Class of 2021

Lidya Abreha

Lidya Abreha

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering & Gender Studies
  • Hometown: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Originally from Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, Lidya joined the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she completed high school. At Notre Dame, she is pursuing a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Gender Studies through the five-year Reilly Dual Degree Program through the Colleges of Arts and Letters and Engineering. As an engineer in the making, she is very interested in the healthcare innovation sector. She is fascinated by how engineering has been able to transform healthcare.

On campus, Lidya has served as the Vice President for the National Society of Black Engineers Notre Dame Chapter. She is also a board member on the International Student Advisory Board. She acknowledges that with opportunity comes responsibility and she is passionate about creating opportunities for those who have not been granted similar opportunities.

Khesa  Borotho

Khesa Borotho

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Hlotse, Lesotho

A native of Lesotho, Khesa pursued a degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance and a minor in Real Estate. He served as the President of Consulting Connect, a venture that prepares Notre Dame students for careers in consulting. In this role, he oversaw a team of 20 students who organized interview prep workshops, employer events, and other programs to educate students about the ins-and-outs of consulting. He interned with McKinsey & Company in their Atlanta office, and upon graduation, will join the firm as a Business Analyst.

Khesa is passionate about education and equitable opportunity for youth. He is the founder of Ahanang Mentorship Initiative (AMI), a non-profit organization based in his home country, Lesotho. AMI identifies orphaned high school students with leadership potential and assists them in building mentorship relationships with influential adults. Khesa prides himself in being a passionate leader who empowers others to make critical decisions and take bold actions.

Olivia  Castello Eaddy

Olivia Castello Eaddy

  • Areas of Study: Finance and Political Science
  • Hometown: Sea Girt, NJ

As part of her aspiration to serve those who are oppressed and less fortunate, Olivia founded Friends in Learning, a summer enrichment curriculum to help bilingual students progress in their studies. With the help of a social innovation scholarship, she also started Enchanted Gardens, a business that helps women in domestic violence shelters rebuild their lives.

During her Global Inquiry summer, Olivia was able to continue her passion for children’s education working with migrants in Italy teaching them English. For her Professional Venture summer, she worked with a venture capital firm in Washington, D.C., to further pursue her interest in business. During the summer of 2021, Olivia interned with Goldman Sachs in the Asset Management Division, and will return to the firm full-time post graduation.

Olivia double majored in Finance and Political Science due to her love of business and international relations and found the intersection of the two interests fascinating. On campus, Olivia was an active member of Student International Business Council, Investment Club, a student tour guide, a tutor at the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend, and a member of her residence hall’s council.

Chad Cocco

Chad Cocco

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Hershey, PA

Committed to leveraging technology as a force for good, Chad is using his background in Computer Science & Engineering to build sustainable solutions that uplift the disadvantaged.

Chad spent his Global Inquiry summer and his junior year interning with Copia, a San Francisco-based startup that handles the logistics of donating edible surplus from food producers to nonprofits. In this role, he developed an analytics platform for food corporations to better understand and minimize their waste costs, and contributed to a nonprofit matching application that minimizes both CO2 emissions and delivery times of food donations. During the COVID-19 crisis, Chad used machine learning to develop a routing algorithm that safely and efficiently planned donations to food-insecure households. Chad will return to Copia full-time after graduation as a Software Engineer.

During his Social Justice summer, Chad supported Catholic Charities’ affordable housing initiatives in underserved regions. There, he combined research and data analytics to present interactive visualizations demonstrating the quality of affordable housing in the United States.

At Notre Dame, Chad was involved in the CS for Good Club, the Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations Club, and anything that allowed him to lace up his soccer cleats.

Conal  Fagan

Conal Fagan

  • Areas of Study: Political Science and Peace Studies
  • Hometown: Derry, Northern Ireland

Conal Fagan is originally from Derry, Northern Ireland. As a member of The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Conal was able to further develop and redefine the understanding of his purpose in life: to use sport and education to empower those individuals who have been historically disenfranchised. Conal coached soccer in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa, helped deliver the 2019 GIO Wheelchair Rugby National Championship in Sydney, Australia, and worked with Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C., as part of its Global Youth Engagement Team.

Prior to Notre Dame, Conal discovered his love of working with individuals with disabilities through his work with the Oxford Bulls in his hometown. He remarks that working with the Bulls, a soccer team for young kids with Down Syndrome, is one of his most defining experiences of his life, and to this day, he continues to coach them at every opportunity. As a former Northern Ireland Youth Soccer Captain, Conal was able to travel across the globe, and see first-hand the ability of sport to unify and create opportunities for those who have been traditionally marginalized. At Notre Dame, he served as the University's mascot, the Leprechaun, for three years. 

Conal continues to search for opportunities that will allow him to grow and further develop his insight into the intersection of sport, education, and social change. Following graduation, he will serve with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW in Ashland, MT, as an Academic Assistant at St. Labre Indian School. He is extremely passionate about amplifying less predominant voices, and connecting with other professionals who are also invested in creating significant and lasting social change.

