Spark Mentorship

The Spark Mentorship Program pairs together incoming iGniTe students with iGnite alumni through their transition into Georgia Tech. Spark is based off of three core principles: include, encourage, and grow. Include students without judgement as we are all a part of the Georgia Tech family. Encourage students to embrace their curiosity and to not be afraid to ask for help. Grow. College is a key time to grow both as a student and as a person; having someone to guide you along that path makes the changes exciting. We aim to assist new iGniTe students with their transition to college, maintain a positive relationship of guidance and support all throughout college (not just during iGniTe), and to help new students become an integral part of the Georgia Tech community in order to make their college experience the best that it can be.


Meet the 2019 Spark Mentors!

Andrew McGraw

Year: 2nd
Major: Public Policy
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Jesup, GA
Involvements: Ivan Allen Ambassador, Residence Hall Association, Marching Band, Hall Council, Global Leadership LLC, Research Intern, Student Alumni Association
Hobbies/Interests: Community service, photography, travel, food, hiking, music
Why iGniTe? I chose iGniTe to push myself out of my comfort zone and get a head start on classes at Georgia Tech and ease the transition from high school to college!

Alex Marin

Year: 2nd
Major: Material Science and Engineering
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Sanford, NC
Involvements: Research, MILL maker space staff, ORGT staff, Intramurals referee
Hobbies/Interests: Backpacking, outdoor soccer, tennis, weightlifting, HvZ
Why iGniTe? iGniTe is a great way to make friends and get to know your way around campus when it is less crowded and you don't have a full course load. The program also provides a variety of activities where you can get to know other students and have fun!

Ansley Fowler

Year: 2nd
Major: Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) with an Architecture minor
Track: Innovation
Where's home? Kennesaw, GA
Involvements: Merchandising Director for CPC, Marketing Committee for SAA, and iGniTe Advisory Board!
Hobbies/Interests: Graphic design mainly but I'm also a lover of classic novels.
Why iGniTe? I didn't have a choice when I was accepted and thought it was a bad thing, however, I soon realized it was an incredible blessing to be accepted to summer. I met so many people, many of whom are my best friends, and I got to experience Tech in my own time and with not so many people around. Looking back, I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to start early as it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Ava Gribble

Year: 2nd
Major: Business
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Kennesaw, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Greek Life, Technology and Management Program Student Assistant, Campus Outreach
Hobbies/Interests: Exploring Atlanta, reading, and being active
Why iGniTe? I wanted to take advantage of my summer by starting classes early so that it would benefit my career in the long run!

Avnish Dalal

Year: 2nd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Urban Sustainability
Where's home? Stockbridge, GA
Involvements: LEAD coaching, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
Hobbies/Interests: Video games, learning new things, making money :)
Why iGniTe? I was excited to start taking classes and have an ease into the Georgia Tech environment.

Bryan Gomez

Year: 2nd
Major: Biochemistry
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Lawrenceville, GA
Involvements: Explore LLC Student Assistant, Residence Hall Association (RHA), Georgia Residence Hall Organization, College of Sciences Undergraduate Diversity Council, RA in Nelson-Shell-Fulmer
Hobbies/Interests: Musicals and Medicine
Why iGniTe? iGniTe is the perfect chance to get ahead in everything related to Georgia Tech: networking, classes, learning the layout of campus, meeting friends, joining clubs, and more. If you're worried about the transition to college, iGniTe is a MUST!

Devarsh Pandya

Year: 2nd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Sustainable STEM
Where's home? Alpharetta, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Living Learning Communities Council, Data Science @ GT
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, watching/ playing basketball, volunteering
Why iGniTe? I wanted to get a head start in college by taking classes and meeting new people!

Gerardo Garcia-Ramos

Year: 2nd
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Acworth, GA
Involvements: Vertically Integrated Project: EcoCar, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Georgia Tech Tour Guides, Global Leadership Mentor
Interests/Hobbies: Cars, Mountain Biking, Snowboarding
Why iGniTe? It is a great way for students to get a head start in their college life. Coming during the summer provides you with a chance to get acquainted with the physical location as well as some of your peers before it starts. The fall can be more intimidating because of the heavier workload as well as the increased number of students on campus.

Hannah Johnson

Year: 2nd
Major: History, Technology, and Society (HTS)
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Dunwoody, GA
Favorite iGniTe class: GT 1000!
Why iGniTe? I joined because I wanted to make friends within a smaller group and get to know the campus so in the fall it would be easier to navigate! I also wanted to get ahead on my classes and understand how Tech academics work!

