Biology SEPC

Contact Information:

The Biology SEPC is a student-faculty liaison which provides the faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other department issues. As our primary duty, we survey students and summarize their opinions regarding current professors and professorial candidates. We then submit these summaries to the department faculty and/or other appropriate committees on campus.

In addition, we send one representative to the bi-weekly department faculty meetings and another representative to the biweekly Student Curriculum Committee meeting chaired by the SGA vice president/president of academic affairs. For fun, we organize the department study breaks and picnics, and send out a monthly newsletter to majors. Historically, we also have had input into the types of speakers that the department brings to campus for the weekly seminars. We hold weekly meetings to delegate duties and to discuss pertinent issues.

The Biology SEPC generally consists of seven members. We are a fun-loving group of students with a common interest of biology. Join us, won't you?

  • Nikole Alvarez

    Nikole Alvarez

    Nikole (she/her/hers) is a third year biology and Spanish double major from New Orleans, Louisiana. She enjoys skateboarding, painting, and playing with her dogs (Lucas and Mateo)! She also hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon one day. On campus, she enjoys volunteering with the Kids Art Program and working with kids from the local middle school. Her favorite food is an arepa (a traditional Venezuelan food) and her favorite animals are sharks.

  • Anika Jane Beamer holds a red bowl

    Anika Jane Beamer

    Anika (she/her/hers) is from Farmington, MI. She is a fourth-year biology and Spanish double major especially interested in virology, immunology, and global health. At Grinnell, she helps lead the student service organization Connecting Grinnellians, works at the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, and enjoys splashing around with the Grinnell women's water polo team and the Raykettes synchronized swimming team as well as playing with the International Soccer Club. She loves to paint, hike, bake chocolate chip cookies for the sole purpose of eating the cookie dough, and she is a big fan of the Iowa clouds. She loves being on your Biology SEPC and is here to work through all of your concerns and celebrate any of your successes!

  • Neil Israni on a bicycle-pedestrian trail

    Neil Israni

    Hey! I am Neil. I am a senior biology and anthropology major from India. I am interested in neuroscience, which is the field of the research project I am participating in currently. In my free time I enjoy going on bike rides, cooking, making films for fun, and just exploring nature (would highly recommend taking BIO 305 Iowa Flora to know about the life around you a bit more!). I have enjoyed the closely-knit community at Grinnell by participating in track and field, cross country, theatre, student government, and residence life. As a part of Biology SEPC, I am excited to organize events, make accessible opportunities & connections, and promote justice & equality.

  • Annabella Matheus with tulips

    Annabella Matheus

    Annabella (she/her/hers) is a third year bio major from New York. She is currently on a premed track with academic interests in neurology and plant physiology. This summer Annabella conducted research on shade avoidance in arabidopsis at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. On campus you might see her working as a lifeguard at the pool, or playing her banjo on Mac field. Some of Annabella’s favorite hobbies include crocheting and hoarding succulents, as well as cooking and reading on her days off. Her favorite animal is the Siberian tiger (she’s seen Tiger King at least three times) and her favorite food is hot pot 火锅. If you see her on campus feel free to say hello!

  • Hope Nowak

    Hope Nowak

    Hope (She/They) is a fourth year from Oak Park, Illinois. She is a biology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies double major interested in restoration ecology, sustainable land use, and environmental justice. On campus, they help run the student ceramics room, organize media for Tinydorm, and is a member of the women’s soccer team. In their free time, Hope enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible and took up cross country skiing over the winter thanks to GORP. Her favorite tree is the tulip tree because of their huge, dinosaur foot shaped leaves and her favorite fruit to pick are black raspberries. During classes, Hope’s favorite study spot is the atrium, where she usually just ends up goofing around with friends.

  • Becky Roffler

    Becky Roffler

    Becky (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year bio major returning to Grinnell from a semester off. During her leave, Becky returned home to Taipei, Taiwan, where she worked in an immunology lab learning about and determining the affinity of various anti-PEG antibodies. She hopes to one day use these skills to work towards environmental sustainability, restoration, and education. At Grinnell, you will most likely find Becky playing music and lounging on any patch of grass - her favorites being the lamp outside of Burling or a corner of Mac field - getting coffee at Saints Rest, or in a Noyce classroom mentoring for biology or chemistry. If you ever see her on or around campus, she would love if you stopped by for a chat!

  • Helen St. John on a beach

    Helen St. John

    Helen (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year biology major from Virginia. In terms of academic interests, she is currently looking into marine biology and conservation/education, which are weird things to go to school for in the middle of Iowa. Luckily she got to spend the summer in Naples, Florida working with seabirds! On campus a lot of her free time is spent in the pool with the swim and dive team as both a member and one of the captains this year. Helen also works as a writing mentor, so she may see some of you in class or at the Writing, Reading, and Speaking Center. Some fun facts about Helen are that her favorite animal is currently the Black Skimmer (an awkward-looking bird), and her favorite foods include anything involving carbs or chocolate. If you are ever in need of a person to talk to (about anything!) please feel free to reach out to her.

  • Jasper Yang

    Jasper Yang

    Jasper (he/him/his) is a fourth-year biology major with a concentration in statistics. His academic interests are in the application of statistical methods to ecology and public health, and he hopes to help solve interdisciplinary problems as a biostatistician in the future. Although Jasper was originally a member of the class of 2021, he took last school year off to explore these interests as a research assistant at a medical center where he studied COVID-19 hospital outcomes, survey sampling methods, and measurement error in electronic health records. Outside of the classroom, Jasper’s hobbies include hiking, biking, kayaking, playing trivia, and competing in any sport from baseball to chess. He is also a captain of the men’s soccer team  and works in the athletic department’s sports information office. Some fun facts about him are that his favorite food might be watermelon, and his favorite animal is the spring peeper!

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