Werth Innovators

Werth Innovators are students ambassadors for entrepreneurship and innovation at UConn who play a central role in building interest and participation in our wide range of programs. They are selected annually from a pool of freshmen applicants and receive a $3,000 scholarship that includes mentoring and unique, transformative experience during their sophomore year. There are currently seventeen Werth Innovators for the 2020-2021 academic year who were selected based upon their innovative projects and interest in increasing student involvement in entrepreneurship and innovation at the university.

Celine Aliko

Celine Aliko

Celine is a UConn sophomore in the honors program pursuing a double major degree in the individualized major program of Neuroscience and a Physiology and Neurobiology major. She is particularly interested in neurology and has a future goal of attending medical school. She is looking into different specializations in pediatric medicine but is still exploring her options. 

Celine is one of the founding members of the new UConn Coffee Club and is excited to see its growth in the future. When back home, she works with a mixed therapy company to aid children with developmental/learning disabilities in better navigating their disabilities. Along with working in a program designed with neuroscience research, Celine participated in an independent research program through her high school studying climate change, plant science, and microbiology. She is looking forward to participating in research with the Physiology and Neurobiology Department at UConn. These topics have solidified her interest in a future of research and medicine.

Florencia De Armas

Florencia De Armas

Florencia De Armas is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Chinese. As a part of AsiaTech and the Honors Program, she hopes to find a career in manufacturing and material development and analysis. Florencia’s love for engineering came from her FIRST Robotics Competition team, where she learned several aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering. She is now a virtual reality instructor and teaches children in junior high how to develop Oculus-ready virtual reality games using Unity, a professional game development software. Around UConn, she is involved with the PRLACC Student Associations, KUBE Leadership Team, and UConn’s Seoular. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, skincare, and learning new languages. She can speak Spanish, Italian, English, and Chinese, and hopes to speak many more. Florencia looks to motivate young Hispanic girls to discover their potential in the engineering field. 

Gabriel Millan Garcia

Gabriel Millan Garcia

Currently a sophomore, Gabriel is an Honors Mechanical Engineering major, aspiring to focus on the subfields of Aerospace and Control Systems. Part of his involvement at UConn consists of being part of
the STEM Scholars and participating in the METAS program managed by the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC). Moving to the United States from Mexico provided Gabriel with the opportunity to not only become culturally diverse, but also to broaden his perspective on life, therefore, as a Werth Innovator, Gabriel hopes to pursue research opportunities that involve further development of aerospace technologies, but also to motivate others along the way to expand their horizons and prompt themselves to always learn new things.

Jack Kassimis

Jack Kassimis

Jack is a rising sophomore at the University of Connecticut School of Business as a Finance major. His interest in entrepreneurship is newfound, as he fell in love with it during a UNIV course that he took in his second semester of freshman year. He is excited to be a part of all of the programs that the Werth Innovators Program offers. During his sophomore year at Brooklyn Technical High School, Jack and his peers created the school’s first Stock Market Club as a result of the common interest between the young scholars. Their goal was to combine their knowledge of marketing and the Stock Market to teach other eager students who had little to no experience with the topic.

During the school year, Jack will be a part of UConn’s Sports Business Association which is another interest of his. He is very eager to get involved as a Werth Innovator and possibly create something that could benefit the UConn community post-COVID-19.

Kathryn Atkinson

Kathryn Atkinson

Kathryn is a current sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying Nutritional Sciences on the Didactic Program in Dietetics track. She plans to become a registered dietitian (RD) with a specialization in neonatal nutrition. Her interest in the field of nutrition began in high school while researching disparities between the average body weight and reported caloric intake in the UK, a topic which has influenced her current research interests.

Outside of nutrition, Kathryn has a strong interest in the Latin language, having studied it for four years and earning her seal of biliteracy. She is particularly invested in Roman culinary history and has created fermented fish paste from an ancient recipe, along with other authentic dishes. She hopes to continue her studies of Latin in the future.

On campus, Kathryn is involved with the University of Connecticut's Fencing Team, having fenced for several years in high school. She is also in Nutrition Club, Crossword Club, and Paint Club, where she is the secretary. Kathryn is also a member of SHAPE, a peer education group that works to raise awareness about eating disorders on UConn’s campus. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys reading, painting, and hiking with her younger sister in their hometown of Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Katie Lavigne

Katie Lavigne

Katie is a sophomore at UConn pursuing a degree in Allied Health Science with plans to minor in business. She is a First Year Experience mentor for incoming freshmen as part of the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering (WiMSE) learning community, and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, CareCakes, Paws and Claws, and the Ski & Snowboard Club. She enjoys baking, cooking, gardening, listening to music, playing sports and spending time with friends and family. She is caring, optimistic, hardworking, and she loves to travel!

In the future, she hopes to work in the medical field, either caring for patients or working on the business side of healthcare. She would also like to pursue her love of baking and dreams of running a small bakery side business so she can share her passion with others. Through the Werth Innovator Program she hopes to gain skills, contacts, and experiences, in both the business and entrepreneurship field, that will help her to make her career plans a reality.

