February 8, 2018 at 8:11 am

BARR Peer Advisers Help Students in Science Courses

Group shot of 2017-18 Bios Advising and Resource Room peer advisers

2017-18 BIOS Advising and Resource Room peer advisers

The BIOS Advising and Resource Room (or the BARR) exists to help science students thrive. It was created to assist students in introductory biology and to help first-year students adjust to and learn about Ohio University. It’s been expanded to help students of all years and all science-related majors.

The BARR is staffed by upperclass peer advisers who have proven themselves capable in science and beyond. What can they do for you?

  • Help with science coursework
  • Advice on time management and study skills
  • Insights into research, internships, and campus jobs
  • Peer perspectives on scheduling and advising
  • Assistance navigating online resources (from Blackboard to DARS)
  • Guidance on connecting with faculty and campus resources
  • Information on student organizations
  • A chance to discuss future plans with an upperclassman peer who has been in your shoes

The BIOS Advising and Resource Room, located in Irvine 109, is open every weekday, Monday through Friday, from 1 p.m. 5 p.m. No appointment is needed and all assistance is free. You can also email brief questions to

Meet the BARR Peer Advisers

BARR peer advisers were chosen because they excel in a variety of areas. All advisers have completed at least BIOS 1700, 1710, and 3100, as well as the CHEM 1500 series. Browse advisers’ profiles and expertise areas below.

Ben Colvin is a Microbiology major and micro and biochemistry researcher at Ohio University. He has been a successful student and dedicated researcher and hopes to pass those skills on to incoming students. He has applied for and received the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund and the John J. Kopchick Fellowship Award, making him an especially useful resource for aspiring undergrad researchers. He’s also happy to help with microbiology, biochem, and molecular biology coursework.

Seth Cones is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Marine, Freshwater, and Environmental Biology. He has supported research at Ohio University studying timber rattlesnakes and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he analyzed dolphin vocalization patterns. Please email him for assistance in ecology-based classes or for help finding research internships.

Jacob Dickman is a senior Biological Sciences major with a Psychology minor. He does research in the Psychology Department and works as a tutor and PLTL leader. He also is involved in the Pre-Medical Fraternity, Chemistry Fraternity, and Tri-Beta. Contact him with interest in any of these opportunities or with your chemistry, organic chemistry, and fundamental biology and psychology questions.

Sal Gomez is a junior majoring in Bios Pre-Med. He has research experience at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Biomedical Department and internationally through the Tropical Disease Research Program in Ecuador. He is currently a 1700 PLTL leader and has worked as a genetics TA. Contact him for assistance with intro biology, genetics, general chemistry, and with questions regarding research and studying abroad opportunities.

Sam Kukor is a Wildlife and Conservation major with minors in Plant Biology and French. He has worked in both wildlife and plant biology labs and is more than happy to help students get their foot in the door toward research. Tutoring specialties include chemistry, French, and most biology courses. Talk to him about clubs, research, or just general nerdy things.

Paige Lewis is a junior Biological Sciences major with research experience in biology. She is also a pre-calc SI leader and excited to help students with their classes, study habits, and ways to get the most out of their undergraduate years.

Brandon Merryman is a Biological Sciences pre-med major. He is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, a pre-medical fraternity on campus. He has experience shadowing doctors in the Cleveland area and would love to help out those looking for shadowing experience in Cleveland. Contact him for assistance in organic chemistry, intro bio and intro chem.

Kaitlyn McKnight has worked as a research assistant in multiple labs here at Ohio University and has participated in an REU summer program. She is excited to help students seek opportunities related to their interests in Biology and help with homework, study habits, and peer advising.

Emerson Milam is a senior studying Wildlife and Conservation Biology with an Environmental Studies Certificate. She has worked in research labs and volunteered on conservation projects. In addition to working at the BARR, Emerson is also a peer-tutor with the Academic Achievement Center and tutors intro biology and chemistry classes. She is excited to help fellow bios students fulfill their potential, one question at a time. 

Chrissy Schirtzinger is a Marine, Freshwater, and Aquatic Biology major. She has worked in the BARR as well as worked as a Learning Community Leader for three years each. She has had experience in the conservation of sea turtles in Florida and has studied abroad in the Bahamas to understand the ecology of land and marine life. She enjoys working through problems in chemistry, biology, and calculus.

Sammi Selhorst is a Neuroscience major and has been involved in neuroscience and neuropsychology research. She also participated in the Tropical Disease Institute research program in Ecuador this past summer. She would be happy to assist students in seeking out research opportunities, fellowships or study abroad experiences. Contact her for assistance with genetics, cell biology, general biology, or general chemistry.

Sara Springer is a Biochemistry major with research experience in biology, chemistry, and psychiatric statistics. She has held a variety of academic jobs at OHIO, from BIG to researcher to tutor, and is happy to help students locate research and job opportunities on campus. Contact her for assistance with organic chemistry, genetics, cellular/molecular biology, and related coursework.

Danielle Stakes is a Biological Sciences pre-med major. She is a member of the EAP program through OU-HCOM in which she partakes in clinical experiences around Athens. She is extremely familiar with DARS reports and the coursework needed as a biology major and is willing to help those with any major. Contact her for assistance with molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, medical terminology, cell biology, and related coursework.

Haley Van Voorhis is a Biological Sciences major with experience in the human physiology lab. She has several jobs in the Biological Sciences Department as well as a job with Culinary Services. She is Pre-Physical Therapy and would be happy to guide Pre-PT students and answer questions about the application process.

Taylor Woodyard is a junior studying Chemistry Pre-Medicine. She is currently conducting research in the Primary Care department of OU-HCOM. She is equipped to help students interested in medical school locate research opportunities and get connected to important faculty. She is happy to help with chemistry related coursework, such as general, analytical or organic chemistry.

Kelley Zebrowski is a Biological Sciences major on the Pre-Professional track. She plans on attending medical school and can assist students with all aspects of the preparation and application process, as well as finding campus jobs or volunteering opportunities around the Athens area. Contact her for assistance in intro biology, physiology, biochem, and related coursework.

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