Peer Concentration Advisors (PCA) Program

PCAs serve as peer advisors for pre-concentrators (and current concentrators), providing a valuable perspective and helping students to discover additional resources and opportunities.

If you would like to be matched to a PCA, you can do one of the following:

  1. Reach out by email to a PCA with similar academic, career, or extracurricular interests by exploring their bios below.
  2. Get paired with a PCA by filling out the Find my PCA Google Form. While we recognize some students might know exactly what they are looking for, we are happy to help pair you. 

Bella Pignataro (Co-Captain)


Headshot of Engineering PCA Co-Captain Bella Pignataro

Hey! I’m Bella and I am a junior in Currier House (let’s go quaaaaaaaaad) studying Electrical Engineering. I hail from the great state of Ohio, so shout out to all the midwesterners out there. My interests lie in the intersection between EE and biotech/medicine, and I have spent the past summer working in the Biodesign Lab on an inflatable shoulder exosuit. The summer before, I worked at Cleveland Clinic on ophthalmology research and eye tracking, and in the fall, I am planning on joining the Ability Lab to delve deeper into the world of mobility devices. Outside of my academic interests, I hit myself with colorful tubes in The Harvard Undergraduate Drummers (THUD). I enjoy hiking, eating baked goods, watching hockey and soccer, walking really super fast for no reason, halloween, and so many other things! I would love to chat with you about virtually anything, but please reach out if you want to talk about engineering tracks, course selection, music recs, or Drum Corps International!


Lana Wagner (Co-Captain)


Headshot of Engineering PCA Co-Captain Lana Wagner

Hi all! My name is Lana. I'm a junior in Winthrop studying Mechanical Engineering on the S.B. track. I am passionate about design, problem-solving and any hands-on mechanical project. My engineering interests are broad, ranging from aerospace to wearable devices. This past summer, I worked at Rocket Lab in Long Beach, CA on their Space Systems Vehicle Design team, where I helped design test fixtures for satellites. I also worked at the Harvard Biodesign Lab with Professor Conor Walsh for multiple summers on several different soft robotics and wearable device projects, including through the Harvard PRISE summer fellowship (definitely reach out about that!). I also love mentoring others in engineering and will be TFing ES51 for the third time this fall! Outside of the classroom, I am co-president of the Harvard Undergraduate Engineering Society (HUES) and have a weekly jazz radio show on WHRB! I also love running, surfing, discovering new music, and sewing my own clothes. If you have any questions or just want to chat, please reach out!


Alex Bernat


Headshot of Engineering PCA Alex Bernat

Hey! I’m a junior from Chicago and a joint concentrator in computer science and electrical engineering. Most of my background is in computer systems research but I’ve spent summers working for the US Department of Defense, doing research, and doing quant. Outside of class, I’m on the board of the Harvard Computer Society and Harvard Chabad, and enjoy golf, squash, and recreational rowing.


Ari Cheriyan


Headshot of Engineering Ari Cheriyan

Hello all! I’m Ari Cheriyan, and I study Bioengineering (S.B.) on the Chemical & Materials subtrack. I’m also pursuing a secondary in Classical Civilizations, and I’m a junior at the College who’s also on the pre-med track; I’m interested in cell/tissue engineering and smart biomaterials. This summer, I was a research intern at National University of Singapore through the Amgen Scholars Program, studying mechanobiology and cell migration into confined spaces. On campus, I have previously worked with organoid staining/culture at Professor Mooney’s lab and DNA origami at Professor Shih’s lab at the Wyss Institute, with my work supported by the PRISE&HCRP awards. I also participated in the BioSTAR wintersession program last year with the Active Learning Labs! Outside of academics, I am an avid user of the REEF makerspace, a PAF, and a part of ABSK Christian fellowship. I also love music; I’m the junior choir secretary of the Harvard University Choir and sing with the group as a choral fellow. Please feel free to message me about any of the above or any topic beyond, and I’m happy to chat about anything — looking forward to meeting you soon!