Conal lives by the words of Nelson Mandela who remarks: “Sport has the power to change the inspire... to unite people in a way that little else does.”

Regis Isirahenda

Regis Isirahenda

  • Areas of Study: Economics and Mathematics
  • Hometown: Rohero, Burundi

Regis joined Notre Dame from the African Leadership Academy where he served as the chairman of the Honor Council and captain of the basketball team. At Notre Dame, Regis pursued a double major in Economics and Mathematics.

For his Wilderness Leadership summer, he spent three weeks sailing the coast of Maine. Regis is fascinated by the power of storytelling as a medium of persuasion and as part of his 2018 Social Justice summer, Regis returned to Burundi to produce The Third Age, an award-winning documentary that investigates issues of vulnerability and social injustice amongst the elderly in Burundi.

As part of his 2019 Global Inquiry summer, Regis took classes and conducted research at the Ghana Stock Exchange. He studied abroad in Singapore during his junior year. From both of these experiences, Regis picked up a keen interest in finance and the role financial services can play in enabling sustainable development. For his 2020 Professional Venture summer, Regis interned with Mainsail Partners, a San-Francisco based private equity firm that invests in growing bootstrapped software businesses.

Upon graduation, Regis will join McKinsey & Co as a business analyst. Regis also serves on the youth advisory board of KIA, a word-class boarding school that seeks to develop a new generation of leaders and problem solvers in Burundi.

Patrick  McCabe

Patrick McCabe

  • Areas of Study: Political Science and Arabic
  • Hometown: Vienna, VA

Patrick is passionate about diplomacy and global migration and displacement. As a 2019 Boren Scholar, he studied Arabic while living in Amman, Jordan, for three months. In 2018, he spent ten weeks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, interning with American Near East Refugee Aid, traveling to project sites to cover stories on the impacts of infrastructure development initiatives, as well as volunteering at the Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Center in the Aida Refugee Camp. Patrick also conducted independent research on the effective implementation of Moroccan migration policies, interviewing young people migrating from sub-Saharan countries, civil society leaders, academics, and the Moroccan government’s director for migration affairs, later presenting his findings at peace-building and public policy conferences.

Before attending college, Patrick lived in Morocco for a year while studying Arabic and volunteering with a local migrant organization through the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth. At Notre Dame, he majored in Political Science and Arabic, and minored in Peace Studies. Patrick also received the 2020 Truman Scholarship for Virginia.

As a recipient of the Truman Scholarship, Patrick will intern with Perseus Strategies in Washington, DC, following graduation.

Grace McDermott

Grace McDermott

  • Areas of Study: American Studies and French Language and Literature
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL

Grace is a graduating American Studies and French major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. During her time at Notre Dame, she worked as a tour guide, admissions copywriter, Notre Dame Scholars' Program communications intern, and French tutor. She volunteered at the Robinson Community Learning Center, South Bend Center for the Homeless, and leading several Center for Social Concerns Seminars. She wrote for the South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame Magazine, and with summer funding, was able to intern in Johannesburg, South Africa, and complete a language immersion program in Avignon, France.

Grace will write for the general assignment desk at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel following graduation.

Ryan Mullin

Ryan Mullin

  • Areas of Study: Business Analytics and Political Science
  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH

While in high school, Ryan served on his school’s student senate for four years, acted as student body president his senior year, and graduated as salutatorian. Additionally, he was a four-year member and two-year student leader of the St. Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless and a co-founder of the St. Maximilian Kolbe Ministry to the Imprisoned and the St. Damien Molokai Ministry to the Infirmed. Ryan also spearheaded the effort to make his high school Fair Trade Certified. He and a team of three other students tackled the two-year process in a mere seven months, making their school the second Jesuit high school in the country to earn the certification. He was one of eight distinguished high-achieving students recognized by Cleveland Magazine for his work with these projects.

At Notre Dame, Ryan was involved with Student Government, acting as the secretary for the Class of 2021; JIFFI (Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion), acting as the COO; and the ND Day Student Engagement Committee. Additionally, he was a senior manager at NDListens, the phone center on campus.

For his Wilderness Leadership Experience, Ryan spent two weeks in the Oregon wilderness on a rafting and mountaineering journey. While there he had the chance to summit Three-Fingered Jack, one of the most rigorous and technical mountains to climb on the entire West Coast. Ryan traveled to Indonesia for his Social Justice summer, where he partnered with local agencies to work on sea turtle conservation. For his Global Inquiry summer, Ryan traveled to Dublin, Ireland, where he held an internship with the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland. While there, Ryan worked on foreign direct investment, the department that targets corporations that are currently headquartered elsewhere, to entice them to move their headquarters to Ireland.

Ryan spent his Professional Venture summer interning virtually for Amazon Web Services, where he will return to work full-time starting in the summer of 2021 as a Business Analyst.

