PittSWE Officers

Katelyn Lipa

Year: Senior
Major: Bioengineering
Minors: Chemistry, Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine
Activities: BMES, Humane Animal Rescue Volunteering, Teaching Assistant
Laboratory Experience: The Lin Lab
Interests: Hiking, cooking reading, hanging out with friends
Favorite Part of SWE: SWE has been a great part of my time at Pitt! I love hanging out with my SWEsters and helping the community learn about STEM!

Vice President:
Saipriya Namasivayam

Year: Senior
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minors: Computer Science
Activities: Women in Computer Science, ARTificial Art Club, Hard Hitters Volleyball Club, Pink Panther Mentor
Industry experience: Process Engineering Co-op with Avient Corporation (rotations in Minneapolis, MN and North Haven, CT)
Interests: Playing volleyball, soccer and tennis, drawing and painting, playing guitar and piano, and exploring the outdoors!
Favorite Part of SWE: My favorite part of SWE is feeling like I am part of something bigger than myself. It consists of such a supportive and uplifting group of individuals, and it provides amazing opportunities to network and meet like-minded people. I also love working with outreach and inspiring younger girls to pursue careers in STEM!

Yugma Patel

Year: Junior
Major: Bioengineering
Minors: Chemistry
Activities: Tau Beta Pi, Hindu Student Council
Laboratory Experience: Research in the Kaufman Lab about genetic mitochondrial medicine
Abroad Experience: Plus 3 Cyprus
Interests: Painting & Cooking
Favorite Part of SWE: I loved meeting other engineers because it helped me feel like I had more of a community at Pitt. I also really like how we work with grade school students during our outreach events.

Danielle McDonald

Year: Junior
Major: Bioengineering
Activities: Study Abroad office, ski club
Laboratory Experience: Research in the Kaufman Lab about genetic mitochondrial medicine
Abroad Experience: Plus 3 Cyprus
Interests: Skiing, reading, music
Favorite Part of SWE: I love how kind and welcoming everyone in SWE is. We all genuinely want what's best for each and every one of us. It puts a sense of belonging you can't replace.

Head of Professional Development:
Tanvi Verma

Year: Junior
Major: Computer Engineering
Industry Experience: Student intern at Thrive Networks
Laboratory Experience: Summer research at Dr. Miskov's MeLoDy Lab
Interests: Cooking for friends and family and spending time with them, watching historical or crime documentaries and exploring and trying out new dishes!
Favorite Part of SWE: What I appreciate most about SWE is the close-knit community of strong, inspiring women who always have each other's backs. It motivates me to continually improve, both as an engineer and as an individual.

Head of Outreach:
Marissa Santoro

Year: Senior
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Activities: Club Swim Team, SOAR (society of astronautics and rocketry), Irish Dance Team
Industry Experience: Boeing Intern in Long Beach, CA (2022&2023)
Interests: Swimming, skiing, Art (painting,drawing), The New York Yankees
Favorite Part of SWE: Organizing and participating in outreach events to introduce STEM to young students in a hands on environment.

Head of Outreach:
Amy Zhang

Year: Junior
Major: Environmental Engineering
Minors: Chemistry
Activities: Epsilon Eta, Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
Interests: Crocheting, Classical Music
Favorite Part of SWE: Epsilon Eta, Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists

Corporate Relations Chair:
Olivia Bartholomew

Year: Sophomore
Major: Bioengineering
Activities: Phi Sigma Rho
Interests:Traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends
Favorite Part of SWE: Getting to connect with women from a variety of majors and backgrounds at all the fun events we have!

Corporate Relations Chair:
Sophia Edwards

Year: Junior
Major: Civil Engineering
Minors: Sustainability Certificate
Activities: Concrete Canoe, Engineering Ambassadors
Industry Experience: Intern at Lane Construction
Interests: Biking, cooking, and long walks
Favorite Part of SWE: All of the opportunities for mentorship and advice from women who were once in my shoes!

Mentorship Chair:
Maya Jain

Year: Sophomore
Major: Industrial Engineering
Activities: Pitt SWE, Phi Sigma Rho Sorority, Pitt Excel Undergraduate Diversity Program, CHAARG
Industry Experience: PPG Primer's Week Intern (July 2023)
Interests: Working out, cooking, playing tennis, listening to music
Favorite Part of SWE: When I was in middle school, I participated in many of Pitt SWE's outreach events, and that planted a seed in me from a young age to pursue engineering. Now, I am so excited to be apart of this program to give back and encourage the next generation of girls to pursue STEM. I am confident that being apart of this diverse, welcoming, and supportive community has made my college experience amazing!

