Sorin Scholar Alumni

Class of 2022

Oliviabalcer

Olivia Balcer is a Business Analytics major with an intended minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service and coursework in Neuroscience. Currently, she is researching the ethical responsibilities of businesses who operate on a global scale, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. In past summers, she has worked as a research intern at Eli Lilly and the Indiana University School of Medicine, and she hopes to use these experiences to inform future research into improving market access to medicines for patients in developing countries. On campus, she serves as an executive board member of Undergraduate Women in Business, the president of Calligraphy Club, and as a member of the Student Union Board's concert programming committee. She enjoys giving back by volunteering with MercyWorks and being involved in Pasquerilla East Hall Council. After graduation, she is considering graduate school in health economics or data science before eventually working in a healthcare-related nonprofit or company.


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Alena Coleman is a Spanish and English double major with a minor in Education, Schooling, and Society. Alena wrote a dual-department thesis for English and Education, Schooling, and Society. In her thesis, she analyzed the South Bend Civic Theatre’s August Wilson Project, a ten-year commitment to producing the ten plays of Wilson’s American Century Cycle and to creating lesson plan materials surrounding the plays for local educators, as an arts intervention in secondary education. She then explored the intersection of spirituality and gender in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. She presented preliminary research for her thesis at the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference in 2021 and at the Humanities, Education, and Research Association Conference in 2020, for which she received a CUSE grant for conference presentation. Alena did a virtual Global Professional Experience program internship in the summer of 2021 with EducationUSA in Chile, where she mentored high school students applying to US colleges and universities. Alena authored a curriculum packet on West Side Story for use by the South Bend Civic Theatre and area educators, and she co-edited a curriculum packet on Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Among other service-related activities, Alena has tutored at La Casa de Amistad and taught for Take Ten. Around campus, Alena worked as a TA for Writing and Rhetoric Tutorial and as a Writing Center Tutor. She was also involved in the marching band and was a Piccolo Section Leader, and she was President of Mustard Creative Writing Club. Alena has published poetic work in Asterism, Zeniada, Re:Visions, and Juggler. In 2020, she won a Gilman Scholarship. As a senior, Alena won the Walter J. Langford Award for Excellence in Spanish Literature, the Mara Fox Award for Service to the Hispanic Community, and was recognized as an Outstanding College Student of Spanish by the Indiana chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. After graduation, she will be teaching and researching in Uruguay on a Fulbright Scholarship. 


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Ava Conklin is a Psychology and Pre-Health major in the College of Arts and Letters. She is interested in child development and human ecology, specifically how the personality and health of children with disabilities are affected by the environment in which they live. At Notre Dame, Ava works as a research assistant in the Cognition, Learning, and Development (CLAD) Lab where she studies children’s cognitive development in mathematics. Ava is also a general manager for College Mentors for Kids, and serves as Lyons Hall’s Student Union Board representative in the concert programming committee. Her job working as a therapy aide at a rehabilitation hospital has solidified her desire to become a doctor. After Notre Dame, she will be attending the Norton College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University with hopes of becoming a developmental-behavioral pediatrician.


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Danielle Corbin is an Architecture major and a Digital Marketing minor in the Mendoza College of Business.  On campus, she is involved with the Shirt Project, the Student Association of Women in Architecture (SAWA), and the traveling club tennis team.  She also works as a graphic designer for the Notre Dame football recruitment team. Danielle is interested in studying sustainable urban planning.  She wants to examine the New Urbanist strategies of city walkability and mixed-use development and understand how they contribute to both the reduction of a city’s carbon footprint and a healthier way of life for the city’s inhabitants.  During the summer of 2019, she will attend a US-UK Fulbright Institute at the University of Strathclyde and the Glasgow School of Art to learn more about the role of technology and innovation in planning the cities of tomorrow.


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Julia French is a Philosophy and Peace Studies double major and is considering a minor in Theology. Julia is currently working as a digital research assistant for the Philosophy Way of Life project under the direction of Professor Meghan Sullivan. This summer she will be traveling to France to study French at the Institut de Touraine. Outside of the classroom, Julia is a member of the Notre Dame women's rowing team, works for the Fighting Irish Media group, and will be an undergraduate TA for the God and the Good Life philosophy class next Fall.


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Brigid Harrington is double-majoring in Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) and Political Science with a minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. Brigid has been acting professionally since the age of seven, performing as Jane Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway and Koko in the hit animated Disney Channel television show Chuggington, along with movies and commercial work. At Notre Dame, Brigid is able to receive artistic training while challenging herself academically. Her two passions of acting and politics inspire her community engagement with arts education. Through her community arts outreach program Broadway ArtsReach, Brigid and her sister travel around the community, performing entertaining and educational sets of songs and stories for elementary schools, nursing homes, and more. Brigid intends on researching arts education and the other unique ways in which her two passions intersect throughout her time at Notre Dame and next spring semester when she will be studying in DC with the Washington Program. On campus, Brigid has been able to share her talents, voicing the 2018 Notre Dame national television commercial and performing as Myrtle Wilson in FTT’s departmental production of The Great Gatsby. After performing with legendary rockstar Todd Rundgren in the Notre Dame “Play Like a Champion” concert in the fall of 2018, Brigid’s arts outreach program formed a partnership with Rundgren’s Spirit of Harmony Foundation. Next semester, Brigid looks forward to serving as the Vice President of the College Democrats and the Welsh Family Hall liaison to ND Votes. For more information about Brigid, visit http://www.brigidharrington.com/ or https://www.broadwayartsreach.org/.  


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Robert Koniuta is a Computer Science major with an interest in pursuing a concentration in bioinformatics and a minor in bioengineering. He conducts research in the Baker computational biology lab at the Harper Cancer Center, with a focus on investigating the peptide-MHC complex, and how an enhanced knowledge of this interface might lead to novel immunotherapy solutions for cancer patients. Robert also enjoys service work, especially with organizations that endeavor to address educational inequality. He is a Matriculate college advisor, where he mentors low-income high school students on writing college applications, developing interviewing skills, and resume building. Robert is also working with the St. Adalbert School in South Bend to develop a STEM learning program for their middle school students for the 2019-2020 school year.


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Alexander Kuptel is double-majoring in Economics and Philosophy with a concentration Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics. He plans to explore what similarities there are between social and natural patterns, how the philosophy of mathematics and system theory may explain those similarities, and those explanations’ metaphysical implications. He’s also interested in global cultures and development, especially how the Catholic Social Teaching of Authentic Human Development is linked with system theory. In addition to being a Sorin Scholar, Alexander is the Sophomore Vice-President of Notre Dame’s Quiz Bowl Team, has traveled on Student International Business Council projects, and hosts a weekly music show on WVFI student radio. This semester he’ll work as an intern modeling megacities for a Department of Defense project and as a TA for Intermediate Macroeconomics with Prof. Ben Pugsley. In the future he hopes to go to graduate school for economics to focus on development.


