Cluster Students

Bradley Allf

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Bradley is a graduate student in the Cooper Lab studying how citizen science can effect positive changes in conservation, research, and public engagement in science. Before coming to NC State Bradley worked at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and as a freelance science writer. Bradley studied biology and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and edits science poetry for ILT Review.

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Regina Ayala Chavez
Graduate Research Asst

STEM Education
Poe Hall NA

Regina is a Ph.D. student in learning and teaching in STEM education. She studied physics and her master's degree in engineering in Mexico. Her topics of interest are the creation of meaningful knowledge and the design of programs within informal education about climate change.

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Imani Bell
Temp Research Tech'n/Paraprof

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 1003

Imani is a graduate student in the Cooper Lab on Crowd the Tap, an EPA-funded citizen science project to inventory water pipe materials across the country. For her thesis, Imani is examining risk of lead-in-tap-water in relation to race and economics, as well as understand how communities organize to address environmental risks. Imani received her Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of South Florida. Before coming to graduate school, Imani did field work studying rare butterflies.

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Murry Burgess
Graduate Research Asst

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Partners Building II 2528

Murry is a master's student in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture from Mississippi State University. As an undergraduate, Murry began researching predator - prey interactions using camera trap data. She plans to continue using camera trap data from citizen science projects to research the impact of urban sound pollution on animal behavior and circadian rhythms.

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Michael Caslin
Graduate Research Asst
Geospatial Information Science and Technology

Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 3003

Michael is a graduate student in the Masters of Geospatial Information Science and Technology (MGIST) program at NC State University. He is currently a research assistant working with Dr. Madhusudan Katti on a citizen science project called the Triangle Bird Count with the goal of monitoring the abundance and diversity of bird species in urban habitats for the Triangle area. He has received a BS in Applied Geography at East Carolina University and a minor in Urban and Regional Planning. He enjoys hiking, caving, photography, and traveling. Michael has volunteered with the Earthwatch Institute which is an organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and actions needed for a sustainable environment. So far he has helped with scientific fieldwork in Malaysia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico.

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Carrie Clower

Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media
Ricks Hall Annex

Carrie is a second year doctoral student in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media and an AgBioFEWS Fellow through the Genetic Engineering and Society Center. Her primary interest is in quantitative science communication, and she researches public perceptions of scientific topics. Her previous work focused on climate change, and her current projects involve genetic modification of crops and animals, GMO labeling, and severe weather warning systems. She graduated from The University of Alabama in 2017 with Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Communication Studies and earned her Master's in Communication Studies there the following year.

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Mwenda Kudumu

STEM Education
Poe Hall 326G

Mwenda is a PhD student in Science Education. For 7 years she designed and implemented informal science programming for multi-generational audiences in museums across California, New York, and North Carolina. The lack of staff and visitor diversity in these informal science education institutions inspired her to move to Ghana, where she spent 8 years developing a science and technology center at the University of Cape Coast. She is currently working with Dr. KC Busch on developing a graduate certificate program in learning in informal contexts.

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Nassib Mugwanya

Agricultural and Extension Education

Nassib is a doctoral student of agricultural and extension education in the department of Agricultural and Human Sciences. He is interested in how scientists and extension workers can engage effectively with diverse publics on controversial and emerging agricultural technologies. Prior to NC State, Nassib worked with the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda, where he spent most of the time in educational and outreach engagements on biotechnology among smallholder farmers.

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Deja Perkins

Jordan Hall Addition 4213

Deja is a Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology graduate student in Dr. Madhu Katti's Reconciliation Ecology Lab. She is studying the overlap between bird diversity and distribution in urban areas with human socio-economic and cultural distribution. She is also interested in understanding the value of nature in minority communities to increase minority participation in natural resource careers and activities. Visit my website for more information.

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Lauren Pharr
Graduate Research Asst

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 1003

Lauren Pharr is a graduate student in the Cooper Lab pursuing her masters in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Her research involves using preliminary data from the Citizen Science project Neighborhood Nestwatch in order to analyze the effects of urban noise and light pollution on adult avian survivorship. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology with a minor in Biology from Wingate University. Lauren's research at Wingate focused on studying changes in avian harmonics of the Chinese Blue-Breasted Quail (Coturnix chinensis). Lauren is also heavily involved in science communication and has contributed to and written articles for The American Birding Association's Birding Magazine, Wired Magazine, and BBC Wildlife. Lauren enjoys being in nature, loves animals, and her favorite movie of all time is "The Lion King." To learn more, please visit my website.

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Aparajita Rajwade
Graduate Teaching Asst

Poe Hall 326E

Aparajita is a first year PhD student in Science Education and is part of
Dr. KC Busch's Informal STEM Learning lab. She has graduated with masters
degrees in Biodiversity and Environment & Development. For the last few
years she was working in the field of environment education in India. She
is interested in informal environment education, climate literacy and
increasing resilience of vulnerable communities.

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Vallari Sheel
Graduate Research Asst

Jordan Hall Addition 4213

Vallari is a PhD Student in the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Program in Dr Madhusudan Katti's Reconciliation Ecology Lab. Having grown up in a large city, she is interested in wildlife and biodiversity conservation in rapidly expanding urban areas. She is currently looking at the ecological, social and cultural interactions of urban trees with wildlife and people in Indian cities. Her research seeks to understand how urban wildlife interact with different tree species, and citizens' perceptions and values of urban trees.

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Nolan Speicher


Winston Hall 201

Nolan is a graduate student pursuing his M.S. in Communication. After earning his B.S. in Neurobiology from the University of Iowa, he spent 4 years working as a scientific writer and digital marketing professional for Integrated DNA Technologies. His research interests revolve around science and technology studies, including the rhetoric, history, and public perception of science and technology. When he’s not studying, Nolan enjoys riding his bike, playing soccer, listening to music, and exploring new cuisines.

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Stephanie Teeter
Research Technician

Engineering Building III (EB3) 4206A

Stephanie is a graduate student in Science Education working with Dr. Busch, as well as a researcher in Biomedical Engineering (also at NC State). She is interested in helping facilitate scientists' public engagement efforts through teaching, creating opportunities, making connections, and assessment. She has previously worked with informal science education venues throughout the area, including The NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the Museum of Life + Science, The Science House at NC State, Science Olympiad, STEM RTP, the NC Science Festival, National Biomechanics Day, and numerous others.

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No active opportunities at this time.


Sara Futch

Laura Roberts

Maria Sharova