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Volume 3, Fall 2021

This page contains all of the submissions from the third edition of Illuminate, which was published in Fall 2021. You will find all of the academic entries and creative entries listed below. Also archived on this page is the list of contributors to the edition. 


Click the cover for the official PDF

of Volume 3!














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Zohra Ahmed

Zohra Ahmed is a third-year student at the Notre Dame of Maryland University studying Psychology on a Pre-Medical pathway. She is currently working as a peer tutor at her university and works part-time at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as a laboratory assistant. In her spare time, she is a volunteer with the American Red Cross and founded a chapter of a non-profit organization called Brighten A Day Maryland. Fascinated with the neurobiological underpinnings of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, she hopes to conduct research in the future relevant to her passions.

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Malik Atadzhanov

Malik Atadzhanov is a recent graduate salutatorian of Kingsborough Community College with an Associates degree in Biology. While at Kingsborough, Malik was deeply involved in the Honors Program and was a Presidential Scholar. He was the president of the Xi Kappa chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and a Regional Vice President of the New York Region. He has completed research in Analytical Chemistry as part of the CRSP program, as well as research in Geological Chemistry as part of an REU program at Columbia University. He is the recipient of Gladys Brooke’s Scholarship and Distinction Scholarship. He is earning his BS in BioChemistry with a minor in Russian Translation at CUNY Hunter College. Malik is determined to achieve his MD-PhD to be involved in medical research.

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Catherine Baz

Catherine Baz is an impassioned advocate who works in substance misuse and domestic violence. She has worked in the mental health field for the last five years, providing services on a multitude of levels. From on the ground working with individuals struggling, to working with key stakeholders on policy, she has worked to enact change in the mental healthcare system on all levels. A recent psychology graduate of UMass Dartmouth, Catherine is continuing to work in the field before pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health.

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Lauren Brown

Lauren Brown participated in the nursing program and the Rouse Scholars honors program and Howard Community College (HCC). She served as the President of HCC's Student Nurses Association. Lauren is currently working as a registered nurse on a medical-surgical unit. Also, she is pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland School of Nursing as a Conway Scholar. Ultimately, she wants to be a nurse practitioner and nurse educator.

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Danielle DeAngelis

Danielle DeAngelis is a recent graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she received a BA in Communication Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She minored in English and literary studies as well as creative writing while attending. While at Ramapo, Danielle was the editor-in-chief of the college's newspaper, a student director of the Honors Program, a brother of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, treasurer of Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society and a student researcher for the American History Textbook Project on the campus. Currently, she is a local news reporter for southern New Jersey's hyperlocal news organization, Sun Newspapers.

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Shannon DiCristina

Shannon DiCristina is a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a member of the University's Honors Program and Honors Academy. She is a junior passionately studying Literature, Education, and Creative Writing; she plans on becoming an English teacher post-graduation. Shannon is a collegiate cross-country athlete and publicity cochair for the Honors Department.


Matthew Dougherty

Matthew Dougherty is a second year student at Stevenson University which is just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. He is pursuing a degree in Biomedical engineering with aspirations of entering the medical field to design and further research prosthetics. He is a member of the Men’s Ice Hockey team at Stevenson and also is both an Honors and Leadership Scholar. In addition to being a member of theses Scholar Groups he also serves as a peer mentor to new members of the group. He is also planning to  pursue a Minor in Software Design & Coding during his time at Stevenson.

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Allison Doverspike

Allison Doverspike is a sophomore biology / pre-medicine student with the LECOM 4+4 program at Gannon University. She is involved in her school’s Honors Program, Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority, Intercultural Collaboration Committee, Environmental Club, and Pre-Health Club. After her undergraduate education, Allison plans to pursue a doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine.

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Ruth Ferguson

Ruth Ferguson is pursuing a BA in Mathematics and teacher certification at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She recently graduated with an Associate of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education – Mathematics from Howard Community College, where she was a member of the James W. Rouse Scholars Program.


Cole Flynn

Cole Flynn is a recent graduate of Bentley University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree In Economics-Finance and a Master’s Degree in Finance through an advanced standing four year program. He was a member of the Bentley University Honors Program where he explored his interest in economics and finance on the domestic and global landscape. Cole is currently a finance professional in New York.

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Ryann Gollings

Ryann Gollings recently graduated Cum Laude from Thiel College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology. While at Thiel, she was an active member on campus as a part of the Dietrich Honors Institute, National Society of Leadership and Success, Lambda Sigma, Neuroscience club, and Chi Omega Fraternity. She was the general chemistry laboratory assistant and the statistics for social sciences teaching assistant. Ryann plans to immerse herself in research at Johns Hopkins University as a Research Technologist for the Department of Medicine-Clinical Pharmacology.

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Jordan Iacobucci

Jordan Iacobucci is currently in his final semester at Dominican College, attending completely online after moving to Raleigh, North Carolina with his family over the summer. He is an English major, with a double-minor in Psychology and Theater. In his time at Dominican, he has been published in the Bang and Whimper literary magazine, and served a year as the Debate Team President. Fascinated with Joseph Campbell’s study of the mythological hero and a lifelong fan of the superhero genre, Jordan has combined his two interests into his featured article: “Modern Myths: Spider-Man – Finding Society’s Values in Our Popular Culture.”

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Yoriam Laboy Alvarado

Yoriam Laboy is a second year honors student at Stevenson University and is learning a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School Education with a minor in English. She thoroughly enjoys reading and history as “it’s interesting to learn new things about the world we live in now and how it was created from the past”. She is also a member of the Mustang Mentors club, as well as the university’s marching band as a part of the color guard.

