Sarah Witkowski


Dr. Witkowski has been a faculty member at Smith College since 2017. She received her B.S. in Kinesiology from The College of William and Mary, M.S. from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  Dr. Witkowski’s research examines female-specific conditions that affect Cardiovascular Disease risk.  To see publications from her lab:


Dr. Rickson is currently working as a research coordinator and assistant in the Witkowski Vascular Function Research Laboratory, specifically working on the NIH funded study on physical activity, hot flashes and blood vessel function. She received her B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Fitchburg State University, her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Springfield College, and completed her dissertation work in vascular function and metabolic health at Springfield College. Dr. Rickson loves being in the lab and helping students reach their full potential in whatever they seek to accomplish. She continues to teach research related courses in Exercise Science at American International College and Fitchburg State University.

Jackie Rickson

Liz Lee ('21)


Liz Lee is a student at Smith College majoring in Biology with a minor in Film and Media studies. She comes to Northampton from Mountain Brook, Alabama, where she likes to go to football games and teaches preschoolers. Liz joined the Witkowski Lab in 2018, and her work in the lab involves hot flashes, lifetime estrogen load, and cardiovascular disease in mid-life women. Her plan after Smith is to attend medical school and become a forensic pathologist.


Lissete is a STRIDE scholar at Smith College majoring in Chemistry. Her primary work in the Witkowski lab involves running the study on arterial stiffness in African American and multi-ethnic women. Her goals for research include expanding the data to provide more information on the effects of arterial stiffness in Hispanic and/or Latinx women, and finding ways to recruit more women of varying fitness levels and backgrounds. She is currently on a pre-health track and aims to become a doctor in emergency medicine.

Lissete Lopez ('22)

Rose Evard ('23)


Rose Evard is a STRIDE scholar majoring in Biology and prospectively minoring in Applied Statistics. She joined the lab in Fall 2019 due to her interest in women's health and her curiosity of receiving data directly from participants.  Rose is strongly interested in research and plans to go on to a Ph.D graduate program after completing her Smith degree. She wants to focus her work in women's health, and ultimately run her own research lab. 



Lauryn Rivera Urquidez is an AEMES Scholar aspiring to major in Biochemistry; she is from Phoenix, Arizona. She joined the research lab in 2019 to explore her interest in the health field. Lauryn enjoys listening to music and writing in her spare time and hopes to incorporate her love for writing in the healthcare field. Mainly her lab work focuses on science communication.

Lauryn Rivera Urquidez ('23)

Selah Kamau ('21)


Selah is a pre-med student at Smith College, originally from Trenton, New Jersey, majoring in Biology and minoring in Arabic. She is the Health and Wellness representative on the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and a house community advisor. She is interested in learning about the health disparities between black and white communities. Ultimately, she would like to work to improve healthcare available to underserved communities, specifically Black women.


"I am an AEMES Scholar here at Smith majoring in biology and minoring in exercise and sport studies. When school is over, I return home to Los Angeles, California to spend time with my family and friends. After Smith, I plan on attending medical school and becoming a surgeon; at some point in my life, I would also like to serve my country by joining the military (either Navy or Air Force; I haven't decided yet). Outside of the lab, I am a member of the Smith basketball team as well as the Sports Committee for Inclusion and Diversity."

Shell Gleissner ('22)

Remi Amokomowo ('24)



Remi Amokomowo is an AEMES scholar planning to major in Biology on the pre-med track. She grew up in Newark, New Jersey and she joined the Witkowski Lab in September 2020 because she is interested in studying cardiovascular diseases in women. She aspires to attend medical school in the future, focusing her studies on pediatrics. In her free time, Remi enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.



Justine Wagaman is a STRIDE scholar planning to major in Neuroscience and Chemistry. She is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and enjoys playing bass, baking, and going for long walks. Justine plans to pursue an MD/PhD and is currently working on imaging and characterizing endothelial microparticles (EMPs) using imaging flow cytometry.

Justine Wagaman ('24)

Megan Holm (‘22)


Megan is a junior at Smith College. She is a declared biochemistry major and an intended exercise and sports studies minor. Megan joined the Witkowski lab in 2021 and will be working with the endothelial microparticle (EMP) group. She is passionate about the intersection between biochemistry, society, and sports, and plans to practice sports medicine for womens’ teams, eventually. She is from Flagstaff, AZ and loves hiking, skiing, cliff jumping, mountain biking, and all things outdoors. She is a member of the Smith Crew Team and works at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement. In her free time, Megan enjoys reading, brewing kombucha, hosting friends and family, cooking, and taking road trips.

Past Lab Members 


Abigail Edwards ('20)


Abigail Edwards graduated with a degree in Race, Health, and Society. She was a member of the Witkowski Lab from 2017-2020. She was a member of the Smith College Lacrosse Team, president of the Sports Committee for Inclusion and Diversity (SCID) and co-chair of the Science Center Committee on Diversity. Her senior thesis project examined the effects of stress and discrimination on subclinical cardiovascular disease in young, Black women. She joined the lab to further explore cardiovascular racial health disparities in a multiethnic population of women.

Sarah Seron (AC)


Sarah is an Ada Comstock Scholar that graduated on the pre-med track with a major in Biology. She grew up in Salt Lake City, UT where she loves spending time in the mountains with her family. Prior to living in Northampton, Sarah received her Associate’s Degree at LaGuardia Community College in New York. Sarah is currently working as an ED Medical Scribe. In the future, she hopes to work in the pediatric field of medicine.

Michelle Flesaker ('22)



Michelle Flesaker is a student at Smith studying statistical and data sciences. She was in the lab from October 2018 to December 2020. Her interests lie at the intersection of quality of life, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease risk in menopausal women; after Smith, she hopes to pursue a career in biostatistics.

Jenna Tampon ('21)


Jenna is a biology major planning to apply to a Physician Assistant program following her time at Smith. She is on the Smith Field Hockey team and is originally from sunny San Diego, California. Her favorite activities include going to the beach and hiking. She joined the Witkowski lab because of her interest in the health field, in which cardiovascular disease is such a large concern.

Q Urdang ('20)


Q graduated from Smith College in 2020 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. She was a part of the Witkowski Lab studying the effects of hot flashes on cardiovascular disease. She is currently working as a medical scribe at a Regenerative Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic.