BOLD Scholars

To date, UConn BOLD has involved six cohorts of undergraduate students in leadership development activities and individualized projects aimed at advancing issues of social good. Learn about each cohort and their projects by expanding the panels below.

Cohort 6

Foluke Akinkunmi ’25 (Political Science & Africana Studies, CLAS)

Anabelle Bergstrom ’25 (Political Science & Philosophy, CLAS)

Kaitlynn Brito Torres ’25 (Nursing, NUR)

Isabella Helgeson ’25 (Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS)

Karen Lau ’25 (Economics & English, CLAS)

Adama Modi ’25 (Accounting, BUS)

Awa Modi ’25 (Management, BUS)

Claire Murphy ’25 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)

Lydia Nyarko ’25 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)

Krithika Santhanam ’25 (Health Policy and Racial Disparities, IMJR and Biological Sciences, CLAS)

Mariam Vargas ’25 (Political Science & Global Studies, CLAS)

Cohort 5

Ariana Bahavar ’24 (Political Science, CLAS)
UConn Iranian Graduate Students: A Personal Narrative
Mentor: Aida Ghiaei, School of Engineering

Daniela Bedoya ’24 (Art, SFA)
Women in Sports Behind the Lens
Mentor: David Lopez, David Lopez Photography

Jola Bufi ’24 (Political Science & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, CLAS)
Domestic Abuse in Albania: Causes and Impacts - Podcast and YouTube Channel
Mentor: Dr. Kristin Kelly, Political Science

Samantha Gove ’24 (Sociology & Human Rights, CLAS)
Examining Anti-Indigenous Iconography in "New England"
Mentor: Dr. Ryan Talbert, Sociology

Katherine Jimenez ’24 (English & Journalism, CLAS)
The Maternal Ghost: Studying the Mother in Gioconda Belli's "The Inhabited Woman"
Mentor: Dr. Gina Barreca, English

Natalie Kach ’24 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)
DIY: Support Threatened Pollinator Species with Home Gardening Choices
Mentor: Dr. Emily Reinhardt, Pathobiology and Veterinary Sciences

Juwon Kang ’24 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)
Sense of Belonging and Related Experience of Different Generations of Korean Americans in CT
Mentor: Dr. Jason Oliver Chang, History & Asian American Studies

Sofya Levitina ’24 (Physics & Statistics, CLAS)
Exploration of the Holistic Female Experience in the Modern World
Mentor: Dr. Brenda Brueggemann, English, American Studies, & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Delia Lin ’24 (Molecular and Cell Biology & Statistics, CLAS)
STEAM Integration in K-5 Education
Mentor: Dr. Emily Schwab, Enrichment Programs

Arianna Melendez Cintron ’24 (Allied Health Sciences, CAHNR)
Ari's Food Diaries: A Mediterranean-Style Cookbook for College Students
Mentor: Dr. Jillian Wanik, Allied Health Sciences

Kimberly Rosado ’24 (Nursing, NUR)
Guatemalan Government Influence on Women's Sexual/Reproductive Rights
Mentor: Dr. Barbara O'Neill, Nursing

Marianella Salinas ’24 (Computer Science, ENG)
Investigating Factors Affecting Retention Rates for Underrepresented Minority Students in UConn's School of Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Stephany Santos, School of Engineering

Cohort 4

Gianella Anyosa ’23 (Psychological Sciences, CLAS)
Mentor: Fany Hannon

Brianna Chance ’23 (General Program in Music, SFA)
Housing (In)Justice
Mentor: Martine Granby

Alyssa Daniels ’23 (Physiology & Neurobiology, CLAS)
Investigations into the relationship between Alexithymia and ED in individuals with ASD symptomatology
Mentor: Amy Gorin

Lily Forand ’23 (Political Science, CLAS)
Exploring Political Polarization
Mentor: Jeffrey Dudas

Rose Karvandi ’23 (Physiology & Neurobiology, CLAS)
Being LGBTQ+ In Iran: No Way Out
Mentor: Alyssa Clark

Maria Kelley ’23 (Individualized: Law, Social Justice, and the Family, CLAS)
Amplifying the Voices of Foster Youth
Mentor: Preston Britner

Maggie Singman ’23 (Environmental Sciences, CLAS)
Exploring How Visual Art Can Help Heal Environmental Wounds
Mentor: Phoebe Godfrey

Irene Soteriou ’23 (Statistics & Cognitive Science, CLAS)
Exploring Resilience Among Refugees
Mentor: Liza Boritz

Cohort 3

Cristal Arguello ’22 (Urban and Community Studies, CLAS)
Last Line of Defense: The Fight Against an Anti-Immigrant Society
Mentor: Dr. Stacy Maddern, Urban and Community Studies

Serena Beri ’22 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)
Addressing the Gap of Women in Stem Professions
Mentor: Dr. Norah Berrah; Physics