Jackson Caruso

Year: 2nd
Major: Public Policy
Track: Leadership
Where’s home? Elberton, GA

Jalen Borne

Year: 2nd
Major: Chemistry
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Marietta, Georgia
Involvements:  Chambor Choir, iGniTe Advisory Board, African American Student Association, Salsa Club, EXPLORE Living Learning Community
Why iGniTe? When I first came to Tech, I was so excited but also scared because I thought I would have a hard time finding my place and where I belong. On the first day, the complete opposite happened. I met people that have become my closest friends, found clubs to discover what I love outside of studying, and I've learned to make this school my second home. I'll be here this semester to help anyone who wants guidance, advice, and any help! I'm so excited to meet all of our new summer admits and I hope you choose Tech!

Kaitlyn Bateh

Year: 2nd
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Kennesaw, GA
Involvements: SGA
Hobbies/Interests: Band, Catholic Center
Why iGniTe? It is a great opportunity for one to transition from high school into a college setting.

Lori Smith

Year: 2nd
Major: Music Technology
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Forsyth, GA
Involvements: Work at CRC, Rugby, ORGT- Outdoor Rec
Hobbies/Interests: Sports, working out, art, music, outdoor rec activities
Why iGniTe? Getting accustomed to campus and where things are is so nice with not as many people here. I believe that if you start in the summer, you can focus more on classes and get used to how Tech works so that in the fall, you can start getting involved on campus and not overload and over commit yourself.

Maddie Gordon

Year: 2nd
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Atlanta, GA
Involvements: Alpha Omega Epsilon, Global Leadership LLC, GSM in Student Center, LLC Council (Head of Recruitment)
Hobbies/Interests: Health/Anatomy, Theater, Movies (of any kind), Violin
Why iGniTe? Not only do you get a headstart on learning about campus and taking classes, but you are also able to make strong friendships and bonds in a less intimidating environment than fall freshmen. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in iGniTe and truly believe that it made my transition to college a smoother, more enjoyable process.

Melanie Weaver

Year: 2nd
Major: Electrical Engineering
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Shamong, New Jersey
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Student Advisory Board, Wreck Camp Staff, Robojackets, Women in ECE, Society of Women Engineers
Hobbies/Interests: Beach volleyball, makeup, photography, robotics
Why iGniTe? I chose to come for the summer rather than being accepted into it because I wanted to begin my college career early. Almost a year later, it is the best decision I have ever made (besides coming to Tech in the first place). Not only will you make friends that will last a lifetime, but also you get a helpful booster GPA while getting ahead in classes allowing you to take a lighter course load for later semesters. Altogether, iGniTe changed my life and it will change yours too!

Prince Bull

Year: 2nd
Major: Architecture
Track: Architecture
Where's home? Durham, NC
Involvements: Art Matters
Hobbies/Interests: Art/ Drawing, Crafts and Woodworking, Architecture, Anime, Video Games, Skateboarding

Sabah Arenas

Year: 2nd
Major: Neuroscience
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Pembroke Pines, FL
Involvements: Neuroscience club, AMSA, and Army ROTC
Hobbies/Interests: I love to exercise, make new friends, explore the city of Atlanta, and watch the Bachelor!
Why iGniTe? For me, it was nice to come into the fall semester with fewer worries than a student starting in the fall. I knew where most of the buildings were located, where the best places to get food on campus are, and most importantly, I didn't have to worry about not having friends since I made some during the summer semester.

Sadie Frame

Year: 2nd
Major: Business Administration
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Macon, GA
Involvements: GT Women's Club Soccer, ADPi, Tech the Halls Mentor, GTAA Equipment Manager, Campus Outreach, SAA
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, making jewelry, video editing, love ALL sports (playing and watching)
Why iGniTe? You meet some of your best friends, get to know the ATL area, be able to maneuver campus easily, and much much more. Classes are easy and give you a glimpse of what to expect for Fall at Georgia Tech.

Samuel Ellis

Year: 2nd
Major: International Affairs
Track: Urban Sustainability
Where's home? Peachtree City, GA
Involvements: Greek life, SGA, Knit Mentor, First-Year Council, GT 1000 Team Leader
Hobbies/Interests: Cycling, running, debate and rhetoric, law, Korean language (doing a summer LBAT in Korea)
Why iGniTe? iGniTe students gain the necessary study habits before the classes intensify, allowing greater success and higher student performance. iGniTe prepared me to be heavily involved on campus and take advantage of the opportunities Tech presented.

Shivam Desai

Year: 2nd
Major: Business Administration
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Lebanon, TN
Involvements: Greek Life, Interfraternity Council, Emerging Leaders (FLO), Well-Being Activators, Student Government Association, Student Alumni Association
Hobbies/Interests: Exploring Atlanta, community service, meeting new people/networking
Why iGniTe? A prospective student should consider joining iGniTe because it will help he/she become well aquainted and familiar with Tech's environment. You are surrounded with other first year students going through similar transitions and you can build long lasting connections for the rest of your time in college or beyond. Additionally, you can become a resource for students coming into the fall and utilize the knowledge you have gained from iGniTe to help them feel more acclimated.

