Yanxi Gu

Mentor | Experimental Particle Physics

Yanxi Gu is a second year PhD student studying Experimental Particle Physics in Prof. Frank Wuerthwein's group. With great interest and enthusiasm towards physics, Yanxi is working on searching for new physics evidence beyond the Standard Model, with data taken from the Compact Muon Solenoid detector on the Large Hadron Collider. As an international student and among the very few women in STEM, she brings her own culture and greatly increases the diversity. She is very willing to share her experience on academic career and give out suggestions. Besides work, Yanxi also volunteered to care for children with autism and financed women in less developed areas to go to school

Ghita Guessous

Mentor | Physics

Ghita Guessous is a 5th year PhD. student in the Physics department. Her research focuses on understanding chitin degradation by marine bacteria, a process central to the global carbon and nitrogen cycles. She joined the cohort mentorship program because she enjoys working with people towards shared goals. She also believes it is important to pass on pieces of unspoken and untaught knowledge and advice to the younger generation. During her free time, she loves traveling (COVID permitting), reading, going to the beach and learning new things!

He Jiang

Mentor | Mathematics

He Jiang is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department. His research focuses on unsupervised learning, particularly on methodology related to clustering and mixture modeling. He also completed his B.S. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Economics at UCSD in 2017. He has served as a Teaching Assistant since 2015, and has taught 23 classes in various areas of Calculus, Probability, and Statistics. During his free time, he likes reading, running, watching movies, and playing chess.

Deborah Kim

Mentor | Chemistry - Biochemistry

Deborah is a 4th-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry here at UCSD. In the Grassian Group, her research is focused on developing micro-spectroscopic tools to probe complex environmental interfaces. Deborah is also a co-outreach coordinator for SWIGS - the Society for Women in Graduate Studies, where she plans and participates in outreach events to the local San Diego community in hopes to promote interest in STEM for underrepresented students. Outside of the lab, Deborah can be found covered in clay in the pottery studio, swimming, or looking for new treasures at the farmer's market.

Georges Leconte

Mentor | Chemistry - Biochemistry

Georges is a first year ACS Bridge fellow at UCSD in the Chemistry & Biochemistry department on the chemical biology track. He is a big fan of synthetic organic chemistry and the ways that it can be used to probe/understand biological systems. Outside of lab, he loves listening to avant-garde music, reading Russian literature, and playing video games.


Jesus Gomez

Mentee | Mathematics

Jesus is a first-year student studying Mathematics at UCSD. He is a first-generation college student and enjoys dancing, taking photos, and playing video games. Jesus is interested in the field of education. Jesus joined the DPS Cohort Program because he wanted to be surrounded by other students like himself and wanted guidance for his first year in college.

Hayley Halaby

Mentee | General Biology

 Hayley is a third-year General Biology major hoping to pursue a surgical career. During her first two years at UCSD, Hayley was heavily involved in campus life and leadership development programs including graduating from Revelle College’s Emerging Leaders Program, serving as Publicity Coordinator for Revelle Hall Association, and being a Weeks of Welcome Ambassador. Now, in her third year, Hayley is a Resident Assistant for Sixth College where she enjoys helping first-year students find a sense of community on campus. Hayley also enjoys partaking in research on limb development as a Student Lab Assistant for the Cooper Lab, where she has further developed her passion for evolutionary biology and the musculoskeletal system. Hayley joined the DPS Cohort to surround herself with like-minded individuals who share her passion for science. She is lucky to call several members of the Cohort her close friends.

Mike Lin

Mentee | Mathematics - Computer Science

Mike is a first-year student studying Mathematic-CS at UCSD. He is an international student from Taiwan and he enjoys learning and gaming. Mike is interested in the fields of Math, Physics, and CS, he is currently trying to narrow his interest. Mike joined the DPS Cohort Program because he wants to be more involved in different programs at UCSD. During his free time, Mike likes to sleep, cook, and listen to music.

