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Hispanic Serving Institution Program Mentors

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Our dedicated mentors are the backbone of our HSI Scholars Program. Students accepted into the program are awarded opportunities to engage in a virtual leadership and professional development series to enhance critical skills to position them for success beyond graduation. The early exposure to research labs and partnerships with professional mentors will help shape the next generation of Latino biomedical science and health care professionals.

Want to become a volunteer mentor? Email Mitzi Cardona for more information.

Current Mentors


Deborah Feairheller, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology Director, the HEART laboratory | California State University, San Marcos
Elizabeth Tarling, PhD, FAHA Associate Professor, Department of Medicine Division of Cardiology | University of California, Los Angeles


Dahis Manzanares, PhD Assistant Professor of Biology School Pathways | Miami Dade College, West Campus
Kathryn E. Sieving, BSc, PhD BSc Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology, University of California Davis/PhD Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | University of Florida, Gainesville
Maria Monzon, PhD Assistant Professor of Chemistry School Pathways | Miami Dade College, West Campus
Silvia Torices Del Val, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | University of Miami: School of Medicine
Trinidad Arguelles, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology and SLS | Miami Dade College, West Campus


Felix L. Nuñez Santana, PhD Director of Imaging in the Department of Surgery, Thoracic Surgery Division | Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, Yale University | Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

New Jersey

Ayana K. April-Sanders, PhD, MPH Instructor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology | Rutgers School of Public Health
Carlos Molina, PhD Professor, Department of Biology | Montclair State University
Jaclyn Catalano, PhD Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry | Montclair State University
James Campanella, PhD Professor, Department of Biology | Montclair State University
Luis Torres, DHSc, ATC, NASM-CRT, BCS, CES Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education | Montclair State University
Nina Goodey, PhD Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry | Montclair State University
Scott L. Kight, PhD Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics | Montclair State University
Yvonne Gindt, PhD Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry | Montclair State University

New York

Chiara Giannarelli, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Cardiology and Pathology, NYU Cardiovascular Research Center | NYU Lagone Health
Itsaso Garcia Arcos, PhD Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine | SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Johana Contreras, MD, MSc, FACC, FAHA, FASE, FHFSA Director of Ambulatory Heart Failure Network | Mount Sinai Heart Hospital
Natalia Eberhardt, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow | NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Puerto Rico

Bianca A Torres-Hernandez, PhD, MSc Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department | School of Pharmacy, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
Carlos Acevedo, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Biology | University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Elvin A. Gonzalez Perez, PhD Associate Professor, Humanities Department | University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla
Liz M Diaz, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry | University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Nancy Cardona, PhD Assistant Investigator, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences | UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center


Kayce D. Solari Williams, PhD, MPH, MS, FASHA Clinical Associate Professor | University of Houston - College of Education Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences
Micah Castillo, PhD Lead Scientist, NSM Sequencing & Gene Editing Core | University of Houston
Na Li, PhD Associate Professor | Baylor College of Medicine
young researcher working in a lab

Current HSI Scholars

The Class of 2023-24 is paving their road to success.
A group of AHA's Hispanic Serving Institutions Scholars Program 2021 scholars

HSI Scholars Program Alumni

Making a difference and impacting the future of their communities.
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Quest Diagnostics Incorporated through the Quest Diagnostics Foundation provided the American Heart Association with financial and other support for the Hispanic Serving Institutions Scholars Program.