Northeast Region

Matthew Aubourg
  • Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Current Residence: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Year of Graduation: 2021
  • Current Position: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | MSPH in International Health – Social & Behavioral Interventions
  • Contact Info: mattyaub27@gmail.com, (813) 614-5709
  • Advice: Balfour was truly the best thing that happened to me at ND and I’m so thankful for every moment in the program. From the very beginning in the summer institute, I joined a family of bright, motivated, caring young people who have stayed my closest friends. Be sure to invest in your relationships through Balfour with your cohort. Also invest in your relationships with Balfour leaders like Dr. Lucero, Mama Wadley, and Charlie, as well as older students with their own wisdoms and advice to impart. Focusing on building relationships that add value to you and that you can add value to yourself is one of the most important ways to use your time at ND. Four years goes by way faster than you realize to cherish all your happy moments there and learn something from the ones that aren’t so great. Best of luck to you all!!! 🙂
Cristina Chavez
  • Hometown: Dallas, Texas
  • Current Residence: Washington, DC
  • Year of Graduation: 2020
  • Current Job Title: Engineering Analyst
  • Contact Info: cchavez1@alumni.nd.edu
  • Advice: The Balfour community was essential in getting my time at Notre Dame off to a strong start. The people I met over that summer helped me feel more confident during Welcome Weekend and the first few weeks of the school year. I knew that even if I didn’t make many friends right off, I had my Balfour friends behind me, ready to support me. Furthermore, without Balfour providing a scholarship to me, I would not have been able to participate in engineering study abroad after freshman year, which was very important to me as I did not study abroad during a semester. Those six weeks abroad were full of amazing experiences, and more importantly, gave me time to bond with engineers who became great friends and formed the core of my study group for the next three years. To the younger Balfours, I encourage you to take advantage of the tutoring offered through Balfour if you’re struggling in a class. As a former Balfour tutor, I thoroughly enjoyed tutoring and helping everyone succeed in tough subjects such as Calculus and Physics. 
Emmalyse Daniels
  • Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
  • Current Residence: New York City, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2020
  • Area of Expertise: Education & Law
  • Contact Info: danielsemmalyse@gmail.com, LinkedIn
  • Advice: My advice for younger Balfour students is to take full advantage of the resources around while remembering to give back to those communities that have helped make you who you are! Be creative and intentional in giving back and do it in a way that works best for you and your individual circumstances. Keep an open mind and open heart! #FindYourBalance
Dominique DeMoe
  • Hometown: Clayton, Delaware
  • Current Residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Year of Graduation: 2019
  • Areas of Expertise: Design
  • Contact Info: ddemoe@alumni.nd.edu, LinkedIn
  • Advice: There is time to figure out your life! It is okay to change your mind, your major, your minor or your profession while you’re learning things about yourself, growing as a person and/or navigating a new environment. Use college to explore your passions and interests. Do what makes you happy, say yes to new opportunities and don’t limit yourself or place yourself in a box.
Leo Edokpolo
  • Hometown: Rahway, New Jersey
  • Current Residence: Stamford, Connecticut
  • Year of Graduation: 2007
  • Current Position: Anesthesiologist
  • Contact Info: leonard.edokpolo@gmail.com
  • Advice: Balfour helped me to develop a comfortable presence at Notre Dame and to build a supportive network of friends prior to my official orientation as a Frosh-O. Several of those supportive relationships endure until today (more than 15 years later). As a young man with a minority background, it was nice to spring into freshman year at Notre Dame, knowing that there are plenty of people here at the university that I have a lot in common with. In fact I already met some of these people and I could already call them my friends.
Iheanyi Ekechukwu
  • Hometown: Myrtle Beach, California
  • Current Residence: Brooklyn, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2014
  • Current Position: Senior Software Engineer at Github
  • Contact Info: iekechukwu@gmail.com, (843) 340-0830, LinkedIn
  • Advice: These peers will be your closest friends for years to come. I still see folks from my Balfour class every single year, cherish these moments and memories.
Monika Fanous
  • Hometown: Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Current Residence: Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Year of Graduation: 2020
  • Current Position: Business Analyst at Dalberg
  • Contact Info: mfanous1@alumni.nd.edu, (201) 779-8002
  • Advice: The Balfour Program gave me a network of lifelong friends and a framework to succeed in. Throughout my four years of college, Balfours have always been there to help me with whatever I needed, whether it was career advice or just someone to talk to. As someone who had no background or connection to the business world, I feared I would not be able to succeed in it but Balfour was there to guide me through the process. Events like networking with Balfour alumni or attending career sessions helped me shape my future. Ultimately, Balfour helped me find a family of unique and caring individuals unlike any other.
Willian De Faria
  • Hometown: Perth Amboy, New Jersey
  • Current Residence: Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Year of Graduation: 2021
  • Current Position: Technical Assistant at MIT
  • Contact Info: wdefaria@mit.edu, wdefaria@alumni.nd.edu, (617) 800-3962, LinkedIn
  • Advice: Take advantage of the opportunities that Balfour provides for you. Whether you are looking to discover your passion or you are convinced on the career path for you, Balfour can give you the resources and guidance to get you where you need to be. Because of Balfour, I was able to explore different avenues beyond what I was doing in school; specifically, Balfour allowed me to see what working in industry is like relative to scientific researcher. Additionally, Balfour gave me the luxury of adding another major to my degree. The courses that I was able to take during the summer cleared my schedule for the fall and spring semesters, and I was able to take more interesting courses with less stress. Furthermore, Balfour provided me with a solid social base that will stick with me for the rest of my life; and this is without evening mentioning the amazing alumni network that is eager to help you in any way they can!
