Executive Board (2021-2022)

PRESIDENT

Natalia Aristizábal

Natalia is a PhD Candidate in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Natalia is a landscape ecologist interested in the relationships between biodiversity, agriculture, and global change. She uses field experiments and ecological modeling to understand how climate and land-use change affect ecosystem services that benefit farming livelihoods. For her dissertation work, she collaborates closely with scientists, farmers, and a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica. As a chapter officer, Natalia hopes to strengthen the sense of community and ensure the future of our recently founded chapter. She aspires to contribute to a more inclusive STEM community by shaping professional development and community-building events that truly serve our members.

VICE PRESIDENT

Aura Alonso-Rodríguez

Aura is a PhD student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Aura is a tropical ecologist interested in applying ecological research to solving real-world problems in tropical landscapes. Her research currently focuses on assessing how ecological and agricultural systems respond and adapt to disturbances such as hurricanes. By collaborating across disciplines and sectors, she hope to help build more resilient and equitable socio-ecological systems, particularly in Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised. As a chapter officer, Aura’s goal is to support our members by hosting professional development and community building activities at UVM. With these efforts, Aura hopes to help grow and strengthen our community so that together we can increase diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

TREASURER

Eva Kinnebrew

Eva is a PhD Candidate in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Eva studies interactions between agriculture, land use change, soil health, and biodiversity. She has focused on soil arthropods, how land use change affects their community composition, and the ecosystem services they provide. Her goal as the chapter treasurer is to promote financial sustainability of the UVM SACNAS chapter.

SECRETARY

Erika Bueno

Erika is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Erika is an entomologist specializing in evolutionary genomics and stress physiology of insect pests. She uses a wide range of phenotypic, genomic, and molecular approaches to examine the mechanisms underlying stress tolerance in an economically important insect pest, the Colorado potato beetle. Erika’s goal as a chapter officer is to promote a welcoming and diverse environment at UVM, by planning and participating in events that build community amongst BIPOC students in STEM and beyond.

DARTMOUTH LIAISON

José Delgado

Jose is a PhD Candidate of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Jose studies the molecular mechanisms of autophagy, a process where cells degrade their unwanted cellular contents, and focuses on the selective degradation of mitochondria. He uses a combination of CRISPR screening, biochemical assays, and microscopy to dissect these mechanisms. Jose’s goal as an officer is to serve as the bridge between UVM and Dartmouth and increase underrepresented minorities in graduate programs in the local New England area.

GSS LIAISON

Montana Lara

Montana is a PhD Candidate in Neuroscience. Montana studies neurodevelopmental disorders and is interested in the underlying genetic architecture of seizure disorders. She uses both computational and experimental approaches to study the genetic complexity of tuberous sclerosis complex and absence epilepsy. Montana’s goal as a chapter officer is to help build an inclusive community in STEM. Through SACNAS, we help support a welcoming environment for those who have historically been underrepresented in STEM, and she’s so glad to be part of this team of incredible and passionate individuals.

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Bailey Kretzler

Bailey is a PhD student in Plant and Soil Science. Bailey is plant physiologist with an interest in soil ecology and studies how the domestication and cultivation practices of legumes has impacted which microbes they associate with in the soil and what implications this has for soil health and agroecosystem resilience. Bailey uses both field and lab based methods to answer the questions she have about legumes. As a SACNAS chapter officer, Bailey hopes to increase our communication and collaboration across departments at UVM to help build a campus-wide community that supports BIPOC students in their academic and scientific careers.

SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM

Ollin D. Langle-Chimal

Ollin is a PhD Candidate in Complex Systems and Data Science. Ollin is Computational Social Scientist interested in human behavior, urban mobility, forced displacement and inequality and uses multimodal datasets and mathematical modeling to understand these issues. Ollin’s research consist in three major topics; understanding how opinion dynamics affect a disease spreading process, inequalities in education, and economic disparities among socioeconomic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing in low and middle income countries. Ollin’s primary goal as a SACNAS chapter officer is to create a healthy and welcoming environment for current and future generations of underrepresented groups in science so they don’t fear about their belonging in this community.

Jorge Ruiz-Arocho

Jorge is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Jorge is an entomologist with an interest in understanding arthropod biodiversity and how it emerges. Currently, Jorge is specializing on how the cultivation of domesticated crops molded arthropod agrobiodiversity and plant-arthropod interactions; including the potential of crop wild relatives as reservoirs of agriculturally important species. Most of his research was conducted in Mexico collaborating with multiple farmer and academic communities. Jorge’s goal as a SACNAS chapter officer is to build a more diverse, inclusive and supportive environment at UVM, while supporting BIPOC students to achieve their scientific careers.

Sarah Morris

Sarah is a PhD student in the Plant Biology department. She studies phylogenetics, macroevolution and historical biogeography of plants of the American tropics. For her dissertation, she is traveling to Colombia to understand speciation patterns of ferns in the Chocó biogeographic region. As a SACNAS chapter officer, Sarah aims to foster a more welcoming and encouraging environment in the STEM community both at UVM and throughout the broader scientific community.

FACULTY ADVISORS

Dr. Rory Waterman

Photo by Josh Brown

Rory Waterman is a professor of chemistry with research interests in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, catalysis, and energy and environmental applications. He also works in professional development on many levels from co-founding the New Faculty Workshop in Chemistry to organizing Project SEED and ARO Research Apprenticeships programs at UVM, experience in helping students and new professionals that he is delighted to share with SACNAS Chapter leadership. His work has been recognized by a variety of awards including named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2020) and American Chemical Society (2019) as well as elected a member of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering (2019). His biggest aim in participating as a faculty advisor is to help the Chapter be strong and meet the long-term vision of its founding student leaders.

Dr. Laura J. May-Collado

Laura J May Collado is an Assistant Professor of biology at UVM and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Her research interests are in marine soundscapes and marine mammal communication. Her research involves the use of phylogenies, field observations, autonomous underwater recording systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles to understand the evolutionary and ecological factors shaping the evolution of acoustic communication in marine organisms. In addition to provide students within and outside UVM opportunities for research in marine biology, she also administrates the small-grants-in-aid as the Chair of the Committee of Scientific Advisors Society for Marine Mammalogy and as co-founder of the NGO Panacetacea. Both grants support young scientists from countries around the world where research funding is limited. As an advisor to the SACNA Chapter, her goal is to help the leaders of the chapter to achieve their vision and goals for the chapter.

Dr. Ana Morales-Williams

Ana (“Mindy”) Morales-Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at UVM. She is a limnologist with research focusing on the role of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change in algal community assembly, linking fine scale physiological and ecological mechanisms with ecosystem and landscape scale processes. She’s a founding member of the Phycological Research Consortium, which holds annual workshops providing undergraduate and graduate student training and networking opportunities in algal research.  In addition, she serves on the international steering committee of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), an organization that facilitates global multidisciplinary collaboration to understand the response of lakes to climate change. Her goal as a SACNAS chapter advisor is to build community and support chapter leadership in achieving their long-term goals.