Class of 2026
Iván Álvarez is an Aerospace Engineering major from Spain with a minor in European Studies. His current research interests lie in the field of Astrophysics, more precisely in variable star and exoplanet detection methods. In a research group he's helped analyze the presence of additional exoplanets in the Qatar-1 system by observing a Jupiter-like exoplanet. At Notre Dame, he hopes to continue his research on the trends and detection of planets beyond our solar system. Outside academics, Iván is a member of the Outing Club and the Climbing Club, the latter being where he spends most of his free time as a RecSports employee. Additionally, Iván helps with welcoming new students as an admissions outreach volunteer and an ambassador for ISSA's International Student Orientation.
Celia Bullock is majoring in Science PreProfessional and Global Affairs. Her ultimate goal is to attend medical school and practice medical education on a global scale. Her academic interests include research on infectious diseases and genetics as well as understanding how to integrate resulting scientific ideas into public policy. Her research experience includes being a summer student in Dr. Justin Lathia’s glioblastoma lab at the Cleveland Clinic, specifically analyzing platelet cells in glioblastoma patients who suffer from cancer-related thrombosis. On campus, she is a member of the global health club. Through this club she competed in the local and international global health case competitions, and is involved with their research teams on a project about mental health here in Saint Joseph County. Additionally, she is the service commissioner for Lyons Hall, a lifeguard with RecSports, and a counselor for Camp Kesem ND. Off campus, she is involved as a weekly volunteer with both the Logan Center and Beacon Memorial Hospital.
Lydia Chau is studying Mechanical Engineering. She is passionate about robotics, the intersection of engineering with language and arts, the challenge of building humanitarian solutions, and her faith. At Notre Dame, she is involved in Iron Sharpens Iron, works as the literature editor of the Juggler Magazine and she is a head commissioner for Farley Hall. Lydia also loves drawing, fencing, writing poetry and climbing. She is hoping to work in Professor Coad’s Innovative Robotics and Interactive Systems (IRIS) lab on developing a steering mechanism for the everting toroidal robot and modeling a scaled version of the robot for medical applications such as endoscopy. Her goal is to work where she can engineer and implement solutions that bring people or groups to greater wholeness and healing.
Rocío Colón Cotto is an Art History and Chinese double major pursuing a minor in Studio Art from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Before coming to Notre Dame, she participated in Virtual NSLI-Y, a U.S. State Department critical language program. For the 2023-24 school year, Rocío is the Music Director at WSND 88.9 FM, where she broadcasts indie and alternative music in Spanish every week. She is also involved with the Art History and Chinese Language and Culture Clubs, where she delves into her passions for all things art and culture. Rocío hopes to do her graduate studies in Taiwan, focusing on the history of Chinese ink and landscape paintings. In the future, she plans to work at a museum as a curator or art conservator. Her goal is to make art history accessible to all, especially those outside of the scholarly community.
Kate Drab is majoring in chemical engineering with a concentration in biomolecular engineering. She is part of the Engineering Leadership Council, where she serves as the Director of the First Year Engineering Council, mentoring first-year engineering students and helping them plan events for their classmates. Within her hall, she promotes dorm spirit and community as the Howard Week Commissioner and raises money for the YWCA as the Howard Halliday Commissioner. She also is involved in the Student International Business Council, STEMmentorship program, and Society of Women Engineers. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD, exploring the intersection between neuroscience and engineering.
Kendall Ficken, is a Finance and Accounting double major with a minor in French. She is an active member of Student International Business Council and has served as a travel team member for four projects this year. Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Kendall’s interests include playing the violin, flying planes to achieve her private pilots license, and investing in the stock market. On campus, she works as a fitness instructor through RecSports as a yoga and strength training instructor which allows her to pursue her love of fitness and health. She is also involved in the Notre Dame Investment Club, where she recently pitched a stock to the board. After graduation, she hopes to enter the finance world through investment banking in order to learn more about Wall Street in hopes of investing in the future to help those in need and pursue her dream of changing the world for the better through investments.
Giselle Henry is an Architecture major with an intended Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor. She is interested in researching the root causes of extreme poverty and homelessness in American cities in order to find sustainable solutions. She plans to combine this research with her Architecture and Poverty Studies curricula, using urban planning in the built landscape to the benefit of those in need. In the coming years, Giselle aims to participate in the School of Architecture Dean's Charrette as a way to practice sustainable urban planning in a real world environment. If she's not in the studio, Giselle can be found reading, watching Star Wars, or running to The Huddle for ice cream. Giselle is honored and excited to be a Sorin Scholar!
Evan Johnston is a civil engineering major with intended minors in European studies and theology. He is interested in the developmental and cultural implications of major infrastructure systems, specifically stadiums and Catholic Church architecture. He plans to research virtual preservation and restoration methods for Irish church properties at Kylemore and Galway this summer, under the mentorship of Dr. Brad Weldon. On campus, Evan is the drum sergeant (lead snare drummer) of the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band, and competes in hurling and Gaelic football with the Gaelic Athletic Association. In his free time, he enjoys representing Sorin College in intramural soccer and drumming with his rock band who frequents on and off campus musical events. Next year, Evan is excited to continue researching intersections between civil engineering and European studies.
