STEM names 2023 Intern and Co-op of the Year

Youngstown State University’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has named Samantha Bachochin and Tafadzwa Mapiki Intern and Co-op of the Year.

Samantha BachochinIntern of the Year: Bachochin, a junior from Youngstown, Ohio is pursuing a double major in Biology with a pre-medical focus and Forensic Sciences complemented by two minor fields of study in Chemistry and Public Health.

During the summer of 2023, Bachochin interned at the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office, where she gained experience in post-mortem examinations, crime scene investigations, documentation and various other aspects of the field.

At YSU, Bachochin has served as an undergraduate research assistant in the microbiology research laboratory under the guidance of Chet Cooper, professor of Chemical and Biological Sciences. Her contributions have been evident in the Sars-CoV-2 Wastewater Project.

Additionally, Bachochin is an active participant in the Sokolov Honors College and dedicates her time to weekly volunteer work at Akron Children’s Beeghly Campus, specifically in the Surgery Department.

Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Bachochin plans to pursue a medical degree with the goal of specializing in Forensic Pathology.


Tafadzwa MalikiCo-op of the Year: Mapiki, a senior from Glenn View, Harre in Zimbabwe, is majoring in Biological Sciences with a pre-medicine track and pursuing two minors in Mathematics and Chemistry.

Mapiki spent the summer of 2023 at the world’s number one hospital, Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, participating in the summer Research Exploration Program (SREP) run by the Otorhinolaryngology department.

Mapiki was selected to work on research with Radiation Oncology physicians, with her research having a focus on patient-reported outcomes for patients treated with preoperative chemoradiation for a very rare cancer, perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. Throughout her research, she collected data necessary to understand the discrepancy between physician-reported outcomes and patient-reported outcomes.

Mapiki’s research will be used to provide insight and further research avenues that focus on improving the patient experience as they go through radiation and chemotherapy for cholangiocarcinoma.

Mapiki, YSU’s first two-time recipient of the Co-op of the Year award, is currently focusing on her next step of becoming a physician-scientist.