CDE 2020 Graduates N-Z

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Shruti Naik

Portrait of Shruti Naik.

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Major: Nursing

Future Plans: NICU nurse at Stead Family Children's Hospital.

My Greatest Achievement: I believe my greatest achievement at the college is taking care of patients and giving them the care they deserve.

Anna Nguyen

Photo of Anna Nguyen

Hometown: Sioux City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Psychology

Future Plans: Work as a social worker and then apply to graduate school to get my masters degree.

UI Experience in Three Words: Diversity, family, and community

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement would be joining organizations and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I was able to pick up positions that have allowed me to grow and become a leader.

Sara Nguyen

Portrait of Sara Nguyen.

Hometown: Davenport, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Sociology, with minors in Psychology and Social Work

Future Plans: Hopefully finding a nonprofit full-time job in the Quad Cities.

UI Experience in Three Words: Diversity, family, and community

My Greatest Achievement: Being able to make it through my four years here at UIowa. Being able to create a community for others while being able to join some amazing communities that were here already.

Felipe Nor

Portrait of Felipe Nor.

Hometown: Novo Hamburgo, Brazil

Degree: DDS, MS, PhD

Future Plans: Fellowship in Oral Pathology at UIowa.

UI Experience in Three Words: Opportunity, dedication, excellence

My Greatest Achievement: Excellence in graduate education.

Karla Olivas

Photo of Karla Olivas

Hometown: Born: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico; Raised: Hastings, NE

Degree: Juris Doctor

Future Plans: Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP

UI Experience in Three Words: Camaraderie, ambition, lively

My Greatest Achievement: I am the first woman in my immediate and extended family to attend law school––that in itself is the greatest achievement I've made while at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Jia Ern Ong

A photo of student Jia Ern Ong.

Hometown: Germantown, WI

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Neuroscience

Future Plans: Working for a year and attending medical school in the fall of 2021.

UI Experience in Three Words: Inspiring, empowering, enlightening

My Greatest Achievement: Founded an event that focused on bridging the gap and connecting international students, domestic students, faculty, staff, and community members! 21+ nationalities and 110+ people were present!

Emeleeta Paintsil

Photo of Emeleeta Paintsil

Hometown: Burr Ridge, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Biochemistry and Leadership Studies Certificate

Future Plans: Pursuing a PhD in the biomedical sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

UI Experience in Three Words: Rewarding, ambitious, exhilarating

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement has been finding my voice. The University of Iowa has helped me grow my confidence and helped me realize my potential to lead and empower others.

Eesha Patel

Portrait of Eesha Patel

Hometown: Osceola, IA

Degree: PharmD

Major: Pharmacy

Future Plans: I will be pursuing PGY1 Residency training at MercyOne Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa.

UI Experience in Three Words: Empowering, motivating, and inspiring

My Greatest Achievement: Reflecting back, I think my greatest achievement would be coming into the University of Iowa as an undecided major in 2012, and leaving in 2020 with both my bachelor's and doctorate degree.

Meera Patel

Photo of Meera Patel

Hometown: West Chicago, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Human Physiology

Future Plans: I will be attending pharmacy school in the fall.

UI Experience in Three Words:  My experience at the University of Iowa was rewarding, educational, and unforgettable.

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement while at the University of Iowa was co-founding The Backpack Project, which allowed me to give back to the Iowa City community and help students reach their academic potential.

Bernardo Pohl Duarte

Photo of Bernardo Pohl Duarte

Hometown: Johnston, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Psychology

Future Plans: Working at the University of Oregon.

UI Experience in Three Words: Fulfilling, enlightening, encouraging

My Greatest Achievement: All the relationships and connections I have made on campus and the ways in which I've been able to leave my mark at the university.

Annali Ramirez

Portrait of Annali Ramirez.

Hometown: Sioux City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Speech and Hearing Science

Future Plans: I will be attending Columbia University to study Speech-Language Pathology.

UI Experience in Three Words:  Community, support, friends

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement would be the hard work I put into advocating for my fellow minorities when it came to utilizing their resources. I accomplished this through Supplemental Instruction and LYS.

