Kelcie Ralph of the University of Alaska Anchorage will graduate in May 2009 with a degree in economics. Kelcie served as a Resident Advisor, a member of the Chancellor's Council for Sustainability and a Senator in the Union of Students. Her research background includes economic valuation studies at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Carbon Baseline studies for the University and the Municipality of Anchorage and an experimental investigation of inequality and property rights at the UAA Experimental Economics Lab. She enjoys backcountry skiing, climbing and backpacking. Kelcie will pursue a MSc in City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics.
Sheela Ramesh will graduate from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA in Vocal Performance and a BS in Psychology. Sheela has performed in university and professional operas, while studying with music legends Mildred Miller-Posvar and Robert Page. Sheela is also an avid pianist and has studied Indian classical music/dance extensively. Additionally, she undertook psychological research in four laboratories at Carnegie Mellon and Yale, and is completing her Honors Thesis in cognitive development. As a Marshall Scholar, Sheela will pursue vocal/operatic studies. She hopes to apply her diverse influences toward creating operas that are engaging to non-traditional audiences.
David studied computer science and biology at MIT. He grew up in Israel and Kenya and has continued to show his interest in international health through his work in communities in India, Zambia, and Peru. At MIT, he co-founded the Global Poverty Initiative, an organization that aims to inform and engage students about global poverty and health issues, and was a varsity baseball and track and field athlete. Additionally, he created a software application to analyze and track the spread of disease, which is currently being used by the CDC, the Clinton Foundation, and the Harvard University School of Public Health. David hopes to work at the interface between computer science and epidemiology, applying cutting edge computational techniques to study the emergence and progression of infectious diseases. David will be pursuing a DPhil in statistics at Oxford University.
Dan will graduate from Duke University with a double major in Physics and Electrical & Computer Engineering. A Goldwater Scholar and Duke Faculty Scholar, Dan conducted research under Professor Smith in the emerging field of transformation optics, in which coordinate transformations are used to create unconventional electromagnetic devices such as invisibility cloaks. Dan is also a serial entrepreneur, with two start-ups to his credit. Recently, he co-founded SkillsTM.com. At the University of Cambridge, Dan will pursue a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics. In his second year, Dan will conduct research at Imperial College, London, under Sir John Pendry.
Nate Sharpe, of Canton, Massachusetts, will graduate from MIT in June 2009 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He plans to pursue an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge University, and is excited about making the world a better place through engineering. At MIT he was a pole vaulter on the varsity track team and captained both the indoor and outdoor track teams as a senior. He is a world renowned juggler and performer, having won medals and awards at various international festivals and competitions.
John Sheffield, of Fayetteville, NC, will graduate from Harvard University in Social Studies. His research focuses on violence and public security in the developing world. As an advocate with the Argentine League for the Rights of Man, he published several reports documenting police brutality and public accountability mechanisms in Argentina's shantytowns. John spent seven months in the urban slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Medell, Colombia for a senior thesis and related publications on police violence in Latin American cities. He is also co-authoring a statistical method for improving causal inferences on time-series data, with applications to empirical research in international relations. John will read for masters' degrees in Applied Statistics and Politics at Oxford.
Michael Shih, a Houston resident, will graduate from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in June 2009. His interest in policymaking has led him to intern with the House Oversight Committee and New Jersey's Department of Children and Families. On campus, he teaches academic writing and launched a program that recruits undergraduates to serve as English tutors for adults in the community. He is also an experienced debater and has ranked among America's top ten teams for two consecutive years. In the UK, Michael will study International Relations at Cambridge and Global Governance and Diplomacy at Oxford.
In June, Douglas will graduate with physics and mathematics degrees from Stanford. He is obsessed with physics, particularly the intersection of string theory and cosmology, which he will continue to study during his time at Cambridge's Part III, and subsequent research. A current resident of Anacortes, Washington, Douglas spent five of his pre-college years sailing around the world with his family. Aside from physics, Douglas enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, piano and low-quality chess.