May Jung


Headshot of Engineering PCA May Jung

Hi! My name is May, and I’m a junior in Lev studying Biomedical Engineering (A.B.) with a secondary in Energy & Environment. When I’m not doing coursework, I can usually be seen choreographing with Expressions Dance Company or in the lab doing research! During the school year, I work at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the Sarosiek Lab where I develop methods to better quantify apoptotic activity. This past summer, I was an AMGEN research scholar at UTokyo in Professor Goto’s lab. There, I studied the iron acquisition of parasites to ultimately aid in the drug development for visceral leishmaniasis—a neglected tropical disease (NTD). Starting this fall, I will be a course assistant for the intro BME course ES 53, so let me know if you have any questions about the course/concentration. I am also happy to talk about being pre-med, pursuing research abroad, navigating Longwood, or engaging in campus sustainability. Or, email me if you relate to any of the following: have watched the movie “Heat” and/or “Babel”, know how to recover with Bayonetta, or thoroughly enjoy the Shrek franchise. Excited to meet y’all!


Cooper Knarr


Headshot of Engineering PCA Cooper Knarr

My name is Cooper :) I’m a junior studying Mechanical Engineering (S.B.) on the thermal systems track, with a secondary in Germanic languages and literature. I am extremely passionate about working in Germany, Austria, or Switzlerand because I grew up near Big Sky Ski Resort. My main interests in engineering involve ski lift manufacturing, food processing and packaging, and golf equipment R&D! Last summer, I conducted research for Professor Susan Crawford’s Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm. This summer, I am conducting research on Electric Vehicle batteries at the Technical University of Munich in Germany and took language courses in Heidelberg, Germany. At Harvard, I serve on the board of the Harvard Undergraduate Sports Lab and Harvard Foreign Policy Initiative. I spend most of my free time enjoying all things related to international affairs and sports (especially basketball and golf!). My decision to study engineering was one which occurred later than most other students, so I would be happy to discuss the Harvard engineering course pathway. I look forward to meeting you all!


Addison Liu


Headshot of Engineering PCA Addison Liu

Hi! My name is Addison, and I am a junior in Leverett House pursuing an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering with a secondary in Art, Film, and Visual Studies. My interests lie primarily at the intersections of medicine, materials, and mechanics, exploring how engineering technologies can further clinical medicine. To this end, I have worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab designing a wearable sensor for Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis and monitoring. Most recently, at Boston Children’s Hospital, I am modeling congenital anomalous coronary arteries to better predict clinical outcomes. This summer, I am interning at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, studying surgical microrobotics. Beyond research, I am a photographer for the Harvard Crimson and an EMT for CrimsonEMS. I have also loved being involved with the Harvard Undergraduate Engineering Society (HUES) and working as an undergraduate teaching assistant for various classes. In my free time, I love exploring coffee shops, reading memoirs, and making Spotify playlists for every possible mood. I am always happy to chat about any of my experiences or anything else you may be curious about—feel free to reach out at anytime :)


Genevieve "Genna" McQuillan


Headshot of Engineering PCA Genevieve "Genna" McQuillan

Hi everyone! My name is Genna(Genevieve) and I am a junior in Cabot House. I am studying Environmental Science and Engineering on the S.B. track. Within Environmental Engineering, I am interested in renewable energy and grid reliability/storage. Last summer, I worked on the data science and climate tech investments team for Coatue Management L.L.C. This summer, I am studying International Agriculture and Environmental Engineering for the Tropics in Monteverde, Costa Rica through CIEE. I am also volunteering as a cabin counselor at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is a sleepaway camp for children with life-threatening illnesses, and tutoring on the side. On campus, I lead hikes through the Harvard Outing Club, work with Learn with Leaders through the Clean Energy Group, make pottery through the Cabot Ceramics Program, and am also a community chair of ESE. I spend a lot of my free time outside: swimming, hammocking, journaling, hiking, etc. I’m also very interested in the food system and regenerative agriculture because I love to cook and eat. Feel free to reach out! I would love to help with any questions you may have.


