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About the Authors

Volume 14 | March 2018

Brittany Avonts  

Brittany Avonts ’17 is a Neuroscience major. Her decision to become a Neuroscience major stemmed from a personal experience of watching her grandfather struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Since then she has had a desire to know more about neurological diseases and understand more about them. Neuroscience has allowed her to gain a deeper under­standing at the molecular level behind these diseases and has reinforced her desire to pursue a career as a physician. After graduation, she in­tends to take a gap year to obtain more clinical experience and then plans to apply to medical school and start her journey in becoming a doctor.  

Ariane Balaram  

Ariane Balaram ’20 is a Biology and Neuroscience major from Ahmed­abad, India. She is a member of Synapse, and when she isn’t doing anything science-related, she enjoys running on the college’s cross-coun­try team.  

Danielle Berninzoni  

Danielle Berninzoni ’20 is a Neuroscience major, math minor from Broomfield, Colorado. She is the Publications Chair, on the exec board of Nu Rho Psi, and a Vice President of Social Standards for Delta Gamma. She plans on getting a medical degree and loves being super involved on campus.  

Jeremy Berg  

Jeremy Berg ’17 is a Neuroscience major. His decision to become a Neu­roscience major stemmed from his interest in understanding the biological and psychological bases of human behavior and brain disease. Growing up, he has been close with people who have suffered from brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. He has always wanted to under­stand how the brain works under these conditions, and explore treatment options for patients with neurological diseases. Neuroscience is a rapidly growing field, and he is learning something new every day. His plan for the future is to attend medical/D.O. school or graduate school to pursue a career in research.  

Alexander Blumfelt  

Alex Blumfelt ’17 is a Neuroscience major. He has always been interested in human behavior, and the decision to study neuroscience stems from the fact that the brain is the source of human behavior. By learning how the brain works we not only have the potential to understand the sources of behavior, but of disease as well. With this knowledge we can combat the devastating neurological and neurodegenerative diseases that persist today like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s. Using the knowledge and experience from this major he plans on attending gradu­ate school for programs in Clinical or Behavioral Neuroscience.  

Trevor Buhr  

Trevor Buhr ’18 is a Neuroscience major. Before coming to Lake Forest College, he was always interested in human behavior, neuroscience, and psychology. Throughout his time in the Neuroscience program at Lake Forest College his enthusiasm and passion for the subject has continued to grow. He has learned to approach problems in creative ways, commu­nicate my ideas and findings with others, and develop greater goals for myself. The courses he has taken and the people he has worked with at Lake Forest College have introduced me to a new way to look at science and research. He looks forward to continuing in neuroscience research and inspiring others to appreciate and understand the beauty in all fields of science.  

Sandra Campos  

Sandra Campos ’20 is from Chicago, IL and is a Neuroscience major, with a Chemistry/Psychology Minor. She is involved in Alpha Phi Omega, Gamma Phi Omega and women’s rugby. She has done research at Rosalind Franklin, on nucleolin and osteoprotegerin in KSHV and breast cancer, and recently presented on her research in the Robert B. Glass­man Symposium. She plans to obtain a medical degree in the future.  

Samuel Curry  

Samuel Curry ’19 is a native of Chicago, Illinois pursuing a Neuroscience major with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. He is on the peer-re­view board for Eukaryon, the executive board for Active Minds, and is a member of the Lake Forest College Concert Choir. Sam plans to attend medical school after college.  

Blakely Drake  

Blakely Drake ’21 is a first-year pre-med student from Charleston, IL. Currently majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience, she plans to go to medical school and pursue a career as an anesthesiologist. She is a member of Nu Rho Psi and Synapse. Her favorite activities include reading and spending time with friends.  

Allison Fair  

Allison Fair ’21 is currently an undecided major, but she is most likely going to major in Biology. Her hometown is Skokie, IL and she is really interested in going into occupational therapy in the future.  

Philip Freund  

Philip Freund ’19 from Libertyville, Illinois is a biology Major and a Neuro­science and Sociology/Anthropology double minor. Freund loves to learn about his major and both minors because “the fundamental concepts I take from these classes actually underpin the very processes (social, anthropological, and biological) underlying how we live and function as humans. In a sense, I am trying to learn about and advance the science I live with each and every day.” He enjoys research and plans on going to graduate school to study biology. In preparation for his future in graduate school, Freund frequently finds himself writing a variety of articles for his classes, from primary articles to creative writing. He works with the Eukaryon review board and will be joining the Biology SAAC during the 2018-2019 academic year.  

