Executive Committee

NE GWiSE is a consortium of New England area GWiSE groups at local universities. There is a central Executive Committee, led by Co-Chairs, who oversee the organization as a whole. School representatives are also appointed from each participating university and serve as the voice of their affiliate GWiSE group.

Meet the 2020-2021 Executive Committee!

Executive Co-Chairs: Roya Huang (Harvard) & Nianci Lyu (Tufts/Harvard)

Roya (she/they) grew up in California and studied chemistry and biology at Williams College. They are currently a fourth year PhD student in the Harvard MCO program and their work combines cell biology, development, and engineering to study stem cell differentiation and tissue geometry. Roya is passionate about science, gender diversity in STEM, and environmental justice issues. Outside of NE GWiSE, she is involved in Harvard’s LGBTQ@GSAS.

Nianci (she/her) was born and raised in mainland China. She attended the George Washington University with majors in International Affairs and Economics. She is currently pursuing Master’s degrees in Quantitative Economics (Tufts University) and Data Science (Harvard University). Nianci believes that students from all backgrounds despite color, ethnicity, gender and class should have equal opportunity in pursuing their goals in science. She is passionate about bringing more diversity to the STEM community and helping underrepresented groups to get their voice heard.

Secretary: Shrav Kakarla (Northeastern)

Shrav (she/her) is a 5th year doctoral candidate at Northeastern; her research involves 3D printing of highly aligned collagen, with applications in collagenous structure repair (e.g. tendon damage, cornea replacement). Her favourite moments with NE-GWISE include the initial conceptional meetings which were charged with a sense of excitement and hearing Nina Dudnik energize the EBoard with a sense of mission. She feels that NE-GWISE is just getting started and is excited to be part of it!

Treasurer: Molly Bird (MIT)

Molly (she/her) is a 6th year Biological Engineering PhD Candidate at MIT. She has been involved with NE GWiSE from the very beginning as a member of the founding board. This is her fourth year on the executive committee. She is passionate about tackling many issues facing women in STEM, but in particular, she is passionate about facilitating change in the areas of sexual harassment, attrition rates in Higher Ed, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Communications Chair: Emily Rivard (Harvard)

Emily (she/her/hers) is from Massachusetts and studied Biology at the College of the Holy Cross.  She is currently a second year PhD student at Harvard University in the Molecules, Cells, and Organisms graduate program, and she researches the intersection of genetics, development, and evolution.  Emily is passionate about advocating for the interests of all students excited about studying STEM and interested in pursuing a career in science.  She seeks to support students at the undergraduate and graduate levels via various teaching and mentorship roles.

Media Chair: Aubrey Odom (BU)

Aubrey (she/her) is pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at Boston University. Her current work is focused on creating computational tools for preprocessing, alignment, and analysis of Metagenomic and Metatranscriptomic data. She was raised in San Marcos, California and received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in statistics from Brigham Young University. Aside from research, she enjoys playing acoustic guitar and is an avid photographer. As part of NE GWiSE leadership, she is determined to fight gender-based & minority discrimination, and to promote equality for all students.

Diversity Chair: Jordie Kamuene (Northeastern)

Jordie (she/her) completed her BS degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Presently, she is a 3rd year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences at Northeastern University. Her research explores the pharmacology and physiology of ion channels in the heart. Jordie is passionate about science education, public health, and service.

Outreach Chair: Cassandra Seltzer (MIT)

Cassandra (she/hers) is a geophysics PhD student in the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. She enjoys teaching, reading, and squishing rocks in her lab.