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AnnaMaria Leal

AnnaMaria Leal is a graduate student at St. Francis College. She is completing a BA/MA in Applied Behavioral Psychology and is double minoring in Spanish and Women & Gender Studies. She is a member of the Swimming & Diving team as well as a thrower on the Track & Field team. AnnaMaria is also a member of the honors program, the President of her school's Psi Chi International Honors Society, the Vice President of St. Francis College’s newly founded chapter of BRASA (a Brazilian student association), a 5th year Senator and Secretary for her school's Student Government Association, and the founder and 4th year President for the Photography Club, to name a few things. When not at school AnnaMaria can usually be found doing two of her favorite things, going to concerts and taking photos.

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Kassidy Montuoro-Germann

Kassidy Montuoro-Germann graduated summa cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May 2021, earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a concentration in K-12 and Special Education and a minor in Children’s Studies. She will be completing her Master of Education in May 2022 through a combined degree program. Kassidy was a four-year member of her university’s honors program as well as a member of the women’s soccer team and a peer tutor in psychology and Spanish. This upcoming school year, Kassidy will be student teaching and coaching soccer at her local high school.

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Marissa Murphy

Marissa Murphy is a recent honors graduate of Dominican College who graduated in three years with a BA in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. She was also a member of five honor societies, and a peer mentor as well as a student-athlete. Marissa hopes to journey onto a career in law after taking time to travel, one of her passions.

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Justin Novoa

Justin Novoa is a sophomore at Stevenson University. He is pursuing a degree in chemistry and plays for the men’s volleyball team. In addition to volleyball, Justin also is apart of the student athletic advisory committee (SAAC), and the American Chemical Society club. In the future, He hopes to attend a graduate school to earn a masters or doctorate degree.

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Anna Pinder

Anna Pinder is an international student from the fishing capital of The Bahamas, the small settlement of Spanish Wells. She is an honors student at Monroe College where she is earning her Bachelor's in Hospitality Management, with a minor in Tourism and Destination Management. Her favorite part of being an honors student is the community it creates, as well as the opportunities it brings forth for students that want to excel. In addition to being an honors student, Anna served as the President of the Hospitality Student Association for three semesters. Anna is actively involved in supporting the Hospitality Department with completing her internships with the Pastry Kiosk and the Dining Lab. She was recognized last semester for her work with being rewarded the "Pride, Passion, and Professionalism" Award from the Dean. After earning her degree, she anticipates giving back to her scholarship program, the Public School Scholars Program, as well as her island by opening her very own restaurant.

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Alyss Rollins

Alyss Rollins is currently a pre-med student at Stevenson University, majoring in biology with a minor in medical humanities. After earning her bachelor's, she anticipates attending medical school for her PhD/MD.

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Sydney Salomon

Sydney Salomon is a young female who resides in New Jersey. She attends Saint Elizabeth University, where she receives an education in Nursing and English. She wishes to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner in dermatology with a side vocation in writing studies. Salomon is an independent Amazon author who publishes poetry and currently has seven books available for purchase. Through passion with motivation, Salomon is determined to show the world that young females can achieve their dreams.

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Steven Swiatek

Steven Swiatek is a senior at Buffalo State College majoring in Psychology. Steven is a member of the Psychology Honors Society PSI-CHI. Steven is also a member of the Psychology departments Hulicka Scholars ‘program along with the Colleges Honors Program. After graduation Steven wants to attend graduate school in order to become a clinical psychologist.


Annie Vasquez

Annie Vasquez is currently in her second year at Monroe College. She is an active student at her institution. Her latest work was presented in the NRHC conference where she made a presentation based on one of the writings of Franz Kafka. Annie was born in Peru and raised in New York . She has dedicated herself to her writing since a young age. Annie dedicates herself in writing poems, short stories, and analyzing literature. Annie often takes inspiration from her life as a first-generation Latina woman and DACA student. Miss Vasquez is currently pursuing a career as a criminal profiler. Despite the difference in career choice, she plans to continue writing throughout her time at Monroe College. Apart from being a full-time college student, Annie is an active volunteer with an organization named Kids Need More and is a first responder for Central Islip-Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance Corp. You can chat with Miss Vasquez on Instagram @anniev.22 or via email

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Kaitlin Wachter

Kaitlin Wachter  is an alumna of Frederick Community College, where she served one year as president of the Honors Student Association and was engrained into the campus community. Currently, she is a Hearing and Speech Sciences major at the University of Maryland, College Park. She hopes to become a speech-language pathologist specializing in feeding and swallowing disorders to serve her home county of Frederick. In her free time, she writes poetry and reads research for fun. You can read more of her work here.

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Elizabeth Wash

Elizabeth A. Wash is a rising sophomore with a major in Biology and a double minor in Chemistry and Deaf Studies, on the Pre - Medical track at Salisbury University’s Clarke Honor’s College. An active member of the campus community, she serves as President for Delta Alpha Pi, a Peer Success Coach, an Honors Student Ambassador, and an editor for Laridae. She is also a member of Future Physicians of America, Honors Student Association, Medical Careers Society, American Sign Language Club, Mental Health Committee, and she is an editor of The Saunterer. Elizabeth advocates for students with disabilities, like herself, through providing education about disabilities and raising awareness. After completing her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth plans to pursue her MD in Pediatrics.  

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