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Student Spotlights

Jae Baek

Jae Baek, BE'17, is an undergraduate researcher in the Harrington Lab working on the design of a trap using sound, odor, and other sensory modalities to capture live male mosquitoes for surveillance and eventual genetic modification and release for use in population control.  Jae is president of and first flute in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded the John James Blackmore Prize for outstanding music, leadership, and dedication. She is also a student supervisor in the Cornell Raptor Program and a teaching assistant in Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering and a Cornell Engineering Peer Advisor.  [BE, Biomedical Concentration, CoE]
Prav Gangidi, BE '17, was invited into the Quill and Dagger Senior Honor Society, the Mortar Board Der Hexendreis Senior Honor Society.  Her campus involvement includes the CU Emergency Medical Services and Residential Student Congress, where she was the Campus Devilopment Coordinator and Social Chair.  She worked as a TA in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, and as an intern with Cornell's EH&S Department.  She has numerous certifications including Belay, EMT-B, and Wilderness First Responder.  After graduation she will be attending Columbia University to pursue a Masters in Public Health.  She will be concentrating in Health Policy and Management and hopes to be on the frontline of healthcare change. [BE, biomedical concentration, CoE]
Rakeeb Kureshi, BE'17, is the recipient of the CALS Academic Excellence award in Biological Engineering for the Class of '17.   He is a transfer student who has been on the Dean's list his every semester at Cornell.  He is an undergraduate researcher in the BEE Ma Lab - working with the design of a new catheter for an insulin pump and pancreatic cell encapsulation.  He has TA'd for Heat and Mass Transfer, Biochemistry, and Biofluid Mechanics.  Rakeeb volunteers with the groups Encoursaging Young Engineers & Scientists (EYES), the Science Olympiad at Cornell, and has done tutoring.  He has written two NIR Proposal drafts, "Degradable and injectable scaffold for the improved repair of bone fracture" and "Bacteroides sp. strain D8-loaded polymer microcapsules for artery plaque reduction".  He plans to go to medical school after graduation. [BE, CALS]

Paloma Spina

EnvE and SES'17
Paloma Spina, EnvE and Science of Earth Systems '17, is a Rawlings Presidential Scholar who has been involved in research investigating how the architecture of organic matter assemblies on mineral surfaces controls the trapping of different organic contaminants within organo-mineral matrices at a Research Technician in the BEE Aristilde Lab.  Her honors thesis is on the adsorption dynamics of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen onto mineral soils.  She will be continuing with the lab after graduation.  She is also involved with aquaponics, working towards sustainably growing fish and lettuce in Chile.  She presented a research poster at the AGU annual meeting, "Does forest age affect carbon and nitrogen adsorption in mineral horizons"?  She was a TA for BEE 2510 Engineering for a Sustainable Society, and has been a tree climbing instructor and outdoor odyssey guide.  [Double major, EnvE and ESE, ESE Concentration: Biogeochemistry, CoE]
Anastasia Varanko, BE'17, has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, she will be starting in Fall 2017.  She is an undergraduate researcher in the BEE Ma Lab, designing and creating core-shell alginate microcapsules as an in vitro model of the microbiome and optimizing electrospray conditions for alginate hydrogels to improve oxygen and nutrient diffusion in mocrocapsules.  Her previous work was in the Shen lab, where she received an Engineering Learning Initiatives Research Grand and collaborated on five publications, two currently in print, one accepted, and two in review.  She is the Alpha Epsilon Chapter President and the Theta Tau Alumni Relations Chair.  She has worked since 2014 with building monitoring and special events at Cornell's Schwartz Performing Arts Center.  She has worked with youth outreach, mentorship, and Habitat for Humanity.  [BE, Biomedical Engineering Minor, CoE]

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, 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

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, 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, 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, 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]