Potential Mentors

In the STEM field, it is easy to feel isolated and confused about whether you are making the right choices or  whether you are ready to move onto the next step. That is why it is CRUCIAL to find mentors to guide you during your journey.

All of the wonderful people listed below welcome your questions. They are dedicated to helping others find their way! Don't hesitate to reach out to one of them!

“There is no question as to whether you have the capacity to succeed and the capacity to make great discoveries in the future. Know that there are individuals at your own institution and across the country that are completely committed to your development and are there to nurture you and help you reach your full potential in the future. ”

Dr. Julio Ramirez 

Theresa Nyabeze P.Eng

Born in Zimbabwe, she is now a mining engineer working at Vale. She recently published 'Underground! My Mining adventure' and is dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM. Email:


Listen to her talk about her journey here

Shyama Nandakumar

Born in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India, she is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan working in the Buttitta lab trying to understand how and why some cells increase their DNA content. Tweet her @shyama13 or email shyama@umich.edu

Listen to her talk to us about her life here


Po-Ju Chen

Born in Taichung, Taiwan, she is currently a 4th year PhD student in MCDB at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the stability of acetylcholine receptor and the associated scaffolding proteins at neuromuscular junctions. Email:pojuc@umich.edu

Listen to her talk to us about her life here

Nicholas Silva

Born in California, he openly discusses being a gay Latino graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Michigan during our interview with him. 

San Francisco State University (SFSU), B.S (Biology: Physiology) 
San Francisco State University (SFSU), M.S (Biology: Physiology)


Dr. Sokol V. Todi

Born in Albania, he not only navigated moving up in the world of science but also dealt with coming out at the same time. He openly discusses his thoughts on being gay in academia, imposter syndrome, and offers advice to students thinking about following in his footsteps during our interview with him. 

PhD (2005): University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Post-Doctoral Training (2005-2007): University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Post-Doctoral Training (2007-2010): University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Carla Ramos

Raised in Los Angeles, her path to graduate school wasn't a straight one. However, with a strong sense of pride in who she is and where she comes from, she refused to let the difficulty she encountered define or dictate where she’ll go.  She is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan.

Listen to this strong independent salvadoreña discuss her struggles and how she overcame them, here.

University of Michigan, 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program (PhD)

Email: cjram@umich.edu