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CUNY PhD Student Mentored at York Graduates

In spring 2018, York graduated its largest class to date meanwhile Jayson Vedad completed a degree on a whole different level.

At 1206-strong, the Class of 2018 was composed of undergraduate and graduate students in nearly 50 academic majors. Quietly though, in the Chemistry department,

Vedad, a CUNY Graduate School student mentored by York's Dr. Ruel Desamero, had successfully defended his dissertation, earning his Ph.D. under the guidance of one of York's most prolific mentors and researchers.

"I really like the research environment here at York," said the newly-minted Dr. Vedad. "It's like a family here. I had been to other [CUNY] colleges, but it's smaller here and I get [more] access to the machines. The professors here are really good too. Dr. Desamero, Dr. [Stephen] Fernley, Dr. [Emmanuel] Chang, Dr. [Adam] Profit; and others…and here I got to teach a full class as well."

According to Vedad, whose research focused on the mechanism behind protein aggregation, said to be the main cause of many diseases like type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc., York provided him the opportunity to not only teach in the classroom but to mentor in the lab as well.

"It's very valid," he noted. "It is something I am taking with me. I would not have had this opportunity anywhere else. It has helped me to get a position at Union College (in upstate New York).

Born and reared in the Philippines, Vedad came to New York already with his baccalaureate degree to earn his graduate degree and qualify for college teaching. According to Dr. Desamero, the 28-year-old has what it takes to succeed.

"Jayson was a very independent working student, you only have to give him the problem to solve and he will come up (with consultation) with the appropriate experiments and execute them properly," said Desamero. "If he is faced with a problem he does all possible permutations until the problem is solved or he is convinced it will not work."

More than that, Dr. Desamero noted that Dr. Vedad is also "very good at managing his time, finishing all the projects I gave him and still have time to teach, work with students and run the day to day operation of the lab."

On York as a place where Ph.D. students can thrive, Desamero affirms that the college is indeed competitive on that front as well.

"The biggest advantage is that perhaps unbeknownst to everyone, we have more or less the same research equipment and facilities that [other] senior colleges have; and that since we have fewer graduate students, access to these equipment are pretty much unfettered," he said. "I think we have the best student to faculty ratio that students are able to get all the help they need."

Jayson Vedad in Dr. Desamero's Chemistry lab at York

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