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Initiate Bios

Initiates at Santa Clara University (2022)

Abigail Alvarez. Abby is graduating summa cum laude with degrees in political science and Spanish, and a minor in women’s and gender studies. She served as a class senator for two years before being elected student body president and being named SCU’s first Truman Scholar in 36 years. Abigail is an organizer and activist on campus, and she also serves on the board of directors of Oregon Student Voice, the state’s largest student-led nonprofit organization, which she co-founded in 2018. Upon graduation, Abigail will participate in the Truman Scholar Summer Institute, working at the United States Department of Education in the Office of Post-Secondary Education. After the Summer Institute, she will work full time as a policy consultant and social impact lobbyist, supporting nonprofits in advocating for progressive causes.

Karina Collins. Karina, a biology major with a minor in Spanish, has volunteered as a certified EMT-B with SCU EMS for the past three years, serving as director from spring 2021 to spring 2022. She researched the antibiotic resistance and motility phenotypes of E. coli with Dr. Stephens of the Biology Department. For her honors thesis, Karina researched the experiences of multiracial Latinx students at SCU. She has been part of Club Field Hockey for four years, serving as co-president during 2020-21. After graduation, Karina will be working as a medical assistant at Golden State Orthopedic and Spine while applying to medical school.

Sophia Hartenbaum. Sophia is a psychology major who has been working as a research assistant in Dr. Koopmann-Holm’s Culture Impacts Emotion Lab for the past five quarters. Her senior thesis is on individual differences in subjective experiences of awe, and their downstream implications for pro-environmentalism. Since transferring to SCU in 2020, she has served as a peer educator for Dr. Simone’s psychopharmacology course, freelance scene writer for the university newspaper, active member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, and vice president of Psi Chi at SCU. She plans to pursue a career in research on emotions, culture, ethics, and existential psychology.

Carolyn Kuimelis. Carolyn, a communication major with minors in economics and sociology, served as the editor-in-chief of Santa Clara’s student newspaper, The Santa Clara. She received the 2020 Edward Shipsey, S.J. Scholarship for her contributions to the newspaper and is a co-recipient of the 2022 Communication Department Prize. Last summer, she worked for Sacred Heart Community Service’s rental assistance department as a Jean Donovan Fellow with the Ignatian Center. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes and exploring national parks. Carolyn has reported on higher education policy for CalMatters, and she intends to pursue a career in journalism.

Sydney Lenoch. Sydney is a philosophy and women’s and gender studies double major with a minor in English. She has played on SCU’s women’s rugby team for four years and has served in numerous leadership roles within the club. As a Hackworth Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Sydney researched journalistic coverage and framing of cancel culture. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year in New York City before applying to graduate schools in Library and Information Sciences. Sydney enjoys cooking new recipes, listening to podcasts, reading, and cuddling with her cat Seven.

Zhuyu (Judith) Li. Judith, a junior double majoring in economics and sociology, has served as the president of the SCU Microfinance Club, which focuses on fundraising zero-interest loans for social entrepreneurs under the poverty line. She has volunteered as a math tutor in a predominantly Latinx middle school and worked as an economics tutor on campus. She is a Global Social Benefit Fellow, conducting an action research project on clean water in East Africa. As an international student, she loves working with people from diverse backgrounds. She prizes strong cultural competency, respect, and compathy in cross-cultural contacts.

Gracean Linthacum-Janker. Gracean is an economics and political science double major with a pre-law emphasis. She served as a captain for the SCU Dance Team and on the executive board of an on-campus club called SCU Vibes. She also worked as an economics tutor and teaching assistant during her junior and senior years. As a Business Ethics Intern with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Gracean interned at KLA where she worked in their Ethics and Legal Compliance Department. Gracean will attend Santa Clara University Law School after graduation.

Sacha Mallalieu. Sacha is a biology major with a chemistry minor. She has been a part of the professional pre-health fraternity, Delta Epsilon Mu, for four years and is currently serving as the vice president. For her honors thesis, she has been researching a key Coronavirus protein, MPro, in hopes of designing a drug for the disease. She loves music and has been playing flute in the SCU Wind Ensemble since arriving on campus. Next year, Sacha will be working at MedVet, an emergency veterinary hospital, and will be applying to veterinary schools.

Alexander K. Mangum. Alexander is a double major in anthropology and public health. His main field of research has been the unhoused crisis in California, and he has done paid and unpaid work helping the unhoused in Santa Clara and San Jose, including volunteering with Agape of Silicon Valley and working for Santa Clara County during the 2022 Point-in-Time Count. Alexander also conducted research at the Hedding-Coleman homeless encampment with his senior capstone class and helped present findings to the Public Defender's Office of Santa Clara. After graduating, Alexander will attend Santa Clara University Law School.

