October 9, 2018
Our third Ambassador of the week for the Fall of 2018 is Natasha Bitar.
Natasha has been an invaluable member of the STEM AP leadership team even though she is not officially a part of the STEM AP Administration. She has helped us navigate and coordinate many aspects of the program, including serving as the undergraduate leader of first year students in our 2018 summer REU program, and organizing our program's cool T-shirt competition and design project. Currently, Natasha is the one of the STEM AP Middle School Mentoring leaders, working with a team of five undergraduates and 6th through 8th graders from the Amherst Public Schools. Natasha also supports the program office staff during the summer.
Ms. Bitar is a fourth year biology major on the pre-medical track, planning to become a medical doctor. She chose biology as an incoming first year because of her vast interest in cells and how they shape our lives; “Cells work more cohesively than the human race. We can learn a lot from cells”. This explains her involvement in a Biomedical Engineering (Tissue Engineering) lab, working on her independent project (and thesis) under Dr. Jungwoo Lee. The main focus of the lab is to “design and manufacture a broad range of materials to construct functional human tissue models, and apply multi-dimensional imaging techniques to quantitatively capture complex, dynamic biological processes”, while her focus is more narrowed on working with a specific tissue cell culture.
Natasha entered the program as an incoming first year and has been a member ever since. She has seen the program change and grow, and is still actively contributing to its perpetual growth. Yet her favorite part of the program is going to the office and “updating Sonji on what the Kardashians are up to”. Somehow the Kardashians have become an integral component of the program for Natasha, along with studying for the MCAT and writing her thesis. Some of her other hobbies constitute “lifting things up and putting them down; music; [and] experimenting in the kitchen.” She is an avid weightlifter who ran the Umass Powerlifting club for a few years.
We appreciate all the work Natasha has done for the program, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her after graduation! We wish you all the best on the MCAT and on all your future endeavors.
Team STEM AP