Meet the Graduate Student Coaches

Sathya Balachander


PhD Student in the School of Biology
"Life goes on no matter what options you chose"

After getting a Bachelor’s in Biotechnology and Masters in Biomedical Engineering, Sat decided to pursue PhD in Biology to understand the basic mechanism on how DNA works. He is interested in studying the good, bad and ugly side of ribonucleotides that get embedded in our DNA. In addition to working on this thesis, Sat has always enjoyed being a TA. He is also very active in SGA, working as Senator representing the School of Biology and also the VP of communications. He is a serious news junkie, always looking through news sites starting from Politico to Huffington post to BuzzFeed.
In this age, nobody seems to have time to share their experiences to help younger folks to think outside the box. Sat greatly believes in helping the undergraduates to explore the unlimited opportunities that are available to them. Being a leadership fellow will definitely be a valuable experience for him and the coachees, both personally and professionally.

Camille Barchers


4th Year PhD student in the School of City and Regional Planning
"If you want to reach your own potential, sometimes you have to help someone else reach theirs." - Uschi Keszler  

Camille Barchers is a fourth year PhD student in the School of City and Regional Planning, where she teaches the Introduction to City and Regional Planning course and researches public participation, urban growth models, and technology. She also serves on the Provost's Creating the Next in Education Commission. Before beginning the PhD program, Camille worked as a city planning consultant with Kimley-Horn and Associates, where she focused on regional scenario planning projects for clients throughout the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. Camille earned a dual B.S. from Cornell University in Natural Resources and International Agriculture and Rural Development as well as a Masters of Regional Planning.

Camille became a Leadership Fellow because she enjoys working to help others achieve their goals and develop their skills and because she enjoys working with students, faculty, and staff from different departments. She is returning because the experience has changed the way she works with others and has helped her develop her own leadership skills. 

Christian Bayens

Christian Bayens

2nd Year Masters Student in ECE and Business Administration
“How far can you push a rope? Not very far. That’s why true influencers don’t push.” - Bob Burg

Christian received his B.S. in Physics at the University of North Alabama in 2015. He is currently in his second year of graduate study, pursuing a Master's Degree from the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Christian's research area of interest is in cyber-physical security systems. Currently, he is investigating low frequency radio signals produced by electric power stations and their potential security applications.

Christian chose to become a leadership fellow because of the major importance that leadership played in his own undergraduate experience. While studying physics, he learned communication and management skills by engaging himself in Greek Life, Student Government, and Student Ambassadors at UNA. Developing leadership takes a willingness to jump into unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable situations. Anyone wishing to become an effective leader should expect to fail on occasion and to constantly learn from past experiences. That being said, Christian is very excited for the opportunity to coach individuals through their journey into leadership. 

Deanna Beatty


5th year PhD candidate in the School of Biology with a focus in marine ecology
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Deanna obtained her Bachelors degree from Northeastern University in 2008. After graduating she worked in a marine microbiology laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. Her position at Scripps took her on many adventures, culminating in her desire to go to graduate school. For her dissertation, she is investigating the effectiveness of marine protected areas on coral reef health and their effect on the coral microbiome.

Deanna decided to become a leadership fellow to help undergraduates cultivate leadership skills, while improving her own as well. Some of her most rewarding experiences thus far have been while working with undergraduates, and she is looking forward to further opportunities to do so through the fellowship program.

Andrew Benton

Andrew Benton

1st Year PhD Student in Physical Therapy, GSU
Life is like a camera, just focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out, just take another shot." - Ziad K. Abdelnour

Andrew's passions involve sipping on a steaming cup of coffee, performing improvisational acting, playing ultimate frisbee, and learning through both reading and listening to podcasts. His coaching career began in middle school. In 7th grade he started by coaching youth women's soccer and later added a micro-mites team. His sports coaching continued into high school and college with coaching both men's soccer and the Georgia Tech Men's Ultimate team. Andrew has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and has worked in sales as well as the HVAC industry. Andrew is now pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Georgia State which will allow him to enhance his coaching abilities and improve the lives of his patients.

Andrew chose to become a leadership fellow to help others develop their leadership skills. As a Leading Edge graduate, Andrew is excited to help foster the growth of aspiring leaders and propel them towards achieving their goals.

Souryadeep Bhattacharyya


4th Year PhD Student in Chemical Engineering
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Souryadeep received his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India and completed his M.Tech from IIT Kanpur in Chemical Engineering in 2012. He is at present a 4th year PhD student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Georgia Tech after completing his MS in 2014. His research focus is stability of adsorbents and porous materials on exposure to acid gases. Along with his academic work, Souryadeep is an Indian Classical Musician and plays the sarod. In Georgia Tech, he has been part of various student organizations in different roles including among others, Senator representing the ChBE department in the Graduate Student Senate (2012-2015) and President of India Club at Georgia Tech (ICGT) (2015-16), the largest cultural student organisation on campus.

Souryadeep chose to become a leadership fellow because he believes in refining his own leadership skills through helping shape young leaders on the Tech campus who, he feels, can benefit from his relatable experiences. Souryadeep knows leadership is never a one way street and hopes this experience will be a rewarding one for both him and his coachees through mutual learning.

Tia Bolinger

Tia Bolinger

2nd Year Masters Student in CS
"When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." - Audre Lorde

With a background in IT, Tia has succeeded as a Lead Process Control Engineer for a few years. This lead to her growing interest in Computer Science, which brought her here to Georgia Tech. She will be finishing up her academic career at Udacity or Cisco Systems (She hasn't quite decided yet!)

Becoming a Leadership Fellow was a wonderful way to give what Tia has been given and continue to grow as a leader. There is a real beauty in creating a conversation with a sense of open and reflective exploration. Learning how to take your next step (and the next) starts with a decision and the right questions can get you there.

Caroline Burnette


2nd Year Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning
"There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Caroline is a master’s student in Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning as well as a research assistant in the Center for Geographic Information Systems. Prior to attending Georgia Tech, Caroline received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Florida State University. There, she performed research in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, which largely influenced her decision to pursue a master’s degree in the field of planning. Caroline also previously worked for Walt Disney World in Orlando as an intern in civil engineering, structural engineering, and project management.

Caroline is excited to help other students achieve their goals as a leadership fellow, while also developing her own leadership skills. She enjoys getting to know peoples’ unique stories and looks forward to forming friendships with other driven and talented members of the Georgia Tech community.

Newton Chan

Newton Chan

2nd Year Master's Student in Mechanical Engineering
There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking. - Joshua Reynolds via Thomas Edison

Newton received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 2010. He spent a year working as a contract research assistant for the US Army in San Antonio, researching mild traumatic brain injuries. Newton then spent three years as a research engineer for an orthopedic surgery lab in Houston. He came to Georgia Tech in 2014.

Newton chose to become a leadership coach because he wanted to develop the leadership skills of undergraduate students. He has coached undergraduate students during the course of his professional work and he has enjoyed seeing them develop as leaders. He continues to enjoy the personal relationship that he has developed with his coachees and loves how much they've grown through the coaching process.