People

Members

BUWIC is a community of both women and men climbing the academic research ladder in the fields of organic, physical, theoretical, biological and medicinal chemistry. Together BUWIC members explore the options, challenges, and opportunities of their current research and future career options.

Annually, BUWIC welcomes a substantial portion of the Chemistry Department’s graduate students, faculty, and staff into the organization.  Please email us at buwic@bu.edu to become a member!

Current Officers

Gabrielle Fleming, President, gsf@bu.edu

Gabie

Year in the Program: 4th

Lab: Beeler Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: In my first year at BU I attended a number of inspiring BUWICLunch Seminars that helped me define goals for myself for being in this Ph.D. program. I think we have a fantastic opportunity to build a strong community of graduate men and women scientists and to empower each other through open discussion about personal and career goals.

Hobbies: Anything to get me outside! I love skiing, hiking, and going to the beach.

 

 

 

Lauren Viarengo, Vice President, viarengo@bu.edu

Lauren

Year in Program: 4th

Lab: Whitty Research Lab

Why I joined BUWIC: I was lucky enough to have several impactful role models who inspired me to pursue a career in science; I would like to now do the same for other young scientists.

Hobbies: I enjoy exploring New England with my camera and reading a good book on the beach.

 

 

 

Reem Telmesani, Seminar Coordinator, rtelmesa@bu.edu


reem
Year in Program: 5th

Lab: Beeler Research Group

Previous Research: During her undergraduate and previous graduate studies, Reem worked on enhancing pharmacists’ role as healthcare professionals in the global community and empowering women in the Middle East to take control of their health. 

Hobbies: In her free time, Reem enjoys running, traveling, and painting.

 

Shiva Dastjerdi, Co-Seminar Coordinator, shiva@bu.edu 

Shiva

Year in the Program: 2nd

Lab: Beeler Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: To build network and influential connections with other scientists especially women in science and to help grow the community of scientist women.

Hobbies: Ice skating, camping, watching movies.

Hobbies: Ice skating, camping, watching movies.


Hobbies: Ice skating, camping, watching movies.

Christa Molé, Co-Seminar Coordinator, cnmole@bu.edu

Christa

Year in the Program: 2nd

Lab: Perlstein Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: I want to inspire graduate students to explore all of their options! It is very easy to get lost in research and classes, and never think about what path they want for their future. It’s never too early to start talking with professors, speakers, and other students, and becoming exposed to the numerous opportunities that are available for chemists!

Hobbies: Being outdoors and active, playing with animals, and spending time with friends and family.

 

 

Alexis Courtney, Professional Development Chair, alexislc@bu.edu

Alexis Young

Year in Program: 5th

Lab: Beeler Research Group

Previous Research: Alexis received her Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Biochemistry with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics from Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA. As an undergraduate, Alexis interned at MIT in Professor Kristala Prather’s laboratory working on the biosynthesis of glucaric acid. 

Hobbies: In Alexis’s free time, she enjoys listening to Green Day, practicing yoga, baking, taking hikes with her husband and walking her Chihuahua.

 

Margarita Tararina, Co-treasurer, mtararin@bu.edu

Margarita Tararina

Year in Program: 4th

Lab: Allen Research Group

Previous Research: During her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate studies, she conducted research in Professor Robert Schwarcz’s laboratory concentrating on using in vitro biochemical techniques in efforts of pharmacologically restoring equilibrium in the kynurenine pathway.

Hobbies: In her free time, Margarita enjoys cooking, reading and hiking.

 

 

Arisdelsy Cervantes, Co-treasurer, acervan@bu.edu

ArisYear in Program: 2nd

Lab: Whitty Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: I joined BUWIC because it’s an organization that aims to help women in the science field. I strongly believe that we need more female representation in the STEM field. I feel like this organization will give me the platform to inspire students to pursue a career in science. I also think it’s a good way to be exposed to different career pathways that could potentially help me and it is a good way to network.

Hobbies: In my free time I like to make playlists and watch films.

 

 

Katherine O’Toole, Secretary, kotoole@bu.edu

Katherine O'TooleYear in Program: 3rd

Lab: Allen Research Group

Previous Research: She received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Stonehill College in Easton, MA. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted research in Professor Magdalena James-Pederson’s laboratory studying fungal ligninases and their potential uses in breaking down biomass for biofuel.

Hobbies: In her free time, Katherine enjoys reading, hiking, and sailing.

 

 

 

 

Lizzy Karnaukh, Co-Outreach Coordinator, karnaukh@bu.edu

LizzyYear in Program: 2nd

Lab: Bravaya Research Lab

Why I joined BUWIC: I strongly believe in and advocate for the development of programs that support and promote women in STEM fields. Through professional development, outreach, and department-wide events, we can build a community that fosters kinship and leadership among women in chemistry. 

Hobbies: Rock climbing, yoga, singing

 

 

 

Melissa Marquez, Webmaster, marquezm@bu.edu

Melissa Marquez

Year in Program: 3rd

Lab: Perlstein Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: At a young age, students begin to develop ideas of who they want to become when they grow up. For this reason, I believe that it is crucial for young women to be exposed to STEM careers early in their lives and through BUWIC we have the opportunity to carry out this notion.

Hobbies: I enjoy running, hiking, serving at my local church, and listening to M83 and Lauren Daigle.

I enjoy running, hiking, serving at my local church, and listening to M83 and Lauren Daigle.
I enjoy running, hiking, serving at my local church, and listening to M83 and Lauren Daigle.
I enjoy running, hiking, serving at my local church, and listening to M83 and Lauren Daigle.

Rhea Bains, Co-Social Coordinator, rheab@bu.edu

RheaYear in the Program: 2nd

Lab: Elliott Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: To get more involved in the BU community with respect to the gender role of women in science. I want to make an impact on the conversation of women in STEM by addressing some of the issues and strategies women can employ to be successful.

HobbiesListening to podcasts, audiobooks, drinking coffee, and hiking.

 

Lindsey Walker, Co-Social Coordinator, walkerlm@bu.edu

Lindsey

 

Year in the Program: 4th

Lab: Elliott Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: I joined BUWIC with the hope of helping women become successful in a field still dominated by our male colleagues.

Hobbies: Running, kayaking, writing

 

 

 

Amanda Vo, Officeratvkv6@bu.edu

image1 (1)

Year in Program: 6th

Lab: Perlstein Research Group

Previous Research: She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri in Medicinal Chemistry.  Amanda worked in Georgia Davis’s lab for a summer looking at different corn genetic traits.  She also worked in Jason Cooley’s lab purifying membrane proteins for deep UV resonance Raman analysis.

Hobbies: She enjoys running, laughing, and spending time with her boyfriend and 3 cats.

 

Dr. Kristina Streu, Postdoctoral Advisor, streu@bu.edu

Kristina

Lab: Whitty Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: I became involved in BUWIC because of my passion for outreach. I’m especially interested in bringing accessible science experiments to local community K-12 classrooms to expose students to important fundamental chemistry concepts in a fun and exciting experimental way.

Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy exploring New England hiking trails and craft breweries.

 

 

 

Advisors

Mariam Stepanyan Staff Advisor
mariamps@bu.edu

 

 

Dr. Karen Allen Faculty Advisor
drkallen@bu.edu

 

Karen Allen