Stupka Scholars

2019-2020

Spydel Nardy s a junior at Iowa State University who is majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Emerging Global Diseases. He has served as the secretary for the Stupka Committee since Fall 2017 and actively volunteers in the committee. Since Spring 2018, Spydel has been involved in undergraduate research in Dr. Dipali Sashital’s lab where he is currently focusing on CRISPR Cascade Type 1-C complex. He also enjoys being a Supplemental Instructor for organic chemistry in Iowa State’s SI program. In the future, Spydel hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D after graduating in spring 2020.


Kayla Uthe is a junior in biochemistry with a minor in environmental studies. She is a research assistant in Dr. Olga Zabotina’s lab, where she is involved in the study of the xyloglucan synthesizing complex formation in the plant cell wall. She is currently fundraising co-chair of the Stupka Symposium Planning Committee, LAS representative of the BBMB Club, and a B&B learning community peer mentor. After graduation, Kayla plans to pursue a career in environmental biotechnology.


Sarah Zelle is currently a junior at Iowa State majoring in biochemistry and genetics. Since May 2017, she has worked in Dr. Eric Underbakke’s lab researching determinants of membrane association in the synaptic GTPase-activating protein SynGAP. She is currently a B&B Learning Community peer mentor, Stupka Symposium Planning Committee media chair, and has been an undergraduate instructional assistantant for BIOL 313L. After graduation, Sarah plans to obtain her PhD in biochemistry and eventually have a career in biomedical research.

Past and Present Scholars

Jacqueline Ehrlich | 2018

B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry, 2020
Pursuing a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry

Bailey Mooney | 2018

B.S. Biochemistry and Genetics, 2019
Pursuing medical school after graduation

Emily Knuth | 2018

B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry, 2019
Pursing graduate school for a PhD

Matt Cook | 2018

Graduate training, Yale

Lauran Chambers | 2017

Research Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Surgery conducting research on specific drug effects on mitochondrial respiration.

Alex Donelson | 2017

B.S. Biochemistry S18
Pursuing graduate training

Drew Tonsager | 2017

M.S. Biochemistry S18
Ph.D. Candidate Colorado State University

Adrienne Smith | 2015, 2016

B.S. in Biochemistry, F2016

Morgan Barrett | 2016

B.S. in Biochemistry and Genetics, 2017
Graduate training in Forensic Biology, University of New Haven, CT

Natalie Whitis | 2016

B.S. in Biophysics, 2017
Ph.D. candidate Univ. Calif. San Francisco

Flora Yen | 2015

3rd year dentistry student at the University of Iowa

Zack Young | 2014

Senior Researcher at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Denis Tamiev | 2014

3rd year graduate school Biological Engineering at Iowa State University

Kinsey Cornick | 2013

D.O. Des Moines University 2018
Resident Physician, MO

Kristen McKibben | 2013

Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer Kaczynski Meyer | 2013

Scribe in the dermatology department at Unity and Mercy Hospital, MN.
Pursuing graduate training in genetic counseling

Alana Jackson | 2012

M.D. University Minnesota, Duluth 2016
Resident Physician, Spokane Teaching Health Ctr.

Samson Condon | 2012

Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mollie Tiernan Schubert | 2011

M.S. Biochemistry, ISU
Research Scientist III, Molecular Genetics Integrated DNA Technologies, Coralville, IA

Johanna Jass Bailey | 2011

Master of Public Health, Univ. of Missouri, 2015
Manager at Elemental Enzymes, Florida

Craig Brown | 2011

M.D. from University of Chicago 2016
Surgical resident at University of Michigan

Jackie Souleyrette Rivas | 2011

Ph.D. in Immunology 2017 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Postdoctoral fellow Lexington, KY

Dayna Peterson | 2010

Ph.D. Arizona State University 2017
Currently on maternity leave

Mina Farahbakhsh | 2009

Ph.D. University of Kansas 2015
4th year medical school Univ. of Kansas

Luke Helgeson | 2008

Ph.D. Biochemistry
Postdoctoral fellow at the Univ. of Washington

Mara Determan Alexeev | 2007

M.D. University of Iowa 2012
M.S. Public Health, UC Berkeley 2016
Currently on maternity leave

Claire Kruesel | 2006

Lecturer for the English Department at Iowa State University.