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Meet Our Recruitment Team

Each year, MRADS selects a group of students to lead tours of our program and interact with incoming students during Campus Day and other University of Michigan hosted events. 

Please note, most Michigan Living-Learning Communities (MLCs) will have tables set up prior to the start of Campus Day starting at 7:30am and then will provide tours at the end of Campus Day around 2:30pm on Central Campus.

If you are an intersted student enrolled in the College of Engineering (CoE), please contact us a few days before your Campus Day visit, so we can arrange a tour for you at the end of the CoE tour. Click on the names below to see who your 2019 Campus Day Recruitment Team Members are! 

Kagan Conrad

Kagan Conrad

Hometown: Durham, New Hampshire

Major: Industrial and Operations Engineering

Research Project: My research takes place at the University of Michigan Transport Research Institute and focuses on the use of ergonomics to reduce people's motion sickness as passengers in cars. My main role is analyzing how someone's motion sickness changes in comparison to their posture over the course of a car ride. This information will then hopefully be applied to the design of autonomous vehicle interiors so that people don't get motion sick as easily.

Favorite MRADS Memory: MRADS Family Feud has been a big a highlight for me. It was great to see all of MRADS in one place having fun, and my team had a definite bonding moment as we feverishly memorized the WISE RA's names just before the final round.

Why did you join MRADS? I wanted a community that could help prevent me from getting lost in Michigan's huge undergraduate population as well as get started in research my freshman year. MRADS has provided me both and then some, and I am so glad I decided to apply!

Advice to Incoming Students: Find an organizational system that works for you and stick with it. The amount of things you need to keep track of for your classes in college is way bigger than high school. Having a dependable way to keep track of things can be the difference between success and failure for some classes. Google Calendar and task tracking apps have saved me on multiple occasion.


Alekya Lingamaneni

Alekya Lingamaneni

Hometown: Seminole, Florida

Major: Business

Minor: Global Media Studies

Research Interests: I am interested in marketing research in business and researching trends in various entertainment industries.

Favorite MRADS Memory: I've had many memorable moments in MRADS over the last 2 years, but one of my favorite memories has to be freshmen move-in day. I still remember the excitement of meeting everyone! MRADS has done an incredible job in creating a close community with peers and staff, which is one of the reasons why I decided to return as a sophomore mentor.

Why did you join MRADS? I had previous experience in STEM research, but I wanted to branch out and learn about the soft science and other fields. I also wanted to join a community that could help a large campus feel smaller.

Advice to Incoming Students: Be open to trying new things- whether that's creating new friends or trying out a new restaurant in Ann Arbor!

Joey Self

Joey Self

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Major: Mechanical Engineering & Business

Research Interests: After completing a research project within the School of Public Health to further understand air pollution in Lima, Peru, I've become more interested in using research to develop technologies that help others. Hence, I will be working for a Research & Development firm this summer that focuses on such technologies.

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory was attending the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Oklahoma my freshman year. The conference offered a unique opportunity to interact with research faculty and students from all over the country while also providing me insight into ongoing research projects at other universities.

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because I wanted to join a community that'd immediately be able to show me around this enormous university while also showing me how to conduct research.

Advice to Incoming Students: The University of Michigan is a big place. Check out before coming to campus because it'll help you identify which student orgs match your interests.

Anju Jindal-Talib

Anju Jindal-Talib

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Major: Sociology

Research Interests: Since my freshman year in MRADS I have worked in the ECMO lab and done biomedical research on artificial organs for children. Currently I am moving toward working in a new lab focused on social justice to gain new skills and help reveal many of the inequalities that persist in society. 

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory would have to be when I was given the opportunity to be an oral presenter at the MRADS symposium. It is very rewarding to see all work come together and be able to cohesively communicate what I was working on to others. 

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because I wanted to build a small network at a big university and do research. 

Advice to Incoming Students: This university offers so many resources, so use them! Also, take at least one course completely outside of your career interests.

Noah Streng

Noah Streng

Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Major: History & Political Science (School of Education)

Research Project: Throughout the semester, I helped facilitate the creation a messaging service which aims to build confidence and give parenting tips to low-income fathers in order to increase fatherhood involvement. I did this using the survey program Qualtrics and by collaborating with University staff members and graduate students. By the end of the term we aim to have fully tested the Text4Dad program which is set to work with fathers all across the state of Michigan.

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory has been making friends with students from all walks of life, all with a variety of interests and passions. As a history and political science major, it has been delightful to have the opportunity to get to know the perspectives of so many students who are performing research in fields unrelated to mine, yet just as impactful.

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because of the extraordinary amount of intellectual diversity that lies within the program. Each scholar has their own story, background, beliefs, and passions which drive them to carve their own path, researching and studying what they love. I wished to have the opportunity to live and learn alongside some of the University of Michigan’s brightest and most driven students.

Advice to Incoming Students: If I could offer advice to incoming students, I would tell them to follow their passions no matter what it may be. Even if your research project isn't within the major you anticipated studying coming into the University, you never know what you might like until you try it.

