Our leadership is formed by students, postdocs, faculty and staff from campus.
If you would like to join us and participate,
get in touch!

Officer Body

Ebony Michelle Argaez, President

Ebony (she/her) is a first year MSc student in the department of Entomology assessing the effectiveness and risk of RNAi implementation. She looks forward to working with the governing body and the rest of the SACNAS group in hopes to engage with our local community through outreach, promote cultural awareness and provide a stronger and supportive community to underrepresented minorities and allies here at UMD.

Darsy Smith, Vice President

Darsy (she/her) was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She is a PhD student at the Entomology Department studying host plant resistance and reproduction of natural enemies in alfalfa ecosystems. She looks forward to supporting minority students in STEM while fostering networks between their communities and the UMD community.

Yanelyn Perez, Treasurer

Yanelyn (she/her) is a second year PhD student in the Biological Sciences program studying the benefits and costs of generalism in the plant parasite, anther smut. She looks forward to helping build up SACNAS as she had fond memories working with the organization during her undergrad and saw the positive impact it had on the community. She is excited to help create that sense of community at UMD.

Marlene Esparza, Secretary

Marlene (she/her) is an undergraduate student studying Physiology & Neurobiology and is minoring in Health, Humanities, and Medicine. She is looking forward to connecting with the Chicano and Native American communities, as well as other underrepresented communities, on campus in the following semesters!

Katherine Pizano, National Liason

Originally from Florida, Katherine is a second year graduate student in the biology department. Her research interests include studying neuropeptidergic modulation of retinorecipient circuits involved in circadian rhythms. Before coming to UMD, Katherine was a post baccalaureate student at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Paola Hernandez Aguirre, Events Chair

Paola (she/her) is an undergraduate studying computer science. She joined SACNAS because she is interested in their mission of increasing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM.

Osma Gómez, Communications Chair

Originally from Southern California, Osma (she/her) is a first year PhD student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and a Dolphus E. Milligan Graduate Fellow. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She looks forward to student outreach, expanding educational opportunities for underrepresented students and guide them to strive academic success.

Faculty Advisors

Anahí Espíndola (she/ella)

Anahí is from Argentina, and is a first-generation Assistant Professor at the Department of Entomology of the University of Maryland, College Park. With her research group, she studies how the environment drives the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions, using genomic, ecological, and experimental approaches. Anahí studied Biology at the National University of Córdoba (Argentina) and at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), when she also received her Master's and PhD. She did two post-docs at the University of Idaho, funded by the Swiss and US National Science Foundations.

Efraín Rodríguez Espinoza (he/him)

Originally from West Texas, Efraín Rodríguez Espinoza is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. Efrain and his group study crystallography to establish structure-property relationships in inorganic materials, and his group heavily uses neutron diffraction techniques. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After his PhD, Efrain went to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for his National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship.