Meet the URSP Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board coordinates events and programs within the URSP program. Learn more about our members below.

Savanna Downing

Executive Director

Hi! My name is Yinlu Zhu and I’m one of the the Director of Internal Affairs for URSP. I oversee the responsibilities of the other board members and manage short/long term goals and projects as well.  I am a second year Biology Major on the premed track who is also pursuing  Health Disparities and Spanish Minors. I am currently in the Keiser Lab working on projects involving behavioral ecology. Right now, my project involves using the Indian Jumping Ant as a model system to understand how their collective behavior is impacted by stressors, specifically periods of social upheaval. I volunteer as a care coordinator for the Mobile Outreach Clinic at UF, which is a free clinic that operates throughout Gainesville to provide high quality care to underserved populations. When I’m not volunteering there, I work as a service director for an organization on campus called MEDLIFE, which aims to support and uplift low income communities locally and abroad. I am also one of the UF Luminaries, which is a group of honors ambassadors/ tour guides on campus!

Kevin Kapadia

Director of Events & Class Representatives

Hi! My name is Kevin Kapadia and I am a third-year pursuing a B.A. in Statistics and a B.A. in Psychology(Behavioral Analysis). I am currently serving as one of the Directors of Events and the Director of Class Representatives. I’m doing biostatistics work on the Psuedotime of cells and Moral Messages in Video Games. I also run & am part of the Dostana Dance team and am part of the Marine Corps. 

Tori Argenti

Director of Events

Hi! I’m Tori Argenti and I’ m a 2nd year Biology Major pursuing a Pathogenesis Minor. I’m a Director of Events in the URSP student advisory board. I work in two different research labs on campus. One is the Clinical Sciences Research Laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine, where I am quantifying samples of bat DNA to detect traces of Human Papillomavirus. I also work on invasive ant and soil samples in a lab at the Emerging Pathogens Institute. I’m involved with UF Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club. I’ also mentor a High School pre-vet student, bake, and watching old movies. 

Mark Itkin

Director of Mentorship

My name is Mark Itkin and I am a second year Mechanical Engineering major and Computer Science Minor. I’m serving as a Director of Mentorship in the URSP Student Advisory Board. PATCOOL is a research project working to analyze the properties and abilities of a thermal coating when in the vacuum of space. The project is being worked on in the ADAMUS (ADvanced Autonomous MUltiple Spacecraft) labratory at UF and our group is working in partnership with groups at NASA. PATCOOL is still in relatively early development, but tests are being performed to help validate its design. As part of the team, I am assisting with the finite element analysis (FEA) of the structure through the use of Femap. I’m also involved with Gatorloop: a UF Student Design Team that designs and manufactures a Hyperloop vehicle for the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. I love basketball and I am an avid Miami Heat fan.

Claire Patterson

Class Representative of 2018

Hi! I am Claire Patterson and I am the Class Representative of 2019. I’m responsible for communicating with the URSP Class of 2018, keeping track of information of the Class of 2018, and TAing for the Class of 2018 Canvas page. I’m a second year pursuing a triple major in Business Administration, Economics, and Sustainability Studies. My research is currently on trends in socially responsible corporations through the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. I’m also involved with Alpha Kappa Psi, Florida Leadership Academy, and Heavener Leadership Challenge. I studied and interned in London last summer, and will be interning abroad again this summer in Tokyo! 

Sruthika Baviriseaty

Director of Secretarial Affairs

Hi! My name is Sruthika Baviriseaty and I’m one of the two Directors of Secretarial Affairs.  I’m a 2nd year  Biomedical Engineering major and a Computer Science Minor. I’m currently working in the Keselowsky Immunoengineering Lab, and examining how the rate-limiting enzyme, indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO), affects dendritic cell activation along the tryptophan pathway. I’m particularly interested in diabetes disease models, so I would like to investigate how alterations in this pathway to lead to insulin resistance. I’m also involved with the University of Florida Science Olympiad and serve as a University of Florida Diabetes Institute Student Ambassador.

Ashley Jenkins

Director of Mentorship

Hi! My name is Ashley Jenkins and I am a second-year Zoology major. I’m one of the Directors of Mentorship and am responsible for matching mentors/mentees and facilitating interactions between mentors and mentees. I’m researching social avoidance behavior and its relation to regeneration in spiny mice. I’m also involved with the Florida Cicerones and volunteer at the UF Honey Bee Lab.