Mahitha Juttu

Mahitha Juttu

Mahitha is a sophomore in the Honors Program majoring in Physiology and Neurobiology and Anthropology. She is drawn to eliminating injustices in healthcare and advancing progress made in understanding and eliminating Alzheimers. Mahitha is a member of the CLAS Student Leadership Board and has recently joined the Jackson Lab to further her passion and research neurodegenerative diseases. She is an active volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and the Red Cross. On campus she is involved in Community Outreach through programs such as Generations Connect and the Standardized Participant Program. Mahitha is also a mentor for the Asian/ American Mentoring Program as well as Peer Allies Through Honors as she is driven to ensure each student receives the proper mentorship and guidance to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. As a member of the Werth Innovator Scholar cohort Mahitha hopes to help design a space where students can gain proper mentoring and resources for innovative and creative ideas while applying for grants and programs as well as gain experience and expand her knowledge in healthcare.

Neal Krishna

Neal Krishna

Neal Krishna, from Winchester, Massachusetts, is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying English (with a creative writing concentration) and Physiology & Neurobiology in the Special Program in Medicine. After graduating, Neal plans to become a physician-scientist, uniting his interests in medical innovation, engineering, and pure mathematics. Over the past few years, Neal has worked to create and patent a biodegradable, economical medical spacer attachment for inhalers, and he is deeply interested in the interactions between biomedical science and clinical practice.

Neal is the Vice President and Yearbook Managing Editor for Nutmeg Publishing and enjoys writing and publishing in the crossroads of science, medicine, and philosophy, bringing awareness to the rich dialogue of the medical humanities. He also serves in University Student Government and is part of Crossword Club, the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, PATH mentorship program, and the CLAS Student Leadership Board. Neal is a 2020 Holster Scholar studying intracranial ependymoma and dedicates much of his time to teaching and mentorship. A member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Neal enjoys volunteering among Boston’s diverse communities, giving back to those around him. In his free time, he enjoys biking, writing poetry, and spending time with his family and two dogs.

Rachel Poulos

Rachel Poulos

Rachel Poulos is a sophomore majoring in both Environmental and Civil Engineering. She first saw the powerful influence individuals can have on their communities using innovation and technology when she mentored for Random Hacks of Kindness jr. to assist children grades 4-8 in coding mobile apps for local charities.During high school, she learned about issues of sustainability, particularly water and energy resources, in an ECE Environmental course and was fascinated with the role innovation and technology plays in solving these issues. Last summer she interned at ASSA Abloy where she assisted the environmental department in collecting industrial wastewater samples and lab testing to ensure the chemical compounds of Cyanide, Hexavalent Chromium, and Nickel were below effluent requirements.She is passionate about sustainability and excited about opportunities to further explore interests in this field through research as well as projects to engage the Uconn community.

Aside from academics, she was a member of the UConn Rowing Team her freshman year, is part of the Engineering Learning Community, is part of a Bible study on campus, and will be working on both the Outreach and Leadership Committees of the Learning Community Council. In her free time at school, she explores the LC Innovation Zone, is active in intramural sports and recreation, and participates in campus-wide events, such as HuskyThon.

Sumeet Kadian

Sumeet Kadian

Sumeet is an Honors student on the pre-med track majoring in molecular and cell biology. Additionally, he hopes to pursue an individualized major in health care and society and a minor in health care management and insurance studies. Through his individualized major, minor, and involvement as a Werth Innovator, Sumeet wants to understand how health care differs between cultures and what aspects of other health care systems the United States can borrow to improve its own and vice versa.

On campus, Sumeet served as a senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, working to add the Music bus stop to the Red and Silver lines and implement a website that allows students to track the status of their laundry. He is also an author on a feasibility study to add daytime lighting to a tunnel on the Hop River State Park Trail in Bolton, CT. Sumeet volunteers as an EMT, conducts hydrocephalus research as part of a neurobiology lab, serves as secretary for the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, and is involved in club running, a task force on modifying the general education curriculum, CLAS Student Leadership Board, Kids and UConn Bridging Education, and Peer Allies Through Honors. His various leadership positions in both high school and at UConn have taught him that the best way to lead is by encouraging his peers to voice their opinions, collectively discussing the pros and cons associated with each viewpoint and working together to reach a decision. This invaluable ability to listen is something Sumeet believes is critical to becoming a successful physician in the future who cares for his patients not only by prescribing medications and performing procedures but also by listening to and working alongside them to address their concerns.

