Class of 2024

Avery Broughton

Avery Broughton

  • Areas of Study: Sociology
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Avery Broughton is an environmental activist and passionate baker. She is majoring in Sociology with a supplemental major in Global Affairs, concentration in Peace Studies, and minor in Sustainability. 

Avery has interned and lobbied Congress to garner support for H.R 763, a bipartisan carbon fee and dividend bill, with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. She has worked with the Sunrise Movement, Youth Climate Strike, Philly Thrive, and Trash Academy to organize protests and actions around the city of Philadelphia to promote action and provide education concerning climate change. She has served on a board representing Philadelphia residents in hearings on land use for the former oil refinery site, Philadelphia Energy Solutions. She served as secretary and president of her high school’s student council and was the founder of her high school’s environmental awareness club. She played cello in multiple school and city orchestras throughout high school. 

At Notre Dame, Avery is the director of the Department of Sustainability in Notre Dame’s Student Government. She is a member of GreeND, KiND Club, Juggling Club, and serves on Walsh Hall’s Spirit Committee. She spent her Social Justice summer volunteering with the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. 

Avery aspires to be an NGO manager once she graduates and attends graduate school.

Irene Chinchilla Mejia

Irene Chinchilla Mejia

  • Areas of Study: Architecture
  • Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Irene Chinchilla is a Hesburgh-Yusko and Glynn Family Honors scholar from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She is in the Architecture major and pursuing a minor in International Development Studies as well as Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems.

Since Irene was little she has been extremely involved in service initiatives that involve children's education and women's rights. In her senior year of high school, Irene along with two of her friends, decided to create a database that would help law enforcement be more efficient in sexual assault and violence reporting in Honduran public universities. She also has an interest in the arts. She is a mezzo-soprano and was part of the cast of the Honduran National Opera. Irene also competed in tennis throughout her life and hopes to continue this interest during her time at Notre Dame.

Irene hopes to use her time at Notre Dame to learn how to combine her professional interests with her passion projects and go back to Latin America, preferably Honduras, and be part of the much needed change.

Matthew  Doktorczyk

Matthew Doktorczyk

  • Areas of Study: Economics with a concentration in Financial Economics
  • Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

Matthew graduated from Woodside Priory School where he was elected Treasurer and then President of the Honor Society. He also led the Economics & Investment Club, competed in Model United Nations, and served as a student advisor to his U.S. Congressional Representative. Throughout high school, Matthew prioritized community service, dedicating over 150 hours each year to those in need. After an intensive training and testing program, Matthew obtained certification as an animal therapy provider. With his dog Max, Matthew worked with patients at local nursing homes and hospitals. Each summer, he volunteered as a counselor and mentor at the Riekes Center where he supported programming for special needs and low-income youth.

At Notre Dame, Matthew studied economics and data science. He was an active member of several business clubs including the Student International Business Council where he served as a project leader within the finance division. At Unleashed Social Ventures, Matthew led an impact investing group and served as an officer of the program. In addition, he analyzed investments as an associate in the ND Venture Capital Club, and mentored fellow students through the Wall Street Club. Finally, he was a member of the Baumer Hall golf and basketball teams.

During his Social Justice Summer, Matthew volunteered at a local elementary school helping remediate learning loss suffered by K-8 students who were unable to attend in-person school due to the pandemic. For his Global Inquiry Summer, Matthew conducted finance and operations research for an international human insights company. During his Professional Venture Summer, Matthew worked as a Summer Analyst in the mergers and acquisitions group of Citi’s investment banking division in New York City. Following graduation, he will return to Citi as a full-time Analyst.

Abraham Figueroa

Abraham Figueroa

  • Areas of Study: First Year of Studies
  • Hometown: Carthage, MO

Abraham Figueroa is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar from Carthage, Missouri. He is a Political Science major and is pursuing a minor in Constitutional Studies to one day go to law school. His ultimate goal is to litigate in front of the Supreme Court and one day sit on a federal bench.

Abraham Figueroa is passionate about politics and political engagement. At Notre Dame, he is currently involved with the ND College Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom, and Bridge ND (nonpartisan). Alongside these political clubs, Abraham is also involved with Student Government. He serves as Knott Hall's senator, while also serving on both the Department of University Policy and the Department of Academic Affairs. His goal is to create a better, more cooperative environment between the student body and our administration by focusing on transparency and accountability.

Outside of the university, Abraham was also selected by No Labels, an American political organization located in Washington, D.C., whose stated mission is to combat partisan dysfunction in politics and build a bipartisan governing coalition, to participate in the 2021-2022 No Labels Youth Congress. The Youth Congress is made up of undergraduate and first-year graduate college students from across the nation. While participating in this organization, his goal is to form relationships with fellow members and Congressmen/Congresswomen to better understand how to combat our nation's current political atmosphere and toxic polarization.

Ella Foster

Ella Foster

  • Areas of Study: Biochemistry
  • Hometown: Danville, CA

Ella Foster is a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar and member of the Glynn Family Honors Program from Danville, CA who is majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Sustainability.

Ella grew up doing ballet, and is passionate about connecting with and uplifting others through dance. During the summer of 2022, Ella served as a volunteer tutor and dance instructor at the Shepherd's Gate Women's Shelter, where she was able to build strong connections with the women and children through weekly dance classes for each age group. In 2021, she designed a class series called the Physics of Ballet, and has since then been teaching this program at the St. Joseph County Public Library (SJCPL) for kids ages 9-17. The goal of this class is to encourage kids to explore dance, science, and the way that they intersect in order to spark an early interest in the STEM field. The 6-week sessions involve lessons regarding the role of center of mass in balancing, torque in turning, and projectile motion in leaps, and end with a final ballet performance for the kids' families and friends. She is grateful to have been featured in the WNIT Education Counts Michiana segment and the annual SJCPL Science Alive event to share the mission of Physics of Ballet with the community.

Since the fall of 2021, Ella has also been an undergraduate researcher in the Lu Lab for Cancer Immunotherapy research at the University of Notre Dame. Her project focuses on neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), an aggressive subset of prostate cancer that arises in response to conventional treatments. For her senior thesis, she is developing 3D tumor models using matrix scaffolding materials to help characterize NEPC, facilitate high-throughput drug screening, and expand the landscape of tumor models available for this rare subset of prostate cancer. She is using a plant-based alternative to the animal-derived matrix materials most commonly used for 3D culture, and for her Sustainability capstone, she is studying the feasibility of switching to more sustainable materials for 3D culture of various prostate cancer cell lines. She was grateful to get to work as a cancer biology intern at Bristol-Myers Squibb during the summer of 2023, and she is excited to work as a translational medicine intern at Overcoming Resistance in Cancer (ORIC) during the summer of 2024.

After graduating, Ella is planning to apply for medical school, and is committed to using her education to reduce barriers to access to healthcare. She currently volunteers as a scribe for the RotaCare Free Clinic in Concord, CA for virtual and in-person clinics, and aims to one day provide medical services for a free clinic as a physician. She also is currently working as a student emergency medical technician (EMT) on campus and is interested in pursuing emergency medicine as a specialty in the future.

Bupe Lughano Kabaghe

Bupe Lughano Kabaghe

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Kitwe, Zambia

Bupe Lughano Kabaghe is a passionate gender and political activist from Kitwe, Zambia. Her interests lie in African politics, gender equality advocacy, education, and entrepreneurship. She is an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) where she was awarded the Leadership Award. During her time at ALA, Lughano served as secretary of Student Government, head residential assistant, and member of the Anzisha Prize Team (a premier award for young African entrepreneurs). While still a student at ALA, Lughano interned at the National Assembly Parliament of Zambia and has worked with different organizations such as the 25 May Movement, Zimbabwe, and the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project, Zambia (WEEP). Lughano is the founder of Abana Afrika (Children of Africa), a youth empowerment organization that provides entrepreneurial leadership training to youth in Zambia. She held her first entrepreneurial camps at Kalulushi Trust School (where she served as head girl in 2017) and WEEP in 2019. She spent her Social Justice summer working to build her non-profit in Zambia.

Currently, Lughano intends to double major in Political Science and Global Affairs with a minor in Gender Studies. After her studies, she hopes to pursue a career in public service and entrepreneurship with the intention of being Zambia’s first female president.

Aria Malkani

Aria Malkani

  • Areas of Study: Economics
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Aria Malkani is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Indianapolis, Indiana majoring in Economics. In high school, Aria’s interest in photography led her to create a project providing free family portrait sessions and framed family pictures at community centers in Indianapolis. On campus, she conducts research with the Center for STEM Education, where she analyzes best practices in science teaching. She has also worked as a photographer for a student magazine and contributed to a student grant writing initiative.

Aria is passionate about finding creative ways to make science more accessible. For her Social Justice summer, she received funding to design and teach robotics camps for students lacking access to STEM programs in Indianapolis. Students learned to code robots to create art pieces which were used to raise money for their school supplies. Additionally, she conducted independent research on food insecurity in the Indianapolis area. For her Global Inquiry summer, she analyzed plasma samples for the UC San Diego Cardiac and Neuro Protection Laboratories. For her final summer experience, she worked with the Coastal Research Institute in San Diego to organize data for implantable device research studies and assist chronic pain patients. As she plans for a future in the healthcare field, she hopes to continue to promote innovate approaches to science learning.