Cynthia Zhang

Cynthia Zhang

Hometown: Xi'an, China

Major: Statistics

Minor: History of Art

Research Project: Extensive research has found that Asian-Americans are less likely to seek mental help but factors contribute to this difference remains elusive. We aim to find if emotion regulation is a factor associate with mental heath seeking attitude. 

Favorite MRADS Memory: I liked the scavenger hunt and family feud that took place early in the fall semester. I got to collaborate with my peer mentor group and our teamwork was excellent. We won the family feud and got the MRADS sweatshirt blanket! 

Why did you join MRADS? When I found out about MRADS, I thought it would be great to belong to a smaller community within a big one. The support and resources that such a learning community provides are also extremely helpful. 

Advice to Incoming Students: Don't be afraid to ask questions! Research project can be confusing so don't hesitate to reach out for help. And always talk to new people - it will open up your perspective for sure! 

Michelle Byun

Michelle Byun

Hometown: Palisades Park, New Jersey

Major: Undecided

Minor: Community Action and Social Change

Research Project: My research project aims to understand the student-faculty relationships among male racial-ethnic first generation college students. Investigating such relationship is crucial because the relationship between students and faculty has a significant influence in students’ academic and personal development. The research utilizes mixed methods in order to understand the problem in both qualitative and quantitive perspectives. 

Favorite MRADS Memory: My favorite MRADS memory is STEPS! It was a community-wide event in which I had an amazing opportunity to meet all the members of MRADS through fun, unique team-building games!

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because of its academic and social support system for undergraduate students in a diverse community.

Advice to Incoming Students: Use research as a way to explore different academic disciplines and interests!

Leanne Olona

Leanne Olona

Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

Major: International Studies & Asian Studies

Minor: Education for Empowerment

Research Interests: Broadly, I am interested in research related to access to education. I want to understand causes behind inequity in public education as well as improve accessibility to higher education in the United States.

Favorite MRADS Memory: To celebrate my roommate's birthday, me and a few other MRADS members baked her a cake in the kitchen and later surprised her with it. We all ended up sitting in the kitchen for hours talking and enjoying the cake together.

Why did you join MRADS? I was completely clueless about what I wanted to do with my college education but I knew research was one way that I could explore an interest outside of the classroom.

Advice to Incoming Students: Try not to worry about what "looks" good or sounds impressive, focus on your own genuine interests. Life is happier that way.

Francesca Duong

Francesca Duong

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Major: Mechanical Engineering & Computer Science

Research Proects: Antigen-specific immunothearpy for cancer uses cancer-specific antigens to create and immune response against the tumor by presenting them to the T cells. Unfortunately, the delivery of antigens by particle carriers sometimes results in insufficient antigen delivery. Therefore, to solve this issue, we are utilizing electrohydrodynamic co-jetting to fabricate nanoparticles that would not require a particle carrier.

Favorite MRADS Memory: MRADS has been an absolutely amazing experience, and there are so many different events that help foster a strong community. One of my favorite memories was a scavenger hunt that took place during the Fall. My group ran around campus looking for items, and in the end, it was exciting to see how the groups did.

Why did you join MRADS? The University of Michigan is gigantic. It provides many great opportunities and many fun sporting events. For me, I wanted a smaller community that shared similar interests. MRADS allowed me to have the opportunity to conduct research and live in a tight-knit community. I love being able to walk down the hall and see many familiar faces. It's an experience I would not trade.

Advice to Incoming Students: Keep trying new things! University is a place to learn and grow, and there are so many opportunities here to get involved. There is so much to learn, and everyone is here to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help and have fun!

Audrey Funwie

Audrey Funwie

Hometown: Farmington, Michigan

Major: Cognitive Science

Minor: Biochemistry

Research Interests: A 5-year Longitudinal Observational Study of the Natural History and Management of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Design TARGET-HCC is an ongoing study multisite study. The study is collecting data on patients diagnosed with HCC around the US. TARGET-HCC allows for robust evidence to be collected in large numbers of patients regarding the natural history, management, and outcomes of treatment with current therapies and opens insight into therapies that are currently used in clinical practice.

Favorite Memory: My favorite memory was playing glow in the dark capture the flag on the first week of school my freshman year. It forced me to get out of my room and interact with the community. I made a lot of lasting friendships there. 

Why did you join MRADS? I wanted to do research as soon as got onto campus. I would have done UROP but I also wanted to be a part of a closer community. MRADS gave me the opportunity to do both. 

Advice to Incoming Students: Do not stay in your rooms and explore every option! UM has so much to offer and MRADS can open doors to many opportunities. 

Justin Macchia

Justin Macchia

Hometown: Jackson, Michigan

Major: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity

Research Interests: I am extremely interested in biological research, whether that be related to human health or ecosystems. I have taken many different types of courses here that have led me to become interested in urban agriculture, genetics, and many more things. 

Favorite Memory: My favorite MRADS memory would have to be every single Tea Time event we have! Having a time where the whole community can get together and talk while drinking tea is wonderful! 

Why did you join MRADS? I decided to join MRADS because I wanted to become involved in a community of people who valued similar things. I wanted to make this large university feel a little smaller.

Advice to Incoming Students: Step outside of your comfort zone! College can be a really big adjustment, but putting yourself out there is super important! Try new things and challenge yourself!