Class of 2020: Your Vision. Your Future. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Class of 2020: Your Vision. Your Future.

They have big visions for the world and major plans for their futures. The class of 2020 will go down in history as one of the most irrepressible, adaptable, and innovative ever.


Class of 2020. Your Vision. Your Future.

Class of 2020! It’s a great name for members of a cohort with distinct visions for the future — with the knowledge and skills to make it happen. These graduates are ready to go out and better the world, each in their own dynamic way, fueled by their Tandon experience. They're the true definition of what it means to be Tandon Made, and we’re thrilled to have been a part of their journey!

Students A-G

Karen Beltran

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

My Vision: I realize that graduating during a time of global pandemic means staying flexible and open to all possibilities. Wherever I end up, the skills and knowledge I developed at Tandon will allow me to make valuable contributions, and that’s what’s most important to me.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Attending NYU Tandon obviously provided me with a solid mechanical engineering background and minoring in biomechanics and biosystems engineering confirmed to me the good that engineers can do in the world. Beyond the classroom, the experiences I had here — from serving as a program coordinator at the Center for K12 STEM Education to working in Career Services — helped me develop leadership and management skills that will serve me well throughout my life. 

Nayab Butt

B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

My vision: Providing hands-on healthcare to disadvantaged communities around the globe

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: NYU Tandon has given me a dual advantage in pursuing my goals. The first is my very practical grounding in biomedical sciences, which has given me a real-world perspective on the medical challenges facing society and how to tackle them. The other is the change in me, personally, that has occurred as a result of my time here. Thanks to participating in initiatives like The Poly Project, which is focused on community service, and new-student orientation, for which I served as school-wide captain, I grew a great deal as a person. I gained confidence, learned leadership skills and the importance of stepping up to responsibility, and strengthened my desire to make a difference in the world.

JP Delavin

M.S. in Financial Engineering

My vision:  To bring much-needed development to the financial system in my native Philippines

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: After earning my undergraduate degree in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University and training in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program, I worked in private equity, corporate finance, and investment banking. I came to realize that the Philippines cannot yet compete with the financial hubs in the region, like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Especially with geographic barriers becoming less and less relevant in the age of globalization and financial technology, it’s now essential for the country to have financial engineers and academics with a deep understanding of the ever-changing and increasingly complex demands of the world of finance.

I intend to work with Asian financial institutions to ensure that I am up to date with the latest developments in the financial markets, and I’ll also be taking the knowledge I’ve gained at NYU Tandon, particularly in the areas of risk management and derivatives, back to Ateneo de Manila University, where I’ll teach in the applied math in mathematical finance (AMF) program. That’s the only bachelor’s degree in quantitative finance and one of only three master’s programs of its kind in the country, and I hope that my future students go on to help secure the Philippines’ place on the world stage. 

Prachi Deshpande

B.S. in Computer Science

My vision: A world in which technology is used to express all forms of creativity and there are equal opportunities for anyone who is passionate about pursuing a future in tech (and anything they want to do)! 

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: When I first came to Tandon I had no idea how much I would grow and learn in addition to earning my degree in Computer Science. Tandon helped me transform my interest in computer science into a passion and pushed me to break out of my shell. I started off as a timid freshman and ended up becoming the Head Teaching Assistant for a core computer science course that almost every single student at Tandon takes! I was able to leave an impact on all of the students I taught for the past 3 years and the fellow TAs I worked with. It meant so much to me that Tandon and my wonderful professors gave me the chance to become a leader, and it gave me confidence that I really could conquer my degree and take the world by storm. Becoming the Head Teaching Assistant in my senior year was a dream come true! 

Additionally, I was able to become an instructor for Tandon's CS4CS program as a freshman and sophomore thanks to Professor Phyllis Frankl. In this program, I had the chance to teach high school girls different topics in computer science as well as encourage and provide support to them as they follow their dreams in the tech field.  

Completing an engineering degree is not easy, and although Tandon challenged me right from the start, those challenges helped me become the best me. I was able to take my newfound skills and produce a fashion website for my senior design project that recommends outfits based on weather, style, occasions, and much more. This had always been a goal of mine and Tandon gave me the opportunity to combine my interests in computer science and fashion. Without all of the support and lessons I received from Tandon, my professors, and my amazing friends I met here, I would not be where I am now. I can proudly say I will be pursuing a full-time software engineering position at JPMorgan Chase in New York City after my time at Tandon. These past four years I was able to grow into who I was always meant to be, and I can't thank Tandon enough. Tandon taught me that I could make my vision a reality and it definitely became a reality! 

Amanda DiTrolio

B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

My vision for the future: My vision first started coming into focus the day I received my cardboard cell-phone VR vision set in the mail from the admissions department, shortly after I had been accepted to the school. I remember taking it out of the box, downloading the application, placing my phone in the VR case and seeing a view that made me feel like I was roaming Mars. I thought it was the coolest little gift to receive. I knew from that moment the vision I would create for myself, in real life, over the course of the next four years would be even more special. 

I envision myself bringing and integrating emerging technologies into our healthcare system to improve medical care for all people — whether it be helping to develop a microfluidics device that can be used for rapid diagnostic testing or being a project manager for the next telemedicine startup that can deliver physician care remotely to patients in rural communities. 

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: I was fortunate enough to have a couple of opportunities to study abroad during my time at Tandon. The first was during an alternative spring break trip where I traveled to St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, to volunteer at a local high school to teach the students about vertical farming and sustainable technology. The second time I ventured out of Brooklyn was in the fall 2018 semester when I went to Sydney, Australia. Through both of these experiences, I expanded my scope of not only problem solving, but also of problem finding. In Brooklyn, I spend most of my time learning how to solve problems presented to me by professors, and therefore, focus most of my time on that perspective. However, my time abroad encouraged my practice of problem finding as I lived among different cultures and communicated with different people to understand their ways of life and the problems they experience from day to day. Oftentimes in engineering, there are more than one way to solve a problem; but I’ve learned through considering various lenses of diverse perspectives, you can arrive at a more sustainable and inclusive solution for many people. 

Another lesson I discovered during my time at Tandon was the concept of entrepreneurship and the process of translating an idea or invention into a full company. Starting in freshman year in my Engineering 1001 course when I was introduced to iteration and design, to this past year and a half, helping to lead the Women in Business and Entrepreneurship Club at Tandon as the secretary, my relationship with entrepreneurship and cultivating businesses out of ideas has grown quite remarkably. The longer I have been involved with bringing together my passion for emerging technologies and interest in developing business models, the more I believe that every engineer has the capacity to be an entrepreneur and share his or her idea at a larger scale with the world.

Tarah Nicole Ngoc Driver

B.S. in Civil Engineering

My vision: I plan to help build New York City in a more sustainable and technology-driven way. Currently, the construction industry has a lot of room for improvement; it needs to step into the 21st century in more ways than one, from incorporating 4-D modeling as standard practice, to creating a more welcoming workplace for women on jobsites. I want to be a driving force behind these efforts to make sure that everyone has a place to succeed in the construction world.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: My professors dedicated so much of their time and energy to making sure that I succeeded in learning inside and outside of the classroom. Because of their support and guidance, I studied abroad in Abu Dhabi, was the captain of the NYU Steel Bridge team, medaled in construction management competitions, and received scholarship awards when I needed them most. They helped me form and hone my personal mission before I even knew it existed. My family lives 4,800 miles away, but it never felt like that because I had a great cheering section right here in Brooklyn!

Karan Ganta

B.S. in Computer Science

My vision: A more connected, empathetic world in which the digital divide is bridged and technology is accessible to all

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: It goes without saying that I got a solid education at Tandon, but the school has provided me with so much more than an academic experience. It may have been my time in classrooms and labs that made me into a computer scientist, but it was my time in other Tandon settings — the MakerSpace, the Office of Student Activities and Resource Center, and student government, for example — that made me into a well-rounded human being who sees the importance of investing in other people and using tech to improve their lives. 

Andy Garcia

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

My vision: Better, more accessible, personalized healthcare

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Inspired by my background as a low-income student, I knew that I wanted to devote myself to improving the lives of those in my community, leveraging my talent in math and science to do so.