Godsee Joy
  • Hometown: Beltsville, Maryland
  • Current Residence: Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Year of Graduation: 2020
  • Current Job Title: Strategic Risk Analyst at Deloitte Government and Public Services
  • Contact Info: godsee3@gmail.com
  • Advice: Take advantage of Balfour summer funding to study abroad or pursue research and internship opportunities. Keep in touch with your Balfour cohort and broader community throughout ND and beyond. Keep in touch with professors who are doing work you find interesting. Having a strong support system and network can help you find your next opportunity. When plans fall through, don’t get discouraged! Reach out to your network – friends, alumni, professors, former employers, and family. Even if you can’t find an internship, find ways to get involved with your community or learn a new skill or language.
Ashley Kyalwazi
  • Hometown: Sacramento, California
  • Current Residence: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Year of Graduation: 2018
  • Current Position: Medical Student at Harvard
  • Contact Info: ashleykyalwazi5@gmail.com
  • Advice: Balfour provided me with a community of friends, and mentors that stayed with me for the duration of my undergrad experience, and even after I graduated. The program also supported me financially over the course of my undergrad experience. The Summer Program was a great ease into college as well. My advice for Balfour students would be to take time to create relationships with your Balfour peers and remember to reach back and help those coming after you in whatever way you can!
Ian Montijo
  • Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
  • Current Residence: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Current Position: Counterterrorism legal research
  • Contact Info: ipmontijo5@gmail.com
  • Advice: You’ll meet some of the best people at ND through Balfour (students, faculty, and staff). Enjoy your time with them and lean on them if you need to ease the transition into your first year.
Delma Palma
  • Hometown: Bonita Springs, Florida
  • Current Residence: New York City, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2014
  • Areas of Expertise: architecture, planning, policy
  • Contact Info: delmapalma@gmail.com
  • Advice: Network of supportive peers through college years and beyond!
Truong Pham
  • Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
  • Current Residence: Corning, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2014
  • Areas of Expertise: Process Modeling Engineer/ Computational Fluid Dynamics, Data Science
  • Contact Info: ptruongnp@gmail.com, LinkedIn
  • Advice: Notre Dame is one of those rare schools that provides a holistic education for your mind, body and spirit. Take advantage of that. I believe that most of the world’s problems come from lacking either one of those three qualities. Examine everything you are taught under the light of facts and reason. Take care of your body (go to those swim classes, even though I’m not sure how that will work out with covid19). Explore your health’s limits and improve them. For example, how many LaFun hotdogs can you eat in one go? I kid. Facts and reason are important, but also don’t forget to evaluate human affairs with compassion, and remember that we’re all flawed under God’s eyes. Feel free to contact me for advice in anything related (but not limited) to chemical engineering, getting your PhD, and computational fluid dynamics. I have some experience in those areas. Go Irish!
Esteban Rojas
  • Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Current Residence: New York City, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2015
  • Current Position: Front-end Software Developer
  • Contact Info: esteban.rojas@alumni.nd.edu, LinkedIn
  • Advice: Balfour helped me to have an initial group of individuals to go to as I started my ND journey. It was incredibly hard due to the social and academic adjustment, and were it not for Balfour I would have felt isolated. My advice to Balfours is thus to lean on each other and to not be afraid to ask for help – from other students, from professors, etc.
Tiffany Rojas
  • Hometown: Duncanville, Texas 
  • Current Residence: New York, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2020
  • Current Job Title: Teacher
  • Contact Info: trojas1@alumni.edu
  • Advice: Within Balfour I was allowed to grow as both a student and an individual, as well as find my space in the Notre Dame community.  I give a large amount of credit to Balfour for having allowed me to feel more at home at Notre Dame, and also giving me the confidence to pursue various opportunities across campus.  While I have only recently graduated, I have started thinking about what I truly value, and where I want to be in the next 5-10 years.  At the moment, I have decided to take on a teaching position in New York City because I knew that part of me wanted to serve in education.  Something I would say as a word of advice to younger Balfours is I think it is important to realize that you don’t have to make any decisions right away.  Throughout my time at Notre Dame I changed my mind a lot; majors, career choices, activities, and more.  It is okay to not have all of the answers.  Take your time and enjoy your four (or more) years at Notre Dame.
Crystal Salcido
  • Hometown: Brownsville, Texas
  • Current Residence: Columbia, Maryland
  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Current Position: Physician, Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins 
  • Contact Info: crystal.salcido@icloud.com
  • Advice: Balfour was integral in helping me transition well in college and also connected me with life long friends. 
Tatiana Silva
  • Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Current Residence: New Haven, Connecticut
  • Year of Graduation: 2021
  • Current Position: Postgraduate Research Associate at Yale School of Medicine
  • Contact Info: tsilva1@alumni.nd.edu
  • Advice: The Balfour program was a major source of support for me in navigating the challenges and joys that college brings. My advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity that Balfour provides you with during your four years at Notre Dame and beyond!
Khai Thomas
  • Hometown: Albany, New York
  • Current Residence:  Brooklyn, New York
  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Current Job Title: Management Consultant
  • Contact Info: khthomas5@gmail.com, (518) 281-3773
  • Advice: Baseline and understanding that you are good enough and most times better.