Meet the Ambassadors

Our ambassadors represent the core of STEM*FYI and come from an incredible diversity of backgrounds and experiences.

This cohort of 15 ambassadors span 11 STEM departments and include 14 ambassadors who are underrepresented in STEM or identify as people of color, as well as six first-generation students. Read more about our ambassadors below!

Meet the Graduate Student Coordinator of STEM*FYI

Photo of Haider Ali Bhatti

Ali Bhatti (he/him)

4th year Ph.D. candidate in Science and Math Education (SESAME)

Hello! I’m Ali. I was born in Pakistan and as a child, I immigrated to the United States with my family. We settled in Englewood, NJ and I consider myself a proud New Jerseysan. My identity is very much influenced by my cultural and religious upbringing as a Pakistani-Muslim growing up in the US post-9/11. I was always the “Muslim” kid in my classes and growing up in the tri-state area only accentuated that label. However, once I got to college, I began to see how my faith, culture, and science (particularly biology) were mutually reinforcing and connected. Now, as a grad student, I’m continuing to see those personal connections, which has led me to become interested in the science identity development of other students in STEM. Outside of being a grad student, I love sports, so you can catch me on the basketball court missing wide open 3’s or turning off the TV in frustration as my favorite teams (Nets, Mets, AC Milan) maintain their mediocrity.

Email: | Website: | Linkedin:

2022-23 Ambassadors

Teena Bajaj headshot

Teena Bajaj

Ph.D. student in Comparative Biochemistry

Hi Everyone, This is Teena Bajaj, an international graduate student in Comparative Biochemistry (working in Bioengineering). My research interest is translational sciences – merging the basic and clinical sciences. I am implementing my basic sciences background (biochemistry and structural biology) to bring new discoveries from bench to bedside and contribute towards human welfare. I am associated with a couple of organizations on campus, STEM*FYI, GWE and LAGSES. I am happy to assist incoming students in becoming a part of this diverse community of developing scientists. Apart from this, I love to connect with nature in my leisure time like growing plants and walking in the sun. I am culturally enriched and love to celebrate festivals. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and concerns. Thanks!


Hari Prasanna headshot

Hari Prasanna Das (he/his/him)

Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Hello, I am Hari Prasanna! I am an international student from India in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. I study the application of machine learning to tackle climate change, particularly via making buildings smarter and energy efficient. I love mentoring students and participate in events that motivate diversity and inclusion in STEM. I love hiking and volleyball.

Email:  |  Website:

Photo of Mickey Boakye

Mickey Boakye (He/Him)

Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science Policy and Management

Hello, I am Mickey and am interested in plant physiological response to climate change (drought stress). I focus on plant hydraulics, leaf architecture, leaf mechanics, and how they affect plant form and function across a framework of different environments. I spend time hiking trails and visiting nature reserves. I love to play and watch soccer too. Contact me if you want to talk anything science, however, I will be down if you want someone to watch a weekend Premier league game with.

Email: | Twitter: @mykki_boh

Photo of Gwen Hanley

Gwen Hanley (she/her)

Ph.D. candidate in Physics

Hey, I’m Gwen! I work up the hill at Space Sciences Laboratory studying how Mars is losing its atmosphere. More specifically, I’m investigating what processes provide ions enough energy to escape from Mars’ gravity. I’m also a coordinator for a peer-led sexual violence and harassment prevention training called Respect is Part of Research, and I work with a couple of informal groups to advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism in physics, astronomy and the Earth and space sciences. To relax, I like to play video games (alternating between Animal Crossing and Witcher 3 right now), bake, and watch TV with my cat, Gandalf. 


Photo of Bethany Suter

Bethany Suter

Ph.D. student in Physics

Hi, I’m Bethany! I’m a 3rd year Ph.D student in the physics department and I work on high energy particle physics, more specifically with interests in dark matter and other physics going beyond the Standard Model. I’m also involved in SWPS, Compass and EigenSpectrum, a few of the many other organizations promoting community and diversity in physics. Apart from science, I love reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, playing board games, hiking & camping and cooking/baking!


Photo of Arianna Avellán

Arianna Avellán (she/her)

5th year Ph.D. candidate in Materials Science and Engineering

Hey, I am Arianna! I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador before moving to the US in my teens.  I am currently investigating different synthesis methods to make mucoadhesive particles for drug delivery purposes. I am also involved in other organizations like Latinx Association of Graduate Students in Engineering and Science (LAGSES) and Getting Into Graduate School (GIGS). I am a huge advocate for the advancement and retention of Latinas in STEM. If any of this sounds interesting, then feel free to reach out to me. In my free time I like to go to the beach, take nature walks, do yoga and drink coffee.  I also like to watch thriller or true crime movies/shows.  

Email: |  Twitter: @ariannaavellan_

Photo of Alina Nguyen

Alina Nguyen (she/her)

6th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology

Hi, I’m Alina! I study how chemical treatments affect the brain and behavior of Xenopus laevis frogs. My parents came to America as refugees from Vietnam, and some time along the way they met in Minnesota and I was born 🙂 I grew up surrounded by the beautiful lakes in Minnesota and spent most of my childhood outdoors. I was curious about how and why the animals I encountered behave and that’s how my interest in science began. My goal, through education, is to promote inclusion and increase representation of minority groups in STEM.

