2014-2015 SEAS Graduate Ambassadors

Behailu Bekera

Behailu Bekera is a doctoral student of systems engineering. Originally from Ethiopia, he completed his undergraduate studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, completing a bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics. Having had an interdisciplinary background, he found Systems Engineering to be the most fitting field to pursue his advanced education. Currently, his research focuses on understanding and analyzing the water-energy nexus in light of extreme climate-induced events. He uses statistical and computational modeling techniques to characterize climate-induced risks to the energy sector and performs predictive analysis aimed at providing risk-based information to decision makers. During his studies, interned at the Oak Ridge National Lab in the computational sciences and engineering division, where he made significant progress in his research and gained valuable experience.‚Äč

Kara Garrott

Kara Garrott is originally from Orlando, Florida, and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a bachelor's in biomedical engineering. She spent the summer after graduation working in a Tanzanian hospitals repairing medical equipment. Currently, Kara is working towards a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering under the guidance of Professor Matthew Kay. She has enjoyed learning the intricacies of cardiac electrophysiology, and is investigating pressure development in the heart under different conditions. In her free time, Kara enjoys running, biking, occasionally swimming, and reading.

Iryna Payosova

Iryna Payosova is a doctoral candidate in engineering management, with an area of focus in environmental and energy management. Her research interests include water and energy use efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability. Iryna received her bachelor's in biology and master's in environmental science and policy from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. In addition, Iryna holds a master's in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Arizona, which she received in 2009. In her free time, Iryna enjoys cycling and skating around the Washington metropolitan area.

Krunal Puri

Krunal Puri is pursuing the Master of Science degree in computer science with an area of focus in software engineering and systems. He earned his bachelor's in information technology from Gujarat Technological University in India, and owns a start-up company. His area of interests are parallel computing, big data analysis, distributed computing, and cloud computing. He is currently working on a research project to develop an analytic engine based on GPGPU (General Purpose GPU) for big data analysis, which can match the performance of supercomputers at a significantly lower cost. His future plan is to pursue a doctorate in parallel computing and contribute to his field.

Ivan Suarez

Ivan Suarez is a doctoral student in biomedical engineering. Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Ivan received his bachelor's in biomedical engineering and master's in electrical engineering from SEAS. As a master's student, Ivan worked on his thesis in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a project involving image quality assessment of full-field digital mammography systems. His doctoral research consists of studying the use of ultrasound to stimulate and enhance hormonal secretion from endocrine cells. Ivan is passionate about soccer and is an avid supporter of all DC-area sports teams.

Tong Yan

Tong Yan is a doctoral student in computer science. He earned his master's from GW in 2014. His current research focuses on dangerous privacy threats in a wide variety of real-world applications. Tong prefers to deal with practical problems by designing optimal solutions. He is also interested in big data and wearable devices.