Leslie Arrazolo and Kianna Broadman

NEWT Undergraduates: Shared Experiences in Mentoring

Katie Sue Pascavis is a junior (Class of 2023), studying  Mechanical Engineering – Global Health, and Zhe Zhao is… ___

Here’s what they have to share about their experiences:

Katie Sue Pascavis

Katie Sue Pascavis 
Zhe Zhao

Zhe Zhao

Katie Pascavis: I met Dr. Paul Westerhoff in high school, and he generously mentored me on a science fair project about arsenic absorption. This experience allowed me to witness the abundance of research opportunities at ASU and how encouraging the NEWT faculty are towards students looking to get involved in research. After touring NEWT’s lab as a freshman, I reached out to Dr.

Westerhoff about becoming involved. I was really excited about their innovative “germicidal glowsticks,” or UV-C side-emitting optical fibers. He tasked me with creating a “germicidal jellyfish,” a floating UVC disinfection system that runs off of solar power and inactivated pathogens using hanging UVC optical fibers. Under Dr. Westerhoff’s and Zhe Zhao’s mentorship, I learned about modeling UVC systems and how to make side-emitting optical fibers. While the COVID-19 pandemic limited my ability to attend school and the lab in person, NEWT allowed me to intern virtually and continue research despite the public health crisis. Though I couldn’t help with the in-person prototyping, the first proof of concept for the Germicidal Jellyfish has since been created and successfully tested! I am also blessed to work under Dr.

Shahnawaz Sinha in computer-aided design for a UVC flow reactor and designing larger germicidal jellyfish systems. I’m very grateful to have joined the lab as a freshman so that I get multiple years of kind mentorship and fascinating research opportunities through NEWT!

Zhe Zhao: Paragraph –