Lorin Achey is a Computer Science major focusing on embedded systems programming, cyber security, and autonomous systems. She works as a software engineering intern in the Advanced Human Integration branch at Georgia Tech Research Institute and is the sub-team lead for the LiDAR imaging system team of the TARGIT satellite mission in the Space Systems Design Lab. If she is not at work or in the lab, she is at Georgia Tech’s Student Competition Center working with Wreck Racing on a full-sized race car that competes in the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge. Lorin was elected Lead Machinist for Wreck Racing in 2018 due to her passion for teaching and training club members about basic car maintenance, machining, and automotive engineering for race cars. As a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, Lorin is excited to work on improving the climate and work environment at the Student Competition Center so that all students can enjoy the facilities, teams, and resources available there.
Isabel Altamirano (she/her/hers) is the Engineering and Chemistry Librarian at the Georgia Tech Library. She has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and earned two BS degrees from the University of New Orleans. While at LSU, she discussed that first generation college students count as a diverse population, no matter the race of the students. For her project, Isabel will develop information to assist first generation students navigate the GT environment. She is looking forward to working with other 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Fellows and GT students in creating this guide. Besides reading dystopian novels and knitting/crocheting, she enjoys learning crafts at Atlanta creative studios.
Keshav Bimbraw is a graduate research assistant working on Robotics. He is from Sirhind, Punjab, India and received his bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering from Thapar University, Patiala, India. As a graduate student and a research assistant in Robotic Musicianship Lab, he works on musical robots and rehabilitation robotics targeted towards amputees and stroke patients. Outside of research, he is an Indian classical musician and during his downtime, he likes listening to and playing music, reading and going on long walks. He is trying to go vegan and is passionate about equality, LGBTQIA rights, rehabilitation of disabled people and elderly care.
Simone Douglas is a fourth year PhD Candidate in the joint Biomedical Engineering (BME) program at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Her research focuses on understanding the proteolytic mechanisms of blood clotting in sickle cell disease. As a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, Simone would like to focus on recruitment and retention of undergraduate underrepresented minorities (URM) in engineering programs. She co-founded Biomedical Engineering Alliance for Minorities (BEAM), a graduate student organization, that aims to create a support system for graduate students of color to help improve retention, develop community and network, and highlight the value of racial and ethnic diversity in the BME department. Her project will focus on expanding BEAM to the undergraduate level. Simone aspires to work in academia as a professor where she is committed to be at the forefront of outreach and initiatives to make the demographics in classrooms reflect the diversity of the nation.
Conor Flannelly is a first year BME Major from Hoover, Alabama. His talents include shoehorning movie quotes into conversations, laughing at his own dad jokes, and tripping over nothing. Whenever he's not facedown on the ground, you can find Conor playing soccer, reading fantasy novels, or listening to Ed Sheeran. Conor is also an amateur writer, and if that’s not hipster enough for you, used book stores are his favorite places on Earth. He has a rather frequent tendency to daydream, so he might seem spaced out when you see him around campus, but please feel free to say hello!
Terrance Gresham is an MBA Recruiting Manager at Scheller College of Business. He leads the diversity recruitment efforts for the Full-time and Evening MBA programs, establishing partnerships with numerous campus and professional organizations. Terrance is a 2018 Face of Inclusive Excellence and 2018 Diversity Champion Unit awardee as a member of the MBA Program Office, and co-chair of the Scheller College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Council. When he is not working, Terrance is a singer and songwriter, as well as an avid marathon runner who hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2020.
Anna Kirkpatrick is a fourth-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization. She earned a BS in mathematics from the University of South Carolina before coming to Georgia Tech. Her current research focuses on applications of mathematics and computer science to problems in molecular biology.
Anna is proud to be an asexual, disabled woman pursuing fascinating technical work. She has nonetheless struggled with lack of resources and role models throughout her academic career and is therefore especially passionate about making resources and community support available to others with disabilities.
Grace Leslie is an Assistant Professor of Music Technology in the School of Music at Georgia Tech, where she also serves as director of the Brain Music Lab at the Center for Music Technology. Her mission as a musician and scientist is to engage in research and creative practice that brings health and well-being to others. As an electronic music composer and improviser, she maintains a brain-body performance practice. Grace strives to integrate the manners of conventional emotional and musical expression that she learned as a flutist with the new forms available to her as an electronic musician, using brain-computer interface to reveal aspects of her internal mental state, those left unexpressed by sound or gesture, to an audience. In recent years she has performed this music in academic and popular music venues, conferences and residencies in the United States, UK, Australia, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Japan, and released three records of this mind-body music. Grace recently completed a fellowship at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA, where she collaborated with the Neurology research team at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in the development of epilepsy therapies using electronic music and sound. Grace was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she researched the link between cortical and physiological arousal, and developed new music interfaces that modulate this link to bring well-being.
Stephanie Giles Merrick holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change. Her research focuses on organizational development and engagement. Dr. Merrick currently works in the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization, a research center in the College of Design. She teaches a section of the GT1000 Freshman seminar. In the class, she advises students about how to navigate and succeed in the Georgia Tech academic environment. Dr Merrick is currently working on a book titled “The Drivers of Employee Engagement in the 21st Century”. She is also interested in raising awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace and in finding protocols to reduce its occurrence. She is proud to be a part of the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program.