Taylor Domingue

Taylor Domingue

Taylor is a sophomore in the Honors Program, double-majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Environmental Science with a concentration in human health. In high school, she spearheaded a project to create the first rain garden in her town to combat the effects of pollution from parking lots, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces. She hopes to continue her journey of environmental advocacy at UConn through innovation. She is also interested in pursuing cancer research, and wants to develop more effective methods of treatment for the disease. Of particular interest to her is the Precision Medicine Initiative, a research project seeking to change the way we do medicine by taking into account a person's genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices to determine the best way to treat their condition. Besides being a Werth Innovator, Taylor is a Husky Ambassador, and serves as the social engagement chair on the STEM Scholar Executive Board, a group within the Honors Program that creates opportunities for the STEM community to develop interpersonal skills and help them succeed within their fields of study. She ultimately hopes to utilize the opportunities given to her through the Werth Innovators Program to kickstart a successful career in environmental innovation and cancer research.

You can contact her at taylor.domingue@uconn.edu

Tyler Shoban

Tyler Shoban

Tyler Shoban is currently a sophomore studying computer science engineering at the University of Connecticut. He has a passion for innovations especially in the automotive and technology space. His passion allows him to always be curious and find out how things operate and ways to improve upon them. Instead of working a typical summer job, Tyler fixes and flips small engine machines like ATV’s, lawn equipment, golf carts in addition he also does automotive repairs and installations whether that be typical maintenance, or installing navigation systems and audio work.

Tyler also has a special interest in teaching the basics of technology to those who have limited resources and exposure, like when he worked alongside students in Ghana creating a step by step guide on the basics of programming and using computer software. Currently, Tyler and his partner are creating a company named iRIS that is set out to make camera focusing precise, user friendly, and easy. As a recipient of Get Seeded he is eager to bring the finished product to fruition.

Yazmine Uvidia

Yazmine Uvidia

Yazmine Uvidia is a sophomore at UConn pursuing a Digital Media and Design major. She loves learning about different cultures and languages and hopes to use that knowledge to collaborate and influence the entertainment industry. Her love and understanding for the many different forms of art makes it simple for her to teach younger kids in her community about the right ways of using technology to be able to express their artistic vision. At UConn she is part of the METAS program and Film Club. In her free time, she loves to listen to music, create art and bake.

Zac Will

Zac Will

Zac is a Sophomore at the University of Connecticut and majoring in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. He's from Marshfield, MA and has been a lifelong fan of UConn Basketball. Zac is currently involved in the CCEI's 2020 Summer Fellowship for entrepreneurs, and competed in and won seed money in CCEI's Get Seeded competition in the Fall of 2019. He is a member of UConn's CEO club, and plays intramural soccer and basketball. Zac is working on a start-up business called "Kona Brand". Kona Brand creates fun flannel shirts that make you smile and reminds busy people to live a care-filled life. Their motto is "Walk slow, smile more". Kona Brand is set to launch in the fall of 2020 on Kickstarter. Zac's goal is to make Kona Brand his full time job upon graduating so he doesn't have to go into a corporate job where he believes he will likely walk fast and smile less.

2019-2020 Werth Innovators
Aditya Dubey

Aditya Dubey

Aditya is an honors Computer Science and Engineering major also pursuing a minor in Mathematics. He created a smart pill dispenser which he calls "The Dose Defender" as part of his 2019 Hack UConn team project with the goal of providing a preventative solution to the opioid crisis. The project won an award at Hack UConn and placed within the top three at the 2019 IQ Competition.

Aside from "The Dose Defender", he is also a part of LaundryCheck which is a service being developed in which students can check on the status of their washer and dryer without having to leave their dorms. Aditya is a member of the IEEE branch at UConn  and is deeply interested in machine learning and AI and hopes to find himself working on these in the future.

Eva Quigley

Eva Quigley

Eva is currently a sophomore Animal Science major. Aside from being a Werth Innovator, she is actively involved in the University of Connecticut Marching Band, where she plays the trumpet, and is a member of the Innovation House alongside two Learning Community Council Committees - Innovation and Enrichment.

This past summer, Eva took part in an internship in Israel where she worked alongside a veterinarian that worked in areas such as Jerusalem and the West Bank. She hopes to pursue future opportunities similar to her experience in Israel and looks forward to potentially returning once again.

Devin McNamara

Devin McNamara

Devin McNamara is a current junior at the University of Connecticut pursing a degree in Economics with minors in both Entrepreneurship Tech Innovation and Communications. Devin currently serves as President of Creating Economic Opportunity (CEO), Vice President and Treasurer of the Taekwondo team, a Resident Assistant (RA), as well as a Werth Innovator. He spent this past summer working with the sales team for a startup called  in Stamford, CT while working at a local restaurant and running his own business on the side. Devin uses his prior experience, knowledge, and network to help all levels of entrepreneurs work on their businesses as well as creating new businesses in his organization CEO. CEO is looking to become a chapter of the national organization Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization this upcoming spring with the intention of helping develop a larger network of entrepreneurs as well as providing more resources for UConn entrepreneurs. Giving back and providing more opportunities to entrepreneurs on campus is something that Devin strives to accomplish .All the experience and opportunities that he has been given have come with the opportunities generated from UConn alumni and he wants to give back to aspiring entrepreneurs at UConn. Devin is continuously working to gain new skills and experiences to provide more value for projects and businesses that he works on as well as his own.

