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Staff and Appointments

Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Hub's leadership and staff members.


  • David Artis, PhD

    David Artis, PhD

    David Artis, PhD, Dean of Undergraduate Research Advancement, came to the Undergraduate Research  Hub (formerly known as Academic Enrichment Programs or AEP) in November 2000, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he had served as a faculty member, graduate school administrator and Director of Academic Services in the School of Public Health.

    At UC San Diego, he has overseen steady growth in the number of the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) programs and services, including coordinating more scholarship opportunities for students in all fields, increased participation in URH-sponsored undergraduate research conferences, and more collaborative program efforts with other campus units. Dr. Artis is a graduate of Yale and Stanford.

    To make an appointment with Dr. Artis, please contact Ms. Mercedes Favor at

Assistant Director

  • Veronica Bejar

    Veronica Bejar

    Veronica Bejar is the Assistant Director for the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) and the McNair Program. She has over thirteen years of experience preparing and encouraging talented students to pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees. As the Assistant Director, Veronica assists the ongoing operations of the URH academic year programs, conferences, and summer research programs.


  • Thomas K. Brown, PhD

    Thomas K. Brown, PhD

    Thomas K. Brown has been the Coordinator of the UCSD McNair Program since December of 2005. He has earned advanced degrees in chemistry (CPhil, Caltech) and anthropology (PhD, UCSD). In his role as McNair Program coordinator, he helps students find research placements with UC San Diego faculty. The McNair Program is a preparatory program for traditionally under-represented students (first-generation college students from low-income households and those from under-represented ethnic groups) who want to earn a PhD in any field.


    Make an appointment:


  • Kirsten Kung, PhD

    Kirsten Kung, PhD

    Kirsten Kung, PhD, works with a number of students through the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH). She has extensive experience coordinating multiple year research programs and helping students experience opportunities outside of the classroom. She is particularly interested in issues related to mentoring, engaged learning, and research ethics. Dr. Kung received her PhD from the Ohio State University in social psychology with minors in health psychology and quantitative psychology. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she was a faculty member at the University of Houston.


  • Sophia Tsai Neri, PhD

    Sophia Tsai Neri, PhD

    Sophia Tsai Neri coordinates multiple programs within the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH). She has experience coordinating student-mentor matching, research scholarships, and helping students get more out of their research programs. She received her PhD from the University of Southern California (USC) in molecular biology doing x-ray crystallography, and her Bachelor of Science at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying Cybernetics with an emphasis on Bioinformatics. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she was a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA.

    Office Hours: Tuesday (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm), Wednesday (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)


    Phone: 858-534-9014

    Make an appointment:

  • Daniel Movahed

    Daniel Movahed is the TRELS Program Coordinator. In his role, he manages the TRELS Program and collaborates with the seven colleges at UC San Diego. He earned his Business Administration degree from CSU Fullerton. During his time at CSU Fullerton, he worked at the university’s Outreach, Recruitment and Orientation department. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, he worked at National University as an Advisor in the Admissions department.
  • Beverly Fruto

    Beverly Fruto

    Bev Fruto coordinates the Faculty Mentor Program and various Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) conferences, including the Online Undergraduate Research Symposium (OURS), and the Summer Research Conference (SRC). Prior to joining the URH team, she worked as a program coordinator at the International Rescue Committee, and secondary education history teacher/AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) coordinator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC San Diego, where she attended Thurgood Marshall College.
  • Tessa Yarov, MA

    Tessa Yarov, MA

    Tessa Yarov, MA (she/her) is the Undergraduate Research Transfer Coordinator serving as the liaison between the Undergraduate Research Hub (URH) and Triton Transfer Hub. She creates opportunities to connect Triton Transfers with faculty mentors, program coordinators, and undergraduate research opportunities. She is also available to meet with transfer students one-on-one; over Zoom, in person, and for walking appointments.

    Before coming to UC San Diego, Tessa coordinated peer mentoring programs supporting first-generation college students' transition into San Diego State University (SDSU). She completed her master's in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs at SDSU and is passionate promoting equity and inclusivity in higher education.


    Make an appointment: Tessa's Scheduling Link

  • Marie Sheneman, PhD

    Marie Sheneman, PhD

    Marie Sheneman is the McNair Program Assistant Coordinator. She assists in all stages of the program, from recruiting program participants to collecting post-graduation data. Marie is a proud sociology alumna of Washington State University (BA), Northern Arizona University (MA), and Iowa State University (PhD). She is the first person in her family to earn a BA (first-generation pride!) and the first person in her extended family to earn graduate degrees. During her time in Iowa, she was a sociology professor and honors program coordinator at a community college. Through her work with the honors program, Marie fell in love with working with students outside the classroom and helping them enhance their education.  


    Make an appointment:

Student Assistants

  • Anqi Zhu

    Anqi Zhu

    Anqi (Pronounced “An-key”) Zhu is a student office assistant in the Undergraduate Research Hub. She is currently working towards a BS degree in cognitive science with a specialization in machine learning and neural computation and hopes to have a double major in data science or mathematics. She came from Guangzhou, China, and recently moved to Cupertino, California. She started to work in the Undergraduate Research Hub in the summer of 2022. As an ENFP, she enjoys eating, socializing, designing, theater, and lying around in her free time.

  • Samantha Pagdilao

    Samantha Pagdilao

    Samantha is a student office assistant at the Undergraduate Research Hub. She is a first-generation BS student majoring in Business Psychology and plans to minor in Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. Samantha is from Delano, located in central California. She began working for the URH in the fall of 2022. Her free time is spent indulging in anime, exercise, and the Sanrio website.

Undergraduate Research Hub

  • Undergraduate Research Hub

    Undergraduate Research Hub

    Have a question, but you aren't sure who to contact? Email the Undergraduate Research Hub at and someone will help you!