Tritons heading for the top tier: UOG alumni begin doctorates and post-docs

Tritons heading for the top tier: UOG alumni begin doctorates and post-docs

Tritons heading for the top tier: UOG alumni begin doctorates and post-docs


11/18/2021

This semester marked the start of the highest level of education in their fields for several University of Guam alumni. 

In their pursuit to advance the global body of knowledge through research and teaching in their subject areas, UOG alumni are beginning doctoral as well as post-doctoral programs around the globe this semester — from New York to New Zealand. 

“We’re always excited to see the paths that our Tritons embark upon and are especially proud of their acceptance into such distinguished schools and programs,” UOG President Thomas W. Krise said. “Tritons want to make a difference in the world, and we’re proud that UOG has provided the foundation and the direction for so many to pursue a career in research and teaching.” 

Following completion of their degree programs, which range from two to six years, many have plans to return home to Guam to serve the community and produce research within their subject areas. 

Among UOG alumni beginning doctoral programs are:

Photo of Christopher Andrada
Christopher Andrada
Christopher Andrada 

UOG degree: ‘19 B.S. in Health Science - Exercise Science & Health Promotion
Current program: Doctor of Physical Therapy 
School: University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (Fla.)
Expected completion: April 2024

Christopher Andrada is pursuing his doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Having been part of the UOG ROTC program, he has also been selected, among a small number of other ROTC graduates across the nation, for the Army Medical Department Internship Program, where he will work under the direct supervision of an Army provider. He hopes to eventually complete a neurologic physical therapy residency program and then return to Guam to work as a neurologic physical therapist specialist.


Photo of Eduardo B. Biala Jr.
Eduardo B. Biala Jr.
Eduardo B. Biala Jr.

UOG degree: ‘17 B.S. in Biology
Current program: Doctor of Medicine
School: University of Hawai`i at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine
Expected completion: May 2025

Following his completion of the year-long ‘Imi Ho‘ōla Program post-baccalaureate program earlier this year, a rigorous “medical school boot camp” at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Eduardo Biala is now pursuing his Doctor of Medicine at the same school. He was one of five students selected this year for the four-year Queen’s Health Systems ‘Imi Ho‘ōla Scholarship. Upon completion of medical school, he hopes to pursue a residency program in internal medicine and, given the lack of certain specialists in Guam, he hopes to also complete a fellowship in gastroenterology to eventually serve the people of Guam and Hawaii.


Photo of Jezreelyn Bulaklak
Jezreelyn Bulaklak
Jezreelyn Bulaklak

UOG degree: ‘21 B.S. in Chemistry
Current program: Doctor of Medicine
School: F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University (Md.)
Expected completion: May 2025
 
Jezreelyn Bulaklak has begun medical school at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University. She is the first in her family to go into the field and was influenced to do so through the military by her brother, an ROTC cadet at UOG. At UOG, she was involved in the NSF INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance program and the Health Opportunities & Medical Exposure (HOME) Program, through which she shadowed a surgeon one summer. After completing her education and service commitment with the Air Force, she plans to return home to the Marianas to serve in the health care sector.


Photo of Joseph Casila
Joseph Casila
Joseph Casila  

UOG degree: ‘19 B.S. in Biology, ‘19 B.S. in Chemistry, ‘19 B.S. in Mathematics
Current program: Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering
School: University of Pennsylvania 
Expected completion: May 2025–2027

After graduating from UOG with three bachelor’s degrees in order to mirror an undergraduate bioengineering program of other universities, Joseph Casila is now pursuing a doctorate in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university, on a full-ride fellowship package. He will focus his degree on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine with the goal of coming back to Guam to give back and teach and mentor students. He also hopes to lead his own research team in Guam.


Mari Deinhart
Mari Deinhart

Mari Deinhart

UOG degree: ‘20 M.S. in Biology
Current program: Ph.D.
School: Griffith University (Australia) in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science

Mari Deinhart expects to begin a doctorate program early next year through Griffith University in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Under the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program at AIMS, she will be researching the metabolic pathways of crustose calcifying red algae (CCRA) species that induce coral larval settlement or are avoided by larvae for settlement under various light and nutrient levels. In the future, Deinhart hopes to continue researching the roles of CCRA in marine environments by unraveling their unique chemical fingerprints and microbiomes.


Tamarie Fegurgur
Tamarie Fegurgur
Tamarie C. Fegurgur 

UOG degree: ‘14 BAE in Elementary Education; ‘16 M.Ed. in Reading
Current program: Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction
School: Capella University (Minn.)


Photo of Jean Macalinao
Jean Macalinao
Jean Macalinao 

UOG degree: ‘12 B.A. in Psychology, ‘17 M.S. in Clinical Psychology
Current program: Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
School: Saybrook University (Calif.)
Expected completion: Spring 2027

Jean Macalinao began a five- to six-year doctoral program in clinical psychology this semester at Saybrook University, an endeavor she credits to Dr. Iain Twaddle and the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program at UOG. She aspires to become a licensed clinical psychologist serving the Guam community in practice or as a professor.

