Meet the Graduate Student Coaches

Choose by first letter of last name of coach.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | O | P | Q | R | S | V | W | Y
Rupa Anne
Viswa Sri Rupa Anne
2nd Year PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering
"Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you and, push you to be your best self" - Bill Gates.
Rupa is a Ph.D student working in autonomous and connected transportation. She completed her Bachelors in civil engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) in Southern India, Right after, she moved to Georgia to pursue her masters in Transportation Engineering at Georgia Tech. During her time as a masters' student, she worked as a graduate researcher at GTRI. This experience motivated her to pursue a doctoral program in the field of emerging technologies in transportation. Outside of academics, Rupa may be found painting, baking (especially cupcakes) or boxing.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
As an undergraduate student I benefited from a mentorship program. The program helped me grow both academically and personally. Providing coaching support for another student is very rewarding and inspiring.
Kavya Ashok
Kavya Ashok
5th Year PhD Candidate in Electrical & Computer Engineering
Jack of all trades, master of none...but oftentimes better than a master of one.
Kavya is a graduate research assistant at the Center for Distributed Energy and is pursuing her PhD in smart-grid research. She obtained her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Singapore prior to moving to the United States. She has also lived in Oman, South Africa and India and brings with her a multicultural background. She is passionate about global issues like the energy crisis and climate change and believes in a strong collaboration between technology and policy to solving these issues. During her free time she likes to explore different activities and describes herself as a "jack of all trades".
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Kavya believes that the best way to improve and learn is to constantly challenge oneself both personally and academically. And universities are a great environment to develop a plethora of important skills such as leadership, team work, self-resiliency while not being afraid to fail. Kavya looks forward to interacting with her Coachees and supporting them in any way she can, while also developing her own leadership and communication skills through the program
Shuaib Balogun
Shuaib Balogun
2nd Year PhD in Material Science and Engineering
"Sometimes you need to get knocked down before you can really figure out what your fight is and how you need to fight it." - Chadwick Boseman
During his undergraduate career, Shuaib interned at the 3M and worked as a research assistant in a catalytic laboratory. Additionally, he worked as a 3 year residential assistant as well as a 3 year teaching assistant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Upon graduation, he was bestowed the great privilege of being a 21st century leader by the Chancellor of UMass Amherst for his exemplary leadership in the community. Shuaib is currently a 2nd Year PhD Student in Material Science and Engineering and has interned at Applied Materials and is a GAANN, GEM and Presidential Fellowship recipient. Shuaib believes that the ability to listen and have bipartisan discussions are important towards driving change and understanding within a community. He wants to help others develop skills that will make them better members of society that can emphasise with others and drive positive change.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
I wanted to become a leadership fellow because I wanted to continue to develop my leadership skills as well as coach other students
Alex Balzer
Alex Balzer
5th Year PhD Student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
"The road to success is always under construction." - Arnold Palmer
Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with minors in Math and German at North Carolina State University. During his undergraduate career, he interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, worked as an undergraduate researcher at NC State and was a tutor. After undergrad, Alex worked for a start-up company in Raleigh, NC and then worked for AspenTech in Boston. He is now a 5th Year PhD Student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a Presidential Fellowship Recipient.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Alex believes that a great leader is someone who can adapt their style to best fit the team, and not someone who seeks to make people like them. However, there are many ways to be a great leader, and discovering what type of leader you are is incredibly valuable. You can always seek to be better and learn more, and Alex attributes a lot of his success to his various experiences and his time management skills. He hopes to learn and grow as a Leadership Coach but also help his Coachees grow.
Ritesh Bhatt
Ritesh Bhatt
1st Year MS in Mechanical Engineering
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
While an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech, Ritesh served as a leader in many campus organizations, including the Invention Studio and India Club at Georgia Tech. He interned in India at MakerGhat, where he prototyped a low-cost plastic bottle crusher to facilitate waste management. Some of his hobbies include photography, creating art, and working on fun projects in the Invention Studio such as a DIY star tracker.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Ritesh was a coachee in the Leading Edge program in Fall 2019, where he learned the importance of being introspective and mindful to further self-development. Through one-on-one coaching, he was challenged to rethink and analyze the thought process behind all the different situations he faced in college, whether with friends, classmates, or instructors. Ritesh recognizes the importance of a helping hand and some additional perspective when practicing self-development, which is why he wanted to be a coach himself. He is excited to take this journey of leadership development with his fellow coaches and coachees, and hopes to grow as a leader, student, and friend while guiding others to do the same.
