Class of 2019

Diego Alvarez

Diego Alvarez

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: San Salvador, El Salvador

Diego is the president and lead-founder of the Shoeing International Movement, a program that incentivizes high school students to donate their used shoes to children in low-income communities. Since its inception in 2012, Shoeing International has donated over 20,000 pairs of shoes to children and families in communities with scarce resources in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

For his Social Justice summer, Diego worked with SABMiller on solving micro-finance issues in his home country of El Salvador. He also assisted the corporate social responsibility team in crafting the annual sustainability development report and contributed to multiple ideas in regards to improving low-income businesses' micro-finance.

During his Global Inquiry Summer, Diego interned at JPMorgan Chase & Co. under the Asset and Wealth Management division by assisting the Latin American Team. His roles within the internship rotated between the banking, investing, and credit analyst positions.

Diego is returning for his Professional Venture Summer to JPMorgan Chase & Co. to work with the Alternative Investments Specialists Team under the Solutions Division of Asset and Wealth Management.

"What drives me? The possibility that my actions might one day make a positive impact in thousands of lives, and the slight chance that they already have. I feel blessed to have The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program as a platform where I will have the opportunity to help diverse communities in a wide range of ways."

Kristin Andrejko

Kristin Andrejko

  • Areas of Study: Science-Business
  • Hometown: Cary, NC

Kristin is compelled to leverage data to advance population health. She was introduced to global health during her Social Justice summer in South Africa, where she coordinated, led, and evaluated malaria education campaigns in partnership with local community health workers.

Kristin interned at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland during her Global Inquiry summer, collaborating with colleagues to update global Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine policy. During her Professional Venture summer, Kristin interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Parasitic Diseases & Malaria on a systematic review evaluating the safety of Malarone in pregnancy, and was published as first author in Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease.

Kristin received a grant from the Nanovic Institute at Notre Dame to travel to Geneva and research the RTS,S Malaria Vaccine. She also received a grant from The Kellogg Institute of International Studies to collaborate with Partners In Health in Boston on a project to enhance the organization-wide understanding of accompaniment.

Serving as student council president in high school led Kristin to pursue involvement in student government at Notre Dame where she represented Walsh Hall on Student Senate. Additionally, Kristin served as President of “The Shirt" for two years.

Bennett Auwaerter

Bennett Auwaerter

  • Areas of Study: Finance; English
  • Hometown: Lutherville, MD

A graduate of the Gilman School, inducted into the Cum Laude Society junior year, Ben’s extracurricular activities included serving as Yearbook editor-in-chief, peer writing tutor, Chess Club president, Senior Retreat leader, and broadcast anchor for Gilman TV. As an Eagle Scout, Ben worked on many community improvement projects and taught tennis to disadvantaged children. An avid sports fan, Ben interned with the Baltimore Orioles, writing for their magazine and social media websites.

Ben, a Finance and English double major, has used his time as a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar to investigate different areas of education and academia across various countries. He served as an assistant teacher at the South Bend Center for the Homeless during his Social Justice Summer and was a volunteer tutor at the Robinson Community Learning Center. In the summer of 2017, he voyaged to Bristol, England and served as a research assistant, analyzing the alterations to bank valuations after the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Ben has a passion for writing and has penned many articles for the University of Notre Dame's Athletics website. He has covered the university's baseball team for three years and will continue his senior year. His work pertaining to the Student International Business Council has led him on trips to Chicago and San Diego. He has given presentations to representatives from companies such as Morningstar and GTCR. He is currently a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business students.

Ben will be working as an analyst at Antares Capital in Chicago during his upcoming Professional Venture Summer.

Bryce Badura

Bryce Badura

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science; Engineering Corporate Practice
  • Hometown: Midlothian, VA

During his freshman year of high school, Bryce established the Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins 5K Run, a race benefitting the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, and as its President for four years, Bryce’s main focus was heightening the community’s awareness of childhood cancer. To date, the annual event has raised over $250,000, was named one of “America’s Top 10 Food-Fueled Races,” and is the reason for Bryce's commitment to empowering and connecting communities. 

