Arianna Collins is a Natural Science major in her 4th year of college. Her areas of scientific interest include ecology, evolution, and genetics. She currently works in Temple's BioLife building with Dr.Rachel Spigler, studying inbreeding depression in Sabatia angularis. Arianna uses ArcGIS to perform spatial analysis on populations of the plant. Arianna spent Summer 2014 doing field work, performing floral manipulations on the plants in their serpentine barren habitat, and ground-truthing for GIS.
She presented research from her time working in The Kulatinal Lab on speciation genes in Heliconius butterflies at the 2013 ABRCMS conference, where she won an award for the Molecular and Computational Biology category.
Arianna is originally from Northeast Philadelphia, and attended Bishop McDevitt High School. In Fall 2012, she transferred to Temple after going to Drexel University for her freshman year. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, drawing portraits, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends.
Melvin Hudson is from Roosevelt, New York, a relatively small town in Long Island. He graduated in the top percentile of his class from Baldwin High School, and also played football throughout those years. He is interested in Astronomy and video games. In the past year he taught an Astronomy class to middle school students. In this class, they were able to put together their own telescopes (courtesy of the Franklin Institute) and then commenced the program with an Astronomy night when officials from NASA and the Franklin Institute brought telescopes along with the student's telescopes to observe the night sky. He is currently the Director of Grounds and Sustainability for Temple Student Government and the Polemarch (president) of the Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.
('13- '15), Biology major
Daniel Masunungure is originally from Zimbabwe, a small nation located in the southern hemisphere of the African continent, with a population of 11 million. He is the oldest of three kids, a father to three children, and a husband to his beautiful wife. Daniel has a passion for volunteer tutoring to inner city neighborhoods and finding ways to improve and manage the health of individuals and communities, especially minorities, through research and public health endeavors. He is especially passionate about HIV/AIDS research, microbiology and immunology and finding novel ways to bring locally developed drug solutions to his home country of Zimbabwe.
Daniel Masunungure is currently studying Biochemistry, with a minor in Public Health. During his time at Temple, he has participated in a few projects, with one focused primarily on the effects of perceived stress on hypertension. Along with Principal Research Investigator, Dr. Freda Patterson, Daniel conducted a culturally appropriate Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) intervention study designed to address the health problems of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia. The main goal of this research was to see if there was a positive correlation between line dancing, nutrition, and perceived stress on hypertension. The project was carried out in the Nice-town section of Philadelphia, PA, a predominately low-income minority neighborhood, on male and female residents aged 35- 65 years of age monitored over a 4-week period with a control group.
Due to his research, Daniel has been previously awarded with the CARAS Undergraduate Research Award as well as the MARC-U*STAR Undergraduate Research Award. He plans to continue his participation in research at Temple University until his expected graduation date of May 2016.
Yasaira Rodriguez is from Allentown, PA, and attended Louis E. Dieruff High School. A biology major at Temple University, she is a second year Resident Assistant for the Global Living and Learning Community (Won the 2012 Inclusivity Initiative Award). She is also a second year Community Service Chair for the Temple University Chemical Society, where she conducts weekly science experiments with children ages 6-17. In addition, Yasaira is a Sister of Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin sorority, Inc.
Under the instruction of PI Dr. Jay Rappaport, Ph.D, Yasaira works in the Neurovirology Lab located at the Temple University School of Medicine, 7th floor. Together, they have worked on an HIV study focusing on the effects of immunosupressive agents of altered monocyte population. She presented her research in the 2013 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Nashville, Tennessee this past November. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, travel, and read.
After graduating from Hempfield High School, Dillion Fox chose to attend Temple University as a physics major. He conducts his laboratory work at the Institute for Computational Molecular Science under the guidance of his PI, Chris MacDermaid. Together,they are modeling a coiled-coil domain found at the C-terminus of cyclic nucleotide gated channels. Their modeling efforts use a wide range of computational tools, including molecular dynamics simulations and homology modeling. In the near future, he plans to go to graduate school to study computational biophysics.
('14- '15), Biology major