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Drew Langford is a physics major and plans to complete concentrations in astrophysics, applied aerospace, and advanced physics. His astrophysics research consists of studying and observing cataclysmic variable stars and under the guidance of Dr. Peter Garnivich and Colin Littlefield. In the summer of 2019, Drew worked in Dr. Sergey Leonov’s Center for Flow Physics and Control Laboratory studying scramjet technologies. He is also an undergraduate TA for descriptive astronomy and is a member of the Notre Dame Rocket Team. Outside of academics, Drew enjoys playing on the Notre Dame Club Tennis Team and his interhall hockey team, FEAR. After graduation, Drew plans to pursue a PhD in astronautical engineering specializing in astrodynamics or propulsion.


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Chris Mercadante is an economics and Spanish major with an intended minor in peace studies from Garden City, New York. He hopes to combine these academic interests by researching the economic causes and potential solutions to modern day separatist movements, particularly in the Catalonian and Basque regions of Spain. He plans to travel to these affected areas to perform hands-on research and gain an understanding of local perspectives on the sociopolitical conditions surrounding these independence movements. On campus, Chris serves as the Vice-President of Fisher Hall, a student-manager on the men’s varsity soccer team, and a volunteer tutor at St. Adalbert’s Elementary School in South Bend. After Notre Dame, Chris hopes to one day graduate from law school and practice international human rights law.


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John Sayut s a Mechanical Engineering major with a minor in Bioengineering. John is passionate about research in biomechanics, and is especially interested in how to study the mechanics of soft materials. At Notre Dame, he does research with Dr. Maria Holland in the CoMMaND Lab, investigating the cortical thickness of primate brains and the soft mechanics of cortical folding. After class, John fixes robots on the Robot Football team and serves as an RA in his dorm. After graduating, John will be working as a graduate student researcher at the University of Michigan in the Biomedical Engineering department, pursuing a PhD as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. 


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Kathryn Strimbu is a Biological Sciences major with a minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. She has explored a wide range of research areas throughout her time at Notre Dame, from clinical research to epidemiological modeling to infectious disease transmission, but ultimately found her passion in public policy and social equity. Outside of academics, she plays clarinet for the Notre Dame Band and recently served as a head costume designer and season producer for PEMCo, a student musical theatre company. After graduation, she will pursue a Master of Public Policy with a focus on health policy at the University of Chicago.


Allie Verhey1

Allie Verhey is an Architecture major with a minor in Digital Marketing. Additionally, she has a passion for languages and learning about and experiencing other cultures. In her five years at Notre Dame, Allie plans to use future research opportunities to combine her interests in both architecture and world culture to analyze the meanings of monuments and memorials and discover how they differ between societies. Outside of the classroom, Allie is a member of both the Notre Dame Dance Company and the Student Association for Women in Architecture (SAWA), and she is a tour guide for the University’s Office of Admissions. After graduation, Allie hopes to pursue a career in residential architecture. 


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Evan Wellman is a Finance and Economics double major. Concerned about child development and passionate about fiscal and economic policy, he plans to explore the various effects of fiscal and economic policies on stimulating parental participation in the development of their children. This summer, he is interning at Northwestern Mutual in Springfield, Illinois. On campus, he is a Keough Hall government commissioner, as well as a member of the Investment Club and Alexander Hamilton Society, which discusses and debates US foreign policy. Outside of academics, he plays on Keough’s interhall hockey and soccer teams. 


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Renee Yaseen is double-majoring in International Economics and Arabic with a minor in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE). Renee serves as Co-Director of Training for the ND Model United Nations Team and is Co-President of the Arabic Club. She recently finished writing a research proposal to study the relationship between religious secrecy and sociopolitical marginalization of minority religious groups in the Middle East. This summer, she will research in the lab of Professor Laura Miller-Graf, a Psychology professor in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Renee is also passionate about protecting our planet; this year, she collaborated with Hagerty Family Cafe to implement her loyalty card system for reusable cups, which seeks to benefit coffee-lovers and the environment alike. Next year, Renee hopes to expand the use of this structure to more campus and local locations. In her free time, Renee enjoys dancing, drawing, spoken-word poetry, being in nature, and playing music with friends. She sings and plays the guitar and piano.


Class of 2021

Annaleanbellm

Annalena Bellm is a Civil Engineering major and minoring in Business Management and German. Annalena is passionate about finding creative, interdisciplinary, and innovative solutions to the growing problems involving sustainability. This motivates her interest in researching the application of smart city technology to sustainable urban development. During the summer of 2018, Annalena studied abroad in Europe, as part of the Notre Dame Engineering Rome Program. She is also working in a Notre Dame laboratory research project for Prof. Antonio Simonetti to conduct hydrology isotope analyses. As part of her DAAD funded Rise Germany Scholarship in summer 2019, Annalena completed a three-month research internship with the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design at the University of Stuttgart, Germany on “Sustainable Fibre-Reinforcements for Lightweight Roofs and Ceilings.” Outside the classroom, Annalena is the President of Notre Dame’s SWE Tech Team Chapter, a Welcome Weekend counselor, a volunteer at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and competes in various interhall sports.

 


Jacobgalden

Jacob Galden is a Chemical Engineering major with an interest in pursuing an Art History minor and a Materials concentration. Jacob has conducted research analyzing mica crystals on Colonial American currency under Professor Khachatur Manukyan, and he maintains a job at the Library Conservation Lab on campus. The summer of 2018, Jacob conducted research on campus as part of the NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowship and investigated the properties of polymer nanofilms under Professor Tengfei Luo. Outside of academics, Jacob is passionate about music and regularly DJ’s on both WSND and WVFI. He also plays guitar and enjoys producing music using Ableton, as well as undertaking side projects such as gardening or baking. Jacob intends to attend graduate school after Notre Dame to pursue a career in academic research.


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Cassie Joynes is a Neuroscience Major in the College of Arts and Letters with a Supplementary Major in Applied and Computational Math and Statistics (ACMS). Her current research in the Eberhard Language Lab investigates remote collaboration (over the phone) on a search task similar to a scavenger hunt. Her main focus is developing a better understanding of what aspects of conversation lead to the best performance on the search task. Eventually she plans to investigate language in the context of neuroscience, specifically second language acquisition and effective methods for teaching and learning a second language. Outside of the classroom, she plays tuba in many of the bands on campus, is a Fellow for the class God and the Good Life, and works at the Writing Center. After completing her undergraduate degrees she plans to go to graduate school for computational neuroscience. 


Alexkokot

Alex Kokot is majoring in Electrical Engineering and Honors Mathematics. He wants to explore the connection between pure math and Electrical Engineering, to study something very deep and abstract, yet potentially applicable to everyday life.  During school, he wants to focus his studies on Real Analysis and Probability, as well as other topics that make up the bulk of this field and that will prepare him for Graduate school. Currently, he is doing research with Stefano Castruccio, studying Spatio-Temporal Statistics and theory in a case study of the analysis of Nepal river gauge data, as well as a part-time job working with Indiana Integrated Circuits, helping with semiconductor production and other roles within the small business. As he develops a better understanding of Mathematics, he hopes to research stochastic geometry under Professor Haenggi of the engineering department. He is a member of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, Mustard Creative Writing Club, and is the Math Jr. Section editor of the Undergraduate Research Publication, Scientia.


