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The Inter-School Board

One of the most unique aspects of CAURS, and one that we pride ourselves on, is that the Symposium is planned and run almost entirely by undergraduates. The CAURS Inter-School Board (ISB) is comprised of dedicated students from seven CAURS member institutions who work year-round to organize and arrange the Symposium, one of the largest undergraduate research conferences in the nation. We encourage you to reach out to the ISB representatives from your school if you have any questions or comments.


CAURS 2016-2017 Inter-School Board



Fundraising Ahmad Allaw
Judging Svetlana Taylor
Oral Presentations Chang Xu
Scoring Christian Brian
Public Relations Jessica Song

DePaul University

Monica Carson
Kaila Smith

Illinois Institute of Technology

Misha Shah
Chang Xu
Svetlana Taylor

Loyola University Chicago

Majed Shaheen

Northwestern University

Patrick Liu
Jessica Song

Roosevelt University

Crystal Nguyen
Christian Brian

The University of Chicago

Raymond Han
Ahmad Allaw

Crystal Nguyen – contact

Crystal is currently a junior at Roosevelt University studying Biochemistry and a minor in Fine Arts. Over the summer, she researched with Dr. Kenny Onajole about coumarins as potential antitubercular drug candidates. She is also currently an assistant for an autopsy pathologist and a biology tutor at Roosevelt. Whenever she has free time, she loves to go to museums throughout Chicago and finding the best places to eat around Chicago. After earning her undergraduate degree, she hopes to attend medical school and specialize in pathology.

Raymond Han – contact

Raymond is a third-year at the University of Chicago where he intends to complete his studies as a physics major. When he is not struggling with his physics p-sets, he serves as a research assistant, examining stellar absorption spectra to identify features known as diffuse interstellar bands. This past summer Raymond analyzed particle collision signatures using data from CERN at the University of Goettingen in Germany. In his spare time, Raymond likes to play tennis, explore the city, and partake in existential contemplation on the value of his education. Raymond joined the ISB last year and is excited to be taking on the role of co-director for CAURS 2017.

Monica Carson – contact

Monica is a third-year student at DePaul University, with a major in Biological Sciences, and a minor in LGBTQ studies. She grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which serves as the home of the Krispy Kreme doughnut. She currently volunteers at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. After she graduates, Monica plans to enter medical school and fulfill her dream of becoming a radiologist. When she finds the free time, Monica enjoys watching the Blackhawks, reading, and exploring Chicago.

Kaila Smith – contact

Kaila Smith is a senior Biological Sciences major at DePaul University. Kaila has minors in both chemistry and mathematics and is also member of the Honors Program. She is a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. John Dean. The research focuses on the transport of salicylic acid as well as kuromanin across the vacuolar membrane. In her spare time, she is a Varsity Captain of the DePaul rowing team.

Misha Shah – contact


Chang Xu – contact

Chang is a second year student at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), intends to do double-major in physics and computer science. He developed a strong interest in science since he was young and has a goal of being a physicist and un-code the secret of our world. He helped Dr. John Zasadzinski with a research on “superconducting high-quantum efficiency photocathode” during the summer. He was first involved with CAURS last year as a volunteer and found it a really interesting and inspiring activity. He is now ready and willing to contribute to this group with his passion and ideas!!

Svetlana Taylor – contact

Svetlana Taylor is a senior Chemical Engineering student at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Svetlana is also receiving specialization in Environmental Engineering with the professional goal of working in the area of wastewater treatment. While a student, she has developed a device that improves rainwater quality in residential rainwater collection, and last year, she presented her research on this device at CAURS. Currently, Svetlana is involved in a research group that uses Molecular Dynamics simulation to predict separation of racemic mixtures. She has great interest in the issues of sustainability and had an opportunity to participate at Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) at UIC. This is Svetlana’s first year on CAURS board, and she is looking forward to meeting and working with like-minded students from other Chicago-based universities!

Majed Shaheen – contact

Majed is majoring in Biology and Bioinformatics with a minor in French at Loyola University Chicago. He was awarded the Provost fellowship during his sophomore year for his work on chemokines in Dr. Jessica Brann's neurobiology lab. Currently, he is working with Dr. Catherine Putonti to assemble, annotate, and analyze whole genome sequencing of Lactobacillus crispatus isolates using Bioinformatics software. This is Majed's third year as a peer tutor at the Loyola Center for Tutoring and Academic Excellence. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess.

Patrick Liu – contact

Patrick is a senior at Northwestern studying psychology, neuroscience, and biological sciences interested in pursuing academic medicine. His current research project focuses on nuclear mechanics and their implications for cancer and laminopathies. Outside of academics, Patrick loves playing tennis and watching movies. Two items on his bucket list are: embark on a Europe tour starting with the French Open and ending with Wimbledon, and watch all the movies on IMDb's Top 250 list.

Jessica Song – contact

Jessica Song is a first year student at Northwestern University originally from Fullerton, California. This is her first year on ISB. She enjoys volunteering and has traveled to the Philippines with Operation Smile as a student volunteer for a medical mission. In her free time, she loves to read and look at TED Talks.She hopes to attend medical school after graduation and volunteer around the world as a physician.

Ahmad Allaw – contact


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