Abby Brenller
Abby Brenller
2nd year MBA Student
“Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness.” -Mother Teresa
After earning her undergraduate degree in marketing and international business, Abby moved to Panamá to work as a Peace Corps volunteer. She taught business skills, project management, and community health in a rural, indigenous village for 2 years, and then moved to the Darién gap to serve as Peace Corp’s regional leader, managing a dispersed group of volunteers across the eastern side of the country. When she completed her term in Panamá, Abby relocated to Atlanta to lead sales and marketing for a local chocolate maker practicing direct trade. Abby us currently a 2nd year MBA candidate and Forté Women in Business fellow.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Abby was first exposed to coaching methodology for leadership development while still in Panamá, and believes her experiences as both a coach and a coachee were fundamental in learning how to truly help others help themselves. Too often we assume we know someone’s story enough to suggest the next chapter, when in reality our biggest strength is usually listening and conscious conversation in which we empower each other to decide our own next steps. Abby is excited to meet and learn more about her coachees this year as we all work together to become better leaders and team mates.
Joshua Burr
1st Year MBA Student
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. - Marcus Aurelius
Joshua graduated from The Oregon State University with a B.S. in Bio-Engineering. Upon graduation, he joined the electron microscope division of Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he worked in global logistics, and field services. While his job functions revolved around quarterly revenue targets, and project implementation deadlines, Joshua found his greatest pleasure in change management, and building coalitions. Joshua is now pursuing an MBA, with focuses in Leadership Development, and Strategy. He also works as a part of the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship in The Scheller College of Business, and plans to build upon his past experiences while at Georgia Tech.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Joshua envisions our future world being built by teams run by, and comprising of, great leaders. Being a Leadership Fellow provides an opportunity to explore not only his own leadership path, but also understand how those around him view their leadership paths. Joshua hopes to assist those looking to further their own leadership potential by providing an open environment, and encouraging thoughtful discussion.
Sara Chamberlain
Sara Chamberlain
2nd Year MBA Student, Scheller College of Business
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars.” – Les Brown
Sara Chamberlain is a second-year full-time MBA student in the Scheller College of Business, where she serves as President of the Graduate Business Council for all full-time MBA students. Prior to joining Scheller, she worked in experience design consulting and marketing, where she tackled a wide variety of projects – consumer insights, research, advertising, social media, digital optimization, and more – for clients across industries. Her undergraduate studies were at the University of Georgia, where she was a double-major in marketing and theatre.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
When Sara made the decision to come back to school for her MBA, one of her priorities was to focus on developing herself as an effective leader. Prior to becoming a LEAD coach, Sara was a coachee in the LEAD program, where she got firsthand experience in the benefits of having someone dedicated to helping students in their leadership development journey in a one-on-one setting. She found the Socratic style of coaching used by the LEAD team to be particularly illuminating without introducing coaches’ potential biases into the process. Sara felt inspired to take the next step in her own leadership development by joining the LEAD team as a coach so she could help others in their leadership development journey.
Devyani Choudhary
Devyani Choudhary
Masters in Computational Science and Engineering
Those who were seen dancing in the rain were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - anonymous
Devyani completed her undergrad in Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani-Pilani Campus, India. She worked as a Planning Analyst for a while, before going for a Masters in Structural Engineering at Stanford University. Through her experiences, math and art have been an underlying theme, and to affirm her understanding of these two, she is pursuing a Masters in Computational Science here at Georgia Tech.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Devyani's enthusiasm for becoming a fellow was inspired by her Leadership Coach. When she was stuck, she met with her Coach where she gained self-awareness and overcame her current leadership struggles while preparing herself to conquer those that might come in the future. Devyani says the experience was enabling and a blessing, and she now wishes to pay it forward.
