When Dayna arrived at WPI with a prestigious Presidential Fellowship, she knew her academic path was only part of her journey. Meeting people, motivating the younger generation of students, and professional development were all going to be important pieces of a WPI education.
As a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Dayna is equally at home in the lab or writing and implementing code. At WPI, she’s found a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment that she appreciates and faculty mentors who have been encouraging and supportive.
WPI’s project work has been a benefit to Dayna. “For me, these projects were a great way to learn and apply the course material in a way that made sense to me,” she says. As she has worked at the university, Dayna has fine-tuned her communications style and has found paths to growth that were unexpected. “Having undergraduates in the lab has offered mentoring and training opportunities throughout my time at WPI,” she says, “which has helped my teaching and communication skills greatly. I have become a more confident researcher, scientist, and communicator through my time on campus.”
Outside of her academic load, Dayna is a founding member and past president of WPI’s Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) chapter where outreach events for middle school students have offered great satisfaction and community connection. She also acts as the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology representative on the Arts & Sciences Graduate Advisory Council. In this role, she advocates for the needs and concerns of the BCB graduate students.
With an eye to the future, Dayna says her WPI team is essential. “The members of my labs, past and present, have really been the best mentors and support network that I could ask for,” she says. “I have had the honor to work alongside both mathematicians and biologists who support me, challenge me, and make me a better scientist and person. I am very grateful for them.”
Sarah Olson, Mathematical Sciences, Department Head and Professor
Amity Manning, Biology & Biotechnology, Assistant Professor
Presidential Fellow 2017-18
Rock climbing, cooking, backpacking