TA Training and Mentor TA Staff

Kacey Dananay
Kacey Dananay, Mentor TA coordinator – Biology

Kacey is currently a sixth-year PhD student in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. She received her BS and MS from The Pennsylvania State University. Kacey's general research interests revolve around anthropogenic pollution. Her previous research focused on the effects of ecological light pollution and global climate change on mammals and amphibians. Her current research focuses on the effects of road salt usage and ecological light pollution on amphibian populations in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. In her spare time, Kacey enjoys scuba diving, jet skiing, hiking, cooking, watching TV shows and movies, and hanging out with her cats.

Eric Dennis
Eric Dennis, MENTOR TA - Biomedical Engineering

Eric is a second year master's student in biomedical engineering. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Ohio State University. His current research is focused on assistive lower body exoskeleton development at the VA. His hobbies include being outside whenever possible, playing soccer, hiking, and climbing. And whenever not possible (which is often in Cleveland) playing video games or reading books.

Fang Ji

Fang is currently a second-year PhD student in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. She received her BS (2016) from Shandong Agricultural University in China. She is working with mathematical models of plant-insect interactions to understand ways plant defenses can promote insect outbreaks. Fang enjoys languages learning, reading, painting, hiking, and watching TV shows, among other things in her spare time.

Andy Lance
Andrew Lance, Mentor TA – Biology

Andy is currently a PhD candidate in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. He earned a BS from Bethany College (West Virginia) and an MS from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (New York). Prior to joining the Biology Department at CWRU, he taught biology and ecology at Lorain County Community College as well as working as a field botanist with Cleveland Metroparks. His current research focuses on how manipulation of soil microbial communities can influence the outcome of urban reforestation projects. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with his wife, Katie, and two young children, Graham and Rosie.

William Lenart
Bill Lenart, Mentor TA - Macromolecular Science

Bill is currently a fourth-year PhD student in Macromolecular Science in Engineering and received his BSE from Case Western in Macromolecular Science and Engineering as well. His research is focused on the fundamental physics of polymer chains grafted to metal and ceramic nanoparticles and they way these systems move through mesopores. In his spare time he enjoys reading about foreign affairs and geopolitics and playing with his wonderful black lab mix, Thoreau. In addition, he actively volunteers in STEM outreach to underprivileged students in the greater Cleveland area and works with various organizations that focus on the intersection of science and engineering with human rights, such as the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition and Global Peace Services.

Isaac Oduro
Isaac Oduro, Mentor TA - Mathematics

Isaac is a third year PHD student in Applied mathematics. He received his BS in Mathematics at the University of Ghana. His previous work was focused on Stiff differential equation and Numerical methods. However, his current research interest is in Financial mathematics. He spends his leisure time on a couple sporting activities including playing soccer, swimming, playing ping pong (table tennis) or wall climbing. He also like to spent a fair amount of time playing the guitar.

Jennifer Murphy
Jennifer Murphy, ESS Intern - Biology

Jennifer is currently a fifth-year PhD student in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. She received her BS (2010) and MS (2013) from John Carroll University. Jennifer's research attempts to understand shrub invasion dynamics, with a concentration on plant physiology and plant-soil interactions. Her previous research focused on the role of phenotypic plasticity in functional traits in governing the invasiveness of a suite of native and exotic rose species. Her current research attempts to understand the mechanisms governing the coexistence and co-occurrence of the highly invasive shrub, Rosa multiflora with Ohio's native rose species. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her 2 year old son, Abram and her husband Ian, as well as their two dogs. She also enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, playing volleyball, and playing softball.