Group Discussion Leader Directory

Hector Aguilar | General Biology I |

Hector is a Florida International University student and employee. He is double majoring in Biological Science and Interdisciplinary Studies. Throughout his time at FIU, he has worked as a SAAC tutor for various science courses and as a Psychology Learning Assistant. He has been involved with the PLTL program since his sophomore year in college. He has led subjects in Biology I & II and supervised for the PLTL program. Hector is currently a GD leader for Biology I. His future goals are to pursue a career in the medical field.

Jose Azqueta | Histology Lab |

Jose is a Florida International University 2018 graduate. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2018 and has been involved with the PLTL Program since his junior year at FIU. He hopes to attend graduate school in the near future in order to pursue a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

Amanda Canellas | Introduction to Microbiology |

Amanda is an alumnus from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. She was a respected student athlete who began her journey in PLTL as a freshman in college. Within the last four years of her academic career, she has advanced from being a student to becoming a group discussion leader of multiple disciplines. Through this progression, her active participation as a Peer Leader, supervisor and group discussion leader has sparked a curiosity in pedagogical style and its influence on education within STEM. This interest has led Ms. Canellas to become a research assistant in the summer of 2016, committing to her role in further analyzing metacognitive enhancement of Peer Leaders. As her aspirations of attending medical school and becoming an immunopathologist remain, she plans on utilizing the knowledge gained from PLTL experiences to enrich the physician-to-patient interaction in her future practice.

Catherine Cheng | (in training) | 

Catherine is a recent Florida International University graduate. In the Spring of 2018 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors College and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree as a double major in Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Chemistry. She has been involved in the PLTL program since 2016 and has been a peer leader for Biology 2 as well as Fundamentals of Human Physiology PLTL sessions. Currently she is in training to become a Biology 2 Group Discussion leader and is also in the process of applying to dental school.

Michael Delamo | General Biology II |

Michael is a Florida International University 2017 graduate, where he obtained his bachelors in liberal studies in human health and concerns along with a minor in psychology. He has been involved in the PLTL program since January 2012. Michael currently is working as a Registered Behavioral Technician where he works with children in the autistic spectrum. He hopes to attend graduate school in the near future and obtain a masters and move on to a PhD in psychology and also become a BCBA.

Shannon Gil | Ecology |

Shannon has been part of the PLTL program since 2015. She will be graduating in Fall 2018 with a Liberal Studies major specializing in Health and Human Concerns. She also has a minor in Biology. She was the previous Administrative Assistant for the PLTL program, has experience as a Leader, Supervisor, and GD Leader. She is an aspiring lawyer planning on attending Law School Spring 2019.

Arisa Gonzalez | General Biology I |

Arisa is a Florida International University graduate. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry in Fall 2017. Arisa has been involved in the PLTL program since her freshman year of college and is now a GD leader for General Biology 1. She is also currently an adjunct instructor for General Biology and a Family Medicine scribe at UHealth with the hopes of becoming a Hematologist/Oncologist! She enjoys all types of music and loves to play with her dogs, Rose and Vinnie. 

Diego Guerrero | General Biology I |

Diego is currently a Florida International University undergraduate student majoring in Biology, working simultaneously on a minor in Spanish Language. Diego intends to seek a future in the medical field as a Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon after finishing his Bachelor’s degree at FIU. He currently works at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric ICU as a Weekend Unit Coordinator. In addition, he works in the Biology department as a Learning Assistant. His involvement with the PLTL program began in the Spring of 2017 semester as General Biology 1 Peer Leader. 

Nhan Hoang | (in training) |

Nhan is a FIU’s Undergraduate who is double majoring in Dietetics + Nutrition and Biology as part of the QBIC program. Nhan has been involves with the PLTL program at FIU since 2016 as a Peer Leader and will be starting his role as a Group Discussion Leader in the upcoming fall 2018 semester. Nhan is currently an intern at the University of Miami’s Football Nutrition and Sport Performance Program and Florida International University’s Football Nutrition and Sport Performance Program. Nhan is currently a research assistant with the FIU Research Clinic. Nhan is also involves with Hope for Miami’s Urban K Garden Program.

Eduardo Ibarra | Ecology |

Katherine Lemus | General Biology II |

Katherine is a Fall 2017 graduate at Florida International University with a Major in Biological Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies and a Minor in Chemistry. She has been a PLTL Leader since her freshman year in Spring 2015 and became a supervisor shortly thereafter in Fall of 2015. Katherine became a Group Discussion Leader in Fall of 2016, where she has been able to express her enthusiasm about both General Biology 1 and 2. She aspires to attend Medical School, in the hopes of becoming a Pediatrician or a Cardiologist, and absolutely loves bringing joy to others. She is currently still a GD Leader in Gen Bio 2, scribes for the Cardiovascular Center of South Florida and is a Teaching Assistant for both Gen Bio 1 & 2. She hopes to continue to brighten peoples’ days and spread the importance of knowledge as she furthers her studies in the incredible field of the Sciences.

