2019 Grad Scholars Mentors

Jonathan Aguirre
5th Year, Spanish & Portguese

Jonathan Aguirre is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and in the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University. He studies the intersections of nationalism and environmental violence in Ecuador. He is particularly interested in studying environmental racism and peripheral narratives of history to help diversify Latin American historiography. In addition, he is an Energy and Climate Scholar (PECS) at the Environmental Institute, where he’s worked with colleagues on projects concerning climate communication. 

“I am super excited to be a GSP mentor this year and enjoy conversations with my fellow graduate students. My academic career has truly been impacted by the generosity and kindness of mentors. I hope to provide similar support for incoming graduate students and help them better navigate graduate student life and the University.” 

Jarome Ali
2nd Year, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Jarome received a MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London and a BSc in Zoology from UCL (University College London). He joined the Stoddard Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology here at Princeton in 2017. Jarome is interested in understanding the origin of biological diversity and in finding ways to quantify this diversity. For his PhD, Jarome is currently exploring plumage colour evolution — especially in parrots — and developing new tools for objectively comparing colourful phenotypes. Overall, his hope is to gain insights into the diverse processes that make the natural world so colourful.

“Many new and exciting ventures are accompanied in equal measure by stress and uncertainty. Having someone to share their experience or listen to yours is so valuable. I had the good fortune of joining an incredibly welcoming department, where many faculty and senior graduate students help incoming students navigate the transition to grad school. Everyone deserves a good mentor and I hope I can help new students settle in to their new home as comfortably as I did. I think being a peer mentor will be a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and learn from them as well.”

Carlos Correa
2nd Year, Neuroscience
GSP '18

Carlos Correa (preferred pronouns: they/them) is a 2nd year PhD student in Neuroscience studying how humans and other animals learn about structure in their environment to facilitate decision making and planning. Carlos grew up in South Texas, got a BS in Computer Science from UT-Austin, and spent a few years in the San Francisco Bay Area as a software engineer and research assistant. Carlos is grateful for the care, presence, and thoughtfulness of all their mentors (past and current) and aims to embody & practice those qualities as a mentor.

Courtney DelPo
2nd Year, Chemistry
GSP '18

Courtney is a 2nd year graduate student in the Scholes Lab in the Chemistry Department. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Ursinus College where she analyzed pore-blocking events in carbon nanotubes under the advisement of Dr. Mark Ellison. Courtney's current research is centered on studying the spectroscopy of molecular systems in optical cavities. While not in lab, Courtney enjoys watching football and eating her way through all of the great restaurants in Princeton.

“At all stages of my academic life thus far, my mentors have helped me to achieve goals that I did not even know I could strive for. I am so grateful for those relationships, and so excited for the opportunity to serve as a mentor to new graduate students this year.”

Lindsay Griffiths
2nd Year, English
GSP '18

Lindsay Griffiths is a 2nd year doctoral student in the English Department at Princeton University. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Translation from Hunter College. Lindsay’s interests lie in African American and Afro-Latinx Literature of the 20th century, with a focus on black intellectual production and communication across the Black Diaspora. Finally, she is also a published translator, having rendered into English Burp: Apuntes Gastronómicos by Spanish author and journalist Mercedes Cebrián. Lindsay is interested in being a peer mentor because she is a firm believer in community and the importance of supporting others. She is also looking forward to welcoming new students to Princeton and learning how to be an effective mentor.

Gillian Kopp
2nd Year, Physics
GSP '18

Gillian is a 2nd year graduate student in the Physics Department, and her research is on experimental particle physics, focusing on using novel detector capabilities to search for new physics and detect long lived particles. Gillian is involved with the Women in Physics group, where they organize outreach events, ally workshops, and collaborate with the undergrad WiP and astrophysics groups. Outside of academics, Gillian loves to spend time baking and cooking, and being outdoors hiking or running.

“I am excited to join the GSP peer mentorship program this year, as building effective mentorship and mentee relationships is very valuable to me throughout graduate school. I am also looking forward to developing connections with students in various departments and sharing our graduate school experiences!”

Nancy Lu
4th Year, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Nancy Lu is a 4th year graduate student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She obtained her undergraduate degree from MIT, where she worked in Matthew Shoulders' lab studying protein folding homeostasis in live cells and in Martin Bazant's lab developing ways to deionize water by shock electrodialysis. Her current research focuses on understanding multi-phase flow through porous media. Nancy is from Florida. In her free time, you can find her either bartending at the Debasement Bar in the Graduate College, teaching group fitness classes at Dillon, or cooking and eating. Nancy's secret talent is folding origami while hula-hooping. She is interested in being a peer mentor because she is a first-generation student herself and has found her own mentors invaluable.

Jorge Moreno
2nd Year, Molecular Biology
MolBio Scholars '17

Jorge is a 2nd year graduate student in the Department of Molecular Biology.  He received a degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Iowa. Jorge is broadly interested in genome evolution and more specifically in how large-scale changes in a genome can facilitate the evolution of organisms with either unique phenotypes or those who live in harsh environments. During his time in the lab of Ricardo Mallarino, he will be focusing on both the genes and mechanisms that define the spatial patterning of the Petaurus breviceps (Sugar glider) patagium and working on comparative genomics of across several marsupial species.

“I am excited to mentor incoming students due in part to having incredible mentors myself who helped me acclimate to graduate school/Princeton and I think it is important to help facilitate success and happiness of other students in graduate school."

Rebekah Rashford
2nd Year, Neuroscience
GSP '18

Rebekah is a 2nd year graduate student in the Neuroscience department. She works in Catherine Peña's lab studying the effects that early life stress can have on epigenetics to influence susceptibility to stress later in life. Rebekah grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2018 with a major in biology and a minor in Creative Writing.

"I became interested in being a GSP mentor because I want to be a source of support and encouragement to first years through the exciting and challenging transition into grad school! Mentors are very valuable, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better as a group and individually."

Matheus Venturyne Xavier Ferreira
4th Year, Computer Science

Matheus is a 4th year Computer Science Ph.D. candidate in the Theory of Computer Science group at Princeton, and is fortunate to be advised by S. Matthew Weinberg. Matheus’ primary research interest is Algorithmic Game Theory - that is, algorithm design under strategic environments where users have incentives. His research also intersects with Computer Security, Cryptography, and Machine Learning by combining different techniques to solve game theoretical problems and vice-versa. Previously, Matheus completed undergraduate studies in Computer Engineering at the Federal University of Itajubá in Brazil and also spent a year as a visiting student at the University of California, San Diego.

“I believe cultivating a mentoring and support network is important for one to navigate through new territories and crucial for one to achieve their personal goals. I'm looking forward not only to be a resource for other peer graduate students but also to cultivate my mentoring skills and learn from others' experiences."

Haris Durrani
2nd Year, History of Science

Haris is a PhD candidate at the History Department’s Program in History of Science. He is concurrently, a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School. Before coming to  Princeton, Haris obtained an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a B.S. from Columbia Engineering, where he majored in Applied Physics and minored in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. Broadly, Haris is interested in how the history of science intersects with law, resources, and the so-called global south. He studies scientific and technological practices at the root of theoretical questions about property, sovereignty, and security. Haris also writes fiction that converses with his historical and legal work.

“I am excited to be a peer mentor, as I believe that mentors can serve as invaluable guides when navigating the paths of the classroom and of any profession, in or beyond academia. I feel fortunate to have learned from incredibly generous mentors, and they were, and remain, crucial for my personal and career development. My mentors inspire me to pass it forward as best I can.”