Kenneth De Jesus
Kenneth De Jesus
2nd Year PhD in Biomedical Engineering
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Being originally from Puerto Rico "la isla del encanto”, Kenneth completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. As an undergraduate, he performed research in the areas of Bioinformatics and Microfluidics for the development of therapies that could assist biomedical diseases. He also conducted summer internships at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Emory University. Kenneth has worked for medical device companies like Abbott and Boston Scientific. These experiences drove him to grow a passion for biomedical engineering to currently be a PhD Student at both Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. His current work focuses in optimizing a bio-printed aortic heart valve model capable of regenerate and repair for the pediatric population. He also had the privilege of serving as the monthly series leader for the Smart Heart outreach in order to educate the pediatric community about heart function and disease at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Outside of the science field, he enjoys playing the bass, watching baseball and discovering new food.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Kenneth's desire for becoming a Leadership Fellow began as a Coachee inside the LEAD program. Learning how to become self-disciplined to identify his goals and maximize his skills were part of the gainings that he wishes to pass along to coming students. Since he was an undergraduate, he has benefited from outreach and mentoring programs that now leave him in desire to give back as a graduate student coach. He wants to provide a space for new students to develop and sharpen their skills so they can better face the challenges that come along the way on a daily basis. Kenneth is eager to serving students of the Georgia Tech community!
Sang Yun Han
Sang Yun Han
PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away - Pablo Picasso
Sang is a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering who studies how to improve the capacity and safety of Li-ion batteries. He is passionate about leading diverse organizations and creating student leaders through coaching. He is currently serving as the President of Georgia Tech PhD2Consulting Club. Previously, he has served as the Vice President of Graduate Events in the Student Government Association for two years and led various large-scale and campus-wide events, such as convocation, fall/spring picnics, and the career fair for graduate students at Georgia Tech. He has extensive experience with growing teams, managing projects, and delivering results in a timely manner. Outside of school, Sang loves to explore nature, make latte arts, and play the piano.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Sang believes that it is important to stay open-minded and learn from others. From his experience, understanding how teammates are engaged and feel included is critical for success. However, everyone has different strengths and it can be tricky for a leader to identify members’ skills and align members with the team's vision. He wants to help people reflect and develop their own style of leadership systematically and is very excited about the opportunity to work as a Leadership Coach because he likes to meet people from diverse backgrounds and help them be their best.
Biulal Iftikhar
Bilal Iftikhar
5th year PhD in Civil Engineering
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears". Rumi
Bilal Iftikhar is a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering with research focuses on reservoirs operation optimization or flood mitigation. His hometown is Islamabad capital in Pakistan. Prior to this, he worked in different positions in Government of Pakistan to construct new dams and find out the ways to overcome the effects of floods in Pakistan. Currently, he is an active member of the Georgia Tech Community in the capacity of president of the Fulbright Student Association at Georgia Tech.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Bilal decided to become a Leadership Fellow because he believed leadership coaching is two-way learning process, it not only helps students become exceptional students by addressing behaviors that hold back students’ performance it also plays a vital role to groom a leadership coach. Over the course of the last 5 years, Bilal had a lot of people at Georgia tech mentor|help|coach him to attain his goals so he believed that it’s a time for him to give back to the Georgia Tech Community by helping new students to establish their footprints in the Georgia Tech community.
Ajit Kamath
Ajit Kamath
2nd Year PhD in Civil Engineering
"Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done." Marilyn Monroe
Ajit Kamath is a Structural (Civil) Engineering Ph.D. student with his research focused on stability of steel structures. Ajit received his Bachelors from National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK) India and has a work experience of four years as a structural engineers in India’s leading consultancy Engineers India Ltd. Ajit holds executive positions in the campus organizations - India Club at Georgia Tech and Chi Epsilon. Beyond his academic work, Ajit is a soccer enthusiast and can be regularly seen playing soccer on the Stamps field on weekends. In addition to soccer, Ajit likes to explore nature and has been on a number of hikes in and around Atlanta.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Ajit believes that developing interpersonal skills such as effective communication, managing conflicts, objective judgment of circumstances and self-awareness in addition to technical skills is very important for success. This is where working in teams and leadership development comes into the picture. The process of self-reflection and self-improvement enables students to find their identities as individuals and as members of a team. Ajit is excited in working with the coachees, helping them through the process and growing alongside them.
