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Student employees

Each year, we are lucky to harness the passion and energy of a few dedicated student employees from across the Cornell campus. Their tasks are as varied as their backgrounds.



Nuzhat Islam (2014-2016)

Nuzhat is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. She is currently focusing on developing effective and safe method with biodegradable fatty acids application in parasite contaminated soil and water in upstate New York. At McGovern Center, Nuzhat provides administrative support, coordinates client meetings, updates center website and monitors laboratory research equipment to facilitate project works done by potential center company clients. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Bangladesh Agricultural University and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.

Daria Efimov (2014-2016)

Daria is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. Aside from classes she is actively involved in her professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau, and is a member of Cornell's Boxing Club, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Computing at Cornell, as well as The Society for Women in Business. Daria is interested in working in the defense industry after graduating.


Jimmy Guo (2014-2016)

Jimmy Guo is a senior studying Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is interested in leveraging biomedical technology and business strategy to drive innovation in healthcare. At the McGovern Center, Jimmy works on market analytics and develops sales leads for its client companies.


Tianyi Zhang (2014-2016)

Tianyi is a junior studying Applied Economics and Management in the Charles H. Dyson School. On campus she is a member of the Society of Women in Business, a member of the Cornell Women’s Club Water Polo Team, and a consultant for Social Business Consulting. At the McGovern Center Tianyi has done market research for current clients and prepared presentations for clients to receive potential funding. She plans on concentrating in finance and strategy and pursue a career in financial services after graduation.

Lena Bartell (2015-2016)

Lena is a PhD candidate in Applied Physics who specializes in the intersection of bio-engineering, medicine, and physics. She is currently researching ostoarthritis after traumatic injury and is particularly interested in using imaging and image analysis to understanding our world.


Mo Ayodele (2015-2016)

Mo is a sophomore in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. While at the McGovern Center, she has developed a particular interest in business analytics and market research. She hopes to pursue a career studying consumer behavior. On campus, Mo is a member of the Nigerian Students Association, Ellevate Cornell, Art Beyond Cornell, and CUTonight. She is interested in gaining a global experience and plans to study abroad next year!





Brian Huggins (2012-2015)

Brian specialized in strategy and finance. Outside of school, he was a member of the Cornell University Emergency Medical Service squad and Head of Finance and Marketing for Cornell Racing, an engineering project team that designs, manufactures, and campaign a formula style race car against over 400 schools from across the globe. While at the McGovern Center Brian identified and communicated with potential clients and investors. He also conducted a comparable market institution justification survey to develop the initial pricing strategy for the Center, which is now a part of the annual evaluation process for the McGovern Center. 

After graduation, Brian plans to merge his experience in healthcare with his business-oriented education to move into the venture capital industry with a focus on biotechnology or healthcare services.

Charles Hartsfield (2014-2015)

Charles is a senior in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in marketing. Outside of class he is an Intramural Sports Supervisor and involved with a start-up. At the McGovern Center Charles has helped to plan the annual Pre-Seed Workshop and identified and contacted potential investors and clients. After graduation he plans on working in the automotive industry.


Andrew Furman (2013-2014)

Andrew is a Biology Major in the college of Arts & Sciences. At the McGovern Center, he organizes and hosts a panel discussion about intellectual property management for biotechnology startups. Additionally he does research and evaluates potential investors and strategic partners for the Center’s clients. He is also involved volunteering at the Cayuga Heights Fire Department, Ithaca Free Clinic and serves as an undergraduate TA.

Marina Shumakovich (2013-2014)

Marina was a student in the school of engineering, studying biological engineering. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, lived in Switzerland, and now her family lives in Maryland. At Cornell, she participated in undergraduate research, an outreach club, a project team, TAing, and working at the McGovern Center.

William Schultz (2013-2014)




Naved Hashim (2012-2013)

Naved was instrumental in creating a contact list of potential incubator clients. He was also the master of fixing the temperamental copy machine. He tirelessly collected data of previous Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) recipients to provide a baseline market comparison. He also created a database of venture capital and angel investors in the life sciences sector.

Alden Sonnenfeldt (2012-2013)

Captain of the Cornell sailing team, Alden found time to identify and evaluate prospective Incubator companies, manage the McGovern Center candidate client investor database, and facilitate Incubator company communications with candidate Angel and VC investors.

Alden organized and hosted a panel discussion on how to crowd fund your startup on May 17, 2013 which was very well attended. See the slide presentations from the speakers, Douglas Gorman, Crisafulli Gorman, PC on the legal considerations; Enzo Villani, CEO Sustained Integrated Communications on the history and current status of crowd funding; and Alex Zapesochny, co-founder of iCardiac Technologies on crowd funding nonprofit research. Samantha Abrams, co-founder of Emmy's Organics, also spoke about using crowd funding to successfully start her business.

After graduation he joined as Account Project Manager.