Near Peer Mentoring Program

Welcome to the homepage for the Near Peer Mentoring Program

This program began in 2020 with the following goals:

To provide a resource/mentor for 1st year graduate students


To smooth and enhance the transition from undergraduate to graduate school


To create connections between 1st year graduate students and more advanced students


Develop the skills of 1st year graduate students on how to be a proactive mentee


Develop mentorship skills of advanced graduate students

Meet the Mentors

Hannah Bates

3rd year graduate student

Darren Johnson and Haley Labs

OIM Division 

hbates_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Chicago, IL (Highland Park)

Educational Background:

BA in Chemistry, Sarah Lawrence College, 2018

Research Experience:

Dichtel Group, Northwestern University, REU Summer of 2017

Project: making vitrimers or thermosets capable of reorganizing when heated to relieve stress or heal tears. 

Rotations at UO:

Haley, Cook, Darren Johnson

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Career aspirations: Doing science policy work – either research that informs enviormental policy or helping scientists effectively communicate their data and conclusions to lawmakers

Hobbies:

Reading (esp. fiction), listening to podcasts, mixing cocktails, playing cards or board games, crafts, bike rides (motorcycle & bicycle), camping, listening to new albums, petting good cats (and dogs), rock climbing (though not recently), raising planties & following the news (twitter and otherwise)

Message from Hannah:

Uh, Hi! Welcome, welcome to UO. I’m a bit biased but I think we’ve got a nice, warm lil’ chem department here in our corner of the world. 

I’ve bounced around a lot of the US (Midwest, East & now West coast) – I am definitely an adventure seeker; I find that not having done something before normally increases my desire to do it. 

I’ve been on an Open Mike Eagle and Big Thief kick lately. Whattcha listening to? 

I saw Hamilton for the first time this summer (now I’ve seen in like 5 times) ugh! Love a musical.

Hometown: Austin, TX

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry, Rhodes College, 2018

Research Experience:

William Eckenhoff, Rhodes College, Fall 2017–Spring 2018

Project: Inorganic synthetic chemistry regarding solvatochromic materials

Rotations at UO:

Wong, Brozek, Cook

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Research Professor at a PUI or doing something artistic related

Hobbies:

  • Recreational sports (volleyball, basketball)

  • Outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and swimming

  • Concerts and music festivals

  • Drawing and crafting

  • Plant mom

Message from Alison:

I love playing chess, playing Super Smash Bros on the Wii, petting small dogs, and seeking for adventures. 

Alison Chang

3rd year graduate student

Cook Lab

OIM Division 

achang7_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Michael Crawford

5th year graduate student

Wong Lab

PChem Division 

mcrawfor_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Champaign, IL

Educational Background:

Bachelor’s in Chemistry, Math minor, Illinois State University

Research Experience:

At ISU I worked with Prof. Steven Peters in his physical organic lab, studying radical organic anions.

Rotations at UO:

Prell, Wong, Richmond

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

  • I’m a steward for the chemistry department in the GTFF (our graduate student union). This will be my second year serving in this position.

  • I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with the Eugene Science Center, working as an exhibit guide for the children’s museum on weekends. It’s a great way to practice science outreach skills while making a positive difference in the community!

Career aspirations: 

To mentor research students, preferably as a professor at a PUI

Hobbies:

In my downtime I love to play games on a computer I built (and spent way too much money upgrading!). I also try to keep up on reading nonfiction, and enjoy listening to Irish folk music.

Message from Michael:

I’ve picked up a taste for travel during grad school, visiting Ireland and South Korea (and I would have visited the UK and France this year, but oh well)!

Hometown: Wilsonville, Oregon

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry, University of Oregon, 2017

Research Experience:

Darren Johnson and Michael Haley, University of Oregon, 2015-2017

Project: Supramolecular fluorescent receptors for anion sensing, https://www.dwjlab.com/

Rotations at UO:

Pluth, Jasti, DeRose 

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Work in industry – hopefully on something bioengineering-related

Hobbies:

Running, rowing, volleyball, hiking, going out to eat, and chilling at home with my cat

Message from Annie:

I have a cat named Olive and my favorite color is orange.