Catherine O'Leary

Catherine O'Leary

  • Areas of Study: Theology and Pre-Health Studies
  • Hometown: Irmo, SC

Catherine O'Leary grew up in Irmo, South Carolina. At Notre Dame, Catherine majored in Theology and Pre-Health Studies while also participating in the Glynn Family Honors Program. The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program allowed her to travel to Peru as a medical volunteer and spend two consecutive summers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center pursuing ophthalmology research.

After graduation, Catherine will pursuing a Medical Doctorate at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Augustine Pasin

Augustine Pasin

  • Areas of Study: Business Economics and Chinese
  • Hometown: Wilmette, IL

At 16, Augustine left his family and home in Chicago to pursue Chinese studies in Shanghai. He enrolled as the first Western student at a Shanghai boarding school where he helped his Chinese classmates write a school constitution, create the school’s first student council, and propose the “student voice” position to which he was later elected. He combined his passion for service and foreign cultures by co-founding an organization that tutors local Chinese university students in English. He was captain of his school’s basketball team and a member of the swim, soccer, and track teams. Augustine was named valedictorian of his graduating class. 

As a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, Augustine studied Chinese, Business-Economics, and German. He worked as a member of Student Government and as a leader of other student organizations to improve cross-cultural relations at Notre Dame. The summer of his sophomore year, Augustine studied German in Berlin and served as a philosophy research assistant at Heidelberg University. During his junior year, he worked at Bayer’s offices in Austria. He spent his senior year interning remotely at MagnoliaTree, an ethical consulting firm based out of Vienna, Austria.

Augustine is the recipient of the Yenching Scholarship, and will attend the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, following graduation.

David  Phillips

David Phillips

  • Areas of Study: English
  • Hometown: Modesto, CA

David, who grew up on an apricot farm in Modesto, California, studied English and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he participated in Mock Trial, co-founded the Arcadian Dialogues scholar journal, and conducted human rights research through the Kellogg International Scholars Program. David was a national finalist for the Beinecke Scholarship, had 3 research papers published in refereed journals, presented at national and international academic conferences, and wrote a speech that was presented to the Venice Commission.

He loves the outdoors, nature-based poetics, cooking artisanal grilled cheeses, and drag performance art. David will attend Columbia Law School after graduation, with the goal of promoting tenants’ rights and housing justice for displaced queer and trans youth.

Ellen  Pil

Ellen Pil

  • Areas of Study: Political Science and Pre-Health Studies
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Ellen is a nationally-registered EMT who is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and public policy. On campus, Ellen used her clinical background as a lead coordinator for Notre Dame Medical Outreach, where she managed first-aid services during home football games. Ellen also volunteered to promote political engagement with ND Votes and served as a resident assistant in Johnson Family Hall.

Ellen conducted independent research for her senior thesis on longitudinal trends in state-level opioid policy in the Central Appalachia region. She also assisted with sociological research through the Kellogg International Scholars Program, where she worked with Professor Tamara Kay to study the diffusion of a medical tele-mentoring model. Additionally, she has presented comparative literature research at three conferences.

During her academic breaks, Ellen pursued a wide range of service opportunities and internships. Her experiences include collaborating with local authorities to address rural South Africa health concerns (2018), advocating for patients of Federally Qualified Health Centers (2019), analyzing policy at the National Center for Health Research (2020), and targeting health fraud as an intern for the Food and Drug Administration (2020). She will attend medical school at Johns Hopkins after graduation.

Hind  Zahour

Hind Zahour

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science and Design
  • Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco

Hind’s primary interest lies at the intersection of computer science and industrial design. During the summer of 2016, she participated in the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, which helped her better understand the role of technology in modern terrorism and the ways in which cybersecurity can be used as a tool for defense and counterterrorism. After returning home to Morocco, she built a partnership with the Association Marcaine des Victimes du Terrorisme.

At the African Leadership Academy, Hind was involved in the International Relations Council and was eventually chosen as the chairperson of the African Commission on Science and Technology at Model African Union.

During her time at Notre Dame, Hind joined the Kellogg International Scholars Program where she conducted research with Professors Chawla and Omer on cyberterrorism and terrorist cyber-recruitment to the African continent. Hind was vice president of the Girls Who Code student association that aims to empower girls to code in two South Bend high schools.

As part of her Social Justice summer, Hind volunteered with a school in Tanzania where she taught English, math, and computer science. Through this experience, she gained a perspective on the East African education system. She eventually hopes to found a pan-African school in Morocco. Hind interned as a cybersecurity analyst at Cummins during her Global Inquiry summer. There, she automated processes and optimized them, tracked potential hackers and coded. During her junior year, Hind studied abroad in Ireland as part of the Dublin ND program and she spent the summer before her senior year working as a cybersecurity intern at PwC.

Hind is enrolled in Notre Dame's five-year Reilly Dual Degree Program and will graduate with a dual-degree in Computer Science and Industrial Design.