Joana Ramirez

A person is smiling and standing in a brown shirt and black jacket and pants, against a dark grey background.

Hometown: Washington, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Communication Studies

Future Plans: Join the AmeriCorps for a year of service.

UI Experience in Three Words: Challenging, rewarding, empowering.

My Greatest Achievement: Graduating with a bachelor's degree is a grand accomplishment on its own. One of the most rewarding experiences I've had thanks to Iowa was the opportunity to complete a full semester abroad.

Maliya Rattliffe

Photo of Maliya Rattliffe

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Degree: Juris Doctor

Future Plans: I will be joining Fox Rothschild LLP in Minneapolis as a first year associate.

UI Experience in Three Words: Rewarding, enriching, exciting

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement was being able to represent my first client in a domestic violence hearing and securing an order of protection for her and her daughter. It brought me joy to see her relieved.

Elaine Ray

Photo of Elaine Ray

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Degree: MFA

Major: Creative Writing

Future Plans: Publish my novel

UI Experience in Three Words: Inclusive, supportive, world class

My Greatest Achievement: Being accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the age of 63 was a dream of a lifetime.

Kristina Reyes

Photo of student Kristina Reyes

Hometown: Saint Charles, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Enterprise Leadership

Future Plans: Hoping to get into the event planning industry and starting my own company some day.

UI Experience in Three Words: Diverse, enjoyable, and successful

My Greatest Achievement: I transferred to the university a few years ago and realized this was the school for me all along. I excelled in classes and became more involved through student organizations.

Natalie Roberto

Portrait of Natalie Roberto

Hometown: Plainfield, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Interdepartmental Studies (Health Science, Multidisciplinary Science) with a minor in Latina/o Studies

Future Plans: Graduate school for Science Education.

UI Experience in Three Words: Inspirational, adventurous, treasured

My Greatest Achievement: Becoming president for Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and finding a supportive friend group who I can always look to for guidance or to have fun adventures with.

Edward Rojas

Hometown: Downey, CA

Degree: Doctor of Medicine

Future Plans: Residency training in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Iowa.

UI Experience in Three Words: Community, support, dedication

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievements at the University of Iowa are successfully matching into orthopaedic surgery here at UIHC, my top choice, and meeting my fiancée while attending medical school.

Alexia Sanchez

Portrait of Alexia Sanchez.

Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Political Science and Social Justice, with minors in Philosophy and Latina/o Studies

Future Plans: I will be working for Schabel Solutions Consulting Firm in Des Moines, IA.

UI Experience in Three Words: Transformative, rewarding, adventure

My Greatest Achievement: One of my greatest achievements while at the University of Iowa would be being a founding member of the Latinx Living Learning Community called Unidos LLC that will open up this fall semester.

Nathan Schabel

Portrait of Nathan Schabel.

Hometown: Ankeny, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Elementary Education

Future Plans: Teacher

UI Experience in Three Words: Hawks, family, love

My Greatest Achievement: Making the dean’s list, getting all A’s, and obtaining my degree!

Isabella Senno

Photo of Isabella Senno

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts

Major: Anthropology (Gender and Culture Track), Psychology

Future Plans: I received a Fulbright ETA grant for the 2020-2021 cycle and will be teaching English in Spain.

UI Experience in Three Words: Dedication, community, growth

My Greatest Achievement: Collaborating with Dr. Brady G'Sell on a thesis, while balancing student leadership roles and working as the programming assistant for the Womxn of Colour Network, has been my greatest achievement.

Ayman Sharif

Portrait of Ayman Sharif.

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Master of Science

Major: Urban and Regional Planning

Future Plans: Seeking a job.

UI Experience in Three Words: Responsibilities, determination, openness

My Greatest Achievement: To complete in a row a bachelor and a master degree is a achievement that comes only after my community contribution in being a key part to a successful and effective nonprofit organization.