While at Notre Dame, Bryce is studying Computer Science and minoring in Engineering Corporate Practice. For his Social Justice summer, Bryce spent 10 weeks in Villa Allende, Argentina, working with schools to improve education and promote the presence of STEM education in the curriculum. On campus, he has served as Director of Campus Technology in Student Government through April 2017, and then as an officer in the Entrepreneurship Society during the 2017-2018 school year.

After his sophomore year, Bryce worked for Facebook, exploring data analytics and data engineering and how it can be used to achieve Facebook's mission of “Bringing the world closer together.” Having been immersed in the tech-capital of the world, he then participated in the new Silicon Valley Semester where he worked and lived in the heart of Silicon Valley in the Spring of 2018. Bryce will be returning to Facebook this summer in Menlo Park, CA, where he will be working on an Integrity Team, focused on making Facebook a safe, “fake news” free platform.

Braeden Benedict

Braeden Benedict

  • Areas of Study: Electrical Engineering
  • Hometown: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Braeden Benedict, a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar, and Valedictorian, is passionate about scientific research and developing technology to positively impact people’s lives. As a high school freshman, he won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his invention of a low-cost impact indicator for concussion detection, was named “America’s Top Young Scientist,” exhibited at the White House Science Fair, and was included in Popular Science’s 2012 Ten High School Inventors. He studied concussions in youth for three years and won numerous awards at science fairs.  He also volunteered at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, studying Sanfilippo syndrome, an orphan disease.

Braeden is studying Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Biosystems and served as president of the First Year Engineering Council. As a member of the Notre Dame Men’s Rowing team, he has competed in regattas across the country and currently serves as Senior Alumni Officer. He has conducted undergraduate research, which has included developing a paper analytical device for early detection of sepsis. He spent his Social Justice Summer volunteering with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Stout Street Health Center in Denver, CO. During his Global Inquiry summer, he worked at the Blue Brain Project in Geneva, Switzerland to model ion channel dynamics in neurons. He will spend his Professional Venture summer working at the Neuromodulation Division of Boston Scientific in Valencia, CA.

Astrid Brakstad

Astrid Brakstad

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics; Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Hometown: Oslo, Norway

Engaged in youth politics since pre-high school, Astrid has served as vice president for her local Youth Council and as a board member for the Central Youth Council of Oslo, working with educational matters as well as projects regarding inequality among youth. During her junior and senior years Astrid attended UWC Red Cross Nordic, where she served as Head of Communications for a student run NGO aiming to fund education in underprivileged areas. After graduation from high school, she worked for one year as an investment researcher for Formuesforvaltning, the largest privately-owned wealth management firm in the Nordic area.

Astrid spent her Social Justice summer working with SIMAfunds aiming to expand access power in rural off-grid areas of sub-Saharan Africa with solar energy, and her Global Inquiry summer with similar, smaller scale projects in Yangon, Myanmar. She is spending the 2017-2018 academic year studying at University of Oxford, UK.

At Notre Dame, Astrid is pursuing a major in Economics with a supplementary major in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, and a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She spends most of her time outside academics training as a varsity athlete on the Notre Dame women's rowing team and has raced in regattas in various parts of the country. She has also competed in London, as well as intra-Oxford racing, representing New College Boat Club. Outside her athletic commitments, she is a member of the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion aiming to improve financial equality in the South Bend community.

Sofia Carozza

Sofia Carozza

  • Areas of Study: Neuroscience & Behavior; Theology
  • Hometown: South Bend, IN

Sofia is passionate about research at the intersection of neuroscience with the humanities. At the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, she worked on interdisciplinary projects in history, theology, and physics. During the summer of 2017, Sofia was an Amgen Scholar at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted a neuroscience research project and was trained to use social policy to reduce public health disparities. She completed her senior thesis on maternal maltreatment and intergenerational trauma in the Development and Psychopathology Lab at Notre Dame.

Sofia is dedicated to using this scholarship for social change. She spent the summer of 2016 in Paraguay at Fundación San Rafael, a community-based organization that serves the marginalized of Asuncion. There, she worked with children suffering from developmental disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. In the summer of 2018, Sofia worked for ChildWise, a non-profit in Helena, Montana dedicated to improving the lives of children who have suffered trauma. In South Bend, she was involved in initiatives at the South Bend Juvenile Justice Center. Also, she volunteered with Ready to Grow Saint Joe, a network of local early childhood education and health care providers. Finally, she is trained to provide mental health counseling through MindRight, a high-tech startup nonprofit.

