Participants

Residents

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Jennifer Diemunsch
Discipline: Mathematics
Jenny Diemunsch earned her bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Education from the University of Dayton in 2009, her master's degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) and is currently pursuing her PhD in Mathematics (at UCD), focusing on graph theory. She loves studying math because she loves solving puzzles and problems using what she has learned throughout her years of learning. She grew up in Springboro, Ohio (near Dayton), spending summers in the pool, riding roller coasters, and water skiing. She loves living in Colorado because of all of the outdoor activities like camping and hiking. She has an older brother and sister, as well as two nephews, ages three years and one year. She also loves playing tennis and running. Her favorite food is ice cream, but she loves to bake (and eat) pies too. She enjoys spending time with family and friends when she can, welcoming visitors to Colorado and making trips to Ohio.
Laura Noges
Discipline: Immunology
Laura was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Tacoma, WA, and, like many other PNWers, she was imprinted with a love of the outdoors. An appreciation of nature along with an excellent biology teacher in high school led her to focus on science during her undergraduate career. Alongside her studies in biology at the University of Richmond in Virginia, she became an avid ultimate frisbee player and also incorporated a semester of study abroad in Italy. Moving to Denver to begin her graduate career in immunology at the University of Colorado, Laura is now conducting research in Philippa Marrack's lab. Her scientific interests lie in vaccine development and she is currently working on clarifying the mechanisms responsible for the effectiveness of a common vaccine component: alum. Most importantly, Laura focuses on improving communication between the scientific community and the general public. Central to the public health of our society, important research findings should be accurately conveyed to community members through a variety of educational outlets. Laura hopes to practice this communication with a younger audience within the GK-12 program. Outside of lab, Laura continues to foster a passion for experiencing the outdoors by hiking, backpacking, cycling, and rock climbing - activities that are all easy to do in Colorado! Amid these excursions into the Front Range, she continues to play competitive ultimate frisbee on one of Colorado's women's teams, 'Molly Brown.'
Catherine Erbes
Discipline: Mathematics
Cathy Erbes was born and raised in New Mexico, but to escape the heat she decided to go to college in Minnesota. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics in 2005 from Carleton College, and then got a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Indiana University in 2007. After spending a few years working in the "real world," she realized that the world of mathematics and academia was where she really wanted to be, so she enrolled in the Ph.D. program at University of Colorado Denver. Her research area is Graph Theory, in particular problems relating to degree sequences of graphs. When not studying, Cathy enjoys reading, running (she completed her first marathon in 2008, and has run several half marathons since then), crochet, and playing board games with friends and family.
Evan Kwiatkowski
Discipline: Mathematics
Evan Kwiatkowski received his bachelor's of science degree in Mathematics from Binghamton University in 2011. He was very interested in describing natural phenomena such as epidemics with mathematical models, which led him to pursue a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Colorado Denver. His current field is uncertainty theory; a blend of probability theory and computational math. He grew up in a suburb of New York City and has enjoyed the change of moving to Denver, especially the Rocky Mountains! His hobbies include basketball, hiking, chess, trumpet, and traveling. He is excited to begin the GK-12 Teaching Fellowship, and looks forward to imparting a love of math and science to middle school students.
Nili Krausz
Discipline: Mechanical Engineering
Having graduated from UC Denver in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Nili Krausz is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado Denver. Nili researches the development of neural interfaces and control systems for biomechatronic prosthetic hands, in the hopes of producing more functional, easy-to-use hands that will aid amputees. Two of Nili's siblings have disabilities, and her experiences with people of various challenges led to her interest in assistive technologies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, designing and making clothes, playing the violin, spending time with her five siblings and many nieces and nephews, and traveling around her native state of Colorado. Nili hopes to show her students that careers in science and math can be very rewarding.
Tom Hraha
Discipline: Bioengineering
Originally from Chicago, Tom received his Bachelor's in Microbiology and Environmental Health (Public Health) from Colorado State University (CSU). His interest in research was sparked while he was an intern at UCLA's Cancer Center during college. Funded by an Americorp award, he was initially too poor to afford housing and lived in a 'beach shack', taking the bus from the ocean to the Medical Campus each day. For his senior project, he was part of a group of students which formed the Nicaragua Cookstove Project, a non-profit which provides clean-burning, fuel-efficient cook stoves to rural families. After graduation, he took a position at CSU's Orthopaedic and Bioengineering Research Laboratory, where he studied the role of stem cells and platelets in the healing of tendons and cartilage. This subsequently led him to the renowned Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. Applying his previous research to the operating room, he helped to start a biotechnology company which developed the same cutting-edge treatments he was studying to help get patients healthy faster. After that, he was hooked on biotechnology and enrolled in the Bioengineering Master's Program at UC Denver. Though he has moved on from orthpaedics, his passion for the interface of math and biology has grown and he is excited to share that through the GK-12 program.