Executive Board

Our Executive Board is in charge of organizing various activities for our chapter. We are always looking for motivated leaders to help plan our events and network with STEM professionals in the Baltimore area. If you would like to join our leadership team, submit the form to Join Our Board and/or email us awisbaltimore@gmail.com

Current Executive Board


Alex Soare, MS


Alexandra (Alex) Soare is a Microbiology & Immunology PhD student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her thesis research focuses on host-pathogen interactions during invasive mold diseases, such as mucormycosis and aspergillosis. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Alex worked on a variety of projects related to infectious diseases, including improving adjuvants for vaccine development, engineering antibodies for viral immunotherapy, and studying mechanisms of HIV associated inflammation. Prior to becoming President of the AWIS Baltimore Chapter in 2021, she was the Vice President of Social Media. As President, Alex hopes to provide helpful resources and a supportive community for Baltimore women in STEM, as well as other systematically excluded individuals. Her initial struggles in science has made her passionate about using creative strategies and analogies to improve science communication, especially those related to her love of basketball (which she tries to share on her Twitter, @AlexandraYSoare).


Nina Rajpurohit



Currently Vacant - this could be you!


The Vice President of Programs is responsible for planning and executing AWIS Baltimore events centered around networking, outreach, and promoting gender equality in science. People at any stage of their educational or professional journey are encouraged to apply. To express your interest or ask questions, please reach out to the AWIS Baltimore President (president@awisbaltimore.org).


Zuha Imtiyaz, Ph.D.


Zuha received her MSc in Biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University, India. She got her Ph.D. from Taipei Medical University, Taiwan. Her doctoral research was based on discovering and designing the novel drugs for osteoporosis. She was associated with several non-profit organizations in her home country. Zuha has been a very active in organizing various cultural and talent events during her bachelors. During her Ph.D. she was the vice-president of international student association. Currently she is a post-doctoral fellow in UMB, Baltimore where her research is studying the various drug delivery carrier against cancer. She believes in encouraging more young girls to choose science and research as a career path and start with the early mentorship.


Maha Alafeef, MSc



Liron Marnin, MS


Liron Marnin is a graduate student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. She is conducting her thesis research in a tick-borne diseases lab where she investigates the mammalian skin immune response at the tick-bite interface. Prior to moving to Baltimore, Liron spent time in the biotech industry working as a research scientist and business manager at a contract research organization specializing in early-stage drug discovery. Liron earned her master’s degree in Molecular Medicine from Drexel University and a bachelor’s in science degree in Biology/ Clinical Laboratory Science from Neumann University. Rooted from her own immigration story, Liron is interested in immigration reform, equitable access to education, and inclusive scientific communication. During her free time, you can catch Liron dancing, hiking with family, or traveling. Connect with Liron on LinkedIn!


Aanishaa Jhaldiyal, MS


Aanishaa is a a Ph.D. student in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, studying Alzheimer’s disease. When she is not working, she is probably painting or writing poems, but most often, especially on a bad experiment day, she is binge watching tv shows. Aanishaa hails from Lucknow, India and have been in USA since 2014. She ended up pursuing her masters and graduate work from the same university, making Baltimore the first and only city she's lived in the States, therefore, Baltimore holds a special place in her heart. There is nothing more gratifying than to be able to give something to back to the city that has given me such amazing opportunities and memories and, therefore, she has joined AWIS-Baltimore Chapter.


Eposi Elonge, MS


Eposi received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Salisbury University and Master of Health Science degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her introduction to clinical research came from her current position at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC). She works as a Research Project Coordinator at UMGCCC, primarily with leukemia and lymphoma clinical trial data. She became involved with AWIS by attending multiple virtual events, and ultimately found a sense of community through the encouragement of the women in the AWIS chapters in the DMV area. During her free time, she enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and trying new restaurants with friends and family. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eposielonge/


Courtney Chandler, Ph.D.


Courtney received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and then completed a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University. She is now back at University of Maryland, Baltimore for a second postdoc using mass spectrometry to study infectious disease. Courtney is passionate about science communication and making science accessible for all and wanted to get involved in AWIS as a means to support and retain women in STEM. She manages the website so give her feedback on what you want to see! In her free time, Courtney likes cooking, reading, and jogging around the Baltimore waterfront. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyCPhD.


Aparna Shah, Ph.D.

Historical Leadership

Below is a list of previous officers for the chapter, listed by their position.

