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Senior biology major Destiny Gonzalez-Ortiz has been accepted to the Diversity Summer Internship Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She is looking forward to the internship and hopes to work on a project with bacteria or cancer cell lines. The program will run from June 5 to July 31.

“When I was first informed about being accepted I was in utter shock, but that shock soon turned into excitement. I am so happy and grateful to have such a wonderful opportunity.” She plans to take what she learns with her to medical school, which she hopes to attend.   

Shanid Shrestha

Dr. Barbara Detrick, professor of pathology at the JH University School of Medicine and Caldwell University alumna, formed the partnership between Caldwell and Johns Hopkins, which has been offered to outstanding Caldwell science students. 

Senior chemistry majors Shanid Shrestha and Daniella Marrero took the first and third prizes respectively at the annual Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey Undergraduate Research Symposium, held April 4 to 7. The symposium aims to point students toward STEM careers and challenges them to engage science and technology through hands-on, inquiry-based learning. They work closely with faculty on their projects. 

Shrestha’s project was on ” A New And Facile Route To Build The Aflatoxin Core”.  He is grateful to Dr. Xiaolei Gao, assistant professor of organic chemistry, for her guidance. Upon graduation he will be attending Penn State to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry. 

Marrero also received an award for her research on “Formulation of Synthetic Melanin with Aloe Vera,” taking second place in the biochemistry category at William Paterson University’s 15th Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 2. 

“I would love to thank all the research professors—Dr. Squires, Dr. Berki, Dr. Aucoin and Dr. Gao—who guided every student in research,” Marrero said. “Their continuous support and genuine care for the students made research enjoyable and worth the continuous hours of researching. Without these professors, I believe we would have never realized how much we can come out of our comfort zones and show everyone what we are capable of.” 

Undergraduate student Daniella
Daniella Marrero

She is also grateful to the other student researchers. “I feel blessed to have been able to be part of this experience with them. The support and care everyone had for each other were uplifting and made presenting more comfortable.” Marrero  plans to take a gap year before applying to graduate school. “I would love to continue and develop my chemistry knowledge with a master’s or Ph.D.”  Before that she hopes to obtain an internship or position  in a laboratory.

“I feel honored to have been able to mentor Daniella during her independent research project,” said Chemistry Professor Marjorie Squires, Ph.D. “I am proud of all of our Caldwell STEM research students for their dedication and hard work.”