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Peer Mentors

Rachel Atakpa
rjatakpa@ku.edu

Rachel Atakpa is a senior majoring in English and Spanish. She is involved in the McNair Scholars Program, is the Editor-in-Chief of the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Humanities, and an Honors program Seminar Assistant. Atakpa’s interests include making art and being outside. Her titles include University of Kansas’ Multicultural Scholar, 2018 Hall Center Scholar, TRIO McNair Scholar, University of Kansas Truman Nominee, Humanity in Action John Lewis Fellow, and Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholar. Atakpa’s writing has been published in Asterism and the Berkeley Poetry Review, and she has received the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Outstanding Contribution Award, Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award for Writing, Paretsky Award for Creativity, Helena Rhoda Hoopes Award for best essay by an undergraduate woman, and the Kenneth Rockwell Award for Excellence in Study of Literature, and won the William Herbert Carruth Memorial Poetry Contest.

Roshan Bisarya
roshan.bisarya@ku.edu

Roshan Bisarya is a senior majoring in biology on the pre-medical track. He is involved with undergraduate research and the honors society Phi Kappa Phi. Bisarya is a recipient of the Parker B. Francis Fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to partner with KU Med to carry out a clinical research project. Bisarya received a STAR award for his presentation of his research at a 2018 Critical Care Conference.

Brock Burnett
brockton_burnett@ku.edu

Brock Burnett is a junior majoring in civil engineering. Burnett is a member of the Engineering Student Council, a research assistant, and a member of Chi Epsilon, a civil engineering fraternity. His interests include camping and sketching.

Constanza Castro Zuniga
constanzacastro@ku.edu

Constanza Castro Zuniga is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in economics, with a concentration in public policy and foreign policy. She is a member of the Multicultural student government and the student senate, and a University of Kansas McNair Scholar. Zuniga’s interests include soccer and pro-wrestling. Zuniga is a University Scholar and a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow, and she has received the Honors Program Service Award, the Emmett L. Bennett Political Science Award, the Office of Diversity and Equity Diversity Leadership Award, and the Honors Program Paretsky Book Award.

Claire Dalziel
claricedalziel@ku.edu

Claire Dalziel is a junior majoring in human biology and minoring in psychology on a pre-medical track. Dalziel is an Organic Chemistry PLUS Peer leader, a research assistant in KU’s Child Behavior Lab, and the Public Relations and Marketing Chair of Phi Delta Epsilon, a medical fraternity. She also volunteers at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital and participates in intramural sports. 

Saron Demeke
s332d801@ku.edu

Saron is a sophomore majoring in behavioral neuroscience and minoring in education on the pre-med track. She is involved Nu Rho Psi, the KU honors neuroscience club, serves as an executive board member for a research project in educational psychology with Dr. Marsha McCartney, and was accepted into the Multicultural Scholars Program and University Scholars Program. She also enjoys reading literature as well as running.

Joseph Denning
joseph-denning@ku.edu

Joseph Denning is a senior majoring in behavioral neuroscience with a minor in linguistics. Denning is an executive member of the Neuroscience Club, Vice President of KU Improv, and is involved in research in the Neurolinguistics and Language Processing Lab. He is a University Scholar, and received an undergraduate research award and a Whitehead scholarship.

Mekayla DePaolis
mekayla.depaolis@ku.edu

Mekayla DePaolis is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. She is a member of the society of Women Engineers, the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, and oSTEM. Her interests include painting and cooking. 

Ellen Edmonds
ebedmonds@ku.edu

Ellen Edmonds is a junior majoring in accounting and finance. Edmonds is the president of the Women in Finance program, a teaching assistant for a managerial economics class, and a business student senator. Edmonds’ interests include social justice and cooking, and she has been named a Koch Scholar. 

Alix Fisk
alixfisk@ku.edu

Alix Fisk is a junior majoring in public administration and applied behavioral science with a specialty in community health and development. She is involved with the University's Center for Community Outreach,  the Center for Service Learning and undergraduate research. Fisk also enjoys listening to and playing music and spending time with her family and friends. She was named a Newman Civic Fellow in 2018, and has recieved a University Undergraduate Research Award and an Honors Opportunity Award. 

Grant Hussong
ghussong@ku.edu

Grant Hussong is a freshman majoring in classical languages. He is involved in the Classics Club and Spectrum. He also enjoys baking and cake decorating as well as watching bad horror movies. He has received the KU Excellence Scholarship, a Tenney Frank Scholarship and a National Latin Exam Scholarship.

