Class of 2021

Lidya Abreha

Lidya Abreha

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

While in high school, Lidya and two fellow Ethiopian Students organized an entrepreneurship camp for 30 refugees residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the African Leadership Academy, she served as the Committee Chair of the PanAfrican parliament at the ALA Model African Union conference held in March 2017.

For her Wilderness Leadership summer, before she joined Notre Dame, Lidya spent three weeks backpacking and canoeing in Maine, where she learned about perseverance and discipline.

At Notre Dame, Lidya served as the Director of Mentorship for the Society of Women Engineers Notre Dame chapter for the 2018/2019 school year and is an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers on Campus. Lidya was also recently chosen to be on the board for the International Students Advisory Board, a role she is excited to serve. She was a participant of the Fall 2019 Notre Dame London study abroad program. During her Global Inquiry summer, Lidya worked as a research intern to the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department where she was part of a team comprised of four Chinese students from the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTECH) and two Notre Dame Students. The team developed a model that predicts traction efficiencies of tractors using an application called Webot. Lidya acknowledges that with opportunities come responsibilities and she is deeply passionate about creating equal educational opportunities for girls in Ethiopia who have not been granted the opportunities with which she has been blessed. In pursuit of establishing equal opportunities for girls in Ethiopia, during her social justice summer, Lidya launched FURA Girls Empowerment Project—a summer STEM tutoring/mentorship initiative for underprivileged girls in Ethiopia as part of her summer enrichment program.

 

 

Khesa  Borotho

Khesa Borotho

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Hlotse, Lesotho
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

A graduate of the African Leadership Academy, Khesa is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance and a minor in Real Estate. He serves as the President of Consulting Connect, a venture that educates and prepares Notre Dame students for careers in consulting. After his Sophomore and Junior years, Khesa interned with McKinsey & Co in their Atlanta office, gaining exposure to a breadth of engagements with real-world clients. He is proud to have been part of a team that helped an NGO develop a strategy to address gentrification for low-income residents in Atlanta.

Khesa is also passionate about education and equitable opportunity for youths. Through the support of the Notre Dame Scholars Program, he founded Ahanang Mentorship Initiative (AMI), a non-profit organization based in his home country, Lesotho. AMI identifies orphaned high school students with talent and assists them in building mentorship relationships with influential adults. Heading into its third year, AMI has partnered with five public schools and has matched 18 students with mentors.

Khesa has also served the international community at Notre Dame through his roles as an International Ambassador and as treasurer for the African Students Association. Khesa is passionate about building communities and is always looking for ways to expose underclassmen to career opportunities.

 

Olivia  Castello Eaddy

Olivia Castello Eaddy

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Sea Girt, NJ
  • High School: Ranney School

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 which 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.

Olivia is a double major in Finance and Political Science due to her love of business and international relations and finds the intersection of the two interests fascinating.

For the summer of 2020, Olivia will be interning with Goldman Sachs in the Asset Management Division.

On campus, Olivia is an active member of Student International Business Council, Investment Club, student tour guide, a tutor at the RCLC community learning center in South Bend, and is a member of her residence hall’s council.

 

Chad Cocco

Chad Cocco

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

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 all of his junior year at Copia, a San Francisco 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 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 plans donations to food-insecure households.

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 is involved in the CS for Good Club, the Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations club, and anything that allows him to lace up his soccer cleats.

 

Conal  Fagan

Conal Fagan

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Derry, Northern Ireland
  • High School: St. Columb's College

Conal, a member of the prestigious Sutton Trust U.S. Program, was highly active prior to starting at Notre Dame. As Student Body President, he led a Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France and also volunteered for his local council in their bid for European Youth Capital 2019. A distinguished sportsman, Conal captained the U15 & U16 Northern Ireland soccer squads and walked on the Varsity Practice Squad within his first month at Notre Dame. He changed his trajectory and joined the cheerleading team before going one step further and becoming the first Irish Leprechaun in the university’s history.

Conal’s passion for soccer has been channeled through his devotion to improving the lives of others. In his hometown, he helped establish the Oxford Bulls, a soccer team for children with Down Syndrome. In the Fall of 2018, he embarked on his mission to establish a partner club in the local South Bend area, with Soccer Shots of Northern Indiana. During the spring break of his first year, he traveled to Immokalee, FL to partake in a Social Concerns Seminar centered around Migrant Experiences.

As part of his Social Justice Summer, Conal worked with Ubuntu Football in Cape Town, South Africa, where he coached disadvantaged children and taught them as part of their ‘Football Forward’ program. During his Global Inquiry summer, he worked with Disability Sports Australia as he helped coordinate the National Wheelchair Rugby Championships and develop sports programs for disabled youth. As part of his Professional Venture summer experience, Conal interned with Special Olympics as part of their Global Engagement Team and conducted policy research as part of the development of their Unified Schools Program. 