Aside from entrepreneurship Devin has many other hobbies and interest which include playing and watching sports, singing, acting, as well as listening to new music. Although he is currently unsure of where he wants life to take him in the world of entrepreneurship, he is very interested in gaining as many experiences as possible to figure out where he can be the most successful and is looking to find a way to connect entrepreneurship to his other interests.

Faith Sporbert

Faith Sporbert

Faith Sporbert is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a dual degree in computer science and French along with a minor in digital arts. Recently, she was selected as one of the first recipients of the competitive Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship. Over the summer, Faith will work during two of the Engineering Diversity Outreach Center’s summer programs, Explore Engineering and the BRIDGE Program, serving as a mentor for both high schoolers and incoming freshmen engineers at UCONN.

During the school year, Faith will be balancing her responsibilities as a resident assistant, an Outreach Officer for the Society of Women Engineers, a member of Engineering Ambassadors Presentation Team and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and a Water Treatment Facility Co -Chair for Engineering Ambassadors Tour Guides. Faith enjoys fashion, cultures, music, playing the violin, YouTube, graphic design, drawing, creating, and helping others. The career aspirations that Faith has in mind vary from animating with Pixar to being a machine learning engineer. She hopes to continue advocating for women in STEM and dedicate herself to reducing the gender gap in engineering.

Jake Winter

Jake Winter

Jake Winter is a mechanical engineering major at the University of Connecticut with a strong interest in mechatronics -- this can be seen in his high school senior capstone project in which he designed and constructed a robotic exoskeleton. The exoskeleton's result was enhancing the user's strength three fold. Jake is a strong critical thinker with a powerful desire to change the world around him.

Currently, he is starting a company that focuses on building a line of pneumatically powered exoskeleton products. Jake has placed in multiple competitions including the CTC College Tech Challenge and the UNH 24 Hour IQ as well as received funding as a part of Get Seeded.

Jessica Daley

Jessica Daley

As a sophomore at the University of Connecticut’s School of Nursing, Jessica is excited at the prospect of working as a registered nurse in the near future. She hopes to go on to specialize in critical care nursing and work with the pediatric and neonatal population in an intensive care unit. In addition to becoming a bedside nurse, she aspires to impact the healthcare community via the route of nursing innovation. Jessica would like to explore her interest in and develop her understanding of technology as it relates to artificial intelligence and big data. She would like to apply this knowledge to the hospital setting so as to make the work of nursing staff in particular more efficient. Her academic standing as an honors student in the university has allowed her to join and make continued contributions to a research team on campus that, in part, aims to better understand the pain of premature infants and how to better treat such a vulnerable population. Jessica is also involved in the UCONN Rescue club where she is currently training to become a CPR teacher to help individuals on campus retain or gain their CPR certification. She is confident that the opportunities in her role as a leader, researcher, innovator and student will shape her as a well-rounded and versed future professional.

Jody Kung

Jody Kung

Jody Kung is a sophomore, majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) in the School of Business. She enjoys playing sports, drawing, and watching Netflix. She is outgoing and caring and she loves to travel. Through the business connections learning communities first-year experience class, she developed a LinkedIn profile that allowed her to get in contact with David Ouimette, the executive director of First Year Programs & Learning Communities. He saw her case competition experience and recommended that she get involved by joining the HackUCONN planning team. She is currently the head of hacker experience and she has learned from her team members and the faculty. She believes UConn has given her numerous opportunities and she is excited to work on the Learning Community Council this semester.

Kevin Fiddler

Kevin Fiddler

Kevin Fiddler is currently a student at UConn pursuing a degree in economics. He works for the university at the Office of Veteran's Affairs and Military Programs, helping veterans and military affiliated students navigate their benefits. In addition to this, Kevin serves in the United States Army National Guard as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst, preparing and briefing intelligence products to inform and influence combat operations.

Outside of his service with the army, Kevin finds himself growing in the graphic design field, having a fundamental proficiency with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. He also conducts training for workers in his father's physical security business in covert entry, escape, and evasion.

Michael Aisevbonaye

Michael Aisevbonaye

Michael Jesuorobo Aisevbonaye is a second-year undergraduate student attending the University of Connecticut, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Computer Science and Mathematics. He is the Publications Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Marketing Chair of the Learning Community Executive Council, the Assistant Secretary of the NAACP, a co-founder and former Vice President of the UConn Maker Club, a proud member of the ScHOLA2RS Learning Community, and a graphic designer for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Center for Career Development.

He was the 2019 recipient of the First Year Excellence in Innovation Award. As an alumnus of the 2019 Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corp, Michael spent his summer and third semester honing his skills in civic leadership under the oversight of the Obama Foundation, which will benefit him in his future aspirations. In the future, Michael wishes to work in a job that combines STEM with the imaginative aspect of design, such as a UX Engineer at Google, or a Mechanical Engineer at Boston Dynamics, and intends to spend his time advocating for minorities in the STEM field. 

