STEM Ambassadors

The STEM Ambassador Program began in 2016 as a training program for a small cohort of University of Utah scientists. Since then, we have grown to work with over 50 faculty, graduate students, and post-docs. Scroll down to learn about the scientists who have participated. Contact us if you would like to reach out to a STEM Ambassador.

Note that many Ambassador bios were uploaded when the Ambassador joined the program and may not be current.

Photo of David Wheatley

David Wheatley

David Wheatley works with Dr. Marjorie Chan in the STAR (Sedimentary and Terrestrial Analog Research) group at the University of Utah. He studies sedimentology and planetary geology focused specifically on soft-sediment deformation within the Carmel Formation of southern Utah. Clastic pipes (a type of soft-sediment deformation) reveal ancient water table conditions and provide clues about past environments.…Read More

David Wheatley works with Dr. Marjorie Chan in the STAR (Sedimentary and Terrestrial Analog Research) group at the University of Utah. He studies sedimentology and planetary geology focused specifically on soft-sediment deformation within the Carmel Formation of southern Utah. Clastic pipes (a type of soft-sediment deformation) reveal ancient water table conditions and provide clues about past environments.

David uses these terrestrial analogs to inform interpretations of Martian environments and soft-sediment deformation to understand past groundwater conditions on Mars. David’s other research interests include geoarchaeology, GIS applications, and engineering applications to geology.

David enjoys exploring the outdoors through snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and canyoneering.

Photo of Rebecca Goldstein Zitnay

Rebecca Goldstein Zitnay

Rebecca Goldstein Zitnay works at Huntsman Cancer Institute in the Lab of Michelle Mendoza She is interested in how the environment around cells informs and directs their behavior and is pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in biomaterials. In Dr. Mendoza’s lab she is investigating how features of the environment around a lung tumor instruct cancer cells to invade away from the tumor.…Read More

Rebecca Goldstein Zitnay works at Huntsman Cancer Institute in the Lab of Michelle Mendoza She is interested in how the environment around cells informs and directs their behavior and is pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in biomaterials. In Dr. Mendoza’s lab she is investigating how features of the environment around a lung tumor instruct cancer cells to invade away from the tumor. Her favorite part of this research project is getting to observe fluorescently labeled cells moving around in 3-dimensions under the microscope. When she is not in the lab, she is likely talking about science, reading books about inspiring people, outside playing in the Wasatch mountains, or exploring the southern Utah desert.