2019 Deans' Award Winners

Sofia Ali

Sofia Ali

Sofia Ali is a senior majoring in Human Biology. She studies social determinants of health, particularly within communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In her freshman year, Sofia took an introductory seminar on the social and environmental drivers of Zika virus and was selected to be first-author of a resulting review paper published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In 2017, she was a Global Child Health Equity Fellow with the Stanford Global Child Health Program, where she is now a research assistant. In this role, Sofia analyzes child health outcomes for the impact evaluation of Asili, a social enterprise in eastern Congo; she is currently working on two papers about these findings. Last summer, Sofia supported on-site data quality assurance for a study in northern Senegal exploring how social factors affect schistosomiasis risk; she is co-author of a recently submitted publication on this project. Sofia received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Freshman Year. She sits on the Steering Committee for Pacific Free Clinic, volunteers as a health educator with H.E.L.P. For Kids, and is a peer writing tutor at Hume. Beyond Stanford, Sofia hopes to one day work as a physician in her parents’ home country of Ethiopia.

 

Claudia Heymach

Claudia Heymach

Claudia Heymach is a senior majoring in Human Biology with honors who aspires to be a pediatric neurologist and researcher. In the Sage lab, she has explored stem cell mechanics and carcinogenesis using a flatworm with robust regenerative properties.  She is passionate about resolving health care disparities, and has approached this goal by designing low-cost diagnostics for human papillomavirus (HPV). In addition, she uses storytelling to highlight health disparities and environmental injustices; for instance, she received a grant to create a podcast about a community outside Dallas that has lacked clean water for decades. Her poetry and short fiction have been published and recognized at the state and national level at Stanford, she is co-president of Kids with Dreams, an organization that hosts fun programs for kids with disabilities. She is also a student researcher for the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford, an audio producer for the Stanford Storytelling Project, and a volunteer for Pacific Free Clinic. Last year, she received the Kirsten Frohnmayer Prize for commitment to research and altruism.

 

Mika Sarkin Jain

Mika Sarkin JainMika Sarkin Jain is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Physics with Honors and an M.S. in Computer Science. Mika's research focuses on applying approaches from physics to study biological systems, ranging in scale from the molecule to the cell to entire organ systems. He has also developed a number of new machine learning algorithms. Mika is the first author and co-author of several conference papers and journal articles, and the recipient of honors including the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, David S. Levine Award, BioX Undergraduate Fellowship, and two conference awards. Next year he will attend the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar.
 

 

 

Jack Lindsey

Jack Lindsey

Jack Lindsey is majoring in math and co-terming in computer science, with a minor in physics.  He has authored several published works in computational neuroscience and machine learning. Working in Prof. Surya Ganguli’s lab, Jack helped develop a theory that accounts for the diversity of cell types in the primate retina, as well as a framework that elucidates the varying functional roles of the retina and primary visual cortex across different species.  Under the supervision of Prof. Shaul Druckmann, he has worked on uncovering mechanisms of information transfer between brain regions in mice.  Previously, Jack worked on relating memory-based deep learning architectures to cognitive models of learning and memory.  Additionally, supervised by Prof. Jay McClelland, he developed new methods for incorporating visual attention in machine learning models.  Jack has also been awarded the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement.

 

 

Peter Morgan

Peter Morgan

Peter Morgan is a senior majoring in and pursuing a coterminal degree in English. He studies British modernism and ‘30s print culture, specializing in Virginia Woolf. His master’s thesis considers the publication, distribution, and polemics of the political pamphlets of Woolf’s Hogarth Press, and his honors thesis uses text mining to trace deictic words through 17th century English drama. He has presented at the conferences of the American Weil Society, the Modernist Studies Association, and the International Virginia Woolf Society, with a forthcoming article through the latter. After graduation and a two-year deferral, he will enter the Harvard Law Class of 2024 to study labor law.


 

 

Brooke Vittimberga

Brooke Vittimberga

Brooke Vittimberga is a senior majoring in Human Biology with honors and minoring in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her initial research in immunology investigated combined kidney-stem cell transplants. Then, after being diagnosed with leukemia sophomore year and undergoing a stem cell transplant, Brooke returned to school interested in applying immunology to cancer biology. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she performed basic immunology research and contributed to a pending publication in Science. Currently, Brooke is working on her honors thesis in the Mackall lab investigating treatment of pediatric solid tumors with CAR T-Cell therapy. Outside of research, Brooke is a national ambassador for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which fundraises for pediatric cancer research. She has published narrative pieces about her illness in Stanford Magazine, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation blog, Stanford’s SCOPE Medical Blog, and more.