Class of 2022

Patrick Aimone

Patrick Aimone

  • Areas of Study: Political Science, American Politics or Political Theory
  • Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Patrick Aimone studies Political Science and hopes to improve the state of political discourse at Notre Dame. He has worked on several local campaigns for the U.S. Senate, South Bend Mayor, and City Council, and currently serves as Chair of Community Engagement for ND Votes. His academic interests include American political thought, and he is pursuing research on the philosophical correspondence and writing of John Rawls. He is also active on the ACC-championship-winning parliamentary debate team.

In high school, Patrick developed a passion for politics and civic engagement. He served as the Southern California governor of the Junior State of America, a student-run nonpartisan political activism organization. As governor, he made programs such as Spanish-language debate resources and matching opportunities with local advocacy organizations available to over 2,000 students. A nationally successful high school Lincoln-Douglas debater, Patrick established a debate program at a local middle school to expand the availability of similar opportunities. He graduated from Servite High School as valedictorian of his class and a National Merit Scholar.

Due to his passion for immigration justice issues, Patrick spent his Social Justice summer in Nogales, Arizona, working with Kino Border Initiative, a transnational Jesuit humanitarian organization that provides direct assistance to migrants and educational programming to students across the U.S.

Camila  Antelo Iriarte

Camila Antelo Iriarte

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Cochabamba, Bolivia

Camila is a Political Science and Economics double major. As a first-year student, she began volunteering with the National Immigration Justice Center (NIJC). Based on her experiences there, she embraced her pan-ethnic identity, and now assists Dr. Brian Collier with research for an ongoing book project. The project examines the roots of asylum seekers’ migration from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to the United States, as well as conditions they face when they arrive in the U.S. 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 will be presented on Capitol Hill. Camila is also a Catholic Relief Services Ambassador and a member of the Student International Business Council.

A graduate of a German school in her home country of Bolivia, Camila served six years as its class president and on the student board, with her final year as student body president. She held multiple roles nationally and internationally with her school’s Model UN—including secretary general at her high school and at the first and only international MUN conference in Bolivia. She also spent seven months working at a social entrepreneurship organization that empowers women by giving them a sustainable source of income.

Camila spent her Social Justice summer volunteering at the Karnes Detention Center in Karnes, Texas. She conducted fear-credibility interviews and provided legal orientations to families released from detention

 

Alessandro  Behney

Alessandro Behney

  • Areas of Study: Economics, Political Science, and Italian
  • Hometown: La Canada Flintridge, CA

An Economics, Political Science, and Italian triple major, Alessandro hopes to learn about the political systems and incentives that guide and shape the economy while also pursuing a deeper appreciation and mastery of the Italian language.

As a result of his deep familial connection and devotion toward the disabled community, Alessandro founded Buddy Beads inc. in 2017. Buddy Beads inc. is a non-profit organization which manufactures merchandise and organizes fundraising campaigns for organizations that benefit individuals with Down Syndrome. In its first contract, Alessandro and his associates raised over twenty-five thousand dollars 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 co-captain of the debate team, three-time recipient of the presidential volunteer service award, an avid pianist, a skilled automotive enthusiast and member of the auto-restoration club. He also wrote for The Loyalist, the high school’s newspaper.

For his Social Justice summer, Alessandro returned to the Southern California area to work with a young non-profit organization called Chromie Crew based out of Orange County. Chromie Crew provides fundraising and awareness campaigns for existing organizations benefiting individuals with Down Syndrome.The organization’s primary mission is to improve the status of people with Down Syndrome. Alessandro assisted in the development of of products to be rolled out on a large scale in order to raise funds while increasing awareness of the organization.

Sarah Betts

Sarah Betts

  • Areas of Study: Neuroscience and Behavior, Preprofessional Studies
  • 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 hand exercise device called the ViEx™ to help people with debilitating hand conditions. She holds two patents and founded the company Betts Hand Technologies as well as started a community outreach program which provides ViEx™ devices and services to those who are homebound or cannot afford to go to a clinic. Last year, Sarah was one of 25 students worldwide chosen to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies Week in Stockholm, Sweden. There, she had the opportunity to collaborate with the Karolinska Institute. Additionally, she conducted neuroscience research at Hennepin County Medical Center on diagnosing traumatic brain injuries more accurately.

Sarah is also passionate about violin, which she has been playing since age 3. Excited about the universality of music, Sarah won a scholarship to perform and conduct musical workshops in Cuba with local musicians. She is currently a first violinist in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra and enjoys playing at dorm mass.

