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Melanie F

- Research Program Mentor

MS at Indiana University


Human Biology, pre-medicine, and healthcare management


I am an authentic, empathetic, and persevering optimist who seeks out challenges as opportunities for continued development. I love adventure and traveling. I spent the last year and a half living in Portugal, playing professional soccer for the top women’s division. This year, I will be moving to Iceland to continue my soccer career. I embrace the opportunity to mentor students as they begin new projects. Each student's journey will be unique with its own set of challenges and I am thrilled to collaborate with each student as they develop tools to overcome such challenges. I completed both undergraduate and graduate school at Indiana University (IU), studying Human Biology, Chemistry, and Healthcare Management. I worked as an undergraduate researcher in a molecular biology lab, assisting a graduate student complete an assay for her research on ADAR binding proteins in C. elegans. Towards the end of my time in the lab, I completed my thesis on the acute and chronic effects of oxidative stress exposure on known Alzheimer's disease genes. My Master of Science in Healthcare Management program, taught me core competencies in business and public health through business, finance, and accounting case study presentations, policy memos, statistical analyses in R and excel, personal leadership reflections, and more. During my program, I worked as a Project Manager at the IU Health Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Services department, where I designed and implemented a 10-week program for community members to participate in live classes, learning and adopting best brain health practices into their daily routines. My undergraduate experience equips me to mentor students in STEM while my graduate experience guides my mentorship for students in business, public health, and leadership.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Designing and completing a research project

In this project, you will be a scientist and go through the entire process of a research project. You will craft a research question, write an introduction and background section by gathering scientific journal articles related to your topic, design a research method, collect data, complete statistical analyses, and interpret your results and their significance to the related field of research. This project will provide insight into the career of a scientist and a research student studying science. The final outcome of this project could be a poster presentation or a final written product such as a scientific journal article or report.

Creating a short film

In this project, you will capture content on the topic of your choice, then use software such as iMovie or other editing platforms, to edit your clips together into a short film. This project gives you an opportunity to explore filmmaking by learning techniques to combine clips and add audio and visual effects.

Air Pollution and Neurological Impacts

With climate change effects impacting more and more communities, one possible research question could focus on how air pollution affects neurological pathways and influences neurodegenerative diseases. I have conducted a study that analyzed the impacts of air pollution exposure on Alzheimer's disease at acute and chronic exposure levels. Other projects could examine air pollution impacts on other diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, or on symptoms such as headaches and blurred vision. The final product could take on several different forms such as a formal report, a poster presentation, and even a policy memo.

Pandemic Impact on Screen Time

In this project, you could explore how the COVID pandemic has impacted screen time usage among different age groups. You could conduct surveys to gather data and present your findings in a podcast, a poster, a video, or a written report.

Languages I know

English, Portuguese, Spanish, French

Teaching experience

During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered at Fairview Elementary school as an assistant teacher. In this role, I redesigned independent reading development plans for each of the 20 students I worked with. Each week, I facilitated students’ individual reading development. Each student advanced a minimum of one reading level within the three months that I worked with them. I have also been a mentor to other student-athletes at Indiana University. As a Hoosier Hero, I mentored 3-4 incoming freshmen and transfer students each year to enhance their transition to their new environment and to be a resource and friend for my mentees.


Work experience

Indiana University Bloomington (2020 - 2021)
Undergraduate Researcher


Indiana University
BS Bachelor of Science (2021)
Human Biology and Chemistry
Indiana University
MS Master of Science
Healthcare Management

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