Our Alumni

Class of 2020

Jesse Pace
Head of Cabinet: 2019-2020
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Bioengineering
Hometown: Malverne, NY
My name is Jesse Pace and I am a junior majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Bioengineering. I grew up on Long Island in the small town of Malverne. Apart from SBYIR, I am a member of the Honors College where I volunteer as a Big Sib mentor for incoming freshman students. I’ve been a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the international premedical fraternity since my freshman year. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very passionate about my research in the lab of Dr. Sandeep Mallipattu at Stony Brook Medicine’s Division of Nephrology and that one of my favorite movies is Finding Nemo.

Caleb Sooknanan
Copy Editor: 2016-2020
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Woodhaven, NY
My name is Caleb Sooknanan, and I am a junior biomedical engineering major in the Honors College. This is my third year participating in SBYIR, and I believe that this organization truly has the potential to encourage scientific literacy across our campus. SBYIR has given me the opportunity to explore my research interests and strengthen my ability to understand the research occurring on campus and around the world. Aside from SBYIR, I am the Vice President of 3Diatrics, a MedHacks Campus Ambassador, a member of Stony Brook University’s 2017 iGEM Team, and an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Chemistry Department. I am also involved in BASIC and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and for fun, I enjoy listening to jazzy hip hop music, working out in the Recreation Center, or spending time in the Innovation Lab.

Claire Garfield
Copy Editor: 2018-2020
Major: Biology
Minor: Marine Science, Chemistry, French
Hometown: Oneonta, NY
My name is Claire Garfield and I am a Biology major/Marine Science, Chemistry, French minor. I joined SBYIR to keep involved with what’s going on in science, especially the aspects that are outside my comfort zone. Outside of SBYIR, I’m a member of the Honors College and Environmental Club, and I’m a research assistant in the Collier lab studying environmental microbiology. I hope to pursue a PhD in Biological Oceanography. In my spare time, I enjoy scuba diving, swimming, and hiking.

Class of 2019

Sahil Rawal
Editor-In-Chief: 2018-2019
Major: Biology
Minor: Health and Wellness
Hometown: Searingtown, NY
My name is Sahil Rawal and I am an exSBYIRed first year medical student at Renaissance School of Medicine as a part of the Scholars for Medicine Program. I was also a member of the Honors College where I was a part of the Big Sibling Program to acclimate new students to Stony Brook. Outside of SBYIR, I was the Report Lead for the President’s Council of Student Advisors. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and watching sports.

Peter Alsaloum
Head of Cabinet: 2018-2019
Major: Biochemistry
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
My name is Peter Alsaloum and I am a first-year medical student. I was a Biochemistry major in the Honors College. I was from Yonkers, NY, a large city just north of the Bronx. Apart from SBYIR, I was a member of Stony Brook’s Campus Community Emergency Response Team. Also, I was a TA for Organic Chemistry and a Lead Tutor at the Residential Tutoring Center. I did research in an Organic Chemistry lab at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. I also served as a CAS Senator on the Undergraduate Student Government. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, hiking and hanging out with my friends.

Julia Jun
Major: Psychology
Layout Chief: 2018-2019
Hometown: Queens, NY
My name is Dahae (Julia) Jun was majoring in Psychology while minoring in Writing. Besides SBYIR, I was an active member of Korea Campus Crusade for Christ (KCCC), Secretary of National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), and a tutor for Research and Writing in Psychology. I also participated in Dr. Ryan Parson’s lab as a research assistant with hopes of entering the field of neuroscience. I love taking road trips and camping, but most of the time you can find me binge-watching Friends.
Rachel Kogan
Major: Biology (Neuroscience Concentration)
Managing Editor: 2017-2019
Hometown: Port Washington, NY
My name is Rachel Kogan and I am a first-year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I was a Biology major with a Neuroscience Concentration in the Honors College. Being a part of SBYIR for the past four years has been an incredible experience and I am excited to see how the organization continues to grow this year and in years to come. Aside from SBYIR, I was the Vice President of Pre-Dental Society, a counselor and Outreach Committee member for Camp Kesem, and an Honors College Big Sibling. Additionally, I was a research assistant in Dr. Lorne Golub’ s lab in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology. Outside of school, I enjoy watching binge watching Tasty videos, drawing, and searching the internet for a pet goat.

