Class of 2021


Annalena Bellm is a Civil Engineering major and intends to minor in German and Engineering Corporate Practice. Annalena is passionate about finding creative, interdisciplinary, and innovative solutions to the growing problems involving sustainability, specifically those aiding homeless citizens. This motivates her interest in researching the application of smart city technology to sustainable urban development in order to find comprehensive solutions. Annalena plans to work with cities in developing these technologies, such as the city of South Bend and other communities around the world, to advance environmental city planning projects. Furthermore, she plans on researching the complexity of Global Climate Change in order to help and protect the interests of marginalized communities. During the summer, Annalena will be studying abroad in Rome as part of the Notre Dame Engineering Rome Study Abroad Program. Outside the classroom, she is a member of the Notre Dame SWE Tech Team, a Welcome Weekend counselor, a volunteer at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and competes in various interhall sports


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.

Cassie Photo

Cassie Joynes is a Neuroscience Major in the College of Arts and Letter with a Supplementary Major in Applied and Computational Math and Statistics and an intended minor in Linguistics. Her current research in the Boyd Lab involves the use of a computer model to investigate how male frogs will spatially array themselves around a pond. Eventually she would like to investigate language in the context of neuroscience, specifically second language acquisition and effective methods for teaching/learning a second language. Outside of the classroom, she plays tuba in marching, hockey and concert band and will be a TA for the class God and the Good Life in the fall.


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 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.


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.


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 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.

Mary Treacy Pic

Mary Treacy is an Economics and Pre-Health major in the College of Arts and Letters. She is interested in researching the potential implementation of different economic models for development in low income countries, along with the accompanying effects on the citizens in regards to poverty, health, and overall standard of living. On campus, she is president of Notre Dame’s chapter of She’s the First, treasurer of Model United Nations, and a commissioner for Bookstore Basketball, and she is involved with her dorm as a member of the Breen-Phillips Hall executive board, a participant in several interhall sports, and a flute player at dorm services. This summer, Mary will be traveling to Taiwan to intern at Yuan Ze University with the Far Eastern Group to perform a market research study for a newly developed GMO-tester. She hopes to participate in multiple international endeavors while earning her degree and to pursue higher education in her chosen field, either business or medicine, following graduation.


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.  


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.