Email: | Twitter: @akn_uyen

Photo of Laura Camila Gomez

Laura Camila Gomez (she/her)

3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Biophysics

Hola! I am Laura, a PhD candidate working at the intersection of systems neuroscience and microscopy. In my research I use high speed, high resolution microscopy tools to study how sensory information is encoded in the brain and used to make perceptual decisions! I am originally from Bogota, Colombia but immigrated to the west coast of Canada when I was a child. In my spare time, I love making music, cooking with friends, going on hikes and salsa dancing. I am also involved in other organizations like the Latinx Association of Graduate Students in Engineering and Science (LAGSES) and Community Resources for Science. I am a big advocate for the advancement and retention of underrepresented minority groups in STEM. If any our interests align, feel free to shoot me a message and let’s grab a coffee!

Email: | Twitter: @golauragomez

Photo of Cara He

Cara He (she/her)

6th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology

My name is Cara He and I am a 6th year Integrative Biology graduate student. I study the role of reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, in sex determination and differentiation. I am an FGLI (first-generation, low-income) college student and was born and raised in Oakland, California. Developing and building a strong, supportive community where everyone feels that they belong is very important to me. I am involved in organizations at Berkeley which have a focus on professional development, community outreach and mentoring. I enjoy exercising (pilates, HIIT, running, hiking, weightlifting, etc.), trying new food places and watching nature documentaries.

Email: | Twitter: @CaraHe_

Photo of Jackie Galvez

Jackie Galvez (she/her)

4th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Hi friends! My name is Jackie and I’m a 4th year student in the Integrative Biology department. I’m originally from the Los Angeles area and am the first in my family to pursue an advanced degree. I study feeding and functional morphology in fishes. My current projects explore anatomical differences in various populations of rainbow/steelhead trout in order to inform conservation practices of these endangered fish. In addition to research, I’m very passionate about K-12 science education. I’m involved in two programs here at Berkeley, Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) and Expanding Your Horizons (EYH), which provide grad student-led STEM lessons and workshops to K-8 students. I have also been a part of a pen pal program called Letters to a Pre-Scientist, which matches elementary and middle school students with science professionals in an effort to demystify careers in STEM. Feel free to reach out to me about these programs! Moving beyond science, I am also a member of Cal’s University Chorus. I love to sing and am learning piano and ukulele. Some of my other hobbies include bullet journaling, hiking, thrifting, and spending too much time (and money) at coffee shops. If you’re looking for someone to talk to about the enneagram or the latest Bachelor Nation show, I’m your gal!

Email | Twitter: @jackiergalvez

Photo of Yasaman Yavari

Yasaman Yavari

Ph.D. Student in Architecture

Hi, I’m Yasaman! I’m a PhD student in Architecture. My interdisciplinary research seeks to build dynamic links between architecture and structural engineering.  My focus is on developing new efficient and sustainable workflows for construction of concrete gridshell structures that sync architectural, structural and construction elements from early stages of the design. In my free time, I hike, paint and watch TV series. I enjoy talking about plants, hand crafting and decorations!


Photo of Alicia Tsai

Alicia Tsai

PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Hello friends, I am Alicia! I study optimization, new computational models, and algorithms for machine learning, with a focus on efficiency and robustness. I am an FGLI (first-generation, low-income) graduate student and was born and raised in Taiwan before coming to UC Berkeley. I am an advocate for outreach, community building, and mentorship to students from underrepresented groups. Outside of work, you can find me jamming with my drums, baking yummy sweets, or enjoying a good cup of tea!


Photo of Han Le

Han Le (she/her)

4th year Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Hi, I’m Han! I’m a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Chemistry department and an NSF-GRFP Fellow. I study phase transitions of so-called perovskite materials in order to design better and more stable solar cells. I spent the first 15 years of my life in Vietnam before moving to the US. As a first-gen immigrant and student, creating a supportive and inclusive environment is important to me, and I’m passionate about fostering effective mentorship and increasing STEM retention and participation among URMs. In my free time I like to destress with ballroom dancing, yoga, exploring different cuisines or reading a good book.

Email: | Twitter: @hanlkd96

Photo of Stephanie Eberly

Stephanie Eberly

3rd Year Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering

Hey y’all! I’m Stephanie. I was born in the maple syrup capital of Ohio, but raised in the small town of Waxhaw, North Carolina (referred to as “The ‘Haw” by the cool kids!). I’m currently getting my PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics and a minor in Neuroscience. I work in Dr. Lydia Sohn’s lab playing with brain organoids, trying to study the pathways of aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases in the brain. Mentors guided me here, and now I want to play that role for someone else. Through STEM*FYI I hope to become a friend, cheerleader, and support system for whomever needs it. I enjoy hiking, surfing, reading, soccer, painting, and traveling. Please feel free to say hi!


Photo of Daisy Horr

Daisy Horr

4th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology

Hi! I’m Daisy, a fourth year PhD candidate in Integrative Biology. I am a student in Dr. Eileen Lacey’s lab based in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ). I’m currently studying chemical communication and pre-mating barriers in the California vole, a small grassland rodent which inhabits the entire length of California! I am from Austin, Texas, first-gen, and proudly CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) to two deaf parents. As someone who has personally benefited from outreach opportunities available to me, I’m eager to help build strong communities and increase the educational opportunities available to students from underrepresented groups. In my free time I love to be out in nature (hiking, camping, etc) and I really enjoy doing any type of art/crafting!

Email: | Twitter: @DaisyHorr