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Meet Our Recruitment Team

Each year, MRADS selects a group of students to engage with prospective students. Read their bios below to learn more about them. If you are interested in speaking with a specific student, email to get connected with them!

**Update** We are no longer holding tours please check out our instagram tour.


Ari Garner

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Majors: Microbiology


Kyle Heard

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Major: Biochemistry


More about Ari

Research Project: I work in the department of Microbiology and Immunology through Michigan Medicine and am currently a member of the Wobus Lab, a virology lab with a focus on Astrovirus and Norovirus. I work with Murine Norovirus (MNV), which can cause a form of viral gastroenteritis, and use mice to model the virus' impact on people.

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory is the STEPS event during Welcome Week. This was a day where MRADS students were able to make initial bonds through problem solving and physical activity. This is my fondest memory because it was when I met my current friend group. This day’s activities initiated relationships that I continue to foster to this day.Why did you join MRADS: I decided to join MRADS because I wanted a community that I could be a part of that would help me to accomplish my social and academic goals for my freshman year. MRADS is a combination of my goals because I was not only able to do research during my first year, but also given a community connected by our collective drive to research and discover.

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because I wanted a community that I could be a part of that would help me to accomplish my social and academic goals for my freshman year. MRADS is a combination of my goals because I was not only able to do research during my first year, but also given a community connected by our collective drive to research and discover.

Advice to Incoming Students: A piece of advice that I would give to incoming freshmen is to take advantage of the resources that are afforded to you as a student at the University of Michigan.

Extracurriculars: Friends for St. Jude (Membership Engagement Chair), Genes in Diseases and Symptoms (GIDAS), SuccessConnects

More about Kyle

Research Project: My research project studies adrenal cancer by furthering our understanding of adrenal cellular hyperplasia.

Favorite Memory: While there were numerous irreplaceable memories made during the first week, my favorite MRADS memory would be the night my hallmates and I visited Frita Batidos together.

Why did you join MRADS? I joined MRADS because I was ecstatic for an opportunity to engage in research as early as I could. I aspired to become a researcher, and this program was the perfect opportunity to test the waters. Also, the MRADS community is bustling with motivated scholars/friends and resources destined to sprout growth, which is exactly what I sought and thankfully found.

Advice to Incoming Students: Honestly, sometimes I find it helpful to think of my college years as a book. And, you are writing a new page each day. What do you want to be written and excluded from your book? What could you do today that your future self will be proud of? Framing my time like this helped me make better decisions when scheduling, and build meaningful friendships with people that I will cherish in the future.

Extracurriculars: American Chemical Society, Volleyball

Ronald Jamieson
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Sound Engineering

Sophia Putman

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Major: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity

More about Ronald

Research Project: Nubia: Listening Otherwise. My research project focuses on telling the stories of people from Northern Africa, specifically Sudan. Dr. Amal Hassan Fadlalla leads the project placing the role of Nubia in Sudanese revolutionary activism via podcast and oral interviews. I help transcribe and recite podcast material while polishing the audio quality of the final product. Interviews with current Sudanese activists and leaders gives an insight into the current political and social climate of Sudan and the stories that must be shared.

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADs memory was painting “the rock”. A large group of my MRADS cohort came together to paint the rock on fraternity row. Every other week the rock is painted by some group of students who wish to share their enthusiasm and pride in the community they are a part of. MRADS showed up and we made it our mission to paint the entire rock as a symbol of our community.

Why did you join MRADS? I joined MRADS because I wanted to find a group of people who could support me socially as well as push me forward with research and academics outside of the traditional classroom setting. Learning communities are a great way to find a smaller community within the larger University. Coming from a large city, you may think you have seen everything. This is not the case. MRADS will expose you to people who you would never imagine meeting and the diversity amongst the MRADS cohort is so beneficial to understanding the experiences of others.

Advice to Incoming Students: When you get accepted into a University, find a community that you actively will participate in. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a community of like minded individuals who will help you succeed. I am so grateful to have a positive first year experience and I owe it to my learning community. There will be so many instances where I go to the dining hall and I see 10 different people I know who value me and are willing to build relationships with one another through something as basic as sharing a meal together.

Extracurriculars: Beta Upsilon Chi Fraternity

More about Sophia

Research Project: Marine Toxicology/ Pollution’s Effects on Benthic Organisms

Favorite MRADS Memory: I really enjoy my one-on-one meetings with my mentees! I love talking to students about their research aspirations, they are so inspiring!

Why did you join MRADS? I joined MRADS because I wanted to meet other students like me who were in love with learning. I stayed involved because I found an incredible family on campus who have taught me so much and supported me through all my ups and downs.

Advice to Incoming Students: Be gracious to yourself and know that your best effort is ENOUGH. You can do anything but you cannot do everything!

