2016-17 McNair Scholars


Isaac Berko, Political Science/Criminal Justice

Stephanie Breen, History

John Brown, Sociology

Maryam Canty, Political Science

Sarah Cohen, Psychology/Sociology

  • Sarah Cohen, Class of 2017, grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts right outside of Boston. She will graduate from Suffolk University with a double major in both Psychology and Sociology with a track in Youth and Community. Sarah is very active in the Suffolk community. She has spent the past four years volunteering with Jumpstart as a team leader. She is the president of Rainbow Alliance, the only LGBTQ+ club in the undergraduate program, and attends events with the Office of Diversity Services often. Sarah participates in many activities held by the Center for Community Engagement. She is a 4-year service day leader, as well as a 2-year Alternative Spring Breaks leader for the Philadelphia LGBTQ+ trip. She has been a McNair Scholar for over a year, and has participated in conducting research over the past summer. When not in classes or extracurricular activities, she works part time at Stop and Shop, as an in-home tutor, and as a nanny. Sarah is applying to PhD programs across the country, and hopes to travel as much as she can in the future.

Hakim Cunningham, Entrepreneurship

Rooby Fortulien, Finance

Kimberlee Gonsalves-Laro, History

Mileika Jaime, Biochemistry

  • Mileika Jaime, Class of 2019, is from Methuen, MA. Mileika is currently a sophomore at Suffolk University studying Biology with a minor in Chemistry. While being an Honors student within the College of Arts and Sciences, she is also a member of various clubs and organizations, such as the American Chemical Society and Program Council, where she has had the opportunity to volunteer and plan events in and around the university. She enjoys reading, working hard, and meeting new people. After saving up and travelling abroad to Europe, she is eager to return and study abroad in the future and gain new perspectives in her chosen field. Having always had a passion for the sciences, Mileika would love to concentrate her research on helping others in the health sciences. She plans to continue on to graduate school and eventually earn a degree in Pharmacology, possibly concentrating in Toxicology.

Kadiatu Kamara, Biology

  • Kadiatu Kamara, Class of 2017, grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone and moved to America when she was seven years old. After graduating from Chelsea High School, Kadiatu is majoring in Biology. Active in the Suffolk community, she is currently a McNair Ambassador for the McNair Scholar Program, a member of Black Student Union, and has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She is currently interning at the Brigham and Women Harvard Medical department as a researcher in the Renal department. Last year Kadiatu spent her summer writing a literature review on the human body’s immune system. After graduation, Kadiatu plans on taking a gap year she hopes to spend the summer working as a research assistant for a big hospital before applying to graduate school. During her free time Kadiatu enjoys volunteering, watching Netflix, and reading.

Fernando Lopez, Advertising/Global Business

Michelle Lopez, Biochemistry

  • Michelle López, Class of 2017, was born in Quito, Ecuador. She moved to the United States at the age of seven and graduated from Mashpee High School. At Suffolk, Michelle is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in biology. She is involved in the Suffolk University Forensic Science Society while also working as a pet care assistant at an animal hospital. She had the privilege of becoming a student researcher at Suffolk, under the instruction of Dr. Melanie Berkmen. After graduation, Michelle hopes to continue to gain laboratory research experience before pursuing her PhD in one of the biosciences.

Henry Mai, Accounting/Information Systems

  • Henry Mai, Class of 2017 grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Quincy High School. Henry is an Accounting major and Big Data and Analytics minor at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School. Involved in the Suffolk community, Henry is currently the treasurer for the Information Systems Club and a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma. He has completed a fall internship with a tax firm in Quincy and currently works as an accountant for a flower shop in Boston. As a Ballotti Scholar, he will begin tutoring at Suffolk’s Center for Learning and Academic Success (CLAS) the fall of 2016. He enjoys playing tennis, billiards, and bowling in his free time. After graduation, Henry hopes to spend the summer preparing for the CPA exams as an audit intern at one of the big four accounting firms before entering Suffolk University’s MSA 4+1 Program in the fall of 2017.

Arly Macario, Government/Sociology

  • Arly Macario, Class of 2018, is a resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts. She is an honors student majoring in government with a concentration in law and public policy, as well as sociology with a concentration in crime and justice. At Suffolk, Arly is involved with student organizations, including the Program Council, the Alternative Spring Break Program, and the Journey Leadership Program. As a sophomore, she was treasurer of Program Council and will continue to be on the executive board as Vice President in her junior year. During the summer, Arly worked as a legal intern at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority located in the Seaport District. Arly has a variety of interests for career opportunities. She would like to work in crime investigation or in the immigration field. After graduation, Arly plans to attend graduate school and focus in either government or sociology. In her remaining two years at Suffolk, she hopes to determine the path she wishes to pursue as she gains more knowledge and experience in her studies.

Tiffany Martinez, Sociology

  • Tiffany C. Martínez, Class of 2017 grew up in the Bronx, NY and Miami, FL and is an undergraduate student at Suffolk University majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Youth and Community. At Suffolk, Tiffany devotes her time in programs such as the Diversity Peer Educator and Social Justice Educator program that focus on promoting diversity in higher education and creating inclusive programs that raise the visibility and safety of marginalized groups on campus. As a daughter of immigrants and first generation college student, Tiffany finds her passion in researching the root causes of racism and discrimination in the education system. She has also worked as a youth worker and supervisor for programs in the Cambridge Youth Program that focus on empowerment, independence, and inclusivity. In May 2016, Tiffany published a piece on student activism in a peer-reviewed journal - Opportunity Matters: Journal of Access and Opportunity in Education. She plans on graduating in May and entering a graduate program in the Fall of 2017.