Stephen Nash

Year: 2nd
Major: IAML (Span) [Ex-EnvE]
Where's home? Demorest, Georgia
Involvements: USSF soccer referee and coach with IAFC, drone pilot and producer with S. I. Aerials, iGniTe Advisory Board, Global Leadership Liason to IMP Hall, LEAD coaching participant, LLC Council and Recruitment Team, Bee-Snap VIP Research, CoE Champion, GL VR360 Video Team, International Plan
Why iGniTe? I'm from rural Northeast Georgia, so I thought that getting to spend the summer in Atlanta would be a lot more enjoyable. And I was right! Now in my third semester at Tech, I can conclusively state that my first summer at Tech was the best period of my life. I made literally hundreds of friends, many of whom formed my friend groups of the fall when campus became flooded by tens of thousands of unfamiliar faces. Additionally, amongst the late night ICEE runs and Stingerette runs to Waffle House, I managed to become accustomed to Tech's academics, giving myself a healthy GPA boost in the process. Nothing beats Hotlanta in the summer, and Tech provides a great program through which to experience it. 

Taylor Gray

Year: 2nd
Major: Literature, Media, and Communication
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Winder, GA
Involvements: Christian Campus Fellowship and the Technique Newspaper Staff (Photography)
Hobbies/Interests: Photography, writing, reading, eating, music (listening to, not playing, I'm bad at that part of music), thrift shopping
Why iGniTe? I personally think a prospective Tech student should join iGniTe because it gives you a valuable headstart on transitioning into college. When I realized I would have to start college in the summer, I thought it was going to be terrible and I'd miss my friends back at home who weren't starting school until fall. But, when I finally settled into the program I realized that actually being productive in the summer has its perks. Not only did I make an entirely new set of amazing friends who were going through the same thing back home feelings of FOMO as I was, but I also got a massive headstart on my academic career.

Thomas Ware

Year: 2nd
Major: Economics and International Affairs
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Williamson, GA
Involvements: Pi, Moneythink, Tech Taido, SAA, Global Leaders
Hobbies/Interests: Hip-hop, drawing, fraternity life, community service, reading, economics
Why iGniTe? It's a great way to familiarize yourself with campus before jumping into the fall semester. You get a chance to figure out what you want to do and what classes you want to take. Most importantly, you make a ton of friends that you can continue to connect with all throughout your college career.

Uchenna Godwin-Offor

Year: 2nd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Sustainability and STEM
Where's home? Douglasville, GA
Involvements: SCPC Homecoming Committee, Smashjackets, Pianoforte
Hobbies/Interests: Playing video games, watching TED talks, learning languages, table tennis, talking to people, taking walks
Why iGniTe? A prospective student should join iGniTe because it is a great introduction to the collegiate experience. It doesn't even feel like summer school when you think of it. Getting a grip on college academics, the GATECH campus, and the city of Atlanta are just a few of the perks and advantages one receives when joining iGniTe!

Vicky Yang

Year: 2nd
Major: Business Administration
Track: Innovation
Where's home? Savannah, GA
Involvements: Delta Sigma Pi, Chinese Student Organization, Honorary Accounting Organization
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, traveling, learning new languages, binge watching shows, hanging out with friends
Why iGniTe? When I first found out that I had to do the summer session and could not enjoy my last real summer, I was adverse to going, but during the six short weeks, I met some of my best friends and got to explore Atlanta. Summer classes are very chill, so there's a lot of time to explore the Midtown area, especially if you're not from around the area, and try everything that Tech has to offer. There's plenty of events, so you'll never be bored and those six weeks will pass by in no time!

Yaritza Marlene Garcia-Gomez

Year: 2nd
Major: Environmental Engineering
Track: Sustainability and STEM
Where's home? Lawrenceville, GA
Involvements: SGA, FreShGA, and Residence Life
Hobbies/Interests: Watching movies, exploring music, exploring Atlanta, baking, photography, and music
Why iGniTe? You get to explore campus before it's full of students and discover the hidden gems on campus. You get to meet new people that are joining you on the rollercoaster ride that is Georgia Tech. iGniTe curates an environment for summer students to get a head start, foster friendships, and capture new experiences. It's the perfect way to spend your summer!

Zirui Wang

Year: 2nd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Innovation
Where's home? China
Involvements: Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity, Undergraduate Management Society, Consulting club (worked as senior analyst for UPS consulting project last semester), Investments Committee
Hobbies/Interests: Sports, especially basketball and weightlifting. Big fan of sneakers and pop culture.
Why iGniTe? Great transition to be particular. As a new student coming in, I was able to make many friends even before the real semester year began, and it really helped me blend in. Also taking classes during summer helped me prepare for the classes to come in fall.