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Initiate Bios

Initiates at Santa Clara University (2019)

Inducted as juniors in 2018

Joseph Curran. Joe is Political Science and History double major, and the recipient of the Shallo Prize awarded to the outstanding senior in political science. He served as vice president of Into the Wild, SCU’s student-run outdoors organization, and was a Global Social Benefit Fellow with the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Joe is passionate about advancing cross-sector approaches that address socio-economic and environmental challenges. He will be working at Impact Amplifier, a social enterprise accelerator in Cape Town, South Africa.

Madison Masten. Matti is a double major in Physics and Computer Science, with a minor in Dance. While at SCU, she researched the ultrafast dynamics of semimetals with Dr. Chris Weber and worked on electric field simulations for SuperCDMS, a dark matter experiment. Matti is a recipient of the David Blockus Award and the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship, and she was president of the Women in Physics club this past year. She loves dancing and cherishes all the opportunities she has had to take classes and perform at SCU. After graduation, Matti will be pursuing a career in software development.

Derek Sikkema is graduating with a double major in Theatre and English and, in the fall, will be attending the Acting MFA Program at Asolo Repertory Theatre, managed by Florida State University, in Sarasota, Florida. He has written and self-published a four-part series of science fiction novels, written for the New Playwrights’ Festival at SCU, and acted in many shows. Some of his favorite roles have included Orgon in Tartuffe, Amos Hart in Chicago, and, most recently, Romeo in this spring's production of Romeo and Juliet.

Inducted in 2019

Daniel Anaforian. Always an avid learner, Daniel is earning degrees in both Marketing and Political Science. His passion for East Asian international relations has led him to study abroad in Taiwan and learn Chinese. Beyond the classroom, Daniel has worked with Ro Khanna’s 2016 campaign for Congress, interned at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and worked on campus all four years. He plans to attend graduate school in international relations and eventually work for the State Department in Asia.

Carlos Sandoval Ayotte. Carlos is a Mathematics major from Novato, California. Throughout his time at Santa Clara, he played flute with the University’s Wind Ensemble and Mission Choir. He volunteered as a student leader of eXaLT Eucharistic adoration and assisted regularly at St. Elias Catholic Church in Los Gatos as an altar server. Carlos also performed Irish step dancing with the McBride School. He will continue his education at SCU next year, pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics. 

Jack Booth. Jack is an Economics major with a concentration in data analysis. He worked as a tutor for the Math Learning Center and served on the Academic Affairs Committee, which reviews academic program and policy proposals with the aim of maintaining the rigor of SCU’s academics. He is a Silicon Valley local and has served in the youth ministry at his home church while at SCU. This fall, he will attend UCLA School of Law, where he will pursue studies in business litigation.

Paloma Contreras. Paloma, a Psychology major, is passionate about using her education and skills to support healthy socioemotional development in young children and adolescents. She has been involved in two research labs: Dr. Kirsten Read’s language learning lab, which has been supported by the DeNardo Science Scholars Program, and Dr. Sonia Rubens’ child and adolescent sleep lab. She is also a LEAD Scholar and an inaugural member of the new Psychology Honors Program. Paloma will pursue a master’s degree in Counselor Education at San Jose State University with the goal of becoming a counselor and administrator in an elementary school.

Lydia Davidson. Lydia is a double major in Music and Political Science from Denver, Colorado. She was awarded a Global Social Benefit Fellowship and worked in Kadapa, India at the nonprofit Aarti Home for Girls, which serves orphaned and abandoned girls and fights for gender equality. She also spent a summer working on public policy analysis for the Colorado Nonprofit Association. On campus, Lydia worked as a teacher’s assistant for the musicianship series, served as a community facilitator and assistant resident director through the Office of Residence Life, and was the concertmaster of the University Orchestra. She will join Teach for America in Denver as a special education teacher.

Alexa DeSanctis. A junior, Alexa is a Psychology and Child Studies double major. She has volunteered with the Santa Clara Community Action Program for the last three years and has led an  immersion trip to Cape Town, South Africa where she studied abroad. On campus, she has served as a peer advisor and an editorial assistant for the Psychology Department. In her senior year, Alexa plans to pursue a business ethics and environmental ethics research project funded by University grants and fellowships.

Matthew Duff. A junior majoring in Psychology and Communication, Matthew is a native of the Seattle area. He spent the past year serving as the liaison between an on-campus Christian fellowship and various local churches, and he currently leads the fellowship as the leadership team coordinator. He spent a year researching memory and learning with Dr. Bell, Dr. Simone, and Dr. Whitfield of the Psychology Department. He loves running, linguistics, and pondering the intersection of psychology and faith. Matthew plans to pursue a PsyD and explore clinical practice.

