Meet the Bloggers


Brandon BioBrandon Bogusz is a Ph.D student in the Department of Food Science. His graduate research focuses on monitoring volatile lipid oxidation products from methyl linoleate using gas chromatography. He has a BS in Chemistry from Juniata College.  Outside of research, Brandon enjoys running, watching/playing basketball, and binge-watching TV series on Netflix.

SteveStephen Coffin is a Ph.D. in education student who has  an MBA in Finance and an MPA in Public Administration. He is an Adjunct Professor of School Finance at Montclair State University’s Graduate School of Education, has served as an adjunct at Rutgers, and worked for the National Institute of Early-childhood Education Research (NIEER).  He has his own blog and writes columns for two online education-focused news reports. He serves on the Mid-Atlantic Education Review and NJ Association of School Business Officials Editorial Review Boards.

ShaniqueShanique Edwards [recent blogger] received her Ph.D. in May ’15 from the Cell & Developmental Biology program. She worked with Dr. Ping Xie studying molecular mechanisms of TRAF3 deficient B lymphomagenesis, and was also a Biology TA. Shanique is from Barbados and holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in French from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. As a blogger, Shanique realized that during the years that she has been a graduate student, she has amassed some wisdom that she can pass on to other students, and is excited to share some of her graduate school experience with you.

Jenny Yuanzhen Gu_edYuanzhen Gu is a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department. She is currently interested in research related to Distributed Systems and Operating Systems. She always tries her best to do things better with a grateful heart. Yuanzhen likes Linux, enjoys playing piano and going swimming, she is also willing to meet new friends and share her study and life experience at Rutgers. You may visit her homepage at:

mcguinnessKenneth McGuinness is a Ph.D student in the Department of Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics. He works with Dr. Vikas Nanda at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Biomedicine, where they study protein design and modeling. Specifically, they are interested designing small proteins that self-assemble into predictable geometries. Kenneth is currently the webmaster for the Center for Integrative Proteomics Research and the President of the BioMaps GSO. In addition to research and academics, he has a passion for running, music, golf, and playing hockey.

Melissa Murphy NutriSci Pic (2)Melissa Murphy’s formal roles at Rutgers University are as a Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. student, Asst Head TA for General Biology and a Predoctoral Leadership Development Institute Fellow. Her research considers how sodium and B vitamins impact blood pressure regulation. Outside of the lab, Melissa is a member of the board for the Nutritional Sciences GSO and strives to build community among her peers. Beyond academics, her dedication to training for marathons, triathlons and obstacle races has definitely accommodated love of food and chocolate.

JustinJustin Rice is a Ph.D student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. His current research involves intervertebral disc tissue engineering. He holds a bachelor of biomedical engineering from The Catholic University of America. His interests outside of Rutgers include personal finance, sports, health and fitness. He loves reading and learning new things and especially enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.

BeckyRebecca Shields is a Ph.D. student in art history with an M.A. in Renaissance art and a B.A. in government and foreign affairs, both from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the development of classical architecture and the introduction of the public square in seventeenth-century London. She has presented at conferences in London and Greenwich, U.K., and spent a semester in London in 2013 conducting archival research funded by a grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She has traveled extensively, most recently returning from Italy and Albania, which she highly recommends for any traveler looking for a bit of adventure and a gorgeous, sapphire-blue beach (on a budget). Prior to her great move up north to attend Rutgers, she was an art critic for Style Weekly in Richmond, Virginia.

atiya picAtiya Strothers is a 3rd year Doctoral Student at the Graduate School of Education. She is interested in educational equity and social justice in higher education with a primary focus on diversifying the doctoral pipeline. Atiya is from Philadelphia–the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection–and has a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and believes that the work that we do as scholars is never about ourselves. The work that she does is at the service of others. She enjoys spending time with her family, church family, and her beautiful nieces.

Jennifer_TherkornJennifer Therkorn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Exposure Assessment.  Her research is focused on designing and building a new type of air sampler for airborne bacteria, mold and pollen that doesn’t need an air pump.  She has a BS in Biology from Lehigh University and an MPH from the Rutgers School of Public Health.  In addition to research, Jennifer enjoys being active by competing in triathlons and road races and going for hikes.

blog pictureBrian Tholl is a second year Ph.D. student in the Italian department.  I hold a BA in Italian with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Pennsylvania State University.  My preliminary research interests include Italy’s Southern Question, Italian-American Studies, and Italian cinema.  I consider myself to be an avid runner – I’ve ran three marathons so far.  Other than that, I enjoy listening to music and reading all kinds of literature!