Tobi Imam
adeyoyin.imam@ku.edu

Tobi Imam is a senior majoring in civil engineering. Imam is a member of NSBE and ASCE, and participates in undergraduate research. She is interested in photography and vlogging. Imam is a University Scholar and has received several Honors Opportunity Awards.

Lauren Jennings
laurenjennings@ku.edu

Lauren Jennings is a sophomore majoring in biology, chemistry and psychology, and is on the pre-medical track. Jennings is involved with the Kansas Miracle Club, the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon, and the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Her interests include traveling and volunteering, and she is a recipient of the Honors Opportunity Award.

Joseph Loomis
loomis@ku.edu

Joseph Loomis is a senior majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. Loomis is involved with undergraduate research and the KU Navigators Club, and serves as an Honors Student Ambassador. He is also interested in basketball and reading. Loomis has been named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar, a 2018 Astronaut Scholar, a 2016 Kansas Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Semester/Summer Scholar, and a 2015-present University BioScholar. He has also received an undergraduate research award.

Jeremy McLeod
jmcleod@ku.edu

Jeremy McLeod is a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in human sexuality and women, gender and sexuality studies. McLeod is involved with Dr. Ilardi’s psychology research lab and Dr. Muehlenhard's psychology research lab. He is interested in traveling and outdoor activities.

Sofia Mildrum Chana
12mildrumchana3@ku.edu

Sofia Mildrum Chana is a junior majoring in human biology and psychology. Chana is involved with the University’s International Admissions Office and the KU Believe Autism Matters club, and has participated in several Alternative Breaks trips. Her interests include psychology research and music. Chana has recieved the KU – Institute of International Education Scholarship and the Veta B. Memorial Award for her academic and extracurricular achievements. 

Nidhi Patel
nidhi.patel@ku.edu

Nidhi Patel is a senior majoring in English and biology and is on the pre-medical track. Patel is an Honors Community Advocate, a member of the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon, and a University Honors Student Ambassador. She is interested in volunteering and writing. Patel was recognized as a Hall Scholar for the Humanities in 2018, an Ex.Cel Award finalist, and a University Global Scholar. 

Emilia Paz
e155p319@ku.edu

Emilia Paz is a junior majoring in computer science. Paz is the secretary of KU's Association for Computing Machinery, the marketing chair of HackKU, and involved with the KU Women in Computing Club. Paz is interested in soccer and travelling, and has earned the KU International Excellence Award and the STEM Leadership Ambassador Award. She is also a member of the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi.

Vinu Rao
vinu.rao@ku.edu

Vinu Rao is a junior majoring in film and media studies with a production emphasis, as well as molecular, cellular and developmental biology on a pre-medical track. Rao is involved with undergraduate research, the University of Kansas Writerly Friends program and the University of Kansas Women in Medicine program. Rao's interests include writing and video/music production. Rao is a University Scholar and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honors society, and has been awarded a Parker B. Francis Summer Fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center as well as a summer undergraduate Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Research Fellowship at the Unviersity of Iowa Medical Center. 

Ria Singh
ria.singh2198@ku.edu

Ria Singh is a junior majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology on a pre-medical track. Singh is involved with the University's Alternative Breaks program and the Undergraduate Adivisng Center. Singh's interests include travelling, exploring and reading. She is a University Global Scholar and a recipient of the KU – International Institute of Education scholarship.

Vivek Tallavajhala
vivtalla@ku.edu

Vivek Tallavajhala is a senior majoring in computer science with a minor in economics. Tallavajhala is the vice president of the University of Kansas STEM Initiative Program, an Engineering Ambassador, and an Honors Student Ambassador. He is interested in tech entrepreneurship, venture capital, and advances analytics within the NBA. 

Bailey Thompson
baileythompson@ku.edu

Bailey Thompson is a senior majoring in accounting. Thompson is involved with the University’s Business Leadership Program and Business Honors Program, and the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. Her interests include soccer and coffee. Thompson has received the department of accounting scholarship, the Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship, and an Honors Opportunity Award.


Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty
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Congratulations to #KUHonors students and Astronaut Scholarship nominees Madison Foster, Anna Goddard, Tyler Nguyen… https://t.co/NzK54c6W12


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