Sunny Kim
Sunny Kim
3rd Year PhD in BioEngineering
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde
I’m a 3rd year PhD student in the BioEngineering program, with Mechanical Engineering as a home school. My research focuses on developing an ultrasound transducer for early diagnosis of heart diseases. I am passionate about promoting positive mental and physical health. I am a certified Be Body Positive facilitator and have been actively planning along with other faculty, staff, and students to hold the first Be Body Positive session for Georgia Tech students in the Fall of 2020. Self-care and being kind to your body are a few of the major themes that will be taught in the session. Outside of school, I love to volunteer at Zoo Atlanta, where I share my knowledge of giraffes, my favorite animal, and enjoy lunch while watching the elephants.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
My experience with coaching started as a coachee. With the help of my coaches, I learned to tap into my deep fears, which are often confusing and intimidating. What I learned through this process was that I am resourceful and brave enough to face these obstacles. This has helped me greatly in my leadership roles. I am still in the learning process of being more comfortable with struggles, but I believe that I will get better over time. As a coach, I would like to give back to the Georgia Tech community by assisting students as they search for their own leadership paths. I believe that everyone can be leaders in their own way. Sometimes we don’t know the strengths and skill sets that we already have or don’t know how to become a better leader. I am excited to see their journeys!
Girish Kini
Girish Kini
5th Year PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering
Everything that counts cannot be counted - Albert Einstein
Girish received his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Karnataka in India. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the same field with a focus on energy efficient cooling technologies at the Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory. During his undergrad, he held many leadership positions in technical clubs including the Formula Student team. He is currently interning at Intel Corp, Arizona.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Girish is excited to be part of Leading Edge One-on-One Leadership Coaching and is looking forward to many rewarding experiences for both his Coachees and him. He has always been fascinated by the soft power exercised by leaders and the profound impact they have on people. He also strongly believes that there is no universal method to develop leadership and will work with his Coachees on an individual basis to explore, self-reflect and help them grow at multiple levels.
Udaya Lakshmi
Udaya Lakshmi
4th Year PhD Student in Human Centered Computing
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” - Aristotle
Udaya is a PhD student in the Human Centered Computing program. She interned at Microsoft as a User Experience Researcher for two summers, adding to her tech experience in India over nine years. She has an MS in HCI (GT) and a MBA in Communication Management (India). She cares about how we use technology in ways that empower our communities. She currently studies DIY innovation on medical devices in healthcare settings.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Udaya finds the pursuit of growth is rewarding beyond goal completion. The gift is the process of learning to hone one's own sense of self through reflection. She believes a systematic approach to situations and outcomes helps her manage the inevitable changes any challenge throws her way. She wants to learn with others to evolve approaches to help us lead ourselves through such opportunities. To be a coach, facilitator, and co-conspirator is simply a project in self-transformation for her. She is eager to meet her fellow learners and find new ways to grow together.
Lynnae Luettich
A. Lynnae Luettich
3rd Year PhD Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering
"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well" -- Andy Dwyer (Parks & Rec)
Lynnae is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in civil and environmental engineering. Her research focuses on natural treatment systems for urban stormwater pollution. She is also working toward a teaching certificate through Georgia Tech's Center for Teaching and Learning. Other activities she does on campus includes serving as a graduate student senator for Georgia Tech's Student Government Association, and TAs an undergraduate course in geotechnical engineering. Outside of school Lynnae enjoys traveling, going to concerts, hiking/fishing, and playing with her dog!
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Lynnae was inspired to become a Leadership Coach because she held many leadership positions. Whether her position was a captain for a sports team or serving as a chair for an academic committee she always found herself in a role of leadership. When Lynnae heard about Georgia Tech's Leadership and Education Development program (LEAD) she was intrigued to learn more about how she could use leadership skills she had gained throughout the years to not only help enhance another persons skills, but also continue to enhance her own. She is very excited to begin the semester with LEAD and know that great things will come of it!
Cong Luo
Cong Luo
Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering
“You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down” ― Charlie Chaplin
Originally from China, Cong finished his bachelor of science in degree in Environmental Science prior to coming to Georgia Tech. He just graduated with his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering this August and is an incoming associate at McKinsey in 2021. During graduate school, Cong has engaged himself in several teaching positions including co-instructor of CEE 3340 Environmental Engineering Lab and Teaching Assistant (TA) Fellow for facilitating campus-wide TA orientation and training. In 2018, he conceptualized and founded Grad Pride, the 1st charted student organization for LGBTQIA grads, post-docs and allies at Georgia Tech, and led a group of Ph.D. students to promote LGBTQIA visibility on campus.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Cong believes that effective leadership is not merely being “ in charge” or “ the boss”, but being responsible, confident, inspiring, patient and more. He attributes most of his success to his own initiatives as well as various coaching experiences received from his peers and coaches. Through his role as an instructor in the classroom, he is ready to bring his passion for helping students to succeed professionally, as well as personally, beyond the classroom. Cong has worked with two cohorts of coachees in the past year and is excited to help his future coachees grow faster and better in his last semester at Tech.