Advocacy Chair: Megan Parsons

Megan Parsons (she/her/hers) is a 2016 graduate of Harvard with a degree in neurobiology. She is currently a master’s student in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Boston University, and her current research in the laboratory of Professor Xue Han focuses on neuroengineering and computational neuroscience. Outside of the laboratory, Megan is active in science policy and advocacy, an interest that began in 2010 as a semester school student at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) in Washington, DC. In her spare time, Megan enjoys playing classical and jazz piano, and she is currently involved in voice lessons and musical theatre. She is a classically trained ballet dancer, with additional training in tap, jazz, hip hop, and acrobatics. Megan’s vision as Advocacy Chair is to foster an engaging, inclusive intellectual community; provide guidance and support for coordinated advocacy activities regarding science policy and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and achieve legislative objectives at the local, state, and national level. 

Professional Development Chair: Michelle Sugimoto (BU)

Michelle ​(she/hers) completed her B.A. in Physics at Kalamazoo College in Michigan with a focus on campus sustainability. She ​is​ now​ ​a 4th year Materials PhD student at Boston University studying ​high temperature electrochemistry in the context of sustainable energy technologies. ​Michelle is passionate about helping students​, especially​ from underrepresented groups feel supported during their graduate studies. She ​​works ​to accomplish this through her ​involvement ​in NE GWiSE as well as by initiating a peer mentorship program in her department.

New Schools Chair: Morgan Reik (Dartmouth)

Morgan (she/her/hers) is a 2nd year Ph.D. student at Dartmouth College, involved in bioinorganic chemistry research in the lab of Professor Ekaterina Pletneva. She is originally from Cleveland, OH and completed her BS degrees in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry in 2019 at the University of Chicago. She is passionate about scientific education and outreach, and believes that bridging the gap between primary and secondary education is especially important and helps bring a more well-rounded and diverse group of scientists to the forefront of research!

Financial & Legal Committee

Committee Member: Tionna Ouellette (Tufts)

Tionna (she/her/hers) attended the University of Maine and studied Biochemistry before working as a research assistant at The Jackson Laboratory. She is currently a second year PhD student at Tufts University in the neuroscience program studying ingestive behaviors. She believes that access to opportunities outside curricular programs are crucial to becoming a well rounded member of the STEM community, and it is her goal to see that every person has access to those opportunities.

Executive Committee History

2019-2020 Executive Committee

Executive Co-Chairs: Roya Huang (Harvard) and Najah Walton (Tufts)

Secretary: Shrav Ka (Northeastern)

Treasurer: Pragya Singh (Tufts)

Communications Directors: Farimah Mapar (NEU) and Yiqing Zhang (BU)

Professional Development Chair: Tho Tran (MIT)

Diversity Chair: Michelle Sugimoto (BU)

Outreach Chair: Cassandra Seltzer (MIT)

Social Chair: Kaitlyn Dorst (BU)

Advocacy Chair: Divya Venkatasubramanian (Harvard)

2018-2019 Executive Committee

Co-chairs: Molly Bird (MIT), Amanda Carey (Tufts), and Farimah Mapar (NEU)

Secretary: Reha Jhunjhunwala (BU)

Treasurer: Pragya Singh (Tufts)

Media Director: Lauren Tereshko (Brandeis)

Communications Director: Farimah Mapar (NEU)

Event Chairs: Shen Ning (Advocacy, BU), Nicole Sjoblom (New Schools, Tufts), Roya Huang (Outreach, Harvard), Emily Thorn and Kristina Wright (Professional Development, BU and BC), Marie Charpignon (Diversity, MIT), and Julia Fountain (Tufts)

2017-2018 Executive Committee (Founding)

Co-chairs and Co-founders: Sarabeth Buckley (BU) and Molly Bird (MIT)

Secretary: Jeanne Gallée (Harvard)

Treasurer: Heather Tanner (Tufts)

Media Director: Siobhan McRee (Tufts)

Communications Director: Farimah Mapar (NEU)

Event Committee Chairs: Annie Rabi Bernard (Social, BU), Divya Israni (Professional Development, BU), Katherine Redfield (Advocacy, MIT/Harvard), Danielle Gallagher (Diversity, Brandeis), Samantha Berry (Outreach, BU), and Nicole Sjoblom (New Schools, Tufts)