Ten-Year Check-In: The Class of 2004

collected by Kevin Liu '04

Neil Agarwal: Following in the footsteps of a certain NSL teacher we all know and love, I spent the first couple years after college as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya.  I am now at Wharton getting an MBA.  In my free time I enjoy Crossfitting, pontificating about health care reform, and spending quality time with my two pet turtles.

Musaddiq Awan: After high school, I went to UMCP for undergrad doing chemistry and math, and then went to UMB for med school. Spent a year at MD Anderson coding for medical research, (couldn't get the magnet out of me), and now am soon to be a radiation oncology resident. Outside of all that, I am working on mastering two sports: crosswording and hating.


Ning Bao: I'm finishing my Ph.D. in physics at Stanford, with a focus in string theory and quantum information theory. In the fall, I will be starting a postdoc at Caltech.


Noel Bartlow (formerly Berman): I recently finished my PhD in Geophysics at Stanford and moved to sunny San Diego where I research earthquake physics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In 2012 I spent a few months working and traveling in New Zealand.  My husband Grant and I just had our first baby, Caitlin Rose Bartlow born 3/10/14.


Julia Bertaut: After studying religion at Swarthmore college, I worked for a while for the Episcopal Church in Spokane, WA.  I recently finished my coursework and student teaching to teach high school math and biology and am looking for a position in the Boston area, where I just moved.  I discovered I really love population genetics and plan to do something with that somewhere down the line.


Christian Brown: I haven't shown anyone any proof of my double major in CS and Visual Art since moving to Los Angeles in 2008. Now I'm a freelance designer and animator, working on TV and movies. Sometimes a write articles for websites, but mostly I photograph my cats and the very old house I live in.


Leven Browne: After getting a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, I immediately took a job that doesn't involve any electrical engineering.  Instead, I've spent the past 6 years working for Epic Systems: a company that develops, implements, and supports Electronic Medical Records, primarily for large healthcare organizations.  (fun story:  the day that Kevin sent out his email, I randomly discovered that Joe Kramer just started working here too!).  But this summer, I'm leaving Epic to teach myself web programming and start my own online business reviewing consumer technology.


Todd Bryant: I graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in mathematics and computer science.  For two years, I taught high school math and comp sci.  Now, I am a software engineer with In-Depth Engineering, currently working on the Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.  In 2012, I achieved the US Chess Federation's National Master title, an accomplishment that took me 12 years.  In 2013, I married Lisa Cunningham, a disability attorney, and on January 22nd, 2014, we had a son, Jack Myer Bryant.  We live in Moorestown, NJ with our two dogs.


Kevin Chai: After 3 years of Finance work at Lockheed Martin, I changed my career and am currently in my 3rd year at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.  I recently got engaged to Joy, and I'm in the thick of wedding planning.  I participate in community service events when I can and in my free time I help out at church, go snowboarding, play ball, and root for the Caps.


Maria Choi: After graduating with a B.A. in Public Health Studies, I spent some time in Korea getting an M.A. in interpretation/translation and working as a freelancer. After gallivanting for a few years, I decided to get a real job so I am now back in Maryland finishing up my first year of law school! Only time will tell if I'll actually get a real job...


Patrick Conrad: I've just finished my PhD in aerospace from MIT, with a thesis on computational statistics. My future plans are hazy, but I'm looking for a post-doc and considering possible options in academia.


Katherine Epstein: After graduating from Princeton in 2008, the next six years really flew by! I earned a master's degree in experimental psychology from the University of Minnesota and I am getting ready to start medical school this summer. I'm enjoying my current job in the psychiatry department at the University of Minnesota researching early onset schizophrenia and the effects of cannabis on adolescent brain development, and I want to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist when I grow up.

Marianne Epstein: Graduated from Dartmouth with a B.A. in psychology, then spent a few years teaching math and writing to elementary students in Southern California. Out there I started doing some freelance illustration and taking design courses, and fell in love with a new field. I am now back in the DC area finishing up my master’s in graphic design at George Mason University’s School of Art, and working as a designer at Gannett Digital.