Emily Lustig
Emily Lustig
6th Year PhD Student in Psychology
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway
Emily completed her B.S. at the University of Michigan in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science. Alongside her academics, she also served as the Student Body Vice President and the Program Assistant for Beyond the Diag which organized and planned events to build community in off-campus neighborhoods. Emily is currently a 6th year PhD Student studying Cognitive Aging in the Psychology Department here at Georgia Tech. Emily has always participated in leadership activities alongside academics and is excited to get the opportunity to work with her coachees at Georgia Tech. She believes that leadership starts from within by building confidence in one’s self, setting macro and micro-level goals to monitor progress, and being adaptive. She also believes that part of being a leader means being able to evaluate yourself and your peers in a constructive way. She is very much looking forward to building new relationships, learning, and growing as a leader and community member alongside her coachees for a third year!
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Emily wanted to connect with the Georgia Tech community by coaching others to reach their full leadership potential. Leadership entails evaluation, development, communication, empathy, curiosity, and growth. Not only are these things her coachees experience - but she also learns and grows with each coaching engagement.
Kavita Matange
Kavita Matange
3rd Year PhD Student in Chemistry and Biochemistry
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – by Vincent van Gogh
After completing her Bachelor’s in Chemistry at the University of Mumbai, Kavita went on to pursue a Masters in Biochemistry at MSU, Baroda. During this time, she interned at the Indian Institute of Technology, Pune. She was involved in a research project and also had the opportunity to mentor undergraduates as a Teaching Assistant. She joined the PhD program at Portland State University, and transferred to Georgia Tech in May 2019. She works in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department on the problems of Prebiotic chemistry.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Kavita believes that through coaching, one can focus on the development of capabilities essential for success. She is passionate about teaching and is looking forward to learning from her coaches. She believes that coaching will help strengthen her leadership skills and enhance her personal development.
Pragadeesh Muthiah
Pragadeesh Muthiah
2nd Year Masters Student in Computational Science and Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering
“If you are not ahead, you are behind” - anonymous
Praga is a second-year MS student in CSE-CEE program at Georgia Tech. He completed his M.S in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2019 and received his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India. He is currently identifying opportunities to apply computational science in civil engineering. At present, he is working on collaborative research around data analytics in energy and buildings with Georgia Tech Facilities Management and School of CEE. In his spare time, he likes to do Hapkido, graphic designing and exploring outdoors. He loves kayaking and is a Sea kayaking instructor at ORGT (Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech).
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
I worked as a Grand challenges facilitator two years back and was a leadership coach last year. I loved the aspect of leadership coaching and the impact it can create for both the coachee and myself. Something that inspired me to join, and now continue as a leadership fellow is that, I see one on one coaching as a way for myself to create a much large impact in someone else's life.
Ximena Pizarro Bore
Ximena Pizarro Bore
2nd Year PhD in Public Policy
"Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives" Michelle Obama
Ximena studied Industrial Engineer but, convinced that there was another way to contribute to society, she decides to moves towards the public policy field, pursuing a Master in Management and Public Policy in Chile. During these years, she held several positions as a student representative; the most important one was her year as President of the Industrial Engineer student association, where she led several projects and worked with a team of more than 50 students. She is convinced that the extracurricular activities are the ones that shape your professional future and that leadership and communication are the most valuables skills any person can learn. These can lead to developing successful teams through collaboration and empathy. The experience of being a Coach is a huge privilege, and she will devote her time and energy to help her Coachees to take the most out of their leadership development.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
The posibility of helping young students to develop their leadership skills, because I strongly believe this is the most relevant skill you can learn as an undergraduate student.
Francisco Quintero
Francisco Quintero
4th Year PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill
Francisco grew up in a rural area in Colombia. After obtaining his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering at the National University of Colombia, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is currently in his fourth year, and his research is focused on next-generation batteries. Outside the lab, Francisco won second place in the 3-minute thesis competition last year, and first place in the Teams for Tech pitch competition for GradChats, a student-lead mental health initiative for graduate students. After a year as president of the Fulbright Student Association, he now serves as Graduate Vice President of Professional Development at the Student Government Association.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Francisco wants to become a coach to learn from other leaders. For him, leadership is more about cultivating relationships and growing personally than about achieving any specific goals. In his experience, personal goals are always exceeded when different views, passions and skills are put together. His experience has also shown that there are many elements that can lead to chaos and failure when working with others. Having/being a coach is a great way to recover enthusiasm in the middle of the chaos and in between failures.
