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Vanderbilt Class of 2021 Profiles
Class of 2021: Family bonds inspire biomedical engineering major to fight breast cancer through cellular research

Class of 2021: Family bonds inspire biomedical engineering major to fight breast cancer through cellular research

A series of family heartaches propelled Yoanna Ivanova to pursue cellular research tied to breast cancer. She credits her connections with fellow engineering majors in the Clark Scholars Program for creating positive experiences in and out of the lab.

Class of 2021: Impact of medical care comes full circle as preemie becomes future ob-gyn

Class of 2021: Impact of medical care comes full circle as preemie becomes future ob-gyn

A tumultuous entrance into the world set Demetra Hypatia Hufnagel on a trajectory that would inspire her bright future and affect the futures of many young lives to come.

Class of 2021: Naval veteran’s compassion and service lead to future in health care management

Class of 2021: Naval veteran’s compassion and service lead to future in health care management

As a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer, Ken Barnes built a strong operational and technical background. But he calls the concentration in health care he pursued at Owen Graduate School of Management the bridge to his next chapter.

Class of 2021: From rockets to fighter jets, mechanical engineering major builds on big successes

Class of 2021: From rockets to fighter jets, mechanical engineering major builds on big successes

Will Reisner enjoys reaching new heights. The mechanical engineering senior is the vehicle team lead on the perennially top-ranked Vanderbilt Aerospace Design Laboratory rocket team.

Class of 2021: Soccer star builds future on the field and in medicine

Class of 2021: Soccer star builds future on the field and in medicine

Student-athlete Myra Konte was drafted in January by the North Carolina Courage—her dream team—but will delay her professional soccer career temporarily to continue her education at Vanderbilt.

Class of 2021: Nursing grad provides mental health care during pandemic

Class of 2021: Nursing grad provides mental health care during pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person clinical experiences for most nursing students nationwide, Vanderbilt School of Nursing master’s student Matias Massaro seized the opportunity to learn a new aspect of providing psychiatric-mental health care.

Class of 2021: Law graduate tackles new frontier with space law

Class of 2021: Law graduate tackles new frontier with space law

The ink may not yet be dry on Ramon Ryan’s law degree, but his legal research is already gaining national attention.

Class of 2021: Divinity student pursues master’s work at the junction of theology and social justice

Class of 2021: Divinity student pursues master’s work at the junction of theology and social justice

With a heart for serving others and an interest in the intersection of theology and social justice, Erica Johnson was drawn to pursue a master’s degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School while working at a social services center for victims of domestic abuse.

Class of 2021: Undergraduate research inspires future physician-scientist to bridge the bedside and the bench

Class of 2021: Undergraduate research inspires future physician-scientist to bridge the bedside and the bench

When Mason Clark was in middle school, his beloved grandmother suffered a serious heart attack. She survived, thanks to the help of the local hospital, and the experience led Clark to his life’s purpose.

Class of 2021: Xuanxuan Chen is completing her senior year virtually—and taking the distance in stride

Class of 2021: Xuanxuan Chen is completing her senior year virtually—and taking the distance in stride

Xuanxuan Chen is thankful for her memories of Vanderbilt's campus as she completes her senior year from home in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China—14 time zones away—as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Class of 2021: Interdisciplinary teamwork in the lab leads Ph.D. student to job with biotech giant

Class of 2021: Interdisciplinary teamwork in the lab leads Ph.D. student to job with biotech giant

After graduating with a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences, Alissa Guarnaccia will begin a rare postdoctoral research position with health care biotechnology giant Genentech.

Class of 2021: Social justice activist strives to make change through health care

Class of 2021: Social justice activist strives to make change through health care

A family legacy of fighting for civil rights fuels Chicago native Anana Upton, whose mission is creating positive change in underserved communities.

Class of 2021: Multitalented musician sets his sights on law and politics

Class of 2021: Multitalented musician sets his sights on law and politics

At Vanderbilt, Anighya Crocker found the freedom to pursue all of his passions, double-majoring in voice performance and law, history and society. Next, he is looking toward law school and politics—and maybe a run for governor of Tennessee.     

Class of 2021: Master’s student is bringing hope through education to war-torn Sudan

Class of 2021: Master’s student is bringing hope through education to war-torn Sudan

Ryan Boyette is using his Peabody master’s degree to further the work of the education nonprofit To Move Mountains, which he and his wife, Jazira, launched a few years before coming to Nashville.

Class of 2021: Twins combine passions for literature, science in emerging area of narrative medicine

Class of 2021: Twins combine passions for literature, science in emerging area of narrative medicine

Identical twins Jade and Jazmyn Ayers have immersed themselves in literature and personal narratives for years, leading to majors in English as well as a creative way to pair storytelling with another of their passions: medicine.

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