On campus, Sofia was involved in Catholic student groups, Women’s Boxing, Students for Worker Justice, and Show Some Skin. Sofia was a Sorin Fellow, a Dean’s Fellow of the College of Arts and Letters, and a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program. In her free time, Sofia enjoys reading classic literature, backpacking through foreign countries, and playing the harp.

After graduation, Sofia will study neuroscience at the University of Cambridge on a Marshall Scholarship.

Roberto Elosua Gomez

Roberto Elosua Gomez

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Statistics
  • Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Beto graduated as a finance and applied computational math and statistics major. These studies helped incite a love for consulting, which led to Beto being hired out of Notre Dame to work for Bain & Company as an Associate Consultant in Chicago, IL.

Some of Beto’s favorite experiences at Notre Dame came via the summer funding provided by the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars’ Program. Prior to starting at ND, Beto went rafting and mountaineering in Oregon on the Outward Bound leadership program.

He later spent his Social Justice summer volunteering with Huellas que Trancienden, an organization that works to combat poverty by helping indigenous women.

Catherine Etchart

Catherine Etchart

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Helena, MT

Because of the opportunities she has pursued through the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and the University of Notre Dame, Catherine has been inspired by the potential intersection between economics, business, anti-poverty efforts, and community development, and consequently chose to pursue a degree in Economics and Applied & Computational Mathematics & Statistics with a minor in the Glynn Family Honors Program. During her Social Justice summer, Catherine interned with TechnoServe’s Enterprise Development Division in Johannesburg, South Africa. Research opportunities with the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities led to an Economics Research Assistant position for her Global Inquiry summer, while a desire to develop business acumen and gain exposure to a breadth of industries inspired her to spend her Professional Ventures Summer working as a Deloitte Consulting Strategy & Operations intern.

On campus, Catherine was elected Economics Club President 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, was an active member of the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion, and served on the Student Advisory Board for Undergraduate Enrollment, Community Conduct Case Review Board, and the College of Arts & Letters Honor Code Committee. Through her participation in the Student International Business Council, she was on the winning team of a case competition in Beijing, China. Additionally, her concentration in Financial Economics and Econometrics culminated in a financial economics thesis titled: “The Cost of Caring: Assessing the Performance of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds.”

Justin Garrard

Justin Garrard

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science; Hesburgh Program in Public Service
  • Hometown: Lebanon, IN

Justin is fascinated by technology and its ability to serve and protect people. The summer after his junior year of high school, Justin interned with the Office of Naval Research conducting experiments into methods for waveform analysis to address issues posed by large data analytics. During the summers of 2015 and 2016, he has further pursued his interest in large data analytics through civilian internships with the Department of Defense in the Washington, D.C. area. He will return there to work for the U.S. Government following graduation.

At Notre Dame, Justin explored his passion for service through technology by majoring in Computer Science with an interest in big data and network data analytics. Influenced by his experience with the United States Senate Youth Program, Justin also participates in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor curriculum.

Justin spent his Social Justice summer volunteering with Baltimore STEM after school outreach programs. He plans to continue cultivating youth engagement in STEM by starting an after school droid building curriculum that teaches young people to design, 3D print, and program real time systems.

He spent his Wilderness Leadership Experience backpacking and canoeing in the White Mountains in Maine. Justin's love for the outdoors blossomed after this experience, and he frequently plans excursions into the natural splendor of the world.

Alongside the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Justin was also a Lilly Endowment Scholar and a Coca-Cola Scholar. He was the 2015 National Winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award.

Alexis Green

Alexis Green

  • Areas of Study: Anthropology; Pre-Health; Poverty Studies
  • Hometown: Brownsburg, IN

As an aspiring physician, Lexi is always working to integrate her interests in anthropology, science, and policy. Her passion for health equity was sparked her freshman year by her involvement in Dr. Nicole Achee and Dr. John Grieco’s research lab. Lexi spent her first undergraduate summer as a research assistant for the Eck Institute for Global Health in Belize, where she collected data on the resources available for persons living with HIV/AIDS and partnered with the Belize Ministry of Health to evaluate a bed net campaign to guide future bed net distributions. Using the research skills she acquired in Belize, Lexi traveled to Thailand during her next summer to research knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding malaria interventions. She was able to present her findings in Boston at the 2018 ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference.

