Student Spotlights

Chase Brett

Chase Brett, BE '16, focused his studies and research in BEE on syngas fermentation, alternative biofuels, platform chemicals, and bioreactor design and assembly.  He worked in the Angenent Lab where he was awarded an Engineering Learning Initiatives Summer Research Grant.  Chase recently created a startup company, Capro-X, with Professor Angenent where he is the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Engineering and is pursuing funding.  He is currently applying for biofuels and biochemical jobs internationally, and has been investigating the possibility of a Cornell MS.  His background includes a summer internship at the Department of Environmental Protection and work as a professional chef. [BE, bioprocess concentration, CALS]

Theresa Chu

Theresa Chu, EnvE'16, has been an integral part of the AguaClara Project Team since 2013.  She has worked on the small scale plant model and the stacked rapid sand filter theory, and is currently a Team Leader, organizing and training a team of 60 students to optimize electricity-free drinking water treatment methods.  She is also a researcher in the Aristilde Lab, preparing chemical solutions to analyze degradation of pharmaceuticals using LC/MS and GC/MS.  She worked as an admin assistant fo tthe Engineering Learning Initiatives program, and as a course builder for Sustainability of Appledore Island.  Theresa was a TA for BEE2510 Engineering for a Sustainable Society, worked as a Sub-team Leader for the Engineering Career Fair, and was Master Liaison/Mentor/Socials Chair for the Society of Women Engineers.  She won the Vernon D. Lucy III Scholarship from the American Water Works Association in 2015, and the Mid-Hudson Section Scholarship from SWE is 2014.  She will be finishing up her Masters in Engineering in Enviroment and Water Systems Engineering at Cornell this fall. [EnvE, CALS]

Shoshana Das

Shoshana Das, BE'16, did her undergraduate research as a Goldwater Scholar in BME's Cardiovascular Developmental Bioengineering Lab (Butcher Lab).  She is the recipient of the CALS Academic Excellence Award in biological engineering.  She presented her research at the BMES 2015 National Conference, and is a co-auther on a Tissue Engineering publication, "Comparison of mesenchymal stem cell source differentiation toward human pediatric aortic valve interstitial cells within 3D engineered matices."  Shoshana is currently president of Alpha Epsilon, and has worked as a teaching assistant and tutor.  She has also participated in the Edgeofthegorge dance company, and Cornell's ballet troupe for four years.  She will be attending Harvard/MIT's Health Science & Technology program, studying for a PhD in Medical Engineering & Medical Physics starting this fall. [BE, minor-biomedical engineering, concentrations-biomedical engineering and biochemistry, CALS]

Denzel Faulkner

Denzel Faulkner, BE'16, has done his research with the Ma Lab in BEE modeling a microstructure, performing electrospinning (to make a compartmental fiber), and using electrospraying to uniformly encapsulate oil within core shell hydro-gel beads with the hope to use them in a therapeutic or nutritional application.  He has worked as a Senior Study Group Facilitator in the Biology Learning Strategies Center, as the Corresponding Secretary and Supreme Council Member for Zeta Psi Fraternity, and is the leader of the Missions and Evangelism Team with Campus Crusade for Christ at Cornell.  He is a member of the acappella group Absolute A Cappella and speaks fluent French.  Denzel will be pursuing his PhD in biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY starting Fall 2016  [BE, concentration: biomedical, CoE]

Stephen Galdi

Stephen Galdi, EnvE'16, is the recipient of the 2016 CALS Academic Excellence Award for Environmental Engineering, and is a 2016 Merrill Scholar.  He is a researcher in the Aristilde Lab, working with simulated molecular dynamics of organic substrates in clay nano-pores.  He has spent his summers with the NYC Dept. of Design and Construction and the Parks Department.  He has been a TA for BEE 2510 Engineering for a Sustainable Society and Environmental Quality Engineering where he critiqued environemntal case studies and models on topics from eutrophication to groundwater, and taught on wastewater standards, unit processes, transport, and modeling.  He participated in the AguaClara Project, the Engineering Caree Fair (Financial Chair, Corporate Sub-team Lead), and the Cornell Chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (Co-President, Secretary, Treasurer in subsequent years).  [EnvE, CALS]

