Alumni Homecoming 2019

The Many Places a College of Sciences Degree Can Take You

Nalini Polavarapu is the head of data science strategy of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical. Sadaf Kazi is a research scientist helping to improve the safety of health care systems. Ryan Hynd and Denise Okafor found themselves in academic careers close to the degree they earned at Georgia Tech. Colin Blenis and Jayda Nail used their Georgia Tech science education to enter medical professions.

All of them used their College of Sciences degrees to make a difference in their professions. For some, that path took a turn because of what they learned about science – and themselves – at Georgia Tech. Six College of Sciences alumni share their memories of life at Georgia Tech, the lessons they learned that they applied in their careers, and what they would tell current students about how to make the most of their time in the College of Sciences.

Colin Blenis

Colin Blenis

(Courtesy of Colin Blenis)

B.S. in psychology, Georgia Tech, 2012
B.S. in nursing, Emory University, 2017
M.S. in nursing education, Western Governors University, 2019
Emergency nurse, Emory University

Meet Colin Blenis

Ryan Hynd

Ryan Hynd

(Credit: Felice Macera)

B.S. in applied mathematics, Georgia Tech, 2003
M.S. in applied mathematics, Georgia Tech, 2004
Ph.D. in mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
Associate professor of mathematics, University of Pennsylvania

Meet Ryan Hynd

Sadaf Kazi

Sadaf Kazi

(Courtesy of Sadaf Kazi)

B.A. in psychology, Jai Hind College, Mumbai, India, 2004
M.A. in clinical psychology, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, 2006
Ph.D. in engineering psychology, Georgia Tech, 2016
Research scientist, MedStar Health Research Institute

Meet Sadaf Kazi

Jayde Nail

Jayde Nail

(Courtesy of Jayde Nail)

B.S. Psychology, Georgia Tech, 2012
M.D. Medical College of Georgia, 2016
Neurosurgical resident, Tufts Medical Center

Meet Jayde Nail

Ryan Mill

Denise Okafor

(Courtesy of Denise Okafor) 

B.S. in biomedical chemistry, Oral Roberts University, 2007
M.S. in chemistry, Georgia Tech, 2010
Ph.D. in chemistry, Georgia Tech, 2015
Postdoctoral fellow, Emory University
Assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Pennsylvania State University, starting on January 2020

Meet Denise Okafor

Nalini Polavarapu

Nalini Polavarapu

(Courtesy of Nalini Polavarapu)

M.S. in bioinformatics, Georgia Tech, 2003
M.S. in computer science, Georgia Tech, 2007
Ph.D. in bioinformatics, Georgia Tech, 2007
Head of data science strategy, Bayer

Meet Nalini Polavarapu