Undergraduate Mentors

2020–2021 Undergraduate Mentors

The Undergraduate Mentors work with students to guide individual research paths that advance their own academic interests. Set up an appointment with a UM today!

Emily Dickson
Undergraduate Mentor

Let me know if you're interested in history, political science, or education research! In addition to the OUR's Scholars in Residence program, I've participated in individual research with faculty and staff. As a first-generation college student, I know how overwhelming all of the resources at a university can be and I'd love to help you figure out how to make the most of your experience at Pitt.  My interests include house plants, cooking, maps, and bike trails in Pittsburgh, and I can't wait to get to know yours!

Kate Gannon
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Currently, I’m working on research that takes a particular interest in the portrayals of women as animals within nineteenth century literature to show the connection between scientific discovery and the status of women’s roles within Victorian society. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on a project, through the First Experiences in Research program, in which I worked alongside Professor Lenore Thomas to create an art exhibition. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in humanities and interdisciplinary research, archival work, field studies programs, and/or launching a creative project! I’d love to talk, especially if you have a great book recommendation!

Israel Herndon
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi everyone! I am majoring in History and Africana Studies. During my time at Pitt, I have been in FE-R and CE-R working on a project involving peer review. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about doing research outside of your major, social movement, religion, Black history or anything overlapping and in between. 

Sarah Jahangeer
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Contact me if you are interested in researching anything related to public health or global health in a local setting. My research focuses on addressing public health concerns in rural Pakistan by reviewing case studies and identifying trends. I'd love to talk about your different interests and to find a way to tie them together!

Michael Kane
Undergraduate Mentor

Contact me if you're interested in talking about chemistry or psychology research or just to complain about organic chemistry. I have experience in the Sleep and Chronobiology Lab at UPMC and novel drug synthesis research. I am currently researching cyanobacteria and its use as a proxy to recreate past climates with the Geology Department. Contact me and I can teach you how to play Quidditch, too!

Sravan Kanuparthi
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! I’m always eager to talk about how to get started and move forward in natural science research and related fields. I’m a Neuroscience major with a Chemistry minor. Over the years I’ve gained experience with research in biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and mathematics. My own work is in translational mental health concerning neural mechanisms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in mice models. I’ve also participated in the SURA and CTMHR summer programs here at Pitt! But if you want to talk about music, movies, or sneakers instead, I’ll definitely make time!

Hannah Kirsch
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Contact me if you are interested in psychological or interdisciplinary research. I am a psychology major with minors in Spanish and linguistics. Currently, I am a research assistant at the Language and the Brain Lab in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, where we research language processing disorders. Outside of the lab, I am part of Pitt’s Equestrian Team. If any of these topics interest you, please feel free to reach out!

Ryan Krafty
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! I’m a junior studying Microbiology. I’m currently working on research that focuses on regenerative medicine and biomedical engineering. Specifically, my lab works on using extracellular matrix to repair brain damage after stroke. I was a student in the First Experiences in Research program, and I am currently a student in the Continuing Experiences in Research class. Please reach out if you’re interested in research in the natural sciences or medicine. If you have questions about the FE-R program, I’d love to answer them!

Maja Lynn
Undergraduate Mentor

I would love to talk to you about all the different ways you can get involved with research at Pitt! I have participated in FE-R, a Summer Scholars in Residence program, the UHC Research Fellowship, and am currently pursuing a BPhil. I am an Anthropology major with a Museum Studies and German minor. One of my favorite things is to hear about all the exciting things other students are doing so please feel free to reach out to me about whatever you have going on - be it a research idea, a fun extracurricular, a program you are applying for, or a class that you are really enjoying!

Anthony Machi
Undergraduate Mentor

Hello! If you are interested in the Office of Child Development, want to get involved in research in the natural sciences, or want to find a research opportunity that suits your interests, reach out. I have experience in the FE-R program, where I worked on the Race-Based Children’s Literature project in the Office of Child Development. Contact me if you would like to talk about any of these topics, are looking for good (gluten free) places to eat near Oakland, or just want someone to listen to your ideas!

Maya Maurer
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in biology, neuroscience, or psychology research. I currently work in two labs: a biology lab studying ecology and the gut microbiome, and a psychology lab studying family dynamics and school motivation. I also have experience in applying to fellowships and grants and writing publications, so I’m happy to help you create an application! I’d love to chat about anything… research related or not!

Aarti Patel
Undergraduate Mentor

Hey there! If you’re interested in conducting research in natural sciences, reach out to me! I have experience working in a neuroscience research lab where I study behavioral effects on rats after traumatic brain injuries. If you have questions about neuroscience research, how to create strong applications for Pitt fellowships, or how to find opportunities to present your work at research fairs or conferences, I’m happy to help!

Liz Timple
Undergraduate Mentor

Hello! If you are interested in conducting research in biology or the social sciences, feel free to reach out to me. I participated in First Experiences in Research studying nociceptive bladder afferents in the hypogastric nerve during my freshman year. During my sophomore year, I studied CCK expression in different brain regions of WT and ClockΔ19 mice. Outside of research, I work at Western Psychiatric Hospital and love volunteering. Contact me if you want to chat about any of these topics or my experiences at Pitt!

Thulasi Varatharajan
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Contact me if you’re interested in the medical field, specifically biology or neuroscience, and computer science. I participated in the First Experiences in Research program studying the effects of different environments and peer influences on human behavior and decision making, and how it impacts behavior pertaining to suicide in the military. I’m also interested in medical ethics as a significant aspect of modern healthcare. I’d love to talk about your ideas, as well as anything outside research–coffee, art, exploring Pittsburgh, music, or movies—feel free to reach out!

Samir Yellapragada
Undergraduate Mentor

Hi! Contact me if you're interested in the natural sciences, anthropology, or theatre arts. My research focuses on the role of the gut microbiome in mental health disorders and I'm also very interested in how cultural contexts play a role in healthcare delivery. I think it's totally OK to have a variety of interests and I'd love to talk to you about one or all of them!