Class of 2022
- Areas of Study: Political Science, American Politics or Political Theory
- Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Camila Antelo Iriarte
- Areas of Study: Political Science and Economics
- Hometown: Cochabamba, Bolivia
Camila is a Political Science and Economics double major with a minor in Computing and Digital Technologies. As a first-year student, she began volunteering with the National Immigration Justice Center (NIJC). She worked on her own research on asylum with the support of Dr. Brian Collier. This work empowered her to co-organize and contribute to a conference series in Antigua, Guatemala, and Washington D.C. with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development. The series facilitated relationships among ambassadors, representatives, scholars, and experts and resulted in the production of a policy brief that was presented on Capitol Hill.
During her time at Notre Dame, Camila has also served as the Director of the International Division of the Student International Business Council, Co-President of Consulting Connect, a Catholic Relief Services Ambassador, and a member of the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion. As part of the Kellogg International Scholars Program, Camila continues to dig into big questions concerning Latin America by conducting research on immigration with Fr. Daniel Groody and supporting Fr. Timothy Scully’s research on education.
Camila spent her Social Justice summer volunteering at the Karnes Detention Center in Karnes, Texas. She provided legal assistance to around 120 detained asylum seekers as well as preparation for credible fear interviews. For her Global Inquiry summer, Camila was selected to be a Sophomore Diversity Leaders Intern at McKinsey & Company in New York, NY where she will return to work full time after graduation.
During the summer before her senior year, Camila focused her energy on an ongoing project she is co-developing for the creation of a technical school for low-income women in the Dominican Republic. In addition, she conducted research and interviews for her senior thesis on the 2005 party system collapse in Bolivia with Scott Mainwaring as her advisor.
- Areas of Study: Economics, Applied and Computation Mathematics & Statistics
- Hometown: La Canada, CA
A Financial Economics and Applied Mathematics and Statistics double major, Alessandro hopes to learn about the incentives that guide economic interaction, to gain a deeper understanding of corporate finance and financial markets, and to apply knowledge of computational modeling and programming to the world of finance.
As a result of his deep familial connection and devotion to the disabled community, Alessandro founded Buddy Beads inc. in 2017. Buddy Beads inc. is a non-profit organization that manufactures merchandise and organizes fundraising campaigns for organizations that benefit individuals with Down Syndrome. In its first contract, Alessandro and his associates raised more than $25,000 for RAD camp, a summer camp in Southern California that serves adults and children with disabilities. Alessandro volunteers there every summer.
At Loyola High School, Alessandro was captain of the Debate Team, a three-time recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, an avid pianist, a skilled automotive enthusiast, and a member of the auto-restoration club.
For his Social Justice summer, Alessandro returned to the Southern California area to work with a young non-profit organization called Down Syndrome Rocks based out of Orange County. The organization’s primary mission is to improve the status of people with Down Syndrome. Alessandro assisted in the development of products to be rolled out on a large scale in order to raise funds while increasing awareness of the organization.
Despite Covid-19 complications, Alessandro spent his Global Inquiry summer working remotely for the Vatican Patrons Endowment Council where he advised on financing plans for upcoming projects and renovations within Vatican City. For his Professional Venture summer, Alessandro worked at Baird in Chicago as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst.
- Areas of Study: Neuroscience & Behavior
- Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
For the majority of her life, Sarah has been fascinated by the power of medicine and research. After making discoveries based on her own experience, Sarah invented a device called the ViEx™ to help people with debilitating hand conditions. She holds two patents, founded the company Betts Hand Technologies, and started a community outreach program that provides ViEx™ services to those who are homebound or cannot afford to go to a clinic. She is one of seven inventors worldwide chosen to represent the company Patient Innovation in 29 European countries to extend the impact of her device. Wanting to pursue her love of neuroscience, Sarah is currently researching non-ketotic hyperglycinemia in Dr. Haldar’s lab at Notre Dame’s Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases.
Sarah is also passionate about violin, which she has been playing since age three. Excited about the universality of music, she won a scholarship to perform and conduct musical workshops in Cuba with local musicians. She is currently the first violinist in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra and enjoys playing at dorm mass.
For her Social Justice summer, Sarah served young students with neurological disabilities at United Cerebral Palsy. She spent the next two summers continuing research in the Haldar lab.
- Areas of Study: Neuroscience & Behavior
- Hometown: Olathe, KS
A graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Devin served as student body president and was active in peer tutoring, varsity soccer and track and field, and teaching fundamental soccer skills to children with disabilities.