Combined with his experience in Peace, Conal seeks to utilize the resources of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program to help him further explore the link between sport and social change.

 

Regis Isirahenda

Regis Isirahenda

  • Areas of Study: Economics
  • Hometown: Rohero, Burundi
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Regis is passionate about economics and politics and the role they can play in transforming his home country. At the African Leadership Academy, Regis served as the chairman of the honor council and captain of the basketball team. 

For his Wilderness Leadership summer, Regis spent three weeks sailing on the coast of Maine. In January 2018, Regis attended the Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory STEM Summit where he experienced firsthand the potential of science and mathematics in innovating and improving the world of finance. He is also fascinated by the power of storytelling as a medium of persuasion and the ever-growing crossroads between multimedia and social change. For his Global Inquiry Summer, Regis returned to Burundi to produce The Third Age: a film-documentary that investigates issues of vulnerability and social injustice amongst the elderly. He 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.

Regis is currently pursuing a major in Economics and a supplementary major in Mathematics.

 

Patrick  McCabe

Patrick McCabe

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Vienna, VA
  • High School: George C. Marshall High School

Patrick McCabe is a graduating senior at the University of Notre Dame studying political science, Arabic, and peace studies. He is passionate about issues of peacebuilding, civic engagement, and global migration and displacement. Patrick worked on the Inclusive Peace Processes team at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., during the summers of 2019 and 2020, focusing on mediation and dialogue projects in Cameroon and Afghanistan. In the summer of 2018, he interned with American Near East Refugee Aid in Jerusalem and the West Bank and volunteered as an English and Spanish language teacher in the Aida Refugee Camp. 

At the University of Notre Dame, Patrick is a research assistant working with a professor on topics of migration and democracy in Mali, Ghana, and Kenya. He also conducted independent research on the effective implementation of Moroccan migration normalization policies, interviewing young people migrating from sub-Saharan countries, civil society leaders, academics, and Moroccan officials. Patrick speaks Arabic at an advanced level, having lived and studied in Morocco for a year in 2016 and Jordan for a semester in 2020 through the Boren Scholarship. As a Cuban-American who grew up in Latin America, he is also fluent in Spanish. Patrick was selected as a Truman Scholar, and is committed to a career of public service and cross-cultural engagement.


 

Grace McDermott

Grace McDermott

  • Areas of Study: American Studies; French
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • High School: Walter Payton College Prep

After discovering a love for journalism in high school and being named the 2017 Chicago High School Journalist of the Year, Grace came to Notre Dame to develop her passions for writing and service. At Notre Dame, Grace is a news writer and social media team member at The Observer, and she has completed semester-long internships at the South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame Magazine. During her Social Justice summer, she volunteered at Media Monitoring Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, an organization devoted to researching and promoting ethical media practices and press freedom.

During her sophomore spring break, she traveled to Puerto Rico with a journalism class to interview and serve communities affected by Hurricane Maria. Grace was also involved in several community service organizations throughout Chicago during high school, and she now tutors students at the Robinson Community Learning Center and volunteers at the South Bend Center for the Homeless. On campus, Grace is a tour guide at the Eck Center and was part of a research and development team for the Kellogg Global Leadership Program. Grace spent her Global Inquiry summer in Avignon, France, participating in an intensive French immersion program dedicated to perfecting language skills. She hopes to continue pursuing social justice through journalism in her career.

Ryan Mullin

Ryan Mullin

  • Areas of Study: Business Analytics; Political Science
  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH
  • High School: St. Ignatius High School

While in high school, Ryan served on his school’s student senate for four years, and as a senior acted as student body president. He 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, an organization that reaches out to the impoverished in the area. In addition to that, he was 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 also one of eight distinguished high-achieving students recognized by Cleveland Magazine for his work with these various projects.

At Notre Dame Ryan is 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 is a Senior Manager at NDListens, the phone center on campus.

For his Wilderness Leadership Experience summer, 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.

For his Social Justice summer, Ryan traveled to Indonesia, where he partnered with local agencies to work on sea turtle conservation. These efforts included short-term efforts such as turtle rehabilitation, as well as long term efforts, like waste reduction, and providing habitats in which young turtles can thrive.

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.

For his Professional Venture summer, Ryan worked virtually as an Intern for Amazon Web Services, working as a Business Analyst.

 

Catherine O'Leary

Catherine O'Leary

  • Areas of Study: Theology
  • Hometown: Irmo, SC
  • High School: Chapin High School

Catherine is a graduate of Chapin High School, where she ran cross-country, served as team captain for two years, and was the valedictorian of her graduating class. A passionate outdoorsman and environmentalist, she founded the CHS Outdoor Club, focused on memorable adventures and preservation projects.

Moved by the experience of a close friend and confronted with South Carolina’s deplorable domestic violence statistics, Catherine became a committed activist. After considerable research, she developed a model lesson for middle school students, which produced statistically significant changes in awareness of dating violence. In addition, with the support of the National Honor Society, she organized several clothing and supply drives to benefit a local women’s shelter – a project that NHS will continue to sponsor.

