Student Participants 2024-2025

Sidney Vermeulen

PhD student, Genetics

Bo Wang lab

Research Interest: Using transgenic tools to understand regeneration in flatworms


Franco Felix

PhD student, Stem Cell

Anthony Oro lab

Research Interest: Stem cell biology and cell fate decisions


Danica Schmidtke 

PhD student, Microbiology & Immunology

Ami Bhatt and Gavin Sherlock labs

Research Interest: Human gut microbiome

S@TT has been one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of my time in graduate school. The opportunity to be closely mentored on my science communication skills to the general public is rare, and incredibly valuable. Each activity requires you to practice different types of communication skills, and while the skills that you learn are important to engaging with the community, they are also transferrable to improve presentation, and mentorship skills in the lab. Opportunities for training on important language choices for inclusive mentorship are limited, especially with carefully crafted 1:1 feedback from a mentor as you go. S@TT is a safe space to learn and grow, become a better scientist, and give back to the community.

Lucy Zhang

PhD student, Genetics

Casey Gifford Lab

Research Interest: Heart development, genetics of congenital heart disease

Stanford @The Tech was an amazing and unique outreach experience! I learnt a lot about how to effectively communicate science to the public and how activities/curriculum are designed. Now I am much more confident in breaking down complicated concepts into manageable and easy-to-understand pieces. I also became more comfortable in managing crowds and engaging audiences at different levels. It was so rewarding to see kids and adults walk away from an activity saying "that was SO cool!"

Abbey was an awesome mentor who deeply cares about enriching our volunteering experiences. She was super supportive of ideas we had about the activities and the ask-a-geneticist articles and always encouraged us to try new things. Overall, I had so much fun at the Stanford @The Tech program and I'm grateful for this opportunity!

Larissa Sambel

PhD student, Chemical and System Biology

Gheorghe Chistol Lab

Research Interest: Visualizing DNA replication with single-molecule microscopy

Working at The Tech has been one of the best experiences I've had during graduate school. Besides learning valuable science communication tools, S@TT has reminded me how privileged we are as scientists to spend our days asking questions and discovering new knowledge. Watching the excitement and eagerness students display while learning about various genetic topics has rekindled my enthusiasm for science. I genuinely look forward to every session and leave feeling a deep sense of accomplishment for my role in inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Raleigh Slyman

PhD student, Mechanical Engineering

Ovijit Chaudhuri Lab

Research Interest: Biophysics of Embryo Development

S@TT has been an amazing opportunity to break out of the graduate school bubble and engage with the general public! The program has challenged me to make science accessible, interactive, and fun to a wide range of museum goers. While it takes a minute to learn how to control the chaos of a rowdy school group, it all becomes worth it when you see someone get excited about extracting fruit DNA or looking at their cells under the microscope. S@TT has bettered my skills as a science communicator, but more importantly, it has allowed me to give back to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Andrea Ramirez

PhD student, Biology

Jose Dinneny Lab

Research Interest: Plant root anatomy and responses under stress

Volunteering for Stanford@TheTech reminded me of why I love science. It was a joy to lead activities and see how quickly kids and adults alike were fascinated by their results.

Benjamin Doughty

PhD student, Genetics

Will Greenleaf Lab

Research Interest: Transcription factor binding to single DNA molecules

S@TT was a great program that challenged me to think about why I got interested in science in the first place. As a graduate student, I spend most of my time talking to a small number of people about esoteric topics, and I realized I had lost sight of the bigger picture. S@TT gave me the opportunity to share science with so many students, hone my teaching abilities, work on my public speaking, and learn what makes for compelling activities for people of all ages. Not only was it fun to give back, but all of these skills will also help me going forward in science. There's also nothing quite like seeing the reactions when the cabbage paints change color! 

Michaela Hinks

PhD student, Bioengineering

Will Greenleaf and Lacra Bintu Labs

Research Interest: Biophysics of mammalian gene regulation