Jamie Ferris. Jamie is a Mechanical Engineering and Philosophy double major. Over the past four years, she has worked with Professor Panthea Sepherband in a materials science lab as well as Professor Chis Kitts in the Robotics Systems Lab. She completed her senior design project on a prosthetic hand for use in India. Last year, she received the Fallon Award for her involvement in the Philosophy Department. She has also enjoyed running cross-country and track. Jamie will be pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Matthew Gill. Matthew is a Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Biotechnology. With funding from the Gerald and Sally DeNardo Science Scholars program, he has explored his passion for biological research in the Hess and McCully labs, co-authoring four upcoming publications. Before beginning graduate studies, Matthew will work in assay development for Talis Biomedical. He is grateful for the cultural growth provided by his studies in Copenhagen, Denmark, but he is especially thankful for friendships and memories made on campus — in the a cappella group “Audiosync” and in SCU’s Christian Life Community.

Omar Hamade. Omar is a Biology major, born to Syrian and Palestinian Refugee immigrants, who will finish his undergraduate studies in three years. The summer after his first year, Omar interned at Stanford University School of Medicine where he developed a microfluidic sorting device to isolate healthy sperm. This past summer, Omar interned at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals where he facilitated the development of a project and portfolio management platform. Omar is a published author in The Journal of Cancer Education for his work in evaluating cancer awareness and barriers to medical treatment among Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens in Lebanon. Omar will start his professional career at Genentech.

Anne Hsia. Anne is graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a B.A. in Music, and a third major in Mathematics. She founded multiple chamber music groups on campus, served as the principal violist of the SCU Orchestra, and soloed twice with the SCU Orchestra on piano. She served as a peer educator in electrical engineering classes, tutored Calculus in the Drahmann and Math Learning Centers, and worked as a barista at Peet’s Coffee. She also studied abroad in Brisbane, Australia, and conducted research in Uganda as a Global Social Benefit Fellow. Anne will move to Orlando, Florida, to begin a year-long internship with Cru, formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ.

Kelly Hugo. Kelly is a Psychology and Political Science double major. Kelly interned at San Jose City Hall, worked as a camp counselor, and was a psychology peer educator. She studied abroad in Italy where she put her four years of studying Italian to good use by tutoring students in English. During her senior year, Kelly created and conducted a research study with Dr. Matthew Bell examining effective techniques for studying vocabulary inside a college classroom. Kelly will work as a paraeducator for the coming year while applying to graduate programs in social psychology.

PJ Hummelt. PJ is an Economics major with a minor in Music.  As a lover of classical music, PJ played the French horn with the University Orchestra for all four years and soloed twice. He also served with the Santa Clara Community Action Program for three years working as an English tutor, program coordinator, and department coordinator. PJ plans to pursue a graduate degree in Economics in the fall of 2020 after working for a year at home in Portland, Oregon.  

Isabel Ibarra. Isabel is a double major in Mathematics and Spanish Studies with minors in Computer Science, Urban Education, and Latin American Studies. While at Santa Clara, she worked at the Malley Recreation Center as the student budget coordinator and at Nobili Hall as a neighborhood representative. She studied abroad in the Advanced Liberal Arts program in Seville, Spain, during her junior year, and also led an immersion trip to East Los Angeles. Isabel will spend the next year serving with Rostro de Cristo in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and upon returning plans to pursue a master’s degree in Education to become a math teacher. 

Julia Joyce. Julia, an English major and Political Science minor, served this past year as one of the English Department’s Canterbury Scholars. Her research focused on mass incarceration in literature. She also worked as a political science peer educator, as well as a research assistant for Dr. Baker of the Political Science Department and Dr. Morgan of the English Department. As a part of her work with Dr. Morgan, Julia served as the 2018 Frank Sinatra Student Research Fellow. Julia will be staying in the classroom this fall, but this time as a teacher. She will be teaching full time while pursuing a master’s degree in Education as a part of Teach for America in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Lauren Larson. A junior, Lauren is a Psychology and Child Studies double major from Truckee, California. She has served on the leadership boards of Christian fellowships and led several retreats. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Prague where she studied the psychology of communism, psychoanalysis, and art. She has conducted research on online communication and intimate relationships with Dr. Kieran Sullivan in the Psychology Department. Lauren has a soft spot for children, and currently implements behavior interventions for children with autism as well as volunteers in the nursery at her church. She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology after graduation. 