Devin has continued to be involved with student government and education at Notre Dame. He served as a freshman class council representative and sophomore class vice president, an undergraduate teaching fellow for the God and the Good Life philosophy course, and has been involved with The Shirt Project since his freshman year. Devin led the project as president during the 2020-2021 school year.
Devin’s research experiences have led him to be interested in early childhood development. During his Social Justice summer, Devin worked with a non-profit in Accra, Ghana, to investigate treatment options for children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. After taking a course focused on the neurobiological consequences of childhood adversity with psychiatrist Dr. Martin Teicher, Devin worked in his research lab at McLean Hospital to learn neuroimaging analysis techniques for his Global Inquiry summer.
On-campus, Devin is a research assistant in a cognitive neuroscience lab that studies the effects of sleep and stress on memory. In the summer of 2021, Devin worked with Dr. Jason Newland, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Washington University in St. Louis, to study COVID-19 mitigation strategies in St. Louis public schools. After graduation, Devin hopes to attend medical school to serve underserved communities as a physician-researcher.
- Areas of Study: Computer Science
- Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Ahmed is a Computer Science major at the University of Notre Dame and an African Leadership Academy (ALA) graduate. He was featured as the "Youngest Entrepreneur in Egypt" in Al-Tahrir Journal for creating Awraq, a brainstorming toolkit for business planning, and also won the Leadership Award at ALA for developing Kampasi, an online platform to manage student elections and tutoring, among other tasks.
In his undergraduate research with Prof. Chaoli Wang, Ahmed developed, among a team of undergraduate students, GraphVisual, an online tool that helps students in a data visualization class to manipulate graphs and examine them closer. In his work with OIT, he helped build a tool that allows professors to have easier access to their academic calendars.
Over the summer of 2019, Ahmed interned with Berkeley Community Media, an NGO that promotes free speech and social justice through the use of media. He also interviewed academics, authors, lawyers, and anthropologists about the Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine and the US role in facilitating it.
The summers following his sophomore and junior years, Ahmed worked as a software engineering intern at Etsy.
- Areas of Study: Neuroscience and Behavior
- Hometown: Valencia, CA
Mithara Kaluarachchi is a Neuroscience and Behavior Pre-Med major and plans on additionally minoring in Gender Studies with a concentration in Science. Mithara currently serves as a student leader for the Students Demand Action Chapter at Notre Dame, is vice president of the Active Minds mental health group on campus, and is Thrive Global’s campus-editor-at-large for Notre Dame. Her primary area of academic focus is understanding the disparities in mental illness and psychiatric healthcare in developing nations and low income communities. She works in Dr. Yoon’s Depression and Emotional Disorders Lab to conduct studies to monitor how major depressive disorders and social anxiety disorders may be problematic in how individuals process the emotional facial expressions of other people.
In high school, Mithara did service heavily focused on women’s rights, and she founded From Their First Breaths (FTFB), an organization that worked on a multitude of projects ranging from developing a comprehensive English toolkit for acid attack survivors to acting as an ambassador for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. Mithara also participated in competitive ballet for ten years during which she struggled with body image issues; after leaving ballet, she founded Transparent Mirrors, an organization that works to bring awareness to eating disorders by clearing up misconceptions and educating others. At Notre Dame, Mithara serves as one of the student leaders organizing Notre Dame's second annual Women's March trip to Washington, D.C.
During summer 2019, Mithara traveled to Liverpool, United Kingdom, where she worked directly with minority women who have experienced domestic violence to better understand how gender-based violence and racial disparities play a role in long-term trauma-rooted mental health issues
- Areas of Study: Architecture
- Hometown: Chicago, IL
Angelica is an Architecture major from Chicago, with an Italian minor, Glynn minor, and informal concentration in Creative Writing.
In high school, Angelica spent her time composing music, receiving awards from the CCPA Young Composer’s Competition, CPS Rising Star Honor Roll for Achievement in the Arts, and ILMEA All-State Competition. An avid writer, she received a NCTE Achievement Award, and has been working on a variety of novel, essay, and poetry projects for the past several years; At Notre Dame, she came in first place in the Snite Museum of Art’s essay competition and was published in Notre Dame’s Fresh Writing, Re: Visions, and The Juggler. Angelica co-founded Stoa Magazine, a new publication through the School of Architecture that features student design, research, and writing. She also serves as the creative editor for the scholar-led journal Arcadian Dialogues.
Angelica has enjoyed improving her drawing and painting skills through both the architecture program and her presidency of the Frank Montana Sketching Club. Her architectural activities have also included a library and 3D makerspace position, the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students, the Student Association for Women in Architecture, and the D.H.A.R.M.A. Research Team.