Trevor Orot
Trevor Orot

Trevor J. Orot 

UOG degree: ‘21 B.S. Chemistry, Minor in Biology
Current program: Doctor of Pharmacy
School: University of California, San Francisco
Expected completion: Summer 2024 

Trevor Orot began his pursuit toward a doctorate in pharmacy in July at the University of California, San Francisco, the No. 2 ranked pharmacy school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. After his program, he plans to further his education by attending a residency program and becoming a clinical pharmacist. He then hopes to return to Guam to contribute to the narrowing gap in health care, find solutions in health disparities, and serve the community that has provided him with so many opportunities for growth.

Photo of Tristan Paulino
Tristan Paulino
Tristan Paulino 

UOG degree: ‘19 B.S. in Tropical Agriculture, Minor in Chemistry
Current program: Ph.D. in Anatomy
School: University of Otago (New Zealand)
Expected completion: 2024

Tristan Paulino began his doctorate in anatomy this summer at the University of Otago. Under a full fellowship funded by a research grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi, he will be researching the genetic pre-disposition of Micronesians to gout, a condition that hasn’t been researched in Guam for more than 50 years, and other metabolic conditions. Upon completing the program, he hopes to continue his work on gout and other metabolic diseases on Guam as a professor at the University of Guam.

Photo of Aubriana Perez
Aubriana Perez
Aubriana Perez 

UOG degree: ‘17 B.S. in Biology
Current program: Doctor of Medicine
School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (Mich.)
Expected completion: Spring 2025

Aubriana Perez is pursuing a Doctor of Medicine on an institutional merit award at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She recently completed her Master of Public Health during the global pandemic, specializing in epidemiology, at Emory University (Ga.). She hopes to have a career in academic medicine while continuing her research on racial/ethnic disparities in chronic disease and eventually plans to return to Guam.

Photo of Maia Raymundo
Maia L. Raymundo
Maia L. Raymundo

UOG degree: ‘09 B.A. in Biology, ‘14 M.S. in Biology
Current program: David H. Smith Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
School: Princeton University (N.J.)
Expected completion: October 2023

Having recently earned her doctorate in ecology from The University of Queensland (Australia), Maia Raymundo has begun a postdoctoral fellowship through Princeton University in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Guam Department of Agriculture. The work for her project, “Loss of a key frugivore disperser: Assessing effects on ecosystem structure and identifying priority areas for restoration” will be based in Guam. As a UOG student, she gained valuable lab and field research experience through the National Institutes of Health RISE program. She aspires to continue to be involved in the restoration of Guam's ecosystems moving forward and hopes to help create space for more voices from Asia and the Pacific to be heard in matters of conservation.


Photo of William Sablan
William Sablan
William Sablan 

UOG degree: ‘21 B.S. in Mathematics
Current program: Ph.D. in Mathematics
School: University of California, Riverside

William Sablan has begun his doctorate in mathematics at University of California, Riverside, which he chose for its supportive and friendly graduate student community. He was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a five-year fellowship that includes an annual stipend. In addition, Sablan was also awarded the Eugene Cota Robles Award that includes a stipend.


Photo of Chellette San Nicolas
Chellette San Nicolas
Chellette San Nicolas 

UOG degree: ‘21 M.Ed. in Secondary Education
Current program: Ed.D.
School: Gonzaga University (Wash.)

Chellette San Nicolas is back with her undergraduate alma mater of Gonzaga University in Washington to complete her Doctor of Education. She began the program in an online format in July.

Photo of Elliot Untalan
Elliot Untalan
Elliot Untalan 

UOG degrees: ‘19 B.S. in Criminal Justice, ’21 Master of Public Administration
Current program: Ph.D. in Public Administration
School: Liberty University (Va.)
Expected completion: Fall 2026

Elliot Untalan has begun his doctorate in public administration this fall. As a military veteran, Untalan chose Liberty University, which is a military-friendly school. Untalan will complete the program online while continuing to work as a firefighter with Andersen Fire & Emergency Services. He hopes to advance his leadership abilities and give back to his island community.


Other alumni beginning doctorates

Karen Bacalia 
UOG degree: ‘21 B.S. in Chemistry, ‘21 B.S. in Agriculture & Life Sciences – Nutrition & Food
Current program: Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences
School: Rutgers University–New Brunswick (N.J.)

Edward Leon Guerrero 
UOG degree: ‘20 M.A. in Micronesian Studies
Current program: Ph.D. in Political Science
School: University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

John Palacios 
UOG degree: ‘18 B.S. in Mathematics
Current program: Ph.D. in Systems Modeling and Analysis
School: Virginia Commonwealth University

Alymark Portacio 
UOG degree: ‘16 B.S. in Mathematics – Secondary Education, ‘20 M.Ed. in Secondary Education
Current program: Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction
School: American College of Education (Ind.)

Karim Primov 
UOG degree: ‘20 M.S. in Biology
Current program: Ph.D. 
School: The University of Texas at Austin

Vanalyn Quichocho 
UOG degree: ‘17 B.A. in English/Psychology, Minor in Writing; ‘20 M.S. in Clinical Psychology
Current program: Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology – Rehabilitation Psychology
School: Illinois Institute of Psychology
Expected completion: Spring 2026

Emmanuel S. Santos 
UOG degree: ‘21 B.S. in Chemistry – Chemistry-Biology
Current program: Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry 
School: Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.)

Jongkeon Enoch Shin 
UOG degree: ‘18 B.S. in Chemistry
Current program: Ph.D. in Biochemistry
School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (N.Y.)