Olivia Geneus, Co-Founder
Olivia Geneus is a Ph.D. Candidate in Physical Chemistry and an Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow at State University of New York, Buffalo. Her research focuses on using Nanotechnology for biological applications. She is working on a Nanomedicine theranostic agent that images and targets glioblastoma hypoxic tumors. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, and in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Olivia is a Partner & Chief Chemical Officer at Mergen Research, LLC; a scientific consulting firm. Olivia remains passionate in helping underrepresented high school and undergraduate students transition into their undergraduate and graduate academic careers. As a STEM diversity advocate, her goal is to reduce the cold climate that marginalized groups constantly face in scientific fields. As a graduate student, Olivia co-founded the Graduate Student of Color (GSC) graduate club; a sustainable institutional organization that supports graduate students of color throughout their academic and professional career. She also founded a research mentoring program for undergraduate students of color to gain laboratory and research experience at the graduate level. Furthermore, Olivia is an ambassador and a member of the planning council for STEMNoire; a research conference and holistic wellness retreat for Black Women in STEM. Olivia is from Boston, MA. She appreciates the outdoors, nature, and photography. Additionally, Olivia is a fitness coach and founder of OGANICS; a fitness and wellness program.
Jarriaun D. Streets, M.S, Co-Founder
Sr. Biological Scientist
Jarriaun D. Streets was born in Fort Myers, FL where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2018. She is a recent graduate of the Masters in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology program as of May 2020 at the University of South Florida. Currently, she is working as a Sr. Biological Scientist specializing in the field of nanotechnology for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USF. Her current work is focused on the use of solid lipid nanoparticles to address the bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs within Phase II Metabolism. Her initial exposure to nanotechnology began in 2017 during her undergraduate research with silver nanoparticles under the direction of her advisor Dr. Kerry J. Lee. However, her love for nanotechnology was strengthened during her master’s thesis research at the University of South Florida which prompted her to make the field of nanotechnology more accessible to underrepresented groups. Since the field of nanotechnology is projected to be the pillar of modern-day solutions, her initiative is to ensure that there is adequate representation and equal opportunity for people of color. Nanotechnology has allowed her to approach life with the notion that the smallest actions have the biggest impact.
Michael K. Riley II, Ph.D., Co-Organizer
Dr. Michael K. Riley II is a cell biologist and scientific communication advocate. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Cellular Biology from the University of Florida. He is currently a medical writer at SciMentum, a division of Nucleus Global. His doctoral research centered around designing plant based nanoparticles, characterizing their physio-chemical properties and testing their utilization as non-viral gene delivery vectors. Michael’s research interests lie in the area of nanomedicine, specifically designing nanoparticles to be used in gene therapy applications. Beyond research, Michael is passionate about training and teaching the next generation of Black STEM students, and promoting both scientific literacy and transparency in the Black community.
Christian J. Geneus, Ph.D., Co-Organizer
Research Scientist, Statistician
Dr. Christian J. Geneus, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at Procter and Gamble. Christian is a statistician for The Data and Modeling Sciences (D&MS) department for Research & Development Corporate Functions. He focuses on developing nonlinear models for exposure to safety/risk assessment. Christian has substantial experience in design of experiments and sample size estimation, along with a mastery of various statistical methodologies such as multivariate statistics, linear and mixed-effect linear models, survival analysis, data integration and data mining. Christian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and obtained his Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. His dedication to population health stems from his parents, whom are both physicians. He obtained a Master of Public Health in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness from Saint Louis University. Furthermore, Christian obtained his Master of Science in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biostatistics from Tulane University. Christian focuses on educating underrepresented and minority high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on the opportunities that statistics present. Christian is a co-founder of Cosine, an initiative celebrating Black scientists in the field of statistics. Aside from the scientific field, Christian enjoys fitness & wellness, drawing, and cooking.
Vladimir Geneus, Ph.D., Co-Organizer
Dr. Vladimir J. Geneus, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at Eli Lilly Company. He has gained much experience in statistics through various fields such as industry (Pfizer, Inc.), government (Florida Department of Education), and academia (University of Arkansas Medical School). His interests include nonparametric statistics, design of experiments, and Bayesian designs. Vladimir graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, from Northeastern University with a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, and from Florida State University with Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Statistics. Vladimir remains passionate and optimistic as ever in helping undergraduate and graduate students, especially underrepresented students, transition into their post-academic careers.
Asha Rizor, Co-Organizer
Asha Rizor is a Ph.D. Candidate in Pharmacology/Toxicology, where her research examines the mechanisms of Parkinsonian syndromes and identifies therapeutic targets at the transcriptional level. She is passionate about improving college access and career readiness among underrepresented students.