Lexi’s strong interest in how policy shapes health outcomes led her to participate in and then co-lead the CSC spring break seminar “U.S. Healthcare: Policy and Poverty” to meet with members of congress, research groups, and healthcare stakeholders in Washington D.C. On campus, Lexi enjoys being a member of the executive board of GlobeMed, on the CSC Seminars Task Force, and volunteering in South Bend at the Center for the Homeless and AIDS Assist. Lexi spent her Professional Venture summer interning as a Global Health Officer in the U.S. Department of Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs. She will pursue a medical degree at the University of Maryland beginning in fall 2019.

John Grogan

John Grogan

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Philosophy
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Jack was president of his school's speech and debate team, competing nationally against many of the finest policy debate teams in the United States. He and his debate partner were two-time Pennsylvania state champions and attained a third-place overall ranking in the country. Jack was an enthusiastic trombone and piano player in his high school jazz and pep bands.

During his freshman year at Notre Dame Jack was involved in local politics as an intern for the Pete Buttigieg for Mayor campaign and the Lynn Coleman for Congress campaign. He also served as a volunteer at the Robinson Community Learning Center. For his Social Justice summer Jack worked as an intern for Catholic Charities USA in their refugee resettlement division in Camden, NJ, and Washington, D.C.

Jack spent his Global Inquiry summer studying at the Notre Dame Global Gateway in Jerusalem and interning for the Mayor of South Bend, Peter Buttigieg. Jack studied abroad in both London, England and Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C. he interned in the Political Department of the Democratic National Committee. He remained there for his Professional Venture summer where he worked in the office of Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13). Jack was elected President of the Notre Dame College Democrats for the year 2018-19 and will join the Buttigieg for America presidential campaign after graduation.

Najmeddine Harrabi

Najmeddine Harrabi

  • Areas of Study: Film, Television, and Theatre
  • Hometown: Sfax, Tunisia

Najmeddine (NAJ) Harrabi grew up as a sheep and goat shepherd in the countryside of Tunisia. After watching his first films on a small black and white TV that ran on a car battery, he moved to a nearby city to be able to attend school and start working towards his dream of making films. Over the years, especially after the Arab spring, Naj became more involved in media literacy and activism in Tunisia. He founded WeYouth-Tunisia, a nonprofit aimed at motivating young people to engage in decision making.

Eventually, Naj attended the African Leadership Academy in South Africa. There he further explored his passion for filmmaking, sci-fi, and comedy. Naj found more of a vessel to study other aspects of performance and creativity as he attended the University of Notre Dame as a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar. During his college summers, Naj took classes at Second City in Chicago and interned at CONAN in Los Angeles. At Notre Dame, he wrote and directed different theatre and film projects. He also performed stand-up comedy and wrote skits for different on and off-campus shows.

Naj will be pursuing a MFA in film and television production at USC.

Saskia Hennecke

Saskia Hennecke

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Film, Television & Theatre
  • Hometown: Tampa, FL

An Economics and Film double major sounds unusual to many, but Saskia found that her study of the forces that drive individual behaviors propelled her ability to tell human stories with compassion. During Saskia’s four years at Notre Dame, she was a figure skater, a C-Suite volunteer leader with the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion, and an award-winning filmmaker.

Saskia spent her first summer working at the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda, where she discovered a love for documenting and telling stories. From there, she went to New York City in her next summer to develop her technical skills with the Academy Award winning documentary production company, Fictionless. During her junior year, Saskia pivoted into journalism, spending her fall semester in Washington, D.C., as an intern for C-SPAN, followed by a spring semester in Prague. In her final semester, Saskia returned to the nation’s capital to work as a multimedia intern at Rewire.News. Her most proud achievement amidst all this work is a short documentary about a transgender Notre Dame student, and that student’s journey to be recognized by the University as her true gender.

This arc of experiences could not have prepared Saskia better for her full time post-grad position as a video journalist for Spectrum News in Washington, DC. Saskia is looking forward to returning to her favorite city, where history is happening, to spend her time asking difficult questions and reporting the news back to local markets, such as her hometown station of Bay News 9 in Tampa, Florida.


