ArtLab is a small team of talented students and professionals with a wide range of skills, experiences, and interest. As a creative community we are inspired by the our own and others experiences, particularly those of explicit and implicit barriers to success and inclusivity in STEM. It is our goal through evidence-based approaches and innovative practices to break down the obstacles to education and engagement, particularly informal education setting. Our goal is to Enrich the diversity of our public discourse in STEM by coalescing diverse approaches to bring science discourse in biomedical science research to the public.
Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D.
Director and Founder of ArtLab
Assistant Professor | Department of Pharmacology | Basic Sciences | SoM
Senior Lecturer | Communication of Science and Technology | College of A&S
I am an experienced scientist passionate about visual science communication, multi-disciplinary projects, and online learning. Focused on visual communication methods, I am developing creative programs that have implication for online learning and science communication practices.
Email me: Kendra.h.oliver@Vanderbilt.edu
Graduate Research Assistant | Science Communication in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University
As a trained chemist for nine years and a filmmaker for three, I share storytelling videos about science through the lens of scientists of color. With videos that highlight representation in STEM, I’m researching if the videos could be a tool for intervention in changing students of color attitudes towards belonging in STEM.
Email me: stephanie.castillo@Vanderbilt.edu
Medical Illustrator and AnimatorMaster’s Candidate, Biomedical Visualization University of Illinois at Chicago
Maddie is an artist and researcher from the southern U.S., born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and completed her undergraduate career in Mississippi where she received a B.S. in Microbiology. She is currently a master’s candidate in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specializes in creating 2D and 3D educational graphics for both the public and researchers alike. As an illustrator she collaborates with others to develop visuals for complex life science topics through animation, 3D modeling, molecular visualization, and digital painting. Her work is featured in the Northwestern Public Health Review, Cell Stem Cell, and as the cover of the December 6th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Immersion Vanderbilt is an Undergraduate program encouraging students to integrate their classroom knowledge with real life experiences.
Undergraduate Immersion Student | College of Arts & Sciences
Navya Thakkar is an undergraduate student from Mumbai, India studying Biology, Mathematics and Art at Vanderbilt University. Since a young age, Navya had an attraction to the visual arts and loved abstracting reality with her creativity. Representation of science through art is something Navya is extremely passionate about. As she continues her academics to be able to work in the field of Bio-Statistics, she wants to discover the role that the interdisciplinary study of art and science plays in today’s society and its impacts on representation and communication of science. Navya is currently working with research labs on Vanderbilt’s campus and making art based on their research for her Immersion Project.
Email me: email@example.com
Undergraduate Immersion Student | College of Arts & Science
Skylar Cuevas is a second-year undergraduate student studying Communications of Science and Technology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. With ArtLab as a foundation to explore her interests in medicine and the arts, Skylar plans to pursue a medical career in the future, to utilize her artistic passion as a voice for those in underserved communities, and to proliferate scientific discoveries to the greater public. Skylar is currently working with research areas in the Department of Pharmacology at the VUMC to create artistic representations of their research and discoveries.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
ArtLab Studio Assistants
The ArtLab Assistants help organize our work-space, assist with outreach to the Vanderbilt community and hold creative workshops for students.
I’m a senior undergraduate student from Oklahoma majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and minoring in Art History at Vanderbilt University. I am also currently working as a clinical research assistant in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center. As I love admiring and learning about various types of art across history and cultures, I also enjoy spending my down-time creating my own art pieces.
With this love for art and a passion to serve in medicine, I hope to further develop and explore the intersection of art and science through ArtLab. With a particular interest in global health and health disparities, I believe these skills will help better communicate and represent science. After this year, I plan on taking a gap year before applying to medical school.
Undergraduate ArtLab Assistant | College of Arts & Sciences
Lilly He is an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt from Germantown, TN. She is majoring in Spanish and Biological Sciences, and she is excited to be working with the ArtLab to be able to merge her interests in both science and the arts. She spends most of her time being stressed out about her collection of houseplants, working in a research lab at VUMC, and promoting public art through the student organization Kefi Collective.
Email me: email@example.com
Undergraduate ArtLab Assistant| College of Arts & Science
Andre Carter is a Vanderbilt Student studying Songwriting and Communication at the School of Arts and Science. His hobbies include flag football, soccer, sketching and writing music. Andre loves drawing and making different types of art, which is why he believes that ArtLab will be an enriching experience for his college life.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate Research Assistant | Cell and Developmental Biology
Email me: caroline.cencer@Vanderbilt.edu
Caroline Cencer is a graduate student in the Tyska Laboratory in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. She has extensive experience with microscopes of all shapes and sizes and enjoys capturing cells, both living and fixed, in an artistic way. The level of detail that can be resolved from a microscopic specimen on modern microscopes is truly fascinating and beautiful. With an eye for the microscope, Caroline hopes to pursue imaging in her future career. In the meantime, she enjoys volunteering with STEM-related organizations such as ArtLab.
Senior Undergraduate Research Assistant | College of Arts and Sciences
Eve Moll is an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University in the college of Arts and Sciences. Originally from South Florida, Eve has found a second home in Nashville, where she enjoys exploring the food, music, and art scenes. She is an Honors Scholar and recipient of the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship with a variety of interests—academic and extracurricular. As a visual artist, she explores various facets of art, which has led her to her work in ArtLab, a Vanderbilt pilot program exploring the intersection of art and science. As a pre-medical student, Eve plans to continue her studies of science and eventually pursue a medical career. A keen communicator, Eve celebrates the opportunity to share an important message through this platform.
Justin Chediak, Senior Undergradaute
Justin Chediak, Senior will be graduating in May with a degree in Political Science and minors in Biological Sciences and Chemistry and is hoping to attend medical school next fall. Alongside Dr. Kendra Oliver, Justin is working to implement an interactive display outside the main Stevenson Center lecture halls to facilitate a bridge between undergraduate students and researchers of all disciplines across Vanderbilt. The display will house a library of video interviews conducted with private investigators in fields ranging from Health & Medicine to Law, Business, & Politics. These PIs briefly discuss the work their research group is doing and what opportunities undergraduate students have had in working with them. The project is ultimately designed to encourage undergraduate interest in research and provide students with a direct line of communication to various research groups so they can become involved themselves.
Elliot Jaffe, Junior Undergraduate
Elliot Jaffe is a junior undergraduate student at Vanderbilt majoring in Communication of Science and Technology. Because ultimately choosing between sciences, humanities and arts had proven too difficult, he’s thus sought a way to pursue all three simultaneously. Elliot’s work here at ArtLab is focused around managing the organization’s online presence as well as writing content, but in his free time he enjoys entertaining his curiosity with digital art, music, and language.