Research Assistant Peer Leader Directory

Current Research Team Members

Nicole VargasResearch Assistant |

Nicole is a Florida International University graduate. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2016 and finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Biology in 2017. She has been involved with the PLTL Program since her sophomore year in college. She is currently a research assistant for the PLTL program at FIU where she has been conducting research on the critical thinking skills associated with PLTL leaders. Nicole is also the Outreach Chairperson for the PLTL program and an adjunct instructor for the Biology Department at FIU. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Human Resource Development and hopes to be done by Summer of 2020.

Daniel Flores | Research Assistant |

Daniel received his associates in Education from Miami Dade College in the spring of 2011. He went on to receive his bachelors in Biological Sciences from Florida International University in the Spring semester of 2015. He first became a peer leader in the fall of 2011. He was assigned as Chair of Supervising for the PLTL program at FIU in 2013. He later joined the RAPL program in 2015 to help incorporate research into the reformed supervising program. Currently he works as a lab instructor at FIU for Biology as well as a Group Discussion Peer Leader for Biology 1 while applying to the Masters of Public Health program with a focus in Epidemiology.

Amanda CanellasResearch Assistant |

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.

Richard Suarez | Research Assistant |

Richard is a Florida International University (FIU) undergraduate. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with an expected graduation of Spring 2019. He has been involved with the PLTL Program since his freshman year in college. He is currently a research assistant for the PLTL program at FIU where he has been conducting research on the critical thinking skills associated with PLTL leaders and students. Richard is currently also conducting bioinformatics research in the Integrative Marine Genomics and Symbiosis lab at FIU. Moreover, he has presented at the 9th Annual SEA-Phages conference hosted by the HHMI on his bacteriophage research. He plans on attending medical school with the hopes of earning a Medical Doctorate in the Fall of 2020.

Renee Suarez | Research Assistant |

Renee recently graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and received her Registered Nurse license. While at FIU, she was a peer leader in the Introduction to Microbiology and Foundation of Physiology. She eventually became the Group Discussion Leader for both subjects. She also is a Research Assistant Peer Leader and joined the team studying the transfer of learning and metacognition on Peer Leaders. Renee is also a 2019-2020 PLTLIS Board Member as the Student Peer Leader Representative. She is currently working at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as a nurse.

Rosangela Garcia | Research Assistant |

Rosangela is currently a junior majoring in biology at Florida International University. Rosangela was a Peer Leader in 2016 through 2017 and then later became a supervisor in Fall semester of 2017.  Since then, she became a Research Assistant Peer Leader in the PLTL program.

Solange CordoviResearch Assistant |

Solange Cordovi is currently an undergraduate at Florida International University, where she is majoring in Biology. After Solange graduates with her Bachelor’s degree, she intends to seek a career as a Physician’s Assistant with a specialty in emergency medicine. Besides her academics, Solange is the administrative assistant for the Peer Led Team Learning Office and a Learning Assistant for Professor Thomas Pitzer in General Biology 1. She joined the PLTL team Spring of 2018 and since her involvement in PLTL, she has held the role of peer leader, supervisor and research assistant.

Cristina OrozcoResearch Assistant |

Cristina is a pre-medical, undergraduate pursuing two bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology. She has been involved with the PLTL program for two years, leading General Biology 1 sessions, and now also as a research assistant. She is also a WellMed clinic scribe with PCPMG and the proud vice-president and co-founder for the Doctors Without Borders/MSF-USA Student Chapter, a new student organization at FIU. However, her proudest endeavor is her breast cancer research with Baptist Hospital regarding complementary and alternative medicine, hopefully published before she applies to medical school.

Former Research Team Members

Surname First Name Position Email
Gil Shannon Administrative Assistnant
Trujillo Vanessa Quantitative Research Coordinator
Sardinas Stephanie Qualitative Research Coordinator
Enriquez Kristianne Research Assistant
Ledea Margaret Research Assistant
Martinez Ana Research Assistant
Miguez Gabriella Research Assistant
Monroig Vanessa Research Assistant
Singer Gino Research Assistant
Suarez Abel Research Assistant
Alonso Nina Research Assistant
Francis Katherine Research Assistant
Garcia Juan Research Assistant
Martinez Stephanie Research Assistant
Vidaillet Jean Paul Research Assistant
Riguero Claudia Research Assistant
Leesang Tiffany Research Assistant
Camarena-Ubiera Isamar Research Assistant