Dr. Kristin Finch is the associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University. In this role, she facilitates efforts to promote a nurturing climate for all members of the college community, advances the representation of the diverse communities in the college, including undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, and supports the curricular and co-curricular programs hosted through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the college.
Dr. Finch came to Penn State from Tufts University, where she was the associate director of the Center for STEM Diversity. At Tufts, she advocated for access and equity of first-generation and low-income students by leading a summer bridge program, a first-year advising class, and a STEM outreach program. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she studied small molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. After graduate school, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, while concurrently teaching physical science as an adjunct faculty member at LeMoyne-Owen College.
Samia Cooperider is the Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University. In this role, she recruits and supports undergraduate students across the college, including those who participate in university scholarship programs such as the Bunton-Waller program and students within First-Year in Science and Engineering (FISE) living and learning community. While supporting students, she creates and implements programming to engage students about and across difference, promote respectful dialogue, and create change for a better good.
Samia earned her Master of Science in College Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Criminal Justice from University of Illinois.
Mary Kruk is a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Eberly College of Science. In this role, she works to support diversity-focused science student organizations and coordinates the new Diversity in STEM corporate partners program.
Mary is currently a fifth-year student in the dual-title Ph.D. program in Psychology (social area) and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (primary advisor: Dr. Jes Matsick). Her research examines experiences of people with stigmatized identities, with a focus on women and sexual minorities. She is primarily interested in how marginalized people determine the likelihood of prejudicial experiences in their surroundings through safety and threat cues. In addition, she studies low status groups' attitudes toward high status groups and how low status groups interpret behaviors of high status groups in intergroup contexts. In 2019, she received Penn State's College of Liberal Arts' Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Scholarship and the Laura Richardson Whitaker Award for her research excellence in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In 2020, she became a Translational Science Fellow through the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Mary received her B.A. in Women's Studies from University of Michigan.
Megan Rieker is a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Eberly College of Science. In this role, she works to support undergraduate students with day to day educational and scholarly activities including student programming and workshops, cultural month activities, and external scholarships.
Megan is currently a second-year PhD student in the School Psychology program. She earned a B.A. in both Psychology and Criminal Justice from Indiana University.
Dynisty Wright is a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Eberly College of Science. In this role, she works to support scholar programming and First-year in Science and Engineering (FISE) living and learning community.
Dynisty is a fourth-year PhD student in the Biology Department. Her research interests revolve around the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for cancer. Her current research investigates how mutations affect gene expression in fruit flies specifically to understand if naturally occurring breakpoints disrupt gene expression within Topologically Associated Domains. She is also passionate about helping students from underrepresented backgrounds. Currently, Dynisty serves as the president of the First Gen Advocates, an organization that mentors, supports, and provides resources for first-generation students at Penn State. Dynisty earned her B.A. in Biology Education from Savannah State University.