Lynn Favin: since graduation, I have performed on stage/TV/film in DC, NYC, and London. Recently, I toured with Royal Caribbean Cruises as a gameshow host and emcee.  Check out upcoming projects on www.lynnfavin.com

James Gao: If I had one sentence to summarize the scribbles in my senior yearbook, it would be: "When you go to California, learn how to surf and find yourself a hot girlfriend". I've been in California now for almost a decade, where I've learned to surf, work in tech (for now), grown to love the outdoors and started a surfing & standup paddleboarding accessories retail business on the side.

Max Gibiansky: I got a BS in Physics and Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College, got my PhD in Bioengineering from UCLA. I recently moved to the bay area and now work at Skytree, a startup that does machine learning, doing a variety of things from algorithm development to data analysis. I still play tennis, it's great out here in sunny California!

Jason Gordon: I spent the first 5.5 ish years after college working at a financial software firm in NYC, basically building/hosting/operating large equity trading platforms for banks.  It was actually pretty fun, despite that it sounds like the opposite of that.  I actually just moved to a finance/consulting-related web startup this month, and I'm the third guy there, also in NYC.  On the home front, I'm engaged to a fellow software professional named Kimberly Smith, and we are getting very married this year.

Han Hu: After studying finance and systems engineering at UPenn I stayed to get my MBA there too.  I have been in NYC for the past few years, working at Morgan Stanley for two years and then a hedge fund for two years. I joined a private equity firm in Jan to help incubate and grow companies, focusing on the power and energy sectors. It's nice to be able to use finance to do some good, such as building renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Daozhong Jin: Following the requisite college stint at UMD, I tried out public interest work and political campaigning before landing at the NIH Office of the Director. When not immersed in government bureaucracy, I’m still most passionate about soccer and traveling and am planning a trip to Brazil this summer (World Cup!!) and Australia next year to meet my goal of six continents before I’m 30.
Michael Kim: Studied biotechnology and chemistry at beautiful UC San Diego for five years. Despite Phamistry, discovered my passion was in analytical chemistry. After undergrad, started working at genentech in the bay area analyzing antibody and antibody drug conjugates for breast cancer and hematological cancers. In 2012, began pursuing a PhD in analytical chemistry at the university of Kansas while concurrently working.

Joe Kramer: Finished my biomedical engineering BS (Tulane U) but not my genetics and molecular biology PhD (Emory U).  Working a 9-5 at a healthcare software company that earns me money to buy stuff.  Pretty much the American dream.

Kevin Liu: After getting a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. from MIT, I spent a few years in the Marine Corps as an intelligence officer. Just before deploying to Afghanistan, I wrote a deeply nerdy book that people actually bought and that's launched a new career publishing health and wellness articles for millennials (75togo.com)

John McManigle: After a physics degree from Penn State, I went on to a Duke University MD and Oxford University DPhil in engineering (image processing), both of which I'm finishing up now.  I'm also an airplane pilot, scuba diver, hobby app programmer, and have a crazy blog at www.oxfordechoes.com, which I'm slowly trying to make application-friendly.

Maria Luckyanova: Since graduating, I've been plugging away at accruing as many degrees as possible from MIT. Right now I've got two, working on my third, a Ph.D. from the mechanical engineering department. My Ph.D. research has been in the general area of applied physics, looking into nanoscale heat transfer. When I am eventually and inevitably kicked out, I guess I'll get a job of some sort. 

Jay Nargundkar: Studied finance at Maryland and spent a few years doing strategy consulting (a lot of time on planes and in hotels). Moved to a rural town in the Peruvian Amazon for an economic development project in an area formerly controlled by coca-growing drug cartels, now doing legitimate agriculture. Spent a year working with cocoa farmers, chocolatiers, and other small businesses. ate chocolate every day like it was my job (it kind of was). Lost weight anyway (jungle microbes). Moved to Chicago to pursue interest in food/beverage industry, now working for Kraft Foods. 

Charlene Ng: After ten years of hard work, I can finally call myself a Doctor. I'm currently in my first year of residency in Richmond, VA in family practice. My passion is preventive medicine. Along the way, I've traveled to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua, though my Creole/Spanish are still pretty terrible. 

Philip Ries: I studied Computer Engineering and then for 5 years improved the USB capabilities of Windows at Microsoft. Now it's time to pursue something different and more human. 

Peter Russo: I graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UMD, and entered the Engineering Leadership Development Program at BAE Systems in Nashua, NH.  I spent the first three years rotating around the company, trying out various roles and simultaneously getting my Master's Degree from UNH in Electrical Engineering.  I eventually settled on a role in BAE's research and development branch, where I develop prototype laser systems, with a specialty in Infrared Countermeasure Systems (systems that prevent US aircraft from being shot down by homing missiles). 

Neha Rustagi: For the past year, I've been working as an Energy Market Analyst at an oil & gas consultancy in NYC; we typically do market research on very niche technologies, and I specialize in pipelines.  Prior to that, I went to school in CO, where my graduate research was on pipeline engineering.  Perhaps most interestingly, a few years ago I worked at a coal power plant in MD called Dickerson Generating Station- fun times! 

Sareen Shah: I graduated from med school in '08 and am currently in the middle of my pediatrics residency at Northwestern University. I'll be applying for a PICU (intensive care) fellowship this coming year, so still have a ways to go in my training. I like traveling but unfortunately right now don't get a whole lot of time to do it. I do take advantage of the amazing restaurants here in Chicago however. 

Jessica Shang: Not a doctor yet, but close, I hope. After Harvard, I journeyed across the pond to Cambridge for an MPhil, and am finishing up my PhD at Princeton in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, specializing in fluid mechanics.

John Shen: I am currently finishing up a Masters' in neuroscience at the University Southern California after research in visual attention and language development.  I'll be starting a Masters' in Computer Science in the fall.  I'm looking into developing computer algorithms that can tell us more about genetic risk factors for disease, language and music structure. 

Valerie Shen: With a Politics B.A. from Pomona College, went on to do campaigns, political internships, and legislative affairs at a think tank in D.C.  Now I'm a lawyer on Capitol Hill and spend my time doing congressional investigations, which occasionally results in legitimate oversight of federal agencies. 

Josh Stern: I received an ScB in Geobiology from Brown, and then I began a PhD in Biology at Georgia Tech. A few years later this PhD turned into a Masters and now here I am in NYC providing technical support for financial software. 

Gordon Su: I graduated from U.Penn with degrees in finance, management, and material science engineering.  I went to work at a hedge fund called Farallon Capital Management doing special situation and distressed investing for 3 years.  Then I left to start a mobile gaming company called PennyPop.  Our main title is called Battle Camp, which was Apple's Multiplayer Game of 2013 and a top 100 grossing game in 40+ countries.  Download it now and give us a 5 star review! 

Paula Wang: After failing engineering classes, I decided to embrace my artsy side and become a designer! I got a BA in Industrial Design, and a MFA in Production Design (theater sets). I've dabbled in event design, cookie decorating, museum exhibit design, theme parks, and branding for casinos. Now I'm living in sunny San Diego with my little family - fiancee JC, two-year old Liam, and two cats. 

Sam Wen: I went to Washington University in St. Louis, where I received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science. After hating myself for a little over a year at Boeing and Raytheon, I started taking Computer Engineering night classes towards a M.S. at my alma mater, before stopping to help found Square. Four years and a day later, I left Square, and started advising, investing, and trying to find the next big thing. 

Kenny Yan: I spent four fabulous years at MIT, where I developed everlasting friendships and dual passions for music and for science.  I then made the hefty decision to head to Cleveland on the path toward becoming a Doctor-Doctor (MD/PhD).  Following my interests, I now have a handful of research papers, an a cappella group and a couple of YouTube parodies under my name.  However, now ten years out of high school, I am... still in school.  I am defending my thesis this year, and in two short years, I will be matching for residency, hopefully into a position where my interests will intersect.