Sarah Nadeau

Sarah Nadeau

BE'16 and PlntSci'16

Sarah Nadeau is a double major in Biological Engineering and Plant Science.  She is the recipient of a 2016 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.  Sarah is a researcher in the BEE Soil and Water Lab with Professor Todd Walter using gas chromatograpy and ion chromatography to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from soil bacteria and stream runoff.  She was part of  a 2015 research project "Winter runoff into streams on par with ocean salinity". Running is also a passion, and Sarah ran the 2016 Boston Marathon in 3:27.  She was an instructor with Cornell Outdoor Education, Captain-Treasurer of the Cornell Nordic Ski Team, and Vice President of the Cornell Outing Club. Sarah has a co-op position working for Monsanto's soybean breeding program through the end of this year and will be pursuing a master's degree in plant breeding next year.    [BE-PlntSci, concentration-bioenvironmental, CALS]

Mike Quint

Mike Quint

EnvE'16

Mike Quint, EnvE'16, has participated in Cornell's Society for Natural Resources Conservation (Environmental Collaborative delegate, Treasurer), Friends of the Gorges (Vice President) and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, all groups that help students connect to the environment around campus.  But what defined his experience is the semester he spent abroad.  " I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia my junior year and it was the most rewarding experience of my college career.  Learning in a new environment halfway across the world had its challenges, but connecting with students from all over the world and travelling around the beautiful countries of Australia and New Zealand helped me grow a lot as a person.  Some engineers think it is too difficult to study abroad and still get all of your requirements, but with proper planning and motivation it is completely feasible."  Mike has experience in environmental consulting and remediation, and web design, through his summer intern appointments. [EnvE, CALS]

Michelle Zhang

Michelle Zhang, BE'16, is the recipient of a Morley Student Research Grant that allowed her to work in the BEE Luo Lab on stabilizing chloroplasts in clay and DNA hydrogels for developing NADPH biofuel cells.  She is the Wetlab Leader and was a competition presenter for the Cornel iGEM Team (International Genetic Engineering Machines).  The groups current project is "Tackling Bacterial Cold Water Disease with Entericidin B" which won Best Environmental Project, Best Applied Design, and Best Supporting Entrepreneurship in teh 2015 competition. She was a teaching assistant for the Biochemistry Study Center and BEE 3500 Biological and Bioenvironmental Transport Processes and an undergraduate mentor with the Youth Outreach Undergraduate Reshaping Success project.  Michelle is graduating with a Business Minor for Engineers. [BE, minor-business, CALS]

Yinuo Zhang

Yinuo Zhang

EnvE'16/MEng'16

Yinuo Zhang, EnvE'16/MEng'16, has found many projects at Cornell that match his interests in biomas and bioenergy, including participating in the Sustainable Campus Committee fall summit last November.   He has augmented his engineering degrees with a minor in business, and has worked summers as a marketing associate and intern at securities companies conducting market research and financial data models.  He is a peer tutor in Cornell's Athletics Department and has been involved with Cornell's "Any Student Any Dream" charity organization raising money to help children in poverty in China, working as the Communication Associate, Treasurer, and General Secretary. [EnvE, MEng, minor-business, CALS]

Erica Cartusciello

Erica Cartusciello, BE'15, received a grant to do research for the Toward Sustainability Foundation in utilizing organic constituents in the development of hydroponic solutions.  Among her other accomplishments are designing an aquaculture hydroponics hybrid demonstration system for Cornell Cooperative Extension, presenting work on the utilization of plant roots as a sustainable biological medium for nitrogen breakdown in a hybrid system, and designing websites, logo images and book covers for work with aquaculture.  She was the webmaster for the campus IBE student group, was the president and founder of the CU Aquaculture and Multiponics Student Research Group, and was the Programming  Chair for the CU Premedical Society, working with premed students and admissions counselors.  She also volunteered for outreach with 4H groups and her project for large-leaf production of basil is currently pending review for entry into the Guiness Book of World Records.  [BE, biomedical concentration, CALS]

