Ampersand Society, 2014 Cohort

Elayne Allen

A University Scholar, Elayne studies political philosophy and Great Texts. She is president of Civitas, which promotes active citizenship among Baylor undergraduates. Last spring, she studied at American University on the Baylor in Washington DC program. She has completed three internships with the federal goverment and DC-area think tanks and hopes to find a career that connects perennial political problems to policy development and solutions.

Ann Barton

Ann studies chemistry and mathematics at Baylor. Research in intermolecular interactions and atoms fascinates her. She aspires to learn about different kinds of energy and how, eventually, we can manipulate it for our use. Currently, she is researching in Dr. Carlos Manzanares’ physical chemistry lab. Ann participates in Eta Sigma Phi, the classical honor society, the Baylor chapter of the American Chemical Society, and Mobius Math Society.

Emily Beisert

Emily, who studies speech-language pathology, is active with NSSLHA (National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association) and plans to earn a master’s degree in this discipline. She hopes to work with children in both school and hospital settings. She serves on the leadership team of Baylor Women’s Choir, devoting herself to the morale and membership experience of the choir. Emily also volunteers with Best Buddies, an organization that provides friendship and community for adults with special needs.

Tim Campbell

Tim studies political science and philosophy as a University Scholar with particular interests in American politics and public policy. He is also completing the Honors program and serves as secretary of The Pulse, Baylor’s undergraduate scholarly journal. Tim studied at American University as part of Baylor's Washington Semester program and after graduation, he plans on attending graduate school in political science.

Kyra Curtis

A biology major, Kyra is also studying anthropology. She participates in MSO (Medical Service Organization), teaching CPR and leading a volunteer group at La Vega. She plans to attend medical school and become a researcher and clinician in neurology. When she is not volunteering at the Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest NICU, Kyra enjoys being outside and traveling. Last summer, Kyra interned with the Mayo Clinic on an NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates), working on infectious disease of the nervous system. Currently, she scribes for a Hillcrest Baylor Scott & White Family Medicine Clinic and will graduate in May.


A professional writing major, Faith also studies history at Baylor. She is completing the Honors program and will pursue a career in teaching after graduation. She is an active member of Acts Church and volunteers regularly with Campus Kitchen, transporting food from Baylor food services to the Salvation Army, Family Abuse Center, and Mission Waco. This summer, Faith will travel to the United Kingdom on the Baylor in Oxford study abroad and will work as Kid’s Club Director at Laity Lodge Family Camp.

Taylor Demons

Taylor, an international studies major, is minoring in Chinese and competed on Baylor's Model United Nations team. She served on the Residential Community Council as the National Communications Chair and is a peer leader with BU New Student programs. She has studied abroad in China, and this last summer, interned at the US Department of State. She aspires to enter the foreign civil service with the State Department and serve overseas in a diplomatic capacity.

Arfa Ikram

Arfa, a medical humanities major, is also completing a biology minor and the premedicine program. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. She is active in the Medical Humanities Honor Council, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Alpha Epsilon Delta. Recently, she completed the Providence Research Associates Program, and she volunteers at the Scott & White Cancer Center.

Maneesha Julakanti

Maneesha Julakanti, a premedicine student in the Honors program, studies neuroscience and economics at Baylor. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Baylor Agape Connection (BAC) and participates actively in Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology (BURST) and Students Improving Global Health Together (SIGHT). This past fall, she studied in the Netherlands on the Baylor in Maastricht premedicine program and currently works in the lab of Dr. Charles Weaver under whom she will write her honors thesis. Maneesha, who plans to become a neuroscientist and physician, aspires to found and run a free health clinic.

Kat Largent

A Baylor Business Fellow, Kathleen (Kat) studies public relations and marketing. She is also completing the Honors program and Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC). She hopes to attend graduate school and/or to pursue a career in advertising and public relations. Kat serves on the Honors Residential College Council, is interning with the Christian Youth Theater Waco, and teaches as a Peer Instructor for the World Cultures sequence in the BIC. Next fall, Kat will study in the United Kingdom, which will allow her both to take courses and intern in London.

David Le

David is studying biochemistry and completing the premedicine program. A Crane Scholar, David is deeply invested in theology, intellectual history, and medicine. Currently, he works in Dr. Shuford's computational chemistry research lab, focused on biophysical modelling and simulations, and also at the Institute of Faith & Learning as an office assistant. An active member of BURST (Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology), David has contributed to the organization's great success at Baylor. He serves as the Mentoring Committee Chair of Medical Mentors and enjoys rich conversation and friendship in CPF (Christian Pre-health Fellowship).

Paul Loftness

Paul, a University Scholar, is concentrating in philosophy and computer science at Baylor. He complements his study of these disciplines with French and Classics. Currently, he interns with the Arkansas Research Center as a programmer and analyst, specializing in data visualization and information assurance. Paul participates in the Baylor Amateur Radio Club, Eta Sigma Phi, the classical honor society, and the Honors Research Council. He plans to attend law school and enter the field of software patent litigation.