Annie Gilbert

4th year graduate student

Pluth Lab

OIM Division 

annieg_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Zoe Irons

3rd year graduate student

Grimes Lab

IMB Division

zirons_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: North Haven, CT

Educational Background:

BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Dickinson College, 2018

Research Experience:

Grigorenko Lab – Summer 2015 (technician)
Henson Lab – Summer 2016, 2017 (undergraduate researcher)

Rotations at UO:

Nolen, Grimes, Zemper 

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Combined research/teaching position at a university

Hobbies:

Biking, creative writing, photography, volunteering at the animal shelter

Message from Zoe:

I’m really nerdy about a lot of things besides science!

Hometown: Sartell, Minnesota

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry, Creighton University, 2018

Research Experience:

Villa Group, Creighton University, Spring 2016-Spring 2018
Institute for Latin American Concern, Creighton University, Summer 2016

Rotations at UO:

Brozek, Dave Johnson, Darren Johnson

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Industry, preferably environmentally focused

Hobbies:

I enjoy running & hiking, camping, finding new music, pottery, card/board games, cooking, reading and afternoon naps. The Saturday market or the river are my favorite places to be during the summer!

Message from Grace:

I’m always down to grab a cup of coffee :)

Grace Kuhl

3rd year graduate student

Darren Johnson Lab

OIM Division 

gkuhl_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Michael LeRoy

3rd year graduate student

Brozek Lab

OIM Division

mleroy_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Imperial Valley, CA

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry, UC Santa Cruz, 2012
MS in Chemistry, San Jose State University, 2018

Research Experience:

Abraham Wolcott, San Jose State University, Fall 2015-Spring 2018    

Project: Synthesis of  PbSe QDs and ligand exchange chemistry

Rotations at UO:

Dave Johnson, Prell, Brozek

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

My career aspirations are to work as a research scientist in industry as well as be a in position to advocate for scientific literacy.

Hobbies:

My hobbies are reading, playing video games, listening to music, and going for random walks.

Message from LeRoy:

I enjoy sharpening kitchen knives with a whetstone, understanding lighting design in museums, and spending the middle of the day bowling.

Hometown: Detroit Lakes, MN

Educational Background:

BA in Environmental Chemistry, Hispanic Studies minor, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

Research Experience:

Peterson group, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University 

Project: Catalytic dehalogenation

Richmond group, University of Oregon (REU Summer 2016)

Project: Atmospheric aerosol reactivity

Proton OnSite (graduate internship, 2020)

Project: Anion exchange membrane electrolysis

Rotations at UO:

Darren Johnson, Boettcher, Cook

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Work in science policy to advance the implementation and development of renewable energy technology

Hobbies:

Elite dance company (styles: jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theater)

Chemistry department softball team

Hiking and camping

Reading thrillers/murder mysteries

Traveling

Message from Grace:

I love traveling, musical theater, and all things Disney 

Grace Lindquist

3rd year graduate student

Boettcher Lab

OIM Division 

glindqui_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Jack Maurer

4th year graduate student

Marcus Lab

PChem Division

jmaurer3_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry and Physics, Math, Biology and German minors, University of Denver

Research Experience:

Huffman Group, University of Denver, 2013-2015

Project: Atmopsheric Aerosol Research

Siemens Group, University of Denver, 2015-2016

Project: Dephasing Dynamics of PbS Quantum Dots

Marcus Group, UO, 2017-present

Project: Structure and Dynamics of dsDNA

Rotations at UO:

Wong, Marcus, Cina

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Hope to work in the Biophysics sector with an emphasis on metrology and photonics enabled technologies 

Hobbies:

I like to cook, hike, run, play chess, ski and watch/play sports. 

Message from Jack:

I love having cookouts with friends and am slowly becoming a game board enthusiast thanks to friends I have met here at UO. 

Hometown: Placentia, CA

Educational Background:

BS, California State University of Fullerton, 2018

Research Experience:

Hope Johnson, California State University of Fullerton, Fall 2015–Summer 2018

Project: Investigating a bacterial manganese (Mn) oxidizing protein that can oxidize Mn(II) to Mn(III)/Mn(IV), forming strong oxidants that can be potentially used for bioremediation.

Karen Guillemin, University of Oregon, REU SPUR Summer 2017

Project: Investigation of an uncharacterized Aeromonas protein involved in the colonization of zebrafish gut.

