Kaylyn Gootman is a PhD student in the Curriculum in Environment and Ecology within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on the interaction of groundwater and surface water, as well as geochemistry — the study of the chemical composition of rocks and minerals.
Vidya Venkataramanan is a PhD student studying environmental sciences and engineering within The Water Institute at UNC. Her research focuses on understanding the application and effectiveness of sanitation behavior change interventions, specifically Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
Laura Villa-Torres is a PhD student studying health behavior in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on how immigrant communities keep their resilience and sustainable community-based interventions that improve their health and lives.
Kriti Sharma is a PhD candidate working in the Shank Lab. Her research focuses on understanding the microorganisms in soil that are quietly working to make life above ground possible. As a UNC microbiome researcher, she recently represented the university at the White House’s National Microbiome Initiative launch.
Tojan Rahhal is a fourth-year PhD student studying pharmaceutical sciences in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Under the guidance of Joseph DeSimone, her research focuses on the delivery of therapeutics to the lungs. She is also the chair of UNC’s Women in Science group.
Yesenia Merino is the outreach coordinator within the Office for Undergraduate Research and a PhD student studying health behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on social justice issues in public health.
Sarah Schmitt is a PhD student in the Department of Geography atUNC-Chapel Hill. Her research examines the strong coupling between hydrology and ecology in tropical islands. She is funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Geological Society of America, and National Geographic’s Young Explorers Program.
Deborah Dexter, the first person to earn a PhD at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, reflects on a lifetime of travel, teaching, and trailblazing.