Daniel Leon | Evolution |

Daniel is obtaining a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and a certificate in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. He has been involved with PLTL since the Spring of 2016. He is a research assistant in Dr. Philip Stoddard’s animal behavior lab. Danny is the GD leader for Evolution, as well as an adjunct instructor for General Biology I and II labs. He hopes to attend veterinary school and go into wildlife conservation.

Sergio Norat | General Biology II (in training) |

Sergio is an undergraduate at Florida International University. He is currently working on his bachelors in biology planning to graduate in 2019. He has been involved in PLTL since spring of his  freshman year. He is currently committing research in Mathew Degennaro’s mosquito lab were he conducts genetic research for Mosquito’s olfactory receptors through microinjection. Sergio currently volunteers as a group discussion leader for PLTL where he elicits important information to PLTL leaders for proper discussions in their sessions. He currently plans to earn his bachelors in biology and pursue an even higher education as a future FIU graduate.

Daniel Padron | General Biology I |

Daniel is an undergraduate student at Florida International University. He will complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry. Daniel has been involved with the PLTL program since his freshman year of college. Since then, he has worked as a Peer Leader, Peer Leader Mentor Supervisor, and currently as a Group Discussion Leader for General Biology 1. His current tasks involve coordinating worksheet questions with professors, preparing a discussion plan for new and returning Peer leaders, and providing pedagogical and content specific feedback to Peer Leaders. In the future, Daniel plans on applying to professional school in order to attend an MD program.

Jose Parra Ayala | (in training) | 

Jose is a Florida International University Undergraduate currently studying Biology with a Business minor. He is on the Pre-Med track. He joined PLTL in Fall 2016; he started leading Biology 1 sections. Since then he’s been switching between leading Biology 1 and Biology 2 for two years, always receiving good words from his supervisors. He always led a minimum of two sections and stuck with them, trying to positively influence his peers to do better. Currently he is a GD trainee for Biology 1 where he expects to help the other leaders with their duties as PLTL leaders.

Roberto Pereira | General Microbiology |

Roberto is a Florida International University graduate in Biological Sciences. He has been involved with the PLTL Program as a leader since Fall of 2011. He is currently a leader, a group discussion leader, and a research assistant for the PLTL program at FIU. Roberto is also a General Biology adjunct lab instructor and the General Biology course assistant for the Biology Department at FIU.

Nicolle Rodriguez | General Biology I |

Nicolle is a Florida International University graduate. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2018. She has been involved with the PLTL Program since her sophomore year of college. She is currently a group discussion leader for PLTL. She is currently applying to medical school in the hopes of starting school Fall 2019.

Frank Rodriguez | Ecology |

Frank has been a part of the PLTL program since 2015. He is obtaining his Bachelor’s in Science with a Biology major in the Fall and has been on the Dean’s all four years. He is the current Administrative Assistant, has experience as a Leader, Supervisor and GD Leader. He volunteers at a vet’s office to gain experience for Veterinary School. He plans on attending Veterinary School Spring 2019.

Renee Suarez | Foundations of Human Physiology |

Renee is a junior majoring in Nursing with a minor in psychology at Florida International University. She started as a Peer Leader for Introduction to Microbiology in 2016. Since then, she has been a Peer Leader and Supervising Mentor for Introduction to Microbiology and Foundations of Human Physiology. She is also a Group Discussion Leader for Foundations of Human Physiology and a Research Assistant Peer Leader for the PLTL program’s study on metacognition.

Karl Tan | Human Biology |

Karl is a senior with an expected graduation in Spring 2018. He is a Biology major under the Pre-Med track and is currently a GD leader in Human Biology. He has been a leader for Human Biology since 2015 and strives to inspire students to both enjoy the process of learning and science itself. He is interested in Pediatrics because he loves the atmosphere of children and families and he is a scribe at PhysAssist to accumulate experience in the medical field and further prepare himself as a medical student in the future.

Manuel Vazquez | General Biology I |

Manuel is currently an undergraduate student enrolled at Florida International University. He is in the pre-med track and majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Manuel has been a PLTL leader since his Freshman year at FIU and has been a Group discussion leader since the spring semester of 2018. Manuel is currently doing undergraduate research at FIU in the area of optical based molecular imaging and tomography. In the future, Manuel hopes to go to medical school and become a surgeon.  

Philip Villar | General Biology II |

Philip is a Florida International University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. Philip started as a peer leader in 2014, leading for Bio 1, Bio 2, and Genetics. He is currently the Group Discussion Chairperson for the PLTL program. He also works part-time as an adjunct teaching assistant for the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at FIU, and an Emergency Room Scribe for PhysAssist. He is an aspiring doctor that wants to emphasize the importance of educating the patient to facilitate a conversation about their health, rather than a 1-sided discussion. In the long run, he believes this will help patients become more informed, enabling them to make better decisions and be able to pass on the information to others, essentially building a web of connections that will diminish ignorance within the health field. Philip is passionate about teaching, whether it’s chemistry, biology, physiology, or medicine, you are going to have an interesting conversation that you’ll never forget.