Walter Liu. Walter is a Mathematics and Computer Science double major with emphases in data science. Walter has worked for the Math and CS department as an assistant, a grader, and a TA for lower-division computer science labs. They helped develop a widely used web platform for STEM education with Dr. Natalie Linnell and a team of peers, and, most recently, they researched geometric group theory with Dr. Richard Scott. After graduation, Walter plans to work as a software developer, but may later pursue a higher degree in math or computer science.

Eoin Lyons. Eoin is a Political Science and Finance double major with a minor in Economics. He is the valedictorian of the Class of 2019. Eoin served on the leadership team for the Student Ambassador Program in the Undergraduate Admission Office, as chair of the Current University Issues Committee, and as the senior assistant for LEAD Week, a program for first-generation college students. In 2017, Eoin interned with Franklin Templeton Investments in Hyderabad, India, for two months before studying abroad in London that fall. Eoin will be joining KMPG in San Francisco as a forensics advisory associate, assisting in the investigations of financial crimes.

Kenzie Mayer. Kenzie is a double major in Finance and Psychology. She served as a peer advisor for the Leavey School of Business, an officer for the Psychology Club, as well as in multiple positions, including vice president of academic excellence, with her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Going abroad to Seville, Spain, gave her the chance to learn about Spanish culture in her homestay as well as travel around the rest of Spain and Europe. Kenzie will work as a financial analyst for the Middle Market Banking division of Wells Fargo in Palo Alto.

Nora McGinley. Nora is a Computer Science major with an emphasis in security. During her time at SCU, she worked in the information security office, programmed as a full-stack web developer for the Curated Pathways research project, and built websites for Undergraduate Studies. As her honors thesis project, Nora developed a machine-learning algorithm for automating congressional redistricting based on communities of interest. After graduation, she will return to Atlassian, where she interned last summer, as a backend developer.

Meghan McGinnis. Meghan, a Computer Science major, spent much of her free time doing research under Professor Navid Shaghaghi. Her main areas of research focused on the IoT and machine learning. She and her team recently published a paper about the neural network they developed to analyze the effects that classroom configuration can have on student learning. After graduation, Meghan will intern at Visa before returning to Santa Clara to complete a master’s degree in Computer Engineering. While pursuing her masters she will also be working full-time as a mathematician developer at Hurricane Electric.

Alison McLaughlin. Alison, a double major in Communication and Psychology, is committed to public service. She has served as a cadet with the San Francisco Police Department, an honors intern with the Department of Justice, and currently works in the Victim Services Unit of the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Alison played intramural and club tennis, participated on the leadership team for the campus club the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and studied abroad in Copenhagen. After graduation, she plans to work in marketing for a real estate firm and apply to graduate schools in law or public policy.

Nana Mizuide. Nana is a double major in Biology and Public Health Science. She worked as a research assistant for Dr. Jamie Chang of the Public Health Program, a student assistant at the University Library, and a TA for general chemistry labs. For her senior capstone project, she helped to organize the first opioid overdose prevention and naloxone distribution event on campus. Nana studied abroad in Khon Kaen, Thailand, where she conducted research on diabetes management in a rural village. Nana will pursue a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology/Biostatistics at UC Berkeley.  

Nicholas Nagy. Nick, a double major in Political Science and Religious Studies, and a minor in Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies, worked for the Religious Studies Department, and as a fellow for the Living Religion Collaborative directed by Professor Drescher. In the latter role, he accompanied students on fieldwork visits to religious communities. He published two articles in Bearings magazine, a publication that discusses modern spirituality and ministry, and volunteered in adult daycares geared towards people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. Nick will serve as an English teacher for the Peace Corps in Zambia. 

Katyayani Pathak. Katyayani is an Economics major in the Leavey School of Business as well as a Music Composition major and Classical Literature Minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. A native of the Bay Area, Katyayani tutored mathematics at the secondary school level, worked for the Music Department and SCU Presents, and interned for a startup company in the North Bay. After graduation, Katyayani will work in New Delhi, India, for a communications startup and then return to attend graduate school in 2020, working towards a doctorate in Music Composition.

Sravan Ramaswamy. Sravan is an Economics major with minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. His interests focus primarily on public economics and industrial organization. At Santa Clara, he researched the effects of government shutdowns on scientific research with Professor Helmers of the Economics Department. His work experience included serving as a teaching assistant for college-age and elementary students, documenting refugee databases, and developing predictive models for data analytics in Africa. Sravan will attend Boston College to pursue a PhD in Economics.