Dane  Sherman

Dane Sherman

  • Areas of Study: American Studies & Peace Studies
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA

Dane's goal is to combat religously motivated human rights abuses through legal advocacy and a robust decolonial perspective. In 2023, Dane was a finalist for the Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships. On campus, Dane held many different hats from being a Resident Assistant in his dorm Siegfried Hall, a columnist for the Observer, Director of University Policy in Student Government, appointed to numerous campus advisory boards, and a research assistant to Dr Meghan Sullivan in Philosophy. He has been collecting LGBTQ+ students narrtives from the University of Notre Dame for a combined anthology. His freshman summer he did LGBTQ+ organizing in Arkansas. Sophomore summer he worked for the religous peacebuilding arm of the Vatican, the Community of Sant'Egidio. While for his Junior Summer he worked for Religons for Peace at the United Nations in New York City.

While working on his thesis, "Absolution for Empire: Military Chaplains during the First Gulf War" he has recieved many grants across campus to travel to Kuwait, Jordan, The George HW Bush library in College Station, the George W Bush Library in Dallas, and the archives at Catholic University of American in Washington DC. He has traveled to Nepal for research on Islam and Modernity with scholars from Pakistan, Bangledesh, and India. And, further for research on religous peace building in Bosnia and Herzigovina.

When Dane was eight years old, he lost his dad Craig to a polysubstance addiction and when he was twelve years old, he lost his mom Darby to suicide. These losses inspired him to improve mental health policy and support those affected. In 2017, he founded The Other Six, a nonprofit focused on helping those affected by a death by suicide. After a student died by suicide his freshman year of high school, the school administration’s response included measures harmful to those grieving. This prompted him to run for and serve in student government including as the first two-term Student Body President. He helped create his school's Suicide Prevention and Advisory Council, advising the school administration on mental health policy. The council helped to get every teacher and student trained in suicide prevention skills, pushed the school to adopt a health curriculum, created a mental health week, and organized a coalition of 32 schools to help them adopt similar programs.

Because of his interest and efforts, the county executive appointed Dane to the King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board where he helped in efforts to raise the minimum age of tobacco to 21 and appropriate funding towards youth marijuana prevention campaigns. He was also heavily involved as the community outreach director on his high school’s FIRST robotics team, which won the THINK award at the World Championships his junior year. Dane was the co-captain of the congressional debate team, a student facilitator, and a Bank of America Student Leader.

Isabela Tasende

Isabela Tasende

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Coste del Este, Panama

Isabela Tasende is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Panamá City, Panamá. She graduated from Academia Interamericana de Panamá and intends to major in Political Science and Economics.

Isabela founded an organization called Somos Voces to help teenage mothers finish their education and break the cycle of poverty. She showed leadership by meeting with government officials, coordinating the building of new learning centers, and interviewing presidential candidates about their plans to help marginalized women in Panamá. She was the president of her school’s debate and marketing teams and earned a medal for achievement after a three-week service trip to Panamá’s interior. Back home, she starred in professional plays and musicals. She also directed a supplement for La Estrella, Panamá’s national newspaper, and worked as a graphic design and social media intern at La Doña, one of Panamá’s largest food providers.

At Notre Dame, Isabela is part of the Building Bridges Mentoring Program. She has participated as a writer, designer, and social media manager for Scholastic Magazine. Additionally, she works as a research assistant under professor Abby Córdova, studying violence against women in Latin America.

Darien Vazquez

Darien Vazquez

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: New York, NY

Darien Vazquez is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from New York City. He intends to major in Mechanical Engineering. He attended the Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology in Manhattan.

Darien is the head of a non-profit dedicated to addressing issues in education in rural parts of the Philippines. He studied biomechanical engineering under Dr. Aaron Kyle at Columbia University. He was also the Head Administrative Officer for his local Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps chapter.

Xinyu (Zachariah) Zong

Xinyu (Zachariah) Zong

  • Areas of Study: History
  • Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Xinyu (Zach) was committed to studying the retribution system in China in high school. He tried to reconstruct the driving engines that help China build a better legal system. He also loves cooking, meeting new people, debating, and swimming in his free time. Now, Zach is trying to discern a career path in a field like consulting where he can use his abilities to help all sorts of people to solve problems and foster better communities along the way.