Alisha Patel

Director of Public Relations

Hello! My name is Alisha Patel and I’m one of the Directors of Public Relations in the URSP Student Advisory Board. I’m pursuing a double major in Biochemistry and Anthropology. I’m currently involved in Dr. Jonathan Licht’s Lab in the UF Health Cancer Center. I’m part of a project that studies epigenetic mutations on Multiple Myeloma tumor cells. I’m also involved with Mentor GNV and volunteer at UF Shands Hospital. 

Samia Gilani

Director of Public Relations

Hi! My name is Samia Gilani. I’m one of the URSP Directors of Public Relations.

Ambreen Imran

Class Representative of 2019

Hi! My name is Ambreen Imran and I am a first year Psychology (Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Track) Major and a Health Disparities Minor. I’m one of the Class Respresentatives of 2019. I’m responsible for outreach with the URSP Class of 2019 and am a TA for the URSP Class of 2019 Canvas page. My CURE class is currently investigating the effectiveness of mobile interventions to combat alcohol addiction and misuse among college-aged students. This class falls into the realm of research topics I am interested in: psychology, public health, and health disparities. I plan on pursuing Neuroscience/Psychology research during my time here at UF.
I’m involved with the Neuroscience Club, Pakistani Student Association, Islam on Campus, Period Movement at UF, and Gatorship Participant. I enjoy spending time in nature, reading the news, discussing social issues, and listening to music. I look forward to working closely with the C/O 2023 and being their liaison in URSP!

Zachery Utt

Class Representative of 2019

Hi! I am first-year Computer Science and Statistics double major. I’m one of the Class Representatives of 2019 and my responsibilities include outreach to the URSP Class of 2019 and as a TA for the URSP Class of 2019 Canvas Page. My research interests include computer Simulations of physics and geometric algorithms to predict configurations of chemical bonds at the atomic and macro biological level. I’m part of Gator Band, App Development, and Student Government. 

Anne Slayton

Director of Events

Hi! My name is Anna Slayton and I am a 1st year Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience and Business double major planning to minor in Nutrition and/or Sustainability Studies. I serve as one of the Directors of Events for the URSP Student Advisory Board. am interested in studying the physical effects of mental health on the body, such as how chronic stress, depression and/or anxiety relate to risk for chronic illnesses. I am also interested in studying psychopathy and criminal behavior. I run a small baking business on campus selling homemade sweet treats. I am in Honor Chords, the Honors a cappella group on campus, and the UF Kickboxing Club. I am also the director of the 2020 Young Leaders for Wild Florida Summer Program, which is designed to inspire young people in Alachua County to find their niche in environmental activism through hands-on workshops and experience.

Anna Welch

Director of Public Relations

Hi! My name is Anna Welch and I am one of the Directors of Public Relations. I am an Accounting Major on the Pre-Law track. I currently am working on a Viral Advertising Project under Professor Juliana Fernandes in the CJC. I have been compiling data from recent viral and nonviral ads and will be doing reliability coding to see if viral ads follow the Elaboration Likelihood Model. Additionally, I am in CURE course for Business Research doing a project this semester on the impact of state-sponsored, merit-based, lottery-funded scholarships on student educational outcomes. I’m also a Alpha Delta Pi Archivist, Panhellenic Communications Board Assistant PR Director, Gator Party Campaign Volunteer, Elevate Advertising Agency Social Media Manager, and Strike Magazine Sales Assistant. I am very interested in public policy, as I attended Gator Day in Tallahassee with Florida Blue Key and plan to attend law school and pursue a career in corporate law. 

Sarah McMorrow

Director of Events

Hi! My name is Sarah McMorrow and I am a first-year majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Business Administration. I currently serve as one of the Directors of Events on the URSP Student Advisory Board.
I am currently in the Florida plants and climate change CURE class but I am interested in getting involved in research focused on animal behavior and welfare, specifically with cattle or horses. I play Club Softball and am part of the Pre- Veterinary Medicine club. I also volunteer at an animal hospital and work at Gatorwell as a Health Hut Wellness Educator. 

Matthew Po

Director of Research Seminars

I am a second year double majoring in Chemical Engineering and Economics and minoring in Math. I serve as the Director of Research Seminars in the URSP Student Advisory Board. I’m researching characterization of magnetic nanoparticles.  I work with Dr. Carlos Rinaldi to synthesize and characterize magnetic nanoparticles. I currently focus on writing MATLAB code to automate the analysis of TEM images. I also play the piano.