Meet the REFS team! Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Let's talk. You can email one of us directly or the group at

Current REFS

Cécile Chazot ( )

Cécile is a fourth-year PhD student in Prof. A. John Hart's group where she carries research about carbon nanotube/polymer composites for aerospace applications. She received her M.S. from Ecole des Mines de Paris in France. Cécile was trained as a REFS in January 2019 and is the creator of the DMSE REFS program.


Amina Matt ( )

Amina is a second-year Masters student in Prof. Craig Carter’s and Prof. Mathias Kolle’s group. Her research focuses on the optics of structural colors, especially the blue of Morpho butterflies. Amina spends her extra energy doing activism in local collectives in Boston area, where she cares about housing struggles and would happily talk about queer-feminism struggles.


Sonia Zhang ( )

Sonia is a second-year in Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang’s group working on the application of electrochemistry to materials recovery from municipal waste. She enrolled in graduate school after working in industry for a couple of years as a Battery Engineer. Sonia has had her own struggles in grad school including mental health issues, Imposter Syndrome, and work-life balance, and hopes to support her peers as others have done for her. Outside of research and REFS, Sonia likes to cook/bake, dance, and admire her cat Charlie.




Paul Gabrys

Paul was a PhD student in Prof. Rob J. Macfarlane’s group where he researched the self-assembly of DNA-grafted nanoparticles. He graduated in May 2020. He hails from Eagle River, Alaska and loves to hike and snowboard with his fiancé. In his free time, Paul performs with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus.