Class of 2021

Lidya Abreha

Lidya Abreha

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Amhara, 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 of the Society of Women Engineers Notre Dame chapter for the 2018/2019 school year. Lidya was also recently chosen as the Treasurer of the National Society of Black Engineers Notre Dame chapter. 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 Global Inquiry 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. She aspires to see this project achieve milestones in the upcoming years as she continues to pursue her education here at Notre Dame.


Khesa  Borotho

Khesa Borotho

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Leribe, 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 an outreach coordinator for Consulting Connect, a venture that prepares Notre Dame students for careers in consulting. In 2018, he was selected to participate in McKinsey’s sophomore diversity leadership internship. Through the program, he spent a summer in Atlanta, GA and helped a non-profit organization develop a strategy to address the effects of gentrification for low-income residents.

Khesa is also 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 talent and leadership potential and assists them in building mentorship relationships with influential adults. To date, Khesa and his team at AMI have helped establish 18 mentoring relationships.

Khesa serves the international community at Notre Dame through his role as an International Ambassador and as the treasurer for the African Students Association. He has also volunteered at LOGAN Center, an organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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.

On campus, Olivia is an active member of Student International Business Council, Investment Club, 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. 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.

Chad spent his Global Inquiry summer at 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 a recipient matching algorithm that minimizes both CO2 emissions and delivery times of food donations.

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.

A passionate Political Scientist, Conal seeks to utilize the resources of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program to enhance his studies and focus his interests around development issues

Regis Isirahenda

Regis Isirahenda

  • Areas of Study: Financial Econometrics; Management Consulting
  • Hometown: Bujumbura, 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. He also participated as a delegate at the 2016 African Leadership Academy Model African Union.

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.

Regis is currently pursuing a major in Economics and a supplementary major in Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame.

Patrick  McCabe

Patrick McCabe

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

As a scholarship recipient of the U.S. State Department's National Security Language Initiative for Youth, Patrick spent the summer of 2015 studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan, and after graduating high school spent a gap year living in Rabat, Morocco. Through these experiences, Patrick reached an advanced level of Arabic proficiency in classical Arabic and local dialects. He also had opportunities to meet with policy leaders, work with an organization for West African migrants and conduct research on Morocco's approach to countering violent extremism.

During Patrick’s youth in the Dominican Republic and Panama, he found a passion for international development work by volunteering at Alcance Positivo centers for youth at risk of joining gangs. As editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, Patrick developed a partnership with the ESOL program to publish articles in Japanese, Farsi and Spanish. He also worked to lead a voter registration drive through the Inspire Virginia campaign to register 85 percent of his senior class to vote.

At Notre Dame, Patrick is double-majoring in Political Science and Arabic and is involved as a member of Student Government’s Department of Community Engagement and Outreach and a peer mentor for visiting international students.He is excited to continue pursuing his passions for global affairs and peace studies as a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar.

Grace McDermott

Grace McDermott

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

After finding 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. 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: Mendoza College of Business; Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
  • 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. He was also 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.

Ryan 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 twelve distinguished high-achieving students recognized by Cleveland Magazine for his work with these various projects.

At Notre Dame Ryan is involved with Student Government, JIFFI (Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion), SIBC (Student International Business Council), Judicial Council Peer Advocacy Program, and FUEL (First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership). Additionally, he is a Student 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 East 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.

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 at ND. She spent her Global Inquiry summer in Trujillo, Peru serving as a medical volunteer. She has also worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Padovani-Claudio at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Ultimately, 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.

Augustine Pasin

Augustine Pasin

  • Areas of Study: International Economics; Chinese
  • Hometown: Winnetka, 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 co-valedictorian of his graduating class. Keenly interested in technology and science, he co-founded his school’s robotics team and placed first in Tongji University’s Hack-a-thon. Back home in Illinois, he also spent a summer researching melanoma antigens through Loyola Medical Center.


Augustine is currently studying international economics, Chinese, German and computer science. He has worked as a member of student government and other student organizations to improve cross-cultural relations at Notre Dame. The summer of his sophomore year, Augustine will study German in Berlin and serve as a research assistant for a German philosophy professor in Heidelberg. As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Augustine intends to work within China to improve cross-cultural and economic relations between the United States and China.

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. He also won multiple state championships in the organization. As 1 of 38 delegates chosen to represent California FFA at the 2017 National FFA Convention, David developed a proposal that allocated funding to agricultural science labs for classroom instruction.

David was the gold recipient of the 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 leading his church’s altar servers.

As a student at Notre Dame, David competes on the Mock Trial team and plays on the Siegfried Hall men’s volleyball team. David conducted an independent research project over Spring Break in which he and two peers were able to map Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein onto another Gothic tale, Goethe’s Faust. He has since presented this working paper at three undergraduate research conferences.

David hopes to become a law 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 during the 2018-19 school year, David will travel to Cusco, Peru and continue to research the implementation of economic rights.

Ellen  Pil

Ellen Pil

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

As a nationally registered EMT and Political Science/Pre-Health major, Ellen is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and public policy. Ellen uses her clinical background in her work as a lead coordinator for Notre Dame Medical Outreach, where she manages first aid services during home football games. Ellen also works as a teaching assistant for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, serves as a hall commissioner for ND Votes, and competes on the Notre Dame Parliamentary Debate Team.

Ellen also conducts research through the Kellogg International Scholars Program. She currently works with Professor Tamara Kay to study the diffusion of a physician tele-mentoring model. Additionally, Ellen and two of her peers presented their comparative literature research, titled “Ingolstadt, Italy and the Illuminati: A Physical Foothold for the Connection between Frankenstein and Faust,” at three conferences during 2018 and 2019.

During her Social Justice summer, Ellen worked in South Africa as the Malaria Awareness Program (MAP) Coordinator for One Sun Health. In this role, she facilitated malaria prevention training for government healthcare workers and collaborated with local authorities to identify health concerns of tribal communities. For her Global Inquiry summer, she worked as an intern at Hamdard Healthcare and performed research in the Galapagos Islands with Notre Dame’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Hind  Zahour

Hind Zahour

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

Hind’s primary interest is in the field of computer science. 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 Moroccan Association Marcaine des Victimes du Terrorisme to introduce activities in Moroccan schools that would raise awareness about the dangers of technology and terrorist networks.

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 talking to various professors in the engineering computer science department. She was accepted to 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 teaching students 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.