Meet the 2021-2022 IEEE-USA Government Fellows
Melody Tan earned her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University, where her research leveraged optical imaging to improve oral cancer detection. She received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University and her M.S.E. in Bioengineering Innovation and Design from Johns Hopkins University. She also has experience consulting in the biodesign and medical device innovation space.
Melody is passionate about civic engagement and has been actively involved in voter outreach and grassroots campaigns in her Houston community. Throughout her doctoral program, she also interned with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. In 2019, Melody was selected as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Board on Health Care Services at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Subsequently, Melody created several initiatives equipping early-career scientists and engineers to engage with policymakers, including the Texas Science Policy Fellows program where fellows addressed immunization bills in the Texas Legislature. She looks forward to working at the intersection of her interests in science, policy, and politics as an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow.
Clarissa Bhargava earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow developing 2D materials for applications in ultra-thin, low-power electronics and optoelectronics. Clarissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in Applied International Studies from MIT’s department of Political Science.
Clarissa’s graduate work focused on characterizing the unique interface between nanometer-thick semiconductors and ultra-thin metal films using a ‘big-data’ electron microscopy technique called 4D-STEM. She has also co-authored studies in artificial photosynthesis, using solar cells to recycle valuable products from carbon dioxide.
Alongside her research, Clarissa served as a Marketing and Communications specialist for the Molecular Foundry, a Nanoscale Science Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In this role, she disseminated the Foundry’s high-impact research by writing press releases and communications for the Department of Energy, fellow scientists, and the general public. As an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow, Clarissa is excited to tackle issues related to energy and the environment as well as education and equity.
Aditi Gupta is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Scientific Citizenship Initiative at Harvard Medical School. She focuses on institutional culture change, specifically exploring how curriculum programming, policymaking, and institutional networking can be used as levers of change to increase civic engagement in STEM researchers. She earned her Ph.D. in Medical Engineering at the Harvard-MIT program in Health Sciences & Technology, where she studied human-machine interaction with wearable technology.
Aditi is passionate about issues of social justice and equity. At MIT, she founded programs and developed strategies to improve the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students while also advocating for institutional policy change to improve equity and belonging. She also organized annual entrepreneurship workshops in Latin America and Asia to foster regional business ecosystems and democratize access to educational, funding, and networking opportunities for local students and entrepreneurs.
Aditi grew up in Los Angeles and completed her BS in Bioengineering at UC San Diego, where she developed a life-long love for beaches, mountains, and tacos. She likes to spend time with friends and family, hike, travel to learn about new cultures and photograph landscapes, read novels and nonfiction, and dance. She has performed on stage with the Boston Bollywood dance company and enjoys learning different dance styles.
Shayak Sengupta is currently completing a Ph.D. in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and a Visiting Associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress in New Delhi. His research sits at the intersection of air quality, climate change, and energy systems. His previous experience has included modeling urban air pollution in Pittsburgh and understanding the climate impacts of Indian power generation under current and future policies. Shayak’s international research interests began when he served as Fulbright-Nehru research scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Spending a year studying pollution from Indian power plants, he developed a greater understanding of global energy and development challenges.
After beginning graduate school, Shayak returned to India to undertake part of his dissertation research on the Indian power sector. His work has been supported by U.S. EPA-funded Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions at CMU, a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship, American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowship, and a Boren Fellowship from the National Security Education Program. He looks forward to translating his engineering and policy background to the foreign policy objectives of the U.S. Department of State.