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Meet the Peer Evaluators

Read about the peer mentors who have been helping the
participants navigate the world of research!

Aleena Abbasi

Aleena is a rising sophomore biology major (CST) and public health minor on the pre-med track. She is passionate about service, sustainability, research, and medicine, especially the intersectionality of them all. She is currently a research assistant at the Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine. She loves volunteering and currently tutors elementary school students who attend public schools in Philadelphia. Some of her hobbies include reading, playing the viola, and spending time with her friends and family. She is excited to be a part of SPROUT and looks forward to meeting and collaborating with others who also have an interest in research!

Meet the Students

Congratulations to the nine selected participants for the first year of SPROUT!
Read more about who they are and what they are doing research in.

Geonni Gee

Geonni is a junior at SLA Center City. Some of her interests include reading, sleeping, and skateboarding, which is the newest hobby she’s acquired. One thing she dislikes, though, is writing. Not because it isn’t fun, but because it is one of her biggest academic insecurities.

Geonni is working with Dr. Constantinou on theoretical & computational nuclear physics. She is optimistic that this research will help her gain the confidence that she needs in order to accomplish her goal of becoming an engineer! Geonni is very excited for what is in store this summer!

Kylee Mitchell

Kylee Mitchell is a rising senior at SLA Beeber. She is working with Dr. Cordes on predicting deep-sea coral distribution for effective management. She will be working on gathering information and synthesizing it to understand the oceanography, geology, biology, and ecology of the regions the lab studies. In the future, Kylee sees herself becoming a math teacher.

Kera McCarthy

Kera McCarthy is a High School Junior at J.R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration school. She is passionate about medicine, language, baking, and how she can bring joy to others through them. After high school, Kera hopes to pursue a career in medicine and is currently interested in Cardiothoracic Surgery. She is a logophile, bubble tea enthusiast, and advocate for diversifying school curriculums. In her spare time, Kera loves reading, playing instruments, spending time by the water, and watching Grey’s Anatomy on repeat.

Kera is working in Dr. Valentine’s lab, Metals in Medicine: Titanium Anticancer Compounds. She is looking forward to the experiences SPROUT brings to this summer!

Diamond Thomas-Dean

Diamond Thomas-Dean is an eighteen year old student from Mastery Charter School working with Dr. Fleming on Development of a Teaching Tool for Organic Chemistry. She is interested in research because she loves to learn as well as trying something new! In her free time, she pursues her hobbies of cooking and singing.

Diamond sees a bright future ahead of her, as she hopes of owning her own restaurant or being a music teacher.

Maria Awadalla

Maria is a junior at GAMP high school. She is interested in going into a pre-med track out of high school. She is very passionate about healthcare and making sure everyone is able to receive it. She is interested in research because it is a fun and interesting way to find answers to the many questions she has and gain knowledge and experience. Some of Maria’s hobbies include singing, playing clarinet, and running cross country.

She will be working with Dr. Chroni on phylogenetic inference of circulating tumor cells by using clinical data. She is glad to be a part of SPROUT and looks forward to researching and growing her knowledge with her fellow scholars!

Othello Adjepong

Othello Kwako Amo Adjepong, is a 17 year old Ghanian American academic scholar, who is a gifted visual artist and track runner.  He is also the son of Howard University graduates. Othello is working in Dr. Spigler’s lab, where he will be conducting experiements on the lifespan of flowers.

Currently, Othello is an upperclassman at Science Leadership Academy at Beeber, who is currently an active member of many programs, such as Ctrl shift sponsored by Dell, Project Lyft Sponsored by Philadelphia Work Ready, Cap program Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, 100 Black Men of Philadelphia ,Penn (RSSA) Penn Rising Scholar Success Academy, UKG INC, USTAF Track & Field, and AAU Track & Field.

Riyam Nashi

Riyam Nashi is a student in the SPROUT program with a keen interest in the medical sciences. She decided to participate in this research program to gain further knowledge about what it is like to pursue research and explore scientific topics. In the future, Riyam hopes to one day become a healthcare professional.

Samar Oubarri

Samar Oubarri, a student at Central High School, is working with Dr. Kulathinal on the neurogenomics of incipient speciation in Drosophila. In her free time, she loves to draw and watch old TV shows! Her research interests include anything in medicine, really. Medicine is interesting to her as it is such a dynamic field, and in the future she would like to become a neurosurgeon.

Isaiah Weekes

Isaiah Weekes is a student at Masterman High School. This summer for SPROUT, Isaiah will be working with Dr. Bourget in his lab, ‘Porous Materials for Capture, Detection and Destruction of Chemical Warfare Agents’. He will collect and analyze data, as well as analyze scientific literature and develop other professional skills.