Seeds of Success

A student run organization focused on helping you succeed academically, professionally, and socially

Seeds of Success is a student-run organization open to all CELS students, and focused on supporting CELS students from historically underrepresented populations attain a holistic educational experience at URI. Our long-term aim is for students to succeed academically, professionally, and socially by providing a physical and social space within which they can develop a sense of community, as well as leadership and team-building skills both at URI and in their next phase of life. We do this by providing research/scholarship opportunities hosting educational/career seminars and creating affinity spaces for members.

Community building and more

As a member of Seeds of Success, you’ll receive:

  • Academic and professional development
  • Research, fellowship, scholarship, and job opportunities
  • Opportunities to build new friendships with peers
  • Fun team-building activities
  • Seeds of Success swag
  • Dinner during our general meetings


Seeds of Success members should attend at least three general meetings per semester, attend at least 2 Seeds of Success-affiliated events per academic year, and keep in contact with current members and the leadership team.

Leadership team

Zaria Griffith ’24, President, Seeds of Success
Zaria Griffith ’24 (she/her/hers)
“My name is Zaria and I am a senior majoring in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. I love working with plants and hope to pursue a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology after graduation. I look forward to working with the Seeds of Success leadership team this year!”
Zaria Griffith ’24
Kemi Odunkaike ’24, Vice President, Seeds of Success
Kemi Odunaike ’24 (she/her/hers)
Vice President
“I am a senior majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Human Development and Family Science, while on the pre-dental track. I will be the Vice President for Seeds of Success during the 2023-2024 academic year. I am excited for us all to take part in more interactive events, and to further build connections with our new and returning members.”
Kemi Odunaike ’24
Alex Thiboutot ’24 (he/him), Secretary, Seeds of Success
Alex Thiboutot ’24 (he/him)
“Hi! I am a junior studying Environmental Science and Management with a minor in Geological Oceanography. This year I am the Secretary for Seeds of Success, and something fun about me is I love watching thunderstorms. I’m looking forward to being a part of a great team of leaders!”
Alex Thiboutot ’24
Carla Pepen ’25 (she/her/hers), Academic Outreach Chair, Seeds of Success
Carla Pepen ’25 (she/her/hers)
Academic Outreach Chair
“I am a rising junior majoring in Medical Laboratory Science and I’ll be the Academic Support Chair for the upcoming school year. I look forward to providing great opportunities for our Seeds of Success members as well as other resources to aid in academics — such as those available on campus. Feel free to reach out with any questions!”
Carla Pepen ’25
Karuth Jones ’25 (she/her/hers), Social Media and Outreach Chair, Seeds of Success
Karuth Jones ’25 (she/her/hers)
Social Media and Outreach Chair
“Hey everyone! My name is Karuth Jones and I’m a Junior studying Cell & Molecular Biology with a concentration in Microbiology and I will be this year’s social media and Outreach Chair. I am excited to be and to bring engagement and to keep our Seeds of Success community up to date with current events!”
Karuth Jones ’25
Janvi Biju ’26 (she/her), Volunteer Chair, Seeds of Success
Janvi Biju ’26 (she/her)
Volunteer Chair
Armando García ‘25 (he/him/èl)
Graduate Assistant
Paola Cruz-Martinez ’24 (she/her)
Graduate Student Assistant
James Gbaba ‘25 (he/him)
M.U.S.I.C Liaison
“I’m a sophomore, psychology major on a pre-med track. I’m excited to be the volunteer chair of Seeds of Success to come up with fun and interesting volunteer opportunities.”
Janvi Biju ’26
My name is Armando, and I’m a Graduate Student in the M.S. College Student Personnel Program here at URI. I’m one of the graduate student assistants for Seeds of Success this year. I’m a recent graduate from URI, so if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
“I am a Master’s student in the Biological and Environmental Sciences program, specializing in Ecology and Ecosystem Sciences. I am one of the graduate student assistants for Seeds of Success this year. I hope to connect with you all and answer any questions about grad school! ”
Paola Cruz-Martinez ’24
“Hello! I am the M.U.S.I.C Liaison for Seeds of Success and a third year Cellular & Molecular Biology major. In my free time I enjoy playing intramural sports, reading, and doing trivia.”
James Gbaba ‘25

CELS diversity committee representatives

Harrit Bermudez ’25 (she/her/hers)

“I am a Junior majoring in Biological Sciences on the pre-med track with minors in Leadership Studies and Japanese: Language and Culture. My role as the CELS Undergraduate Diversity Committee Representative is to advocate for your needs and continue creating a diverse and inclusive space at URI.” 

Cierra Westbrook ’25 (she/her)
Cierra Westbrook ’25 (she/her)

 “I am a rising junior studying marine biology with a minor in chemistry. I am one of the CELS Diversity Committee representatives and I am excited for all Seeds of Success and the CELS has to offer!”

Graduate Assistant: Armando García