2014-2015 WGS Officers
Kate Karfilis — President
Kate is a fifth year grad student in the Institute of Molecular Biology, and a member of the Stankunas Lab. She is working on identifying the molecular targets of a key signaling pathway that plays important roles in blood vessel and heart development. She is also a huge Oregon Ducks football fan, and since coming to Oregon she hasn’t missed a game yet! Go Ducks!
Leticia Montoya — Treasurer
Leticia Montoya is currently a graduate student in Michael Pluth’s laboratory, developing bright and selective fluorescent probes for Hydrogen sulfide. She is interested in understanding the important biological applications of hydrogen sulfide as a signaling molecule. In her spare time, she enjoys running, dancing, camping, and supporting the Ducks at football games.
Fern Bosada — Social Chair
Fern Bosada is a fifth year grad student in the Institute of Molecular Biology and member of the Stankunas Lab. Fern studies mammalian heart valve development, and the molecular mechanisms of adult heart valve repair. She spends most of her time with her mice (in any way, shape, or form), lifting things up and putting them down, or enjoying delicious cider.
Laura McWilliams — Seminar Chair
Laura McWilliams is a fifth-year chemistry graduate student in the Richmond lab. She shoots laser beams into toxic gas most days but is known to enjoy a garden, a good cup of tea, a hike, and a bike tour when time allows.
Kara Nell — Outreach Co-Chair
Kara Nell is a fourth year graduate student in the Darren Johnson lab. Her research is focused on novel functionalized materials for purification of trace contaminants in water. Outside of lab she enjoys spending time with her husband and puppy – camping, swimming, hiking, and relaxing.
Sarah Casper — Outreach Co-Chair
Sarah Casper is a fourth year biology graduate student in Tory Herman’s lab. She uses fruit flies to investigate the genetic mechanisms that control synapse formation. When not in lab, Sarah spends as much time as possible using a rope, harness, tent and/or snowboard to explore the Oregon Cascades.
Kimberly Jones — Public Relations Chair
Kimberly Jones is a second year graduate student in the Institute of Molecular Biology and a member of the Prehoda Lab. She is currently studying the regulation of polarity, a key cellular process, in the stem cells of fruit-fly brains. When not busy in the lab, she enjoys indoor rock climbing, a good coffee shop, and is an avid reader.
Matthew Hammers — Funding Chair
Matthew is a fourth year chemistry graduate student with Bachelor’s degrees in both chemistry and business-finance from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. As an organic chemist in the Pluth lab, he enjoys “mixing chemicals together and seeing what happens.” Additionally, his business background will come in handy as this year’s WGS funding chair. When not on campus, Matthew enjoys exploring and supporting the Green Bay Packers.
Brandon Schabes — Webmaster
Brandon Schabes is a fourth year graduate student in Geri Richmond’s lab. His research focuses on shooting lasers at an oil/water interface to determine how polyelectrolytes and surfactants waltz. He also works to keep the Richmond lab website running smoothly, and teaches General Chemistry to eager undergraduates. When not in lab, he is probably riding his bike, eating a burrito, or enjoying a pint (sometimes all three simultaneously).
Hillary Henthorn — Recorder Chair
Hillary Henthorn is a second year chemistry graduate student in the Pluth lab. Her research is focused on exploring the chemical mechanism by which fluorescent probes for detecting hydrogen sulfide work using physical organic methods. She spends most of her spare time working on her house, spending time outdoors, playing with her kitty, and watching movies with her fiancé.
Stacey York — Professional Development Advisor
Dr. Stacey York currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Graduate Internship Program at UO where she is able to combine two of her passions, technology and relationship management. Prior to her position with UO, Stacey was a Principal Scientist investigating novel polymers and surfactants for the Skin Care Innovations Platform at Johnson & Johnson. Stacey’s graduate research resulted in over 600 citations and her time at J&J led to an issued patent, a patent application, and 3 internal awards for leadership. Stacey spends her free time with her husband Adam (who is also a polymer chemist) and 3-year old daughter who is already showing a strong affinity for numbers, problem solving, and negotiation.