Angelica studied the intersection between architecture and social justice while volunteering with the Y2Y youth homeless shelter after her freshman year, an experience which has inspired several projects. Angelica hopes to apply this interest to research that explores the social and psychological aspects of design, striving towards her belief that everyone deserves to live somewhere beautiful.
- Areas of Study: Computer Science
- Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
Nicole Lee, who often goes by Nikki, is a Hesburgh-Yusko and Greater China merit scholar at the University of Notre Dame, majoring in Computer Science, with minors in Collaborative Innovation (Design) and the Glynn Family Honors Program.
Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nicole grew up in three major cities, graduating from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong. She served as head prefect, class representative, captain of the underwater robotics, basketball, and ball hockey teams, and as section leader of the Vocalis Chamber Choir. Her multicultural background is reflected in her extensive language capabilities; Nicole speaks five languages: English, German, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
As a first-year student, Nicole worked as a basketball official at RecSports, and was a storytelling contributor at Notre Dame International. Driven by her passion for leadership, Nicole was a part of the Army ROTC Fighting Irish Battalion during her sophomore year, where she was a member of the Colour Guard, Running Club, Sorin Rifle Team, and ATLAS Service Club. This experience strengthened her transformative and adaptive leadership, developing her grit, resilience, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
For her Social Justice Summer, Nicole pursued her passion for wildlife conservation, spending eight weeks volunteering at the Naankuse Wildlife Foundation in Namibia, caring for rescue animals, and assisting with Naankuse’s research on human-wildlife conflict mitigation. Upon her return, Nicole competed in Notre Dame’s C-Prize Competition, placing amongst the top ten with Paw Print, a carnivore tracking app inspired by her experiences there.
On campus, Nicole served as a scholar ambassador and student worker for the Notre Dame Scholars’ Program and teaching assistant for Fundamentals of Computing. She further engages with the Notre Dame community as a tour guide for ND Admissions, and as a Student-Athlete Tutor at the Academic Services for Student-Athletes.
Nicole studied during the spring 2021 semester with Notre Dame’s Silicon Valley Semester program. While in California, she interned at Platform Venture Studio as a UI/UX Design intern, which gave her the opportunity to combine both her creative and technical skills in this exciting role. Further diversifying her education, Nicole interned with BNP Paribas during the Summer of 2021 as a global markets summer intern in their London office.
- Areas of Study: Civil Engineering
- Hometown: Boulder, CO
Meredith (Mia) Lochhead is a Civil Engineering major and is interested in how structural engineering can be applied to global service, particularly how sustainable and resilient development can happen in post-disaster environments. At Notre Dame, Mia has pursued this interest through the Kellogg International Scholars Program, in which she has worked with Dr. Kijewski-Correa on several projects related to structural performance in hurricanes, both domestically and internationally.
During her Social Justice summer, Mia volunteered in San José, Costa Rica, working to build a primary school, which further developed her interest in the crossover between structural engineering and service. Her experience with the Spanish language while in Costa Rica enabled her to work alongside a team at the Pulte Institute for Global Development on a needs assessment project in Piura, Peru. Additionally, Mia is the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Notre Dame Chapter, a member of the Engineering Leadership Council, and works as a tour guide on campus.
For her Global Inquiry summer, Mia conducted research on the performance of informally-constructed homes in Puerto Rico under wind load similar to Hurricane Maria. This research aimed to establish prioritized, feasible modifications that would help individuals to make their homes safer in the face of hurricanes. In the summer of 2021, Mia continued to work on climate security and resilience-related research at the State Department Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. Through this research and into the future, she hopes to continue to develop her knowledge on how resilient structural engineering can be used in the context of global service.
- Areas of Study: Economics, Global Affairs
- Hometown: Kampala, Uganda,
Trevor Lwere is a rising senior from Kampala, Uganda. Trevor is majoring in Economics with a supplementary major in Global Affairs (African Studies concentration) and a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). He spent fall 2021 studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.
Trevor is a member of the Kellogg International Scholars Program where he does research on youth political participation in Africa with Professor Jaimie Bleck in the Political Science Department. Together, they will be co-authoring an introduction article to a special issue of a journal entitled “The Future of Youth in the Sahel.”
Trevor has received grants from the Glynn Family Honors Program to conduct two independent research projects on youth political participation in Africa and market failures in the agricultural value chain in Uganda and Kenya. He has also received funding to accelerate his proficiency in French and Kiswahili from the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures.
