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 over 10 different STEM departments and include ambassadors who are underrepresented in STEM or identify as people of color, as well as 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)

5th 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: [email protected] | 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!

Email: [email protected]

Gabby Cázares headshot

Gabby Cázares (she/her)

Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Hello! My name is Gabby. I grew up in México before moving to South Texas in my early teens. Here at Berkeley, I work at the interface of physical and atmospheric chemistry by investigating the isotope anomaly in O3 formation and its transfer to CO2 in the stratosphere. In my spare time, I love to dance (all genres!), exercise (running, tennis), keep updated with pop culture, and search for the bay area’s best street corn. I am also involved in other mentorship organizations in chemistry such as CHEMentor and Normalization of Diversity and Equity (NODE), outside of chemistry through Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) and the Earth Science Mentor Match Program, and I informally mentor people who have recently immigrated from outside of the US. If you are interested in any of the above, please feel free to reach out to me by email. I’d love to chat!

Email: [email protected]

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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: [email protected] | 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. 

Email: [email protected]

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Bethany Suter

Ph.D. student in Physics

Hi, I’m Bethany! I’m a 4th 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!

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Shafeeq Ibraheem

Shafeeq Ibraheem (he/him)

Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Hi! I’m Shafeeq, and I study computational biology in the EECS department. My work uses machine learning for protein engineering, designing novel protein sequences with LLMs. I am passionate about making academia a welcoming environment for all, particularly in STEM fields. Outside of work, I love going to concerts, listening to music (mostly KGLW), learning guitar, and going to the gym.

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Alina Nguyen

Hellina Hailu Nigatu (she/her)

3rd year Ph.D. student in Computer Science

Hello! My name is Hellina and I am a 3rd year PhD student in the EECS department. My research is in the intersection of NLP, HCI and ethics; I am particularly interested in building language technologies for low-resourced language (languages that do not have a lot of available data) speakers and understanding the impact of current AI systems as it relates to low-resourced language speakers. I was born and raised in Ethiopia. I got my BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and moved to the US to pursue my PhD. I am involved in various mentorship and community outreach programs at Cal including BGESS, BAIR REU and EECS peers. I am interested in mentorship because my mentors helped get to where I am today and I want to pay it forward. In my free time, I read books, talk to my family back home, drink Ethiopian coffee and take long walks.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @hellinanigatu

Photo of Laura Camila Gomez

Laura Camila Gomez (she/her)

4th 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: [email protected] | Twitter: @golauragomez

Photo of Grace Hu

Grace Hu (she/her)

3rd Year Ph.D. Student in Bioengineering

Hi, I’m Grace! I was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and I am a 3rd year Bioengineering PhD student in the joint UC Berkeley-UCSF graduate program. My research explores how 3D-bioprinted cells can self-organize into functional tissue through origami-inspired folding. I am also involved in other organizations on campus such as GWE and BEAST. Today I am incredibly grateful to the teachers and support system that got me here, and in turn I want to build an inclusive environment and help guide others. Outside of the lab, I enjoy singing with the UCSF Vocal Chords, cooking, playing board games with friends, and hiking in the Bay Area’s great outdoors. I’m happy to chat about anything, so please feel free to reach out!

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Jackie Galvez

Jackie Galvez (she/her)

5th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Hi friends! My name is Jackie and I’m a 5th 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 [email protected] | Twitter: @jackiergalvez

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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!

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Kwasi

Kwasi Amofa

PhD student in Bioengineering

Hello, my name is Kwasi. I am a PhD student in the Bioengineering Department where I perform research on cancer mechanobiology. I was born in Ghana, where I spent the foundational years of my life. My family and I immigrated to the Northeast of the United States where I spent most of my upbringing (with a one year stint in Europe) prior to starting graduate school here in the Bay. In my free time, you can find me playing and watching soccer (up the Chels!), listening to music/podcasts, and reading to grow in my faith. I am very excited to serve as a resource to support you in your graduate school journey, so feel free to reach out if I can help you in any way!

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Jan Mikhale Cajulao

Jan Mikhale Cajulao

2nd year Ph.D. student in Molecular and Cell Biology

Hello! My name is Jan, pronouns he/him, and I’m a Filipino-American immigrant from the Bay Area. I am a second-year PhD student in the Molecular and Cell Biology department doing my thesis work in Dr. David Bilder’s lab. I am interested in how distant organs respond to the presence of a tumor somewhere in the animal, in other words, “How does the presence of a tumor change the host?” I was into science and medicine growing up but did not realize that research was a viable career for me until I was an undergraduate, where I was heavily inspired by diverse mentors. I pursued research despite the difficulty of having an outside job during my undergraduate years in order to help the family get through financial difficulties. Now, I believe that visibility, mentorship, and advocacy will help improve the diversity of the STEM research workforce so that those who came from similar backgrounds. Reach out to me any time!

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Genesis Ferrer Imbert

Génesis M. Ferrer Imbert

Ph.D. student in Biophysics

Hi all, my name is Génesis M. Ferrer Imbert, and I am a Ph.D. student in Biophysics and an NSF-GRFP fellow. I work on optical physics for neuroscience, specifically designing and building high-speed, large field-of-view microscopes for in-vivo brain imaging. I come from the beautiful islands of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and I am the first in my family to pursue higher-level education. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my three-cat family (Pio, Hugo, and Cleopatra), wine tasting, cooking, and reading. I have always been very passionate about increasing diversity in STEM because different viewpoints make academia that much stronger! Feel free to reach out.

Email: [email protected]

Photo of Daisy Horr

Daisy Horr

5th year Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology

Hi! I’m Daisy, a fifth 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: [email protected] | Twitter: @DaisyHorr