James Maxwell. James is an economics major and a management information systems minor from Marin County, California. During his time at Santa Clara University, he served as the risk manager and an Investment Committee member of the Santa Clara Investment Fund. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Charles and Barbara Hazel Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Economics. He has a passion for financial markets – particularly by framing them through a behavioral economics lens. Following graduation, he will be working as an investment research associate at Main Management, a boutique investment management firm in San Francisco.

Kendall Moore. Kendall is a senior neuroscience and ethnic studies double major. They will be doing neuroscience research next year in New York at Icahn School of Medicine. Kendall is passionate about improving reproductive health-care for Black and nonbinary individuals and hopes to eventually enter the medical field and become an OB/GYN while continuing to pursue research. During their time on campus Kendall has done research in the ethics of anti-bias VR technology and neuroscience research on the effects of early life stress. They have been an orientation leader, student ambassador, neuroscience peer advisor, and Health Care Ethics Intern. Kendall is the valedictorian of the Class of 2022.

Claire Murphy. Claire is a mathematics and computer science double major. The summer after her junior year, she wrote a paper exploring a novel finite-time algorithm for finding generators of a fixed field. Claire is extremely passionate about teaching; for the past three years, she has served on the committee of SWE++, a program that provides free programming workshops for middle school girls. Next year, find Claire at the beach as she pursues a doctorate in mathematics at UC Santa Barbara.

Anne Onyali. Anne, a double major in public health science and biology, worked as a student researcher in the University of Washington Musculoskeletal Systems Biology Lab. In the lab, the Tacoma native studied the impact variants of the TRAM family of genes have on bone mineral density and osteoporosis formation. Anne also served as co-president of the Pre-Health Club and as a member of the Black/Pan-African student organization on-campus. She plans to continue conducting research full-time next year and apply to medical school, seeking a career that will help address the racial and economic disparities in healthcare.

Ella Pflueger. Ella, a double major in political science and communication with a minor in French, served as the secretary and treasurer of the SCU French Club. Ella is a passionate writer and, over the past year, she has researched, written, and published articles for the skincare company Blossom Essentials. For her senior thesis, Ella analyzed the impact of new media communications on the perpetuation of “Missing White Woman Syndrome.” After graduation, Ella hopes to start her professional career as a corporate communications associate in San Francisco.

Michael Reckers. Michael is an economics major with a minor in biology. He worked as a chemistry tutor through the Drahmann Center, a private organic chemistry tutor, and as the leader of the Phosphomimic genome editing project in the lab of Dr. Leilani Miller. Michael volunteers each month with both the local Portuguese club and food bank. As a member of SCU's Global Medical Brigades chapter, he spent summers working alongside medical professionals in Peru where he pursued his passion for global health. After graduation, Michael plans to work at UC Davis Medical Center on a medical research project prior to applying to medical schools.

Brooke Rose. Brooke, an environmental studies and sociology double major with a Spanish minor, has focused her studies around environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Her research experiences include a Miller Center Fellowship, an Environmental Ethics Fellowship, a Community-Based Participatory Research for Racial Justice Fellowship, and an Osberg Fellowship from the University Honors Program. She has been involved in faith life on campus, working for the Ignatian Center and serving as the president of Core Christian Fellowship for two years. She is doing a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after graduation, where she will design food sovereignty programs at a food pantry in Anchorage, Alaska.

Maya Ryan. Maya, a junior from Edmonds, Washington, is a public health science and biology double major with a minor in Spanish studies. Dedicated to promoting health equity, Maya is a research assistant in Dr. Jamie Chang’s laboratory, where she studies mortality among homeless Asian and Pacific Islander individuals, as well as API invisibility in research. She was also a Health Care Ethics Intern through the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. This summer, Maya will work with The Health Trust as a Valeriote Goldman Fellow. Outside of her studies, Maya enjoys working as a student ambassador, dancing, and hiking.

Emma Sand.Emma, an economics major and philosophy minor, is deeply passionate about alleviating socioeconomic inequities. The SCU Honors Program selected Emma as the 2020 Mansfield Scholar, allowing her to spend her junior year studying the dynamic relationship between economic theory and ethics at Oxford University. This past year, Emma conducted action research with an Indian social enterprise as a Miller Center Fellow. Along with her work at the DeSaisset Museum on campus, she was a member of SCU’s ethics bowl team, wind ensemble/orchestra, and the student government’s judicial branch. Emma will work at the NPD Group, a market research firm in San Diego, before attending law school.

Marie Schauer. Marie is a biology major and studio art minor. On campus, Marie volunteered as an EMT through Santa Clara University Emergency Medical Services. Outside the classroom, she volunteered at The Primary School in East Palo Alto and worked as a research assistant in the Oncology Department at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Following graduation she will travel to Uganda to volunteer with The Gem Foundation, a skilled care facility for special needs children. Over the next year she plans to gain clinical experience working as a medical assistant as she prepares her applications for medical school.