Camiella Shumpert

Photo of Camiella Shumpert

Hometown: East Moline, IL

Degree: Masters in Business Administration

Major: Leadership

Future Plans: Continue learning and growing my career!

UI Experience in Three Words: Growth - Lasting Relationships - Prepared for the Future

My Greatest Achievement: Completing the program, and having my family, especially my daughters, see how to accomplish great things while also working full-time while supporting a family!

Rizwan Sidhu

Photo of Rizwan Sidhu

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Degree: Finance BBA // Statistical Methods and Computing BS // Computer Science Minor // Large Data Analysis Certificate

Major: Finance & Statistical Methods and Computing

Future Plans: Work at BlackRock in NYC.

UI Experience in Three Words: Challenging, fun, interesting

My Greatest Achievement: I was able to be challenged by the coursework presented by professors across both colleges. It helped prepare me for the high-level problems faced in my future career.

Aaron Silva Trenkle

A portrait of Aaron Silva Trenkle.

Hometown: Bettendorf, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Engineering

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Future Plans: Attend graduate school to earn my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.

UI Experience in Three Words: Exciting, quality, and stimulating.

My Greatest Achievement: Achieving the academic, social, and extracurricular goals that I set for myself.

Tobi Simmons

Portrait of Tobi Simmons.

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Master of Social Work

Major: Social Work

Future Plans: Mental health therapist.

UI Experience in Three Words: Four professors guided me, believed in me, and supported me. My cohort is a pillar of strength.

My Greatest Achievement: Surviving undergraduate and graduate independently. Navigating uncharted education levels and learning how to advocate for my needs. Graduating and becoming a 2x alumni of the University of Iowa.

Jimmy Smith

Portrait of Jimmy Smith.

Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Human Physiology

Future Plans: Attending medical school in the fall.

UI Experience in Two Words: Transformative, fun

My Greatest Achievement: Positively impacting those around me through volunteering and the leadership positions that I have held.

Darius Stewart

Portrait of Darius Stewart.

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

Degree: MFA

Major: Nonfiction Writing with a graduate certificate in African American Studies

Future Plans: 2020-2021 Provost Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Nonfiction; English (African American Literature) PhD program.

UI Experience in Three Words: Community, opportunity, tenacity⁠—this is what sustained me.

My Greatest Achievement: Besides obtaining this MFA (my second one), receiving the 2019 John C. Gerber Award for excellence in teaching, mentoring, and service ranks highly as the most meaningful achievement.

Pablo A. Suarez Beltran

Portrait of Pablo A. Suarez Beltran

Hometown: Sioux City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Math and Computer Science

Future Plans: Find a job, or go to grad school.

UI Experience in Three Words: Energetic, stimulating, immersive

My Greatest Achievement: I published a research paper. I made great friends. And I had wonderful experiences.

Kamal Talukder

Photo of Kamal Talukder

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Music

Major: Trumpet Performance and Music Education

Future Plans: I would love to be a high school band director and continue to play professionally.

UI Experience in Three Words: Nurturing, forgiving, and unity

My Greatest Achievement: I think my greatest achievement has been combating stereotypes of Hispanic students in my community. Showing younger Hispanic Children that they can see themselves in leadership roles.

Jie Tang

Photo of Jie Tang

Hometown: Changzhou

Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration

Major: Finance

Future Plans: Working in the field of finance.

UI Experience in Three Words: Grow, learn, believe

My Greatest Achievement: Received an award in my class and held officer positions in my club.

Tania Tapia

Portrait of Tania Tapia.

Hometown: Lima, Peru and Chicago, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Chemistry

Future Plans: Moving to Madison, WI to work for a pharmaceutical company.

UI Experience in Three Words: Endearing, nurturing, self-reliant

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement while at Iowa has been being promoted to student manager at my on-campus job. I learned the meaning of leadership and responsibility while working at the cafe.

Hugh Theut

Portrait of Hugh Theut.

Hometown: Escanaba, MI

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Political Science

Future Plans: Attend law school at Michigan State University for Fall 2020.

UI Experience in Three Words: Fun, happy, worthwhile

My Greatest Achievement: I took 3 classes with Dr. Takis Poulakos.