Mitchell Hornak

Mitchell Hornak

Mitchell is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Connecticut who is also pursuing a minor in Astrophysics. He was a member of his high school robotics team which inspired him to begin his journey in engineering. The team became a top 50 VEX VRC robot in the world during his senior season.

More recently, Mitchell was involved in HackUConn, where he and his team created a prototype for a smart pill dispenser called the Dose Defender with the goal of preventing opioid misuse. The team won the Innovation Quest award, then proceeded to place in 3rd out of 98 teams at the Innovation Quest Competition. This device saw the creation of their own LLC in hopes of further pursuing the project.  Mitchell hopes to expand his company and work with 3D printing and robotics.

Natalie Lacroix

Natalie Lacroix

Natalie is a student at the University of Connecticut majoring in Digital Media and Design and minoring in Computer Science. She works part time at the UConn Innovation Zone (Makerspace) as a Maker Specialist, teaching students how to use different machinery and encouraging them to push their creative boundaries. Natalie also volunteers with Team Rubicon, Camp Hometown Heroes, and other organizations to help accomplish her goal of giving back to her community.

As a current member of the UConn Innovation House Learning Community and the Werth Innovators, Natalie is passionate about innovation. She strives to bring an innovative, adaptive, and positive mindset to all the projects she works on both in and out of the classroom. Her specific interests include web design, programming, and video production. In the future, Natalie hopes to have a career involving UX or UI design, bridging the gap between humans and technology.

Olivia Tirelli

Olivia Tirelli

Olivia is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology. She plans on attending graduate school to become a Surgical Physician's Assistant. She is currently a Certified Nurse's Assistant and works as a Home Health Aide.

Olivia recently won first place in the healthcare technology competition, HackUConn. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Pre-PA society, Paws and Claws, Triathlon Club, and is a morale captain for HuskyTHON. Olivia will be both a Biology and Husky Ambassador Mentor in the upcoming year.

Raisa Vazquez

Raisa Vasquez

Raisa is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student hoping to become an example for young women interested in STEM careers. Her interest in engineering began at her first internship at a Naval Collaborate where she learned how to conduct her own research and collaborate with other engineers. It was at this internship that she created an interactive sound poster that reads A-weighted and C-weighted sound levels. More recently, Raisa has been engaging in work with CAD modeling.

Raisa is a member of the Engineering learning community, Engineering Ambassadors, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She likes to spend her free time painting, woodworking, and writing.

Sabaa Fayazi

Sabaa Fayazi

Sabaa Fayazi is a sophomore on a pre-med track, majoring in Physiology, Neurobiology and Psychology. A student in the Honors Program, Sabaa is a STEM scholar and hopes to eventually have a career in the healthcare industry as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. Sabaa is actively involved in research as a part of two brain imaging research labs here at UCONN. In addition, Sabaa is actively involved in volunteer work as a member of student run organizations such as KUBE, GloHSOH, and pre-med society. As a member of the Werth Innovator Scholar cohort Sabaa hopes to change the way education, namely STEM education is approached by developing an innovative and interactive interface which tailors a students work based off of their individual understanding as well as location on their educational timeline.

Sana Kasmani

Sana Kasmani

Sana is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Business Management with a minor in Computer Science. She is the Undergraduate Representative of the Indian Students Association and a First Year Experience mentor to incoming freshman for the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering learning community.

Sana is also a part of the Husky Ambassador Program, assisting potential students with the college decision process. In the future, she hopes to run her own business that benefits society and hopes to gain skills, contacts, and experiences in both the business and entrepreneurship world through the Werth Innovators.

 

Sarah Nedwick

Sarah Nedwick

Sarah Nedwick is a member of the Werth Institute Innovation and Technology program at the University of Connecticut. She considers herself to be an ambitious student, and is interested in pursuing a degree in studying Business and the environment, hoping to combine these fields to create a background that will make her qualified for many different aspects in the workplace. On top of her studies, she spends her time outside and with the UConn outing club, or as a member of the UConn Marching band, Jazz Ensemble, and Pep band. As a sophomore, she will be a representative of the UCMB and hope to graduate with a minor in jazz studies. Some of her goals include helping the environment, graduating, and one day hiking the Appalachian Trail.

2018-2019 Werth Innovators
Andi Duro

Andi Duro

Andi is a sophomore Computer Science major at UConn. He immigrated from Italy with his parents to Hartford, Connecticut when he was 6 months old. He has been programming since he was 9 and has developed software and hardware in the web, mobile, robotics, blockchain, and IoT spaces. Andi has his own Mac app on the Mac App Store and has also published several iOS apps. He developed a jailbreak tweak in middle school that has over 800,000 downloads to date. In high school he built a garage door opener with a companion iOS app and a 3D printed NFC locker. In addition, he participated in FIRST Robotics Competition, reaching the international finals with his team two years in a row.

Aside from development, Andi is heavily interested in transportation (specifically, aviation and cars) and cybersecurity.

