Darya Tarasivna Poliyenko

Bachelor of Science



Environmental Science


Summa Cum Laude
Linus Pauling Award


Kyiv, Ukraine

Award Bio

Darya Poliyenko’s passion for science stems from an interest in the biological effects of the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, where she was born. She loves mammalian cell culture and is excited to pursue her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at CU Boulder. In her free time, she likes to knit and birdwatch.

While earning my degree, my greatest supporters were

My parents, my boyfriend, and Professors Joel Burley, Khameeka Kitt-Hopper and Anthony Talo. Thank you to my parents for paying for my degree and always sending me back with homemade food, my boyfriend for staying up late with me reading my papers, and my professors for believing in me and encouraging me to apply to PhD programs.

My favorite SMC memory is

Participating in the Summer Research Program with Dr. Burley and getting to do ozone work in the Sierra Nevada. Highlights of that summer included checking on an ozone monitor at 14,000 feet elevation, hiking with a solar panel balanced on my head, and seeing some of the oldest trees in California.

I'm looking forward to most

Starting my Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology PhD at CU Boulder! I'm also looking forward to being allowed to travel again, so I can go home to visit my family in Ukraine.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda - mushrooms grow in your mouth.
— My mother, translated Ukrainian proverb