Udita Ringania
Udita Ringania
3rd year PhD Student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
“It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover.” ― Henri Poincaré
Udita completed her B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, during which she interned at the Bhaba Atomic Research Center, India, post which she went on to complete her Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. There, while working at the Micro Transport and Process laboratory, she tackled two projects sponsored by the Indian Space Research Organisation, and also mentored 3 undergraduate students. In her current capacity as a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, Udita is a fellow of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, where her work focuses on developing energy efficient alternatives for drying Nanocellulose fibres.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Udita believes that being a part of the leading scientific community at Georgia Tech entrusts the responsibility to push the envelope, which can only be achieved by whetting our leadership skills today, to emerge as powerful leaders of tomorrow. As undergraduate students juggle between managing their coursework and building their technical skills, they do not often have the benefit of hindsight. Udita hopes that students will grow and develop their leadership skills through leadership coaching, especially in an age of inclusive team leadership, where clarity of vision is of paramount importance for an all-round development.
Alicia Robang
Alicia Robang
1st Year PhD Student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself” - Galileo Galilei
Alicia was born and raised in the Philippines before attending university at Georgia Tech. She is currently pursuing graduate education with hopes of becoming a more experienced researcher and science communicator. Alicia believes Georgia Tech is a fantastic place to learn and grow, and has dedicated much of her time here in creating spaces and facilitating ways for other students to find these nurturing environments. Outside academics, she has been actively involved with many leadership organizations throughout campus, such as the International Ambassadors at Georgia Tech, the Office of Student Diversity Programs, and undergraduate mentoring, tutoring, and teaching. She is also currently the program coordinator for SIDHI, a science mentorship program based in the Philippines that connects local high school students with Filipino scientists and professionals around the world.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Alicia believes in the value of self-reflection and understanding that meaningful changes to personal development takes a lot of time. She hopes to be a supportive and encouraging coach who is willing to walk alongside her coachees in their own paths towards growth. She is also excited to connect with the other Leadership Fellows and continue to develop her leadership skills.
Ryan Salameh
Ryan Salameh
3rd Year PhD Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering
"Believe you can and you’re halfway there." Theodore Roosevelt
Ryan is currently a 3rd year PhD student at the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, specializing in Construction and Infrastructure Systems Engineering. He works on several research projects, funded by national and state transportation agencies, which aim to improve the management of transportation infrastructure assets through optimized and data-driven decision-making. He also serves as a teaching assistant to Prof. James Tsai in courses covering topics related to smart city infrastructure. Before moving to Atlanta, Ryan received his bachelor’s degree with distinction in Civil Engineering from the Lebanese American University in 2016, and has completed internships in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon in high-rise building construction and oil & gas sectors. Ryan currently serves as the president of the Intelligent Transportation Society – Georgia Tech Student Chapter and is a member of the ASCE Infrastructure Systems Committee. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and gardening.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Ryan supports the belief that leadership talents can be developed once given the proper environment and adequate methods. In his willingness to be part of an engaging and nurturing community, Ryan decided to become a Leadership Fellow to put his skills to the benefit of others, while building on his own. Through this opportunity, he will be sharing his multicultural pragmatic experience and communicate his vision in a way that motivates people around him and contribute to the development of personal, team and organizational skills in a proactive mindset.
Narayan Shirolkar
Narayan Shirolkar
5th Year PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." - John F. Kennedy
Narayan earned his bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering at the College of Engineering Pune, India. In his junior year, he spent a summer at Penn State conducting research in additive manufacturing of polymers, which inspired him to pursue a doctoral degree. At Georgia Tech, his research focuses on developing lightweight and strong carbon fibers for aerospace applications. Narayan has been involved with the graduate student government for over last four years, and recently served as Tech's Graduate Student Body President. He currently serves as a Student Ambassador, is a member of the Yellow Jackets Flying Club, and also volunteers at the Atlanta Humane Society over weekends.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Narayan has been fortunate enough to have found great mentors in his friends and colleagues. A strong believer in Georgia Tech's motto of "Progress and Service", he wants to help his fellow students achieve their full leadership potential and succeed in their pursuits. Narayan also looks forward to meeting new people and growing personally through these interactions.