Yoan Ganev  

Yoan Ganev ’19 is a Neuroscience and Chemistry double-major with an interest in going to medical school. He lives in Lake Zurich, IL, but was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. He decided to major in neuroscience after taking the Medical Mysteries of the Mind class and realizing that the human brain is one of the ultimate frontiers in science. He has always enjoyed Chemistry but didn’t realize how much until he took Organic Chemistry here at LFC. In his spare time, he enjoy playing the piano and baking sweets.  

Samuel Gascoigne  

Sam Gascoigne ’20 from Deerfield, Illinois is a Neuroscience and Chem­istry double major and a music minor. His interests include neurodegener­ative diseases, genetic analysis, and jazz. Sam plans to attend graduate school after college.  

Lauren Giurini  

Lauren Giurini ’20 is an undecided major but plans to study Mathematics, Chemistry, or Neuroscience. She runs for the Lake Forest College cross country team and is an active member in the band.  

Logan Graham  

Logan Graham ’17 majored in Neuroscience. She was Co-President of Nu Rho Psi, Copy-Edit Chair of Eukaryon, served as Co-President of Synapse, and Service Chair for Nu Rho Psi. She was also a member of Omnicron Delta Kappa. She enjoyed working as a student ambassador for the Admissions Office and has served as a forester guide for New Student Orientation.  

Hannah Gurholt  

Hannah Gurholt ’21 is from Beloit, WI. She is double majoring in Biology and Sociology & Anthropology. On campus, she is involved in the Student Ambassador Program, United Black Association, and the Student Affili­ates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS). Hannah aspires to go into the medical field and work for a nonprofit organization.

Nicole Heung  

Nicole Heung ’18 is a Psychology major with minors in Neuroscience and Studio Art. She is from Kalamazoo, MI. After her early graduation in December of 2017, she got a job and is currently working at Mooseheart.  

Scott A. Johnston  

Scott A. Johnston ’17 is a recent Lake Forest College graduate from Wheaton, IL. Graduating with a B.A. in Neuroscience, Scott was also an active member and concert master of the Lake Forest College chamber orchestra, a peer mentor and tutor, and a previously published author in Eukaryon. While a future focused on the sciences is forthcoming, he is currently working as a private music instructor and continuing violin performance and studies with Gerardo Ribeiro of Northwestern University. He is currently applying to medical schools to pursue a Doctor of Osteo­pathic Medicine (D.O.) with a focus on pediatric neurology.  

Kristina Karapetyan  

Kristina Karapetyan ’17 is a double major in Biology and Psychology and minor in Chemistry. She conducted her senior thesis research on the effects of caffeinated energy drinks on the inhibition of prepotent respons­es. Currently, she is attending UIC College of Pharmacy  

Ibtihaj Khan  

Ibtihaj Khan ’20 is majoring in Chemistry and is interested in Cultural Anthropology. She is the Vice-President of Muslim Students Association and Treasurer of Modern Language Club-PSI. She served as a First Con­nection mentor this past fall. Ibtihaj plans on pursuing a medical degree and working in an NGO engaged in public health outreach. Her interests include obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, and public health.  

Schuyler Kogan  

Schuyler Kogan ’18 is a senior from Woodbury Connecticut, double majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. He intends to pursue a career in research, and has participated in research at Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University.  

Jacob Levin  

Jacob Levin ’20 is sophomore from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Music. He plans on pursuing a PhD in Organic Chemistry after graduation. He is the concertmaster of the Lake Forest College Chamber Orchestra and was a Richter Scholar in the summer of 2017.  

Emma Levine  

Emma Levine ’18 is a Neuroscience and French double-major and a history minor. She is from Lexington, MA. She chose to pursue the neuroscience major because she thought it would help fit her pre-med requirements, but also provided her with ability to take a large variety of classes that sparked her interest  

Courtney Levitt  

Courtney Levitt ’21 is a Neuroscience major and Psychology minor. She is from Peoria, IL. She chose to major in Neuroscience because the brain is cool and she wanted to know more about it. She is interested in read­ing, hiking, horseback riding, gaming, and her dog Beau. Fun fact: she once stayed up for 72 hours because she didn’t feel tired!  

Margaret Lynch  

Margaret Lynch ’18 is from Park Ridge, IL. She is an English major with a minor in Print and Digital Publishing. While she is undecided as to what she wants to pursue after graduation she is interested in the creative communication field or teaching. She is a member of Eukyron, Dance Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Alpha Phi Omega. As well as the President of To Write Love On Her Arms, treasurer of Garrick Players, and a Student Ambassador. She hopes to one day be an author.

