Class of 2021


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.



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 Joynes1

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. 


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 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.


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.