You can learn more about Andi at his website, and email him at andi@duro.me.

Andrew Burns

Andrew Burns

Andrew is a sophomore computer science student at UConn. Over the past seven years he has been teaching himself full stack, iOS development and have launched a few projects. The latest project being a social food ordering app called MunchBunch. It allowed students to place orders with friends and strangers around them to get savings, discounts, and meet new people. He built the iOS app, backend, and signed on six restaurants with 200 downloads in the time the app was up. Currently, he is working on helping local businesses by connecting them with talented college students, who can help solve their needs and issues. His ultimate goal is to use technology to build cool things with cool people. Working on projects with motivated people working towards making meaningful products is what gets him excited. You can read about some of his projects and more about him at: aburns.me. 

Ashley Nelson

Ashley Nelson

Ashley is a sophomore biomedical engineering student at UConn. She spends most of her time in and studying for classes, but she also takes part in a few extracurriculars. She is a member of the Women in Math Science and Engineering (WiSME) Learning Community, Women in STEM (WiSTEM) Mentoring Program, UConn FirstGen, and the Werth Innovators. She is extremely passionate about women in STEM related fields, so she spends quite a bit of my free time mentoring younger women in these fields, working with each of these groups on events and meetings, as well as advertising for them. In addition to being passionate about helping women in STEM, UConn FirstGen allows her to help fellow first-generation college students succeed in the same way. Apart from this, she joined the Werth Innovators to further her entrepreneurship skills as she hopes to develop a fully automated prosthesis and work with wounded veterans. The Werth Innovators provides excellent guidance and support to help her accomplish all her goals. 

Bethany Pilon

Bethany Pilon

Bethany Pilon is a sixth semester junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is currently working on a research project exploring the effect of inbreeding on phenotypes of commercial interest in beef cattle. Bethany has shown horses under saddle for 13 years and began competing with the UConn equestrian team as a Freshman. During the summer months she has completed internships at the Connecticut Veterinary Center and Petcare Veterinary Services and enjoys working in both an emergency hospital and general practice setting. She recently volunteered abroad in Roatan, Honduras through World Vets to provide medical aid to exotic sanctuary animals and will be volunteering through this organization again in Moldova at the completion of the school semester. Following graduation in May 2021 she plans to continue her studies at veterinary school and become a licensed general practice veterinarian.

Benjamin Grosse

Benjamin Grosse

I have a lot of energy, and that is probably why I am constantly on the run. Being as energetic as I am is a good thing, especially since I have to juggle schoolwork, being an athlete on the University of Connecticut Men's Track and Field Team, running my company (mxersaudio.com) and building entrepreneurship here on campus. I grew up just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and from early on in my high school career l have been involved in entrepreneurship. I co-founded MXERS Audio my sophomore year of high school, and have never looked back. MXERS Audio patented, manufactures and sells modular earbuds that give users an optimized listening experience. Running a self funded business while in high school gave me the opportunity to become very involved in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Minneapolis. Through working with the Werth Institute and other entrepreneurship and innovation based organizations on campus I am extremely excited to see UConn bloom into an entrepreneurial hub.

Carlie Cassells

Carlie Cassells

Carlie is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Nursing and a minor in Spanish. She is interested in pursuing a masters degree in nurse midwifery and wishes to specialize with mothers who have cognitive and physical disabilities. With this expertise, she hopes to open her own labor and delivery practice. She also serves as a mentor for other women in STEM through the Women’s Center at UConn, in hopes of encouraging others to pursue unique careers in STEM.

Currently, she is collaborating with the UConn School of Nursing in the Health Care Innovation program to design new lines of hospital gowns to accommodate disabled patients. This January, she was a member of a group that won the 2019 ASHOKA Making More Health program. ASHOKA is an innovation firm based out of DC that provides workshops and funding to student social entrepreneurs. Carlie was recognized for creating an effective and creative body-positivity campaign to combat eating disorders among young women. She is also a member of the Werth Innovators, a group of students who advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and collaborate on their own innovative ventures.

Carson Stifel

Carson Stifel

Carson Stifel is a sophomore communication major who will be completing her degree in three years instead of the traditional four. Stifel is a member of UConn’s Innovation House Learning Community, where she promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity within UConn and beyond by spearheading her own entrepreneurial ventures and collaborating with fellow student entrepreneurs. Stifel advises first-year entrepreneurship students on business development and marketing strategies. She is employed on-campus as a Student Communications Specialist for the Office of the Vice President for Research, executing journalistic projects relevant to UConn’s research, entrepreneurship, and innovation communities. Stifel is skilled in photography, videography, and the digital arts. She served as the Marketing and Graphic Design Intern for the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI), working closely with the startups participating in CCEI’s Summer Fellowship program. Stifel was named the 2018 recipient of UConn’s First Year Excellence in Innovation Award for her contributions to Uconn’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. She can be contacted via her email: carson@uconn.edu 