Alexandra Cesare

Alex Cesare, BE'15, works in BEE's Ahner Lab on optimizing algal lipid production for use in biofuels.  She has been a member of Cornell University eMed, a campus group that explores the roles that engineering plays in medicine.  She works as a Cooperative Workship Assistant tutoring first year calculus students.  She is in the CU Chordials acapella group and in the CU Chorus, working as the business manager of the Chordials (including planning concerts, trips, and fundraisers), and has won in vocal competitions with these groups.  [BE, biomedical concentration, CoE]

Shane DeGaetano

Shane DeGaetano, BE'15, is working in BEE's Soil and Water Lab with denitrifying bioreactors to improved agricultural runoff quality .  He has a keen interest in water resources management.  He has received funding through Cornell's Engineering Learning Initiative for his project focused on non-point source road salt pollution from Cornell's storm water, with results presented at the Fall 2014 meeting of the American Geophysical Union.  Shane has also volunteered at the Ithaca Sciencenter, designing and performing chemistry-based demonstrations, and works as a soccer referee.  He is a member of the Institute for Biological Engineering. [BE, bioenvironmental concentration, CALS]

Christine Georgakakos

Christine Georgakakos, BE'15, was awarded an Engineering Learning Initiatives Grand for her work on stream gauge discharge experiments.  Her success with this experience has resulted in a publication, numerous presentations, and acceptance into the BEE Masters Degree program as she continues to work in the Soil & Water Lab on DNA tracers, stream discharge modeling, and stream-sediment phosphorus cycles.  She has been on the Dean's list numerous times, and has worked as a teaching assistant for BEE3299 Sustainable Development.  She enjoys ultimate frisbee, including volunteering as the group treasurer, and has been a volunteer working with Cornell's Project Greenhouse and Outdoor Education.  [BE, bioenvironmental concentration, CALS]

Michelle Gostic

Michelle Gostic, EnvE'15, has worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory analyzing atmospheric data to improve how global climate models describe marine boundary layer clouds, and also led a student team studying contaminant dispersion in New York City.  With Cornell's AguaClara Sustainable Water Treatment team she has designed and experimented with the effectiveness and durability of a portable foam filtration system.  Her study abroad experiences was with the Technical School of Engineers of Roads, Canals and Ports, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain.  She has worked and volunteered with Cornell Outdoor Education, on backpacking, paddling, biking, climbing orientation trips, and taught a tree-climbing PE class.  Michelle is interested in a career focused in water resources or watershed management. [EnvE, CALS]

Kevin Hsu

Kevin Hsu

BE'15, AEM'15

Kevin Hsu, BE'15/AEM'15, is studying the mechanisms of cardiac valvulogenesis in the Butcher Lab in Cornell's Biomedical Engineering department.  He has organized events as President of Campus on a Hill, on behalf of the Cornell Christian community, overseeing marketing, development, logistical coordination, and financial budgets.  He executed a crowdfunding campaign and refocused advertising for an event in Spring 2014.  He is a member of the Der Hexenkreis Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, the Alpha Epsilon Honor Society of Biological Engineering, and is a Cornell Tradition Fellow - doing volunteer work in the Ithaca community through this group.  He is a member of a campus social fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, and formerly served on the e-board of the CALS Ambassadors.  He has been on the Dean's list for four semesters.  [Double major BE and AEM, biomedical engineering minor, CALS]

Mary John

Mary John

EnvE'15

Mary John, EnvE'15, has worked as a research intern for ARCADIS, the Millennium Water Alliance, the NYS Water Resource Institute  and the Cornell AquaClara Project.  She has assisted with projects involving sewer rehabilitation and water infrastructure in NYS and Washington, D.C., as well as managing water, sanitation, and hygiene reports from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Latin America.  She has worked as the treasurer for Kappa Kappa Gamma, and was a student manager for Campus Information & Visitor Relations, giving campus tours and manning the phones.  She will work full-time as an environmental consultant after graduation.  [EnvE, CALS]

Ethan Keller

Ethan Keller, EnvE'15, has received a 2015 CALS Academic Excellence Award, a Lester B. Knight Scholarship, a Kessler Fellowship, and an Engineering Learning Initiatives grant.  He has worked with AguaClara LLC, advising innovation design teams, and, as part of his Kessler Fellowship, spent a summer with the group co-designing a water filter system working with partners in Honduras.  He is a steering committee member and farm manager for the Dilmun Hill student-run farm, and works as a farm hand at the Earthworks Farm, a 300-acre beef-cattle farm, in Seneca Falls, NY.  He has held positions with the CU Sustainable Design team (Exec Board Member), the Cornell Bike Collective (President), Sustainable Development in Lansing, NY (Lead TA), Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua (Team Leader), Prospect of Whitby (Head Chef and House Manager, and the Cornell Mushroom Club (President).  He is a member of the Quill and Dagger Senior Honor Society. He is an early-admit MEng student in Computer Science at Cornell.  [EnvE, CALS]

Ricki Korff

Ricki Korff, BE'15, received a Cornell Engineering Learning Initiatives grant to support her work in BEE's Bioanalytical Microsystems and Biosensors Laboratory, developing a whole blood point-of-care biosensor for cardiac marker myoglobin.  She was also a National Science Foundation Scholar for the summer of 2013 in the Cold Spring Harbor Atwal Lab, using a bioinformatics approach to study the link between genes specific to germline cells and genes overexpressed in cancer cells.  Ricki has spent four years with the Encouraging Young Engineers and Scientists (EYES) Organization in the Ithaca City School District, developing and teaching science and engineering lessons to underserved elementary school students, and is currently serving as president of the organization.  She has also tutored high schoolers in biology and chemistry.  She worked as a TA for BEE 2600 Principles of Biological Engineering and BEE 1510 Introduction to Computer Programming in MATLAB.  Ricki also volunteers in the Cayuga Med Center ER and a local senior center. Ricki is looking at medical schools for Fall 2015. [BE, biomedical concentration, CALS]

David Streitman

David Streitman, BE'15, is a recipient of a 2015 CALS Academic Excellence Award.  works in BEE's Angenent Lab to improve conventional algal photobioreacto efficientcy and pursuing light delivery optimization utilizing a novel waveguide reactor design.  Last summer he worked in quality assurance at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, executing smoke studies for vaporized hydrogen peroxide bio-decontamination.  He has been on the Dean's list every semester of his Cornell career.  He has tutored engineering students in calculus, worked with Alpha Epsilon Pi as risk manager, and has fostered relationships with philanthropy and community outreach as a Cornell Annual Fund Representative. David will be pursuing an MEng degree with Cornell's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department, in the area of medical and industrial biotechnology. [BE, bioprocess and biomedical concentrations, CALS]

Steven Tsai

Steven Tsai, BE'15, is a Hunter R. Rawlings II Cornell Presidential Research Scholar.  He has received a 2015 CALS Academic Excellence Award.  He has also been chosen for a 2015 Merrill Presidential Scholars Award, and has named BEE Professor Dan Luo as the faculty member who has most influenced his Cornell experience. His research has been to explore alternative uses for DNA, including nanomaterial development and disease detection in BEE's Luo Lab.  He will be receiving minors in Biomedical Engineering and  International Trade and Development, and has worked the last two summers as an associate consultant (co-op) for Rosetta Marketing, New York, NY, a pharmaceutical company, analyzing sales and survey data to inform the company image work and product marketing strategy.  Steven is a co-chair for IBE's 2014 and 2015 BioExpo.  He has also served as president and treasurer of Cornell's ballroom dance club. He has been on the Dean's list every semester of his Cornell career. Steven has started working on his BME MEng degree in preparation for a position in pharmaceuticals or biotechnology. [BE, minors: biomedical engineering and international trade and development, CALS]

Alexa Wnorowski

Alexa Wnorowski, BE'15, is a 2015 Merrill Presidential Scholar who is researching aortic valve calcification and exploring in vitro models of the disease in the Butcher Cardiovascular Developmental Bioengineering Laboratory in Cornell's Dept of Biomedical Engineering.  She is a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar, and has received two National Science Foundation Fellowships for summer research.  She is a TA for BEE 3310 Bio-Fluid Mechanics, and has worked as an ophthalmic medical assistant and as an law firm intern, analyzing medical patents and technical descriptions.   She has worked on the Cornell Orientation Steering Committee, and on the boards of the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta.  She is also a dancer with the Pandora Dance Troupe.  She plans to go into a biomedical engineering PhD program after graduation.  [BE, biomedical concentration, CoE]

Caitlin Bowen

Caitlin Bowen, BE'14, has been conducting research on congenital heart disease for the past three years.  She received a grant from the American Heart Association and was named a Rawlings Presidential Research Scholar.  She co-wrote an article published in Cells Tissues Organs.  She is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Epsilon Honors Societys.  She is a 2014 Merrill Presidential Scholar and a 2014 CALS Excellence Award recipient.  Caitlin teaches swimming and Irish dance. [BE, biomedical concentration, CALS]

Michelle DiBenedetto

Michelle DiBenedetto, Enve'14, received an honorable mention from NSF for her grad research fellowship proposal, on modeling forest-canopy atmospheric chemistry and processes using Fortran and MATLAB.  She worked on the same research in an NSF-funded REU at the Washington State University Laboratory for Atmospheric Research.  Here at Cornell she TA'd for CEE 3310 Fluid Mechanics, tutored in calculus, and did research with BEE Professor Peter Hess towards creating a complete box model of fixed nitrogen in the biosphere.  She volunteered at BJM Elementary School to improve the nutritional value of its snack program, winning a Cornell COmmunity Partnership Board grant to support her work.  She has been an Engineering Ambassador for her entire time here, and has been on the Dean's List every semester.  After graduation she will go to Stanford University for a PhD [EnvE, Minor: Climate Change, CoE]

Walker Grimshaw

Walker Grimshaw

BE and EnvE '14

Walker Grimshaw is a double major in BE and EnvE, with minors in Math, Biology and Global Health.  He designed a Tippy Tap with the Ghana Sustainable Aid Project, volunteered for local medical clinics with Child Family Health (Ecuador) and the foam filtration AguaClara team at Cornell.  He was the NGO contact for Engineers Without Borders and worked for Take Back The Tap, promoting the use of reusable water bottles on campus, and was treasureer.  He is also involved with IBE, Cornell Health International, Cornell Global Health Council and KyotoNOW!  [BE-EnvE, Minors: Math, Biology, Global Health, CoE]

Kristina Johnson

Kristina Johnson, EnvE’14, is majoring in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Design and Environmental Analysis. She was a recipient of the John W. Layer Memorial Award two years in a row and as a result has attended multiple sustainability conferences. Kristina worked in the Soil and Water lab, examining the effect of chemicals in pesticides and how it can be mitigated by the application of biochar to soil. She was a member of the Cornell University Sustainable Design team and worked on the geothermal system that will ultimately be used by the Cornell Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. Kristina is also an active member of her sorority and plays on the Women’s Club Lacrosse Team. [EnvE, Minor: Design and Environmental Analysis, CALS]

Breann Liebermann

Breann Lieberman, BE'14, has been awarded the 2014 N. G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship for commitment to water quality and government service.  She did one semester of study abroad at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.  She has worked in BEE's Soil and Water lab on a road salt budget model, installing stream flow gauges and developed a classification system for detention basins.  She has worked with Take Back The Tap, the Water Resources Institute, the Shoals Marine Lab, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and AquaClara, including a trip to Honduras to update the inlet manifold in an existing treatment plant.  Breann will be in BEE's MEng program next year, and continue her work in the S&W Lab. [BE, Bioenvironmental Engineering concentration, CoE]