I arrived at Tandon just before the Vertically Integrated Projects program, which brings together multidisciplinary teams to work on meaningful projects and research, began. After its launch, I joined the 3D-Printed Biomedical Devices team, and our project, the MakerBrace, is devoted to supplying custom, low-cost 3D-printed orthotics to young cerebral palsy patients, who tend to outgrow their costly devices so quickly that insurance doesn’t cover them. This year, I’ve been in charge of the research and development team, and it’s been inspiring to see the positive impact we can make on people’s lives. My goal is to do even more to revolutionize healthcare for these marginalized patients, so I’m heading to graduate school to continue developing biomedical devices, and I’m considering medical school in the future.

Shreya Gossain

M.S. in Financial Engineering

My vision: Synthesizing information from the dynamic world of Finance to build useful products and strategies

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: After earning my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minor in economics, I dreamed of coming to New York City to study. Who wouldn’t want to study financial engineering in one of the world’s most important financial capitals? In that sense, Tandon is, literally, a dream come true. The Department of Finance and Risk Engineering has a very helpful and dedicated career counselor, so now I even have my dream job, as a market risk analyst, already lined up.

I wanted to give something back to Tandon, in return for all I’ve gotten from the school, so I ran for the presidency of the Graduate Student Council, and in that capacity, I planned events that enhanced the student experience and helped them get through their very challenging courses of study. I’m proud that I’m the first female president of the Graduate Student Council in the school’s history, and that feels even more special considering that my tenure coincided with Tandon getting its first female dean.

Students H-O

Alvina An Heid

B.S. in Science and Technology Studies

My Vision: As a Science and Technology Studies major who hopes to earn a master’s in Bioethics as well as a law degree, I’d like to make positive societal and judicial impacts on the field of biotechnology.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Attending NYU Tandon allowed me to broaden my world view and immersion in other cultures. I had lived in Shanghai for eight years during my childhood and got to explore areas throughout Asia. Being in New York City, another world capital, was mind-expanding, and, as a bonus, I also got to study abroad in London. 

De’Ane Kennedy

B.S. in Computer Science

My vision: Showing that you can make an impact in Silicon Valley by being a well-rounded person and engineer.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Thanks to internships I completed with Dell during my time at Tandon, that’s where I’m headed after graduation. Having a job lined up has allowed me to relax a little and take interesting courses that aren’t part of the engineering curriculum, just for enrichment. That’s an advantage of being part of a university like NYU: I took a class in fashion history, for example, and one in playing the steel pan drum. 

Being at Tandon also presented a lot of opportunities to hone my leadership skills and collaborative abilities, since I was deeply involved in the student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and other groups. I think I’m proof that you can combine all your varied interests and end up with a great education and career prospects.

Nabiha Khan

B.S. in Science and Technology Studies

My Vision: A world in which all patients get the privacy they are entitled to by law and where paper medical records do not contribute to problems of sustainability. (Paperless medical records, prescriptions, and blood work would also make things easier for patients, who must now often contend with gathering and bringing in all their papers anytime they see a new doctor.)  

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Being a Science and Technology major allowed me to minor in both computer science and psychology, so I developed a well-rounded way of looking at things from both a tech perspective and a human perspective. That set me on the path to getting involved in data analysis, and I’m hoping to use those skills in the realm of healthcare data.

Shriya Khonde

B.S. in Business and Technology Management

My Vision: To inspire innovation in the evolving fintech landscape and make the world a better place

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Four years ago, my acceptance at Tandon opened the door to a multitude of academic, professional, and personal opportunities. As a BTM major, I learned at the crossroads of the growing financial system and global advancements in technology.

I applied the skills I honed at Tandon in a variety of industries, including government, media, and finance. These internships helped me observe various realms of the fintech sector and expand my horizons. I was also given the opportunity to study abroad at NYU Shanghai to learn more about the nuances of finance and technology internationally. Financial concepts are being fully reimagined through technology and engineering!

Not only was I taught how to strengthen my ideas based on current events, but I was encouraged by my professors to go out into the real world and build a network beyond the classroom. I participated in Tandon’s Engaging Engineers program, through which I attended various Diversity in FinTech showcases that taught me more about the trends from the perspective of companies like Google and Morgan Stanley. These experiences came together at the Grace Hopper Conference, the world’s largest tech conference for women. I was inspired by the 30,000 women attending, who held the same passion for using technology to make the world a better place. I strived to not only make connections but listen to the ideas of my peers and colleagues. My role within Tandon’s Undergraduate Student Council was the perfect opportunity for me to stand with a powerful student body, paving the way for our generation.