Everett Grethel

Everett Grethel

Everett Grethel is a sophomore student at University of Connecticut majoring in Digital Media & Design with a double minor in Computer Science and Studio Art. He aims to work in the tech industry with focuses in entrepreneurship, marketing, development, and design. His current projects include an augmented reality experience using the Microsoft Hololens, working with volumetric video capture, motion effects, and scripting in Unity Game Engine. Everett is also co-founder, product designer, marketer, and web developer of Sickpuppy, a campus-based clothing company focused on marketing experimentation and counterculture fashion appeal. Additional activities include officer role as vice-president of UConn’s Artificial Intelligence Club and a student organizer role in HackUConn, UConn’s premier annual hackathon. Everett’s job experiences are as a children’s sailing instructor in 2015 at Guilford Yacht Club Sailing Camp, assistant to the groundskeeper in 2016 at the Florence Griswold Museum, and graphic designer/web developer in 2019 at the UConn Homer D. Babbidge Library. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, drawing, and sailing. 

Gordon Markman

Gordon Markman

Gordon is an industrial designer and fabricator. He emphasizes the process of making as it leads to the conception of new ideas and techniques. He is currently pursuing an individualized major in product design here at UConn. He specializes in things experimental & three dimensional; from interactive installations and experiences to furniture and houseware. His comprehensive body of work is a blend of design art and technology. Past projects of his have included a 1,300 LED Arduino animated sign for a Brooklyn pin company, an abstract chair composed of organic materials and much more. He is well versed with the creative process;  research & conceptualization, rapid prototyping & iteration, and final fabrication. Over the past summer Gordon interned at a design agency in New York city and is looking for his next gig. In his free time you can find Gordon playing and recording music on the sax or one of his other seven instruments.

For more info and projects check out Gordon's website.

Kyle Collins

Kyle Collins

"Entrepreneurship allows for one to foster significant change, and it uniquely allows for the ability to add your own personal touch to that change. It allows you to act on a vision and bring others along your journey — and that is an invaluable experience. As an entrepreneur, I can gather others along my journey while maximizing the experience of life. This journey, with both ups and downs, is what excites me and gives me drive. And if I find that something I envision is important enough, I will do it for the greater good and also because I just want to.

My program of study at UConn is Economics, I have an expected graduation date of 2021, however, my entrepreneurial spirit makes me want to drop out. My greatest accomplishment is making friends with people who will support me throughout the wave of life. They say that life is like a river, and that how you manage the obstacles in the river determines the quality of life. It is easy to throw your hands up into the air and give up, but what good would that do? If there is a will, there is a way."

Lauren Boulay

Lauren Boulay

Lauren Boulay is a sophomore electrical engineering student at the University of Connecticut. She is a New Member Officer for her school’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), where she creates and presents bi-weekly presentations for new SWE members. She also volunteers with SWE and Engineering Ambassadors, much of which involves outreach programs to get middle school-aged students interested in STEM topics. At “STEM Night” and “Multiply Your Options,”she taught middle school students how to create a working battery using a lemon, a galvanized nail, a strip of copper, and some alligator clips, and she was able to use these batteries to light an LED. Lauren has experience in using PSpice, SolidWorks, and LogicWorks. She has also completed projects involving circuit design, circuit construction, and woodworking.In the past,she has used operational amplifiers to design, build, and test a three-band audio equalizer with frequency bands to control the bass, midrange, and treble of an audio input. In the future,Lauren hopes to work in the field of social robotics. Over the next summer,she will be working with the Office of Naval Research to research and develop optical sensor payloads for unmanned surface and underwater vehicles.

Lauren can be contacted at laurenboulay1@verizon.net

Michael Russel

Michael Russell

Michael Russell is a Sophomore at UConn studying both Game Design and Studio Art. His time at UConn has been focused on combining his creative skillset with his passion for Game Design, with the goal of working for Hasbro as a Game Designer or Creative Director. He has designed t-shirts, many different games (video games, board games, card games), done promotional artwork for his clubs at school, while also honing his skills in the fine arts with painting and drawing. Concept art and storyboarding with pen and paper is an area where he is strongest, but he also makes use of different digital tools like Maya and most of the Adobe Creative Suite. He is known for being very energetic and all over the place, but when he truly sits down and focuses on a project, you can tell how motivated he is to produce a work that is imaginative and from the heart.

If you want to see his portfolio or have any other inquiries, you can email him at Michael.Russell@uconn.edu or get a sneak peek on his Instagram @Mike.F.Russell .

Noah Sobel-Pressman

Noah Sobel-Pressman

Noah is a Management Major, minoring in Chinese (Mandarin) and Data Analytics. He will be graduating in 2021. After graduation, he wants to work in venture capital. While at UConn, Noah has been an active member of the business school as a Management Department Ambassador, Werth Innovator, and co-founder of Get Seeded, a startup competition for students looking to get funding for their idea/company. Noah is working on raising the Student Venture Fund, which will give students the experience of investing real money in real companies. This past summer he interned at Stanley Black & Decker, supporting their Techstars accelerator. For fun, he likes to cook and play ultimate frisbee.