George

George Lyman is a Finance major with a supplementary major in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. He is currently researching with the math department on how to apply mathematical models to best predict the outcome of the NCAA march madness tournament. He eventually would like to do research looking into how schools can most efficiently allocate their funding. On campus, he is working on creating a mentorship program in his dorm, Dunne Hall, is a member of Student International Business Council, is the CFO of the Spikeball club, and would eventually like to start a club focused on helping high school students prepare for the ACT.


Mattmillado

Matthew Millado is an Environmental Sciences major and is considering a minor in Sustainability. Matt is currently researching the effects of terrestrial-derived carbon on aquatic ecosystem stability and productivity in the Jones Lab. This summer he will be exploring host-parasite phylogenies at Northern Michigan University. Outside of  the classroom, Matt is involved in GreeND and Scientia. He also enjoys hiking, reading and playing volleyball. After graduating from Notre Dame, Matt plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in academia.  


Zachary Pearson

Zachary Pearson is a Program of Liberal Studies and Music double major. He has a wide range of interests ranging from applications of sacred music in parish settings, to religious freedom, to ethics, leadership, and policy. He is currently working as a team member of Under Caesar's Sword, a research project which studies how persecuted Christians respond to their persecution and what action can be taken to end the persecution of religious groups. Zach is a member of the Glee Club and the Undertones, an editor for the Irish Rover, an officer in the Knights of Columbus, and a Sorin Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture. He enjoys fishing, golf, and the guitar.


Juliapesola

Julia Pesola is an Architecture major with a minor in Irish Language and Literature. She plans on blending these two interests of hers by researching traditional Irish architecture in the Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking areas of Ireland. Outside of class, Julia served as Freshman Class Representative of the Notre Dame Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) as well as being involved with the Society of Women in Architecture (SAWA) and the Irish Club. Moreover, Julia serves as the Hall Clerk in Welsh Family Hall and is also a Programming Assistant for the NDIgnite Program, in which she gives feedback to middle school students on their assignments and volunteers to give advice on topics such as stress management. This summer, Julia will be going to the Gaeltacht to study the Irish language and will be living with an Irish speaking family and taking an intensive course at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She plans on to spend her 5 years at Notre Dame studying and researching the intersection of architecture with different aspects of life such as language, culture, socio-economic conditions, and the environment, with a specific focus on Ireland.


Meilin

Meilin Scanish is a history and peace studies major with an intended minor in studio art. This summer, she will be headed to Nepal to assist with Professor Mahan Mirza’s Contending Modernities project, which seeks to better Muslim scientific and theological literacy and enhance Muslim-Christian relations. Outside of the classroom, Meilin works for Fighting Irish Media, sings in her hall choir, and serves as Howard Hall’s Student Union Board representative, where she is involved in the Ideas and Issues Committee. Additionally, she runs her own fashion blog, for which she does her own writing and photography every day. After her time at Notre Dame, she hopes to go on to law school for international law and work in human rights advancement.


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Mary Treacy is a junior Economics and ACMS major originally from Rogers, Arkansas. On campus, she works for football recruiting and has served as Breen-Phillips Hall Coordination Chair, She’s the First Club President, and Model Unites Nations Treasurer. Her research interests lie in development economics, and, as an avid sports fan, hopes to complete a project related to the impacts of the Olympics on the host country’s economy. This past summer, she traveled to Armenia for eight weeks to intern with the Central Bank of Armenia and performed a research study for the bank’s Economic Research Department. She then spent three weeks in Japan to complete a second internship and hopes to continue to develop her global perspective as she prepares to pursue a PhD in economics with the career goal of working for the International Monetary Fund, Federal Reserve, or other related entity.


Marissavandermissen

Marissa Vander Missen is studying Science PreProfessional and Collaborative Innovation Design, and hopes to add the new Compassionate Care minor. Currently she is researching unmet healthcare needs in South Bend’s homeless youth population under the direction of associate dean Dr. Mark Fox at IUMSB and in partnership with South Bend’s YSB. In Dr. Gerald Haeffel’s Cognition and Emotion lab, she researches depression in relation to cognitive vulnerability theories. Marissa loves being involved with ND’s triathlon team, the Humor Artists Improv team, and her dorm PE. Marissa works as an Emergency department technician and aspires to be a physician working with under-served and bilingual populations in downtown Indianapolis. She believes more communicative patient-physician relationships can be achieved by working to understand each patient’s diverse needs.  


Gracezhang

Grace Zhang  is a Biological Sciences major and Poverty Science minor in the College of Science. Grace is currently conducting stem cell research in the Hyde lab on the genetic approaches to modify the expression of the Atoh7 transcription factor and its function in the regenerating zebrafish retina. On campus, Grace is involved with Biology Club, the Biological Sciences Commencement Planning Committee, and Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI) Christian Fellowship. She will be serving as the secretary of Biology club and continuing her research during the upcoming school year. For the summer, Grace plans on continuing her research funded by both the Center of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the First Year of Studies Ignite Research Fellowship. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in academic medicine, with a focus on teaching and serving the undeserved. In her free time, she loves to dance, sing, and cook with her friends. 


 

Class of 2020

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Madeleine (Mady) Andreas is a senior Biological Sciences and Anthropology major. She has researched various types of cancer both at home and at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Currently, Mady is working towards her senior thesis in the Honors Biological Sciences program, focusing on chemoresistance in triple-negative metastatic breast cancers. When not in the lab, she is a Co-President for the Compassionate Care in Medicine Club, a volunteer for a local children’s hospital, a News Section Editor for Scientia, part of the Biology Senior Leadership Committee, and a second violinist in the ND Symphony Orchestra. Mady is currently applying to medical school and hopes to pursue a career in neonatology, which will enable her to combine a love of science and a love of humanity.


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Emily Black is an Environmental Engineering major with a minor in Energy Studies. Her past three years at Notre Dame, she was an assistant researcher in Notre Dame’s environmental engineering lab specializing in sustainable water treatment. Her past summer experiences were primarily spent abroad, in Alcoy, Spain, and Auckland, New Zealand. In New Zealand, she worked with Auckland's local government to research the benefits behind a progressive installation of hybrid turf. Her governmental work continued this past summer with technology consulting work on healthcare eligibility systems. Outside of the classroom and her beloved Cavanaugh Hall, Emily is involved in the Student Energy Board, Engineering Leadership Council, and the Club Golf Team. Her future beyond Notre Dame will likely include a year of service before entering into the workforce to continue the betterment of the world around her.


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Casey Byrne is a Sociology major and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor within the College of Arts and Letters. Casey is currently researching with the Sociology department on how school choice practices affect the non-cognitive abilities of middle schoolers. Casey is passionate about learning about the inter workings of the criminal justice system and ways to make it better. On campus she is very involved in Notre Dame's Mock Trial Team. Casey has plans to attend law school after graduation. 


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Abby Campbell is a Political Science and Africana Studies double major and International Development Studies minor in the College of Arts and Letters. She is interested in looking at migratory patterns from Sub-Saharan Africa to the Mediterranean, particularly Rome and Southern Italy.  She feels as if migration has an integral place in the intersection of her majors and pursuits outside of the classroom because she believes it combines democracy and the human experience in a holistic way. Outside of the classroom, Abby engages in Student Government and College Democrats. She also is an Associate for the Financial Empowerment Program in JIFFI, a student-run nonprofit, where she teaches literacy classes to children and adults in South Bend in the hopes of alleviating poverty in her own community.


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Danica Crowley is a senior Business Technology major with a minor in Sociology. Currently, she works in University Information Security Operations and provides database assistance for an economics research project. Throughout her time at Notre Dame, Danica has been actively involved with the Center for Social Concerns. She was an inaugural member of the Rev. Don McNeill Leadership for Social Change Fellows Program, participated in Appalachia service seminars, and volunteered through community tutoring. Outside of the CSC, Danica also plays for the Club Softball team and serves on the board for the Japan Club. In the future, Danica hopes to use her degree for the betterment of the greater global community by working in the non-profit sector or in social entrepreneurship. 


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Brandon Davis is an Architecture major pursuing minors in Sustainability and Poverty Studies. He is interested in studying the intersections between the three and ultimately doing research on climate change migration and how dignified, affordable, and environmentally-friendly housing can be developed for those who emigrate from environmental disasters. On campus, Brandon is also the Show Commissioner for Project Fresh Hip-Hop, the Commissioner of Campaigns on the Student Government Gender Relations department, and a member of the Orientation Steering Committee for Welcome Weekends. 


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Ian Erkkila is a Science Preprofessional Studies major in the College of Science with a minor in Anthropology.  In the past, Ian has performed research at the Cleveland Clinic to analyze risk factors associated with increased prevalence of surgical site infections (SSI’s) following reconstruction operations.  He currently studies Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at Case Western Reserve University, specifically researching how the intestinal microbiome influences the gender disparity in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease-like ileitis.  This past summer, Ian worked at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to research how the absence of sphingolipids in the plasma membranes of Bacteroides (a common gut bacterium) affects the host's inflammatory response.  On campus, Ian is an officer of Mending Minds, a club that works with Alzheimer and dementia patients at Healthwin Specialized Care, and is president of MC3 Mentors, a club that tutors grade-school students in the South Bend area.  After graduating from Notre Dame, Ian plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon.

 

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Zhaoyuan “Andy” Fang is an Electrical Engineering major in the College of Engineering. His research interests include Nanotechnology and Virtual Reality. He is currently working for the Center for Civil and Human Rights, as a programming assistant. During the summer, he will do research as part of the NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. Andy has been practicing Kung Fu for thirteen years and he will be the president of Kung Fu Club in Fall 2017.


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Alice Felker is pursuing dual majors in Psychology and ACMS, and also working toward double minors in Education, Society, and Schooling, and Business Economics.  She plans to study the mathematical cognition of students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Alice intends to research best practices in Inclusive Education, specifically focusing on differentiating math curricula to fit the needs of students with diverse ability levels. Alice is involved in Notre Dame's Best Buddies club, where she is an officer and peer buddy. She also volunteers with ACE, where she has assisted the Program for Inclusive Education in preparation for its inaugural year in the Summer of 2018. She is also a tutor at the Robinson Community Learning Center.

Working Papers: Investigating Day Programs for Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


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Melissa Malia Gozun is a Biological Sciences Major and a Japanese Minor within the College of Science. Following her internship at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, she has gained special interest in the inheritance and manifestation of diseases prevalent in ethnic minorities, particularly in the Filipino and Pacific Island communities, and hopes to pursue research in this area. On campus, Melissa is an active member of the Asian American Association, the Filipino American Student Association, and Hawai’i Club.


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Sarah Harper is majoring in Art History and French with a minor in Theology. As a member of the Snite Advisor group, Sarah helps create events which encourage people to visit the museum’s collections and exhibits. Sarah was an assistant design editor for the 2018 Dome yearbook, and works as a research assistant for Professor Elyse Speaks. Sarah studied in Rome, Italy during the summer after her freshman year as a part of the Notre Dame summer program at the Global Gateway in Rome. During that same summer, Sarah won a First Year of Studies Ignition Grant which she used to visit New York City to research contemporary women artists in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art. Sarah was part of the Berlin Sonar class which enabled students to travel to Berlin over Spring break 2018 and create individual artworks which were then presented in an exhibition held at the Snite Museum of Art in April. Sarah will be studying abroad in Angers, France during the Fall of 2018. Sarah is also a member of the Ryan Hall church choir, and an avid quilter in her spare time.


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Mary Hilliard is a Business Analytics and English double major. During the summer of 2017, she conducted archival research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland on the Evian Conference of 1938. The United States called this meeting of over 30 countries to address the growing Jewish refugee crisis after Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria. Although many representatives convened upon the resort town with sympathetic sentiments and calls for action, the conference failed to deliver tangible results and aid to the thousands of Jewish refugees trying to escape growing persecution in Germany and Austria. During the 2017-2018 school year, she worked with the non-profit Sosua 75 to raise awareness about the Evian Conference and fundraise for a ceremony commemorating the conference at the Royal Evian Hotel to take place in July 2018. Additionally, during the summer of 2018 she received the American Dream Grant and will be exploring the importance of independent bookstores in their local communities.


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Haley Kempf is a Neuroscience Major in the College of Science. After attending the Appalachia and Urban Plunge experiences through the Center for Social Concerns, she is now considering minoring in Poverty Studies. She is currently shadowing Dr. Achee’s lab on vector transmitted viruses with a special focus on prevention of rare diseases. Her interests include a wide variety of topics ranging from infectious disease to pediatrics to oncology to geriatrics to spinal cord injury. Therefore, this summer she plans to work as an intern at Children’s Hospital of LA, as well as, a research assistant at the Reeve Spinal Cord Institute in California. At Notre Dame, Haley is the Pathos Coordinator of the Compassionate Care and Medicine Club, and an active member of the Neuroscience club. In her free time, she enjoys intermural sports, kickboxing, Zumba, and baking cupcakes. Haley’s lifelong dream is to combine her diverse interests in rural poverty and medicine to innovatively address the needs of people in developing countries.  


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Michael Kurkowski is a Physics major with an interest in Astrophysics.  He is also a member of the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir and the Knights of Columbus.  He is a member of various teams of research, one of which involves Carbon-14 dating potential African art samples to be displayed by the Snite Museum.  On another project, he is using various physical techniques to analyze the chemical contents of colonial currency on loan from the Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) department at the Hesburgh Library to identify counterfeits among the samples, and to confirm supposed socioeconomic trends during the time which these artifacts were circulating.  He is an avid soccer and piano player, and loves puzzles and board games.


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Dayonni Phillips is an Anthropology major with a supplementary major in Africana Studies and a minor in International Development Studies. Last summer, she conducted research in Ireland alongside her professor, Dr. Chesson, and she attended a bioarcheological field school in Poland. Currently, she is a research assistant for Dr. Chesson to help her with a grant that deals with materials excavated from a 5,000-year- old cemetery in Jordan. She is the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for Shades of Ebony and a Diversity Ambassador through the Multicultural Student Programs. This summer, she hopes to do research that revolves around the African Diaspora. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school. 


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Chris Wittig is a business major and actuarial science minor with a finance concentration, hoping to explore the motives behind small businesses and their reluctancy to adapt to the data-driven, analytical world. Back home (Rochester, NY), Chris runs a lawncare service which serves as the origin of his passion for small-businesses. On campus, he works for the admissions office as a campus tour guide, and serves as a GM for the club, College Mentors for Kids. Chris is excited to further explore his interests in business analytics and mathematics by working with a Notre Dame faculty mentor in the future, and has a long-term goal of traveling to Denmark to learn more about entrepreneurship and the global economy.


Not currently pictured:  John Meyer


Class of 2019

Avani Agarwal is an Architecture major and Sustainability minor. She is interested in integrating modern design and ancient building principles to make structures that are long lasting and sustainable. She believes that studying the structural and constructional properties of ancient structures, which utilized natural lighting and tectonic systems, will result in stronger buildings that have a lower environmental impact, reducing the use of energy guzzling heating, cooling and lighting systems. She is an active member of GreenND and a tutor with the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture and the Center for Social Concerns.


Ali Bodnar is Biochemistry major and an Anthropology minor in the College of  Science. Ali has conducted breast cancer research at Notre Dame, studying the effects of various drugs and HDAC-inhibitors on Tamoxifen-resistant cell lines. She is a current member of Dr. Ashfeld's organic chemistry lab, researching novel methods to access core scaffolds that can be used to treat glioblastomas. She is also secretary of the Multicultural Pre-Med Society, active in F.A.S.T., and a member of the Triathlon Team.


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Matthew Bulgarelli is a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business. He is also pursuing a minor in energy studies, an interest stemming from his background in engineering. Matthew is living out his passions for finance and volunteering through his extracurricular activities. He is actively involved in the Wall Street Club, the Student International Business Council, the Dismas House of South Bend, and the Appalachia Service-Learning Seminars offered through the Center for Social Concerns. Matthew also operates a private math tutoring business and is an avid basketball player.


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Clay Elmore is a Chemical Engineering major in the College of Engineering. Clay is an undergraduate researcher in an energy lab on campus. His project consists of creating new polymer materials that have strong mechanical qualities while still being conductive enough to use in an industrial or commercial setting. Outside of class and the lab, Clay is the president of the Be The Match club which supports cancer patients in need of bone marrow transplants as well as being his dorm's sustainability commissioner. Clay has also accepted an internship working with industrial coatings with PPG this coming summer.


Katie Gallagher is an Honors Mathematics and Music Performance major in the College of Arts and Letters. She is the Principal Viola of the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, and she plays in other music ensembles around campus. Katie is also involved on campus as a TA and grader for the math department. In addition to music at Notre Dame, Katie instructs the viola section of the South Bend Youth Symphony. During the past few summers, Katie has split her time between theoretical math and music festivals. For three summers, Katie attended the Chautauqua Music Festival. This past summer, Katie attended a math REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at University of Chicago. After graduation, Katie plans to pursue Ph.D. in math.  In her free time, Katie likes to run and hang out with her friends in Badin Hall.


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Ruying Gao is a biological sciences major with a concentration in computational biology. Currently, she is working with Prof. Siyuan Zhang to investigate the mechanism of breast cancer brain metastasis. In addition to discovering the mystery of life, Ruying is passionate about understanding the societies and addressing real world problems. She plans to pursue minors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and International Development Studies (IDS). She hopes the interdisciplinary studies will empower her to think critically about global issues and make positive changes in a rigorous manner in future.


Ben Muller is a Finance and Political Science major at the Mendoza College of Business. His research interests include investigating the effects of microlending on local economic units and analyzing voting behavior. Outside of the classroom, Ben is a tour guide for the admissions office and a class representative on the Sophomore Class Counsel. After graduation he hopes to hold a position in the public policy realm, seeking to make an direct impact on people's lives.


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Joe Palasek is an Electrical Engineering major. He plans on pursuing a career in the automotive industry working on the development of autonomous vehicles. His research interests include autonomous systems and the societal impact of the future automotive industry. He is currently working on a research project to develop a smart side mirror concept. Along with the Sorin Scholars Program, Joe is involved in Engineers Without Borders and Baja SAE.


Logan Wishart is a theology major pursuing minors in poverty studies and German. Although he holds an array of research interests across disciplines, each of them is centrally focused upon methods of reconciling personal narratives with group identities in order to facilitate positive community outcomes. As a tutor at the University Writing Center and member of the RCIA Short Course education team, Logan is highly interested in incarnational pedagogy and its influence upon social mobility for students experiencing poverty. He would also like to research alternative construction methods as a means to rebuild after natural disaster and urban gardening as a means to improve access to good nutrition in food desserts. This summer he hopes to intern with Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty so that he can engage in experiential learning with one of these interests. Logan is unsure exactly what he wants to do after graduation, but he suspects that he will teach in some capacity. His ultimate goal is to establish better resources for the homeless population in DeLand, Florida, his home town.


 

Class of 2018

Thomas “Kevin” Best is a Mechanical Engineering major in the College of Engineering. He is interested in automotive or aviation enineering, especially with thermodynamic systems such as engines or turbines. As an engineer, he hopest to help find ways to use more of the energy produced by the engines of cars productively and develop a more efficient automobile. Kevin enjoys swimming. 


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Jim English is studying political science and sociology with a minor in business economics. With CUSE's help, Jim traveled to Spain over winter break of his sophomore year and studied the relationship between the large Catholic population and the uniquely high divorce rate of Spain. He has also served as a research intern in Dublin, Ireland on an education project that aims to improve literacy education in disadvantaged primary schools in Dublin. Currently, Jim serves as a research assistant to Professor Ben Radcliff in the Department of Political Science, collaborating on his project about how political and social conditions affect he quality of human life. Jim is also involved with student government, is a tour guide, and is president of the Student Alumni Council, a club that bridges the student body with the alumni association.


Lauren Ferrara is a Computer Science major in the College of Engineering. Lauren is a member of the eMotion & eCognition research lab on campus. She has worked on projects using drone simulations to determine the effects of stress on moral decision making in humans. She has also helped develop a computer program that analyzes chat transcripts to more easily identify online predators. Her primary research interests concern the use of technology to facilitate learning, particularly among autistic indiviudals. She plans to develop a virtual learning environment, which utilizes features such as eye tracking to measure focus, for autistic students.


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Pete Freeman majors in Sociology, Gender Studies, and International Peace Studies in the College of Arts and Letters. Pete is interested in teenage pregnancy in Ghana, evidence-based NGO work, and "third world" feminisms. He is a three-time recipient of the Eagan Fellowship, which he has used to travel to Ghana to work extensively with Young Achievers Caucus, a government-partnered NGO. Pete is the former editor of Through Gendered Lenses, a current editor of the Undergraduate Research Journal, and a published writer and researcher.


Claire Gaffney is an Electrical Engineering and a Poverty Studies minor in the College of Engineering. As an engineer she is interested in solving real world problems and finding solutions that will help better the lives of women in developing countries. She is a member of Engineers without Borders, and the Society of Women Engineers. She is also a manager for the Notre Dame Football program. 


Sara Hobday in an Arts and Letters Pre-Professional and Anthropology major with a minor in Poverty Studies. Sara has conducted oncology research at the Mayo Clinic developing a technique manipulating benign measles viruses to attack cancer cells. This summer she will continue her research at the Mayo Clinic. She is also active in the Center for Social Concerns and volunteers with the South Bend Center for the Homeless.


Roge Karma is a Peace Studies and Political Science major in the College of Arts and Letters. Roge is interested in foreign policy, genocide, minority governments, and civil conflict. He is working on a research project that evaluates the relationship between human rights and the concept of the homeland in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is the founder of the Notre Dame chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, a non-partisan, policy driven political organization. He also has served as a peer mentor teaching financial literary to underpriviliged high school students in South Bend.


Nathan Kriha

Nathan Kriha is a Program of Liberal Studies and Psychology major in the College of Arts and Letters. Nathan is interested in special education law, specifically in his home state of Illinois, which has one of the largest populations of special education students. Nathan hopes to conduct research on the most effective programs for special education students, and how best to provide critical services to help them.


Eric Lee is a Science-Business major with a minor in Chinese. Eric has a passion for biomolecular research and is interested in the incorporation of healthcare research in an international setting. He has received fellowships to do research both on campus and abroad, and most recently received the Naughton and Clark fellowship to explore bioinformatics research in Dublin, Ireland. On campus, Eric's research focuses on the metastatic effects of lipoprotein deregulation in obese ovarian cancer murine models. Eric also serves on the executive board of Timmy Global Health, where he participates in an annual medical brigade to Quito, Ecuador to address the issues of global healthcare inequality.


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Matthew McGoldrick is a Biological Sciences and English major.  His research is focused in the field of Cancer Immunology, and he hopes direct his efforts towards the production and application of new immunotherapeutics in a clinical setting.  At the Harper Cancer Research Institute, he studies the effects of microglial cells on the progression and metastatic potential of tumors in the central nervous system.  His past research experience includes immuno-oncological research at Harvard Medical School and Gerstner Sloan Kettering, biomedical imaging and virtual modeling in Galvin’s Leevy Lab, the production and integration of rapidly prototyped patient-specific anatomical models in a clinical setting, and ecological studies at Trinity College, Dublin. His extracurricular activities include the Biology Club, Senior Leadership Committee, Uplift Mentoring Group, and Scientia Undergraduate Publication. 


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Adam Moeller is an IT Management and History major. Adam is interested in improving the American education system. After graduation he hopes to teach, and eventually work at an educational non-profit institution, research group, or government agency to support the educational advancement of all students. Adam is working on a comparative research project studying various U.S. schools in different phases of implementing the Common Core history curriculum, and the curriculum’s effectiveness for teaching students research skills and how to use evidence to make historical arguments.


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Dan Olivieri is a Science-Business and Economics major with a minor in International Development Studies. Dan is passionate about understanding and addressing global economic inequality. This summer, Dan has been awarded to Kellogg grant to conduct research on Brazil’s Community Health Program. The program employs community members who serve as liaisons between hospital s and favelas in order to improve preventive and post-hospitalization care. He also works a research assistant at the Eck Institute and is a member of the Global Health Brigade.


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Harisa Spahic is a Biochemistry major with minors in Anthropology and Science, Technology, and Values. She was a member of Dr. Jean-Pierre’s Cancer Control Research where she worked on studying the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on neurocognitive function, specifically in breast cancer patients. Currently, Harisa is a member of Dr. Patricia Clark's lab where she studies protein folding in E. coli cells. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research that utilizes insight from multiple fields. Outside of research, Harisa is an active participant in Habitat for Humanity, Social Justice in American Medicine Club, and the Notre Dame Medical Observers.


Mimi Teixeira

Mimi Teixeira is a Political Science major and Constitutional Studies minor in the College of Arts and Letters. She is interested in the American Founding and in the effects of culture on political economy. Mimi is active in BridgeND, which works to bring together Democrats, Republicans, and independents to discuss national public policy. She is also the President of the Dean's Fellows in the College of Arts and Letters.


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Tiffany Toni is a Biochemistry major in the College of Science with a Science, Technology and Values minor. She has conducted research at the Stanley Manne Research Institute in Chicago on the regenerative capability of intrinsic bladder smooth muscle progenitor stem cells (BSMSCs) to restore function to the obstructed bladder. She also works in Dr. Ashfeld's laboratory on a [4+1] cyclannulation approach towards the synthesis of spirooxindole alkaloids. Tiffany is active in chemistry club and volunteers at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.


 

Class of 2017

Kiley Adams is a Biological Sciences major. At Notre Dame, she is a member of the Language Lab, and conducts research on spoken language production and comprehension in adults. At the Children's Therapy Unit in Washington, she  has helped with research in the Movement Laboratory on Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) as a treatment for children with hemiplegia. Kiley’s future research interests pertain to studying autism or cerebral palsy in children, as well as global perspectives on disability. Kiley is planning a study abroad experience in London, England and plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatrics perhaps specializing in either pediatric neurology or physiatry. Kiley volunteers at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in the NICU and Pediatric Therapy, at Camp Agape Northwest, and TOPsoccer for disabled children. Kiley is also a fourth degree master black belt instructor.

William Billups is from Enterprise, Mississippi, and is a proud history major. He is currently researching early twentieth century Italian-American news coverage of Triangle Factory Fire of 1911 with a Social Justice in the Market Place grant from ISLA. He is a member of the University Writing Center, the Theology Club and the Knights of Columbus as well as the liturgical commissioner for Knott Hall. Outside of campus, William enjoys volunteering at Holy Cross House, learning how to fly airplanes, raising vegetable gardens and driving a bulldozer. After graduation, William hopes to pursue a PhD in either history or composition and rhetoric.

Jackie Bruns is majoring in Economics with a supplementary Spanish major, and an International Development Studies minor. Jackie received a Kellogg Institute grant in 2014, and plans to continue her international work and immersion in Santiago, Chile. Jackie’s engagement at Notre Dame includes: International Scholars Program, Club Golf, Kellogg Student Advisory Board, and Human Development Research Club.

Tegan Chesney studied Psychology and Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics through the College of Arts and Letters. In order to combine these two disciplines, she completed her senior thesis this year examining the longitudinal relationship between five political factors and fatalities resulting from terrorist attacks. Throughout her time at Notre Dame, Tegan served as a member of class councils, and student government. She tried her hand at tap-dancing, lacrosse, and flag-football, because why not? Upon graduation, she will be moving to Washington D.C. to work as a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Gabrielle Dohmen is a Pre-Professional Engineering major in the College of Engineering.  Gabrielle is currently researching polyamines, which are organic molecules related to growth, under the mentorship of Dr. Jeremiah Zartman. Gabrielle is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and is also a Eucharistic minister and tutor. Gabrielle plans to attend medical school after graduation from Notre Dame.

Declan Conor Feeley is majoring in Finance and Theology. Declan is the Vice President of the Society for Entrepreneurship, Section Editor of The Irish Rover newspaper, and is the co-founder of two independent start-ups: the app Hourglass, and Conetent. After graduation, Declan’s future plans include working for a venture capital or hedge fund and earning an MBA.

Cole Feldman is a Finance major in the Mendoza College of Business. Cole earned the Eagan Fellowship from The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) and spent the summer of 2014 as an intern with “Rent Like a Champion” a Notre Dame born startup company in Chicago, IL. Cole learned about startup companies from the inside and performed a number of different roles within the company. This experience will further inform Cole’s interests in entrepreneurship, business startups and minimalism. Cole is the founder and CEO of BioPower and is also an active blogger at:  http://www.colejfeldman.com/. Cole’s future plans include the London study abroad experience, writing a book, and starting more small businesses.

April Feng is majoring in Political Science and International Economics with a Spanish focus. April has worked with Professor A. James MacAdams on a First Year of Studies (FYS) project regarding Contextualizing the Chinese Dream. This project was funded by an FYS Ignition Grant and fits into April’s interest in the rise and fall of Communism. When not studying the philosophies of dictatorships, April is busy with the Notre Dame Celebration Choir, the Chess Club, and the Elevator Club. April is also a writing tutor with the Writing Center, a Chinese tutor for the Center for Language and Culture, and tutored young children on a pilgrimage trip to Appalachia during fall break 2014. In preparation for a career in policy and government, April will shortly be spending a semester “abroad” in Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Feng is a double major in English and Finance. Rebecca has an interest in L’Arche an International Federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities, and is planning to study abroad at St. Andrew’s. Rebecca participates in intramural sports on her dorm’s table tennis team and is also a member of Notre Dame’s Chess Club. Rebecca also tutors her fellow students at the University Writing Center , and Center for the Study of Language and Culture Chinese Tutor and serves as a Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) Hall Representative, SSLP 2014 Summer Participant, and Center for Social Concern 2014 Spring Seminar Participant.

Kristen Gates is an Architecture major and a minor in Sustainability in the College of Science. Kristen, working under the mentorship of Professor Richard Economakis, is studying the comparative evolution of sustainability over time in urban and island communities and the sustainable design of communities in developing countries. As part of the curriculum of the School of Architecture, Kristen will spend her junior year abroad in Rome, Italy. At Notre Dame, Kristen is involved with many extracurricular activities including: Student Senate, Walsh Hall Council, American Institute of Architecture Students, Students for New Urbanism, Notre Dame Right to Life. She also is an intern at the Notre Dame Career Center. Kristen volunteers in the community with Girls on the Run, Center for the Homeless, La Casa de Amistad, LIFEsocal, Architecture for Humanity, and Urban Plunge.

Matthew Goblirsch is a double major in Mathematics and Philosophy. Matthew has spent a summer abroad in Alcoy, Spain and is interested in research in both biology and mathematics research on soliton waves. Matthew is an officer in both the Notre Dame Fishing Club and the Outing Club, is a member of the Philosophy club and is a College Boy Scout. Matthew serves the community as an acolyte. After graduation from Notre Dame, Matthew is planning to attend medical school and possibly pursue an MD/PhD.

Nicole Handa is a double major in the College of Science studying Biological Sciences and the College of Arts and Letters studying Psychology. She conducts research investigating the genetic pathways that are important for renal development in Dr. Rebecca Wingert’s Lab. Nicole has been tutoring a St. Joseph High School student for nearly two years through the Center for Social Concerns, and has additional experience tutoring Chemistry through the Learning Resources Center. In her residence hall Nicole has served on Badin’s hall government and Welcome Weekend team, has a leadership role as Athletic Commissioner, and regularly serves at mass. Nicole is also active in the Biology Department where she serves as a member of the Senior Leadership Committee and as an Uplift Mentor. In addition, she is a leader of NDiscovery, a student-driven research initiative, and a member of the Compassionate Care in Medicine Club. Nicole plans to pursue an MD degree and a career as a physician.

Brooke Justus is majoring in Political Science and Peace Studies. Brooke is interested in non-violent civil resistance movements, transitional justice, and its effects on civil society and civilian agency in Latin America. On campus, Brooke is involved in: Iron Sharpens Iron Interdenominational Ministry where she leads the freshman outreach efforts, Student Union Board, and is Service Commissioner for Pangborn Hall. Off campus, Brooke is a student mentor at Brandywine Elementary School. After graduation, Brooke is looking forward to a service focused career.

Sreeraahul (Sree) Kancherla is an Honors Mathematics and Economics major in the College of Arts and Letters. Sree’s research interests include applied microeconomics, poverty economics, applied game theory, and applied econometrics. He is a research assistant under Drs. Bill Evans and Jim Sullivan at the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, where he has worked on topics such as healthcare, elderly housing, early childhood education, Head Start, community college persistence, and childhood nutrition. Sree also leads a team of three other research assistants under Dr. Jeffrey Bergstrand, to build and extend the Economic Integration Agreement dataset. Sree spent his junior year studying Mathematics at Oriel College, Oxford. His major extracurricular activities include serving as a Co-President of the Notre Dame Economics Club as well as mentoring select minority freshmen majoring in Mathematics and Economics. After graduation, Sree plans on a PhD in Economics.

Maria Corina Mendoza is a Political Science major in the College of Arts and Sciences and also has a double minor in Latin American Studies and Portuguese.  Maria has been working with Professor Scott Mainwaring on her project studying the quality of democracy in Venezuela; a project funded by the Kellogg Institute during the summer of 2014. Maria is actively involved in a number of organizations on campus including: La Alianza, College Republicans, Right to Life, and Women in Politics, and is a student caller in the Development phone center. Off campus, is a member of the Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics (CASH) and teaches English as a second language.

Caelin Miltko is majoring in English and Irish Language and Literature, and minoring in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. Caelin has recently been awarded CUSE funding to present her research work at the University of Toronto Celtic Studies Program Annual Student Lecture Series during winter break. Caelin’s work focuses on Dindshenchas, a form of Irish lament poetry. Caelin’s extra-curricular activities include working as the editor of the “Scene” section of The Observer, a writer for Her Campus Notre Dame, and a member of Walsh Hall government. Caelin is also a tutor with the CSC and works with a South Bend fourth grader. Caelin’s future plans include a career working for a newspaper and possibly graduate school.

