Brielle Cenci ’19, biomedical engineering

Grand Challenge of interest: Reverse-engineer the brain

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: I am very passionate about biomedical engineering and wanted to be able to use the skills that I learn in class to accomplish a greater goal. Being a Grand Challenge Scholar encourages me to utilize my engineering knowledge in the areas of volunteering, entrepreneurship, and research.

Campus activities: e-NABLE, Biomedical Engineering Society, Society of Women Engineers, Research Assistant, BuckWild Leader, Delta Gamma, Club Soccer, Outing Club


David Gillett ’20, chemical engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Develop carbon sequestration methods, Provide access to clean water

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: I have always been fascinated with the process of engineering. I love the nitty-gritty details, but more than anything else engineering is my passion because of the scale of impact you can have on the world. I really want to engineer solutions that help better align human life with the environment. This life goal is perfectly aligned with the Grand Challenges Scholar program.

Campus activities: Chemistry Teaching Assistant, Calculus Help Leader, Entrepreneurship and Innovation House Member, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Undergraduate Researcher (Low-cost Water Quality Sensor Design)


Sami Golaski ’18, accounting & financial management

Grand Challenges of interest: Develop carbon sequestration methods, Engineer better medicines

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: As I entered Bucknell, I struggled to follow my intentions a majoring in management. I had been compelled to think that the business industry was only interested in greed and CEO positions. It wasn’t until I took the course, Grand Challenges, that I realized there were opportunities where collaboration between business-minded people and engineers were needed to solve some of society’s greatest problems. Since then I have been driven to immerse myself in interdisciplinary experiences where I could work with engineering students to meet these challenges.

Campus activities: Freeman College of Management Executive Intern, Freeman College of Management Advisory Board Co-chair, Club Varsity Cheerleading, KEEN Scholar, Biz Pitch Finalist, University Innovation Fellow, Mortar Board, Alpha Xi Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Management 100 Lead TA


Megan Grossman '19Megan Grossman ’19, chemical engineering

Grand Challenge of interest: Prevent nuclear terror

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: Since I can remember, I have had an innate desire to be a contributing member of society; I find satisfaction in work that improves the lives of others. One of the reasons I elected to study chemical engineering is that it is a diverse field that encompasses many career path options, all of which are based on the enhancement and advancement of human life. Though not yet specifically determined, I aspire to a career path on which I can positively impact my community, country, or even the world at large. I want to be a pioneer of my generation and to apply problem resolution to the grand challenges proposed in this program from a perspective fostered by the program’s four foundational pillars. My engineering studies promote innovation through the science and technology viewpoints; the Grand Challenge program promotes extended opportunity via the application of such comprehensive and diverse curriculum to the many complex issues plaguing our society. My Bucknell experiences are enhancing my ability to view our world through the lenses of cultural, scientific, and community impacts. I am ready and eager to take the challenge!

Campus activities: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Chem-E Car Club, Enginuity Affinity House Founder and Leader, Global Ambassador Program with the Global Education Office, Housing Student Advisory Board, Opinion Columnist for the Bucknellian, Alpha Lambda Delta, Club Soccer, Chemical Engineering Research Assistant, Residential Fellow for Society and Technology Residential College (2016-2017 Academic Year), Society of Women Engineers, Chemical Engineering Teaching Assistant, Intramural Sports


Kellen Haile '18Kellen Haile ’18, mechanical engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Reverse-engineer the brain, Engineer the tools of scientific discovery

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: The Grand Challenge Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to increase in knowledge while taking an active role in addressing a wide array of world problems facing humanity. I wanted to become a Grand Challenge Scholar in order to play a role in the worldwide mission of working toward a solution to a few of these Grand Challenges. Being a Grand Challenge scholar has allowed me to be part of a rigorous and extensive program that will benefit me both personally and professionally.

Campus activities: National Society of Black Engineers - Chapter President, Engineering Success Alliance, Bucknell Advancing Communities Educating & Serving, Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association - Student Representative, E-Week Planning Committee, STEM Scholars Program, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Makerspace Technician, Solid Mechanics Grader/TA, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship


Claire Helmers ’19, chemical engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Develop carbon sequestration methods, Engineer better medicines

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: The fourteen Grand Challenges embody the current demands for innovation, and essentially summarize the problems our generation will work to better. I’m interested in working to tackle one or a meld of the grand challenges over my lifetime. I wanted to help develop my skillset to do so and obtain a greater understanding of the challenges. The program promotes 24/7 immersion in innovation, creativity, and leadership. The intertwining of creativity and innovation is a profound connection that I hope will constantly be felt in my intended career. I was excited that the GCSP would allow me to seek out my passions with guidance.