Darian Thompson

Portrait of Darian Thompson.

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Public Health

Future Plans: AmeriCorps

UI Experience in Three Words: Community, involvement, passion

My Greatest Achievement: I took 3 classes with Dr. Takis Poulakos.

Tammy Tran

Photo of Tammy Tran

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Psychology

Future Plans: Aspiring physician assistant

UI Experience in Three Words: Perfect, bewildering, incomparable

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest personal achievement was realizing that there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard-work, perseverance, and learning from failure.

Sreenivasa Vanavasam

Photo of Sreenivasa Vanavasam

Hometown: Marion, IA

Degree: Master of Science

Major: Business Analytics

Future Plans: Stay at current job.

UI Experience in Three Words: It provided confidence that I can work and study under tight schedules and pressure.

My Greatest Achievement: I am able to make some friends. I able to appreciate why and how things are done based on knowledge I gained.

Jasmine Emilie Velasquez

Portrait of Jasmine Emilie Velasquez.

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Communications with minors in Spanish and Criminology, Law & Justice (Pre-Law)

Future Plans: I am going to law school in the fall of 2020!

UI Experience in Three Words: Resilience, support, growth

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement at The University of Iowa has been forming lasting, genuine connections with the Iowa community. I have been so grateful for the mentors and support I have received.

Pengyu Wang

Photo of Pengyu Wang

Hometown: China

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Computer Science

Future Plans: Finding a job.

UI Experience in Three Words: Peaceful, captivating, glorious

My Greatest Achievement: I am glad to be a Hawkeye. Get a college is always a dream of mine and my parents. I am proud that I learned many things at the University of Iowa.

Tia Whited

Portrait of Tia Whited.

Hometown: Independence, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: International Studies with minors in Spanish and International Relations

Future Plans: Work for a year and then pursue a masters.

UI Experience in Three Words: Growth, connection, challenging

My Greatest Achievement: Finding a pursuing a degree that I am passionate about, and being able to surround myself with people who will help me achieve my goals.

Lauren Wood

Portrait of Lauren Wood.

Hometown: Paso Robles, CA

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts & Bachelor of Arts

Major: Dance and Exercise Science with a minor in Political Science

Future Plans: Dance professionally in San Francisco, CA after graduation, then go to medical school in a few years to become an OB/GYN.

UI Experience in Three Words: Inspiring, growth, home

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest accomplishment was being able to study abroad in the Dominican Republic. Not only did I learn so much academically, but I was able to learn so much about a new culture and about myself.

Venia Xayasene

Portrait of Venia Xayasene.

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts 

Major: Global Health with a minor in Gender, Women's Sexuality Studies

Future Plans: Work for CDC or other global health agency.

UI Experience in Three Words: Humbling, challenging, rewarding

My Greatest Achievement: My greatest achievement would be the belief that I had within myself. I believed that the hard work and positive energy I put in would all pay off at the end & staying confident & true to myself.

Youa Joy Xiong

Portrait of Youa Joy Xiong.

Hometown: Yuba City, CA

Degree: Bachelor of Arts 

Major: Interdepartmental Studies, Health Science - Multidisciplinary Science

Future Plans: To become a Chiropractor and open up my own family Chiropractic office back in California.

UI Experience in Three Words: Challenging, growth, rewarding

My Greatest Achievement: My biggest achievement at University of Iowa was learning never to give up, no matter how hard it got. Shoutout to my family and friends for all the love and support!

Rong Zheng

Portrait of Rong Zheng.

Hometown: Silvis, IL

Degree: Doctor of Dental Surgery

Major: Dentistry

Future Plans: Become an associate in a dental office post-graduation.

UI Experience in Three Words: Self-fulfilling, confident, compassionate

My Greatest Achievement: I consider completing my DDS degree at the University of Iowa to be my greatest achievement.

If you notice any errors on this website, or if you would like to be added to the list of 2020 graduates, please email Mike Meginnis at michael-meginnis@uiowa.edu.