2023 – 2024 OSU SACNAS Leadership

President: Alex Ochoa

Alex’s Email: Ochoa.57@osu.edu

Alex is a 4th year undergraduate studying Public Health on the Pre-med track. Alex researches health inequalities in Columbus at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This summer he had the opportunity to intern at the White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, in the office of Public Health. Alex is from the South Side of Chicago, and his parents are both from Mexico. On his free time, he enjoys running and catching up with friends and family.










Vice-President: Rene Castillo

Rene’s Email: castillo.271@buckeyemail.osu.edu

René is a 1st Year PhD Student in the School of Earth Sciences. She studies Marine Geophysics to learn about earthquakes! She just completed her 4th NASA internship this summer. She is originally from San Antonio, TX and enjoys cooking trying a new craft when not doing science or being outdoors!







Undergraduate Recruitment Chair & Secretary: Amy Dokiburra

Amy’s Email: dokiburra.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu

I am a 3rd year undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience and working towards pursuing an MD/PhD program. I conduct neuroimmunology research in the Segal Lab at the OSUMC Department of Neurology, volunteer with the Crisis Text Line, and teach Organic Chemistry 1 Lab at OSU!

This summer, I lived in Ghana, Africa for a month, where I shadowed physicians and surgeons at Cape Coast Teaching Hospital and volunteered with Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana.

In my free time, I kickbox and weightlift. I love photography, cooking, traveling, and talking about the connection between gut health and…everything. My family and I immigrated here when I was young, so what matters most to me is building community and spending time with loved ones.






Treasurer: Mara Figueroa

Mara’s Email: figueroaberroca.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Mara is a 4th Year PhD Student in the Geodetic Science Program (School of Earth Sciences). She studies megathrust earthquakes in South America. She is a Survey Engineer, and she does fieldwork every year in Argentina. She is originally from San Juan, Argentina, and she loves listening to music (even at work!), cooking, and going out with friends.











Graduate Recruitment & Fundraising Chair: Carmi Thompson

Carmi’s Email: thompson.4455@buckeyemail.osu.edu


Carmi is a 2nd year doctoral student in the School of Earth Sciences. Carmi’s research focuses on the intersections between museum collections, paleoecology, and geoscience education. Carmi was born in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and has a strong passion for community building, finding connections between seemingly disparate disciplines, and broadening participation in STEM.




Dr. Marcela Hernandez is the Administrative Director in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at The Ohio State University. She received a Bachelor of Science, in Molecular Genetics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry.  Her scientific training and research in biochemistry and molecular biology focused on control of gene expression at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Her role is to design and implement programs to enhance retention, and support of postdoctoral scholars including a special focus on those with underrepresented backgrounds. She became a scientist thanks to an excellent Ph.D. mentor who inspired her, trained her, and mentored her. For this reason, she is very passionate about mentoring and is working to help the next generation of STEM professionals navigate successfully to rewarding careers. Dr. Hernandez is also the mother of twin boys, one of whom has learning disabilities, which has made her active in the area of support and advocacy of students with disabilities at the K-12 and college levels. To learn more about Dr. Hernandez’s story go here and for her professional trajectory, go here.

Marcela’s email: hernandez.16@osu.edu

As an Assistant Vice Provost at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Yolanda Zepeda leads targeted services for students of color designed to promote access to college, retention and academic success. Student groups served include underrepresented students, single-parent students, students in STEM, and Latinx students. Yolanda also works to disseminate diversity and inclusion practices across the campus and leads training workshops on inclusive faculty hiring. Ms. Zepeda is committed to nurturing a supportive climate for Latinx students on campus and fostering university engagement in the central Ohio Latinx community. Toward this goal, she manages the production of the student-led magazine ¿Qué Pasa, Ohio State? and launched a partnership with WOSU to support greater visibility of Latinxs in community media.

Yolanda’s email: zepeda.3@osu.edu


Past leadership