Campus activities: Bucknell Women's Rowing Team, Society of Women Engineers President, Tour Guide, Orientation Assistant, and ILTM Alum


Amaryllis Kanyabwero ’20, cell biology/biochemistry

Grand Challenges of interest: Make solar energy economical, Provide access to clean water, Engineer better medicines

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: I wanted to become a Grand Challenge scholar to be able to tackle problems that I saw in my community when I was growing up. I was particularly excited about the idea that I could think deeper about the skills that I have learned in class and labs and learn to apply them to solve local as well as global problems such as access to clean water and improving the effect of medicines. By participating in the GCSP, I know that I can make my education at Bucknell more challenging and exciting for me and more meaningful for my community.

Campus activities: Bucknell Club Soccer, BASA Executive board, International Orientation Assistant, Students for Asian Awareness at Bucknell


Taehwan Kim ’20, computer science & engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Reverse-engineer the brain, Secure cyberspace, Enhance virtual reality, Advance personalized learning

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: I want to become a Grand Challenges Scholar because I like the idea of a challenge that aims to not only provide all people with their basic needs in life, but also improves their lives with the amenities needed for an enriching lifestyle. Among the fourteen possible Grand Challenges, I am especially interested in the programs, ‘Reverse-engineering the Brain’ and ‘Cyberspace Security’. As a high school student, I had the privilege of publishing three articles about artificial intelligence and was then given the opportunity to attended the International Conference for Mechatronics and Mechanical Design, a conference where students come together from around the world and present their ideas on the world’s current developments. If I become a Grand Challenge Scholar and am able to take part in the analysis of ‘Reverse-Engineering the Brain’, I believe I will be able to extend my research in artificial intelligence, and continue to bring awareness to the concept. As of recent events, providing better security for data-flow throughout various routes on the Internet has become significantly more important. I understand the urgency of new technology which detects the vulnerable features in programs and believe I would be an asset in researching the fields of ‘Cyberspace Security’ as well. By being a Grand Challenge Scholar, I would be able to take part in the advancement of these departments to better society on a global span.

Campus activities: Presidential fellow, Kappa Delta Rho member, E and I house affinity house resident


Alexandra Longest ’20, environmental engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Make solar energy economical, Provide access to clean water

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: Becoming a Grand Challenge Scholar is a great honor. As an environmental engineer, I feel an obligation to acquire as much knowledge as possible during my time at Bucknell. I want to not only understand water and other environmental issues but to also work with other disciplines to solve current problems, to prevent future problems, and to develop new initiatives. Being a Grand Challenge Scholar would help me expand my horizons beyond what is required in standard engineering programs. I want to engage in more community involvement, such as possibly volunteering with antifracking groups in my area this summer. My home, Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland, is a rural community. We rely on a clean, safe lake to provide much of the area’s revenue. I want to help balance the desire for jobs, which involves short-term fracking jobs, and the desire for beautiful lawns from fertilizers that results in runoff and unnatural vegetation in the lake with the pressing need to preserve the water resources. Fertilizer run off from lawns of lake homes feeds lake plants and causes an overgrowth of vegetation in the lake. Over the years I have seen the change in the lake from this. When I was young, I would go to the lake and not see the vegetation, but in the past few years I have been able to see the lake vegetation through the water. Another of our environmental concerns is waste disposal because many families rely on wells for water like my own. Recycling has made a difference by reducing waste going into the landfill, but my county has a limited program. Being a Grand Challenge Scholar provides me with opportunities to learn about solutions or possible solutions to these problems that I could bring back to my community and other communities with similar problems. This can even extend to the statewide problem in Maryland of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and how it is effecting marine animal and plant life. Many of our elected officials are not addressing sustainability. The representatives of my home are considering allowing fracking in the area. The current political environment (President Trump’s desire to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, opening more federal land for energy exploration, dismissing climate change, reducing the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers, Maryland’s debate on a fracking moratorium or ban) ignores the urgent need to protect our world. So, citizens must be the ones to promote healthy changes for our environment. As a millennial, I am the generation facing the repercussions caused by past generations abusing and depleting our environment. My generation must take what we know from the past and what we are learning today to shape our future. We are all stewards of the earth and the Grand Scholars Program will provide me with the insight and tools to be a part of the solution as well as leader in developing and promoting a sustainable world. As an unknown person said, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Campus activities: Women's club soccer captain, Women's club ultimate frisbee captain, Orientation Assistant 2017, member of Entrepreneurship and Innovation House, member of Chi Omega fraternity, undergraduate research assistant for Professor Gilmore, member of ASCE, member of AAEES, member of SWE


Caitlin Mahoney ’19, markets, innovation, & design

Grand Challenges of interest: Advance health informatics, Advance personalized learning

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: For me, the college experience is all about embracing opportunities available to me, actively engaging in a variety of activities, and making what I hope to be lifelong friendships with like-minded individuals. The Grand Challenge Scholar Program involves research, service-learning, global/cross cultural dimension, and entrepreneurial activity, all of which I am passionate about.

