Our Fellows

Established in 2018, the E.E. Just Undergraduate Fellowship is a two-year fellowship—held during the junior and senior years—designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities at Dartmouth who choose to enter a doctoral program in a STEM field after graduation. New fellows are selected each spring by a faculty committee.

Laura Francisco '22

Research Mentor: Feng Fu, Mathematics

My name is Laura Francisco. I am a Dartmouth '22 from Indianapolis, Indiana. However, I currently live in Philadelphia, PA. I have general interests in mathematics, statistics, psychology, and human decision making. My research mainly focuses on the effects of online versus in personal communication with bargaining between two or more people. The E.E. Just program has been helpful in providing resources and a community to help me explore the STEM as a minority. 

Jeff Gitahi '22

Research Mentor: Allan Gulledge, Molecular and Systems Biology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

My name is Jeff Maina and I am a Dartmouth '22 from Nakuru, Kenya. I am a Neuroscience major and a Computer Science minor. I am interested in research surrounding computational neurobiology focusing on creating brain models using code and mathematical models to understand the principles underlying the cognitive capabilities of the nervous system. I work in The Gulledge Lab at Geisel School of Medicine investigating the role of neurological modulators in cognition with a focus in understanding their role in neurological and psychological disorders such as Schizophrenia. The E.E. Just Program has supported and facilitated the foundation of my research by providing numerous resources to guide me in my research journey The program has also been influential in providing mentorship and helping me develop my skills as a researcher and creating a community of like-minded intellectuals who have been influential in my ongoing journey as a neuroscience researcher.

Tinotenda Kuretu '22

Research Mentor: Dr Carrie Colla, The Dartmouth Institute

My name is Tinotenda Kuretu, I am an aspiring global health and development economics researcher from Harare, Zimbabwe. I am a junior majoring in Development and Public Economics and minoring in Global Health. I am interested in one day helping developing nations escape health-based poverty traps through innovative and sustainable public health, public policy, and economic solutions. To prepare myself for this task, as an E.E. Just scholar, I have pursued wide-ranging academic and research experiences. In my freshman year, I worked in an antifungal drug discovery lab at the Veterans Affairs Hospital with a Giesel professor and in a biomass systems lab at Thayer.  
In my sophomore year, I developed a great interest in development and public economics. And, given my sustained interest in global and public health, I started looking for opportunities that lie at the intersection of these two fields.  After conversations with several Dartmouth, Tuck, and TDI professors, I, fortunately, started research work with Dr. Carrie Colla, a professor at The Dartmouth Institute of Health of Policy and Clinical Practice. My research with Professor Colla investigates the health economics of low-value care focusing on opioid prescribing practices and explores intervention methods that can be used to reduce low-value care in the U.S. 
The E.E. Just Program has provided the Dartmouth experience I imagined when I was in Zimbabwe, and I hope to use the experiences that the program has provided me very soon in graduate school as a Ph.D. student. 

Michael Moyo '22

Research Mentor: Michael Ragusa, Chemistry

I'm Michael Moyo '22 from Lusaka, Zambia. Majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Global Health, I'm particularly interested in helping eradicate health care inequities by deploying improved healthcare through technological innovations especially in marginalized and medically underserved populations. I work in the Ragusa Lab, Chemistry Department led by Professor Michael J. Ragusa. I'm currently investigating mitochondrial degradation (Mitophagy) triggered by nitrogen and oxygen deprivation in mammalian cells. The goal of this project is to determine the structure of ATG32, a mammalian mitophagic protein. Since freshman year and beyond, the E.E. Just Program has allowed me to utilize resources that have exposed me to so many opportunities that continue to sharpen my research, academic, and professional skills.

Pam Pitakanonda '22

Research Mentor: Bing He, Biological Sciences

My name is Pam and I am from Thailand. As a Biology major, I am interested in exploring mechanisms in cell, molecular and developmental biology and their applications to solve real world problems through biotechnology or bioengineering. In The He Lab, I am working on a project to identify the role of various developmental factors on the process of gastrulation in Drosophila using imaging techniques and analysis, which will provide a better understanding of pathways involved in cell morphogenesis that are useful in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. I am excited to explore this project and its applications with the E.E. Just program, as well as getting to know and learn from other dedicated fellows from various STEM fields.

Alex Rodriguez '22

Research Mentor: Alberto Quattrini Li, Computer Science

My name is Alex Rodriguez and I am a Dartmouth '22. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. My parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic. My research interests lie in the intersection of electrical engineering and computer science. Additionally, I have an interest in quantum computing and quantum technology. I am currently working at the Dartmouth Reality and Robotics Lab under Professor Alberto Quattrini Li. The E.E. Just program has been a wonderful program that has both provided community and guidance in academic and non academic contexts, assisting me in my academic goals. 

Carlos Yepes '22


I am a Dartmouth '22 from Lakewood, New Jersey. I am a computer science major and am thinking about adding in a math minor. I definitely want to explore discrete mathematics because the whole field is pretty sick, but in terms of research interests I really want to explore quantum computing, machine learning, and wearable devices (especially in the age when we're hitting 2.5nm transistors). I'm grateful to the E.E. Just Program for the community it has introduced me to as well as for the support it has and is giving me to pursue my passions.

Kara Chamberlaine '21

Research Mentor: Francesca Gilli, Neurology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

I am a Dartmouth '21 from Washington, DC on the pre-health track. I have research interests in neurodegenerative diseases and social determinants of health. I work with Dr. Francesca Gilli in her neurology lab at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Our research focuses on neuroinflammation in murine models of Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Gilli's lab is exciting and I enjoy learning about research methods involving animals. The work I have done with Dr. Gilli has solidified my career pursuits, which is to acquire a dual degree in medicine and research. I admire the E.E. Just program's impact on minority students who want to pursue degrees in STEM. It is comforting to know that there is a community for those who are overlooked. Support and reliable resources is what students in STEM need to thrive. It is my wish that the E.E. Just Program continues to serve minority students for many years to come and expand its influence in the Dartmouth community.

Ashley Francisco '21

Research Mentor: Jeremiah Brown, Epidemiology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth & TDI

My name is Ashley Francisco, and I am from Philadelphia. I am a Computer Science major and Neuroscience minor graduating with the class of 2021. Currently, I am doing research on depression under the guidance of Professor Jeremiah Brown. More specifically, my research focuses on using machine learning to predict the onset and severity of depression in adults and identify important biomarkers. E.E. Just has given me the opportunity to pursue long-term research and to be a part of a supportive community of students and mentors. I really enjoy being able to attend Jam Sessions and meet other students who have similar interests as me, and I also enjoy the E.E. Just Dinners where students are able to hear from leading scientists in different fields.

Michael Green '21

Research Mentor: Jeremiah Brown, Epidemiology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth & TDI

I am a Dartmouth '21 from Columbia, Maryland. I have general research interests in Environmental Health Sciences, Heart Disease, and Social Determinants of Health. I work with the Geisel School of Medicine's Department of Epidemiology Cardiovascular Outcomes Team (EPICO), led by Dr. Jeremiah Brown. With Dr. Brown's and PhD student Devin M. Parker's assistance, I have ongoing projects which combine qualitative and qualitative methods to identify risk factors which are associated with adverse health outcomes. The E.E. Just Program has been helpful in providing resources which exposed me to the peer-review publication process, as well as developing my skills in long-term research study design.

