2015 Science-U Staff

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Biographical information and photos of the summer staff with Science-U.

Salvatore Affinito headshotSalvatore Affinito - CSI, Busted!, Nittany Lion MD


Salvatore just graduated in May with a degree in Psychology. He is pursuing a PhD in Organizational Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next year. In his free time, he likes traveling, fishing, hiking, playing sports, and hanging out with friends. He has always loved science, and is looking forward to helping out as a curriculum mentor this summer!

Charmaine Azutillo headshotCharmaine Azutillo - Program Assistant

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Charmaine is a rising senior from Miami, FL. She is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Molecular and Cell Biology option and minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She enjoys working at Discovery Space through the America Reads program and loves to see the enthusiasm kids have learning about science. She is ecstatic to be a part of Science-U this summer!

Brittany Banik headshotBrittany Banik - Leadership


Brittany is from Monroe, NC, and is a Bioengineering PhD student at Penn State with a B.S. in bioengineering and minor in mathematical sciences from Clemson University. She currently works in the Musculoskeletal Regenerative Medicine Laboratory investigating a novel scaffold design for tendon tissue engineering. In her free time, Brittany enjoys traveling, being outdoors, volunteering, exercising, and cooking.  She is a returning Science-U volunteer and is looking forward to another great summer session!

Sophia Barrios headshotSophia Barrios - Extended Care

Biobehavioral Health

Sophia is from Philadelphia, PA and is going into her senior year at Penn State. She is majoring in Biobehavioral Health (BBH) with a minor in Health Policy and Administration. She plans to attend graduate school for a Masters in Public Health and also become a primary care Physician. On campus, she is a part of a Latin academic sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., an undergraduate TA for two BBH courses, a Mid-State Literacy Program English tutor, THON, America Reads, and a volunteer at Mt. Nittany Medical Hospital. She loves to dance, travel, read, and cook. She also loves working with children and she can't wait to start her first year with Science U!

Danielle Barron headshotDanielle Barron - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD


Danielle is from Horsham, PA and a rising senior majoring in the Science, Biological Sciences and Health Professions option. She plans to go to Physician's Assistant school after Penn State. She is actively involved with Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and Science Lion Pride, and also is a teaching assistant for anatomy. This past winter, she went to Nicaragua with Global Medical Brigades and loved learning about the culture and helping the sick. She loves to play volleyball and reading in her free time. This is her first summer working as a curriculum mentor with Science-U and she could not be more excited!

Taylor Breidenbaugh headshotTaylor Breidenbaugh – CSI, Busted!, Wizards, Forensic DNA, Ecology, Leadership


Taylor is from Lancaster, PA and recently graduated Penn State with a degree in chemistry. While attending Penn State, she served as president of the Nittany Chemical Society, an organization that is heavily involved with science outreach. She also participated in undergraduate research in Dr. Tom Mallouk’s lab studying materials for solar energy applications. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, experimenting in the kitchen, and long-distance running. This fall she is leaving to go to graduate school to study materials chemistry and hopefully get a PhD in chemistry.

Jen Chelko headshotJennifer Chelko - Camp Program Assistant


Jen is a recent graduate from Penn State University with a degree in Toxicology and a minor in Environmental Resource Management.  She is a member of The Touch of Blue Penn State Majorettes as a member of the Blue Band and has previously been a member of a THON committee.  Jen previously interned for Elanco, and is happy to be back at Science-U this summer.  In her free time, she enjoys running and reading.

Mary Chen headshot

Mary Chen – CSI, Busted, Wizards, Nittany Lion MD


Mary is a rising senior from Blue Bell, PA majoring in Biology with a concentration in Vertebrate Physiology. Around campus, she is involved as a chemistry tutor and an undergraduate research assistant in the Penn State Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab. This is her first summer working as a curriculum mentor with Science-U! In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and doing arts and crafts! She is also a huge Harry Potter fan.

Ian Fenimore headshotIan Fenimore - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD


Ian is a rising sophomore at Penn State, currently majoring in Chemistry. On campus he is involved in several organizations including Phi Beta Lambda professional business organization, PSU Open Mic club, and the Outing Club. In the spring he plays IM volleyball with Phi Beta Lambda, and plays beach volleyball outside once it warms up. In the future Ian intends to pursue a Ph.D. and become an active contributor in the field of chemical research.

Coriana Fitz headshotCoriana Fitz - Camp Program Assistant

Energy Engineering

Coriana is a senior in Energy Engineering from West Virginia. She enjoys adventures like biking, running, and skydiving. Her spare time is also taken up by reading and writing - novels especially. She plans to publish her novels, travel the world, take horse riding lessons after graduating and making lots of money doing some cool engineering thing.

Elizabeth Fleming headshotElizabeth Fleming - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, Nittany Lion MD


Elizabeth is entering her senior year at Penn State through the Eberly College of Science. She has always had a passion for teaching and for science. She's been a biology TA for Dr. Malcos and has been involved with Penn State's Circle K club, a volunteer organization. Although she's majoring in Biology and Secondary Education, she loves working with younger kids as well, and is very excited to work for Science-U this summer!

