Posted: June 5, 2017

This year the Kaminski Lab has four outstanding undergraduate research assistants. Learn more about them here.

Rijul Bhimwal


Rijul is an international student entering his sophomore year at Penn State. He is currently majoring in Biotechnology and finished his freshmen year with a 4.0 GPA. Even though Rijul has only been in college for less than a year, he has been an active participant outside the classroom, serving as the fund-raising officer for the Biotech Club and as a NEXUS science orientation leader for the Eberly College of Science.

Aside from working in the Kaminski lab, Rijul has an interest in genetics and living systems, and with resource scarcity plaguing the world he hopes to one day have his own lab that conducts research on genes of interests that when introduced into living organisms can increase produce quality and prevent diseases.

Rijul also has an interest in combining research with a teaching position and will be serving as a learning assistant for biochemistry and molecular biology in the Fall. He is also in training to be an RA. Rijul hopes that he can continue growing while at Penn State and use the knowledge and experience to work towards his future goals.

Kristy Fu


Kristy is a junior at Penn State studying immunology and infectious disease. Through her classes, she has experience in chromatography, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and RNA extraction. She hopes to pursue autoimmune disease or cancer research in the future. In the lab, Kristy helps with making media, isolating and maintaining turfgrass pathogens, and sequencing fungal DNA.

Outside of the lab, Kristy is involved in campus orchestra, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Club Fencing, Swing Dance Club, and Sign Language Organization. She previously worked for Campus Dining and held an internship retrieving information on plants native to Centre County, PA and their respective pollinators.

Ryan Hill


Ryan is a Junior at Penn State and is studying environmental resource management with a minor in geographic information systems. Ryan previously served in the Marine Corps as a Signals Intelligence Analyst for five years at Fort Meade, Maryland. After his service, he worked as a contractor in Virginia for several years until he decided to pursue further education at Penn State. After completing his B.S. degree, he hopes to continue his studies of remote sensing and GIS in graduate school

Ryan currently works at the Joseph E. Valentine Turfgrass Research Center where he assists Dr. Kaminski's Lab with the maintenance and upkeep of various turfgrass research sites. He also provides support for a variety of fungicide and herbicide evaluations as well as many graduate student projects.

Emily Milligan


Emily is a rising senior from Woodbridge, Virginia. She is dual majoring in Environmental Resource Management and Psychology with a minor in Environmental Engineering. She anticipates graduating with both degrees in December 2018. Through her course work at Penn State, she has developed a passion for microbiology and the intricacies it plays in the environment. Working in Dr. Kaminski's lab has enabled her to pursue this passion as an undergraduate. In addition to working in the Kaminski lab, she is also a research assistant for Dr. Dawn Witherspoon in the Psychology Department and a teaching assistant for introductory microeconomics courses.

Throughout her undergraduate career, Emily has continued to balance working part-time while focusing on her academics. She is a member of the 2017/2018 Student Sustainability Advisory Council, where she will work to strengthen Penn State's dedication to sustainability. She is also a member of the 2017 DC Social Justice Fellowship in conjunction with Georgetown Law and is working to teach students in DC while studying the social aspects of law. In an effort to give back to her community, she actively volunteers at the Centre County Women's Resource Center.