Trevor served as president of the African Students Association of Notre Dame for the 2020-21 Academic where he helped organize the first-ever Africa Week commemoration at Notre Dame as well as the inaugural edition of the Pan-African Youth Conference held virtually on March 27th, 2021.
- Areas of Study: Business Analytics & Film, Television & Theatre
- Hometown: Bangalore, India
Vaibhav Mopidevi, who goes by his nickname Mopi, is an avid film enthusiast and adventure seeker. Mopi took an unconventional route of a gap year after high school to pursue his interest in travel, film-making, and endurance events. He is the youngest Indian to have taken part in the world's toughest single-day triathlon event - the IRONMAN triathlon; a certified P2 paragliding pilot licensed to take off from any site in the world, and a master rescue scuba diver who enjoys diving with sharks.
In high school, Mopi was elected to student government five years in a row and graduated as school captain, the highest post of honor in his institution. He also co-founded an organization named Umang Bengaluru that powered recycling and sanitation initiatives in his local community. He was heavily involved in Model UN, captaining his high school team for two years.
On-campus, Mopi is actively involved in an array of activities. He serves as an associate on the JIFFI loan team, where his role is to provide financially struggling members of the local South Bend community an alternative to predatory lending with micro-loans. He also serves as general partner for the Venture Capital Club, where he works directly with startups, leads discussions on different aspects of venture capital such as the due diligence process, valuation metrics, and investing strategies. Mopi also serves as the head videographer for The Shirt Committee and produced the official 2020 and 2021 unveiling videos. He also has a YouTube channel where he documents his college and travel experiences.
For his Social Justice summer, Mopi interned for a joint project between Macquarie University and The Sydney Institute of Marine Science in Sydney, Australia, called The Living Sea Walls Projects. The project is aimed at conserving and enhancing the habitat of the Harbour walls in Sydney. Mopi worked alongside renowned scientists from across Australia. He assisted in bringing Sydney Science Week to life, which brought together more than 400 high school students from across the city to learn about conservation activities at the Great Barrier Reef.
For his Global Inquiry summer, Mopi served as an intern at The Pit Road Fund, Notre Dame’s venture capital wing where he connected with distinguished investors across the country to present startup deals and managed the fund’s CRM tools. For his Professional Venture summer, he interned with Battery Ventures.
- Areas of Study: Computer Science
- Hometown: Walpole, MA
When Billy was just sixteen years old, he quit club soccer and abandoned his aspirations to play professionally in order to research cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital. After two years of commuting three hours to the heart of Boston each day, Billy's breakthrough occurred: He solved a 65-year old problem by creating the MAD-Score: a statistical comparison metric for identifying significant cell populations in cancer data that is >25% more accurate than the industry standard and for outlier detection with >95% accuracy.
At Walpole High School he served as junior class president, starred as the main actor for the short film The Gossip Loop, and captained the soccer team after being a member of the varsity team for four years. Over the summer of 2017, Billy created an iOS application for a machine-learning startup that uses IBM Watson to analyze customer behavior in call centers.
As both a deep learning researcher and a cancer researcher, Billy primarily heads CyTOF data analysis (CyTOF) and discovered why the combination treatment of ICB and epigenetic-modulator drugs is effective at treating resistant prostate tumors when previous methods failed.
Billy was the first author of the research paper “A Deep Learning Approach to Selecting Representative Time-Steps for Time-Varying Multivariate Data” that was accepted to IEEE Vis 2019, the #1 conference in data visualization. He presented his paper at the conference in Vancouver, Canada, in October 2020. He also was selected for Honorable Mention for the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award for 2020.
For his Social Justice summer, Billy volunteered at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) in Sydney, Australia, working on Living Seawall, an initiative that installs eco-friendly seawall plates to increase the biodiversity harbor. He created high-dimensional network analysis graphs analyzing the impact of the seawall sites. He also gave a 15-minute TED-Style Presentation at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders of 10,000 people in June 2019.
In summer 2020, Billy interned at Google as a software engineer using machine learning to optimize targeted advertisements as part of the Google Ads Team. In summer 2021, he returned to Google where he used Natural Language Processing for the Shopping Ads Team.
Outside of professional life, Billy enjoys freestyle football and cooking.
- Areas of Study: Philosophy, Mathematics
- Hometown: Santiago, Chile; South Bend, IN
Luke is majoring in Philosophy and Mathematics and minoring in Data Science. He has acted with ND Theatre NOW!, the Not So Royal Shakespeare Company, and Show Some Skin. Luke volunteers as a Spanish interpreter with the National Immigration Justice Center and as a math tutor for high school students. He is a grader for the Mathematics Department and is currently the president of the Philosophy Club of Notre Dame.
