US tab

Graduate Students

Liz Connor

Liz Connor is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership, Higher Education/Student Personnel track at UCF. In May of 2015, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management, minor in Leadership Studies, and certificate in Service Learning from UCF. During her career at UCF, she has gained experience in many areas of the university and developed a passion for serving students. As an inductee of the Order of Pegasus, Class of 2015, she continues to been very active in the UCF community, and currently holds leadership positions in the President’s Leadership Council and SDES Student Advisory Council.

Jordan D'Abruzzo

Jordan D'Abruzzo is a second year PhD student in the Mathematics Department at UCF. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science from UCF in 2015. He has a year of teaching assistant experience, and over five years of tutoring experience. As an undergraduate, he worked in the Math Lab at UCF and received Tutor of the Year for the 2014-2015 academic year. His research interests include probability theory and mathematical statistics.

Arielle Gaudiello

Arielle Gaudiello is a fourth year PhD student in the Mathematics Department at UCF. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Stockton University in 2013.This will be her third year as a member of the EXCEL/COMPASS team. Recently, Arielle was received the Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UCF. Her research interests include epidemic modeling, specifically the human papillomavirus.

Meredith Guthrie

Meredith Guthrie is a PhD student in the Mathematics Department. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Samford University in Birmingham, AL in 2015, where she was a University Fellow. In the fall of 2015, she began her graduate assistantship in the UCF MALL. In the spring of 2016, she taught a pilot College Algebra course using an adaptive learning platform. She will be joining the EXCEL/COMPASS team in the fall of 2016. Meredith is a recipient of the UCF Trustees Doctoral Fellowship.

Westley James

Westley James is PhD student in the Physics Department at the University of Central Florida. He received his bachelor’s in physics at University of Central Florida in spring 2015. His current research is in the field of physics education research under Dr. Jackie Chini and has plans to teach at either the college or high school level upon graduation. Currently, he has two years of experience teaching students in either a physics lab or classroom. If you need help of any sort, please email him, as teaching/interacting with people are some of his top passions in life. Email: Westley.D.James@knights.ucf.edu

Hoda Malak

Hoda Malak is a PhD student in the Mathematics Department at UCF. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Lebanese University in 2011. In 2015, she got her Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Beirut Arab University. She has three years of elementary and high school teaching experience with the U.N. and one semester of tutoring in Beirut Arab University. Also, she started tutoring in the UCF M.A.L.L. in the spring of 2016 and will be joining the EXCEL/COMPASS team in the fall of 2016. Her research interest is in inverse problems.

Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason is a Ph.D student in the Biology department at the University of Central Florida. He received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Miami University and a Master’s of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2012 and 2014 respectively. His master’s research examined the ecology and behavior of kangaroo rats and pocket mice. Andrew has teaching experience in both introductory and organismal biology courses. His research interests include the evolution, ecology and systematics of venomous snakes.

Ali Haghighat Mesbahi

Ali Haghighat Mesbahi is PhD student in chemistry. He received his second master’s degree at the University of Central Florida in Materials Science and Engineering with focus on Adsorption Stability of Polymers in the Nano-Particles. He received his first masters and also his bachelor degree in Polymer Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology. He is currently doing his research under Dr. Stephen Kuebler’s supervision in Nano-Photonic Materials

Andrea Rediske

Andrea Rediske is a doctoral candidate in Science Education at the University of Central Florida. This will be her third year working with EXCEL/COMPASS, and she’s delighted to get to know all of the new EXCEL/COMPASS students in STEM seminar this year! She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology in 1996 and her Master of Science degree in Microbiology in 1998 from Brigham Young University. She has been an adjunct professor of Microbiology at Valencia College in Orlando and Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, CA for 11 years, and worked as a freelance science writer and editor for a textbook company for two years before beginning her doctoral studies.

Ramchandra Rimal

Ramchandra Rimal is a PhD student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Central Florida. He received his Master’s degree in Mathematics from Tribhuvan University in 2010 and started tutoring. He has worked as a lecturer of Mathematics in Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management and Canvas College. He likes to deal with all variety of mathematics. This will be his second year working with EXCEL/COMPASS.

Ryan Roopnarain

Ryan Roopnarain is a second year PhD student in the Mathematics Department at UCF. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at UCF in spring 2015. He has many years of tutoring experience, from tutoring Algebra and Calculus during his junior and senior years at University High School to tutoring Algebra, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus at the UCF MALL. Ryan looks forward to joining the EXCEL/COMPASS Program in fall 2016.

Jason Strickland

Jason Strickland is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Biology in the College of Sciences at the University of Central Florida. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master's of Science in Biology from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas in 2009 and 2011 respectively. His research focused on the evolution and ecology of cottonmouths. Jason has experience in most fields of biology, specifically those that involve multicellular organisms (plants and animals). He has two semesters of experience as a teaching assistant in Introductory Biology. This will be his fourth year working for EXCEL/COMPASS and he is the Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) coordinator this year. His current research in Dr. Christopher Parkinson's lab focuses on understanding venom evolution in rattlesnakes of the American Southwest.

Blake Wallace

Blake Wallace is a third year PhD student in the department of Mathematics at UCF. He received his B.S. in mathematics in May of 2012 from Missouri State University. During his undergraduate tenure, Blake gained more than four years of experience tutoring students both privately and in tutoring labs. His tutoring experience has ranged over most undergraduate mathematics courses, and he loves solving problems with students.

Alex York

Alex York is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Central Florida. He received both his B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from UCF in 2012 and 2015, respectively. This is his third year as a part of the Excel/Compass program. His research interests include Commutative Homological Algebra and Graph Theoretic Algebra.

Niloofar Yousefi

Niloofar Yousefi is a PhD student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Central Florida. She is working in the Machine Learning Lab (ML^2) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Science. Her research interests include Statistical Learning Theory, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition and Multi-Task Learning. She received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Master of Science in Operation Research in 2007 and 2012, respectively. She has been working with the EXCEL/COMPASS program for three years.