Previous Executive Board Members by Position


  • Alexandra Soare, MS (2021-Present)

  • Aparna Shah, PhD (2018-2021)

  • Jocelyn Reader, PhD (2016-2018)

  • Jessica Curtis, PhD (2016-2017)

  • Ekemini Riley (nee Udofa) (2012-2015)

  • Kim Schultz (2011-2012)

Vice President of Communications

  • Zuha Imtiyaz (2021-Present)

  • Bouchra Taib (2018)

  • Lindsay Rizzardi, PhD (2016-2017)

  • Issel Anne Lim, PhD (2012-2015)

  • Delia Silva (2011-2012)

Vice President of Finance

  • Nina Rajpurohit (2019-Present)

  • Jocelyn Reader, PhD (2014-2019)

  • Kim Schultz (2010-2011, 2012-2013)

  • Dawn Holt (2011-2012)

Vice President of Programs

  • Tara Ghazi (2021-Present)

  • Fereshte Ghorbani (2019-2020)

  • Zulma Jiménez (2019)

  • Resham Chhabra (2018-2019)

  • Courtney Chandler (2018-2019)

  • Isabel Martinez Ferrando, PhD (2016-2017)

  • Talmesha Richards (2012-2014)

  • Janelle Jones (2012-2013)

  • Ekemini Udofa (2011-2012)

  • Kirsten Kulcsar (2011-2012)

  • Andrea Benedict (2011-2012)

Vice President of Sponsorship

  • Liron Marnin, MS (2021-Present)

Vice President of Membership

  • Aanishaa Jhaldiyal, MS (2021-Present)

Vice President of Outreach

  • Maha Alafeef (2021-Present)

Vice President of Public Relations

  • Marilyn Allen (2020-2021)

  • Divya Rao (2019)

  • Samar Chaanine (2018)

  • Akshata Almad, PhD (2016-2017)

  • Jessica Curtis (2012-2015)

  • Shirley Tan (2013-2014)

  • Claudia Avalos (2013-2014)

  • Shannadora Hollis (2011-2012)

Vice President of Social Media

  • Eposi Elonge, MS (2021-present)

  • Alexandra Soare, MS (2019-2021)

  • Aparna Shah, PhD (2016-2017)

  • Jocelyn Reader, PhD (2011-2015)


  • Courtney Chandler, PhD (2021-present)

  • Issel Anne Lim, PhD (2012-2021)

Previous Executive Board Members by Year

Below is a list of the executive board membership for the chapter, listed by years of service.


  • Co-President: Jocelyn Reader, PhD

  • Co-President: Jessica Curtis, PhD

  • Communications & Sponsorship: Lindsay Rizzardi, PhD

  • Social Media: Aparna Shah, PhD

  • Public Relations: Akshata Almad, PhD

  • Programs: Isabel Martinez Ferrando, PhD

  • Past President: Ekemini Riley, PhD

  • Webmaster: Issel Anne Lim, PhD


  • President: Ekemini Riley (nee Udofa)

  • VP of Communications: Issel Anne Lim

  • VP of Social Media: Jocelyn Reader

  • VP of Public Relations: Jessica Curtis

  • VP of Programs:

  • Webmaster: Issel Anne Lim

  • Received AWIS Star Chapter Award for 2014-2015


  • President: Ekemini Udofa

  • VP of Communications: Issel Anne Lim

  • VP of Social Media: Jocelyn Reader

  • VP of Public Relations: Jessica Curtis, Shirley Tan, Claudia Avalos

  • VP of Programs: Talmesha Richards

  • Webmaster: Issel Anne Lim

  • Received AWIS Star Chapter Award for 2013

2012 to 2013

  • President: Ekemini Udofa

  • VP of Communications: Issel Anne Lim

  • VP of Finance: Kim Schultz

  • VP of Social Media: Jocelyn Reader

  • VP of Public Relations: Jessica Curtis

  • VP of Programs: Janelle Jones, Talmesha Richards

  • Webmaster: Issel Anne Lim

2011 to 2012

  • President: Kim Schultz

  • VP of Communications: Delia Silva

  • VP of Finance: Dawn Holt

  • VP of Social Media: Jocelyn Reader

  • VP of Public Relations: Shannadora Hollis

  • VP of Programs: Ekemini Udofa, Kirsten Kulcsar, Andrea Benedict

2010 to 2011

  • VP of Finance: Kim Schultz