Meet the Blog Staff



FullSizeRender (2)Rachel Levy

Rachel is a first year at the University of Florida who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has a passion for science and intends to study medicine. Rachel is also a dedicated swimmer who enjoys going to the beach and doing water sports. When she is above water, she also enjoys photography, volunteering in her community and science research.







summer lee, the scientific student, blog editorSummer Lee

Summer Lee is a junior honors student St. Thomas Aquinas College, majoring in biology. Her dream is to be an environmental scientist, and assist in the restoration and preservation of our global ecosystem. When she doesn’t have any impending exams, Summer enjoys writing, photography, and modeling.






olivia vo, blog editor, the scientific studentOlivia Vo

Olivia is a rising senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Germantown High School in Tennessee. She is the president of her school’s Science National Honor Society and has a great passion for biology, particularly genetics. In the future, she plans on majoring in Nursing to become a nurse practitioner, but in her freetime, she enjoys painting, dancing, singing to Lady Gaga, and discussing social issues.




the scientific student, sydney korsunsky, blog editorSydney Korsunsky

Sydney is a sophomore from Boca Raton, Florida who currently attends the University of Michigan. She is on a premed track with the intention to major in Public Health and minor in Drama. Outside of academics, Sydney enjoys Netlix binges, musical theatre, calligraphy, volunteering, and Twitter.




mendy lee, the scientific student, blog editorMendy Lee

Mendy Lee is a high school student from Belize who is undecided about her future, but aspires to attend a top-tier university and major in something science-related. She hopes to explore a range of diverse subject areas whilst in college. Mendy is an avid reader, amateur photographer, graphic designer and traveler.





Muhammad Hamza Waseem

Muhammad Hamza Waseem is pursuing B.S. Electrical Engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, Pakistan. He is actively involved in science outreach and edits various high school and undergraduate science magazines and journals. Currently, he is investigating Fourier optics and holography. He kills his free time reading English literary classics as well as popular science.




Sophie Zhang

Sophie Zhang is a student from Holmdel, New Jersey, who attends High Technology High School. The Scientific Student perfectly blends her passions for science and creative writing. Outside of school, Sophie enjoys baking, reading about the latest scientific discoveries, and participating in robotics competitions.












IMG_4358 (1)Nicole Platti

Nicole is from Palm Harbor, Florida and is currently a junior at the University of Florida. She is studying biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career in medicine in the future. In her free time, she enjoys hammocking around campus, community service, and binge watching Scrubs.








Aditya Paruchuri, the Scientific Student, blog writerAditya Paruchuri

Aditya is a rising freshman at Duke University and wants to study economics, mathematics, and computer science. He is interested in business development and customer management and has worked with several startups during his high school years. Aditya also has experience volunteering with organizations like Khan Academy, the Red Cross, and his local museums. In his free time, Aditya likes to get involved in politics, watch movies, and play competitive chess.






max correa, the scientific student, blog writerMax Correa

Max is a rising senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Miami Beach Senior High. When not in class, he swims, plays water polo, or practices cello or piano. He hopes to major in Biology and minor in Psychology, and would like to be a surgeon in the future.








Jessica is a dog-loving girl from Texas who is currently a rising freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She intends on double majoring in Biochemistry and Science in Society. In her free time, she loves to sing, listen to music, watch TV, read, and write.








dayana espinoza, the scientific student, blog writerDayana Espinoza

Dayana Espinoza is a current senior in high school who has a passion for STEM. Outside of school, she loves to tinker, especially using Arduino. In the future, she hopes to go to a prestigious college and major in Biomedical Engineering.








diana valcarcel, blog writer, the scientific studentDiana Valcarcel

Diana Laura Valcarcel is currently a senior at John A. Ferguson Senior High School. In her free time, she enjoys singing, living vicariously through book characters, and reading National Geographic. As president and founder of her school’s Environmental Club, she hopes to create a grassroots movement against policies that put the planet in danger. Most of all, she intends on changing the world by changing each person’s perspective about it- one person at a time.







the scientific student, blog writer, andy chenAndy Chen

Andy Chen is a senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School from Chicago, Illinois. He is a committed member of his school’s Key Club organization, National Honor Society, UNICEF, and the Museum of Science and Industry’s Science Achievers program. Outside his passion for STEM, he also enjoys playing volleyball and loves volunteering.  Andy is a proud blog writer from The Scientific Student, and he looks forward to inspiring others about the intricacies of science.







jeffery li, blog writer, the scientific studentJeffrey Li 

Jeffrey Li is a rising senior at Haines City High School IB. He has a strong passion for chemistry, and aspires to major in chemical engineering in college. As president of his school’s Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Club, Jeffrey loves to volunteer in his free time. Other interests outside of STEM include running and participating in student organizations, such as FBLA and DECA.








Zarella Berrocal, the scientific student, blog writerZarella Berr

Zarella Berr was born in Lima, Peru and is currently a freshman at The University of Florida. Zarella is a Microbiology and Cell science student with a Bioinformatics specialization. Zarella is also preparing for further education in the medical field. Outside of school, she really enjoys traveling, exploring, reading and writing.








heather park, the scientific studentHeather Park

Heather is a high school senior at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, CA who will be an incoming freshman at Grinnell College. She loves studying science, history, and philosophy. Outside of school, Heather likes to run cross country, read Quora, and watch anime and YouTube videos.







Marie Tano

Marie is a current Senior at Dacula High School in Georgia. She will be attending Pomona College in California during the upcoming school year as a QuestBridge Scholar. At Pomona she plans to major in Biology with a focus in neuroscience, and minor in business. She is very involved at her high school, with 11 club memberships over 700 hours of community service under her belt. She also has a passion for learning languages and due to her Ivorian background, she is fluent in both French and English.





simon levien, the scientific student, blog writerSimon Levien

Simon Levien is a rising junior at Sparta High School in New Jersey. He won first place in the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest. Outside of writing, he loves everything related to life science and wants to study molecular biology and English in college.




kevin tarque, blog writerKevin Tarque

Kevin is a student at San Bernardino Valley College getting his Real Estate and Escrow degree, and has a wide set of interests including all things space and astrology. While he is home grown in California he loves to travel and passes the time by reading about space travel and exploration, articles of new tech and the automobile industry.





devaki dikshit, the scientific student, blog writerDevaki Dikshit

Devaki is currently attending Foothill College. She is passionate about poetry, literature, conservation, neuroscience, and politics. She has had a lot of jobs over the years, including working at a small zoo, and currently works at Kumon. She hopes to eventually become a teacher.





Kiera Williams

Kiera Williams is a San Jose State humanities honors student. She aspires to make a difference in the world by establishing a non profit and contributing to the peaceful coexistence of countries in world affairs. When she isn’t busy working or studying, she spends her time running an online positivity movement entitled Project Encouragement and creating uplifting videos for her YouTube channel.





Sonali Mayani

Sonali is a physics student at EPFL, Switzerland, who intends to specialise in Astrophysics and go into research. She is also a member of the Astronomy club at her university. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and cooking, as well as travelling.







Marcos Garcia

Marcos is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Engineering Physics, with a focus on Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He is currently doing research with the ECE department on experimental semiconductor fabrication techniques and how they compare to the ones most commonly used. In his spare time, he likes to program, play rhythm & dance games at his school’s arcade, and take naps.






Brandon Grandison

Brandon Grandison is a first year student at the University of Florida. Brandon is double majoring in math and statistics. In his free time Brandon likes reading and talking to people.








Divya Reddy

Divya Reddy is a junior at West Shore Jr./Sr. High School in Melbourne, FL with an interest in neuroscience and psychology. She is a member of Future Problem Solvers, NHS, Key Club, National French Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. Outside of academics, Divya enjoys powerlifting, playing piano, baking, and reading historical time period novels such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and Pride and Prejudice.







Julia Szwimer

Julia Szwimer is a Second Year Occupational Therapy student at McGill University. Outside of school, she likes spending time with her friends and family. She loves being outside, whether it be a walk with her dog in the park, snowshoeing up a mountain, or swimming at the beach.




Cindy Xie

Cindy is currently a sophomore at North Hollywood High School. She enjoys learning about various fields of biology, and is interested in the intersection between science and literature. Some of the things she loves include books, writing, music, friends and family, and rainy weather (despite living in LA).