Leadership Fellows 2017-2018

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Nicholas Ames – Anthropology
My practicum develops a series of hands-on cooking workshops that use food to explore the social and historical relationships between people and places. These workshops, to take place during the spring 2018 semester, organize a joint exploration of anthropological perspectives on cuisine, localism vs. globalization, and the relationships we have with what we eat. The workshops will be open to graduate and undergraduate students at Notre Dame, with the aim to bring together different student communities in an informal, educational space and further foster relationships between students around the university through the universal, somewhat tumultuous, and often-passionate relationships we have with food.

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Monica Arul-Jayachandran – Civil Engineering
Structural engineering spans a wide variety of project types, materials of construction and design criteria. The practicing structural engineer faces a daunting task in developing and maintaining a working knowledge of emerging topics and fields, in addition to existing information required to solve diverse project requirements. As a structural engineer, I envision to help undergraduate students who are preparing to become structural engineers for a successful transition from college to career. As the vice-president of Notre Dame Chapter of Structural Engineering Institute (ND-SEI), I intend to support students by providing networking opportunities while also stimulating coordination and understanding between academia and practicing engineers. I am particularly interested in finding ways to enhance the education of students by creating opportunities to develop leadership skills, create ideas and long-term goals and to share them with professionals in accordance with their graduate career. In this way, we will equip students with the tools and skill sets they need, to become leaders in industries that desperately need them.

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Nate Bristow – Aerospace Engineering
My practicum will consist of two components: my role as a leader in my lab group, and my position as the Lead Teaching Assistant for an undergraduate course. In the Fall and Spring semesters, I will be involved in mentoring undergraduates working in the lab, in addition to carrying increased administrative responsibilities as a senior member of the lab group. In my role as a mentor, I hope to inspire students to pursue a career in scientific research while also providing practical instruction and experience. During the Fall, my position as Lead TA for the undergraduate Fluid Mechanics course involves serving as the intermediary between the professor and the TA’s assigned to the course, as well as coordinating office hours and grading among the TA’s.

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Ian Campbell – Psychology

My practicum involves taking on a leadership role in the Notre Dame Graduate School’s Office of Grants and Fellowships. As the inaugural “Senior Fellowship Consultant,” I am in charge of developing and executing training programs for new student consultants as well as creating ongoing training modules for current consultants. My role also involves creating new content for our online resources, delivering customized presentations to different departments across campus, and improving the logistical efficiency of the Office. I strategize with the current Director and Assistant Director concerning ways to improve the Grants Office and increase our utility to students going forward. I assist with recruiting new consultants, forging connections between the Grants Office and other organizations on campus, and implementing sustainable practices for our Office. Additionally, I continue to meet individually with graduate students from all departments to guide them through the process of securing external funding for their research.

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Kelsey DiPietro – ACMS
For my practicum, I am organizing a day leadership conference for the Arthur J. Schmitt Scholars held in Chicago, IL. The Arthur J. Schmitt foundation promotes education, leadership development, and service activities for select high school, undergraduate and graduate students at Catholic institutions. As a Schmitt Leadership fellow at Notre Dame, I will work with Schmitt Fellows from each institution to develop leadership workshops for the participants of the leadership conference and communicate with the Schmitt Board about logistics of hosting the event for about 60 students. In addition to the one day leadership conference, I also intend to set up a mentoring program between participants. Ideally, the mentoring program will have a meet-up every semester for at least a year after the conference.

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Melissa Hoffbauer – Chemistry
My practicum contains two parts. The first part includes continuing mentorship with my newly assigned undergraduate research student. My current student is only a sophomore and plans to remain a member of the Iluc lab until he graduates. I would like to exercise my mentorship skills by not only passing on the knowledge that I have acquired as an inorganic chemist, but also by teaching new ethical habits to help him become a leader.
The second part of my practicum includes my involvement as the Diversity Leader for the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization (CGSO). In the past, I feel that the Diversity Leader position was under-utilized and little to no effort was made to make the CGSO a more welcoming and inclusive body. Therefore, I am proposing to work with the members of the CGSO to reach out to other groups/organizations on campus to form collaborations that will help facilitate the involvement of all graduate students within the department. I believe developing an atmosphere that promotes participation from people of a variety of different backgrounds will allow the CGSO to hear the thoughts of previously underrepresented graduate students, while supporting the University’s core values of integrity, accountability, teamwork, leadership in mission, and leadership in excellence.

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Chelsea McCallister – Biology
I will be president of the Notre Dame Archery Club for my EL-STEM practicum. As president of the club my main responsibilities will be leading a team of officers to make sure the club is a success and to ensure that the club remains in good standing with the governing bodies of the university including RecSports and the Student Activities Office. In addition to acting as president of the club, I will also act as an archery instructor during each of our club meetings. Being president of the Notre Dame Archery Club, as well as an archery instructor, offers the challenge of leading diverse and distinct groups of people at all different skill levels working simultaneously yet independently towards refining their skills and reaching specific goals. My role as the president of the Notre Dame Archery Club will offer many new leadership challenges is a unique and fun way for me to refine my leadership skills.

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Sebastian Murgueitio Ramirez – HPS
I would like to finish a physics textbook that I have been working on for over four years. The textbook is aimed at advanced high school students and first year college students, and its main emphasis is on teaching through step by step instructions. In my years as a TA and adjunct physics professor in Colombia, I realized that one of the main difficulties for students learning physics is that they do not know how to apply the concepts they learn to actual problems.  In the book, I try to remedy this by offering more than 100 problems solved step by step, and I also use numerous illustrations (most of which were drawn by me). I hope that this book helps students going into college to adapt more quickly to the level expected in university physics classes. And as an electronic book, I expect it to be  available for students all around the world. Right now, the book is in the press of my undergrad university, Universidad de los Andes, and it is expected to be published in Spanish in the Summer of 2018. 

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Tianze Peng – Civil Engineering
I am initiating a student academic writing group ‘Thesis Ring (TR)’ among students in the Department of CEEES. Introduced by Wageningen University in 2015 in Netherlands, a TR isa group of 7-10 students with similar researching backgrounds that share their written peer-reviewed work and orally discuss the quality of the work regularly. I will use the Sakai systemas a supportive online platform for sharing documents and communication between students, and rewards based on contribution are considered. Setting up a TR is not only helpful to extend the classic supervisor-student supervision model for more voices but also enhances our peer-reviewing skills. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity for the participation of EL-STEM program, and I believe that this practicum will solidify my exploration of ethical leadership.

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Tony Rosales – Chemistry
While my practicum will include several mentoring and leadership roles, I will focus primarily on my elected position as the President of the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization (CGSO). This includes continuation of several initiatives that assist the department with recruitment and orientation, provide an avenue for chemistry graduate students to give back to the community through several outreach opportunities, and promote an environment for the graduate students to socialize and interact. Additionally, we intend to rewrite our constitution and lay the ground work to allow for better transitions and retention of informationfrom year-to-year. These efforts will be guided by my goal to provide a more inclusive culture within the CGSO, which will be in collaboration with the CGSO’s two diversity leaders.

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Andrew Schranck – Environmental Engineering
I will be leading the development of a new educational tutorial for teaching and outreach purposes for Dr. Kyle Doudrick and the Laboratory for Advanced and Sustainable Water Treatment. The goal of this project is to develop educational content about water and environmental engineering that is interactive, engaging, and exciting for students of all ages. A significant desired outcome of the project is a virtual reality module that students ranging from elementary to college age can use to experience a water treatment plant tour without having to go there themselves. The module will be part of a broader tutorial that teaches students about water, where it comes from, the importance of water treatment and environmental engineering, and the design and functionality of a water treatment plant. The tutorial will be designed so it can be adapted to the appropriate age level, and the virtual reality module will pave the way for other educational modules that give students the opportunity to experience a variety of places they may not otherwise have access to while also helping them deepen their connection to concepts learned in the classroom. The development of this tutorial will involve various stakeholders including technological and teaching experts at the University of Notre Dame, teachers in the local community, and members of my lab group. This experience will test my leadership skills as I manage and inspire the stakeholders to work together to deliver an effective tutorial that can be adapted, improved, and delivered long into the future to raise awareness about the importance of clean water and inspire more students to become environmental engineers and advocates for a cleaner, safer environment.

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Jared Scripture – Biochemistry
For my practicum, I will focus primarily on my role as the head teaching assistant for a class in the spring (CHEM 10122: Biological Chemistry for Engineers and Physical Scientists). This is a freshman course designed for engineers and physical scientists that may work on biological systems in the future. In my role as the head teaching assistant, I will play a key part in tailoring problem sets to current class discussions as well as designing and organizing the tutorial sessions where myself and the other TAs will provide practical help for the students as they practice problem solving. Additionally, I will be giving 1 or 2 guest lectures as needed for when the course professor has unavoidable teaching conflicts. I’m looking forward to building on my past teaching experience by adding these new responsibilities and aim to assist in providing a good experience for both the students and the educators for CHEM 10122.

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Matyas Tsegaye – Chemistry
My name is Matyas and I am a second-year PhD student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. My practicum focuses on providing graduate students a platform for learning about non-academic career paths. I hope to accomplish this by working with my departmentto have a seminar series. By inviting Notre Dame alumni and other speakers pursuing such careers, current students can learn what they should do as a PhD student to be successful once they graduate. Another aspect of my practicum is to become a GSU professional development committee chair in order to further provide opportunities for the broader graduate student community.

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Sudip Vhaduri – Computer Science
I want to work on mentoring undergraduate students intheir research projects. From my previous involvement with undergraduate researchers, I have found they mostly rely on senior teammates for a quick solution or decision on their task. However, I think this does not help them to grow up as self-aware independent researchers. Therefore, I want to guide my mentees through a more formal step-by-step research procedure. First, I will focus on helping them to write codes to process data. Then, to decide proper analytical approaches, and finally, interpret their findings. Once they finish their analysis and interpret the findings, I will demonstrate how to search the relevant literature to make a presentable report. The ultimate goal is to help them to become self-aware independent researcherswho can teach others in the future. During each step, I will be working with them to set goals and measure accomplishments. This practicum will help melearn and apply effective mentorship as well as people and project management skills.

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Julaine Zenk – Psychology
My practicum will center around my co-leadership (one of two) of the journal club my department hosts called Conversations on Brain, Mind, and Behavior. Our goals for this year is to expand our group to make it more than just a journal club, but to provide writing and outreach opportunities across campus and South Bend. We also want to broaden our scope to include undergrads and other departments relevant to the topic (Phil, Bio, Neuroscience, etc.).

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Yushan Zhang – Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
WorkingwiththeAssociation of Women in Science-Notre Dame chapter (AWIS-ND),I am engaging inbridging undergraduate female students in STEM with female graduate students based on individual career aspirations. There will be events to provide support for the undergraduate women throughout their academic and professional experiences as well explore career possibilities in STEM.