Krista Meuli  

Krista Meuli ’18 from Switzerland is a Neuroscience major and Economics minor. She is Vice President of Synapse, a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, and has worked in Dr. Wentworth’s psychophysiology lab since her fresh­man year. Through her involvement in the foreign language department and volunteering, she has also pursued her interests in German and Spanish language and culture. Krista plans to attend medical school after college.  

Dana Midani  

Dana Midani ’21 is from Naperville, IL. She is a Neuroscience major and hopes to also minor in Psychology. She is also a member of the women’s cross country team and the women’s track team. She got into Neurosci­ence because she is interested in the brain and how it functions and is excited to see where her interests will take her.  

Eliska Mrackova  

Eliska Mrackova ’19 is from Prague, Czech Republic and she is pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Art History. On campus she is a member of Synapse, Nu Rho Psi, NRHH, Groner Foundation and SAACS for Neuroscience. After her Freshmen year she participated in the Richter Scholar Program and last summer she worked in Dr. Amiel Rosenkranz’s lab at Rosalind Franklin University, where she hopes to conduct my se­nior thesis on the effects of stress induced by social isolation in rats. Her interests also include volunteering, learning new languages and painting.  

Chisomo Mwale  

Chisomo Mwale ’19 is an International student from Zambia majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. She serves on the Executive Boards for Nu Rho Psi and UMOJA, and is the future Editor-in-Chief of Eukaryon. She enjoys working as a Teacher’s Assistant for General Chemistry Labs, as well as working with Science and Healthcare advisor at the Career Advancement Center.  

Aaron O’Neill  

Aaron O’Neill ’21 is a Freshman at the college. He came to school late because he has been playing junior hockey in British Columbia, Canada for the last two years. He plans on majoring in Politics and Economics. He has an interest in going to law school after Lake Forest and studying corporate law. He is from Franklin, TN and he plays on the men’s hockey team.  

Brett Palmero  

Brett Palmero ’20 Neuroscience major from Cary, Illinois. He also has Chemistry and Math minors alongside his Neuro major. He is a lab peer teacher and peer mentor, part of Nu Rho Psi, Kirk Lab student, and the Review Board Chair for this edition of Eukaryon.  

Agnes Pastwa  

Agnieszka Pastwa ’18 is a sophomore and is majoring in Neuroscience major. She is a member of Eukaryon. She likes to volunteer at the Anti­Cruelty Society. She is interested in many things but is very passionate about Neuroscience and she plans on attending graduate school for Neuroscience.  

Larissa Pentland  

Larissa Pentland ’21 is a junior from Harvard, IL. She is a pre-law student majoring in Philosophy. She plays rugby and is a member of the Philos­ophy Club on campus. Her interests include: reading, writing, debate, weight lifting, and outdoor activities. After graduation, she plans on travel­ing and attending law school.  

Samuel Plutchak  

Samuel Plutchak ’18 is majoring in Biology and minoring in Business. He is from Janesville, WI. He chose to major in Biology because it was something he was interested in ever since he was a child. During his time here, he wanted to explore the different fields of biology. Samuel found his passion training and intends to pursue a masters in kinesiology at UW-Milwaukee. He was involved in football, and is currently involved in Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Dasha Polyarskaya  

Dasha Polyarskaya 18’ is a Biology major and Chemistry minor. Her hometown is Tiraspol Moldova (Europe) but she has lived in Vernon Hills for 6 years now. At the moment she is finishing up her Bachelor’s degree and at the same time pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Rosalind Franklin University College of Pharmacy.  

Robin Redmond  

Robin Redmond ’18 is a senior from the southside of Chicago, IL. She is a Neuroscience major and Psychology minor. She is Chair of Publica­tions for Eukaryon and Director of Programming of LFC the neuroscience outreach club, Synapse. Robin currently works for the Department of Biology, interns at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences, and does independent research with praying mantises. For the future, she hopes to obtain her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience.  

Fatemeh Riahi  

Fatemeh Riahi ’20 is from Shahr-e Kord, Iran. She is a pre-med student majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Fatemeh is the co-founder to the Transfer Student Organization. She is a member of Synapse, Phi Theta Kappa and Future Health Professionals. She is also fluent in four languages. Fatemeh plans on pursuing a medical degree and her inter­ests include emergency medicine and obstetrics.  

Anna Sandler  

Anna Sandler ’20 is interested in Neuroscience, Chemistry and Spanish. She is in Synapse and has helped raising funds for Alzheimer’s disease and K6 outreach. She is also a member of Eukaryon. With her interests in Biology, Neuroscience, and Chemistry, she plans to pursue a career in Pharmacology.  