For her social justice summer, Sarah will serve young students with cerebral palsy and teen mothers whose children have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She plans to focus her career at Notre Dame on making an impact in the area of neurological disorders, as the brain is one of the largest determinants for quality of life and makes us who we are.

Devin  Diggs

Devin Diggs

  • Areas of Study: Neuroscience & Behavior
  • Hometown: Olathe, KS

Devin graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, where he served on student government for four years and acted as student body president his senior year. He organized a canned food drive for Catholic Charities that raised 118,231 items in a week and also regularly worked with children with disabilities, teaching them the fundamentals of soccer through an organization named T.E.A.M. Soccer. He also participated in varsity track and field and soccer, was a National Merit Finalist, and was named a Kansas Governor’s Scholar.

At Notre Dame, Devin has continued his involvement with Student Government, representing his residence hall on Freshman Class Council. During the 2019-2020 academic year, he will serve as sophomore class vice president. During his first year, Devin was the marketing campaign manager for The Shirt Committee, a student-led organization that sells 150,000 t-shirts yearly and uses all profits for student activities. Thie year, he is the committee’s vice president. During spring break, Devin traveled to London and Paris supporting by funding from a First Year of Studies grant. There he researched the likely first portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft with two fellow HesburghYusko Scholars. Next semester, Devin will continue undergraduate research by serving as a research assistant in Dr. Jessica Payne’s neuroscience lab, which studies sleep, stress, and memory.

For his Social Justice summer, Devin explored his interests in global health and neurological disabilities by serving as an intern for the Center for Learning and Childhood Development in Accra, Ghana. He researched solutions to improve access to adequate healthcare for children with developmental disabilities. After graduation, Devin hopes to serve underserved communities through a career as a physician.

Ahmed  Farag

Ahmed Farag

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Ahmed is a Computer Science major at the University of Notre Dame and is also 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.

Ahmed spent his Social Justice summer volunteering with the Berkeley Media Community in Berkeley, California.

Mithara  Kaluarachchi

Mithara Kaluarachchi

  • 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

Angelica  Ketcham

Angelica Ketcham

  • Areas of Study: Architecture
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL

Angelica’s pre-ND years were devoted to performing original music with her high school’s Young Theatre Company and writing award-winning short plays and ensemble pieces. She ended her senior year by performing an original orchestral work, “Victoire de Vivre,” live.

Angelica proudly exists as HYSP’s only Architecture major. She spent her first year at Notre Dame investigating the Taj Mahal with the D.H.A.R.M.A. research team, serving on the boards of the Frank Montana Sketching Club and Student Association of Women in Architecture, and working as a student architecture librarian and 3D-modeler. Angelica also continues to write and make music. She’s published in “The Juggler,” “Fresh Writing,” and “Re:Visions,” and is the humanities editor for “Arcadian Dialogues,” a scholar-led journal for merit and Glynn students. She also plays the cello in the Symphony Orchestra and played in a string quartet. In addition, Angelica relaxes by painting and drawing with watercolor and graphite. Her art is featured on her website ardketcham.com.

Angelica’s devotion to gender justice activism has led her to volunteer with the Gender Relations Center, where her role as a FIREStarter has allowed her to co-develop an allyship training program for the First Year of Studies Moreau Class; she hopes to make it a mandatory program in the future.

Angelica is fascinated by the ways in which architecture overlaps with a whole spectrum of fields, and applied this curiosity to a summer examining youth homelessness on the east coast. Angelica plans to combine a series of experiences— volunteer work, conference participation, and investigating the intersection of architecture/psychology— to future explorations of how the design of spaces serving vulnerable communities can impact mental health.

Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee

  • Areas of Study: Physics
  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Growing up in major cities around Asia exposed Nicole to various cultures, viewpoints and experiences from a young age. It taught her to be practical yet inquisitive, leading her to pursue a Physics major with a concentration in Applied Physics, and intended minors in Journalism and the Glynn Family Honors Program. Her professional goal is to be a journalist or documentarian with a specific focus on science journalism.

An International Baccalaureate graduate from the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong, Nicole speaks five languages: English, German, French, Cantonese and Mandarin. She was Class Representative for three years before being elected Head Prefect by faculty during her senior year. Outside the classroom, Nicole captained her school’s underwater robotics team and competed twice in the HK Regionals of the IET MATE International ROV Competition. In addition, Nicole was Alto Section Leader of the GSIS Vocalis Chamber choir, performing with them at the International School Choral Music Society (ISCMS) Festival in 2014 and 2015. Nicole was also active in the rink, playing ball hockey, and on the court, playing basketball for the school team throughout middle and high school, and coaching the junior team during her final three.