Luke spent his 2019 summer volunteering with refugee charities in Calais, France, and his 2020 summer working with the Guadalupe Center to provide virtual music lessons to children in Immokalee, Florida. He will spend his 2021 summer at Williams College, doing an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) in number theory and probability.
Luke is interested in making math less esoteric and more accessible. He is particularly interested in algebraic geometry but is always happy to talk about anything math-related.
- Areas of Study: Economics; Global Affairs
- Hometown: Dakar, Senegal
Diana Spencer is an international student from Senegal and Cape Verde. She is passionate about economics, development, and gender studies. From 2015 to 2016, Diana volunteered at the SOS Village d’Enfants, where she taught French and math to a class of twenty students. This experience revealed her passion for youth empowerment and development, which she is planning on exploring through her summer experiences.
In 2016, Diana joined the African Leadership Academy, in Johannesburg, South Africa. At ALA, she was involved in the International Relations Council and served as the chairperson of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Committee during the ALA Model African Union 2018. The topic she chose for her committee was “Strengthening Gender Policies for Employment Equality in Africa.” With a team of four students, she also organized the South African Festival 2018, an entrepreneurial event for the Southern African youth.
At Notre Dame, Diana majors in Economics, Global Affairs, and minors in Gender Studies. She believes that her college experience will give her the opportunity to align her interest in development economics with her interest in promoting gender equality. During the summer of 2019, Diana volunteered with Ashoka Brazil in their Young Changemakers Program. In the summer of 2020, she will pursue a virtual internship with Social Entrepreneur Corps, a social venture focused on grassroots consulting for small organizations and enterprises of rural Guatemala. She will also intern with Baobab Consulting, an Africa-focused social impact consulting firm.
- Areas of Study: Political Science
- Hometown: Machakos, Kenya
After graduating from the African Leadership Academy, where she served as the chairlady of Student Government, Hope took a gap year to explore the creative arts scene in Nairobi, Kenya. Through this immersion experience, she discovered how greatly the informal sector contributes to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. As such, this created her deep interest in business development within emerging markets.
At Notre Dame, Hope is majoring in Political Science with intended minors in Business Economics and International Development. She serves as the vice president of the African Students Association. She also independently runs an online business that gives her a platform to refine her management, administrative, and innovation skills.
For her Social Justice summer, Hope volunteered at Kibera Creative Arts, where she designed a creative entrepreneurship program that aims to couple creative skills with an entrepreneurial mindset. During her sophomore year, Hope looks forward to serving as the director of employer relations at the First Generation Career Initiative.
- Areas of Study: Gender Studies & Economics
- Hometown: Mason, OH
Ashton Weber has always been interested in the ways that multiple facets intersect to make us individuals. In high school, she found that she was surrounded by the homogeneity of thought until she attended the United Nations Commissions on the Status of Women in 2017 and 2018 and was introduced to women from around the world. After meeting these women and representatives of the NGOs that work to serve them at the grassroots level, she developed a passion for community organizing and personal storytelling.
Since 2017, Ashton has worked as a counselor for Kids4Peace, an interfaith peace organization that hosts summer day camps for kids from various faith backgrounds. She also spent the summer of 2019 working as an intern in their Seattle office, where she documented the story of the program and its attendees.
At Notre Dame, Ashton is majoring in Gender Studies and Economics. She works closely with the Gender Relations Center on projects to educate the campus community about gender identity and intersectionality. She also serves as an assistant producer for Show Some Skin, a campus storytelling initiative that highlights the diversity of perspectives at Notre Dame and gives voice to stories that often go unheard. As a columnist for Notre Dame's independent student newspaper, The Observer, Ashton writes pieces twice a month about topics related to feminist discourse, mental health, and institutional accountability. Her column, “The self-regulated spiritual upper-class,” won the Indiana Collegiate Press Association’s Best Opinion Column award for 2019-2020. Her work has also been published in the Gender Studies Honor Society’s journal, Through Gendered Lenses, twice.
During the Spring 2021 semester, Ashton received a grant to develop a workshop called Beyond Green Dots. It addresses the roots of violence at Notre Dame, in hopes of creating a safer space for all members of the campus community to live and work in. She remains committed to the idea that sharing our stories and experiences is the best way to build the power and momentum that will lead to systemic change and hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in feminist studies after graduation.