Indiana University at Bloomington
Travis Green is a New Jersey native and is currently a Junior at Indiana University studying business with a concentration in finance. After witnessing the significant cognitive impact Alzheimer’s had on his grandparents Travis was compelled to join BEI in an effort to help others in similar circumstances. Travis has worked with the Indiana chapter for 3 years and as standing president, he looks forward to expanding the club’s involvement within the community.
University of Notre Dame
Ellen Sandner is a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Science-Business with a minor in Theology. Initially studying Neuroscience at Notre Dame, Ellen’s interest in the sciences sparked through her passion for music as she began to explore its effects on human behavior and the brain. Working as a project manager in the Sleep, Stress, and Memory Lab on campus, Ellen’s research on the impact of problem-solving tasks intersected well with the volunteer work she performed with BEI and inspired her to take on a bigger role with the organization. Outside of BEI, Ellen also works as a Bioanthropology Assistant and is the arrangement coordinator for her Acappella group.
University of Notre Dame
Maria Matuska is currently a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Neuroscience and Political Science, hailing from the town of Rockford, Illinois. Maria has always had a love for the sciences, but her collegiate education has fostered a passion for the intersection of health and public policy. She hopes to go to medical school post her graduation from Notre Dame. After volunteering at a hospice center for a number of years and witnessing the toll dementia had on her grandmother, Maria felt compelled to join BEI in order to give back to our elderly populations. Maria has worked with BEI for three years and is looking forward to all that BEI will accomplish this year. Outside of the Initiative, Maria works for Notre Dame’s student radio station, is involved with the philosophy department, and volunteers at the local hospital.
Michigan State University
Maria Ghishan is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Human Biology with a pre-medical intent. She is passionate about leaving a positive impact on her community and joined BEI as it granted her the opportunity to volunteer safely amid a pandemic and help reduce the social isolation that the seniors faced and raise awareness about Alzheimer's. Outside of BEI, Maria is a biology teaching assistant and is involved in anthropology research.
Washington University in St. Louis
Tina Lu is a third-year undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Microbiology and Global Health. She is passionate about bettering the community around her through tutoring, volunteering with organizations such as Campus Y: Science Olympiad and the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic, conducting research in a clinical geropsychology lab, and serving as a Peer-Led Team Learning Leader for chemistry. Tina developed a love for working with older adults when she was in high school volunteering at a local nursing home for those living with dementia where she was able to cultivate connections with residents and their caretakers that she continues to hold close to her heart, ultimately fostering a desire to pursue medicine in the future.
Sofia is a junior at Purdue University majoring in Biomedical Health Sciences with minors in Forensic Sciences and Biological Sciences. On campus, she is a mentor in the Honors College and is an undergraduate research assistant in the Interdisciplinary Women’s Reproductive Collaborative at Purdue. Sofia was also a research intern in the Obstetrics department of her hometown hospital in Maryland, and she was awarded the Undergraduate Research Pillar Award by Purdue’s Honors College for her efforts in the field of women’s health. She also works as a Certified Nursing Assistant at one of the BEI Purdue chapter's partnered nursing homes. Sofia joined BEI to help build a connection between Purdue students and the seniors in the Lafayette community. She quickly developed a passion for working with seniors in her community and plans to continue to grow and strengthen the BEI Purdue Chapter. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school and become a physician.
University of Michigan
Devarshi Mukherji is a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan majoring in Neuroscience and looking to minor in Philosophy with the hopes of pursuing a career in surgery. Currently, he works on research focused on creating therapies for various brain cancers, however, throughout all four years of high school, he did research on Alzheimer’s Disease. That experience led to a lasting interest in the disease and helping people affected by it. Being a part of BEI has given him the opportunity to do just that and in the coming years, he is hoping to make a real impact on those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in his community.
Sofía Cañuelas del Valle
Loyola University of Chicago
Sofía Cañuelas del Valle, originally from Puerto Rico, is currently a senior at Loyola University Chicago, majoring in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. Within the Memory and Neuromodulatory Mechanisms Lab, she assists in research on memory reactivation, behavioral observation, and their implications for treating psychiatric disorders such as PTSD. Apart from her studies, Sofía serves as a Behavioral Therapist at the ABA company Progressive Behavior Solutions. As her passion for supporting individuals with neurological disorders evolves, she aims to continue applying her knowledge and enthusiasm as co-president of LUC's Brain Exercise Initiative.
Sruthi Surapaneni graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Information Systems. She is currently a student at Oakland University as a premed. She hopes to be a physician that leverages her background in tech to improve the quality of healthcare. She believes in the benefit of intergenerational interaction on the motivation of older individuals and is excited to be seeing the effect of this through BEI.
Lawrence High School
Thomas Lushington is currently a senior at Lawrence High School who plans to major in neuroscience in college. Thomas became interested in Alzheimer’s disease after doing a science project on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, another neurodegenerative disease. This sparked his interest in other neuropathologies. He became interested in dementia specifically after volunteering with dementia patients. He believes the techniques behind the Brain Exercise initiative are remarkably effective and helpful in treating dementia. For this reason he hopes to expand the initiative’s influence. In doing this, he wants to raise awareness of such treatments and enhance the quality of life for those living with these illnesses.
Princeton Day High School
Aadi is a junior at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey. After attending a neuroscience course at Columbia University, Aadi developed an interest in researching neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's. This led to his involvement with BEI in the winter of his sophomore year, making him the first president of a high school chapter for BEI. Last summer, Aadi interned at the Pasteur Institute of Lille, France, and HITLAB at Columbia University. As Princeton Day School’s chapter president, Aadi hopes to make a difference in his local community of Princeton while also leading the growth of future high school BEI chapters.