On Cassie’s desk is displayed a sign that says: “Never, never, never give up.” As a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic and as a cancer patient, she has an intimate understanding of pathology and a passion to leverage her personal and scientific research experiences to positively impact lives. Cassie is an assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering. In addition, she founded the Laboratory for Pathology Dynamics, which does research in predictive medicine. Cassie is proud to represent Team USA as a Paralympic Games medalist. Her DI project focuses on enabling the physically disabled to meet professional goals. For a short 4-minute video click: Cassie’s Story.
Kiera Patterson is currently a full-time MBA student at Scheller College of Business. She is originally from Newnan, Georgia and is a proud “double jacket” having gotten her undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech in Industrial Engineering. Prior to returning for grad school she worked as a Project Manager for AT&T. In her free time she loves cheering on any Atlanta sports team, trying new restaurants for her Instagram food blog “BuzzOnFood”, and traveling. She is a huge advocate for disability awareness and rights and is excited to be a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program.
Diana is a Ph.D. student at the School of Public Policy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and two Masters Degrees. Her passion is Science and Technology Policy with a focus on women and minority participation. Since 2013 Diana has worked as a GRA for ADVANCE Professor Dr. Mary Frank Fox on projects about women, science, and research collaboration. Diana emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia in 2009 and became a mother in 2015. She realizes the importance of a new mother’s support network and is committed to bringing guidance and a helping hand to others.
Renee is a PH.D. candidate in the School of History and Sociology, specializing in the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology, with a focus on race, gender, and sexuality. Her research investigates how ideas about race and gender inform social knowledge about sexual violence through technology, cultural artifacts, medicine, and the law. Renee's dissertation, Designing Justice: Sexual Violence, Technology, and Citizen-Activism, examines how the criminal justice system neglects assault cases by re-designing the technology used for self-defense, reporting, investigation, and punishment. In addition, Renee serves as a member of the Race and Racism in Biomedicine Working Group (racebiomed.org) and work with gender violence advocacy groups in the Southeast.
David “Alpha” Smith is a Georgia Tech alumnus (’86, ’88, and ’90), an engineering educator, and a practicing engineer who has worked and/or taught in the Americas, Europe, and Asia and still hopes to have similar opportunities some day in Africa, Oceania, and Antarctica. Alpha joined the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering as a Lecturer in the spring of 2018, and strives to contribute to a climate of active inclusion both in and out of the classroom. He is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program.
Collin Spencer is a third-year Biology major with a vested interest in mental health. Spencer currently oversees the allocation of a fund for mental health as Chair of the Joint Allocations Committee. He also manages a national conference on best practices for collegiate mental health. As a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, he hopes to translate research on vulnerable populations into policy recommendations. Spencer values a multi-disciplinary approach to systemic mental health reform and recognizes change as the responsibility of the entire community.
Nadia Szeinbaum obtained her PhD in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech months after having her son. She is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow studying the possible ways that microbes could have interacted on an early Earth, and the impact of these interactions on the current global microbiome. Outside of research, Nadia is an advocate for mental health and wellbeing. Through the Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship, Nadia will combine both of these interests into a project aimed at improving the quality of the academic experience of students and postdocs with families.
Sanjana Teje is a first-year graduate student studying Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech. Originally from Mumbai, India, Atlanta is the ninth city she has lived in. Sanjana received her bachelor degree in Manufacturing Engineering post which she worked for two years at a brewery where she drove initiatives for inclusive work environments. She has always been interested in contributing to the community and is extremely excited to work throughout the year as a Diversity and Inclusion fellow aiming to create a conducive environment for the entire Georgia Tech community. Apart from her passions for yoga and teaching children, Sanjana loves the next new good read and exploring different places and cuisines with her friends.
Christina Wan is the Summer Session Initiatives Program & Operations Manager at Georgia Tech. Prior to coming to Georgia Tech, Christina worked in Georgia State University's Multicultural Center. Christina received an M.Ed. from the University of Florida, and a B.A. from Trinity University. Christina has experience working in residence life, multicultural affairs, and career & leadership programs. Throughout her career, she has gained experience advising student organizations, teaching first-year students, and working with mentorship programs. When she is not working, Christina can be found studying, as she is also a Ph.D. student in Georgia State University's Department of Sociology.
Shana currently is a Constellations Fellow in the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing in the College of Computing. Shana is a passionate educator who believes in purposeful disruption of the status quo and works as an advocate for marginalized groups in education. She has an unwavering commitment to providing opportunities for all students to engage in unique and relevant learning experiences within CS and STEM.
Benjamin Williams (He/Him/His) is an Associate Program Director in the Student Center, joined Georgia Tech in January 2017. In his role, he oversees three committees for SCPC, Under the Couch, and graduate student programming. He has spent the past 6 years working on college campuses to support student success, leadership development, and facilities management.
As a queer administrator and doctoral student at Georgia State, he prioritizes creating inclusive spaces and programs for students to engage in critical conversations and dialogues to make the world better. He is proud to be one of the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellows and looks forward to enhancing campus for LGBTQIA community members at Tech.
Pedro is native of the indigenous community of Urapicho, in the Purépecha region of México. Purépecha people have a strong relationship with music, and with guitar in particular. This is why, above all, he is a “troubadour”. At Georgia Tech Pedro is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Biological Sciences, majoring in Quantitative Biosciences. He studies the emergence and evolution of biological complexity.
As a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, he will focus on the richness that immigrants bring to our Georgia Tech community, and will discuss immigration as an inherent and fundamental process for the success of societies.