Science to Policy Student Cabinet


Lindsey Pedroncelli

Cabinet Co-Chair
"Save our strawberries!  The fight against fungi."
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Interests: Climate change, agriculture

As I became more aware of the lack of sustainability within the food and agriculture industries, I began wondering what I could do to help. California is an agricultural hub and I believe it is important to educate people throughout the state where their food comes from and what they can do to live more sustainable lives. I also hope to inform policymakers and influence change at the policy level to make the food and agriculture industries safer for consumers and the environment. Through S2P I hope to learn how to influence these changes and how to effectively communicate my science knowledge.



Archana Aravindan

Curriculum & Events Committee Chair

"Asking the Galaxies that are small, how are we here at all!?"

Department of Physics & Astronomy

I am a first-year Ph.D. student in Physics and Astronomy, and I am presently working in a lab that studies outflows from galaxies. I will be studying outflows from dwarf galaxies to discern whether these outflows are caused by Active Galactic Nuclei, which would throw light on how stars stop forming in these galaxies. I am interested in Science policy to find out how my research can help the community in general and learn how to communicate scientific research in a way that everyone understands it!

Yaqiong Li


Yaqiong Li

Curriculum & Events Committee Member

"“Atoms and electrons tell you the secrets of energy storage."

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Yaqiong Li is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering program at UC Riverside. She studies computational material science and focuses on atomistic and electronic scale simulation. Specifically, she is investigating the properties and behavior of material interfacial systems in the energy storage field and trying to enhance the corrosion resistance of the electrode and further improve the cyclability of zinc batteries. Yaqiong would like to use her engineering background to conduct policy analysis and make recommendations for policymakers.




Chris Rudnicki

Government Relations Committee Chair

"Sunrise to Sunset: Don't waste Any of it"

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Chris Rudnicki is originally from outside Chicago and is now a 4th year Ph.D. Student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He works on using non-thermal plasma processes to synthesize plasmonic nanoparticles, specifically ZrN, as an alternative to gold and silver for photocatalytic applications. Chris is hoping that his science background and interest in politics can be combined to contribute to building a more just and equitable society.



Sanika Nishandar

Government Relations Committee Member

"Arsonist with a Purpose"

Department of Mechanical Engineering

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. My research focuses on the environmental applications of fluid dynamics, specifically initiation and spread of wildfire as well as air pollution monitoring in indoor and outdoor environments. My interest in public policy stems from my aspiration of communicating the ongoing research to an audience beyond the scientific community.



Jenna Roper

Network Engagement Committee Chair

"Smart Crops for Smarter Farming"

Department of Bioengineering

Jenna Roper is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering. She develops next generation sensors for small, rural farmers in developing nations in order to increase agricultural sustainability. She is interested in the intersection of science and public policy and aims to transition into policy upon the completion of her degree.



Ariana Firebaugh-Ornelas

Network Engagement Committee Member

"99 problems but extinction ain't one"

I am a 4th year PhD Student in the  Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. I study coexistence dynamics in plant communities in Southern California. I’m a SoCal native rooted in bridging connections between science, equity, and community. 


Gabriel Ortiz


Gabriel Ortiz

Content Creation Committee Member

"Still fertilizing? Bacteria can do it better"

Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

 I'm a fifth year PhD candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology. I'm currently studying the interaction among crops and beneficial soil bacteria. I aim to understand the human impacts on the interaction and how this knowledge can be used to develop sustainable strategies for crop improvement. I am interested in using science policy as a tool to have a positive impact in my community as well as to improve my science communication skills.



Sarah Bobardt

Content Creation Committee Member

Department of Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics

Sarah Bobardt is a fifth year PhD student in the Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics program at UC Riverside. Her research focuses on understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system in host-nematode interactions. She is currently a Graduate Assistant for the Exploration Center for Innovative Teaching and Engagement (XCITE) at UCR. Prior to graduate school, she earned a degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UC Los Angeles. Her career goals include working in science policy and education to improve communication between researchers and the general population.

William Ota

William Ota

Student Cabinet Member


Jessica Bradford


Jessica Bradford

Student Cabinet Member





Elijah Hall

Student Cabinet Member



Jean Claude


Jean Claude Lraudkunda

Student Cabinet Member





Dongwei Sun

Student Cabinet Member





Nakul Gangolli

Student Cabinet Member




Esther Omaiye

Student Cabinet Member