Honors Ambassadors

Honors Ambassadors are Honors College student leaders who are here to assist new Honors College students in their transition to the university and the Honors College community. Meet the 2017 Honors College Ambassadors!

New students: Feel free to email any Honors Ambassador with your questions about UIC or the Honors College!

Airiana McKinleyAnisha ChandranAnna LiuBhargavi DhanireddyCecilia Solis-BarrosoCeleena RemmersChloe BarattaFatima QarniIsra HasnainJayneal JimenezMariah McCartherMaryam SabirMasooma HaiderMayra HerreraMoona McClerklinParnika TelagiSavannah SprenzelScott BicknellSeth BaligodShaina HuangSusan PanekTrishla ShahUmmesalmah AbdulbaseerVishnu Bhargava

Airiana McKinley

  • Major: Biological Sciences
  • Minor: African American Studies
  • Educational Goal: Forensic Pathologist
  • Year: Third Year
  • Email Address: amckin21@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Streator, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing- Commons West Residence Hall
  • I’m involved in:
    • Member of the Association of Pre-Medical Students
    • Honors College Ambassador
    • African American Academic Network Peer Mentor
    • Resident Assistant for Campus Housing
    • Member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
    • IMD Guest House Volunteer
    • SHPEP Scholar
  • A fun fact about me:  I was involved in color guard for all four years in high school.
  • Ask me about:
    • Finding restaurants for picky eaters
    • Coming to UIC from a small farm town
    • Using the resource centers on campus
    • How to get involved with campus housing

Anisha Chandran

  • Major: Biological Sciences
  • Educational Goal: Medical School, working as a physician.
  • Year: Second year
  • Email address: achand36@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Schaumburg
  • Housing: On-Campus (JST)
  • I’m involved in:
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity
    • UI Care Liaison, UI Health Hospital
  • A fun fact about me:  As a child, I moved around a lot, so I ultimately went to six different elementary schools from pre-school to sixth grade!
  • Ask me about:
    • Being a transfer student
    • The pre-med track
    • Living on-campus, especially JST
    • Exploring Minors

Anna Liu

  • Major: Biological Sciences Major
  • Educational Goal: To become a physician (GPPA Medicine)
  • Year: Third Year
  • Email Address: aliu41@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Peoria, IL
  • Housing: Apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • Board member of Kids Are Scientists, Too (KAST), a nonprofit organization that teaches elementary school students about science.
    • Senior Health Educator at Peer Health Exchange (PHE), an organization that guides and supports high school freshmen about health.
    • Member of the GPPA Medicine String Quartet (violist).
    • Member of Society of Future Physicians (SFP).
    • Conduct research on connexins in the UIC College of Medicine Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation.
    • Volunteer at UnityPoint Methodist.
  • A fun fact about me:  I have been inside a tiger enclosure.
  • Ask me about:
    • Finding different clubs and organizations that fit your personal interests
    • Commuting vs. living on campus
    • How to find research
    • How to get involved in music at UIC (especially when you are not a music major)
    • Fun things to do in downtown Chicago

Bhargavi Dhanireddy

  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Minor: Psychology
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Medicine
  • Year: Senior
  • Email address: bdhani3@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Hoffman Estates
  • Housing: Apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • Peer Health Exchange
    • LAS Dean’s Student Advisory Board
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Health Humanities Program Assistant at the Department of Medical Education
    • Assistant Web Developer at the Department of Medical Education
    • Research Assistant for the Capacity Building Subcommittee for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health
    • Volunteer at UIH Hospital
  • A fun fact about me:  I have a motorcycle license.
  • Ask me about:
    • GPPA Medicine
    • Graduating Early
    • Exploring Chicago: Best coffee shops in the city
    • Double Degrees or Changing Majors

Cecilia Solis-Barroso

  • Major: Teaching of Spanish
  • Educational Goal: Spanish/Linguistics Professor
  • Year: Senior
  • Email Address: csolis6@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Chicago
  • Housing: Commute from Home
  • I’m involved in:
    • UIC undergraduate Student Senate
    • Tau Sigma National Honors Society
    • UIC Bilingualism Research Lab
    • Teachers for Social Justice
  • A fun fact about me:  I teach English and Spanish to students in four different countries: U.S, Mexico, Italy, and China!
  • Ask me about:
    • Joining UIC as a transfer student
    • Being a first generation college student
    • Tau Sigma National Honors Society
    • Choosing, Planning and executing my capstone project: The Role of Language Dominance in Code-Switching Research

Celeena Remmers

  • Major: Biological Sciences
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Medicine
  • Year: Third Year
  • Email address: cremme2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Sterling, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing
  • I’m involved in:
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Sprouting Leaders
    • UIC Project Lead
    • Women in Science and Engineering
    • Disability Resource Center volunteer note taker
    • Simpson Academy for Young Women mentor
    • Research in Dr. Thomas Park’s research lab studying naked mole rats
    • Various volunteer work
    • Shadowing internships at CGH Medical Center.
  • A fun fact about me:  I love watching documentaries that most people think are boring on Netflix.
  • Ask me about:
    • Getting involved in research opportunities or organizations
    • Changing Majors (Engineering to LAS)
    • Coming to UIC from a small town (Sterling, IL to Chicago)
    • Time Management Skills

Chloe Baratta

  • Major: Bioengineering
  • Minor: Math
  • Educational Goal: MD/PhD
  • Year: Second year
  • Email address: cbarat2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Carbondale, IL
  • Housing: Apartment
  • I’m involved in:
    • Biomedical Engineering Society
    • Society of Women Engineers
    • Women in Engineering Programs
    • I’m a barista at a coffee shop near campus.
  • A fun fact about me:  I have a phobia of rodent tails and I can whistle through the gap in my two front teeth.
  • Ask me about:
    • Coming from a small town
    • Biomedical Engineering Society (projects/getting involved or BioE)
    • Living off campus as a first-year student
    • A private school/homeschooling transition to a public university

Fatima Qarni

  • Major: Computer Science
  • Educational Goal: Pre-med
  • Year: Junious
  • Email address: fqarni2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Schaumburg, IL
  • Housing: Apartment
  • I’m involved in:
    • TA for an intro level Computer Science class
    • Research in neuroscience
    • Muslim Student Association
  • A fun fact about me:  I like rock climbing and donuts!
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing majors
    • Commuting from home vs. living in a campus apartment
    • Muslim Student Association

Isra Hasnain

  • Major: Biology
  • Educational Goal: Medicine
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: ihasna2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Forsyth, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing
  • I’m involved in:
    • Senior Health Educator and Community Relations Director in Peer Health Exchange
    • Secretary of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering)
    • Editor for The Ampersand, one of the Honors College’s publications
  • A fun fact about me:  The time I set my alarm for never ends with an even number – I can’t sleep knowing my alarm is set to 7:30 or 8:02.
  • Ask me about:
    • Any of the organizations I’m a part of that strike your interest
    • Coming from a small town/transitioning to city life
    • Living on campus
    • Choosing classes

Jayneal Jimenez

  • Major: Physics
  • Educational Goal: PhD in Physics
  • Year: Junior
  • Email Address: jjimen24@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Kankakee, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing (TBH)
  • I’m involved in:
    • Physics Club (Vice President)
    • Cornerstone UIC (Bible Study)
  • A fun fact about me:  I am a huge fan of science fiction (Star Wars, Alien, etc.) and video games (Mass Effect, Halo, Dead Space, etc.)
  • Ask me about:
    • Managing a relationship in college
    • Navigating the Physics department
    • Declaring a different major than intended
    • Staying mentally healthy

Mariah McCarther

  • Major: Teaching of English
  • Minor: Social Justice
  • Educational Goal: Potentially Pre-Law
  • Year: Second Year
  • Email Address: mmccar35@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Peoria, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing (JST)
  • I’m involved in: Little Village READS Program, Metro Achievement Center for Girls
  • A fun fact about me:  I could eat tacos for the rest of my life and be content.
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing Majors
    • Adjusting to the City
    • Finding Non-Science Based Organizations
    • Being a Non-Science/Math Major at a Research Institution