Meredith "Mary Grace" Henry

  • Areas of Study: Program of Liberal Studies; Peace Studies
  • Hometown: Harrison, NY

From a young age, Mary Grace has been passionate about education and entrepreneurship. She founded Reverse The Course (RTC), a social enterprise dedicated to increasing girls’ access to education. Over the course of nine years, RTC sold more than 19,000 hair accessories and raised over $200,000, which supported the education of 123 girls primarily in Kenya and Uganda.

During her time at Notre Dame, Mary Grace continued to explore the ways in which business can promote social good. Through her Social Justice summer internship at the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Mary Grace learned about the empowering effects of entrepreneurial education, especially for students from low–income, urban communities. On campus, she was a Project Leader in the consulting division Student International Business Council.

In addition to business, Mary Grace fostered an interest in filmmaking. For her Global Inquiry summer, she worked as an Assistant Producer and Editor at Four Corners Media on a documentary about the refugee crisis. She received a grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to travel to Lesvos, Greece, to interview government officials, international NGOs, independent volunteers, and refugees.

After spending her spring semester of her junior year at King’s College London, Mary Grace returned to Notre Dame for her Professional Venture summer to work for Ritual, a start-up dedicated to enhancing people’s wellbeing through developing a holistic, personalized mobile app.

After graduation, Mary Grace will join McKinsey & Company in Chicago as a Business Analyst.

Audrey Immonen

Audrey Immonen

  • Areas of Study: Science - Education
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Audrey finds joy working with and researching schools in regions of poverty, and she is passionate about climate change and other environmental issues. Audrey spent most of her senior year at Notre Dame with tenth graders: she was a fulltime student teacher at Riley High School in South Bend, IN, with first-year chemistry students during her spring semester.

On campus, Audrey conducted research in a STEM Education Lab, co-authoring a paper on middle school teachers’ conceptions of STEM education. She traveled to Spokane, WA, to present a poster at the North American Association for Environmental Education. Audrey was a resident assistant and spirituality commissioner in Farley Hall and a member of the Women’s Boxing Club.

In the summer of 2018, Audrey traveled to various locations in Uganda to conduct research for her senior thesis titled “Examining Factors Affording or Constraining the Use of Student-Centered Learning in Ugandan Secondary Education.” She presented this research at the Human Development Conference at Notre Dame and is seeking to have her paper published.

For her Global Inquiry summer in 2017, Audrey taught biology and chemistry at Saint Joseph’s Hill secondary school in Uganda through the international summer service learning program. For her Social Justice summer in 2017, she researched freshwater pollution issues (particularly anthropogenic microplastics) in the local St. Joseph's River and around the Great Lakes with a Notre Dame biology professor. Her passion for the environment and for people partially began in high school, serving with the Student Conservation Association to build trails in Alaska’s Denali National Park and on the Appalachian Trail, and in her Wilderness Expedition, backpacking with Outward Bound in the Sierra Nevadas in California

Delaney Lenaghan

Delaney Lenaghan

  • Areas of Study: Pre-Health Studies; Psychology
  • Hometown: Massapequa, NY

Delaney is passionate about achieving health equity through partnerships. Her interest in health care began in high school through her internship in a biomedical laboratory where she engaged in research on metabolic disorders. She was awarded an Intel Science Semi-finalist as a result of that study. At Notre Dame she was the co-president of the ND Make-A-Wish Club, the chair of the Investment Committee for the Center for Social Concerns Seminars Task Force, and a research assistant in a vector-borne disease laboratory. She enjoyed tutoring at the Robinson Community Learning Center and serving meals at the Catholic Worker and Our Lady of the Road.

For her Wilderness Leadership summer, Delaney backpacked through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. She spent her Social Justice summer conducting research on malaria prevention efforts in Belize through the Eck Institute for Global Health in partnership with the Belize Ministry of Health. For her Global Inquiry summer, she continued her research at the Pasteur Institute in French Guiana. These experiences in the field led her to want to explore what happens from the organizational perspective, so she spent her Professional Venture summer interning at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. She worked on the science team in the Division for Global Health Protection. After graduation, she will be serving with JVC Northwest as a Community Health Specialist in Spokane, Washington.