Extracurriculars: Mindful Michigan, Michigan Yoga Club, Michigan Ecology Evolution and Biodiversity Society, Students for Clean Energy, and Michigan Animal Respect Society







Joshua Ramnarace

Hometown: San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Taylor Stacy

Hometown: Brighton, MI

Major: Psychology/BCN

More about Joshua

Research Project: My research focuses on the development of a closed loop FDM 3D printer system. We are accomplishing this by developing a parameterized model for the printed extrusions and then creating a control loop to feed back to the printer.

Favorite MRADS Memory: If i had to pick one memory it would be the MRADS Scavenger Hunt (which my team placed 1st!). It was a really fun way to get to explore campus.

Why did you join MRADS? I joined MRADS as coming from a small country/school, the vastness of a school like umich seemed daunting and the smaller MRADS community seemed like a great way to transition to university life. The community of MRADS has been all I expected and much more. Having the opportunity to work in world class research in my first year of university is also a bonus!

Advice to Incoming Students: Don’t stress yourself out too much over university decisions! You will end up in a university that fits you as a person. I didn’t expect to be in Michigan but I’m very glad I did!

Extracurriculars: MRacing

More about Taylor

Research Project: Integrating Medical Marijuana Into Mainstream Healthcare

Favorite MRADS Memory: All of my 1:1s with my mentor! He’s amazing, and I know we will be friends even after MRADS.

Why did you join MRADS? I was looking for extra mentorship as I was looking to get into research. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t have much of a network coming to U-M. MRADS seemed like a great way to start building a network as well as make friends with similar interests.

Advice to Incoming Students: Do you! You are here for a reason–you contribute something unique to the U-M community that no one else can. Be proud of what you accomplish while you’re here, no matter how small you think it may be.

Extracurriculars: First-Generation College Students @ Michigan, Undergraduate Psychology Society

Hanna Tuoriniemi

Hometown: Mohawk, MI

Major: Bachelor of Business Administration 


More about Hanna

Research Project:  My research project is entitled “Sustainable Development in Morocco.” I am focusing on how a non-profit foundation in Morocco can sell carbon credits and pomegranates in order to create sustainable change.

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory is Welcome Week. I remember the thrill of getting to meet so many new people that will be part of my community. It was a week that I made countless memories and friendships that I will always cherish.

Why did you join MRADS? I have always known that I wanted to do research during my undergraduate experience. When I discovered MRADS, I knew that it would be an incredible way to begin this goal. Coming from a small town, I also thought that MRADS would be an amazing way to create a smaller community on a large campus.

Advice to Incoming Students:  Enjoy this new adventure! Freshman year is the perfect time to discover what UMich has to offer. Being such a large university, there are so many opportunities for so many different interests. This is the time to try something new. It is also important to know, however, that you do not need to know everything about your future goals during your first year of college.

Extracurriculars: Ballroom team, RSC, U.P. Scholars

Katie Zhao

Hometown: Troy, MI

Major: Pharmaceutical Sciences


More about Katie

Research Project:  I currently conduct research in the UM Department of Pharmacology. My research project uses the competition binding assay to characterize the binding affinity of different fentanyl analogs (fentalogs). In the midst of the growing synthetic opioid overdose crisis, these data could improve the law enforcement’s / DEA’s understanding of fentalogs.

Favorite MRADS Memory: I’ll always hold the memories I made during Welcome Week close to my heart. But in particular, the Peer Mentor campus tour is something I’ll always remember. I was lucky enough to meet some of my closest friends that day—and now, the rest is history.

Why did you join MRADS? The close-knit community aspect of MRADS was the major draw that first attracted me to the program. Undergraduate research was also something I was really interested in exploring at UM. Put together, MRADS seemed to offer the perfect opportunity to help support my transition into college to fullest degree.

Advice to Incoming Students: Learning to become your own advocate isn’t easy, but it’s a skill that will take you far in life. You never know what doors you could open by putting yourself out there!

Extracurriculars: Pure Dance, Michigan Pops Orchestra, Pre-Pharmacy Student Organization (PPSO)

Zoe(Zhiyi) Zheng
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Major: Communication and Media

More about Zoe(Zhiyi)

Research Project:  Digital Intimacies

Favorite MRADS Memory: All the peer mentor and peer advisor group events! I can get to know people within a smaller cohort and do a variety of fun activities with them.

Why did you join MRADS? I had never done any research before, so I was hoping to have an opportunity to try it in college. Also, I wanted to be a part of a tight-knit community within this large school. Therefore, MRADS was a perfect fit for me. MRADS not only can give me support and resources to do research as a Freshman but also create a community where I can interact with diverse peers.

Advice to Incoming Students:  First year, fresh start! College is a time for you to explore and try new things. Keep getting out of your comfort zone, and you will be amazed by how much potential you have.

Extracurriculars: Affinity Group Leader, UM CSSA, Annapella Vocal Group