iCubed’s Commonwealth Scholars Program

CSP is a research mentorship program that matches college students who are considered to be of the highest need and highest talent, with exceptional research faculty who specialize in inclusive community-engaged research. CSP aims to bridge the gap between access, opportunity, and engagement for students who are typically most affected by this gap: the highly-talented with the highest financial need.

iCubed Commonwealth Scholars

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    • Ashana Jackson, VCU '22
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Health and Wellness in Aging Populations
    • Ashana Jackson is a sophomore psychology major on the pre-medicine track. The research she is mostly interested in focuses around neuroscience. She plans to be a neurosurgeon in the future. Other interests include photography, writing and just going on adventures with her friends.

      Mentor - Dr. Elvin Price

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    • Ashley Koo, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Oral Health Equity
    • Ashley Koo is a junior at VCU majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Medical Anthropology. Her research interests include public health as well as women's reproductive health. She hopes to one day become a physician involved in community engaged research. 

      Mentor - Dr. Dina Garcia

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    • Camila Tirado, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Oral Health Equity
    • Camila Tirado is a Psychology major with a pre-graduate concentration. Her research interests include mindfulness and contemplative practices use in trauma and transgenerational trauma counseling for Latinx, Black, and justice-involved individuals. She is also interested in practicing multicultural and social justice counseling. Camila plans on pursuing her doctorate in Counseling or Clinical Psychology, where she hopes to accomplish an interdisciplinary approach with Neuroscience to investigate trauma in underrepresented populations and communities. 

      Mentor - Dr. Oswaldo Moreno

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    • Hasib Zaman, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Health and Wellness in Aging Populations
    • Hasib Zaman is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is eager to gain a new perspective, help the community, and cultivate the future. 

      Mentor - Dr. Cristina Hood

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    • Heather King, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Sustainable Food Access
    • Heather King is a second-year student in VCU’s Environmental Studies Master’s program and pursuing a Sustainability Planning certificate from the Wilder School. She is set to graduate in May 2021. Her research involves the current campus food environment and student food behaviors effected by the pandemic. Heather’s study will generate a GIS campus food map to evaluate the quality of calories, cost, and locations of vending machines and convenient stores available across VCU. She hopes to draw awareness in ways the university can improve nutritional options that are more accessible and affordable offerings to its students, faculty, and staff.

      Mentor - Dr. Johnathan Jones

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    • Jenifer Euceda Nunez VCU '22
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core affiliate, Oral Health Equity
    • Jenifer is a junior majoring in Homeland Security with minors in Business and Political Science. She is a part of the Oral Health core discipline and has had the opportunity to be mentored by Dr. Sarah Raskin for a year now. Her research interests include learning about third world countries and what keeps them from development. After graduation, she is hoping to receive her masters in either Business Management or Political Science.

      Mentor - Dr. Sarah Raskin

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    • Jonice Smitherman, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Health and Wellness in Aging Populations
    • Jonice is a senior at VCU. She is majoring in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Science with a minor in Biology and Chemistry on the Pre-Medicine track. This is her third year working with iCubed via the Commonwealth Scholars Program. Her research interests include understanding and reducing the racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

      Mentor - Dr. Lana Sargent

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    • Kaija, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Sustainable Food Access
    • Kaija Craft is a second-year Master of Social Work student with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice. Her research interests include food insecurity among college students, media narratives of school violence, and racial disparities in schools. After graduation, she plans to work with students and organizations to promote equity in education and pursue her Ph.D.

      Mentor - Dr. Youngmi Kim

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    • Kniysa Johnson, VCU '23
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Disrupting Criminalization in Education
    • Kniysa is a sophomore studying political science in the College of Humanities and Sciences. 

      Mentor - Dr. Sarah Brubaker

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    • Matt Tessema, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Oral Health Equity
    • Matt is a student at the Robertson School and Honors College at VCU studying journalism. He hopes to go to law school after VCU to become a civil rights attorney to be a voice for underrepresented communities. Matt is a first-generation student and Fulbright scholar. He is involved in the Andrew Goodman Foundation and Founder of the VCU Pre-Law Society.

      Mentor - Dr. Dina Garcia

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    • Meredith Wheeler, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Sustainable Food Access
    • Meredith Wheeler is Senior at VCU. She is an Urban and Regional Planning major with a minor in Environmental Studies. She has worked on projects involving food access and agricultural education both at VCU and Cornerstone Community Farm. This year, her focus in iCubed is studying anti-racist strategies for food sovereignty in underserved communities of Richmond. In the future, she hopes to work to address and create permanent solutions for agricultural resiliency.

      Mentor - Dr. Johnathan Jones

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    • Rusha Patel, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Health and Wellness in Aging Populations
    • Rusha is a Biology major and minoring in Chemistry on the pre-pharmacy track. Her interests include working in diverse communities and learning how to bridge the gaps present in health disparities. She is interested in learning and researching about the shift to personalized medicine. After she graduates, she hopes to attend pharmacy school, continue the work that she learned from iCubed, and expand to global pharmacy.

      Mentor - Dr. Lana Sargent

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    • Silvia Manzano, VCU '21
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Oral Health Equity
    • Silvia A. Manzano is a junior at VCU with a Kinesiology major, on a Physician Assistant pre-track. Her research interests include anything surrounding the female reproductive system, such as endometriosis, uterine cancer, and cervical cancer. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to become a physician's assistant either in Obstetrics or Glynecology. 

      Mentor - Dr. Sarah Raskin

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    • Trenton Jackson, VCU '22
    • Commonwealth Scholar and Core Affiliate, Sustainable Food Access
    • Urban Farmer and Environmental Entrepreneur, Trent is working to change the way we see food as a society and to develop new ways of minimizing human waste to create practical products with real-world demand. His process takes specific assumptions around business and design principles to then apply them to both food and agriculture further to bridge the gap between humans and the environment.

      Mentor - Dr. Johnathan Jones