Maryam Sabir

  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Med
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: msabir2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Palos Park
  • Housing: Commute from home
  • I’m involved in:
    • Muslim Student Association
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Association of Pre-Medical Students
    • Undergraduate research
    • Volunteer work in hospitals and local school programs.
  • A fun fact about me:  I love travelling and am a cat whisperer in my spare time.
  • Ask me about:
    • All about commuting! (Dealing with traffic, how to stay involved as a commuter, class scheduling tips, and commuter resources)
    • Transitioning and adjusting from a small, close-knit high school or community into a large, diverse city and university
    • Building relationships with professors and getting into research your first year

Masooma Haider

  • Major: Biology; Political Science
  • Educational Goal: Medicine
  • Year: Rising Sophomore
  • Email Address: mhaide6@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
  • Housing: Apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • OneWorld
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • New Life Volunteering Society
    • volunteering at the NLVS free clinic.
  • A fun fact about me:  I have a goal to try nearly every restaurant near UIC by graduation. Because of this, I almost never eat at the same place twice!
  • Ask me about:
    • Being the oldest sibling/first to attend college
    • Finding student orgs to join
    • Balancing a double major
    • Fun things to do on and near campus

Mayra Herrera

  • Major: Finance
  • Year: 3rd Year
  • Email Address: mherre29@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing (JST)
  • I’m involved in:
    • Mexican Students de Aztlan (MeSA)
    • Business Student Ambassador
    • Volunteer at the University of Chicago
  • A fun fact about me:  I was involved as a Student Ambassador
    in high school.
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing Majors
    • Being a First Generation College Student
    • Being part of the College of Business
    • Living on Campus

Moona McClerklin

  • Major (and Minor): Psychology, Sociology, Pre-Med
  • Educational Goal: Psychiatry
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: emccle5@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Richton Park, IL
  • Housing: Campus Housing
  • I’m involved in:
    • Sisters
    • Black Student Union
    • Research
    • Work Study
  • A fun fact about me:  I do Digital Art
  • Ask me about:
    • Finding Jobs/Building Resumes
    • Places in Chicago to Explore
    • How to Get Involved
    • Campus Housing Food

Parnika Telagi

  • Major: Mathematics
  • Minor: Biology
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Med
  • Year: Second
  • Hometown: Naperville, IL
  • Email Address: telagi2@uic.edu
  • Housing: Apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • Alternative Spring Break Executive Board. The committee I’m on is called Street Views of Chicago where we plan volunteer events to help the homeless community in Chicago.
    • Kids Are Scientists Too (K.A.S.T.): we teach science lessons in elementary schools.
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Soon I will be starting a job as an EMT-B!
  • A fun fact about me:  My favorite band is Blink-182!
  • Ask me about:
    • Getting involved with Alternative Spring Break
    • Getting involved with other student orgs
    • Finding a community
    • Being Pre-Med and a non-science major

Savannah Sprenzel

  • Major: Psychology; Business Administration
  • Educational Goal: graduate studies in industrial organizational psychology
  • Year: Senior
  • Email Address: sspren2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Roselle, IL
  • Housing: apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • Love your Melon Campus Crew
    • Psi Chi
    • Tau Sigma
    • Undergraduate research assisting in the social psychology department.
  • A fun fact about me:  I lived in Perth, Australia for 6 years when I was younger!
  • Ask me about:
    • Joining UIC as a transfer student
    • Finding research opportunities
    • Being a first generation college student
    • Living off campus

Scott Bicknell

  • Major: Biological Sciences
  • Minor: Chemistry
  • Educational Goal: Pre-dental
  • Year: Senior
  • Email Address: sbickn2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Bourbonnais
  • Housing: First three years I spent in the dorms; however, I currently live in an apartment near campus.
  • I’m involved in:
    • President of the Pre-Dental Club
    • Undergraduate research assistant at the College of Dentistry
    • Volunteer at University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital
  • A fun fact about me:  I am fairly good at binge watching TV shows and annoying people with authentic bird whistling.
  • Ask me about:
    • Coming to UIC from a small town
    • How to find research
    • Getting involved with student organizations
    • Campus Housing food
    • On-campus jobs
    • Places to eat near UIC

