RISE Annual Newsletter 2023

Marianne Johnson

Executive Editor:
Marianne T. Johnson
Copy Editor:
Amber Spivey
Editorial Staff:
Toni Akin-Adenekan, Hanna Armstrong, Angel Casanova, Zachary Dixon, Maredy Lucas, Brianna Martin, Joy Mwaria, Chisom Ndubisi, Ashley Okafor, Emmanuel Ortiz, Faith Skinner, Edrian Vargas

I am excited to share this edition of the Resources to Inspire Successful Engineerings (RISE) annual newsletter. Throughout this past academic year, as well as during the summer and winter terms, RISE Program participants are excelling academically, supporting our campus through their leadership and service, traveling to other countries to study abroad, and making discoveries through research that can literally change our daily lives. It is important that everyone who has a vested interest in the students of the RISE Program understand the scope of the many accomplishments they experience during their matriculation here at the University of Delaware.

We hope that this newsletter serves as a vehicle to highlight our students and the many interests they have in addition to their primary goal of obtaining a degree in the College of Engineering. Our students have worked diligently to produce this newsletter and we hope you will enjoy the articles they have written. We look forward to your feedback and your continued support.

Table of Contents

2022-2023 Event Summary

RISE participants have a multitude of opportunities and resources they can take advantage of during an academic year. In addition to the required personal sessions, group sessions, and Saturday workshops, there is always a way for a participant to receive a RISE element, whether it’s during a RISE-sponsored event where students are given an opportunity to be service leaders or other events happening in UD’s College of Engineering.

RISE Students participate in a study break in a classroom.

Study Break

The study break is a once-a-semester social event that occurs shortly before the final exam period. The purpose is to provide RISE Participants with an opportunity to relax, unwind, and recharge before a strenuous finals week and includes games, activities, prizes, and food. The study break is not an event you want to miss!

Marianne Johnson leads a RISE group session in front of a white board.

Personal Sessions

Personal Sessions are 1:1 meetings with Ms. Johnson and are a crucial part of the RISE Program. These sessions give RISE participants have an opportunity to discuss their grades, course load, extracurricular activities, undergraduate research, internship opportunities and any personal concerns they want to share and discuss. Along with serving as a great resource for the tutoring options that are available, the sessions are also a nice chance for students to do introspection both academically and personally.

Students participate in a workshop in a darkened classroom.

Group Sessions

With multiple opportunities to attend every month, Group Sessions are facilitated by RSAC and provides RISE members with opportunities to build relationships with other RISE participants and have thought-provoking discussions about coursework, available resources, tips, strategies, study abroad, and research opportunities. The great thing about these sessions, which feature a specific theme or focus to tackle each month, is that they allow students to learn from one another and gain a different perspective.

RISE Program welcome slide projected on a screen.

Monthly Workshops

One Saturday a month during the semester, all RISE participants come together and have the chance to explore different department resources and opportunities that are available on campus. This can range from internships, mentorships, scholarships, employment, studying abroad, academic enrichment and research funding. With a variety of guest speakers, there is no limit to the wealth of information and strategies provided during a workshop. This is also an opportunity for any important news to be announced from RISE, RSAC, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), or the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

Student in a pink sweatshirt shakes hands with a RISE Alumni member

Alumni Panel

During the Fall 2022 semester, the RISE Program hosted its annual Welcome Reception, which included an alumni panel discussion. RISE participants took part in an engaging conversation with RISE Alumni who discussed their time as UD students and RISE Participants. They shared challenges they’ve overcome, strategies for success, relationship building and the importance of using your resources. The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A and concluded with a networking event where panelists and other alumni in attendance were available for questions from students while enjoying hors d’oeuvres.

Leading While Black

Leading While Black

Dean Levi Thompson has made it a priority for the College of Engineering to honor Black History Month and shed light on the often unspoken truths faced by Black students and leaders, both here at the University of Delaware and globally. To accomplish this, an impactful event called ‘Leading while Black’ was held on February 27, 2023. This event featured an engaging introductory session with Black student leaders and Dr. Pines, the esteemed president of the University of Maryland.

Additionally, there were special gatherings with leaders from the Center for Black Culture, distinguished UD alumni including Dean Thompson, and a memorable lunch with President Dennis Assanis, the aforementioned participants, and two remarkable students, Hanna Armstrong and Jeanae Clark, who had the opportunity to connect and share their insights.

The highlight of the program was a thought-provoking fireside chat, bringing together an esteemed panel of Dr. Darryll Pines, Dean Levi Thompson, Dr. Joan Coker, Cedrick Johnson, and Dr. Kara Odom Walker. This enlightening conversation delved into the significance of leadership development, where panelists candidly shared experiences and challenges faced by Black professionals, and emphasized the crucial need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in our society.