Yutong Liu

Yutong Liu

  • Areas of Study: Biological Sciences
  • Hometown: Beijing, China

Yutong is originally from Beijing, China, and studied Biological Sciences and Philosophy, Political Science and Economics (PPE). In high school, Yutong was the co-founder of the English Debate Club. He also focused on research, working at Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY as well as the China Agriculture University.

Entering Notre Dame, Yutong was selected as the 2015 Li Ka Shing Foundation Greater China Scholar. Over his freshman year at Notre Dame, he conducted research on zebrafish renal-regeneration and facilitated the construction of a smart phone based palliative care data collection system in Uganda. Over his sophomore and junior years, Yutong worked with the St. Joseph County Health Department and local community organizations to tackle problems surrounding lead source testing, reporting, and abatement. During the spring of 2018, he organized and implemented a community-based solution for lead poisoning through mulching over lead contaminated soil.

As a senior, Yutong focused on virology research, working to design and validate a trivalent antiviral strategy against Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue viruses as well as a broad-spectrum antiviral for lipid enveloped viruses such as Ebola. He hopes to contribute not only to the scientific community but also to the well-being of those as risk of infectious diseases. He also served as a student manager and team leader for the Take Ten program as well as on the Senior Leadership Committee of the Department of Biology.

Upon graduation, Yutong will be starting a career in healthcare analytics and delivery with McKinsey & Co., continuing on his journey to improve community health.

Tyrel  London

Tyrel London

  • Areas of Study: American Studies; Film, Television, and Theatre
  • Hometown: Lakeside, AZ

Tyrel was a double major in American Studies (AMST) and Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT), with a concentration in Theatre. He completed a joint AMST/FTT honors thesis: a full length drama about the friendship and lives of two elderly women of color. Like his thesis, Tyrel’s time at Notre Dame was characterized by art, academics, and the merging of the two. His roles in theatre have included The Producer in Six Characters in Search of an Author (Fall 2014), Smirnov in The Bear, Andrey in Afterplay, Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (Spring 2016), and Frank Butley in Native Gardens (Spring 2018). He had his professional and assistant directing debut in the ensemble of Journeying La Divina Comedia: The International Dante Project (Fall 2016) under the direction of Anton Juan and will join the Professional and Touring Companies of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (Summer 2018).

Starting in the spring of 2017, Tyrel worked with the American Indian Catholic Schools Network (AICSN) to provide the best possible opportunity to students and staff at five American Indian Catholic schools around the country. During his time there, he interned as Assistant Director, helping the AICSN team coordinate a budget of $750,000, focus narrative efforts, establish college reach programs, and manage media presence for the Network.

Tyrel spent his Summer Wilderness experience mountaineering in Colorado's Gore Mountain Range, his Social Justice summer volunteering for the Mamelodi Initiative outside of Pretoria, South Africa, his Global Research summer across the United States doing original research on the impact of Native American boarding school curriculum on identity, and his Professional Venture summer as an acting apprentice with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival.

Winnie Mang'eni

Winnie Mang'eni

  • Areas of Study: Film, Television, and Theatre
  • Hometown: Mombasa, Kenya

As the CEO of the second Teen Entrepreneurship Summit (TES 2014), Winnie brought 45 students from all over Kenya to participate in a leadership camp, all while interning full-time with Equity Bank in their Mentorship Program. As the CEO of the Junior Achievement Company Program (JA 2013), a not-for-profit that runs school-based enterprise clubs as a means of providing children with opportunities to develop critical professional skills, she received the Best CEO Award for profit maximization with 200 shareholders. Winnie served as a Peer Counselor (PC) at the African Leadership Academy for the 2014-2015 school year. In this role, Winnie acted as a mentor and big sister to new students, helping them with their transition to ALA. She was actively involved in the International Relations Council and participated in a Model United Nations conference in Doha, Qatar. She was an integral member in the planning of ALA’s flagship Model African Union conference and served as the Director of Logistics for the 2015 conference.

Winnie is a feminist passionate about entrepreneurship. During her freshman year, she won a Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) grant to study the effects of micro-finance on women in Guatemala. She spent her Social Justice summer working on a pig farm that she founded in Kenya, which helps women become financially stable by providing them with loans to purchase pigs.