Darlene Burckson ’22 (Biological Sciences, CLAS)
Steps Taken by Food Pantries To Ensure Accessibility To Healthy Food Options
Mentor: Dr. Marlene Schwartz; Rudd Center

Kenniece Coker ’22 (Chinese, CLAS)
Young Mothers Need Support, Not Stigma
Mentor: Nichole Holiday; APRN

Hope Dymond ’22 (Environmental Engineering, ENG)
Faces of Offshore Wind
Mentor: Oksan Bayulgen; Political Science

Kate Gavilanes ’22 (Physiology and Neurobiology & Philosophy, CLAS)
Investigating the Benefits And Culture Behind Non-Conventional Medicine
Mentor: Olivia Marcus; Anthropology

Phoebe Mrozinski ’22 (Environmental Sciences, CAHNR)
Promoting Safe Active Transportation
Mentor: Lynn Stoddard; Executive Director, Sustainable CT and Institute for Sustainable Energy at ECSU

Maura Sanchi ’22 (Environmental Sciences, CAHNR)
The Female Future of Farming
Mentor: Julia Cartabiano; Department of Dining Services

Aditi Sirsikar ’22 (Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS)
Finding Your Way: Narratives of Career (Re)Planning
Mentor: Dr. Byoung-il Bae; Department of Neuroscience at UConn Health

Eva Solano ’22 (Art History, SFA)
An Exploration of Diversity in Art Museums
Mentor: Dr. Alexis Boylan; Art History & Africana Studies

Cohort 2

The Cohort 2 Scholars' reflections on their leadership projects can be viewed here.

Alani Arias ’21 (Psychological Sciences, CLAS)
Education and Advocacy in Public Health
Mentor: Fumilayo Showers, Sociology

Laura Bedoya ’21 (Political Science & Latino and Latin American Studies, CLAS)
Gender, Equity, and Political Participation in Colombia
Mentor: Fiona Vernal, History

Wesia Malik ’21 (Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS)
Women Physicians in Pakistan: A Documentary
Mentor: Catherine Masud, Human Rights Institute

Natalie Roach ’21 (Environmental Sciences & Human Rights, CLAS)
Urban Farming & Food Sovereignty
Mentor: Kathy Rocha, Werth Institute

Simran Sehgal ’21 (Biomedical Engineering, ENG)
An Evaluation of the Accessibility of Durable Medical Equipment
Mentor: César Abadía-Barrero, Anthropology & Human Rights

Noor Taweh ’21 (Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS)
Somewhere in the Middle: Investigating the Experience of First-generation Immigrants
Mentor: Gerardo Blanco, Educational Leadership

Mara Tu ’21 (Environmental Sciences & Urban and Community Studies, CLAS)
Combating Climate Anxiety: Empowering Action over Anxiety
Mentor: Eleanor Shoreman Ouimet, Anthropology

Cohort 1

Thalia Fuentes ’20 (Political Science, CLAS; Management, BUS)
A Look at Bridgeport Students’ Pursuit of Higher Education
Mentor: Milagros Castillo-Montoya, Higher Education and Student Affairs

Abigail Lafontan ’20 (Political Science, CLAS)
An Exploratory Study of Food Culture: Unveiling the Benefits of the French Obsession
Mentor: Phoebe Godfrey, Sociology

Xinyu Lin ’20 (Civil Engineering, ENG)
Diversifying Environmentalism: Hearing from Marginalized Voices within the Movement
Mentor: Zoi Dokou, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Tanya Miller ’20 (Physiology and Neurobiology, CLAS)
#ILookLikeADoctor: A Film on Female Physicians
Mentor: Shannon May, Physiology and Neurobiology

Katharine Morris ’20 (Cognitive Science & Anthropology, CLAS)
Engaging Intersectional Activism
Mentor: Dimitris Xygalatas, Anthropology

Himaja Nagireddy ’20 (Physiology and Neurobiology, Molecular and Cell Biology & Sociology, CLAS)
Increasing the Accessibility of Information on Complementary Medicine (CM) Cancer Therapy Options for Advanced Cancer Patients
Mentor: Angela Bellas, Social Work

Sofia Nieto ’20 (Chemistry, CLAS)
Juntas Somos Más
Mentor: Hon. Jacqueline Rodríguez Hernández

Valeria Popolizio Torres ’20 (Political Science & Human Rights, CLAS)
Taking the First Step: A Needs Assessment of Latinx High School Students Applying to College
Mentor: Fany Hannon, Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center

Kathleen Renna ’20 (Diagnostic Genetic Sciences, CAHNR)
LEDGE: An Initiative to Improve Visibility of Women in STEM
Mentor: Judy Brown, Allied Health Sciences

For more information about the Cohort 1 BOLD Scholars, please read their Scholar Profiles.

Five smiling BOLD Cohort 1 Scholars pose in front of a brick wall painted with vertical stripes in vibrant colors.