Class of 2023

Grace  Connors

Grace Connors

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Atherton, CA

Grace Connors is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Atherton, CA. She attended Sacred Heart Preparatory School. She intends to major in Computer Science.

Grace is a founding member of Girl Tech at her high school. She showed leadership as president of Zuzus Foundation to fundraise and purchase a showertruck for people experiencing homelessness, was managing editor for the business section of her school newspaper, and created study guides to support students in need of additional academic resources. Additionally, she participated in her high school cross-country and track and field teams as well as captain of a club volleyball team.

Bingyu (Lily)  Deng

Bingyu (Lily) Deng

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Shanghai, China

Bingyu Deng is a Hesburgh-Yusko and Greater China Scholar from Shanghai, China. She attended the High School Affiliated to Fudan University. She intends to major in Finance and is fluent in Mandarin.

Lily sang soprano for regional school choir. She founded the DreamBuilder Club to donate computers and build a flushing toilet for rural students. She interned at Fanqie Capital Co., Ltd. and at the Global Student Success Institute. Additionally, she worked as a cashier and shopping guide at Heyjuice Beverage Shop.

Ryan  Kelly

Ryan Kelly

  • Areas of Study: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Saint Charles, IL

Ryan Kelly is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Saint Charles, IL. He attended Saint Charles East High School. He intends to major in Chemical Engineering.

Ryan was a teen advocate, chef, and gardener for Fox Valley Food for Health. He also served as a Confirmation Leader for St. Patrick parish. He showed leadership as captain for the St. Charles East math, volleyball, and golf teams and worked as an AP Chemistry Lab aide and math and science tutor. Additionally, he worked as a courtesy clerk at the grocery store and a server's assistant at a restaurant.

Cameron  MacKenzie

Cameron MacKenzie

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Cameron MacKenzie is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Phoenix, AZ. He attended Brophy College Preparatory. He intends to major in Mechanical Engineering.

Cameron was a USABO National Biology Olympiad Semifinalist and research assistant at the Phoenix VA hospital. He served as a member of the Executive Board of the Family to Family Foundation and demonstrated his commitment to service through piano accompanist at church and member of the Brophy Honor Chorale. Additionally, he worked as a paid high school tutor.

Thapelo (Sasi)  Masasa

Thapelo (Sasi) Masasa

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Mohlaes Hoek, Lesotho

Thapelo Masasa is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Mohlaes Hoek, Lesotho. He attended Saint Stephen's Diocesan High School. He intends to major in Computer Science and speaks Sotho as a first language.

Sasi developed a website to enable students to access study materials. He showed leadership as treasurer of his school science club and designed a project to recycle diapers into teddy bears and pillows. He was captain and coach of soccer teams. He was also a member of the Saint Egidio Club.

Gerry  Migwi

Gerry Migwi

  • Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya

Gerry Migwi is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Nairobi, Kenya. He attended the African Leadership Academy and intends to major in Computer Science. Gerry speaks fluent Swahili and Kikuyu.

Gerry was the lead programmer for the African Blockchain Initiative, chief technology officer for Open Far, and IT representative for ALA Student Government. He worked as a teacher at Kihara Day School and built homemade filtration systems for children's homes. He also worked on his family farm as a herdsman.

Mackenzi  NierDuffy

Mackenzi NierDuffy

  • Areas of Study: Electrical Engineering
  • Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC

Mackenzi NierDuffy is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Mount Pleasant, SC. She intends to major in Electrical Engineering.

MacKenzi interned for Code Apprentice and served as co-president of the engineering club and STEM academy. She was a videographer and speaker for the "Wake Up: Carolina" series, focused on raising awareness of opioid addiction. She demonstrated her commitment to service by co-founding and serving as co-president of a club that volunteers at a local nursing home. She also worked as a Mathnasium instructor.

Ese-Onosen (Ese)  Omoijuanfo

Ese-Onosen (Ese) Omoijuanfo

  • Areas of Study: Chemistry
  • Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH

Ese-Onosen Omoijuanfo is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Shaker Heights, OH. She was home-schooled and intends to major in Chemistry while at Notre Dame. Ese speaks Romanian and French.

Ese volunteered with her family's non-profit as manager of the social media department, a support group for single mothers, and collecting donations for a Christmas exchange for children. She won the 2018 Mark Smith Outstanding Research Performance prize for the Case Western Reserve NIH sponsored YES program.

