Portraits of Leadership: 2019 Class Marshals

Dartmouth News

June 7, 2019

By Bill Platt

Graduates are chosen by their fellow students for their service and initiative.

Thayer Class Marshals
Engineering student class marshals (l to r): Nigina Baimukhamedova, Th’19; Josephine Kalshoven ’19 Th’19; Alexa Lewis, Th’19; Colleen Elizabeth O’Connor ’19 (human-centered design minor)

Each year, class marshals are selected by their fellow students on the basis of good citizenship, enthusiasm, integrity, and positive impact on others. The marshals carry batons engraved with their names as they lead their classmates to the Green during the commencement procession.

Nigina Baimukhamedova Th’19

Hometown: Astana, Kazakhstan
MajorMaster of Engineering Management

Nigina Baimukhamedova is an aspiring product manager who believes that technology is a great tool to make the world a better place. She was born in Tajikistan and spent her early life in Kazakhstan, where she completed her BS in robotics and mechatronics from Nazarbayev University and worked for a year as a product manager. She came to Dartmouth to study for a masters in engineering management to develop her business acumen within the technological space. In her free time, she served as a teaching assistant for several systems engineering classes taught by Associate Professor of Engineering Amro Farid. She was also quite involved in Master of Engineering Student Council activities, organizing various events on and off campus for her classmates to establish a culture of support and interconnectedness, which she believes, is the key for fulfilling one’s potential.

Favorite Place: Ledyard Canoe Club

“My favorite place on campus is the Ledyard Canoe Club. Thayer’s proximity to the river just makes it impossible not to take study breaks and come down to the river to enjoy the serenity of nature, read a book, have lunch with friends on the dock. Kayaking is also great, of course.”

Josephine Kalshoven ’19 Th’19

Hometown: Lanham, Md.
Major:  Engineering Sciences (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering) (BA and BE)

Josephine Kalshoven has relished her four years at Dartmouth. Since day one, she has been an active member of the Aquinas House community and the Dartmouth College Marching Band, in which she has had dual roles as both a clarinetist and the pre-game and halftime announcer. Since her freshman spring, she has served on the 2019 Class Council. This year, she holds the title of senior class vice president. She became a member of the TEDx Dartmouth executive team, which held its second annual TEDx conference on campus in April, after she and a group of close friends decided to resurrect the defunct club over their sophomore summer. She has loved being a biomedical engineering student at Dartmouth, an experience enriched by her participation in research and a semester exchange at the Technical University of Denmark. She looks forward to beginning a PhD in biomedical engineering at Brown University in the fall.

Favorite Place: The Great Hall at Thayer School of Engineering

“Thayer has truly become my home-away-from-home at Dartmouth. There’s something about spending countless late nights here with classmates in shared academic struggle that can really endear it to you. This beautiful wooden hall is my go-to meeting place, studying place—even eating place, a lot of the time.”

Alexa Lewis Th’19

Hometown: Paradise Valley, Ariz.
MajorBiomedical Engineering

Above all else, Alexa Lewis is grateful for the communities she found and the friendships she formed at Dartmouth. The organizations she was most involved with Thayer School of Engineering, the Aquinas House Catholic Student Center, and the Thought Project Living Learning Community. Through these communities, Lewis was able to form meaningful connections and relationships, and she eventually took on leadership roles in all of these organizations, in an effort to give back as much as she had received. Lewis was also heavily involved in scientific research and worked as an undergraduate researcher in two labs at Dartmouth and another at home during off-terms. Next year, Lewis will be headed west in order to complete a master of science program at the University of California, San Diego.

Favorite Place: The Connecticut River

“Although not one of the locations where I have spent the most time, the river has always been one of my favorite places on campus. No matter the hour, the season, or the weather, I find the river to be an incredibly beautiful and peaceful spot where I can take a break from academics and enjoy the outdoors.”

Colleen Elizabeth O’Connor ’19

Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Major: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies modified with Economics
Minor: Human-Centered Design 

Despite not receiving her first passport until her senior year of high school, Colleen O’Connor has gone abroad seven times for extended periods of research, work, and study since coming to Dartmouth. As a Stamps Scholar, O’Connor has spent the past two years working to use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for female empowerment within indigenous communities in South America and East Asia, for which she was named the 2018 Undergraduate Catalyst for Change by the American Association for University Women. On campus, O’Connor is president of Women in Business, the undergraduate adviser for the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, and a Senior Admissions Fellow. She has truly embraced the “One Dartmouth” spirit by pursuing a minor in human centered design at Thayer School of Engineering and working as a Paganucci Fellow and Onsite Global Consultant with the Tuck School of Business. O’Connor also graduates as a salutatorian of the Class of 2019.

Favorite Place: Baker Tower

“Sitting on the Green my first night on campus and looking up at the glow of Baker Tower was a visceral experience and the first time I really internalized the fact that this beautiful campus that I’d seen in admissions brochures was now a place I could call home. These past four years, climbing the tower during big weekends to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding area or simply passing Baker on my way to class always reminded me of just how lucky I am to be part of the Dartmouth community.”

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