Patrick Hocking

Patrick Hocking

Patrick J. Hocking is a developing leader in business development focusing on the biotech sector. Overseeing the entrepreneurial activities of the Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device, he participated in two accelerators as well as assisted in the fundraising of over $15,000 for the company Dyadic Innovations, LLC. Following work with Dyadic, he succeeded in the graduate level management course of Biomedical Entrepreneurship where he successfully developed a device automating the process of Uterine Massage, along with a pre-market operations strategy for the device. He currently is working on the creation of a program connecting University students to local small business’ through targeted, human interventions, with intent to expand the program to a national-level platform. Through his work in the high-impact entrepreneurial field, he has established skills in Market Hypothesis Testing, Venture Analysis, Public Speaking, Cold-Calling, and Design Thinking.

Patrick is studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut (Class of 2021) where he also works as a Resident Assistant and participates in the Werth Innovators, along with Club Track and Field. He is currently seeking opportunities where he can apply and grow his skills in a dedicated, entrepreneurial culture.

To schedule a conversation, please email him at patrick.hocking@uconn.edu.

Paul Roach

Paul Roach

Paul is a fourth semester Computer Science and Engineering student seeking technology development and design opportunities. He has advanced his experiences in many fields of engineering through curricular, extracurricular and personal projects since the beginning of high school. One of these personal projects was designing and building a door knock pattern recognizer that unlocks the deadbolt from the inside if the user enters a pattern of knocks that matches the password pattern programmed previously. Paul is also working with a few other students to develop a web platform designed to increase long term retainment of material and increase users’ natural intuitions through visual, module-based learning. He assisted the installation of a new automated canning and packaging system for a regional beverage manufacturer. After, he continued to work as an operator and assistant technician for this system and helped repair and maintain other equipment. To complete his Eagle Scout project, he led a group of peers to construct two picnic tables that he designed and manufactured 21 labeled street-crossing signs using his CNC machine. He is eager to learn and use new skills to finish new projects.

He can be reached at paul.roach@uconn.edu . 

Priscilla Ly

Priscilla Ly

Priscilla Ly is a second year pre – pharmacy student studying at the University of Connecticut. Her interest in the pharmaceutical field stems from her passion to help people, interact with patients, and focus on the wellbeing of others. As a Werth Innovator, she has been contributing to the newly instituted Get Seeded program to support others on their journeys as start-up businesses. Previously, Priscilla has interned seasonally at the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) assisting supervisors and vice president under various tasks. Additional activities include active memberships in the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA -ASP) and in the Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (WiMSE) Learning Community as she hopes to promote women empowerment in STEM. Currently, Priscilla is a research assistant for the Korey Stringer Institute for kinesiology. She aspires to work in the medical field and pursue an MBA following her interests to develop her own pharmaceutical company. Priscilla spends her spare time as a photographer and enjoys urban and landscape photography.

She can be contacted through email at Priscilla.ly@uconn.edu 

Stanley Chen

Stanley Chen

Stanley Chen is second year student at the University of Connecticut studying Chemistry on the pre-medical track. He is an open minded individual always looking to meet new people and discuss new ideas. Stanley has participated in research and field work by working in an introductory Organic Chemistry research lab studying the potential of environmentally friendly oxidants. He has enjoyed field work such as studying ecological trends with university professors focused on studying hypoxia in the Long Island Sound.  

While Stanley has research experience in chemistry and environmental studies, he is very interested in learning more and gaining more exposure to the biological fields. More specifically he endeavors to learn more about biological engineering and genomic medicine as a personal interest. Stanley has followed projects such as the 2045 Initiative which offer an insight into the potential future of science and technology and how we could get there. Stanley is a strong believer that the idea of tapping into the human body as a huge step forward for science, but a societal conversation must be had on its ethical implications.  

Outside of classes he has participated in Air Force ROTC as an AS500 Cadet and as a competing team member in UConn Taekwondo. In addition, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and is a member of Greek Life on campus.  

Zach Zambuto

Zach Zambuto

Zach Zambuto looks towards the future where he one day aspires to build his own successful company. Zach first realized his dream when he participated in a hackathon at The University of Connecticut and then fully during the summer of 2018 at an internship with Chubb Insurance. In preparation for this ambitious goal Zach has taken action to move closer to this dream. Zach is currently working on a college startup Follow, a phone application aiming to reduce steps to connect with someone on social media. He believes the best way to learn how to start a company is to simply start a company. Follow was the first startup to receive funding from the program Get Seeded,where students pitch their company ideas in front of judges for money. Zach is also a member of the Werth Innovators, an elite group of students passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. Together they complete projects and meet-up weekly to discuss new ideas and ways to better the world. As of now Zach is a second year and plans on graduating the University of Connecticut with a degree in computer science and engineering in 2021 while participating in many ventures along the way.

To contact Zach, email him at Zachary.Zambuto@uconn.edu