Emie-Elvire  Sabumukama

Emie-Elvire Sabumukama

  • Areas of Study: Environmental Sciences
  • Hometown: Gikondo, Kicukiro, Kigali, Rwanda

Emie-Elvire Sabumukama is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Gikondo, Kicukiro, Kigali, Rwanda. She intends to major in Environmental Sciences. She speaks Rundi; speaks, reads, and writes French and English; and speaks Mandarin.

Emie was president of her high school choir and a member of the "Voix d'Anges Choir.” She was captain for "Genies en Herbe," a general knowledge competition club, and was the co-founder and mentor for the Good Action Club. She also spent time volunteering with children who had experienced homelessness. 

Riya  Shah

Riya Shah

  • Areas of Study: Management Consulting
  • Hometown: Louisville, KY

Riya Shah is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Louisville, KY. She attended DuPont Manual High School. She intends to major in Management Consulting. She speaks Gujarati and also speaks, reads, and writes Spanish.

Riya founded Project Thrive to raise funds to provide a safe home environment for mothers suffering from opiate addiction. She was captain of Public Forum Debate and 3-year golf captain at her high school. In addition, she volunteered for three summers at the Larsen and Toubro Medical Center in Mumbai, India. She is a freelance photographer, choreographer, and pianist.

Thomas Antonio (Thomas)  Silva Gonzaga

Thomas Antonio (Thomas) Silva Gonzaga

  • Areas of Study: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Cruz das Almas, Brazil.

Thomas Antonio Silva Gonzaga is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Cruz das Almas, Brazil. He intends to major in Chemical Engineering. Thomas speaks Portuguese.

Thomas was a research intern at UFBA Optic Properties Lab and Nuclear Physics Institute. He showed leadership as a social media manager and writer for PL Brazil and commitment to service as a director and mentor for Brazilians in Action for International Education. 

 

Meghan  Swantkowski

Meghan Swantkowski

  • Areas of Study: Biological Sciences
  • Hometown: Houston, TX

Meghan Swantkowski is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Houston, TX. She intends to major in Biological Sciences and speaks, reads, and writes Spanish.

Meghan served on the Dominican preaching team and on the St. Agnes Academy Campus Ministry Executive Team. She served as the Vice President of the Athletics for All Club, which supports the Special Olympics in Houston, and served as a volunteer dance instructor for special needs children, and as a large dog volunteer for the Houston SPCA. Additionally, she participated in Notre Dame Vision between her junior and senior years of high school.

Kayla  Swiderski

Kayla Swiderski

  • Areas of Study: Sociology
  • Hometown: Hauula, HI

Kayla Swiderski is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Hauula, HI. She attended Kahuku High School. She intends to major in Sociology.

Kayla was captain of the dance team and varsity cheerleading team and president of the Science Club and Secretary of National Honor Society. She served as a volunteer choreographer for an elementary school play and as a peer mentor.

Ntandoyakhe (Ntando)  Tshuma

Ntandoyakhe (Ntando) Tshuma

  • Areas of Study: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Ntandoyakhe Tshuma is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and alumnus of the African Leadership Academy. He intends to major in Chemical Engineering and speaks Zulu, Shona and French.

Ntando founded Enriching Young Lives to raise funds to assist underprivileged children. He was also the lead designer for the African Blockchain Initiative and founded the Saving Water and General Hygiene Club, which won Best Club of the Year at ALA in 2016 and 2017. Additionally, he served as the logistics and operations manager for Smartpreneurs.

Meredith  Wilson

Meredith Wilson

  • Areas of Study: Mathematics
  • Hometown: Katonah, NY

Meredith Wilson is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Katonah, NY. She attended Sacred Heart Greenwich. She intends to major in Mathematics (Bachelor of Arts).

Meredith was president of the Operation Med School New York Branch, for which she led coordination of its first-ever U.S. conference. Meredith was co-captain of her high school's Madrigal Group and the lead actress in school musicals. She served as co-captain of the speech and debate team and as co-president of the Barat Foundation at her high school, which focuses on supporting childhood education. She was also a volunteer leader of the Kairos Retreat. She was also a track and field pentathlete.

Justin  Witt

Justin Witt

  • Areas of Study: Management Consulting
  • Hometown: Midland, MI

Justin Witt is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Midland, MI. He attended Midland High School. He intends to major in Management Consulting and speaks, reads, and writes Spanish.

Justin is the founder and director of Storybox Books. He showed leadership as patrol leader, troop guide, and Eagle Scout and served as vice president of the Midland County Youth Action Council, which oversees fund allocation to community project grantees. Additionally, he spoke at the Harvard Global Health conference.