J. Antonio Medina-Barreto, Management

Amberly Mendes, Biology

Brandi Noseworthy, Information Systems

Sheikh "Nash" Nasher, Mathematics/Sociology

  • Sheikh Abu (Nash) Nasher, Class of 2019, was born and raised in Sylhet, Bangladesh. He is a graduate of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and currently resides in Cambridge, MA. He is an honors student with a double major in Sociology and Pure Mathematics. Active in the Suffolk community, he currently holds positions as a Campus Engagement Scholar for Center of Community Engagement, a Research Assistant for the Psychology Department, and as President of the Suffolk University Mathematics Society (SUMS) in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. His dedication and commitment to service allowed him to be named an inaugural Suffolk Service Challenge winner during his Freshman year at Suffolk University. He has a passion for amateur wrestling, Japanese jujitsu, cricket and soccer and actively engages in these sports in his free time. Post-graduation, Nash aims to join a joint Mathematics and Sociology PhD program at Harvard University.

Sabrina Phanor, Biochemistry

  • Sabrina K. Phanor, Class of 2018, grew up in Braintree, MA, graduated from Braintree High School, and now resides in Randolph, MA. An honors student majoring in biochemistry at Suffolk University, Sabrina is also a secretary for the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) clubs. Sabrina has recently conducted research with her advisor, Dr. Melanie Berkmen, on the oligomerization of ConB, a conjugative element of Bacillus subtilis. She has presented her research at the Boston Bacterial Meeting in MIT and the McNair Scholars Research Conference at the University of Maryland College Park. In the fall of 2016, she will be a lab assistant for the Biochemistry 331 Lab and is looking forward to the challenge in cultivating her leadership skills. She will also be volunteering at a hospital and gaining more research experience. After graduation, Sabrina plans to enter a MD/PhD program for Immunology and Infectious Disease or take part in Cancer study and work in research institutes. She also plans to travel to the world, particularly Cuba and her parents’ native country, Haiti.

Phyliss St-Hubert, Government

  • Phyliss St-Hubert, Class of 2018, grew up in Quincy, MA and attended Quincy High School. At Suffolk University, Phyliss is an honor student, majoring in Government with a concentration in Law and Public Policy with a minor in Black Studies. Heavily involved in the Suffolk community, Phyliss is currently a Diversity Peer Educator, treasurer for the Black Student Union, Trustee Ambassador, and works as an Office Assistant for the Office of Diversity Services. She has held leadership positions on campus as a teaching assistant for the Upward Bound Program, a Resident Assistant, and a Conference Assistant. Outside of Suffolk, Phyliss has been a big sister for a year and a half with the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and has interned at a Boston law firm. Phyliss has a strong passion and interest for social justice, equity, and education. Phyliss hopes to earn her PhD in education policy with a focus in urban schools.

Lesley Ta, Accounting/Finance

Sydney Thomas, Biochemistry

  • Sydney Thomas, Class of 2018, originally from Windsor, CT is now a 3rd year student at Suffolk University. Sydney is passionate about Biochemistry and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion for the subject matter in and outside the university classroom. She currently serves as the President of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and as the Outreach and Demonstration Coordinator of American Chemical Society. As a second year student, she obtained a position at a biochemistry laboratory where she gained research and professional skills. She was recently selected to participate at a Summer Research Internship at Michigan State University. She currently serves as McNair Ambassador and is excited to share the program’s mission and vision with other students. Post-graduation, Sydney plans to attend graduate school to study food chemistry/toxicology and learn more about the paradoxical medicinal qualities of food.

Leonel Vazquez, Sociology

Taylor White, Biology

  • Taylor White, Class of 2019, was raised on Cape Cod, MA. She graduated from Sturgis Charter Public School in 2015 and is now a sophomore at Suffolk University, majoring in biology and minoring in print journalism. During her freshman year, she explored both print and broadcast journalism by writing for The Suffolk Journal and creating her own radio show called “The Suffolk Scoop.” Additionally, she completed an internship with The Cape Cod Times and currently serves as a freelance feature writer for a magazine entitled PrimeTime Cape Cod. Given her passion for biotechnology, Taylor hopes to receive a PhD in biology and obtain a career in medicine. Specifically, she is interested in learning more about genetics and pathogens. During the summer of 2016, Taylor worked as a full-time seasonal production technician at Associates of Cape Cod (ACC), Inc. in East Falmouth, MA, where she worked with horseshoe crabs in a professional lab environment that specializes in endotoxin and glucan detection. This experience allowed her to obtain research and other skills essential to her interests and future line of work. She is focused on exceling in her coursework this upcoming year and continuing to follow her passions in both biotech and journalism while being involved with the McNair Scholars Program.

Recent McNair Graduates


Naira Aleksanyan, BS in Biology, December 2015

Kimberly Berrazueta, BS in Biology, May 2016
-- M.S. in Nursing, Simmons College, Expected May 2018

Danisha Dumornay, BA in Government, May 2016

Yasmeen Hamdoun, BS in Psychology, December 2015
-- M.S. in Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Expected May 2018

Harold Kuemkong-Nguouko, BSBA in Accounting, December 2015
-- M.S. in Finance, Suffolk University, Expected May 2017

Laura Ochoa, BS in Psychology, May 2016