Graduate Spotlights

We congratulate our 2020 graduates!

May 15 2020

Graduation is just one of the many achievements of our committed and engaged students. They are scholars, researchers, athletes, and volunteers. Through their studies and activities, they have pursued excellence here at Columbia, across New York City, and around the world, pursuing our guiding vision to be Columbia engineers for humanity.

Learn more about the Class of 2020. They are ready to SEAS the world!

Stella-Noella Tetero

BS, Chemical Engineering
Kigali, Rwanda
Activities: Worked in Kigali and Gashora, Rwanda, as a laboratory intern; at Columbia, she collected 60 boxes of books for the Gashora Girls Academy, where she had been an assistant university counselor; served on the National Society of Black Engineers E-Board
Memories: the Chemical Engineering Graduation Party on Zoom

Albert Tai

BS, Mechanical Engineering
New York, NY
Activities: Served as Chief Mechanical Engineering on Columbia’s Formula SAE team; Interned at SpaceX and NASA’s Johnson Space Center; president of CU Robotics Club, started their underwater MATE ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) project
Awards: George Vincent Wendell Memorial Award, Columbia Engineering Senior Marshal

Sarah-Jane Lynn

BS, Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Paris, France
Activities: Study abroad semester in Spain. Served on the boards of the Society of Women Engineers and the Biomedical Engineering Society. URC tour captain.
What’s next: Johnson & Johnson’s Global Operations Leadership Development program.
Ambition: To reengineer healthcare for a new era.

Lithurshanaa Muraleetharan

BS, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Queens, New York 
Activities: Investigating 2D materials in Professor Hone’s lab, projects to reduce carbon emissions in New York City, helping to produce face shields for healthcare workers
Next steps: Interning at Con Edison

Panagiotis Oikonomou

BS, Biomedical Engineering
Home Country: Greece
Activities: Bioethics Club Co-Chair, Student Life and Professional Development Co-Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Society
Awards: Tau Beta Pi Scholar and an Egleston Scholar
What’s next: MS/PHD program in the fall as a Blavatnik Presidential Fellow in the Biomedical Engineering department

Yiela Saperstein

MS, Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Awards: Biomedical Engineering MS Student Outstanding Achievement Award, First Place in the Columbia Venture Competition technology track and Third Place in the Columbia Fast Pitch competition
Memories: Presenting her research as a finalist at the Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference paper competition

Amar Bhardwaj

BS, Chemical Engineering
Hong Kong
Awards: Udall, Goldwater, and Marshall Scholarships
What’s Next: In Edinburgh, pursuing an open-ended MSc in Energy, Society and Sustainability. Then, in London, leading a project in spectroscopy-based solar fuels research with a pair of leading experts in the area

Leigh Ramsey

BS, Earth and Environmental Engineering
Greensboro, North Carolina
Highlights: Submitting the senior design project focused on cloudburst management and increasing flood resiliency in a Staten Island neighborhood. Doing research with Professor Lall on surface water quality and data analysis.

Emma Schechter

BS, Applied Math
Los Angeles, California
Awards: Valedictorian and recipient of the the Illig Prize

Bunmi Fariyike

BS, Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA
Activities: Program manager for the Columbia chapter of Engineers Without Borders’ (EWG) Ghana program
Memories: Traveling to west Africa twice with EWG to increase a small village’s access to potable water
Awards: Global health research fellowship through ICAP at the Mailman School of Health to conduct research in the Dominican Republic
What’s next: Genetic engineering research in Spain as a Fulbright Scholar

Zane Martin

PhD, Applied Mathematics and Atmospheric Science
Hometown: Berkshires, Mass
Highlights: Traveling to Trieste, Italy, for a two-week workshop on modeling a phenomenon known as convective aggregation, and spending a month in Costa Rica with the Organized Tropical East Pacific Convection (OTREC) field campaign intensively researching convection in the east Pacific and western Caribbean.
What’s next: Participating more directly on work relating to limiting the impacts of climate change.

Maaike Blindenbach

BS, Operations Research with a concentration in financial engineering 
Activities: Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, musical mentors, and the CU Health Education Awareness League. In her four-year hockey career, Maaike played in 58 games with 47 starts
Ambition: Working together to tackle problems in the real world

Michael Kirschner

BS, Biomedical Engineering
 Scarsdale, New York
Activities: Traveled the world with Pizmon, Columbia’s Jewish a capella group
What’s next:  Continuing his studies in genetics research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark as a Fulbright Scholar
Ambition:  To close gaps in health and medicine

Vigneswari Muthukumaresan

MS, Mechanical Engineering
Home Country:
Activities: President of the Columbia Engineering Energy Club, Engineering Graduate Student Council, organized Harry Potter Trivia nights.
Memories: Friends who are now like family.
Awards: Won both the Columbia Business School and Engineering Graduate Student Council hackathons. 

Jennifer Lembeck

MS, Mechanical Engineering
New York, NY
Memories: Learning from full-time engineers on the realities of the industry.
Ambition: Sustainable energy for all

Kurian Mathew

Kurian has earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Robotics and Control.

Gleb Vizitiv

BS, Computer Science
Home Country:
Activities: Columbia Quant Group, the Senior Fund
Awards: Campbell Leadership Award

Kaja Lapinska

MS, Mechanical Engineering
Home Country:
Activities: Member of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association, the Columbia Club in Poland
What’s next: Using her engineering skills in her native Poland

Arvind Srinivasan

PhD, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Activities: Co-founder and head of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association, Engineering Graduate Student Council
Awards: Lead teaching fellowship


Negar Reiskarimian

PhD, Electrical Engineering
Home Country: Iran
Awards: The Paul Baran Young Scholar Award, The 2016 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, Named a 2018 Riser by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Morton B. Friedman Memorial Prize for Excellence

Clare Chan

BS, Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Scarsdale, NY
Activities: President of Society of Women Engineers, President of American Society of Civil Engineers, research on the additive manufacturing and characterization of cementitious materials with Professor Shiho Kawashima
Awards: American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum Award, CEAA Distinguished Student Leadership Award, Senior Marshal
What's next: Pursuing a PhD as a Cabell Fellow at Northwestern University.

Patrick Alrassy

PhD, Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Home Country: Lebanon
Awards: Testa Award, MET GALA Participant, member of the Smart Cities data science team
What’s next: Work with the autonomous vehicle industry