Karen Guillemin and Raghu Parthasarathy, University of Oregon, Summer 2019    

Project: Investigation of the role of the Vibrio type six secretion system on changes to intestinal motility in the larval zebrafish gut.

Rotations at UO:

Barber, Guillemin, Parthasarathy

Career aspirations: 

Research Professor or Industry Research Scientist

Hobbies:

  • Recreational sports (Rock climbing, Yoga, Soccer, Basketball)

  • Outdoor activities (Hiking, Camping, Surfing)

  • Cooking/Baking

  • Painting

  • Gardening

Message from Julia:

I’m 26 years old from the LA area in California, I am half Japanese and half Vietnamese. I am a shared graduate student between two mentors and am open to offering advice on this topic if this is something you think you might consider. 

Julia Ngo

3rd year graduate student

Guillemin and Parthasarathy Labs

IMB Division 

jngo_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Claire Otteson

4th year graduate student

Jasti Lab

OIM Division

cotteson_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Educational Background:

PSEO, Century College, 2012
BS, Carroll University, 2015

Research Experience:

Academic:

Amabilino group, University of Nottingham, Summer 2015

Industry:

Valspar Corporation, Polymer R&D, Internship, Summer 2016

LKT Laboratories, Organic Synthesis and Natural Product Isolation, 2016-2017

Rotations at UO:

Pluth, Jasti, Haley

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Teaching chemistry, preferably at a small university

Hobbies:

  • Enjoying Oregon – hiking, camping, biking, etc.

  • Rec sports (volleyball and softball)

Message from Claire:

I have a pup, Green Bean, who is the-bomb.com
If I wasn’t in Chemistry I’d love to work at/own a diner in MN

Hometown: Bakersfield, CA

Educational Background:

BS, California State University Bakersfield, 2018

Research Experience:

Danielle Solano, CSU, Bakersfield, Spring 2016–Spring 2018

Project: Green chemistry synthesis of isoxazolines

Kimberly Prather, UC, San Diego, Summer 2017

Project: Detection of biological aerosols by ion chromatography and mass spectrometry
 

Rotations at UO:

Brozek, Jasti, Haley

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Teaching college level chemistry

Hobbies:

  • Listening and (try) playing music

  • Mechanical repair and tuning cars

  • Building electronics (computers, circuits, repairing)

  • Hiking and visiting the coast

Message from Tavis:

I enjoy ceramics and sculpting, and I like to play video games in my spare time.

Tavis Price

3rd year graduate student

Jasti Lab

OIM Division 

tprice_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Amy Robbins

4th year graduate student

Stankunas Lab

Biology/IMB Division

arobbin3_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Educational Background:

BS in Evolutionary Anthropology and Japanese, University of Michigan, 2015

Research Experience:

I am a skeletal biologist studying genetic and mechanistic processes underlying development and regeneration. I specialize in a variety of imaging techniques including in vivo cell migration analyses, and chemical/genetic manipulations.  I am supported by a NIH F31 fellowship and was previously supported for two years by UO’s Genetics Training Program. 

  • PhD Candidate, Stankunas Lab, Dept of Biology, University of Orgeon, 2017-Present.

Project: Zebrafish skeletal patterning.

  • Lab Manager, Devlin Lab, Dept of Anthropology, University of Michigan 2015-17.

Project: Murine skeletal plasticity in response to environment.

  • Undergraduate RA, Sasaki Lab, Dept of Medical Genetics, Kyushu University 2013-14.

Project: Genetics of imprinting disorders in mice.

  • Intern, Takeda Lab, Dept of Embryology, University of Tokyo Summer 2013.

Project: Polycystic kidney disease modeling in medaka. 

  • Undergraduate RA, Kahana Lab, Dept of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan 2011-13 and 14-15.

Project: Extra-ocular muscle regeneration in zebrafish. 

Rotations at UO:

Stankunas, Postlethwait/Kimmel, Guillemin/Eisen

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

  • Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) Labor Union. This group negotiates benefits and rates with our health insurance providers, Member, Health and Welfare Trust, 2020-Present

  • A Community for Minorities in STEM (CMiS), Executive Board Member since 2020, Member since 2019

  • Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), various positions held including: Dept Steward, Natural Sciences Lead Steward, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Collective Bargaining Committee, 2018-Present 

  • Womxn in Neuroscience, member, 2017-2019

  • Walnut Street Cooperative, member, 2020-Present

  • NAACP High Scool Science Fair ACT-SO, mentor, 2020

  • Eugene Vocal Arts Chamber Choir, member, 2019-Present

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Lane County/CAHOOTS, De-escalation crisis volunteer, 2018-Present

Career aspirations: 

Who knows… thinking tenure track? Following my nose and trying to become the best scientist I can.

