our team at medi-futures nsu

Student director/president

YingYing Zhu

YingYing Zhu is a sophomore studying Biology and Neuroscience at Nova Southeastern University. Growing up with a passion for science and medicine, she aspires to become an anesthesiologist and contribute to the healthcare industry. Apart from her academic pursuits, YingYing is actively involved in various extracurricular activities such as volunteering at the local animal shelter as well as working at her local pharmacy as a pharmacy technician where she has gained invaluable experience in the healthcare industry and is constantly developing practical skills and growing in her role. In her free time, YingYing enjoys indulging in art and cherishing time with close friends and family.

YingYing Zhu

faculty director/advisor

William R. Kochen, Ph. D

William Kochen, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at NSU’s College of Psychology. Dr. Kochen received his Ph.D. from George Mason University where his dissertation focused on the detrimental effects of chronic stress on Traumatic Brain Injury outcomes and treatments in mice. During his time at George Mason University, he also studied the effect of TBI on temporal processing speeds in clinical populations.

william kochen

Assistant Director

Esperanza Barrios

Esperanza Barrios is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and Biology with a minor in Transdisiplinary Studies. Esperanza is currently unsure about what she wants to do after undergrad. She dreams of either going to medical school to study neurology or going to graduate school to get her PhD in neuroimmunoendrocrinology. She works as a committee member in the Student and Campus Life department at Nova, and she is also the president of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. Esperanza is currently working with one of her faculty members doing her independent study. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, and most importantly, be with her family.



Amanda Perez Romero

Amanda Perez Romero is a sophomore at Nova Southeastern University. She is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. She will be the secretary for Medi-Futures NSU. In her spare time she is usually reading, watching Korean dramas, baking, or playing around with her dog Luna. She is a committee member in the Campus Life department, and she hopes to have a career in the medical field or in clinical psychology.


programming director

Sara Faruqui

Sara Faruqui is a freshman majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Honors Transdisciplinary Studies, Pre-Health, and Psychology of Health Sciences. As a student in the Dual Admission
Osteopathic Medicine Program, Sara hopes to work in the field of neurology after medical school. Additionally, Sara is Community Service & Co-Events Chair of the Student Alumni Association and a Dual Admission Ambassador. Outside of campus, she continuously works on developing her nonprofit, Healing Hands Community Foundation Inc., to help overlooked
communities in Broward County. In her down time, she enjoys kickboxing and reading.

Sara Faruqui NSU


Joshua Dantes

Joshua Dantes is a sophomore at Nova Southeastern University. His major is Public Health and after undergrad, he seeks to pursue his love of dentistry and attend dental school. He currently is helping the student body as an ambassador at the on-campus food pantry to assist students experiencing food insecurity.


IOC Chair

Jaylon Sharpe

Jaylon Sharpe is a sophomore majoring in Biology with a minor in Honors Transdisciplinary Studies. Jaylon plans to go to medical school after undergrad in hopes of becoming a surgeon in the future. He is also a reviewer on the review board for NSU’s Digressions Literary and Art Journal. Aside from academics, Jaylon volunteers at local hospitals and animal clinics, and some of his favorite things to do in his spare time are reading and playing basketball with friends.


outreach chair/ambassador

Adrian Perez

Adrian Perez is a driven and ambitious individual originally born in New Jersey, with a current life established in the vibrant state of Florida. As a dedicated student at Nova Southeastern University, Adrian is passionately pursuing a major in biology, demonstrating a keen interest in the intricate workings of life and the natural world.
With an eye set on the future, Adrian is preparing to take on the role of the Outreach Chair and an Ambassador in Medi-Futures, an exciting opportunity that speaks to his dedication to the field of medicine and his commitment to making a positive impact in the healthcare industry. Alongside his academic
pursuits, Adrian finds solace and joy in exploring the great outdoors, which complements his active lifestyle and love for adventure.
Adrian has set his sights on a career in dentistry, a path that aligns perfectly with his passion for biology and his innate desire to contribute to the well-being of others.

Adrian NSU

our student Ambassadors


Shavinda Nagapen



Naidil Oscariz