On campus, Nicole is a basketball official, where she both plays and officiates intramural and interhall basketball games. Additionally, she is a storytelling contributor at Notre Dame International, sharing her insight and experiences at Notre Dame from an international perspective. Nicole was also selected to be a Class of 2022 Greater China Scholar.

During her Social Justice Summer, Nicole was in Namibia, volunteering with the Naankuse Wildlife Foundation and learning about wildlife conservation whilst assisting with their Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation research.

Meredith  Lochhead

Meredith Lochhead

  • Areas of Study: Civil Engineering
  • Hometown: Boulder, CO

Mia is a Civil Engineering major and is interested in how structural engineering can be applied to global service. This interest stems from her experience in high school with Model United Nations, where she served as an officer on the Boulder High School team. Through Model United Nations, she ran a natural disaster relief simulation, and since then, has been particularly interested in how engineering concepts can be applied to make natural disaster response more efficient. At Notre Dame, Mia has pursued this interest by engaging in undergraduate research with Professor Kijewski-Correa, who examines these very issues.

At Notre Dame, Mia is a member of the Engineering Leadership Council, where she serves as treasurer, and Engineers Without Borders, which is currently working on a project in El Carmen, Ecuador. She also engages with the community outside of Notre Dame by volunteering weekly at the South Bend Center for the Homeless, where she uses her 13 years of classical ballet experience to teach a dance class for the children living there.

During her Wilderness Leadership summer, Mia went canoeing in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. For her Social Justice summer, she volunteered in San Jose, Costa Rica, building orphanages and women’s shelters in order to further develop her interest in the crossover between structural engineering and service.

Trevor  Lwere

Trevor Lwere

  • Areas of Study: Economics, Global Affairs
  • Hometown: Kampala, Uganda,

Trevor is a rising sophomore from Kampala, Uganda. He is an Economics major with a supplementary major in Global Affairs (African Studies concentration) and a minor in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE). He is the author of Visions at Dusk, a handbook for Ugandan youth to lead social and cultural change. He also co-founded Chronix Junior Achievement Co., a waste management firm, to repurpose household waste to charcoal as a cheaper and sustainable alternative to conventional wood fuel.

Trevor recently graduated from the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. While at ALA, Trevor was appointed to chair ALA’s Disciplinary Review Committee that was tasked with reviewing the school’s discipline system and making recommendations for the improvement of the same. He also served as chief operations officer of the Statistics, Auditing, & Financial Corporation (SAFCorp), a student-run enterprise on the ALA campus that provides financial and business advisory services to the student enterprise economy.

At Notre Dame, Trevor is an active member of the African Students’ Association and has volunteered with the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion, a student-run organization that works to eliminate predatory lending by providing affordable credit to members of the South Bend community. He has worked as a research assistant in the Economics department and embarked on his independent research pursuits. During spring 2019, he received a grant from the Glynn Family Honors program to conduct research in South Africa. There, he studied the evolving relationship between youth and political parties in South Africa, focusing on strategies employed by leading parties to mobilize and organize young people in the run-up to South Africa’s 2019 general election. Trevor spent his Social Justice summer in Jinja, Uganda, volunteering for the One Acre Fund.

Vaibhav  Mopidevi

Vaibhav Mopidevi

  • Areas of Study: Business Analytics & Film, Television & Theatre
  • Hometown: Bangalore, India

Vaibhav Mopidevi, who goes by his nickname Mopi, is an avid Formula 1 follower and adventure enthusiast. He's driven by his desire to learn more about the world of business and film at Notre Dame. 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 and 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 assisted in providing sanitary packages to women in rural villages around Bangalore. Mopi was heavily involved in Model UN and debate, captaining his high school team for two years. By the time he graduated, he had competed in over 30 conferences and won an award in every one. Some of his major achievements were awards at Harvard Model UN, India, and Ivy League Model UN India. He also served as an Assistant Director alongside students from Harvard University at a conference in Beijing.

To pursue his desire to be involved in research, he interned at The Indian Institute of Science under The Department of Aerospace in The Non-linear Multifunctional Composites Analysis & Design Lab on drone technology and materials used to construct them.

For his Social Justice summer, he 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 along with renowned scientists from across Australia. He assisted in bringing Sydney Science Week to life and also spoke at the event which brought together over 400 high school students from across the city to learn about the conservation activities at The Great Barrier Reef and its future.