Jenny Ng is majoring in Finance and minoring in Portuguese. Jenny’s faculty mentor is Professor Thea Riofrancos, and they are collaborating to develop Jenny’s interests in resource extraction and economic development in Latin America. Jenny was recently funded by The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) to attend the Key Bank Innovation and Creative Leadership Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and Jenny’s extra-curricular involvement at Notre Dame includes the Student International Business Council (SIBC), and the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI).

Elaine Schmidt is a Program of Liberal Studies and Spanish major, with minors in Business Economics and Theology. Elaine will get the opportunity for immersion in the Spanish language while studying abroad in Toledo, Spain. Elaine is active in her hall and in a variety of recreational sports including: quarterback for Lewis Hall flag football, co-rec flag football, co-rec broomball, Lewis Hall cross-country, Spirit Commissioner for Lewis Hall, Lewis Hall Frosh-O Commissioner, and Elaine also serves at the President of Kind. Elaine serves a calculus tutor at the LRC and will also be an ND Vision Mentor in the summer of 2015, and is considering graduate school or law school after Notre Dame.

Ian Tembe is majoring in Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Philosophy in the College of Arts and Letters. Ian is looking forward to spending a semester abroad with ND’s London program. When not studying chemical engineering, Ian is active in NROTC, Notre Dame chorale, and WSND. Ian provides service to the community through his involvement in NROTC. Ian’s plans to become a Naval Aviator after graduation.

Grace Watkins is majoring in Philosophy and a minor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Grace’s research interests have led to a project titled “Specialized Care Increments in the California Foster Care System” under the guidance of Dr. Candida Moss. Grace is planning a study abroad experience in Paris, France. Grace is involved in and has leadership roles in a number of Notre Dame Student organizations including: the Society for Entrepreneurship, where she serves as Co-Chair, Secretary, College Democrats, and Legal Associate for Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI), the Service Committee of the Sophomore Class Council, and Grace is also a Kellogg International Scholar. Grace also volunteers and the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and is planning to attend law school.

Emily Zion is a Biochemistry major in the College of Science. Emily’s research interests, under the direction of Professor Richard Taylor, include the biosynthesis of polyketide natural products. Emily is a member of the Dance Company, Biology Club, and Chemistry Club at Notre Dame, and serves her fellow students as a tutor at both the Learning Resource Center and the Chemistry Department on campus. Emily is planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a PhD in medicinal chemistry or a related field.

Class of 2016

Shawn Lee is a Political Science major in the College of Arts and Letters who is also working towards a minor in European Studies. Shawn is working under the mentorship of Professor Roger Alford and has research interests that include international development and issues of human rights. Shawn has studied abroad in Toledo, Spain and will spend spring semester 2015 in London, England. Shawn is a member of Kellogg’s International Scholars Program, Notre Dame’s Circle K, and does work with the Center for Social Concerns and the Learning Resource Center.


Nicholas King is a Science-Business Pre-Professional major with a minor in the Hesburgh Program in public policy. Nicholas is interested in cell cycle control, stem cells and cancer and is currently working with Dr. Athanasia Panopoulos on induced pluripotent stem cells. Nicholas has also worked with Dr. Michelle Barton at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas investigating the protein TRIM24 and its role in carcinogenesis and breast cancer. Beyond research, Nicholas is a trained EMT and works on campus with the Notre Dame fire department, sings and tours with the Notre Dame Glee Club, tutors inorganic and general chemistry, and is a member of the Notre Dame Merit Scholars. After graduating Notre Dame, Nicholas plans to pursue Medical School or an MD/PhD program.


Thomas Gordon is a double major in Finance and Medieval Studies, with a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Thomas has previously studied abroad in China. Thomas won funding from CUSE in 2013 attended a conference on Autism and is a member of the Special Friends Club of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College which pairs children living with autism with undergraduate volunteers from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s. Thomas is also involved in the Notre Dame Investment Office, Student International Business Council, and the Wall Street Club. After graduation from Notre Dame, Thomas is planning a career as an analyst.


Megan McCuen is majoring in English and French in the College of Arts and Letters, with a minor in Education, Schooling and Society, also in the College of Arts and Letters. As a sophomore, Megan was funded by CUSE to travel to Breton, France to research traditional Breton dance, and will return to France for a study abroad experience this spring. Megan is involved in the Notre Dame Dance Company, Celebration Choir, Quiz Bowl, and McGlinn Hall Council. On the McGlinn Hall Council, Megan is the Birthday Commissioner.  Megan engages with the community by teaching Catechism and Theater in the South Bend Community, and has participated in the Appalachia Service Trip, and Sophomore Road Trip Retreat Leader. Megan plans a career in teaching, possibly via Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program.


Bright Gyamfi is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters majoring in History. Bright’s research work, under the direction of Professor Paul Ocobock, explores the development of the Ghanaian history curriculum. Bright conducted archival research when he studied abroad in London, England. Bright has received funding from a number of on campus grants including Experiencing the World Research grant, UROP Comprehensive Summer Grant, Balfour Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the Nanovic Institute. Bright is actively involved on campus in Kellogg Institute Student Programs Advisory Board, Africana Studies Club Vice President , NAACP Chief of Staff (Notre Dame Chapter 2013), Sophomore Class Council, Education Committee, Freshman Class Council, Zahm Hall Representative , Volunteer for the Mullen Campaign, and The International Development Research Council African Student Association. Bright is planning to attend graduate school.


Jingting “Lily” Kang is a double major in IT Management, in the Mendoza College of Business and Sociology, in the College of Arts & Letters and a minor in Actuary Science. Lily has received funding from a variety of campus sources to conduct her research into entrepreneurship, education, cross-cultural comparison, international development, and empathy. Lily is the President of the Society for Entrepreneurship, the President of the Notre Dame Gavel Club, a Project leader, of the McCloskey Business Plan Competition a Research Assistant for Professor Steve Reifenberg, and is a Kellogg Institute for International Studies Steering Committee Member.


Kate Woodrum is an Accounting major in the Mendoza College of Business and also a French supplementary major. Kate has previously been awarded grant funding through the Center for the Study of Language and Culture, and The Nanovic and has studied abroad in Angers, France. While there, Kate tutored French children in English. Kate is a member of the Mendoza College of Business Council- Class of 2016 student representative, the Cavanaugh Hall Council- Academic Commissioner (sophomore year) and BaseND (Formerly Enactus). After graduation, Kate plans to attend graduate school to earn an MBA.


Jonathan Vandenburgh is a Mathematics major in the College of Science and is currently researching algebraic topology, particularly simplicial homotopy theory, and is also working in a research lab studying the role of the VP40 protein in Ebola virus replication, under the mentorship of Professor Mark Behrens and Dr. Robert Stahelin. Jonathan engages with the greater South Bend community as a member of the working group to establish the Sunshine Clubhouse, a non-profit organization aimed at providing employment and social opportunities to adults with mental illness. After graduation from Notre Dame, Jonathan plans to continue to study mathematics, eventually earning his PhD.