Student Organization Report

Painting night with NSBE.
Bowling night with NSBE

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

The National Society of Black Engineers’ mission is to increase the number of culturally-responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. This past year, our chapter leadership has worked to increase engagement opportunities for members of the UD chapter as well as at the regional and national levels.

We are proud to say that our efforts have resulted in a 400% increase in membership registration and engagement, increased UD representation at the regional level, with 18 students attending the Region II Fall Regional Conference, and at the national level, where a record-breaking attendance was held with 23 current students, 5 alumni, and two faculty members including Dean Levi Thompson! We are so excited for the success that we’ve had this semester and we look forward to a better and brighter year in the fall. Please reach out if you have any interest in joining our chapter.

-Hanna Armstrong, 2022-2023 UD NSBE President

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in 1974 to provide Hispanic/Latino students with the resources needed to succeed as professional STEM leaders. This year, the chapter focused its efforts on rebuilding its community in order to further improve and provide support for students. There were five board members who planned meetings that gave professional insight, and coordinated fun activities in order to bond as a club. With the goals that were accomplished this year, SHPE hopes to continue its efforts and strive towards larger objectives.

– Isabel Ortiz, SHPE President Spring ‘22

RISE Class of 2023

Toni Akin-Adenekan

Toni Akin-Adenekan

Major: Chemical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I will work with AstraZeneca as an associate scientist in the cell culture and fermentation sciences group

Honors & Awards:
Narashimahan Scholar
2022 Slocomb Engineering Scholarship
AIChE Zeisberg Laboratory Report Award

Words of Wisdom:
“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

Catherine Clark

Catherine Clark

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I plan to pursue my Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University

Honors & Awards:
Honor’s Degree with Distinction
Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Award
Dean’s List

Words of Wisdom:
“Stay warm. Do not let the things that have hurt you turn you into a person you are not.”

Alyssa Giordani

Alyssa Giordani

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: Upon graduation I have accepted an offer at Stryker to work as an Associate Mako Product Specialist in New Jersey, pursuing my passion in Orthopedic Medical Devices.

Honors & Awards:
Dean’s List Fall 2022
Dean’s List Spring 2022
INBRE Summer Scholar

Words of Wisdom:
“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.” — Dennis Waitley

Alyssa Giordani

Maredy Felipe-Lucas

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: Currently, I am working at Northrop Grumman in the Pathways rotational program. For my first rotation, I am a Quality Engineer in the Advanced Ceramics Factory.

Honors & Awards:
Dean’s List

Words of Wisdom:
Trust your instincts; believe in your brilliance and be confident that you have earned your seat at the table.

Haritima Manchanda

Haritima Manchanda

Major: Computer Science

Plans after Graduation: Backend Software Developer at JP Morgan Chase in Seattle Office.

Honors & Awards:
General Honors Award
University Honors Award Scholar
NSCS Membership
TEHEKA RISE Scholarship

Words of Wisdom:
“Have confidence in yourself. And if you feel under confident at some point in time, just recite “I can do this” a few times.”

Augustina Musa

Augustina Musa

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I’m still in the process of confirming my next career move.

Honors & Awards:
Dean’s List Fall 2020

Words of Wisdom:
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou

Chisom Ndubisi

Chisom Ndubisi

Major: Civil Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I have an offer as a Field Engineer at Turner Construction Company, but I’m still weighing other offers

Honors & Awards:
Eugene DuPont Scholar
John F. Donohoe Civil Engineering Scholarship
Rosario P. Award based on outstanding scholarship in Civil Engineering
RJN Foundation Civil and Environmental Engineering Award
Dean’s List

Words of Wisdom:
Never let fear or doubt hold you back.

Eduardo J. Nombera Bueno

Eduardo J. Nombera Bueno

Major: Chemical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at MIT.

Honors & Awards:
National Science Foundation Graduate Engineering Fellowship
American Chemical Society Scholar, Department of Materials Science Chairperson Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award

Words of Wisdom:
There is no one who can define what you are worth or what you’re capable of. If you are here, it is because you are capable and bring in talent only you have. Know that you belong and provide worth to your work and peers.

Megane Ornella Noubissi

Major: Chemical Engineering

Michael Ramos

Michael Ramos

Major: Chemical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I am currently job searching and in pursuit of available opportunities.

Honors & Awards:
Dean’s List
Senior Design Project
AIChE Award (Nominated)

Words of Wisdom:
“Make the most out of every day at university because these years go by very quickly.”