I am grateful for the things I’ve learned at Tandon, but I am even more grateful to be a part of the Tandon community. The more people I met, the more events I attended, the more opportunities Tandon gave me, the more my perspective broadened! We are living in a time of impact, in a time of change, in a time of innovation. Now, as we graduate, it’s time to come together, give back, and make a difference.

Dmytro Kostynyuk

B.S. in Mathematics

My vision: I believe that we were all brought into this world to make a contribution to society, and no matter what your specialty is, there is always some way you can help improve the future.  I have had the honor and privilege to work across various fields within the financial world, and applying the quantitative skills that I have learned, I will do all that I can to help improve the efficiency and judgement of financial groups planning to raise and invest capital into the start-ups and companies that will lead this generation forward into the next era of innovation.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Tandon gave me access to a base of knowledge that is applicable in almost any job area. It allowed me the flexibility to both study and work, which put into perspective how what I learned could be used in my future career. Not many other schools allow for such opportunities, and I am grateful to have been at Tandon.

Alisha Malkani

B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

My Vision: To create a product that will benefit millions of other people around the world and disrupt an industry with its brilliance and functionality. To launch a venture that is both entrepreneurial and philanthropic.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: At Tandon, my creativity and intelligence has grown immensely, thanks in large part to my accomplished, caring, and helpful professors. Being a part of the Biomedical Devices Vertically Integrated Project, which is mainly student run, has also sparked my entrepreneurial spirit, and I feel lucky and privileged to be a part of the Tandon community. 

Nikki Ong

B.S. in Civil and Urban Engineering

My vision: To work as an environmental engineer and design interventions that will protect ecosystems and public health

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: The summer after sophomore year, I joined Professor Andrea Silverman’s laboratory through NYU’s Undergraduate Summer Research program, and continued working in her lab through my senior year. I was introduced to scientific writing, laboratory techniques, and microbiological laboratory methods — and never in my life had I been so fascinated with sewage. I went from learning how to make buffer solution to running my own targeted experiments, where I looked into the inactivation kinetics of chemical oxidants in wastewater. 

I'm now headed to graduate school. My time at NYU Tandon has been filled with so much growth and opportunity, and I am excited to take a leap into the next phase of my academic journey.

Students P-Z

Sarah Pak

B.S. in Biomolecular Science

My Vision: To improve the quality of people’s lives by applying my knowledge in microbiology to quality control and testing in industries like food and cosmetics.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: I’ll give a particularly interesting example. One unique class that Tandon offers is Cosmetic Chemistry, a graduate class taught by Peter Tsolis, an Executive Director at the cosmetics and skincare giant Estée Lauder. In one lecture, Estée Lauder’s Vice President of Microbiology came to speak about cosmetic preservation and quality control. This subject fascinated me since I realized how important microbiology is in the field and how much attention to detail is needed to ensure a product’s stability and safety -- something consumers often take for granted.

Ruby Pittman

B.S. in Business and Technology Management 

My vision: Greater trust, transparency, and traceability within the world of philanthropy and the giving economy

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: You see people asking for money on the subway, arts organizations asking for funding at annual galas, and startups seeking venture capital. It seems as though those missions should be more closely aligned through a platform that promotes, centralizes, and incentivizes philanthropy.

Majoring in Business and Technology Management allows me to straddle worlds; learning about the customer discovery process, for example, allowed me to extrapolate those methods to community discovery. I’m collaborating right now with social workers to collect data and find out how to best meet the needs of their clients, many of whom lack ID and access to banking services. When it’s time to develop a platform or tech product, I’ve learned how to assemble the right people and build something viable and useful.  

Sam Rappaport

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

My vision: To help New York City become cleaner and more sustainable as an HVAC engineer  

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Buildings account for three-quarters of the total emissions in New York City, and with the recent passage of groundbreaking new local laws, a door has opened for more sustainable buildings. My Tandon mechanical engineering education has prepared me to be at the forefront of that fight for a more sustainable city, and I hope that the rest of the country is inspired to follow. 

