Program Staff

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Kierra Pittman is the student coordinator for ADMIRES. She is a senior studying Journalism and Media at UNC Chapel Hill with minors in Entrepreneurship and Social and Economic Justice.  She serves as the Student Ambassador for Student Access for the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Her responsibilities include leading program initiatives such as ADMIRES, Project Uplift and Tar Heel Preview Day.  Pittman is interested in connecting people from underrepresented populations to university opportunities and more.

Hello, I am Amy Oldenburg and I am the faculty sponsor and co-director of ADMIRES.  I am an associate professor in Physics & Astronomy at UNC and the director of the Optical Coherence Imaging Laboratory.  My lab develops novel ways of imaging disease in the human body using new findings in optical physics.  I love the challenge of finding ways that “physics tricks” can be used to create devices that help doctors and ultimately their patients.  My lab also uses high-speed imaging to study individual cancer cells and their responses to potential new anti-cancer treatments.

I am excited to facilitate this science mentorship program called ADMIRES.  This program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a grant to perform research in optical biological imaging.  I would like to expose young high school students to the excitement and possibilities that a career in the sciences and engineering can offer.  The future of science is highly multi-disciplinary, with some of the most exciting recent advances occurring at the boundaries between the traditional disciplines of biology, physics, and chemistry.  In order to make progress, we need students with a broad range of skills including those who are strong analytical thinkers, creative, and good communicators.  This means that we need you!  I hope that our program will provide a foundation for you to get into science and engineering, and to become a contributor to these fields via opportunities in research.

Rachel Tates is co-director of ADMIRES. She serves as Recruitment Programs Specialist with Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tates’ responsibilities include managing DMA’s student internship experience, facilitating access to high-impact educational opportunities for underrepresented students, leading DMA’s recruitment, retention and success efforts, engaging community partners such as the Knowledge is Power Program, and fostering an overall environment of excellence and success for all students at UNC. A graduate of UNC, Tates leverages her undergraduate degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in navigating complex community landscapes at the University and beyond.

Therese Triumph, Kenan Science Library, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Therese Triumph assists in ADMIRES content development with particular expertise in information science. She is a Science Liaison Librarian for the Kenan Science Library at UNC.  Besides liaison responsibilities in several science departments, Therese is interested in student outreach, especially outreach to women in the sciences, inspiring young students to study in the STEM fields and the promotion of open access in the sciences.

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