Justin Read. Justin graduated last December with a major in Computer Science and minors in Philosophy and Math. Justin was a grader and teaching assistant in the Math and Computer Science department. He also served as a pianist for student liturgies and as a recurring speaker at XLT Eucharistic Adoration. Always one for adventure, Justin spent the past spring studying Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow. This summer, he looks forward to beginning his career at Facebook as well as pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Lucy Robles. Lucy is a Psychology major with minors in Sociology and Political Science. A Bay Area native, she studied abroad in Prague. She has been involved in research for the past three years and is currently a researcher in Dr. Bruchmann’s Social Cognition and Comparison Lab, where she is helping examine political stereotypes. She is a first-generation college student and a proud member of the LEAD Scholars Program. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year before attending graduate school in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. 

Aishah Salihue. Aishah is an Individual Studies major in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Mathematics and a minor in History as well as Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies. She worked as a peer educator for Dr. Michelle Mueller in the Religious Studies Department where she deepened her understanding of the ever evolving role of faith in the world. For her senior capstone project, she researched the development of undergraduates’ math self-efficacy beliefs and their implications for choice of college major. Aishah will pursue a single subject teaching credential in mathematics and a master’s degree in Education at Santa Clara University.

Brock Santi. Brock is an Economics major from Hawaii. He was the fundraising chair of Global Medical Brigades and spent time in Vietnam facilitating an exchange of expertise between medical professionals. His paper on the efficacy of different vein harvesting techniques in coronary artery bypass surgery was published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. This summer, after a few weeks of surfing, he will attend the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine in his hometown of Honolulu.

Cooper Scherr. Cooper is a History major and Biology minor. He was an on-campus EMT for three years, serving as director of SCU EMS his junior year. As a sophomore, Cooper sang as lead tenor in the Mission Choir, then spent the summer doing medical volunteer work in Cusco, Peru, as a Jean Donovan Fellow. Cooper is the recipient of the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach S.J. Award for the graduating senior who exemplifies most the ideals of Jesuit education. He plans to attend medical school in August 2020 but first will marry his fiancée and fellow Bronco, Delaney Gray.

Mason Seely. Mason is a Biology major who served as an organic chemistry tutor, honors mentor, and peer health educator. During her summers, she has researched norovirus at Oregon Health Science University, gone scuba diving in Bali, and spent time painting to David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. After graduation, Mason will explore Europe for two weeks before starting medical school at Duke University.

Vanessa Shin. Vanessa is an Environmental Science major with minors in Biology and Japanese Studies from Honolulu, Hawaii. She is grateful for the opportunities to explore sustainability and environmental justice through volunteering in India with the Global Fellows Program, leading an immersion trip to Appalachia, and engaging in participatory action research with smallholder farmers in Nicaragua. While on campus, Vanessa has also enjoyed promoting sustainability at SCU as an intern at the Center for Sustainability and as an Environmental Ethics Fellow at the Markkula Center. Vanessa will begin work with the City of Santa Clara’s geographic information systems program. 

Timothy Shur. Tim is earning dual degrees in Computer Engineering and Mathematics. A vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery, Tim won the George W. Evans II Memorial Prize three times for placing first and second in the Putnam Mathematics Competition. He researched matrix polynomial eigenvalues, implemented a new algorithm for NIKE’s self-lacing shoe, and interned at HeadSpin, a startup in Palo Alto. Tim will begin work as a software engineer at Google in Mountain View, California.

Samantha Topp一道本不卡免费高清. Sam is a Computer Science major and a Women’s and Gender Studies minor, originally from Excelsior, Minnesota. She has performed research with Dr. Natalie Linnell, developing a web application designed to increase the representation of historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields starting in early education. She has held internships as a front-end web developer at Proteus Digital Health and as a software engineer intern at Zappos. She has also worked as a student ambassador for the University, welcoming and introducing prospective families to campus. Sam will begin her career as a software engineer at Airbnb. 

Nicholas Wu. Nicholas, a Biochemistry major, has enjoyed conducting research during the past four years in the organic chemistry lab of Dr. Brian McNelis. He has also appreciated the opportunity to act as one of the student directors of the Drahmann Tutoring Center, to be a healthcare ethics intern with the Markkula Center of Applied Ethics, and to serve as co-president of Acts2 Christian Fellowship at SCU. After going on service trips to Mexico and Taiwan, Nicholas plans to work as a medical scribe in his hometown of San Diego while applying to medical schools.

Sabina Zacco. Sabina is a Psychology and Italian double major with a minor in Public Health. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she studied abroad in Rome. Sabina conducted research with Dr. Jui Bhagwat of the Psychology Department, worked at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and served as a research assistant in the Language and Cognition Lab at Stanford University. Sabina has also served as the president of the Italian-American Club on campus and as a peer educator for a variety of Italian courses. She hopes to pursue a career in user experience research.