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Students

Profiles of our current Bridge to the Doctorate students are coming soon.

Alex Christopher Stutts Heading link

Alex Christopher Stutts

Alex Christopher Stutts is a first-year electrical engineering PhD student in the Andrew Electromagnetics Laboratory under the guidance of Professor Danilo Erricolo. Alex received his bachelor of science degree from UIC in May 2020 and serves as secretary for the IEEE Antennas and Propagation / Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Joint Chicago Chapter. During his undergraduate career, Alex held positions at Apple, Continental, GE Appliances, a Haier Company, and Best Buy. He also served as an undergraduate research assistant in his senior year working on a microscale multiplexing system. Alex is a recipient of the 2020 GEM Fellowship and 2020 NSF Bridge to the Doctorate at UIC Fellowship. He is a senior intern hardware developer at IBM Systems, responsible for developing an application to automate constraint entry for PCB design. Outside of professional endeavors, Alex enjoys playing soccer and video games, producing music, and volunteering.

Daniel Torres Heading link

Daniel Torres

Daniel Torres is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering program. Daniel received his BS in mechanical engineering from UIC in the spring of 2020. He is a member of the Robotics and Motion (RAM) laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Pranav Bhounsule. He is currently working on familiarizing himself with Reinforcement Learning (RL) and one of the robots available in the lab, Digit. He is currently a member of SHPE and enjoys being a part of the SHPE Outreach team whose efforts are in developing interest in STEM among the youth.  Daniel was selected as a 2020 fellow for the Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship. Most recently, he has been awarded an additional fellowship through the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). In his free time, he enjoys tinkering with robotics and 3D printing, reading, and playing basketball.

Tatum Johnson Heading link

Tatum Johnson

Tatum Johnson is a chemist and alumna of the University of Texas at Austin. During her time as an undergrad, she was a member and mentor of the Freshman Research Program, allowing her to gain experience and teach in a biochemistry research lab. As a new student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program at UIC, she has joined the lab of Dr. Terry Moore. Here, she’s working on the discovery and optimization of NRF2 activators as possible therapeutics for a number of inflammatory disorders. She is honored to be a Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow and looks forward to the opportunity to give back. In her time off, she enjoys exploring Chicago, painting, and playing games.

Jonathan Banks Heading link

Jonathan Banks

Jonathan Banks is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) where he earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences with the Highest Departmental Distinction. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and a Ph.D. in Oral Sciences as part of a dual-degree program at the UIC College of Dentistry. Jonathan presented his research on chronic periodontitis and microRNA expression at local, national, and international symposia. In addition to his research pursuits, Jonathan is dedicated to serving others and meeting the health care needs of those in his community and beyond.

Dominick Pierre-Jacques Heading link

Dominick Pierre-Jacques

Dominick Pierre-Jacques is a first-year Chemistry PhD student. He obtained his AAS in Bioscience Technology from Gwinnett Technical College, and bridged to Kennesaw State University through the S-STEM scholarship. At Kennesaw State, Dominick received his BS in General Chemistry. During his tenure at Kennesaw, he conducted research with Dr. Martina Kaledin on using Driven Molecular Dynamics to stimulate raman activity and a paper was published on their findings. Outside of the chemistry world, Dominick enjoys cooking and discovering new music.

Pedro Fernandez Jr Heading link

Pedro Fernandez Jr

Pedro Fernandez Jr is a first-year mechanical engineer Ph.D. student in the High-Pressure Shock Tube Lab (HPST) under the guidance of Professor Kenneth Brezinsky. Pedro received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in May of 2021. During his undergrad, he was a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), secretary for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) UIC chapter, team lead for Chicago Hyperloop, and intern for GE Aviation. During the summer of 2018 and 2019, Pedro participated in undergraduate research at Princeton University and the Institute of Nanobiology and Structural Biology in the Czech Republic, respectively. He is driven to help support and mentor students in under-resourced communities. In his free time, Pedro enjoys spending time with family, friends, and loved ones as well as playing sports and working out.