Maxwell Rosen

B.S. in Applied Physics

My vision: A future in which controlled thermonuclear fusion provides a clean, safe, and sustainable source of energy.   

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: People might ask why I studied physics at an engineering school, but Tandon was a good choice because the mindset here is very project-focused and there are opportunities to engage in serious research as early as freshman year. My childhood hero was Thomas Edison, so it’s interesting to be in the MakerSpace and see quotes from him prominently displayed on the wall.

In working to recreate how the sun makes energy (the process known as fusion) in a controlled way here on Earth, I’m getting the chance to make a real-world impact. My research could one day lead to an almost unlimited source of power, with no need for fossil fuels and no greenhouse gases to worry about. Tandon stresses using technology to help solve pressing problems, and that’s what I’m on the path to doing.

Iqra Shaikh

M.S. in Computer Engineering

My vision: Empowering young girls and women to reach their full potential through digital literacy and help them ultimately move towards financial independence.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: My master’s degree, combined with my work at NYU IT’s High-Performance Computing group, allowed me to test and develop my resilience and perseverance. I’ve inched closer to realizing my vision thanks to the opportunities I’ve had to get involved as a course instructor for Tandon’s CrEST (Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology) program and NYU’s Girls in STEM initiative, both of which strive to empower those historically underrepresented in STEM fields. I also had opportunities to get actively involved in STEM outreach, serving as NYU’s LinkedIn Campus Editor and Women in Data Science Ambassador. All these experiences eventually led me to the Forbes Under 30 Student Scholar Award, as well as the Nutanix Women in Technology scholarship, which gave me a chance to spend time in the company of people who possess a whole other level of higher order thinking.

Arystan Tatishev

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

My Vision: My ultimate goal is to be able to help people with the knowledge I’ve acquired. I am an international student, so I will always advocate for the wellbeing of my homeland, Kazakhstan. Becoming a practicing engineer will allow me to know the technical aspects of how to improve my country, before I dive into the economic side of it. 

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Tandon helped me meet some of the best people in my life. During my first year, when I was assigned three roommates, little did I know that I would spend the next four years with the same group. The friends I’ve met at Tandon share my same values and ideals, and that is something that is still inspiring me to keep pursuing my vision.

Florence Tong

B.S. in Computer Engineering

My Vision: A world of circular economies and processes, where sustainability is a priority and the barriers to systemic change have fallen.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: The Class of 2020 grew up at a time when technology was transforming almost every aspect of life, from how we consumed media to how we received healthcare. There was a digital component to everything we touched, and I always realized that having a solid education in a technical field was going to be the best way to make a difference in the world. 

Tandon has provided me with that education, as well as ample opportunity to hone my leadership skills. Being the president of the Undergraduate Student Council and interacting with a wide-ranging portion of the school community—my peers, alumni, Dean Jelena—showed me how to effect change by bringing together stakeholders at every level of an organization. I plan to use everything I’ve learned during my time at Tandon to pursue sustainability issues. Before in-person classes and labs were suspended, I was working on my senior design project, which used machine learning to make recycling more efficient and profitable, so that’s an example of the kinds of initiatives I’d like to undertake. Ultimately, I want to make a difference as an innovator, either in the realm of entrepreneurship or by leading change in business with a more holistic approach. Whatever I end up creating or building, I’ll always be proud to call it Tandon Made. 

Amanda Zhou

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

My vision: To work in commercial aviation, because there's so much potential in aviation technology, but the industry currently contributes a substantial amount to global carbon emissions. I want to help shift to more efficient engines that can also process biofuels and take a step closer to carbon neutrality. I'd also like to apply these principles to supersonic aircraft; it would be amazing if we could bring back commercial supersonic flight without increasing carbon emissions.

How Tandon is helping me bring that vision to life: Not only did I have the opportunity to complete a minor in Aerospace Engineering alongside working toward my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, but I also had the chance to complete a thesis and participate in research as part of the Honors program at Tandon. The topic for my thesis revolves around shock wave-boundary layer interactions in supersonic flow, and it aligns well with my vision for the future. I have wonderful professors and advisors who helped me, and I wouldn't have accomplished any of this without Tandon.