Victor Antonio Riso III

Victor Antonio Riso, III

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I will be a Post-Baccalaureate Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania working on photophoretic levitation (light-powered flight).

Honors & Awards:
Design Project (to be featured in 2023 International Conference on Hydrogen Safety)
Vice President of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
4 Dean’s List Awards

Words of Wisdom:
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

Marleen Mardette Toney

Marleen Mardette Toney

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Plans after Graduation: I intend to go into the workforce and I am in the process of confirming which company I will work for.

Honors & Awards:
Undergraduate Summer Researcher

Words of Wisdom:
“Change is inevitable. Change is constant” -Benjamin Disraeli

Dean Vanegas

Major: Mechanical Engineering

RISE Student Advisory Council

Chisom Ndubisi

Chisom Ndubisi, Senior

President
Major: Civil Engineering
Minor: Sustainable Infrastructure

Zachary Dixon

Zachary Dixon, Sophomore

Vice President
Majors: Chemical Engineering, Biology
Minors: Biochemical Engineering, Biochemistry

Brianna Martin

Brianna Martin, Junior

Event Planning Chair
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Joy Mwaria

Joy Mwaria, Sophomore

Marketing Chair
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Social Entrepreneurship

Edrian Vargas

Edrian Vargas, Junior

RISE Newsletter Chair
Major: Computer Engineering

Toni Akin-Adenekan

Toni Akin-Adenekan, Senior

Major: Chemical engineering
Minors: Chemistry, Biochemical Engineering

Angel Casanova

Angel Casanova, Junior

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minors: Computer Science and Mathematics

Maredy Felipe-Lucas

Maredy Felipe-Lucas, Senior

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Emmanuel Ortiz

Emmanuel Ortiz, Freshman

Major: Chemical Engineering

Faith Skinner

Faith Skinner, Sophomore

Major: Biomedical Engineering

2022-2023 RISE Participants

(*) Indicates students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

1st Year

Noel Acevedo; Ebenezer Antwi*; Carlos Berrios; Hailey Bonelli*; William Branam*; Sean Butler*; Allan Cruz-Maldonado; Jardin Cuffey; Max De Jesus*; Logan De Los Santos; Gianna Dowling; Bear Figueroa*; Melaina Gonzalez*; Jaylen Harrison*; Elijah Idemudia; Rhys Jackson; Daniah Jones*; Savannah Macias; Phillip Mayaka*; Matthew Montalvo*; Olive Odida*; Onyinyechi Okafor*; Emmanuel Ortiz*; Benjamin Pardo; Diego Quijada*; Donovan Ramos; Semon Rezkalla; Meredith Rodney*; Axel Rodriguez-Leon*; Christopher Roman; Jonathan Rosado*; Alyssa Sanchez-Ibanez*; Juan Saquino*; Jonah Thomas*; Malcolm Thomas*; Mateo Torres*; Felix Vega; Joshua Washington; Mekhi Williams; Nysaria Williams

Sophomore

Zachariah Barraza*; Thomas Bouck*; Tayah Burnett; Julius Carrion; Gia Diaz*; Markos Duey*; Michael Earley*; Daniela Espada; Nyllise Graham*; Rodney Chenai Gurajena*; Cierra Jefferson*; Charise Jeudy; Noah Jones; Cesar Juarez Gil*; Annika Labrador; Nicholas Lago; Sheldon Llewellyn; Joshua Martinez*; Simone Meyers*; Nathaniel Moore; Jacob Munoz*; Mary Musa; Isabel Ortiz; Joshua Pianto; Felipe Quintero*; Hermelis Reyes; Priya Salako*; Ryan Sanchez*; Rachel Nicole Sison; Faith Skinner; Judy van Rooyen*; Ella Wilkins*; Jadyn Worthington

Junior

Hanna Armstrong*; Angel Casanova*; Rider Cedeno; Nicholas Cruz*; Zachary Dixon*; Noah Etienne; Alysa Hutton; Travis Johnson*; Connor Jones; Yaritza Lorenzo*; Brianna Martin*; Oluwatomiwa Morakinyo*; Joy Mwaria*; Yannick Nguenkam; Emily Rossini*; Nana Sarpong*; Sofia Torres; Edrian Vargas; Yajaira Vergara-Guzman*; Qi Zhang*

Senior

Toni Akin-Adenekan*; Julian Alberto; Catherine Clark*; Maredy Felipe-Lucas; Alyssa Giordani*; Haritima Manchanda*; Augustina Musa*; Chisom Ndubisi*; Eduardo Nombera Bueno*; Megane Ornella; Noubissi Tabouguia; Michael Ramos*; Victor Riso*; Marleen Toney; Dean Vanegas*