John Kim is pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Real Estate. He is fascinated by the applications of machine learning to address social challenges and improve human well-being. He is currently conducting research at the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society with Professor Moniz on using machine learning to enhance cancer diagnosis in healthcare and to provide algorithmic recourse for high-stakes decisions. On campus, he is involved in various activities that reflect his diverse interests and passions. He is the treasurer of the Asian American Association, a student organization that promotes cultural awareness and community engagement. He is also a member of the Student International Business Council (SIBC), where he has successfully presented innovative ideas to several companies. Moreover, he is part of CS4Good and is currently working on a project that analyzes jail demographics using databases. John is enthusiastic about the immense potential of machine learning and technology to augment human capabilities and create a better world.
Elliott Kirwan is a Physics major with an Applied Physics concentration, a supplemental major in Theology, and a minor in Philosophy. The Earth’s climate and the incredible intricacy of its large-scale physical systems fascinates him. He currently conducts research with Professor Richter on the formation of marine fog utilizing a Lagrangian cloud model. One of Elliott’s greatest passions is the unity of faith and science in the pursuit of the truth. He serves as the secretary for the Notre Dame Chapter of the Society of Catholic Scientists. Additionally, he is a member of the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, a Sorin Fellow with The De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, and a committed Griffin of Stanford Hall. After graduation, Elliott plans to attend graduate school to study climate science.
Zachary Koh is a Chemistry (Neuroscience concentration) major with minors in Bioengineering and Foundations of Business. He is passionate about the biomedical sciences, especially in the fields of neuroscience and prosthetics, and hence plans to pursue an MD or PhD after college. Currently, Zachary is doing research in Dr. Cody Smith's lab, working on a computational biology project to map out how sensory axons connect with the central nervous system. His work utilizes advanced imaging tools and zebrafish as a model system. Zachary is also part of Papal Rage, Notre Dame's Ultimate Frisbee men's A team, and when he's not studying or in the lab, you can find him (or "Scrat", as what his teammates call him) throwing on the quad.
Kyeongmook Lee, or K, is an Economics and Finance double major. His research interest primarily lies in studying how recent geopolitical issues such as nuclear weapons, pandemic, and climate change impact the decision making process of various financial and economic entities in the context of international security. K is currently working under the guidance of Dr. Chen Wang, a Mendoza Finance Professor, researching the relationship between changes in personal asset value and subjective perception on economic outlook through the lens of behavioral finance. At Notre Dame, K is involved with the Notre Dame Student Government and Student Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO). K is also a published author for Fresh Writing with his research paper based on his military experience as an interpreter at the Republic of Korea Special Forces Command. K plans to further his academic passion after graduation either through attending graduate school or pursuing professional work.
Jonathan Mendez is studying Political Science, Psychology, and Spanish in the College of Arts and Letters. A proud resident of Stanford Hall, he will serve as Co-commissioner of both the Service and Dance branches of the dorm. Through the dorm, he has developed his passion for community service, spending time at the Catholic Worker and South Bend Center for the Homeless. He also volunteers to teach Citizenship Classes at La Casa de Amistad through C.A.S.H. ND and has translated legal documents for the National Immigrant Justice Center. Last summer, he traveled to Houston through the ND Bridge program to accompany recently arrived migrants. He hopes to travel abroad to Toledo, Spain during the Spring of his Junior year.
Olivia Schmitt is a Program of Liberal Studies and French Major. She is passionate about French literature and the intersection between ancient philosophy and modern psychology. She is planning to pursue a career in education or law. Olivia is looking forward to studying abroad and performing research on her favorite subjects through Sorin Scholars. On campus, she is vice-captain of the sailing team, a writer for Strike Magazine and the retreat commissioner for Johnson Family Hall. This fall, she is starting a position at the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art as a tour guide in the French gallery. She is also part of the new Peers 2 Careers Program, which connects Arts and Letters students as they pursue their career goals. In her free time, Olivia enjoys reading and writing, and spending time outside doing anything from hiking to sailing.
Gracie Speicher is majoring in Environmental Science in the College of Science and is interested in pursuing Sociology. She is interested in researching the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems and keystone species. Specifically, she wants to research coastal restoration as a natural barrier for coastal storm and flood prevention. Furthermore, she is interested in the factors that motivate people to advocate for the planet. On campus, she is excited to join the Lamberti Lab where she will research how Alaskan wetland food webs respond to the invasive plant, Elodea. She is also a member of several clubs, including GreeND, the Biology Club, and the Italian Club. She hopes to study flood prevention projects in Venice, Italy. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Marine Biology graduate research program.
Jack Theobald is a Political Science major with minors in the Hesburgh Program of Public Service and Business Economics. On campus, he is an undergraduate fellow at the Notre Dame International Security Center and a member of the Developing Researcher Program at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He is also involved in Student Policy Network, where he had the chance to partner with RAND Corporation during his first year, studying potential policies to counter Chinese economic coercion. Possessing an intense interest in the world of security, foreign policy, and diplomacy, Jack hopes to continue to grow as a student of the world, leveraging his proficiency in French to conduct research in Francophone Africa and beyond. Outside of academics, he is a resident of Morrissey Hall and enjoys spending his free time golfing, watching sports, and going for hikes with his dog. Jack is both excited and humbled to be a part of the Sorin Scholars.