Meet the Graduate Student Coaches

Curtis Balusek

Curtis_Balusek

7th Year PhD Student in Physics
"To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect." - Lao Tzu

During his undergraduate at Sam Houston State University, Curtis was active as a student ambassador for the Honors College, was involved with the Long-term Undergraduate Research Experience program in the mathematics department, and worked as a Student Director & Counselor for the incoming students’ “Bearkat Camp”.  While at SHSU, Curtis received the College of Science Outstanding Service award for his time and dedication to the university and community.  Since being at Georgia Tech, Curtis has been heavily involved with the Archery Club and was named the School of Physics TA of the year, twice.

Curtis recognizes that leadership comes in various forms, but that all leaders share common traits, such as the ability to reflect on past decisions, acknowledging areas of improvement, and a desire to change. Curtis attributes most of his success to this systematic process of reflection, recognition, and self-improvement.  He believes this process is ideal for discovering yourself, developing who you want to be, and strengthening your leadership traits.   As your coach, Curtis is excited to learn and grow from the experiences and opportunities that lie before you.

Troy Batugal

Troy_Batugal

3rd Year PhD Student in BioEngineering
“Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable.”  Twyla Tharp

Troy received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in May 2015. While at Cornell, he worked as a residential adviser for three years where he developed a fondness for engaging in deep conversations and listening to others’ life stories. He commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve through the Cornell Army ROTC program where he learned to appreciate being part of a cohesive team united by a common purpose. Troy is currently a 3rd year graduate student in BioEngineering conducting research on the engineering of antimicrobial enzymes  under the advisement of Dr. Ravi Kane.

Troy believes that service to others and the community provides a basis for a meaningful life and that many of life’s greatest lessons and insights can be gleaned from conversing with people whom society deems ordinary. He hopes to impart some of these lessons as a leadership fellow and is excited to embark upon a journey of self-discovery alongside his fellow coaches and coachees.

William Bradley

William

2nd Year PhD Student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
"Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering." - Theodore Roosevelt

Prior to enrolling in Georgia Tech’s doctoral program as a President’s Fellowship recipient, William earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Chemical Engineering.  His employment within the university included three years of undergraduate research through which he was awarded an ORCA grant for undergraduate research and coauthored two publications in the field of cell-free protein synthesis. In addition, he oversaw the efforts of several service committees including BYU’s Scouting program, pairing volunteers with service opportunities within the Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs.  Between academic semesters he interned in a variety of roles ranging from supply chain for Reckitt Benckiser, pilot plant process design for Ceramatec Inc. and as a chemist intern for Teva Pharmaceuticals.

William is convinced that leadership is not a skill reserved to a gifted few.  Rather, all people are presented with opportunities and the capacity to lead—it is the decision to seek out and shoulder the responsibilities of leadership that ultimately distinguishes who society looks to as leaders.  With this conviction he sees Leadership Coaching as an excellent venue for helping others overcome personal barriers to leadership by developing their own leadership style through self-reflection and experienced success.  His hopes are that this program will allow him to ignite within his coachees a desire to pursue lifelong leadership development while also sharpening his own ability to identify the missing link for next-level-leadership in his choachees and also in himself.  William is currently a 2nd year PhD student in Georgia Tech’s department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Taylor Curley

Taylor

4th Year PhD Student in Psychology
"Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

Taylor grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. After receiving a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and an M.S. from Villanova University, he began his Ph.D. in Psychology here at Georgia Tech. As a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellow with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Taylor studies how memory and decision-making changes with aging, with a particular focus on differences in memory predictions between young and older adults. Along with his aging research, Taylor uses computational methodologies to model complex behaviors in humans. He is currently partnering with Charles River Analytics, Inc. and the US Army's NSRDEC to develop predictive models of soldier behavior.

Georgia Tech can be an incredibly challenging environment for anybody, regardless of their status or previous experiences. Taylor's goal as a LEAD fellow is to help others overcome leadership challenges through re-conceptualizing how we think of problems and how to better communicate with those that can help us achieve our goals. He is looking forward to making new connections as well as growing as an individual with his coachees in the process!

Josh Fisher

Josh_Fisher

4th Year PhD Student in Digital Media
"If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that." - Charles Bukowski, Poet

As an undergrad, Josh started his first business while getting his BA in English Studies and Political Science. After graduating, Josh went on to work as a farmer and shepherd before beginning to teach at a university in South Korea and then in Turkey. At this point, Josh began his second business, a mobile development house, and produced a number of award-winning apps. Josh is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. student studying how emerging technology like augmented and virtual reality will impact communities.