Brandon Follick headshotBrandon Follick - CSI, Infection, AI, Forensic DNA, Ecology, Leadership

Biology / Biochemistry and Bioethics

Brandon, from Stroudsburg, PA, is a recent graduate with a degree in Biology and minors in Biochemistry and Bioethics. During his time at Penn State he was involved in a spread of activities, including Science Lion Pride, THON Committees, being a TA for the Biology Department, and serving on the Movin' On Executive Board. His research background includes looking at neuron development in the Rolls lab at Penn State and studies related to cardiothoracic surgery with the Department of Surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest. He plans to work for 1-2 years before attending medical school.

Katherine Fradeneck headshotKatherine Fradeneck - CSI, Busted!, AI, Nittany Lion MD

Biobehavioral Health

Katherine is an undergraduate student at Penn State. She is from Center Valley, PA.



Tim Gleason headshotTim Gleason - Ecology, Leadership

Planetary Science and Astronomy

Tim is a rising senior from Julian, Pennsylvania.  He is majoring in Planetary Science and Astronomy and pursuing a teaching certification in Earth and Space Science.  His interests include everything outdoors, such as stargazing, rock collecting, kayaking, and hiking.  This is his second year working with Science-U. Outside of classes, he is involved with environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Green Party, and Global Environmental Brigades.

Kaitlyn Guza headshotKaitlyn Guza – NittanyBots, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD

Mathematics & Statistics

Kaitlyn is going into her junior year in at Penn State University Park, currently majoring in Mathematics and minoring in statistics. She is extremely involved in the special interest organization OHANA, an organization that raises money for THON every year. Kaitlyn was a family facilitator this past year and plans on being on the executive team next year. She is from Bear, Delaware and loves cooking, reading, and going to the beach in her free time!

Melissa Hajduk headshotMelissa Hajduk – Camp Program Assistant


Melissa is a May 2015 PSU graduate from Gilbert, PA with a degree in General Biology. While in school, she was involved with THON. Melissa enjoys exploring nature, mucking around through the woods, hiking and four wheeling. She has three cats and loves spending time with them. Melissa is excited for her first summer at Science-U and is looking forward to meeting as many people as possible.

Conor Higgings - CSI, Infection, Ecology, AI, Forensic DNA, Leadership


Conor is a recent graduate from Penn State who holds a B.S. in biology. Over his four years at Penn State he worked in psychology and biology research labs, volunteered at THON, and participated in various other clubs and activities. He enjoys traveling, being outside, and hanging out with his friends.  This is his third year with Science-U, and he is excited to be back again working with our next generation of young scientists!

Alvaro Jordan headshotAlvaro Jordan - Videographer

Alvaro was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1985. Between 2004 and 2006 he studied sociology at the Catholic University of Chile, where he got interested in aesthetics studies. Therefore, he started Cinema studies in Santiago, from 2007 to 2010 at Arcos’ film school, where he graduated with honors. Ever since, he has worked as a film editor in different short films, documentaries, corporate videos and TV reports. Alvaro has also been teaching both practical and theoretical courses on film edition at Arcos’ film school since 2011, and came to Penn State pursuing a Master Degree on Visual Arts to keep developing himself. To think you know enough is the first step to stop growing…

Caroline Kingscott headshotCaroline Kingscott - Photojournalist

Biobehavioral Health

Caroline just graduated from Penn State and is from Bethesda, Maryland.  While at Penn State she majored in Biobehavioral Health and enjoyed being involved in her service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and online publication, Her Campus.  She enjoys running, writing, and hanging out with her friends and family in her free time.  She is excited to work at Science-U this summer!

Emily Landis headshotEmily Landis - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD


Emily graduated from Penn State in May 2015 with a MS degree in Chemistry with a dual appointment in Materials Science and Engineering.  Her master's thesis research focused on synthesizing and processing nanoscale particlulates, including synthesizing copper nanoparticles and carbon nanofibers.  She also served as a teaching assistant for the general chemistry laboratories at Penn State. She previously received her BS degree in Chemistry from Westminster College.  In her free time, she enjoys knitting, playing racquetball, and cooking.

Betsy Larcom headshotBetsy Larcom - NittanyBots, Water Heroes, Ecology, Artificial Intelligence

Science Education

Betsy Larcom is passionate about science and science education! She received a B.S. in Biology (2007), a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (2009), and an M.S in Biology (2013) from Penn State. In addition, Betsy holds a Pennsylvania Secondary Biology Teaching Certificate. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology. She teaches various undergraduate science courses and loves learning from her students. This is Betsy’s seventh year working with Science-U and she is very excited to work with such curious campers!

Jason Marko headshotJason Marko - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, Forensic DNA, Nittany Lion MD


Jason is a junior majoring in chemistry with a minor in theatre from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is involved in The Penn State Thespians and is a homecoming Security captain and THON R&R volunteer. His future career goals include becoming a theatre and chemistry high school teacher!