Princilla Minkah '21

Research Mentor: Ruth Craig, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

I am Princilla Minkah, a '21 and Ghanaian-American from Worcester, MA. At Dartmouth, I am a Cultural Anthropology and Global Health major with a minor in African and African American studies, on the Pre-med track. Most of my research interests lie in the field of Infectious Diseases (with a very strong passion for HIV/AIDs research), but I also have strong interests in Preventive Care, Social Care, Social Determinants of Health, and in Behavioral Medicine. As an E.E. Just Undergraduate Research Fellow, I work with Professor Ruth Craig, a Geisel Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology and a passionate Genealogist over at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Our research uses immunology and epidemiology to explore the past history and effects of flu pandemics over time, specifically looking at the 1797 and 1918 flus. Our current projects use both qualitative and quantitative methods to identify the internal & external causes of deaths in Hanover, NH during these time periods. My favorite part of this research is exploring how infectious diseases disproportionately affect underrepresented communities through various socioeconomic factors. The E.E. Just Program has not only helped clarify my research interests, but it has also provided me with an outlet to engage in new research methods and opportunities where I have developed professional research skills that can be applied in other endeavors. 

Sade Akinfe '20

Research Mentor: Jane Hill, Engineering & Biological Sciences

My name is Sade Akinfe and I am from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. As a neuroscience major and chemistry minor my research focused on improving the diagnostic accuracy of concussions for physicians. In The Hill Lab, we worked with various athletic teams on campus to determine if molecules exhaled one's breath could be a potential biomarker indicative of a concussion. The E.E. Just program allowed me to work in this lab for over 2 years at Dartmouth and being track and field athlete on campus made this research especially important to me. I was also able to expand my understanding of biomarker research at the University of Michigan and attend numerous neuroscience conferences through this program. I am so grateful to the E.E Just program for the sense of community and opportunities it gave me to make the most of my Dartmouth experience.

Lessley Hernandez '20

Research Mentor: Vicki May, Engineering Sciences

I am a Dartmouth '20 living in Houston, TX. I majored in Computer Science and am currently pursuing my master's in computer science at Dartmouth. My research interests lie in the intersection of computer science and social issues. In my research I worked with Professor Vicki May (ENGS) focused on improving the quality of the pattern of youth's usage of technology to foster digital citizenship. Through this project we have analyzed and catalogued the digital ecosystem of El Salvador and reverse engineered various technologies to understand what their uses are versus how they are utilized by Salvadoran youth. The skills that I learned from the project on El Salvador carried over to my senior thesis in CS with Professor Andrew Campbell. Through my senior thesis I explored the food flow from California counties to demonstrate that farmworker food insecurity is not a supply issue and investigate food access data that suggests that farmworkers are indeed at heightened risk of food insecurity and hunger. I was only able to accomplish this through the support, advice, and encouragement of the E. E. Just Program. This program introduced me to a great community of peers and mentors that enriched my Dartmouth experience for the better. I am very grateful for the E.E. Just Program!

Rafael Rosas-Soto '20

Research Mentor: David Lutz, Environmental Studies

I am a Dartmouth '20, Thayer '21, from San Diego, CA. I majored in Engineering Sciences and minored in Environmental Studies, and am currently pursuing my BE in mechanical engineering. Generally my research interests lie in understanding climate dynamics, and adapting our technology and infrastructure to meet the challenges created by anthropogenic climate change. In my research I work with Professor David A. Lutz (ENVS) and Dr. Jennifer Brentrup from the University of Vermont to monitor seasonal and geographical variations in water quality in the Lake Sunapee area. The project seeks to construct a local understanding of how different winter road salting regulations impact the quantity and timing of chloride loading in local waterways. This opportunity to construct my own research project and work so closely with such amazing faculty has been one of the most enriching parts of my Dartmouth experience, and would not have been possible without the support of the E.E. Just Program.

Camilo Toruno '20

Research Mentor: Rahul Sarpeshkar, Engineering Sciences, Physics, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular & Systems Biology

I was born in Nicaragua, and I was three when we moved to Los Angeles. At nine years old, I was terrified by the prospect of global climate catastrophe, so I promised myself that I'd engineer solutions to the problem. My research project uses organisms to sustainably produce chemicals. Specifically, the project focuses on evolution aided by bio-circuits to speed up organism engineering. E.E. Just gave me the freedom to develop the project how I see fit. Also, the program gave us amazing experiences, like when we shared a cozy breakfast with the Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center (think 'Houston, we have a problem').