Let’s celebrate our undergrads today!

Diane Adams Award for Undergraduate Research:
Evyatar “Avi” Kanik

Avi is majoring in Animal Biotechnology with a minor in Marine Sciences and Biochemistry. He has conducted research in George Pieczenik’s lab (Biochemistry) on the subject of color constancy and the land color effect – I encourage you to ask him about it, it sounds fascinating! Most recently he has been working with our own Hugh Roarty on the connection between harmful algal blooms and COVID-19 patient outcomes. As a teaching assistant for Scott and Josh in the spring of 2019 he has been instrumental in making sure that that semester’s research experience was possible to continue virtually.

Avi has numerous award, including a Congressional Nomination 2018, member of the SEBS Honors Program 2018-2022, Rutgers Chancellor’s Bride Builder Award 2020 and the Presidential Volunteer Gold Award 2020. In his spare time he is an emergency Medical Technician West Long Branch, where he has been helping out with staff shortages at Navajo Health Care during the pandemic. He is also going through rabbinate training.

Outstanding Senior Award:
Hossein Zolfaghari

Hossein is majoring in Marine Sciences with a minor in Spanish. For the last couple of years he has conducted research in Gal Hochman’s Aquaculture lab, where he redesigned and constructed an aquaponics system for the coupled growth of sea lettuce with other organism such as sea urchins and striped bass. His research on this system was presented at the 2021 Aresty Symposium. In the spring of 2020 he travelled to Valencia in Spain to conduct research in meiobenthology and to improve his proficiency in Spanish.

Hossein is member of the SAS Honors Program where he helps out as a Peer Mentor. He has been the president of the Rutgers Persian Culture Club since 2018. In his spare time Hossein works as a medical volunteer, where he puts his language skills to good use helping attending physicians to translate from Spanish and Farsi. As a third grader Hossein decided that he wanted to be a marine biologist and study sharks. After he graduates from Rutgers this dream might well come true when he will travel to Australia. His new goal now is to work at the intersection of Marine sciences and medicine.