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

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

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.