Senior Leadership Committee

Beverly Kyalwazi

Beverly Kyalwazi

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: bkyalwaz@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology
Research: Panopoulos Lab; research involves examining molecular mechanisms behind reprogramming of stem cells from mature cells.
Post-Grad Career Plans: Medical School/Masters in Global Health
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Cell Biology and Topics in Global Health
Extracurricular interests: Intramural soccer and basketball, singing in Voices of Faith choir, and hospice care volunteering
Advice for freshmen Bio intents: Have an open mind. Open your mind to all you learn and ways to apply what you learn. Additionally, be open to exploring new ways to learn.


Brigid Mumford

Brigid Mumford

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: bmumford@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences and Psychologymajors
Research: I spent one year working in Dr. Zhang's Breast Cancer research lab and a summer researching migratory properties of melanoma cells, but I am no longer involved in research.
PostGrad Career Plans: I plan to attend medical school with the intention of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Dr. Zach Shafer's Tumor Biology course, Medical Molecular Genetics with Dr. Champion, Classical and Molecular Genetics with Dr. Hyde
Extracurricular interests: I've been very involved in my residence hall, Farley, throughout my time at Notre Dame. I have been on hall council every year, served as Vice President last year, and was one of the captains of our Welcome Weekend staff this year. I currently serve as CoSocial Chair of Hall Presidents Council through which I mentor the Hall Presidents and Vice Presidents and aid in their programming. I play on the Farley Flag Football team and a few other intramural sports teams. I also volunteer at various locations around South Bend and on campus.
Advice for freshmen Bio intents: Rather than using the Bio major as a means to a specific career goal, utilize the diversity of opportunities offered in the course of your studies to explore many options, even things you had not previously considered. Also, remember that there is no one perfect way to approach the biology major; pursue courses, extracurricular programs, and other opportunities that interest you, even if that means you stray from the beaten path.


Claire Kampman

Claire Kampman

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: ckampman@nd.edu
Majors: Biology, Psychology
Research: Vaughan Lab, Cholesterol Transport in NiemannPick Disease Type C
PostGrad Career Plans: I plan to start my career in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry and go to medical school after gaining some experience there.
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Medical Molecular Genetics, Dr. Whaley's Molecular Cell Biology Research Lab
Extracurricular interests: Uplift CoCoordinator, Intro Biology Lab TA, member of the (unofficial) Club Swim Team
Advice for freshmen Bio intents: My advice to firstyear Biology intents is to follow all of your passions, no matter how diverse they are. Pursue your passion for Biology, but pursue a wide variety of interests, as well. For everything from athletics to community service, ethics to education, there will be a way to integrate your love of Biology and keep the excitement alive. This integration will make you a wellrounded student that has something unique to offer to every research, career, and academic opportunity that presents itself to you.


Diane Choi

Diane Choi

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: dchoi@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences/Psychology; Minor: Poverty Studies
Research:

  • Achee/Grieco Lab: University of Notre Dame (2014-Present)
  • Prosperi Lab: Harper Cancer Research Institute (2013-2014)
  • Roche Diagnostics: Diabetes Care Division – Analytical Chemistry (2011-2012)

PostGrad Career Plans: Gap Year + Medical School
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Physiology, Principles of Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology
Extracurricular interests: Music (Piano – 18 years; Violin – 12 years)
Advice for freshmen Bio intents: Being a bio major opens up many doors whether it be research positions, leadership roles or having the opportunity to be a part of a supportive community. There will be times where you will feel overwhelmed but remember that as long as you pursue your passion, you will be successful.

 


Gary George

Gary George

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: ggeorge@nd.edu
Majors: Biological Sciences and Anthropology
Research: “Molecular Drivers of Anopheles gambiae mosquito behavior” –Mentor: Dr. Giles Duffield
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical School, possible Masters in Clinical Research
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Physiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Extracurricular interests: RA in Duncan Hall, Building Manager at LaFortune Student Center, Golf, Section Sports
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Find something you are passionate about in biology and pursue it. The Into classes can be intimidating and huge, but in your next 3 years you will have a chance to take advantage of research opportunities, smaller classes, and more focused interests. But make sure to find something you love doing outside of academics too. Staying balanced and having fun are just as important as academic progress.


Haley Barlow

Haley Barlow

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: hbarlow@nd.edu
Majors: Biological Sciences, Italian Studies Minor
Research: Hyde lab - The role of transcription factor NFκB in retinal regeneration in zebrafish.
PostGrad Career Plans: I’m currently considering a gap year in industry or policy, then pursuing a PhD in some area of cell and molecular biology.
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Genetics, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Extracurricular interests: Member of the Notre Dame Marching Band, reading (both scientific publications and books for fun!)
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Go to office hours!! As a TA, I would love it if my students actually came to my office hours, and I’ve learned so much through positive relationships with my past TA’s. Additionally, getting to know your professors can not only be valuable when it comes time to get letters of recommendation, but you really can learn so much from them both academically and personally. I would also encourage students to take advantage of the tutoring resources available through the Learning Resource Center – I waited until after I did poorly on an exam to start going to tutoring sessions, and I wish I had started going sooner!