 At Notre Dame, Catherine is currently pursuing a Theology Pre-Professional studies degree. She hopes to pursue a medical degree in the future, while continuing to combat domestic violence and related social problems in her own home state.

During the summer following her freshman year of Notre Dame, Catherine spent 9 weeks in Trujillo, Peru working with Vive Peru, a nonprofit organization that offers medical relief to peruvian communities. The summers following her sophomore and junior years were spent researching diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity under a pediatric ophthalmologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

 

Augustine Pasin

Augustine Pasin

  • Areas of Study: Business Economics; Chinese
  • Hometown: Wilmette, IL
  • High School: YK Pao School

At 16, Augustine left his family and home in Chicago to pursue Chinese studies. 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 aims to improve cross-cultural and economic relations between the United States and China. Augustine studies Chinese, Business-Economics, and German. He has 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 study 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 currently works for Sabine Gromer at MagnoliaTree, an ethical consulting firm based out of Vienna, Austria. Augustine received a full-ride Masters scholarship at Peking University and will be studying Business-Management in Beijing.

 

 

David  Phillips

David Phillips

  • Areas of Study: English
  • Hometown: Modesto, CA
  • High School: Central Catholic High School

Growing up on an apricot farm, David was immersed in the agricultural lifestyle of California’s Central Valley. This translated to a passion for the Future Farmers of America (FFA). He served as the Central Region FFA vice president, leading over 24,000 students from 12 counties. David was the gold recipient of a Hispanic Heritage Youth Award, and he received the City of Modesto Mayor’s Top Teen Award for his community service, which ranged from tutoring students in mathematics to working with those experiencing homelessness.

As a student at Notre Dame, David competes on the Mock Trial team and plays on his residence hall's men’s volleyball team. David conducted an independent research project during Spring 2018 in which he and two peers mapped Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” onto another Gothic tale, Goethe’s “Faust.” He presented this working paper at three undergraduate research conferences, including the ACC Meeting of the Minds. David has since undertaken other research projects through his participation in the Kellogg International Scholars Program. David has also published a research paper in the Madison Journal of Literary Criticism.

David hopes to become a professor and to contribute to the scholarly defense of human rights. With this in mind, he spent his Social Justice Summer conducting bioethics and global jurisprudence research with Dr. Thana de Campos in Santiago, Chile. After researching human rights and international jurisprudence for Professor Paolo Carozza, David traveled to Cusco, Peru to research the implementation of economic rights during the Summer of 2019.

 

Ellen  Pil

Ellen Pil

  • Areas of Study: Political Science, Pre-Health Studies
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
  • High School: Fox Chapel Area High School

Ellen is a nationally registered EMT and Political Science/Pre-Health major who is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and public policy. On campus, Ellen uses her clinical background as a lead coordinator for Notre Dame Medical Outreach, where she manages first aid services during home football games. Ellen also volunteers to promote political engagement with ND Votes and serves as a resident assistant in Johnson Family Hall.

Ellen is currently conducting independent research for her senior thesis on longitudinal trends in state-level opioid policy in the Central Appalachia region. She also assists with sociological research through the Kellogg International Scholars Program, where she works 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 has pursued a wide range of service opportunities and internships. Her previous 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 plans to attend medical school after graduation.

 

Hind  Zahour

Hind Zahour

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Hind’s primary interest lies in the field 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, 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 decided to pursue her dedication for counterterrorism by joining the Kellogg International Scholars program where she began assisting research conducted by Professor Chawla and Professor Omer on cyberterrorism and terrorist cyber-recruitment to the African continent. She hopes to enhance existing policies and create new strategies to solve this internationally perilous issue of terrorism.

Currently, Hind is vice president of the Girls Who Code student association that aims to empower girls to code in two local high schools. As part of her Social Justice Summer, Hind volunteered with a school in Tanzania. She taught English, Math, and Computer Science. Through this, she gained perspective on East African education that will inform her plan to start a pan-African school in Morocco. 

Hind interned as a Cybersecurity Analyst during her Global Inquiry summer. There, she automated processes and optimized them, tracked potential hackers and performed a large amount of coding. This experience revealed to Hind that Computer Science is exciting and that cybersecurity is definitely a career path she would like to pursue.

During her junior year, Hind studied abroad in Ireland as part of the Dublin ND program. She had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Irish culture and interact with people from different backgrounds which was very refreshing and eye opening.

Hind also decided to pursue her second passion: industrial design. To that end, she decided to become a Reilly scholar which will allow her to earn a five-year dual degree in both computer science and industrial design. Following her passion for cybersecurity, this summer, Hind will work as a cybersecurity intern in PWC and will be getting virtual training by the company. She is really excited to explore cybersecurity in the business world, its challenges and opportunities.