Campus activities: Presidential Fellow in College of Management, President of Kappa Alpha Theta, University Innovation Fellows, Management 101 Teaching Assistant, Freeman College of Management Student Advisory Board, Bucknell University Alumni Association Student Member, TEDxBucknellUniversity Past: President of Society of Women Engineers, Society and Technology Res. College, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Affinity House Leader, Building on Foundations (BOF) Alumni, Institute for Leadership in Sustainable Technology (ILST), Bucknell Fabrication Workshop (B-Fab)


Adam Pauciello ’20, civil engineering

Grand Challenge of interest: Restore and improve urban infrastructure

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: I wanted to become a Grand Challenge Scholar to become a more well rounded person, and I think the requirements of the program will help me to achieve this. Also, being part of the program allows me to work with like minded people to solve some of the biggest engineering problems the world is facing, while I am still an undergraduate.

Campus activities: Bucknell Brigade, ASCE, Club Ultimate Frisbee, Study Group Leader


Anushikha Sharma ’19, computer science & engineering and women's & gender studies

Grand Challenges of interest: Secure cyberspace, Enhance virtual reality, Advance personalized learning

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: Because I wanted the requirements of the GC program to drive my experience at Bucknell and because Professor Mike Toole was very inspiring as a pioneer of the program.

Campus activities: Association for Computing Machinery - Women's Chapter, TA for the CS Department, Student Researcher, Common Ground, Office Intern at the Women's Resource Center, Common Ground, International Orientation


Maxwell Skirpan '20Maxwell Skirpan ’20, mechanical engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Make solar energy economical, Provide energy from fusion, Engineer the tools of scientific discovery

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: The Grand Challenges Scholars Program encourages me to go beyond the minimum requirements for getting a degree at Bucknell. By engaging me to think outside the box about innovative solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing society, I will have a more well-rounded and enriched learning experience throughout my undergraduate education.

Campus activities: Bucknell Shotokan Karate Club, Bucknell Cycling Team, Renewable Energy Scholars, and Member of Entrepreneurship and Innovation House


Yunyingying Xu '18Yunyingying Xu ’18, computer engineering

Grand Challenges of interest: Secure cyberspace, Enhance virtual reality

Why I wanted to become a GC Scholar: One essential requirement for the Grand Challenge Scholars is the ability to look beyond the scope of our local community, and to find out what is the global trend in the movement towards sustainability. I, as an international student who received ten years of education in China and six years of schooling in the United States, pay attention to the differences in technology innovations and domestic and international policies in both countries a lot. Take big data as an instance, both President Obama and President Xi have indicated they will put emphasis on the development and utilization of big data during the last seven years. In 2009, the White House issued My Data Initiative to protect personal information from the illegal use of others, whereas Beijing made no effort in preserving data privacy. However, the digitization of everyday related activities in China is more vibrant, if not most, than the United State’s. Thanks to Jack Ma, my mother now buys everything, from grocery to clothing, from cosmetics to fruits, online. The majority of restaurants in my hometown accepts ePayment, and you can pay all kinds of bills with one click. These data make it incredibly easy for criminals to track one’s activity and issue criminal attacks. It appears that there is a void for privacy-preserving entrepreneurship in the Chinese market. Nevertheless, considering Chinese government’s lack of support, fulfilling such void may prove to be difficult.

During the grand challenge seminar, I find myself become interested the cybersecurity, or, more precisely, data privacy. With the prevalence of the notion of big data, researchers soon find the value of data analysis in conquering previously impossible tasks such as predicting epidemic trends and improving traffic congestions. In response to people’s wish to remain anonymous in data collecting surveys, differential privacy arises as an efficient method to preserve one’s identity without disturbing the overall result. Differential Privacy as a relatively new method is calling for more research on the effectiveness of such models. During spring semester and summer break of my first year here at Bucknell, I worked with Professor Darakhshan Mir analyzing the algorithmic structure of differential privacy and issue empirical attacks to discover potential weaknesses on this seemingly robust model.

Campus activities: Residential Advisor, Vice President - ACM-W, Outreach Chair - ACM, Tech Desk Consultant