Seth Baligod

  • Major: Biology and Chemistry
  • Minor: Finance Minor
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Medicine
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: sbalig2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Carol Stream
  • Housing: Campus Housing (JST)
  • I’m involved in:
    • Research (Ovarian Cancer Pharmacology)
    • JST Hall Council (Vice President)
    • Society of Future Physicians (Volunteer and Social Committee)
    • Association of Pre-Medical Students
    • Filipinos in Alliance
    • Tennis Club
    • UI Health Volunteer
  • A fun fact about me:  I love to play tennis and my favorite show is Game of Thrones!
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing Majors
    • Pre-Medical Path/ Organizations
    • Research
    • Leadership Opportunities

Shaina Huang

  • Major: Statistics
  • Minor: Biology
  • Educational Goal: Matriculate into UIC College of Pharmacy and earn a PharmD
  • Year: Second
  • Email address: shuan4@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Geneva
  • Housing: Apartment off campus
  • I’m involved in:  Peer Health Exchange- Leadership Senior Health Educator: Community Relations Director
  • A fun fact about me: I played violin for 11 years
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing majors
    • Coming to UIC from a small town/high school
    • Peer Health Exchange
    • Being a pre-pharmacy student

Susan Panek

  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: English
  • Educational Goal: MD and/or MD/PhD
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: spanek4@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Housing: Commute from home
  • I’m involved in:
    • The Society of Future Physicians (Member of 4 Committees)
    • MedLife
    • Project ESTEEM
    • Volunteer at Hospitals
  • A fun fact about me:  I received the State Seal of Biliteracy for being fluent in another language.
  • Ask me about:
    • How Do I Balance it All?
    • What Is It Like Being a Commuter Student?
    • The Society of Future Physicians
    • Effectively Finding Academic Resources

Trishla Shah

  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Mathematics; Sociology
  • Educational Goal: Pre-Med
  • Year: Junior
  • Email address: tshah28@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Naperville, IL
  • Housing: Apartment
  • I’m involved in:
    • Delta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc.
    • Women in Engineering and Science
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • See the Silver Lining
    • TEDx
    • Girls Who Code
    • Biology Research with Naked Mole Rats
    • Association of Pre-Medical Students
    • Political Science Student Union
  • A fun fact about me:  I’m super good at limbo!
  • Ask me about:
    • Greek Life
    • On Campus Jobs
    • Various Science / Volunteering Organizations
    • Research Positions

Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer

  • Major: Psychology
  • Minor: Biology
  • Educational Goal: Medicine
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Email Address: uabdul3@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Lombard, Illinois
  • Housing: Commute from Home
  • I’m involved in:
    • Muslim Student Association
    • Honors College Advisory Board
    • Quality Rights Chicago
    • Society of Future Physicians
    • Women in Science and Engineering
    • Research in Applied Health Sciences, studying communication between health professionals and families of patients
    • Volunteer work with youth programs at my local mosque and other nonprofit organizations
  • A fun fact about me:  I was selected as one of three students to speak at a national convention last December, in front of 10,000 people. It was probably the coolest, but also most nerve-racking moment of my life so far.
  • Ask me about:
    • Commuting from Home/Metra
    • Transitioning from a small school
    • Not getting overwhelmed from everything
    • Being a Psychology Major
    • Taking Pre-Med Classes (especially the dreaded Organic Chemistry) to graduate on time or earlier
    • The GPPA Medicine Program
    • Being a Muslim on campus
    • Everything the Honors College has to offer
    • Anything else, I’d love to sit down and talk to you about anything you’d like

Vishnu Bhargava

  • Major (and Minor): Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Business Administration
  • Educational Goal: Scientist
  • Year: Senior
  • Email Address: vbharg2@uic.edu
  • Hometown: Bangalore, India
  • Housing: Apartment near campus
  • I’m involved in:
    • IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
    • EDT (Engineering Design Team)
    • UIC Club Tennis
  • A fun fact about me:  I am a national level lawn tennis player.
  • Ask me about:
    • Changing Majors
    • International / Study abroad experience
    • On campus involvement
    • Fun things to do in the city