Jaziah Masters

A political science major, Jaziah is minoring in both leadership studies and history. He is a prelaw student and completing the Honors program as well as studying in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC). He plans to work as an educator before moving into a career in education policy. He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, and a Peer Leader for the Office of Community Engagement.

Jaber Musalli

Jaber, a premedicine student, studies biochemistry and plans to attend medical school. He works closely with students who transfer to Baylor from another institution as a member of the Transfer Year Experience (TYE) team. He is invested in the TYE community as a member of the hall leadership team and serving on the academic committee. Jaber also serves as a Supplemental Instructor for Organic Chemistry.

Julie Nelson

Julie, a University Scholar, combines political science, international studies, and economics in her academic program at Baylor. She is a prelaw student, deeply interested in questions of the Constitution and operation of the courts. She is a Baylor Pre-Law Ambassador New Student Experience Peer Leader and competes on Moot Court team. She has spent time examining the decision making of the Supreme Court and dyadic representation and voter turn-out in Congress as a research assistant. She has also interned with the US House of Representatives and Missouri Attorney General. Ultimately, Jule desires to serve her country through a career in national security.

James Okoh

James, a neuroscience major, is also completing the premedicine program of study. He is a member of Nu Rho Psi Honor Society and a student ambassador for the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. He plans to pursue a career in neurodevelopmental research and currently works as a research assistant in the Baylor Neurodevelopmental lab under the mentorship of Dr. Joaquin Lugo. An international student from Nigeria, James is a member of Heavenly Voices Gospel Piano and enjoys playing soccer and the piano. >

Jack Olmstead

Jack will graduate this spring with a degree in neuroscience. He has worked in Dr. Brad Keele's research lab since the fall of 2014, investigating the neurobiological effects fo early-life stressors and how these insults might play a role in the later development of psychiatric disorders, i.e., generalized anxiety and PTSD. After college, Jack will pursure an MD/PhD, aspiring one day to research the neural substrates of higher cognitive functioning: working memory, attention, and consciousness. In his spare time, Jack enjoys playing soccer, reading, and spending time with good friends.

Anton Paroski

A double major in neuroscience and biochemistry, Anton focuses his research on the biology of behavior and the chemical imbalances that disrupt it. He plans to attend an MD-PhD program to study neurology and then conduct research on medicine in a clinical setting. He is completing the Honors program and currently serves as vice president of the Baylor Neuroscience Society. As he explains, "I will strive to improve the popularity of the club and gather great minds to discuss all that encompasses the diverse field of neuroscience."

Kelsi Ray

A University Scholar, Kelsi studies political science and religion at Baylor and is also completing the Honors program. She plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a PhD in theology and aspires to teach at the university level. She is a member of Chi Omega fraternity and volunteers regularly at the World Hunger Relief Farm, just outside of Waco.

Megan Sarsfield

Megan came to Baylor from California to study history and classics. A prelaw student and University Scholar, Megan aspires to become an attorney, specializing in art law. Last summer, she attended the 10-week Latin Workshop at UC Berkeley and completed an internship at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. She is active in Eta Sigma Phi, the classics honor society, and Sing Alliance. This summer, Megan travels to Italy on a Baylor study abroad.

Eugenie Schieve

Eugenie is a major in environmental studies and is minoring in German. She is a proud member of the Golden Wave Marching Band and president of Tau Beta Sigma. Currently, Eugenie is completing research in the Department of Geosciences. This past summer, she interned with the Texas Hunger Initiative. After graduation, Eugenie plans to attend graduate school to complete advanced study in environmental policy.

Jeremy Sieker

Jeremy, a University Scholar, is currently interviewing at MD/PhD programs nationwide. he has conducted research in bioinformatics, epidemiology, biostatistics, algal biochemistry, and developmental intestinal physiology. In addition to his statistics-based thesis work and wet-lab biochemistry research at Baylor, Jeremy has spent his summers working with researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics and NASA's Division of Epidemiology.

Megan Starkweather

Megan is completing majors in both international studies and Arabic and Middle East studies and complements this aacademic focus with a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Deeply interested in Arabic language and culture, she has studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, and aspires to work with refugees after graduation. On campus, she participates actively in Baylor Concert Choir and Sigma Iota Rho, the international studies honors society .

Luke Ungarino

Luke concentrates his studies in political theory, great texts, and social innovation as a University Scholar. When not in the classroom, Luke is busy leading Convivium, a TED-talk style lecture and discussion group on pertinent social and political issues. Luke also works in the development office of his local church, St. Peter's Catholic Student Center.

Vivianna Wu

A biochemistry major, Vivianna complements her program in premedicine with a minor in medical humanities. She is currently a Supplemental Instructor in Introductory Chemistry, where she works to provide academic and social support for her peers. She serves as a research assistant for the Providence Research Associates Program and is publicity chair of BURST (Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology). After graduation, Vivianna plans to attend medical school and then help the medically underserved as a clinician.