Giovanni Mantuhac

Mentee | Mathematics

Giovanni is a first-year student studying Mathematics-Computer Science at UCSD. He is a first-generation college student and he enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, and watching a variety of shows. Giovanni is interested in the field of mathematics. Giovanni joined the DPS Cohort Program because he wanted to gain assistance in the subjects he's studying in, to broaden the opportunities available to him, and to further develop his future career goals.

Cindy Nguyen

Mentee | Biochemistry

Cindy is a first-year Biochemistry student at UCSD. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in Molecular Biology, working in academia and studying genetics. Cindy joined the DPS Cohort Program to connect with fellow Physical Science majors and to be the first to learn about new and exciting opportunities that the Student Success Center has to offer. In her free time, she likes to read, play chess, and is obsessed with any horror related media!

Ifunanya Okoroma

Mentee | Data Science

Ifunanya is a first-year student studying Data Science at UCSD. She loves to keep herself updated with current events in the world of politics and plans to pursue a social sciences subject domain within her major to explore that. She hopes to pursue a career path that allows her to intersect data science with political science and journalism. Ifunanya joined the DPS Cohort Program to build a network of peers in the realm of mathematics and to ease her college transition into STEM studies. During her free time, Ifunanya enjoys reading, watching anime, and working on computer science projects.

Selena Marie Palazuelos

Mentee | Biochemistry

Selena Marie Palazuelos is a first-year student studying biochemistry at UCSD. She is a first-generation college student and she enjoys going to the gym, cooking, and reading. Selena Marie is interested in the field of medicine, and pursuing a career as a Pediatrician/Dermatologist. Selena Marie joined the DPS Cohort Program because she wanted to be surrounded by students that have similar interests, be able to create study groups, and having a extra support system. During her free time, Selena Marie likes to listen to music, go on jogs, and talk to her family.

Esther Park

Mentee | Astrophysics

Esther is a first-year student studying Astrophysics at UCSD. She is a first-generation Asian American and she enjoys exploring UCSD’s large campus. Esther is interested in the field of aerospace and aeronautical engineering. Esther joined the DPS Cohort Program to connect with other students with the same interest, seek mentorship and advice, and find jobs/volunteer work in her desired field. In her free time, Esther likes gardening, rock climbing, and online shopping.


Natasha Popenoe

Mentee | Physics

Natasha is a first year student majoring in astrophysics at UCSD. She is from Maryland and enjoys playing tennis, playing piano, and doing astrophotography. She is interested in the astrobiology field and therefore hopes to minor in biology at UCSD as well. With the astrophysics major, she pursues to work on the search for extraterrestrial life in our universe and find potential planets that could harbor life. Natasha joined the DPS Cohort Program to create bonds with students with similar goals as her, meet other astrophysics majors (the few that exist), learn from the heads of DPS as well as fellow cohort students, and overall be surrounded by uplifting STEM people to help pursue her goals.

Haotian Qu

Mentor | Mathematics

Haotian Qu is a first year Ph.D. Student in the Mathematics Department at UCSD. His primary research interest is algebraic geometry, a branch in pure mathematics that generally focuses on the geometric properties of graphs of polynomials. He used to be a mentor leading undergraduate students to do math reading. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing digital arts and listening to classical music.

Blake Rawls

Mentee | Undeclared

Blake is an Undeclared Physical Sciences major heading towards applying for Aerospace Engineering. He's fascinated with the modern technology that is used to maximize efficiency in air travel. He joined the DPS Cohort Program because it was recommended by one of his professors in addition to seeking a community to be apart of. Outside of academics, Blake is interested in gaming, archery, skateboarding, fashion, cooking, airsofting, traveling, and fashion.

Yaran Yang

Mentee | Physics

Yaran is a first-year student at UC San Diego studying Physics. She joined the DPS Cohort Program because she wants some advice for college life and meet some friends. Since she just started her college life, Yaran is still exploring which field she is most interested in.