Our Staff


Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín, Ph.D.
Associate Program Director, Pre-Professional Advisor, and Adjunct Professor of Biology
Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín is the Associate Director of PRISM. He received a B.S. in industrial microbiology from Universidad de Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, a Ph.D. at New York University – Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, and a Post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sanabria-Valentín was a founding member of the NYC Minority Graduate Student Network, and is a Leadership Alliance Doctoral Scholar and a Life Member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). He has extensive experience running and developing effective undergraduate research programs at New York University (through the Leadership Alliance) and at Harvard University (through their Microbial Sciences Initiative). Dr. Sanabria-Valentín leads PRISM’s programmatic efforts, in addition to serving as a Research Coordinator for the Department of Sciences and as the Health Careers Advisor Lead for John Jay College.


Rachel Perlman

Rachel Perlman, PhD
Senior Grant Program Manager
Dr. Rachel Perlman is PRISM’s Senior Grant Program Manager. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stony Brook University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Stony Brook University, and a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology from Binghamton University. Rachel is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive higher education community and brings 10 years of experience in teaching and mentoring students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. In her current role, Rachel oversees activities and expenditures of the federal grants which support PRISM’s initiatives, including Junior Scholars, Undergraduate Research, and CUNY Justice Academy.



Alejandra Myerston
Academic Advisor/Program Specialist
Alejandra Myerston is PRISM’s Academic Advisor/Program Specialist. A native from Venezuela, where she graduated from the Hotel School of Venezuela, Alejandra came to the US in 2001 working during her long professional career in the hospitality back of the house field. She later returned to school and received her BA from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2017, where she double majored in English and Spanish. Inspired by her own path in life, Alejandra switched careers in 2017. She is currently finishing an M. S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University and she is scheduled to graduate in Dec 2022. Her passion and her work over the last few years have been focused on helping first-generation and minority students like her succeed in college and pursue graduate education. She has extensive experience supporting immigrant, refugee, and undocumented students as well as advising first-generation, low-income, and students with disabilities in a variety of ways. While pursuing her masters, Alejandra developed a passion for supporting and advising underrepresented students in STEM after researching about the attrition rate and lack of representation of minorities in the majors and the workforce.

Patricia Samperi

Patricia Samperi
Executive Assistant & Grant Support Specialist