Class of 2019

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.

Jackie Brebeck is a Finance major and International Development and Sustainability Minor. She is interested in how the private sector can help create sustainable change for developing countries. On campus, Jackie pursues this passion by being a member of BaseND (Business Action in Social Entrepreneurship) and Unleashed (Impact Investing) projects. This coming summer, she is planning to conduct research on the operations of financial institutions that aid development in the Philippines. Jackie's other passions include sports, music, reading, and hanging out with friends; these are reflected in her other extra-curriculars. She participated in and won Barakka Bouts last year (looking for a repeat this year!), is on various interhall/intramural teams, teaches fitness classes for Recsports, participates in percussion ensembles, and works as a writing tutor for the Writing Center. In her time at Notre Dame, Jackie wants to take advantage of the opportunities here, learn enough to create her own opportunities after graduation, and learn from the people around her. After graduation, Jackie wishes to find a job at the intersection of all her interests that puts her in a position to effectively change other's lives for the better.


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.


Patrick Corbin is a Mechanical Engineering major and is working towards a supplementary major in Applied and Computational Mathematical Statistics. With a personal history with concussions, Patrick is passionate about researching and developing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to aid the treatment of brain trauma. The most promising area for this research and development, Patrick believes, is the intersection of vestibular therapy (i.e. therapy of balance and motor control systems) and data analytics. To develop a mechanical and computational system for the comprehensive analysis of vestibular deficits on a whole-body scale would allow for individually tailored treatment and better outcomes. Patrick is also interested in classical literature, philosophy, and chess.

Matthew Drnevich is an Honors Physics and Honors Mathematics major. Matthew works with the Notre Dame CMS group on developing deep learning models for analyzing high energy particle collisions in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He plans to study abroad at Geneva in 2018 to work at CERN’s headquarters and further his research. After Matthew graduates from Notre Dame, he intends to pursue a graduate degree in the field of deep learning and then work on developing intelligent models for computer systems. Outside of the classroom, Matthew is a tutor for the Learning Resource Center and is actively involved with the Houston Food Bank.


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.


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.


Jiale Hu is an Economic and English double major who is pursuing an actuarial science minor. Jiale is now assisting Dr. Doug Cassel to research on Chinese labor rights and its relationship with business operations. Jiale is very interested in international human rights, and interned last summer at a legal service organization in Cape Town South Africa under the sponsorship of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Interested in restorative justice, Jiale has been involved with the Dismas House in South Bend and is planning to conduct a relevant research project and mini-documentary in the future.

Rathin Kacham is a Honors Mathematics Major with a Minor in Actuarial Science. He's not really sure what he's interested in or what he wants to do with his life, but he loves Math, and hopes to participate in research in Number Theory or Knot Theory during his time at Notre Dame. He lives in Keenan Hall, where he is involved in various hall events, including the Keenan Revue. He is also a member of the Triathlon Club. In the future, he hopes to get a job (he's not sure what he wants to do yet, but he knows he wants one involving math!) and participate in a service-based teaching program to help underprivileged youth.

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.


William O'Brien majors in Aerospace Engineering. On campus he's a part of the ultimate frisbee team and the Design, Build, Fly club. He lives in O'Neill Hall and originally come from Madison, Wisconsin. As for research, he's very interested in aerodynamics and how to make space travel cheaper and more efficient.


Emily Okawara is an American Studies major with a minor in Education, Schooling, and Society. She is interested in the effects of arts integration into education, theatre for social change, and using theatre as a vehicle for advocacy and social justice. On campus, she is involved with the Pasquerilla East Musical Company, and volunteers at the Early Childhood Development Center and with Take Ten, a violence prevention and conflict resolution program for youth in the community. After graduation, she looks forward to an education, service, and social justice oriented career.


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.


Kangxin Wu is an architecture major who plans to take a concentration in furniture. Kangxin has conducted independent research in the relationships between eastern and western architecture and she is passionate in developing architecture design ideas across different cultures. Kangxin is currently a member of Habitat for Humanity Club and Design Club. She is also working in the architecture library and assisting the university's Building South Bend project. Kangxin is committed to becoming a professional architect with an international focus and she is planning to conduct further research on architectures across countries.