Molly Schul  

Molly Schul ’21 is a freshman from Delaware, Ohio. She plans to double major in Neuroscience and Psychology. She chose these majors because of her fascination with the brain and human behavior.  

Sana Shariff  

Inspired by her mother, Sana Shariff ’18 hopes to become a physician at a safety net hospital. She is a Biology major and Spanish minor on the pre-med track. Her interest include traveling and learning about other cultures and sharing her own. She is the Vice President of LFCs Modern languages club PSI Vice President of LFCs South Asian Student Associ­ation.  

Danielle Shaw  

Danielle Shaw ’17 from Carol Stream, Illinois is a Psychology major and a Biology minor. She was involved with Beta Beta Beta and Synapse. She worked as an assistant for the events coordinator at the Admissions Office. She plans on attending graduate school for Neuropsychology.  

Joshua Spreng  

Joshua Dan Spreng ’17 from Bern, Switzerland is a Physics and Mathe­matics major. He was the web manager of Eukaryon, treasurer and web manager of the LFC Photography Club and a member of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) at LFC. After college, Joshua plans pursue a career in Biomedical Engineering.  

Sarah Joy Stauber  

Sarah Stauber ’21 from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois is a Computer Science and Economics double-major, and Digital Media Design minor. She is a member of the publications board of Eukaryon, as well as Aikido, LEAP, and Computer Science Club. She is interested in photography, design and artificial intelligence.  

Emily Staufer  

Emily Staufer ’19 from Broadview Heights, Ohio is a Biology major and Environmental Studies minor. She’s a Writing Center tutor, member of the Cross Country/Track team, and a member of Eukaryon’s review board. Her passion in ecology stems from her love of nature, fueled by her internship with the Wildlife Discovery Center, and she plans to continue volunteering there this summer, as well as working alongside Prof. Menke doing research on ant ecology.  

Hannah Stinson  

Hannah Stinson ’20 is a sophomore double major in Biology and French with a minor in Chemistry, who plans to pursue medical school after graduation to become a physician. She is currently apart of the Beta Beta Beta Biological honor society at Lake Forest and competes on the Swim and Dive team. She enjoys playing piano, being outdoors, and traveling,  

Madison Strejc  

Madison Strejc ’21 is a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology. She is from Boulder, Colorado. She chose to major in these fields be­cause she finds the brain and the behaviors it impacts really interesting. A fun fact about Madison is that she is a really good cook and enjoys snowboarding.  

Danielle Sychowski  

Danielle Sychowski ’19 from Prospect Heights, Illinois is a Neuroscience and Psychology double-major with a minor in English writing. She has been co-president of Synapse, president of Life Goes On, and was a member of the varsity softball team at Lake Forest College. She will be conducting her senior thesis research on the long term effects of mild traumatic brain injury in Dr. Daniel Peterson’s lab at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. She plans to continue with research and attend medical school in the near future.  

Sara Tallen  

Sara Tallen ’20 from Chicago, Illinois is a second-year student and is currently following the pre- health track at Lake Forest College. She is in­terested in learning about Chemistry, Biology, and Forensic Science. Sara is currently planning on attending medical school after college.  

Rosemary Thomas  

Rosemary Thomas ’18 is a pre-med student with a Neuroscience and Bi­ology double major and a Chemistry minor. She is involved with Eukaryon and Synapse. During the summer of 2015, she conducted research in Dr. Shubhik DebBurman’s lab at Lake Forest College studying the protein α-synuclein. Rosemary intends to pursue her interests in medicine.  

Mohini Verma  

Mohini Verma ’18 is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemis­try. She is from Mundelein, IL. She is part of Eukaryon as the Director of Business and Records and Synapse as the Director of Communications. She has completed a research internship at Rosalind Franklin University and, more recently, interned at Lake Forest Acute Care. Mohini Verma intends to pursue a career in dentistry.  

Tubanji Walubita  

Tubanji Walubita ’19 is from Lusaka, Zambia and is pursuing a double major in Biology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies with a minor in Chemistry. She is interested in infectious disease research that involves both the medical microbiology of the disease and the social factors that contribute to the disease. She plans to attend graduate school where she can focus on HIV/AIDS research.  

Melissa Ward  

Melissa Ward ’18 is a pre-med Biology major from Wonder Lake IL. She loves Archaeology and has participated in several field schools in the United States, Belize, and Ireland; and before returning to school she used to work on cargo, military, and cruise ships in the engine department and as a consequence she is well traveled.


Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College.

Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.