Kelly McGill headshotKelly McGill - CSI, Infection, Wizards, Leadership

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Kelly just graduated in May as the student marshal with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Nutrition.  She is pursuing a PhD in Immunology at Stanford University in California next year.  While attending Penn State, she worked as an organic chemistry and immunology TA.  She also participated in the Nittany Chemical Society and THON.  Kelly carried out her honors thesis research in Dr. Margherita Cantorna’s laboratory where she explored the effects on an enteric infection on the vitamin D receptor expression in the kidney and colon of mice.  She also had an internship at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.  She is originally from Grove City, PA.  Her hobbies include hiking, dance cardio, movie watching and baking any and all kinds of dessert.  She is looking forward to working as a curriculum mentor this summer and hopes that she can help change the public’s mind about the fact that “Science does not know its debt to imagination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Katie McNeil headshotKatie McNeil – NittanyBots, Water Heroes, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD


Katie is a junior from Pittsburgh, PA majoring in biotechnology with a microbiology minor. She is a member of Phi Sigma Rho sorority and is involved in THON. During the school year, she works as a proctor for the Mathematics Department. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her friends and family. This is Katie's first summer at Science-U and she is so excited to help inspire young scientists!

Lisa Miller - Ecology, Nittany Lion MD

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology / Food Science

Kirsten Nading headshotKirsten Nading – CSI, Busted!, Forensic DNA, Nittany Lion MD


Kirsten, from Butler, PA, will be a junior undergraduate majoring in Biology with the Vertebrate Physiology option at Penn State. She is an active participant in THON, researcher for the Infant and Child Temperament Lab, and volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician for the University. Outside of academics, she likes to spend her time baking, hanging with friends, and going to the gym. This is her first year being involved with Science- U and she can’t wait to get started!

Jacqueline Oxford headshotJacqueline Oxford - Videographer

Film and Multi-media

Jacqueline is a 2015 graduate of Penn State. After graduation and her extended time working for Penn State, she plans on moving to California to pursue the dream of becoming an independent/drama film director. In her spare time she enjoys photography, as well as studying the screen plays of major motion pictures and their success in the film industry. Jacqueline grew up in Boerne, Texas - a small town just a few miles from San Antonio and spent most of her childhood years obsessing over and supporting the San                                     Antonio Spurs basketball team.

Brooke Stevenson headshotBrooke Stevenson - Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Ecology, Nittany Lion MD

Biobehavioral Health

Brooke, from Butler, PA is starting her junior year at Penn State University. She is majoring in biobehavioral health and hopes to become a physician’s assistant. Brooke is excited to be returning for a second year as a curriculum mentor at Science-U! She is involved in THON and Penn State Homecoming. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Tarter headshotHannah Tarter - CSI, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD

Hannah is starting her junior year at Penn State University, majoring in Biobehavioral health with minors in Biology and Health Policy Administration. After graduation, she has hopes of becoming a physician’s assistant. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering, running, hiking, and reading. Hannah loves to meet new people and can’t wait to start her first summer with Science-U!

Quynh Mai Trinh headshotQuynh Mai Trinh – NittanyBots, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD

Chemical Engineering

Quynh is a rising junior majoring in electrical engineering from Souderton, PA. Outside of the classroom, she is a chemistry tutor and student leader for the operations team of TedxPSU. When she has free time, she loves to catch up with old friends, go for a run outside, or try out different sports. She is looking forward to her first year as a curriculum mentor and can’t wait to meet all of you!

Lauren Ulsh headshotLauren Ulsh – CSI, Infection, Wizards, Ecology, Nittany Lion MD


Lauren, from Rochester, MN, is going into her senior year at Penn State and planning to become a Physician. This is her first summer with Science-U and she is very excited to help out. On campus, she is also involved in a psychology research lab, Penn State Homecoming, Club Water Polo, THON, and Nexus. Lauren is also a huge sports fan and loves cooking and trying new foods.

Trang Vu headshotTrang Vu - CSI, Wizards, ESW, Ecology, Nittany Lion MD


Trang is a sophomore majoring in Chemistry, with an interest in cosmetic chemistry. She hopes to work as a cosmetic formulator after graduation.  She is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam and is involved with the Vietnamese Student Association on campus. She loves animals and often volunteers at PAWS, an animal shelter, on the weekend. She enjoys swimming, hanging out with her friends and skyping with her family back home. This will be her first summer to volunteer at Science-U, and she’s super excited!

Corinne Wilson headshotCorinne Wilson - NittanyBots, Busted!, Wizards, ESW, Nittany Lion MD


Corinne is going to be a 5th year senior studying chemistry. She is also a cosmetologist and is combining her passion for science and beauty in her aspiration of becoming a cosmetic chemist. Corinne is from Pittsburgh, PA and is really excited to work with everyone this summer!