison | (510) 821-2638


Live-streamed ceremony presented by Huawei USA on Friday, October 29, 2021

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) awarded 98 graduate and undergraduate students for their research and presentation skills at 2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Digital Conference during a live-streamed ceremony presented by Huawei USA on Friday, October 29. Out of 870 total presenters, over 700 were first-time presenters and over 400 are first-generation college students.  

“The Student Presentation Awards recognize the next generation of scientists and STEM leaders from historically excluded populations, while giving visibility to their research and home institutions. The awards also encourage students to continue pursuing the STEM fields,” said SACNAS President Dr. Pamela Padilla. “As a multidisciplinary scientific society, the opportunity to present research to a general scientific audience fosters the science communication skills needed to not only build public support for science, but also ensure that science is accessible to everyone.”

2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference Presentation Awardees are as follows:


Savannah Orth, San Diego State University

Iliana Hayes, University of California, Santa Cruz

Jessica Kissi, Bates College

Nicole Avila, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Matt Goulart, California State University, Bakersfield

David González, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey

Carlos Ramírez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Industrial Biotechnology Department

Jocelyn Sotelo, Northeastern Illinois University

Amy Mathews, University of California Berkeley

Emanuel Navarro-Ortiz, Cabrillo College

Jennifer Mendez, University of California, Merced

Anika Radadiya, University of Kansas

Christopher Keokot, Cosumnes River College

Josh Barrio, University of Colorado at Boulder

Miranda Miranda, The University of Texas at El Paso

Amalia Seigel, California State University, Monterey Bay

Brady Blackstock, University of Oklahoma

Vanessa Vazquez, Vassar College

Hyatt Vincent, Colorado State University

Katya Marchetti, University California San Diego in conjunction with Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute of Medical Discovery

Alexa Zamudio, University of Illinois at Chicago

Nowrin Nisa, The City College of New York

Abena BakenRa, University of California, Berkeley

Alfred Vargas, University of California, Berkeley

Dane Gollero, University of Utah

Kimberly Hadaway, Williams College

Lauren Mossman, St. Olaf College

Luke Barbarita, University of California, Irvine

Miles Mena, Lewis University

Paige Hamada, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Rewa Bush, Cabrillo Community College

Brendan Murtagh, Skyline College

Morelys Rodriguez Alfonso, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey

Patricia Vargas, Oregon State University

Maresa Tate, The College of Wooster

Victoria Corona, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Corey Simpson, Colorado State University

Heather Thorogood, San Diego State University

Ryleigh Fleming, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Austen Ehrie, Indiana University, Bloomington

Koralee Santiago, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey

Jaclyn Rivas, New Mexico State University

Susan Garcia, Brandeis University

Alejandra Rosario Crespo, University of Puerto Rico Cayey

Clarissa Nuñez, New Mexico State University

Simone Evans, University of Maryland, College Park

Tejashree Prakash, University of Utah

Milagros Jimenez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

Antonio Rios, Stanford University

Kaiku Kaholoaa, California State University, Monterey Bay

Karina Cunningham, The University of Tulsa

Alexander Del Toro, University of California, Berkeley

Punam Rawal, The University of Kansas

Vanessa Morales, Missouri State University

Alejandro Pereira, University of Florida

Chantelle Yazzie , Utah Valley University

Mikaela Matera-Vatnick, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute

Maya Matsumoto, Western Washington University

Samuel Perales, University of Texas at Austin

Mariah Antopia, University of Texas at San Antonio

Kristina Theam, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Nicole Patkotak, University of Alaska Anchorage

Tanya Bhatia, University of California, Santa Barbara

Sofia Orrey Valencia, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Daniella Butler, National Institutes of Health

Christina Gonzalez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Elisa Kodama, Northeastern University

Madeline Giner, University of Georgia, Athens

Renee Serna, California State University, Fullerton

Kade Townsend, University of Kansas

Paulina Payne, University of Virginia

Matthew Estrada, The Ohio State University, Columbus

Jakeline Larios, University of California, Los Angeles

Anay Ochoa, University of California, Berkeley

Raphael Angelo Zambrano, California State University, Northridge

Crystal Minjarez , University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Jasmine Castellanos, University of California, Fullerton

Helena Puccini de Castro, Northeastern Illinois University

Ashmika Behere, University of Kansas

Luis Garcia-Pena, University of Iowa, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine


Stephen Mut, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Valerie Carranza, University of California, Riverside

Aura Alonso-Rodriguez, Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont

Ariel Vaughn, University of Southern California

Megan Nieberding, Ohio State University



Mialynn Jim, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Brooklyn Armijo, Kansas State University

Natasha Lopes Fischer, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Sedelia Dominguez, Washington State University

Myriam Serrano, San Francisco State University

Carey Dougan, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Elia Bueno, University of Arizona

Minerva Orellana, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Science

Lidiette Angeles Perez, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Natalia Guayazan Palacios, University of Washington


For over 48 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 28,000 supporters including 8,200+ members and 133 student and professional chapters throughout the United States, including Guam 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, Facebook, or Twitter.


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