The Carolina Scientific Editorial Board

Get to know the faces behind the pages.


- Editor-in-Chief -

Ben Penley: Associate Editor

Ben Penley

Ben is a senior working toward a BS in chemistry and a minor in creative writing. He has worked previously for Carolina Scientific as Associate Editor, Copy Editor, and a staff writer. His other extracurricular activities include research in analytical chemistry and mentoring in the chemistry department. When not occupied by these responsibilities, he enjoys writing, baking, and short stories.

Contact Ben at

- Editors -

Karthika Kandala: Associate Editor

Karthika Kandala

Managing Editor

Karthika is a senior Biology and Global Studies double major. She has previously served Carolina Scientific's editorial board as an Associate Editor, Treasurer, and Fundraising Chair. Before joining the editorial board, she worked as a staff writer. Karthika also serves as a Chemistry peer tutor, is an officer in Delta Delta Sigma Pre-Dental Honor Society, and does research in the Matera Lab and 3D Orofacial Imaging Lab in the School of Dentistry. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, writing and traveling.

Contact Karthika at


Patrick Truesdell

Copy Editor

Patrick is a senior working toward a BS in geological sciences. This is his second year serving on the CS Editorial Board as Copy Editor. He enjoys being outdoors, playing music, and spending time with his dog Benny.

Contact Patrick at

Aakash Mehta

Associate Editor

Aakash is a junior double-majoring in Environmental Health and Biology. Before joining the CS editorial board, he worked as a staff writer for two semesters. He is a member of UNC's professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma. He is also a huge sports fan.

Contact Aakash at


Akshay Sankar

Associate Editor

Akshay is a sophomore majoring in chemistry. He contributed to CS previously as a staff writer. He is also an editor for The Pipettepen, as well as a fundraiser for both Relay for Life and HackNC. His other interests include table tennis, watching sports, and reading. 

Contact Akshay at

Seth Bollenbecker: Associate Editor

Lynde Wangler

Associate Editor

Lynde is a junior majoring in psychology. with minors in neuroscience and biology. She originally joined the Carolina Scientific team as a staff writer. Lynde also plays the violin in the UNC Symphony Orchestra and currently works int he Robinson Lab at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. In her space time, she enjoys running, reading, and writing.

Contact Lynde at


Ami Shiddapur

Associate Editor and Co-Design Editor

Ami is a junior pursuing a BS in biology with minors in chemistry and fine art. She previously wrote and illustrated for one Carolina Scientific issue and copy edited for another two issues. Her extracurricular activities include neuroscience research in the Kash Lab, illustration for Event Horizon (UNC's science fiction/art magazine),  and volunteering at the hospital. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing and watching sci-fi movies. 

Contact Ami at

Nirja Sutaria

Co-Design Editor

Nirja is a senior biology (BS) major and chemistry minor. She is a volunteer for A Helping Hand, a home care agency that works with older people with disabilities. She also dances on Tar Heel Raas, UNC's competitive dance team. Her other hobbies include hiking, baking, and painting.

Contact Nirja at

-Digital Content-

Tirthna Badhiwala

Online Content Manager & Editor

Tirthna is a senior majoring in chemistry (BA) with minors in biology and social & economic justice. She held this position last year and has written several blog entries for the magazine throughout her time at UNC. In addition to Carolina Scientific, Tirthna is an active member in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program. She regularly volunteers at UNC Health Care Hillsborough and in the UNC Chemistry department as a peer tutor. Her interests beyond these activities include politics, road trips, and dogs.

Contact Tirthna at

-Organizational Leaders-

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Elizabeth  Smith


Alexandra is a sophomore physics (BS) major. She originally joined the CS team as a staff writer. She is a peer tutor for physics, math, and Chinese courses, and is involved in astrophysics research. She also volunteers and serves as Conference Chair for HOSA. Her hobbies include hanging out with her pug, going to amusement parks, and playing video games.

Contact Elizabeth at

Alexandra Piselli

Fundraising and Publicity Chair

Alexandra is a senior majoring in biology (BS) and minoring in both English and chemistry. Her other extracurricular involvements  include analytical chemistry research, serving as Service Chair for Tri Beta, and volunteering as a FEMMES counselor. She also works as a CNA at UNC Hospitals. She enjoys writing, dancing, traveling, dogs, and researching Marvel lineages on Wikipedia.

Contact Alexandra at