Jia Hui Seow. Born in Singapore and raised in the Bay Area, Jia is a psychology major with minors in public health and international business. She is a research assistant in Dr. Birgit Koopmann-Holm’s cultural psychology lab; her honors thesis explores conceptualizations of compassion in China and the United States. On campus, Jia served as president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy club, a three-year board member of the Chinese Student Association, and played in SCU’s Laptop Orchestra for all four years. She worked with Dr. Heather Turner to research user experience pedagogy, and co-authored a white paper about virtual reality and unconscious bias during her internship at Sisu VR. Jia is the recipient of the Eleanor Willemsen Community Service Award given to the psychology major who has demonstrated a dedication to community service. After graduation, Jia will begin her professional career as a business analyst with the Alexander Group in New York City.

Sydney Shead. Sydney is an ethnic studies and history double major with minors in biology and African American studies. Her senior thesis researched southern Black midwifery and its decline in the 20th century due to racism and sexism. Her paper “Love and War: The Civil War’s Impact on Prostitution” won the Giacomini Prize and was published in the journal Historical Perspectives. Sydney is the programming coordinator for Together for Ladies of Color and is a member of the Johnson Scholars Program. Next year, Sydney will attend UMass Medical School to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Vrinda Shorewala. Vrinda is a computer science major with minors in mathematics and management of information systems. An international student from India, Vrinda has been very involved on campus throughout her time at SCU. She has been tutoring calculus through the Drahmann Center and the MLC since her sophomore year and has participated in other volunteering ;teaching opportunities with SCAAP and SWE++. She has also been Events Coordinator for ACM-W and the Public Relations Representative for SCU's cybersecurity club, BroncoSec, in an attempt to share her passion with other students on campus.

Daniel Teramoto. Daniel, a psychology major from Issaquah, Washington, served as a student leader of the Bible study, New Life on Campus. He joined Dr. Urdan’s Teaching and Motivation lab his sophomore year, for which he has presented his research at the Western Psychological Association Conference and co-authored a published paper “Ethnic Identity, Implicit Associations, and Academic Motivation of Hispanic Adolescents.” His senior year, Daniel worked as a User Experience Research Intern at the software company Limeade. After graduation, he plans to travel across Europe with friends before applying to graduate schools to continue his education in human computer interaction.

Soumya Turumella. Soumya is a biology major with a minor in public health. For the past three years, she has been working as an undergraduate researcher in the Carter-O’Connell Lab researching the function of the PARP protein family. She also served on the service committee of the Belles Service Organization, where she organized service events for underserved populations including the unhoused. Soumya will be working at Stanford Medical as a scribe for the next year as she applies to medical schools.

Isha Vial. Isha, with a dual degree in chemistry and political science, is originally from Denver, Colorado. She has worked in the Suljak analytical chemistry lab for four years and has served as an SCU student ambassador for three years. Isha has also been a member of the acappella group Vocalicious since her first year at SCU. She co-founded and led the on-campus club Students for Sensible Drug Policy for three years and is currently writing her honors thesis on the decriminalization and medicalization of psychedelic drugs. After graduation, Isha will continue to explore the link between science and social policy in the Bay Area.

Ian Whiton. Ian is a double major in economics and political science. A native of Seattle, Washington, he was on the rowing team for all four years of college, served as the rowing rep for the NCAA’s Student Advisory Council, and was a teaching assistant for both upper and lower division econometrics classes. For his senior honors thesis, he focused on the labor market effects of immigration in Texas. Next year, Ian will be attending the Paris School of Economics in their Public Policy and Development program where he will be studying for a master’s degree in Applied Economics. He then plans to pursue a PhD.

Brianna Wingard. Brianna is a psychology major with a public health minor. She was the president of Psi Chi Honor Society in Psychology, as well as a peer educator for a research methods course. She also conducted research in Dr. Bruchmann’s Social Cognition and Comparison Lab, where she worked on a project about how our mindsets impact body image disturbances. This project culminated in a publication with her faculty mentor. Brianna was also a member of the Psychology Honors Program, where she completed a senior thesis. After graduating, Brianna hopes to pursue a career in either clinical psychology or neuropsychology.

Lauren Yu. Lauren is a double major in biology and public health science from Palo Alto, California. On campus, she was involved in protein purification and membrane research in the biochemistry lab of Dr. Linda Brunauer and was a Healthcare Ethics Intern with the Markkula Center. She also volunteered with the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health and with patients enrolled in hospice care. Following graduation, Lauren plans to work as an EMT in the Bay Area while applying to medical schools.

Sarah Zasso. Sarah is a psychology and communication double major. She has worked as a research assistant in Dr. Bruchmann’s social psychology research lab for the last four years. She also received an Osberg Fellowship to research job satisfaction under the mentorship of Dr. Boren in the Communication Department. Sarah has been a passionate advocate for violence prevention at SCU. As the president of Violence Prevention Educators, she created VPE’s trainings and started the school’s first peer-led survivor support group. After graduation, Sarah will begin her career as a human resources generalist for Zekelman Industries. In the future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology.