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Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend

Saturday, January 27, 2024

First and second-year MRADS students have the opportunity to interact and ask questions in small group settings to get to know MRADS alumni. Each year current students rave about how much they have learned from the alumni and their positive experiences.



10:00 - 10:30 am  ~  Breakfast

10:30 - 11:15 am  ~  Dr. Luciana Nemtanu, Keynote Speaker

11:20 - 12:30 pm  ~  Alumni Panel Webinar

During the webinar, the Director will ask the alumni panelists a series of questions about their MRADS experiences and life after the University of Michigan.

12:30 - 2:00 pm  ~  Lunch Break

 2:00 - 3:00 pm  ~  Breakout Sessions

Each alumni panelist will have their own Zoom room, providing the opportunity to interact with up to 20 current MRADS students. MRADS students -- look for more information about signing up!


*All events will be held in the Great Lakes Hall of Palmer Commons located at 100 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor


Alumni Panelists

Dr. Luciana Nemtanu

Originally from Romania, Dr. Luciana Nemtanu came to the University of Michigan as a first-generation student and first-generation immigrant originally interested in pursuing an education in pre-pharmacy. Exploring through various opportunities she discovered her deep passion for History and later Anthropology. She now holds three degrees from U-M: a B.A. with high honors in History, a Museum Studies graduate certificate, and a joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and History. She has conducted research on the history of racial formation and discrimination in Romania, how communities cope with economic and political system collapse, and how individuals make sense of their identity and belonging in relation to labor/work. She has a deep passion for the role of mentorship in advancing one's education and career and is a strong advocate for equity and justice. Since 2012 she's worked with Rackham Graduate School, MLibrary, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and the LSA Opportunity Hub in closing the gap of opportunity for underserved and underrepresented student communities.

Maximillian Garcia '20

Maximillian Garcia is a Class of 2020, Bachelors of Business Administration, and SMTD graduate hailing from the small town of Rancho Cucamonga, California. During his time at the University, Maximillian involved himself extensively in different organizations ranging from the Michigan Research Community (MRADS), Preparation Initiative, and the University of Michigan Fencing Team. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, he transitioned to New York as a Private Equity Analyst - and eventually moved back to the Midwest as a Hedge Fund Analyst for the State of Wisconsin. Advice he lived and continues to live by is, “venture into the unknown, because it will become known" -- that’s helped throughout his college tenure and thereafter.

Yoani Herrera '18

Yoani Herrara is a Neuroscience Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan's Medical School. She received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and is now studying synaptic and network mechanisms used by neural circuits in the auditory system for encoding sound and speech for her graduate studies. Yoani also helps lead the student organization Science Education and Enrichment for Kids (SEEK), which teaches science curriculum to Ypsilanti school elementary students. She believes science outreach is one of the most important things one can do to help students from underrepresented backgrounds see themselves in science careers.

Madison Wahlsten '21

Madison Wahlsten is a 1st year Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests lie in modeling cancer dynamics and cell state transitions via systems biology and data science. Prior to starting at UPenn this fall, she was a CRTA Postbaccalaureate Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD for just over 2 years under the mentorship of Dr. Grégoire Altan-Bonnet where she developed a data-driven computational model of T cell activation with a manuscript in preparation. Madison graduated from the University of Michigan in 2021 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. While at the University of Michigan, she was a member of MRADS in 2017-2018 and a Peer Advisor in 2018-2019. As a first-year, she worked in a microbiology lab before joining a tissue engineering lab in her later years. She also participated in a summer REU at UCLA, where she was first exposed to computational biomedical research. Outside of research, Madison was a peer advisor for the Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC), an instructional aide for BME 241, and involved with the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) including as President from 2019-2020.

Leanne Olona '21

Leanne is originally from New Mexico and grew up in Oklahoma before studying at Michigan. She graduated in 2021 with a double major in International Studies and Asian Studies. Her academic and research interests were focused on social justice, history, and politics in relation to higher education. After graduating, Leanne moved to Pennsylvania to serve with the College Advising Corps for a year. Now she lives in Albuquerque, NM and works as a Study Abroad Advisor at The University of New Mexico. As an undergraduate, Leanne was involved in Conversation Circles, the Michigan Journal for Asian Studies, Society of Asian Studies Students, and the Inclusive Campus Corps. She was a docent at the Museum of Natural History and interned with the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. While in MRADS, Leanne was a peer mentor and undergraduate program assistant.

Franco Szeto

Franco Szeto is a pharmacist and researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. He completed his undergraduate training in Biomolecular Science and went on to receive his PharmD from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. He also has an interest in technology after taking several computer science courses during his pre-pharmacy studies. He now works in Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics where he is able to utilize both his programming skills and pharmacy knowledge.

Crystal Robertson

Crystal Robertson is a Political Science Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Masters of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research examines the role of social identities and their intersections in public opinion of social movements. She has collaborated with Howard University, the Union of Teachers Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Lakers for various community initiatives.
Within MRADS Crystal worked as a student recruiter, peer advisor, resident advisor, and a member of the MRADS admissions committee.

Dr. Barrett Anderson

Barrett Anderson is a practicing urological surgeon at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, MI, and a clinical assistant professor at Michigan State University. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with dual majors in biology and Japanese language. He went on to medical school at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in urological surgery at Detroit Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in endourology and minimally invasive surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Sujay Shetty

Sujay, a native of Central New Jersey, joined MRADS (then known as MRC, the Michigan Research Community) as a first-year in 2015. He returned as a Peer Advisor, and then as a Resident Advisor. He made some of his best friends and most profound relationships during his time in the community. At Michigan, he majored in Informatics with a Concentration in Life Science Informatics (a major that used to be housed in the Statistics Department, but no longer exists). He was also very involved in student government (maybe a bit too involved). After Michigan, he moved to Chicago to work in Grainger's Engineering Development Program (tech rotational program), and then eventually moved to Crowe LLP, where he currently works as a Machine Learning Engineer. He continues to be passionate about responsible innovation, advancing justice, and data and evidence-driven policymaking + decision-making.