Publicity Chair:
Ashley Jones

Year: Sophomore
Major: Industrial Engineering
Activities: Theta Tau, Starbucks Barista, Engineering Ambassador, WEP @ Pitt, IISE
Laboratory Experience: Marketing Coordinator for MDS-Rely
Interests: Cooking with family, watching old disney movies, and spending time with friends!
Favorite Part of SWE: There are so many opportunities to learn and grow from the other girls, and to develop myself professionaly through all of the experiences that SWE offers!

Social Chair:
Norah Alavi

Major: Environmental Engineering
Minor: Civil Engineering
Industry Experience:PennDOT Intern
Abroad Experience: Sustainable Innovation in Island Nations: Guam
Activities: Knittsburgh, ski club, outdoors club
Interests:I love playing piano, going on long hikes, and baking.
Favorite Part of SWE:There are so many professional development events in SWE. It's so reassuring to be in engineering when you know other women who are in it too.

Fundraising Chair:
Hansini Kumar

Major: Bioengineering
Minors: Neuroscience
Laboratory Experience: Research assistant at a lab in the Translational Auditory Neuroscience department
Industry Experience: Interned at Cytiva and Lexeo Therapeutics
Abroad Experience: Going to Germany in this coming October for a study abroad program!
Interests: Dance, Baking, Traveling
Favorite Part of SWE: The community is super welcoming and I'm grateful that I got to meet so many great people!

Girl Scout Engineering Day Chair & SWENext Chair:
Rachel Thornton

Year: Sophomore
Major: Chemical Engineering
Minors: Chemistry
Activities: Phi Sigma Rho, Treble Choral Ensemble, American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Interests: Being active outside, reading, anything related to music and trying new foods!
Favorite Part of SWE: Growing professionally and as a person alongside my friends!

High School Outreach Chair:
Gabby Brubach

Major: Bioengineering
Minors: Mechanical Engineering
Activities: Pitt Arts Advisory Board, Photography Club
Abroad Experience: Plus3 Cyprus 2022
Laboratory Experience: Tumor Microenvironment Laboratory (2022), Human Movement and Balance Laboratory (this summer and currently)
Interests: Reading, Volleyball, Tennis, Photography
Favorite Part of SWE: The community of women in stem!

Middle School Outreach Chair:
Sarah Shegogue

Major: Bioengineering
Minors: Chemistry
Activities: BMES, Plant2Plate, Food Recovery Heroes, Makerspace Mentor
Industry Experience: Atrin Pharmaceuticals
Interests: Soccer, camping, hiking, anything outside
Favorite Part of SWE: I love working with other members at outreach to inspire young students to pursue STEM

SWE++ & Code Day Outreach Chair:
Elyse Chess

Year: Sophomore
Major: Electrical Engineering
Minors: Computer Science
Industry Experience: Software engineering internship with Noblis
Interests: Music composition, audio tech/gear, woodworkingRunning, hiking, cooking with friends, reading
Favorite Part of SWE: Volunteering at outreach events & making friends along the way!

E3 Chair:
Tara Nguyen

Year: Junior
Major: Industrial Engineering
Activities: Engineering Ambassador, Student Leader
Interests: Playing Tennis
Favorite Part of SWE: Meeting new people

Freshman Representative:
Diya Parekh

Year: Freshman
Major: Engineering Undecided
Activities: WPTS Radio
Interests: Listening to music, playing guitar and viola, reading.
Favorite Part of SWE: My favorite part of SWE is getting the opportunity to interact with my peers and upperclassmen that share my interest in engineering.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Melissa Bilec

Status: Roberta A. Luxbacher Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Swanson School of Engineering), and Deputy Director of Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
Degrees: Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 1999
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Magna Cum Laude, 1997
Interests: Mom of two children; avid reader; working out at her favorite gym, Mecka, and yoga at Amazing Yoga; diversity and inclusion
Favorite Part of SWE: Working with talented and bright students.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Leanne Gilbertson

Status: Assistant Professor of Sustainable and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering
Degrees: PhD, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2009 - 2014
MA, MPhil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2009 - 2012
BA, Chemistry, Hamilton College, 2003 - 2007
Interests: Running, growing vegetables in my garden, hiking, and cooking
Favorite Part of SWE: My favorite aspects of SWE is that it is an organization led by women, for women and that it provides the opportunity to empower its members.