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2021-2022 Executive Board


Karissa Bauer

I am a Pre-Med student majoring in Microbiology with a Medical Microbiology emphasis. My goal is to become a surgeon in the future, though I don’t have my heart set on a particular specialty, yet.

I chose Weber State because it was close to home (Idaho), and because of the incredible Anatomy program here on campus! ZOOL 2100 (Human Anatomy) with Dr. Chung, was by far my favorite, most rigorous, and rewarding course I’ve ever taken. Very few undergraduate anatomy courses have the privilege of learning on human cadavers. Not only did I get to learn from our incredible donors, but now I get the chance to teach other students as a lab instructor! How phenomenal is that? 

Being a woman in science has increased my self-confidence and pride immensely. Women make up only a quarter of workers in STEM fields, leaving them still dominated by men. Research has shown that gender bias in the sciences in particular has contributed to biased research results that negatively impact women’s health. I went undiagnosed with ADHD until the age of 26 due to the lack of research on women with ADHD. Now, I have the opportunity and responsibility to flip the script and empower new generations of women. I will contribute to unbiased research that improves the lives of millions of women. I will also influence positive change in the STEM workforce culture to ensure women have the same opportunities, are heard, respected, and treated as equals.


Clarissa Taylor

I am majoring in Medical Laboratory Science and Chemistry. I plan on applying to the Physician’s Assistant school in about two years.

Growing up, I felt very different from the girls around me. I had such a passion for school and I KNEW I wanted to go professional. I felt, however, because of my gender, it was taboo to do something of the matter. I didn’t know very many women who went to grad school. I felt conflicted about wanting a professional career while also still desiring to fulfill the traditional female roles of being a wife and mother. 

As I've gotten older, I realized it is possible to do BOTH! I notice that women have a strong influence in the home and in the workforce. I'm very excited to work with fellow women in STEMM here at Weber State!


Kayci Younger, Social Media Chair

I am a Pre-Med student, in Medical Microbiology here at Weber. I plan on attending medical school to become a doctor then specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

When little, my dreams were much different than the other girls. Instead of wanting to be a pop star, princess, model, etc. I wanted to be a superhero. The kind of superhero who wore a white coat as their cape and provided people with care as their superpower. Due to my mom working in the medical field, I grew up with a deep appreciation for healthcare workers and developed the goal to be one of them when I grew up.

Being a woman is not easy as it comes with a plethora of responsibilities. Even though our roles are complex, we should never have to give up our dreams. I chose to be a part of this organization because I want to be an advocate not only for women, but for women in STEM related careers. My goal is to help support the advancement of women in STEM and also help break down a culture that inhibits women from pursuing whichever career, goal, and dream they desire.

Sally Palmer, Recruitment Chair

I am super excited to be the newest recruitment chair! I am a microbiology major and am going to apply to dental school next summer! I am currently interested in general dentistry but am always open to changing my mind and specializing. 

I have had many dream jobs but science has always been at the center of my life. I first fell in love with microbiology in 4th grade but over time my passion has become health sciences. Luckily for me, they go hand in hand. 

If I had a dime for every time I told someone I was going to go to dental school, and they asked me if I was going to be a dental hygienist, I would have enough money to pay for dental school. Don't get me wrong, being a dental hygienist is wonderful but they wouldn't say it to a man. I will always fight for my passion and the passionate women beside me. This is a beautiful organization in which we can stand together, fight for one another, and achieve our dreams. Let's break the mold.

Judy Maharaj, Public Relations Chair

I am a Pre-PA student, majoring in Zoology. My goal is to apply for Physician Assistant school after graduation. 

I’ve always known that I wanted to make a difference in other people's lives. With neither of my parents making it far in their education, I was determined to be the first to further my education in college and accomplish my dreams of becoming a medical professional. Being a woman in STEM, I knew there would be many difficult obstacles to face in my future and for every other woman out there. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t let this stop us from pursuing our dreams.

Women have had a huge influence in the history of science despite the major challenges and being in a field that is dominated by men. I joined this amazing organization to advocate and empower other women who are going into any careers related to STEM. I am looking forward to inspiring others, and creating strong connections with my team and other fellow STEM majors. Together, we will continue breaking through barriers and uplifting one another.