Prerna Singh
Prerna Singh
4th Year PhD Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Be the change you wish to see in the world - M.C. Gandhi
Prerna is from India, where she completed her B.Tech with Honors in Civil Engineering from IIT Gandhinagar. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a student guide for the freshmen and a Peer Assistant Tutor for the academically weak students. It was an amazing experience and she got to know a lot of great people! Prerna also leads a social initiative for education and health of underprivileged kids which is the most satisfying experience of her life so far. She was the recipient of Director’s Silver Medal for outstanding overall performance in the class of 2017 CEE and award for outstanding social service to the community at my undergraduate school, IIT Gandhinagar. Prerna is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Infrastructure Research Group in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In her free time, she likes to eat, sleep, and repeat!!
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Prerna believes that everyone has aspects of leadership and a collective leadership front combining the best of all can prove to bring greater good to any system and the society at large. She attributes most of my (somewhat small) success to the immense support, guidance and learning from peers as a part of collaborative learning, along with perseverance and positive attitude towards any challenge ahead. Prerna wishes to inculcate the spirit of leadership inspired from the surrounding into others along with developing herself with the same approach. Being a Leadership Coach will be a great opportunity to connect with people with their special attributes and bringing out the best of the Coachees along with herself.
Jelly Vanderwoude
Jelly Vanderwoude
3rd Year PhD in Biological Sciences
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” - Henry David Thoreau
Jelly is currently a 3rd year PhD student in biology, where her research focuses on the evolution of antimicrobial resistance in the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in infections of cystic fibrosis patients. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on marine ecology, but came to Georgia Tech to transition her PhD studies to a focus on microbiology. She is a fellow of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and a leader in Georgia Tech's Grad Groups program.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Jelly chose to be a leadership fellow because she believes there is nothing more fulfilling than helping others grow into the best version of themselves. No matter how much we know or what we can do, there is always room for growth and improvement. Often times, we limit ourselves in what we believe we can accomplish. However, Jelly wants students to see that they all have the capacity to lead, and their own unique style of leadership. She looks forward to guiding the next generation of leaders at Georgia Tech.
Krishna Veepuru
Krishna Veepuru
2nd Year MBA & MSA (Dual Degree)
"To win the game, you must be in the game – never give up"
Krishna has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and has worked in the manufacturing industry as a procurement officer, warehouse manager, and program manager. Throughout his journey, Krishna fell in love in Technology, Business, and Analytics, which brought him to Georgia Tech to pursue his master’s degree.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Helping others provides him the most happiness, and he always finds ways to do so. Krishna owes his success to his mentors, coaches, and friends who have aided in his growth. He strongly believes in the cause of giving back to society, which brought him to the LEAD program. Krishna loves the opportunity to support and be a part of his peer’s leadership growth and development and is very excited about it.
Tongyang Yang
Tongyang Yang
6th Year PhD in Economics
“Man knows much more than he understands” - Alfred Adler
Before coming to Georgia Tech, Tongyang received her M.S. degree in Applied Economics from the University of Georgia. Her research interests vary from development economics, international trade, to labor economics. Tongyang is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Economics. During graduate school, Tongyang has engaged herself in several teaching positions as well as leadership opportunities. She is currently a Grad groups leader that leads a course for new graduate students as a peer-mentorship program. Furthermore, she serves as a Graduate Teaching Fellow with the Center for Teaching and Learning for Georgia Tech's graduate/post-doc community. These are valuable experiences that not only connect her with fellow Georgia Tech students and help their intellectual and leadership growth but also bring the best of herself, nurturing her inner growth and self-discovery as an emerging promising leader.
What inspired you to become a Leadership Fellow?:
Tongyang looks forward to being an effective thinking partner focused on helping her Coachees use their creativity and resources to see beyond their blocks and solve their own problems. People need to feel seen, heard, and valued to have the desire to grow. She believes in the power people feel when realizing their potential, and this is what makes coaching so powerful. This is a mutual beneficial process that not only helps our intellectual and leadership growth, but also brings the best of ourselves, nurturing our inner growth and self-discovery as an emerging promising leader.