John O'Neill

John O'Neill

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: joneill9@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences
Research: Hyde lab 20132016 studying taurine's role on Muller glial cells in the regenerating zebrafish retina model, DoD cancer lab studying ras suppressor protein binding partners, Georgetown University Hospital clinical research on several cancers, surgical outcomes, and TKIs
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical School
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Molecular Cell Biology Dr. K. Vaughn, Stem Cell Biology Dr. Wingert, Med/Vet. Parasitology Dr. Robichaud
Extracurricular interests: Rescue Company 1 Bethesda MD, history, running, FIFA
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Don't be afraid to take classes with complex names as long as you are interested. If you cannot find a class listing on the topic you want, try a directed reading course or seek out when such a course will be offered. Also don't feel too bound, there is time in this major to take other classes you are interested in, like a programing or literature class that you like. Regardless, you will leave Notre Dame with a great science background and connections that prepare you for any pursuit.


Josephine Chau

Josephine Chau

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: jchau@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Environmental Science, Minor in Sustainability
Research: Undergraduate researcher in the Lamberti/Stream Ecology Lab, conduct independent research projects with the close guidance of a faculty member and a graduate student mentor.
PostGrad Career Plans: Graduate School
Favorite Biology/ES courses: General Ecology, International Environmental Policy, Biostats, Aquatic Insects
Extracurricular interests: Running Club, Rock Climbing Club, Interhall Cross Country, Hall Liturgy
Advice for freshmen bio intents: This is the advice I would have given myself coming in as a freshman Bio major–I would advise having an open mind about what you want to study. If something catches your interest, give it a chance, explore it. Also, keep things in persepective. Don't spread yourself too thin but also most importantly, I would advise not taking it too hard on yourself and try to make the most of your year. You've only got four years here. Make every one count. Try new things. Take risks (healthy ones, of course!). Get involved. Make time to develop your passions outside of classes.


Keon Schmidt

Keon Schmidt

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: kschmid7@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology Major; Science, Technology, & Values (STV) Minor
Research: Dr. Siyuan Zhang Lab
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical School with clinical research component
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Cell Biology, Medical Microbiology
Extracurricular interests: Club Hockey, Waterskiing team
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Being a Biology major at the University of Notre Dame can be loosely compared to competing in the Olympics; you're among the elite. Success, therefore, is not restricted to only those that medal, but to all of whom that give it their best knowing they deserve to be there.
 


Kevin Wilkins

Kevin WIlkins

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: kwilkin1@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences and Medieval Studies
Research: Hyde Lab, zebrafish genetics and genetic editing
PostGrad Career Plans: PhD in genetics
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Medical Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, Medical Microbiology
Extracurricular interests: Literature, art, running
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Don't let Biology overwhelm you–it is a great field of study and even if it may look hard at first, it is incredibly fascinating and rewarding. Additionally, the faculty in the department is very helpful and open to student interests and needs.


Luke Hamel

Luke Hamel

Graduation Year: 2017
Email Address: lhamel@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Environmental Sciences and Psychology
Research: Currently designing CommunityBased Research Plan that will focus on Sustainability and Public Health in Marginalized Communities
PostGrad Career Plans: Either Sustainability/Public Health work, or Medical School
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Ecology, Physiology, Biostats
Extracurricular interests: Interhall Football, GlobeMed
Advice for freshmen ES intents: Allow yourself to be confused about what it is you really want to study, and what it is you want to do after graduation. This can be a scary position to be in, but Notre Dame has an excellent support staff, with faculty members who have had a lot of success in many different areas. You owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself!


Matthew Hadad

Matthew Hadad

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: mhadad@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences
Research: At Notre Dame, I work in a computational biochemistry lab under Dr. Anthony Serianni where I have been investigating computational means to determine the conformational populations of carbohydrates. I also spent four summers studying Haemophilus influenzae pathogenesis with Dr. Kevin Mason at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical school
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Medical Microbiology with Dr. Shaun Lee
Extracurricular interests: Golf, paintball, interhall football
Advice for freshmen bio intents: I would strongly encourage freshmen to strike a balance between their coursework and extracurricular activities. The biological science major is challenging but flexible enough to allow for significant commitments outside of the classroom, including for undergraduate research and clinical volunteering opportunities.


Megan McGarel

Megan McGarel

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: mmcgarel@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences
Research: Breast cancer research in Dr. Laurie Littlepage's lab in the Harper Cancer Research Institute
Project: Impact of MMP3 on Primary and Metastatic Tumor Burden in Breast Cancer
PostGrad Career Plans: Currently in the medical schoolapplication process
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Embryology
Extracurricular interests: RA in Howard, Women's Lit Choir member, tour guide, runner
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Biology allows you to explore all aspects of life, from cell biology to ecology, and within the major there are a wide variety of electives from which to choose. As a biological sciences major you will be prepared for careers in research and medicine.


Nicole Handa

Nicole Handa

Graduation Year: 2017
Email: nhanda@nd.edu
Majors: Biological Sciences and Psychology
Research: Zebrafish Kidney Development and Regeneration (Wingert Lab)
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical School
Favorite Biology courses: Genetics, Molecular Cell Biology Lab (2 credits with Dr. Whaley)
Extracurricular interests: Interhall Flag Football and Soccer, Compassionate Care in Medicine, Tutoring
Advice for freshmen Bio intents: If you are interested in biology, don't give it up because of a difficult class. It is worth the challenge for something you love. Despite what people may lead you to believe, nobody does well without working for it.


Phillip Allen

Phillip Allen

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: pallen6@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology and Classics, Glynn Family Honors Program
Research: I conduct cell biology research on StARD9, a lysosomal transmembrane kinesin motor protein and its relation to Niemann Pick Type C disease with Dr. Kevin Vaughan. I also conduct research on sleep deprivation and its effect on memory in Dr. Jessica Payne’s Sleep Stress and Memory Lab.
PostGrad Career Plans: I plan on attending medical school after I graduate.
Favorite Biology/ES courses: I loved Ecology with Professor McLachlan. It was a great class and it changed the way I look at the world. The class opened my vision of how different organisms and populations interact and how the relationships between them can be interrupted by seemingly subtle environmental changes. I also learned the value of population modeling in science and medicine. The class provided a beautiful contrast to the micro scale of the Molecular and Cellular Biology class I was taking at the same time.
Extracurricular interests: Running, chess & strategy games, & learning languages online.
Advice for freshmen bio intents: Challenge yourself but make realistic and objective goals that you can conquer each semester. Keep yourself on track by getting a calendar or using your phone and have a list of things to do that you can check off. You will feel and be more productive. Study hard and do the best possible work that you can, especially freshman year, because it will set the tone for the rest of your time here. Lastly, try to work with the other students, both Bio majors and nonScience majors, in your classes and branch out into different areas in your free time.


Samantha Mannion

Samantha Mannion

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: smannio1@nd.edu
Major: Biological Sciences; Minor : Anthropology
PostGrad Career Plans: Medical School
Favorite Biology Courses: Genetics, Physiology
Extracurricular Interests: Volunteering, Intramural Sports, Swing Dance Club
Advice for Freshmen: Explore your options within the biology major by speaking with upperclassmen about their path through the major, their favorite courses, and their future plans. Get to know your professors by attending office hours and participating in class.


Sarah Philo

Sarah Philo

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: sphilo@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences with a minor in Theology
Research: Shrout Lab of Applied Microbiology in the CEEES Department, studying the calcium effect on P. aeruginosa motility patterns
PostGrad Career Plans: Masters in Public Health followed by a PhD in Epidemiology
Favorite Biology/ES courses: Cell Biology, Tropical Medicine and Public Health, Medical Microbiology
Extracurricular interests: Treasurer of the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir
Advice for freshmen bio intents: The first few weeks of freshman year can be incredibly overwhelming, but don’t let that time period be a strong indicator of how the rest of the major will progress. Everyone has an adjustment period. Once you settle into the major, Biology is incredibly rewarding. The professors are all great and willing to help you through problems, and you’ll be able to deeply study what interests you most with people who are equally as passionate about the subject.


Zoe Volenec

Zoe Volenec

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: zvolenec@nd.edu
Majors: Environmental Science, Economics
Minor: Glynn Family Honors Program
Research: Senior thesis project The effect of climate change on the nutrient cycling and primary productivity of an endangered bunchgrass ecosystem.
PostGrad Career Plans: I am currently applying to graduate schools to pursue a PhD in conservation biology with a focus on how habitat loss will effect endangered species and the ecosystem services they provide.
Favorite Biology/ES course: Vertebrate Zoology, taken while abroad in Perth, Australia
Extracurricular interests: Statistics, backpacking, baking & yoga
Advice for freshman ES intents: My best advice would definitely be to stay open to exploring your interests, and it is perfectly okay to not know what those are yet. Talk to upperclassmen in different majors, talk to professors doing research you find interesting, read scientific journal articles whose titles catch your eye, take classes that may be outside of your usual comfort zone. It is rare to find someone at Notre Dame who hasn't discovered a new intellectual interest during their four years here, so definitely take advantage of all the opportunities our Lady has to offer!


Mark Brahier

Mark Brahier

Graduation Year: 2016
Email Address: mbrahier@nd.edu
Major(s)/Minor(s): Biological Sciences, Economics; International Development Studies
Research: Dr. Schulz lab - Role of TFs in the JAK/STAT pathway of blood cell development in Drosophila ; IDS Research: The role of the “Green” movement in decreasing incomes as a barrier to healthcare access
PostGrad Career Plans: Gap year to grow curriculum business followed by MD/MBA
Favorite Biology courses: Genetics (Dr. Hyde) and Water, Disease, and Global Health (Dr. Shrout)
Extracurricular interests: Cooking, sports, EMT for NDFD, RA in Zahm
Advice for freshman Bio intents: My advice would be to study and research what you enjoy because ultimately that is going to lead to the best experience at Notre Dame and the most fulfilling career. I also encourage interdisciplinary study (and research if possible), as well as study abroad, both of which enhanced my experience as a biology major and Notre Dame student.