Sorin Scholar Alumni
Class of 2018
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.