 

 

Billy  Porter

Billy Porter

  • 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. The principal investigator of the lab facilitated this opportunity after being especially responsive to Billy’s mission: to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and medicine. After two years of commuting three hours to the heart of Boston each day, Billy's breakthrough occurred: he created a statistical comparison metric, which he named the MAD-Score, that enables identification of differentially abundant types of cells in extremely low sample sizes.

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.

On campus, Billy is involved with two research labs. As a cancer researcher, Billy primarily heads data analysis (CyTOF and single-cell RNA-seq) using immunotherapy to treat resistant cancers. In computer science, Billy researches deep learning to reconstruct vector fields.

For his Social Justice summer, Billy volunteered at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia working on Living Seawall, an initiative that installs eco-friendly seawall plates to increase the biodiversity and sanitation of the harbor. He also was invited to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston where he will speak in a TED-Style format in front of 9,000 people this June.

Luke Reifenberg

Luke Reifenberg

  • Areas of Study: Philosophy, Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics
  • Hometown: Santiago, Chile; South Bend, IN

Luke Reifeinberg is a Philosophy major with a minor in Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics. During his first year at Notre Dame, Luke acted in a Notre Dame production of “WASP” by Steve Martin, performed as an actor in Show Some Skin, worked as the assistant stage manager for a production of A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, was a member of the Liturgical Choir, and volunteered as an interpreter for the National Immigration Justice Center.

During his early years in high school, Luke was privileged to work as a research assistant in Dr. Kandel’s molecular chemistry lab utilizing scanning tunneling microscopes. He also worked as a tutor in Latin and algebra and as a piano instructor. He volunteered as a Spanish interpreter at La Casa de Amistad; performed in plays, chamber choir, and men’s choir; and participated in club fencing, varsity soccer, varsity track and field, and Mock Trial. Among his accolades, Luke is a National Merit Finalist, a member of the winning team of the Mock Trial State Championship, and co-valedictorian for his high-school.

Luke is a strong advocate of the belief that the unexamined life is not worth living; in pursuit of living out this philosophy he will pursue a B.A. in Philosophy from Notre Dame. Luke hopes to use the opportunities present at Notre Dame to obtain a deeper understanding of the world, and use that learning to do what he can to mend its injustices.

For his Social Justice summer, Luke volunteered at Care4Calais, a charity organization delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in inhumane conditions across Northern France and Belgium.

Diana  Spencer

Diana Spencer

  • Areas of Study: International Economics; Global Affairs
  • Hometown: Dakar, Senegal

Diana Spencer is an international student from Senegal and Cape Verde. She is passionate about gender equality, literature, and economics. In Dakar, Diana is part of Jeader, an organization that aims to promote leadership among young Senegalese entrepreneurs. From 2015 to 2016, she volunteered at the SOS Village d’Enfants, where she taught French and math to a class of twenty students. This experience unleashed her passion for youth empowerment, 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 ultimately 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. During the ALA decennial celebration, Diana had the opportunity to conduct the interview of the keynote plenary speaker, Graca Machel - first education minister of Mozambique, advocate for women’s rights, and former first lady of South Africa. This interaction with Graca Machel motivated Lidya to pursue efforts for women’s rights at Notre Dame and beyond.

At Notre Dame, Diana majors in International Economics, Global Affairs, and plans on minoring in Gender Studies. She believes that her college experience will give her the opportunity to align her interest in development economics with her desire for equality on the African continent. During the summer of 2019, Diana volunteered with Ashoka Brazil in their Young Changemakers Program.

Hope  Suleiman

Hope Suleiman

  • 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 hone 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.

Ashton  Weber

Ashton Weber

  • Areas of Study: Economics
  • Hometown: Mason, OH

Ashton has always been interested in the ways that multiple facets combine to make us individuals. In high school, she found that she was surrounded by a homogeneity of thought, so she devoted herself to bringing new ideas, issues, and perspectives to her community. Ashton founded SPEAK, a club focused on recognizing problems in the world, becoming educated about their root causes, and using this newfound knowledge to develop a more nuanced worldview. Through SPEAK, she was able to learn more about the people in her local community, which gave her opportunities to learn more about the global community.

She attended the United Nations 61st and 62nd Commissions on the Status of Women, and was introduced to women from all over 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 dialogue. She began work as a counselor for Kids4Peace Cincinnati, an interfaith peace organization which hosts summer day camps for kids from various faith backgrounds.

Her work with Kids4Peace taught her about the importance of dialogue and sharing stories, which sparked her interest in journalism. She spent her Social Justice summer as an intern for Kids4Peace’s office in Seattle, WA, where she documented the story of the program and its attendees. After graduation she hopes to shed light on important issues by telling compelling stories.