Onovughakpor Otitigbe-Dangerfield


Headshot of Engineering PCA Onovughakpor Otitigbe-Dangerfield

Hello! My name is Onovughakpor Otitigbe Dangerfield and I am a junior in Mather House concentrating in biomedical engineering and history of science with a secondary in theater, dance and media. I plan on pursuing a biomedical engineering concurrent masters. I am also premed - but my biomedical engineering subtract is mechanical so I am incredibly interested in the future of robotic assisted surgeries on the side of biomedical device design and more specifically in the field of pediatric neurosurgery. On campus in terms of pre professional and academic clubs - I serve on the board of the Harvard Society for Black Scientists and Engineers as Vice President, the Harvard Undergraduate Robotics Club as the project manager. I am also a certified EMT, and plan to work with BostonEMS part time. I also conduct research at the Boston Children's Hospital. Outside of academics I am also music director of Keychange: A Black Acapella Experience, the First Year Retreat and Experience as a FYRE TL, and I'm president of Harvard College Musical Theater! Please reach out for anything related to my concentration, the FGLI and black experience on campus, or anything related to the arts or just to talk!


Emma Kate Price


Headshot of Engineering PCA Emma Kate Price

Hey, y’all! My name is Emma Kate, and I am a junior in Leverett studying Mechanical Engineering (SB) with a secondary in Astrophysics. I am from rural Missouri, and I love hiking, kayaking, and just being outside! My career interest lies in aerospace, and I intend to work in rocketry research and development. In the past couple years, I have worked at Boeing as a Systems Engineering Intern and conducted crop growth, water testing, and additive manufacturing research. Next summer, I will be working at SpaceX (Starlink) as an Engineering Intern. On campus, I am a board member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and on the propulsion team in the Harvard Rocket Propulsion Group (HRPG). I am also a member of Student Astronomers at Harvard Radcliffe (STAHR) and AstroSoc. Beyond STEM, I direct Kesem Harvard Undergraduate, a camp and year-round support system for kids whose parents have cancer, and edit The Ichthus, a campus publication. This fall, I will be studying abroad at Oxford, where I will be reading engineering and rowing with the Oriel College Boat Club (OCBC). I am happy to chat with you about studying abroad, pursuing an astrophysics secondary, searching for internships, or anything else about which you are wondering! I also work a couple of jobs during the semester, so I am available to discuss balancing work with school. I love being a MechE (especially since the SEC is the best place on campus:), and I cannot wait to help you out with your engineering plans!


Justin Xu


Headshot of Engineering PCA Justin Xu

Hi everyone! I’m Justin, a rising junior in Lowell House from Delaware! I study mechanical engineering and government. I’m most interested in harnessing the power of engineering and quantitative tools in fields like public policy, clean energy, and transportation. I’m especially passionate about aviation and rapid manufacturing. I've spent my summers conducting computational earth science research in Hong Kong as part of the Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy, and Environment; studying abroad in Venice; and in the United States Senate, advising my Senator on issues related to manufacturing and trade, clean energy, and appropriations. On campus, I’m involved in HMUN, Harvard Pops Orchestra, CBE, and the Think Tank! I also love to swim, run, travel, and cook. Happy to chat about courses, extracurriculars, or life in general — whether related to engineering or not!


Aaron Zheng


Headshot of Engineering PCA Aaron Zheng

Hey everyone! My name is Aaron Zheng, a junior in Quincy House, pursuing an S.B. in Bioengineering - Chemical and Materials Track and a Citation in Chinese from Auburn, Massachusetts. I always grew up with a fascination for science, mathematics, and real-world applications of what we learned, combined with finding computer science and the world of biotech while at Harvard, Bioengineering became a clear choice. My interests primarily lie in the intersection of entrepreneurship, business development, and biotechnology, rather than pure research, academia, or med school, although I have conducted research in materials science and computational biology. On campus, I actively participate in cultural organizations, FGLI advocacy, and am the current President of the Harvard Biotechnology Club. I also love exploring Cambridge and Boston by foot or by bike, binging podcasts and video essays, and just living life outside of a problem set. Please reach out if you have questions on approaching industry and business in biotech over academia or med school, figuring out what to do in life (as if I know yet), navigating Harvard as a FGLI student, or just about anything and everything. Excited to meet you all!