Debora Mulokozi

Debora Mulokozi

  • Areas of Study: International Economics; French
  • Hometown: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Debora is a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar at the University of Notre Dame. She majored in Economics and French with a minor in International Development Studies. On campus, she worked under the Kellogg International Scholars program as a research assistant with faculty on the institutionalization of poverty and inequality among refugees. She previously worked as a student assistant for the Ford Family Program, reviewing literature and conducting online research on best practices for community projects in Kenya and Uganda ranging from education and entrepreneurship to maternal and child health.

Beyond conducting independent research on street connected children through grants from the Kellogg and Kroc Institute, Debora was an Analyst Intern with Dalberg Advisors in Dar es Salaam. She evaluated the structure of activities and support to be offered to players in the education and technology ecosystem for a MasterCard Foundation project and created PowerPoint presentations detailing the same. She also researched irrigation technologies and irrigation equipment providers for small holder farmers in horticulture in Tanzania for a USAID project financing drip irrigation. Over the past summers, Debora interned with CIYOTA, a non-profit based in Uganda. She collaborated with a team to design a mentorship program for initiatives run by refugees from Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Sudan. As a pilot to the program, she ran a two-day entrepreneurial leadership workshop in Kyangwali refugee settlement, Uganda. Debora is the main facilitator of Teen Entrepreneurship Camps that have hosted more than 65 teenagers from different high schools in Dar es Salaam

Maria Palazzolo

Maria Palazzolo

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Springfield, IL

As a senior in high school, Maria served as the 2014-15 Key Club International President. One of her proudest accomplishments was leading over a quarter of a million members to raise $1.5 million for the Eliminate Project, a partnership with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. She was honored to visit Cambodia to witness the results of Key Club's fundraising efforts.

Maria spent her Social Justice summer serving as an intern for Illinois' 18th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. Her Global Inquiry summer was spent interning for UNICEF USA in Chicago. For her Professional Venture summer, Maria interned with the Illinois Supreme Court.

On campus, Maria served as a Freshman Class Council Representative, Senator, and Vice President for McGlinn Hall. As Senator, Maria chaired a group that organized Notre Dame's first ever Mock Presidential Debate during the 2016 Presidential Election, bringing together over 200 students to increase political discourse on campus. As a senior, Maria served as the Director of University Affairs within Student Government, focusing primarily on student safety, student finances, and administrative efficacy.

After graduation, Maria will be a Dunn Fellow with the Illinois Governor's Office in Chicago. She will work in the Office of the General Counsel to prepare for law school.

Kathleen Ryan

Kathleen Ryan

  • Areas of Study: Economics; English
  • Hometown: Hingham, MA

After visiting an immigration detention center her freshman year, Kathleen knew she wanted to spend her summers learning about the prison system and its intersection with immigration and law. That summer, as a part of her Social Justice experience, Kathleen interned at Reading for Life in South Bend, IN, working with juveniles in the Juvenile Detention Center. Kathleen led small reading groups which focused on the discernment of virtuous actions and discussed how her students could improve their lives after leaving detention. The following summer, for the Global Inquiry experience, Kathleen participated in a Summer Service Learning Program in Waukegan, IL. Kathleen worked at a parish with a large Hispanic community teaching English as a Second Language and citizenship classes in Spanish as well as volunteering at the food pantry. For her Professional Venture summer, Kathleen interned at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Washington, DC, where she worked with immigrants seeking legal and citizenship services.

Beyond her summers, Kathleen spent a semester in Santiago, Chile. In addition to taking classes at a Chilean university, Kathleen volunteered at an organization housing female immigrants. At Notre Dame, Kathleen was very involved with her residence halls, leading Badin Hall’s Polar Bear Plunge for two years and serving as a Resident Assistant in Cavanaugh Hall. Kathleen also tapped with the Notre Dame Dance Company and worked as a tutor for freshman at the Learning Resource Center.

After Notre Dame, Kathleen will be serve as a Teaching Fellow with Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), teaching middle school English in Oklahoma City and earning her Masters of Education. After ACE, Kathleen hopes to attend law school.