Josh believes that leadership is learned through practice, patience, and empathy. He believes that working within communities and with individuals to take meaningful chances is the best way to enhance one’s leadership skills. Josh wants to help students gain these leadership skills early in life so they can have the greatest possible impact moving forward. He sees becoming a coach as an opportunity to connect and learn with others.

Patrick Goley

Patrick

4th Year PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering
"True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer." - David Foster Wallace

As an undergraduate at Virginia Tech Patrick was co-president of the university’s first residential college. There he started a tradition of cooking soup in his dorm room and inviting over everyone over for dinner every Friday. After staying at VT to complete an M.S. degree, he moved to Atlanta where he lives with his wife and his dog named Bo. He has interned at GE Energy, National Instruments, and the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Before attending VT Patrick made a living as a line-cook for nine years. He is currently a 4th year PhD student conducting research in field of photonic integrated circuits. Some of his favorite authors are Tim Kreider, Cal Newport, Patrick Rothfuss, and Brandon Sanderson.

Patrick believes many of the most dangerous problems associated with modern human society, such as the shortcomings of our current healthcare system, the dysfunction of our two-party political system, or the continued disenfranchisement of minorities and immigrants, stem in part from an inadequate supply of good leaders. Ancient Greek tragedian, Sophocles, wrote that “One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try.” And so Patrick tries to be a good leader, and tries also to support the efforts of others be good leaders, and does so knowing that it is hard, and that he will often fail. He also knows, from experience, that failure is a very good teacher, and he appreciates opportunities to share lessons from his failures with others.

Madeline Gray

Madeline

2nd Year PhD Student in Biology
"The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the world." - Toni Collette

As an undergraduate student at Reinhardt University, Madeline was active in the Biology department as a tutor, a work study student, a Teaching Assistant, and an undergraduate researcher. She was a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society, Co-Treasurer of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, and VP of the Allied Health Club. She was also a recipient of the Sharp's Scholarship as a winner of the Dean's Scholarship competition. Madeline is currently a 2nd year PhD student in the Biology department.

Madeline believes that to maximize one's benefit to the world, one must first know, trust, and have confidence in oneself. She hopes to help students learn to respect and help each other through leadership training, so that they can develop into successful mentors and leadership coaches for future generations.

 

 

Giovanny Guecha-Ahumada

Giovanny

Master’s Student in Aerospace Engineering
"Little by little, one travels far." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Giovanny was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. He took classes in four different countries and three languages to receive his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Russian studies from Georgia Tech. His graduate research focuses on guidance, navigation and control of miniaturized satellites. Apart from his academic work, Giovanny has directed musical performances for on-campus cultural events, he led the creation and development of our first college Squash team and is currently the administrator of Argentine Tango at Georgia Tech.
 
Giovanny encourages students to improve their leadership skills through hands-on activities, by actively seeking feedback, and most importantly, by developing their self-confidence. He attributes many of his successes to great role models who were exceptional leaders in their workplace and families. Giovanny believes that improving one’s leadership skills is an everlasting process and finds leadership coaching as the best way to grow on his own skills while guiding undergraduates through their own leadership development.

Andrew Hanus

Andrew_Hanus

3rd Year Student in Dual Master's in Public Policy and City & Regional Planning
"Does the dog wag the tail?" - Unknown

Andrew is an active duty veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he spent 6-years as a Military Working Dog Handler, and presently remains a member of the Air National Guard.  He has an associate degree in criminal justice, and has worked as a paralegal at the Department of Veteran Affairs.  He obtained his undergraduate in science and technology policy from Arizona State University, and spent time in Washington D.C. as a student leader at the McCain Institute for International Leadership.  Before beginning his dual master's program, Andrew worked as a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Fellow and worked to advance science-driven research and policy for the nation.  And as a hobby, he has trained and competed in strongman and powerlifting sports for many years.

With his military experience and work elsewhere, Andrew has been exposed to a number of leadership roles and has learned in some of the most unusual situations.  One thing he understands is the importance of self-discovery, and encourages looking at life past the myopic focus we tend to hold.  Andrew is not afraid to take a step into the unknown, and looks forward to working with others to accomplish the goals that they have set out for themselves and learning more about himself along the way.

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