Spring 2021 Leadership

Executive Board

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Lisha White


Lisha is a mechanical engineering PhD student from Portsmouth, Virginia. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in engineering from James Madison University in 2016. Lisha began her journey at Carnegie Mellon as a GEM Fellow and is currently conducting research on 3-D printing inside of a gel support matrix. Lisha enjoys soccer, reading, exercise, learning new languages, and diverse catalogs of music. A fun fact about Lisha is that her favorite food is anything cookies and crème!

Dontavius Sippial

Vice President

[Coming soon.]

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Malik Blackman


Malik is a mechanical engineering PhD student from Chicago, Illinois. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019. Malik is both a GEM Fellow and a published researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His hobbies include skateboarding, drawing, and beat-boxing!

John Hill


John is a music education student (M. M. Ed) from Detroit, MI. He obtained his bachelor's degree in music education from Norfolk State University. While at NSU, John was a charter member of the Psi Beta chapter of Order of Omega Greek Leaders Honors Society and holds scholasticism to the highest degree as he researches progressive philosophy and pedagogy within music education. His hobbies include bowling, listening to music, and cooking.

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Uche Agwu

Service Chair

Uche is a mechanical engineering PhD student from Denver, Colorado. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace engineering from Santa Clara University in 2018. As a GEM Fellow at Carnegie Mellon, Uche conducts research on structural mechanics and computational design and analysis. He is focusing on generating light and stiff lattices for additive manufacturing applications within the aerospace industry. Uche enjoys soccer, piano, and Latin dancing!

Primary Advisor

Ms. Shernell Smith

Executive Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Ms. Shernell is the executive director for the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion. She helps to coordinate multi-cultural, diversity and inclusion programming for the campus community, such as CMU’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, and is an adviser to various student organizations, like the Asian Student Association. She’s a housefellow for students in the Margaret Morrison Apartments, Woodlawn Apartments, Roselawn Apartments and Spirit House, and a college liaison for the College of Engineering.

She also advises sustainability initiatives on campus, like Sustainable Earth and the upcoming Sustainability Weekend in April, and she has used her green thumb to help students grow CMU’s community garden on Winthrop Street.