Meredith Soward

Meredith Soward

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Los Altos, CA

In high school, Meredith successfully petitioned her town's city council to implement a plastic bag ban, created a zerowaste program, and started a regional student-to-student environmental conference. Meredith also founded STEM Inspire, for which she planned workshops, speakers, and camps to get low-income students excited about pursuing STEM careers. She was involved in competitive swimming and theatre.

At Notre Dame, Meredith volunteered at Common Goods Co-op and the Robinson Community Learning Center Climate Champions Club, in addition to serving as Hall Sustainability Commissioner and Marketing Director of the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company. Meredith spent her Social Justice summer working on a sustainable farm and teaching theatre outside of Kampala, Uganda. She spent the spring semester of 2017 in Washington, D.C., interning at The Climate Reality Project, and summer 2017 interning at the Regional Environmental Centre in Szentendre, Hungary. While studying abroad in London, she worked on post-Brexit environmental policies as an intern at the UK Parliament. She then returned to D.C. for her final summer to intern in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where she drafted a report on China's role in the UNHRC.

While at Notre Dame, Meredith also received funding for independent research projects in Denver, Copenhagen, and Boston, and traveled to Arcabuco, Colombia, as part of a research team working on water sanitation. Meredith was awarded the Hesburgh Program Award for Leadership and Public Service.

Following graduation, Meredith will work as the Asylum Intake and Legal Coordinator at the Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project through Jesuit Volunteer Corps:Northwest.

Justine Wang

Justine Wang

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics
  • Hometown: Andover, MA

At Notre Dame, Justine was heavily involved in the South Bend community, having used her academic studies in economics and graphic/industrial design as a platform to delve deeper into understanding the challenges that the city community faces. This has shaped much of her academic and professional trajectory, in which she partook in various legal and policymaking internships to expand her knowledge as a public servant.

During her Social Justice summer, Justine served as a law clerk at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and worked with clients who sought legal help for domestic violence and immigration cases. Following that experience, Justine attended the Notre Dame Washington DC Program, and interned for the Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren. At this point, recognizing her interests in public policy, she pursued an internship at the Office of Senator Joe Donnelly in South Bend, IN, upon returning to Notre Dame for spring semester. Soon afterwards, she began to look for opportunities in policy research, and returned to Washington, DC, to intern at the World Bank, for her Global Inquiry summer, where she aided an environmental policy team specifically focused on investing in projects in Europe and Central Asia.

All of these experiences shaped her ultimate desire to work in a space to understand how the private sector works to mitigate issues in the public sector. After a Student International Business Council project on the Walmart and Amazon rivalry, she found herself most interested in how large firms were shaping the future of consumerism, technology, and efficiency in American society. Thus, she is pursuing the Finance and Accounting Development Program (AFDP) corporate finance rotational program at Walmart, and will begin as an analyst in Bentonville, AR, in Fall 2019.

Benjamin Wdowik

Benjamin Wdowik

  • Areas of Study: Electrical Engineering
  • Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

As an electrical engineer, Naval ROTC midshipman, and passionate citizen of the world, Ben spent the last four years of college engaged in engineering and service opportunities. During his Social Justice summer, he lived in Nepal for two months and worked for Empowering Opportunities, an organization that seeks to provide low-income children (particularly orphans) with opportunities for education. During this time, he assisted with fundraising, contributed to the day-to-day endeavors of several orphanages, helped kick-start a microloan program for women at a government school for the deaf, and spearheaded a Rotary leadership program for the residents of the orphanages.

During his Global Inquiry summer, Ben contributed to research at Duke University Medical Center on the utilization of spinal cord stimulation to counteract symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He designed and built stimulation electrodes, surgically implanted them in mice, and developed a program to apply electrical stimulations to the implanted mice. Ben also conducted research during his Professional Venture summer, remaining in South Bend to work on a DARPA-funded project investigating the properties of high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs).

At Notre Dame, Ben served on the Electrical Engineering Student Advisory Group, participated in a brainstorming team for E2E, an organization that works with local citizens in Haiti to innovate empowering solutions to housing and sanitary problems, and served as a teaching assistant for several electrical engineering courses. During his final spring semester, he was ND NROTC's Battalion Commanding Officer. He was commissioned as a Navy officer upon graduating from the University, and now works as a nuclear engineer at Naval Reactors in Washington, D.C.