About ASC

Students in science tend to encounter many difficult and important decisions, though there are few available resources to guide students through these challenges. The purpose of the Aspiring Scientists Coalition (ASC) is to provide free education, career-counseling and networking to students interested in science at all levels. ASC is free to join for students worldwide. By building a large global community, we hope to enable our members to establish international scientific networks. 

The Aspiring Scientists Coalition holds regular online meetings including Q&A sessions with experts in the field, networking sessions for members, and research presentations from established scientists. ASC will also be launching a Mentor-Mentee Program to connect junior students with more experienced members to provide learning and teaching opportunities within the organization. ASC creates free resources to inform students making major career decisions, and clarify their career options. All of our previous meetings are available to watch in the Meetings tab.

ASC members represent more than 75 countries!

Our Team

Ben Rein, PhD

President & Founder

Ben is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and a science communicator. In his research, Ben investigates synaptic and molecular mechanisms which regulate social behaviors. In his scientific career, Ben aspires to supervise his own research lab and serve as a professor at a university. Ben founded the Aspiring Scientists Coalition to provide free, large-scale guidance and mentorship to students in science globally, with hopes that ASC will provide a friendly scientific community for students to share advice, ideas and experiences. In his time outside of the lab, he enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and sampling/rating chicken wings.

Ben Oreskovic

Assistant Director

Ben Oreskovic is a 4rd year undergraduate at Canisius College studying Chemistry. Ben plans to go on to earn a PhD in chemistry, specializing in materials science. Ben would like to either run his own research lab at a university or work in the research and development industry. A fun fact about Ben is that he has been fly fishing since he was 9. It's taken Ben all across the country and has gotten him invitations out of the country as well. Ben envisions ASC being a welcoming scientific community, that is able to provide invaluable resources to its members, and an open platform to be able to share ideas and experiences.

Marie Runfola

Mentorship Director

Marie A. Runfola is a Mental Health Counselor in New York State. Marie is currently studying Human Development and Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Marie aspires to teach as a professor and run her own developmental research lab, to continue to inform clinical practice. Marie's research interests include parenting stress and caregiver-child relationships, particularly in caregivers with psychopathology; mindfulness-based practices for parents and teachers; and the impact of risk and protective factors affecting social-emotional and behavioral development in early childhood. Marie would like to learn more about educational testing. Marie is excited to develop and oversee the Mentorship program for ASC. In her free time, Marie enjoys gardening and traveling the world to learn about cultures other than her own.

Saniya Jain

Creative Director

Saniya Jain is a sophomore undergraduate at the University of Kansas studying Behavioral Neuroscience. Her career plan is to become a research psychologist. A fun fact about her is that her Myers and Briggs personality test is ENFP-A. She joined ASC because she is an international student in the USA and this platform has given her lots of great mentorship and opportunities.

Jennifer Figueroa

Meeting Planner

Jennifer is a 2nd-year Psychological Science MA student at CSUSM, studying the role of close relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Jennifer aspires to pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology and lead a career as a researcher, mentor, and professor. Jennifer hopes that ASC will provide guidance, support, and a welcoming community to those who would like to pursue a career in science. In her free time, Jen enjoys making playlists and having movie nights.

Haley Searcy

Educational Resource Manager

Haley Searcy is a senior in high school in the Cincinnati area. She hopes to go through med school and become a neuro-otologist. In her free time, she likes reading medical autobiographies and listening to music. She joined ASC to learn more about careers in scientific research.

Airton Sinott

Multimedia Manager

Airton Sinott is an undergraduate student of biotechnology at UFPEL (Brazil). Focusing on neuroscience, he studies new drugs and treatment approaches for depression and Alzheimer's disease in mouse models. ASC represents to him the environment needed in the academic field where people can share their experience, be guided, and make networks. Airton loves to ride his bike and play videogames in his free time.

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