Anna Tarasova
Major: Psychology
Minor: German
Associate Editor: 2018-2019
Hometown: Bronx, NY
My name is Anna and I am a first year medical student at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, hoping to make a career in neurology or neuroscience research. I was a research assistant at Stony Brook’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab under Dr. Hoi-Chung Leung. Apart from editing for SBYIR, I was also part of the Honors College and volunteered at NYU Langone Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. In my spare time I enjoy learning foreign languages and traveling, as well as trying new cuisines.

Class of 2017

Amanda Ng
Copy Editor: 2014-2015
Managing Editor: 2015-2016
Editor-In-Chief: 2016-2017
Major: Psychology
Minor: English
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
My name is Amanda and I joined SBYIR as a copy editor during my freshman year at Stony Brook, back when it was still getting off the ground. I was originally drawn to SBYIR because of how it could successfully combine two of my interests, science and writing, and I stayed because I was struck by the importance of science journalism. To further my SBYIR-related interests, I now work at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in curriculum design, and have just started my first year in the Masters in Public Health program at Stony Brook University. I also serve as the graduate student advisor for SBYIR.

Class of 2016

Anirudh Chandrashekar
Associate Editor: 2014-2015
Managing Editor: 2015-2016
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Jericho, NY
My name is Anirudh Chandrashekar and I graduated with a B.E in Biomedical Engineering. I am currently a 2nd year medical student at Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine as a part of the Scholars for Medicine Program. As a member of SBYIR, I strived to connect the student population with many of the scientific advances being performed at our home institution and have hopefully made science more approachable. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, going to the gym and spending time with friends.
Ashwin Kelkar
Associate Editor: 2013-2014
Managing Editor: 2014-2015
Editor-In-Chief: 2015-2016
Major: Chemistry and Music
Hometown: Syosset, NY
My name is Ashwin Kelkar and I am currently a 2nd year medical student at Case Western’s School of Medicine. Though I had experience working in labs and conducting experiments, I believe that SBYIR was my gateway into the publishing world of research. Through it, I learned how research is translated from data and jargon to a comprehensible analysis, and how to effectively communicate that to an audience that might not have the same background. It also taught me the value of strong leadership, organization, and teamwork, attributes I continue to hold close to my heart. But most of all, SBYIR gave me a family.
Preston Kung
Layout Editor: 2014-2015
Chief of Media: 2015-2016
Major: Applied Mathematics and Statistics
My name is Preston Kung and I am currently am a medical student at the Stony Brook School of Medicine. I graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics as well as with an M.B.A in Finance. While I was an undergraduate student, I helped revitalize the SBYIR club as a layout editor and eventually went on to be the Chief of Media. What initially drew me to SBYIR was the chance to get Stony Brook students interested and engaged in all the cutting-edge science that was occurring both in news and on campus. As with anything in life, presentation is crucial, and so I primarily focused on optimizing the presentation of SBYIR’s journal and website. Hopefully we were able to excite students to scientific endeavors and delightfully surprise teachers and staff.

Class of 2015

Matthew Alsaloum
Associate Editor: 2013-2015
Major: Biology
Hometown: My name is Matthew Alsaloum and I graduated from in 2015 with a degree in biology! I am currently in the MD/PhD program at the Yale School of Medicine, where I have completed the first two years of medical school and am now pursuing my PhD in neuroscience. I joined SBYIR (back when it was just YIR!) primarily to help shine a light on some of the great undergraduate research happening at our university, such as with iGEM. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy all things basketball-related and watching too much Netflix.
Sherry Bermeo
Associate Editor: 2013-2014
Managing Editor: 2014-2015
Major: Biochemistry
What drew me to SBYIR: There is a lot of interesting research happening at Stony Brook and in labs all around the world so I knew that by joining SBYIR I would get to learn more about different disciplines in science. As a biochemistry major and undergraduate researcher, I also realized how difficult it was for scientists to communicate their ideas effectively to the public. Serving as an editor, I was excited to be able to work with students to improve their writing and connect with people who were also committed to improving science communication. It turns out that I ended up meeting some of my best college friends here. I’m currently a PhD student working in the Baker Lab at the University of Washington. I am designing proteins from scratch (de novo) that can self-assemble specifically for applications in logic-based cell signaling and drug delivery.