Senior Honors Profiles

Maggie Brecker

Margaret Brecker

Major: Biological Sciences and Sociology
Mentor: Dr. David Hyde
Project Title: Progenitor cell fate determination in the regenerating zebrafish retina
Career Plans: MD/PhD dual degree program
Summer Experiences: I spent two summers working in research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia investigating insulin processing in the context of cystic fibrosis related diabetes.
Other Interests: I am the president of the Make-a-Wish Foundation club here at Notre Dame, I am involved in GlobeMed due to my interest in global health, and I am a member of the Senior Leadership Committee for the Biology Department.


Kathleen Davin

Kathleen Davin

Hometown: Middletown, NJ
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Philosophy, Religion, and Literature
Mentor: Dr. Zain Syed
Project Title: Attractants for Pestiferous Fruit Fly, Drosophila suzukii
Career Plans: I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD, and hope to integrate my passion for research with my interests in global health and science policy.
Summer Experiences: 2016: Glynn Family Honors Program Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipient; 2017: International Summer Service Learning Program, Jerusalem, Israel
Other Interests: Outside of research, I am a camp counselor for Camp Kesem ND, a free, weeklong summer camp for those affected by a parent’s cancer. This summer I will be living in Jerusalem, Israel, where I will be working with an interreligious education center and as a research assistant at the US consulate. I love to read, and I am pursuing an interdisciplinary minor in Philosophy, Religion, and Literature. I'm play intramural volleyball, basketball, and flag football for my dorm, where I am also an active member of the Welcome Weekend team and Hall Council.


Kaitlin Frei

Kaitlin Frei

Hometown: Winnetka, IL
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Theology, Glynn Family Honors Program
Mentor: Dr. Mary Ann McDowell
Project Title: Validation of neuropeptide F as an insecticide target in Aedes aegypti
Career Plans: I plan to attend veterinary school and become an equine surgeon with continued involvement in research.
Summer Experiences: 2015 Rutgers Coral Reef Internship
Other Interests: : I am a member of the varsity Cross Country and Track and Field teams at Notre Dame. I also enjoy riding my horse, Sadie.


Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Majors: Biological Sciences
Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Wingert
Project Title: Elucidating the role of irx1a in defining renal cell fate in nephron segmentation
Career Plans: I plan to attend medical school and to work as a physician with significant involvement in research.
Summer Experiences: 2015: SURF at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Other Interests: I am a tutor for the Learning Resource Center, and I am one of the program coordinators for Uplift, the Biology mentoring program. I also am a teaching assistant for the Cell Biology Research course, and I serve as a lector and choir member for Pasquerilla East Hall Mass. In my free time, I also enjoy reading and trivia competitions.


William Morgenlander

William Morgenlander

Hometown: Durham, NC
Major: Biological Sciences, Physics
Mentor: Dr. Xin Lu
Project Title: Characterization of the impacts of inducible Spop knockout on prostate homeostasis in vivo
Career Plans: Pursue an MD/PhD and a subsequent career as a physician-scientist researching tumor immunity and immunotherapy
Summer Experiences: 2015: Glynn Family Honors Summer International Research Fellowship; 2016: Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute with Dr. Simon Gregory
Other Interests: In addition to academics and research, I enjoy volunteering in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at St. Joseph Medical Center, tutoring chemistry and physics, and playing volleyball as a member of the Notre Dame Men's Club Volleyball Team and as a practice player for the Notre Dame Varsity Women's Volleyball Team.


Missing in Action: Still need photo

Treasa O'Tighearnaigh

Hometown: Powell, OH
Major: Biological Sciences, Economics
Minor: Theology, Glynn Family Honors Program
Mentor: Dr. Siyuan Zhang, Dr. Erin Howe
Project Title: Role of mitochondrial transfer in breast cancer adaptation to the brain microenvironment
Career Plans: I plan to attend graduate school and to pursue a career combining my interests in science and business.
Summer Experiences: 2015: Research Intern at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Hall Lab (Columbus, OH); 2016: Research at Notre Dame, Zhang Lab
Other Interests: Most of my extracurricular time is spent rowing on the St. Joseph’s river as part of the women’s rowing team. I also serve as a counselor for Camp Kesem- an organization that provides free summer camps for children who have been touched by a parent’s cancer. Outside of those things, I love to read and to paint!


Audrey Thellman

Audrey Thellman

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
Major: Environmental Science
Minor: Earth Science
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Tank
Project Title: Groundwater's role in stream agricultural ditch biogeochemical cycling
Career Plans: Attend graduate school to obtain PhD in Environmental Sciences
Summer Experiences: 2015: Undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Tank's lab; 2016: Designed independent study at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC)
Other Interests: I enjoy painting, swimming, and serving on Student Union Board (SUB) for Notre Dame


Xiaoyu Yu

Xiaoyu Yu

Hometown: Beijing, China
Major: Biological Sciences, Mathematics
Minor: Latino Studies
Mentor: Dr. Neil. F. Lobo
Project Title: Molecular species analysis of malaria vectors in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Career Plans: After graduation, I plan to either attend medical school and become a volunteer doctor, or go to graduate school and do Global Health research. Helping people in need would be my main career goal.
Summer Experiences: 2016: COS-SURF; 2016: Amazon Indigenous & Community Health in Ecuador
Other Interests: I have a passion for Spanish and I spent one semester in Mexico. I volunteered there in clinics and kindergarten, and I enjoyed using my knowledge and language skill to help others. In South Bend, I volunteered in La Casa de Amistad with kids from the local Latino communities and in the Emergency Room in Memorial Hospital. I am also a TA for chemistry lab and calculus in Notre Dame. In my free time, I love running, boxing, drawing, playing the piano, and cooking (but not doing the dishes).