2019-2020 Executive Board

Talia Swanke, Director

When I first got involved with Scientistas there were only three of us. I didn’t quite know what Scientistas was all about, but I quickly learned that the support, empowerment, and friendship that is built is invaluable. Through Scientistas, I have been able to build a better STEM identity, in which I hope to be able to share with other individuals who may be struggling or looking for a place to feel that they belong, no matter what. 

I am working on my major in  Biochemistry and Psychology. I enjoy traveling, eating yummy food and when I study, it's coffee & candy for me.

Austin Watts, Director

I have been around wonderful women all my life that have helped me and guided me along the path to where I am now. I had two high school science teachers Mrs. Laub and Mrs. Bagley who helped me enjoy and love studying chemistry and biotechnology. They showed me what I can become and what I can do, and to them, I owe a lot for them painstakingly grading terribly handwritten tests and for where I am at today and hope to become.

I am working on my major in Microbiology. I enjoy mountain biking and when I study, it's grapes & almonds for me.

Rachel Carter, Director

I got involved in Scientista to support fellow women in STEM careers! WSU has a lot of resources to offer students and I wanted to help make them more well-known and available to women getting STEM degrees.

I am working on my major in Microbiology. I enjoy camping, taking naps and when I study, it's goldfish crackers for me.

Alexia Kreinbrink, Treasurer

Science has always been an important part of my life and I want to encourage women to not be afraid to be more involved in STEM fields.

I am working on my major in Chemistry. I enjoy watching movies, playing video games and when I study, it's popcorn for me.

Natalie Twogood, PR Chair

I love the idea of being part of an organization that supports and empowers women in STEM.

I am working on my major in Biochemistry. I enjoy cake decorating and when I study, it's Lorna Doone cookies & a Diet Coke for me.

Rylie Howard, Recruitment Chair

I got involved with Scientistas because I want raise awareness to the issues women in STEM face, and I want to be able to help support women in STEM who may feel that they’re facing these issues alone.

I am working on my major in Psychology. I enjoy volunteering in my mom's classroom & when I study, it's flaming hot limon Cheetos for me.

Alma Kaneshiro, Social Media

I am working on my major in Microbiology. I enjoy mountain biking and when I study, it's chocolate covered pretzels for me.

Greg Mayer, Department Affairs

I got involved in Scientista because some of the smartest people I know are women and I feel that Scientista can support them and make the way better. I am a Spanish major Chemistry minor. I love to do anything outside: hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, or even just a long drive. When I study I like to have snap peas and carrots or peanut butter m&ms.


Kate Tyler 

Wildcat Scientista Foundation Chapter Founder 2017-2018
WSU Graduate, Spring 2019

At the beginning of Spring of 2017, I was looking for some leadership opportunities. I was a pre-med student, I had been volunteering at the front desk at a women’s crisis shelter and was developing a passion for advocating for women’s rights. I was surprised and disappointed there wasn’t a club or organization at Weber State specifically for women in science. The idea of starting an organization seemed too daunting, and I shelved my search. A few weeks into the semester my grandmother died. She was a fierce woman who valued education and hard work. At her funeral, the power of having a role model became clear to me. I realized how privileged I had been to have such amazing female role models in my life. 
Pulling inspiration from my grandmother, my love for science, and my passion for women’s rights, I made the decision that day to bring an organization to Weber State that would encourage and empower women. I wanted there to be a network of role models, of support, and motivation for the women who want to find their place in STEM fields. With the help of my friend and lab partner, Shaye, and our mentor Dr. Tracy Covey, we started The Scientista Foundation Chapter at Weber State University in Fall 2017. 
I hope that this organization continues to help provide women in STEM with the motivation, confidence, and sense of belonging that it did for me the last two years of my undergraduate career. 


Let's Connect!


Faculty Advisor

Dr. Tracy Covey
Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Professor
TY 255J, 801-626-8665

Mailing address

Weber State University
College of Science
1415 Edvalson St., Dept. 2501
Ogden, UT 84408-2505

Building location

Tracy Hall Science Center (TY)

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