Hobbies:

  • Adventuring! Hiking, bike touring, hot springing, mushroom hunting, being outside. Oregon is absolutely stunning.

  • Burning Man! I like building and burning Big Art.  Reminds me to stay creative and keep an open mind to what’s possible. Burning Man has shaped my character.

  • Salsa dancing! New hobby I picked up in grad school. Helps balance endless days alone in a small dark microscope room. 

  • Singing and theater! Old hobby I’m continuing in grad school, to an extent. 

Message from Amy:

I am a multiracial queer woman from a disavtanged background and I advocate for equity and inclusion in various ways on campus. I am also passionate about mental health support. Oh yeah, and I’m obsessed with zebrafish. Find the things that matter to you and keep you happy, and go for it!

Hometown: Elkhorn, NE

Educational Background:

BS in Biology, Computational Science and French minors, Doane University, 2018

Research Experience:

Erin Doyle, Doane University, 2015-2017

Project: Genetically modifying disease resistance in rice

Jay Hollick, The Ohio State University, REU Summer 2016

Project: Epigenetic mechanisms and inheritance in corn

Doyle and Durham Brooks, Doane University, 2017-2018

Project: Differential root gravitropic responses in Arabidopsis

Rotations at UO:

Harms, Singh, Hansen

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

I hope to become a PI at a PUI! I’d like to be in a place where I can put a large emphasis on teaching while focusing on giving undergraduates opportunities to do research.

Hobbies:

  • Working out

  • Hiking/kayaking

  • Playing instruments and singing

  • Random handy side projects (e.g. raspberry pi smart mirror, custom cornhole boards)

  • Video games

Message from Michael:

I’m an odd mix of a type A personality and someone who doesn’t take life overly seriously. I’m involved in a wonderful church family outside of work that helps keep me grounded from all the work in lab! I also have a ton of yard games and sporting equipment and am almost always down to play (spikeball, football, ultimate frisbee, cornhole, etc.)

Michael Shavlik

3rd year graduate student

Harms Lab

Biochem/IMB Division 

mshavlik_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Grace Waddell

4th year graduate student

Hansen Lab

Biochem/IMB Division

gwaddell_at_uoregon_dot_edu

Hometown: Charleston, SC

Educational Background:

BS, College of Charleston, 2017

Research Experience:

Jennifer Fox, College of Charleston, Spring 2014-Summer 2017

Project: Substrate specificity and biological purpose of orthologs of the
sulfohydrolase SdsA1

Rotations at UO:

Harms, Hansen, Miller

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

Career aspirations: 

Industry or something non-traditional

Hobbies:

  • Photography 

  • Hiking, biking, camping, and swimming

  • Concerts and music festivals

  • Crafts

  • Cat and Plant mom

  • Soccer and Basketball

Message from Grace:

I also enjoy traveling the world, making vegetarian/vegan dishes, and playing nitendo switch (super smash bros, mario kart, and overcooked in particular). 

Hometown: Spokane, WA

Educational Background:

BS in Chemistry and Math, Walla Walla University, 2017 

Research Experience:

Benjamin Stokes, UC Merced, Summer 2016 (REU)

Project: organic synthesis of ligands for quantum dots

Gregory Warren, OpenEye Scientific Software, Winter 2018 (internship)

Project: development and validation of a covalent docking program

Rotations at UO:

Pluth, Haley, Hendon

UO Organization and Outreach Activities:

  • Graduate Christain Fellowship, Leader (VP), Summer 2019- current

Career aspirations: 

Continue doing research in industry!

Hobbies:

  • Lots of hiking/camping!

  • Photography

  • Baking

  • Running

  • Picking berries

Message from Gabby:

I love to get out and hike/explore in the Eugene area!

Gabrielle Warren

3rd year graduate student

Haley Lab

OIM Division 

giw_at_uoregon_dot_edu