Spark Mentorship

The Spark Mentorship Program pairs together incoming iGniTe students with iGnite alumni through their transition into Georgia Tech. Spark is based off of three core principles: include, encourage, and grow. Include students without judgement as we are all a part of the Georgia Tech family. Encourage students to embrace their curiosity and to not be afraid to ask for help. Grow. College is a key time to grow both as a student and as a person; having someone to guide you along that path makes the changes exciting. We aim to assist new iGniTe students with their transition to college, maintain a positive relationship of guidance and support all throughout college (not just during iGniTe), and to help new students become an integral part of the Georgia Tech community in order to make their college experience the best that it can be.


Meet the 2020 Spark Mentors!

Carrera Ortiz

Year: 2nd
Major: Physics
Track: Undergraduate Research
Where's home? LaGrange, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Explore LLC, LLC Council
Hobbies/Interests: art (watercolor), clarinet (some other instruments), being social, occasional video games (current fav: Stardew Valley)
Why iGniTe? It is amazing to have a community to support you when you go into fall later on and for the rest of your time at Tech.

Devarsh Pandya

Year: 3rd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Sustainable Communities
Where's home? Alpharetta, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Living Learning Communities Council, Data Science @ GT
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, watching/ playing basketball, volunteering
Why iGniTe? I wanted to get a head start in college by taking classes and meeting new people!

Gabriel Jones

Year: 2nd
MajorBusiness Administration, Marketing
Track: Undergraduate Research
Where's home? Columbus, GA
Involvements: GA Tech Chamber Choir GA Tech Police Department Social Media Team, GA Tech Night of Worship
Hobbies/Interests: writing (prose and drama), music, marketing and social media graphic design, church involvement
Why iGniTe? iGniTe was an incredible opportunity to experience Tech, make friends, and create experiences before the rush of students flooded campus in the fall. It allowed me to make some incredible friends, learn some traditions, find my way around campus, and have the true Jacket experience before my first year officially started!

Gracie Rehberg

Year: 3rd
Major: Psychology
Track: Sustainable Communities
Where's home? Macon, GA
Involvements: SGA, Music Listening Club, College Christian Fellowship, Psychology Association
Hobbies/Interests: listening to music, theatre, hanging out with friends, watching sports, being outdoors)
Why iGniTe? I met some of my best friends through iGniTe. You get to be familiar with the campus and Atlanta; plus, you get a head start with all of your classes. I am so glad that I chose to do iGniTe and you will not regret choosing it either!

Jalen Borne

Year: 3rd
Major: Chemistry
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Marietta, GA
Involvements:  Chambor Choir, iGniTe Advisory Board, African American Student Association, Salsa Club, EXPLORE Living Learning Community
Why iGniTe? When I first came to Tech, I was so excited but also scared because I thought I would have a hard time finding my place and where I belong. On the first day, the complete opposite happened. I met people that have become my closest friends, found clubs to discover what I love outside of studying, and I've learned to make this school my second home. I'll be here this semester to help anyone who wants guidance, advice, and any help! I'm so excited to meet all of our new summer admits and I hope you choose Tech!

Kaitlyn Bateh

Year: 3rd
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Kennesaw, GA
Involvements: SGA
Hobbies/Interests: Band, Catholic Center
Why iGniTe? It is a great opportunity for one to transition from high school into a college setting.

Logan Sands

Year: 2nd
MajorPsychology (changing to Computational Media)
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Columbus, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Living Learning Communities Council, Grand Challenged LLC, VPUESAB, Black Student Recruitment Team, FASET, Glee Club
Hobbies/Interests: music, writing/poetry, cooking, TV/pop culture, Tik Tok, photography
Why iGniTe? I chose iGniTe because I believed it was a program that would help facilitate my transition from high school to life at Tech, give me the opportunity to earn college credit, and help me to make friends along the way. Even though I was admitted for the summer, I am so glad that I chose iGniTe! No regrets!

Maddy Mazurik

Year: 2nd
Major: Industrial Engineering
Track: Undergraduate Research
Where's home? Alpharetta, GA
Involvements: Greek life, SWE, IISE, Project Smile, GT 1000 Team Leader
Hobbies/Interests: crossword puzzles, petting my dog, watching hulu, cooking, online shopping
Why iGniTe? I found that iGniTe was an easier way to transition from high school to college in terms of the workload. When I decided to come to Tech, I was unsure of how the workload would compare to high school. With iGniTe, I was able to ease into taking college courses with taking a small course load to simply see what the classes were like and find ways to succeed at Georgia Tech!

Manu Gummaraju

Year: 2nd
MajorMechanical Engineering
Track: Innovation
Where's home? Tampa, FL
Involvements: Georgia Tech Boxing Club, Jumpstart (Student Engagement), RoboJackets
Hobbies/Interests: basketball, photography, board games, video games, napping
Why iGniTe? It's basically like a college summer camp. Everyone is much more relaxed because of the smaller course load, and the lower amounts of stress create an environment where there is a lot of time to meet new people. Genuinely one of the best experiences I've ever had. Another benefit I saw was that because everyone diverges once fall comes to different classes and clubs, you will have iGniTe connections everywhere around campus.

Melanie Weaver

Year: 3rd
Major: Electrical Engineering
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Shamong, NJ
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, Office of Undergraduate Education Student Advisory Board
Hobbies/Interests: makeup, photography, cooking, working out
Why iGniTe? I chose to come for the summer rather than being accepted into it because I wanted to begin my college career early. Two years later, it is the best decision I have ever made (besides coming to Tech). Not only will you make friends that will last a lifetime, but also you get a booster GPA while getting ahead in classes allowing you to take a lighter course load for later semesters. Altogether, iGniTe changed my life and it will change yours too!

Owen Pendley

Year: 2nd
MajorBusiness Administration
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Lawrenceville, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board, GT Swim Club, SCPC, Diversity in Business, SAA
Hobbies/Interests: swimming, running, traveling, exploring ATL concerts, nature
Why iGniTe? iGniTe allowed me to adjust to college life, living on my own, and how Georgia Tech works before the fall semester started. It proved to be a great advantage and I would definitely do it again.

Sabah Arenas

Year: 3rd
Major: Neuroscience
Track: Pre-Health
Where's home? Pembroke Pines, FL
Involvements: Neuroscience club, AMSA, and Army ROTC
Hobbies/Interests: I love to exercise, make new friends, explore the city of Atlanta, and watch the Bachelor!
Why iGniTe? For me, it was nice to come into the fall semester with fewer worries than a student starting in the fall. I knew where most of the buildings were located, where the best places to get food on campus are, and most importantly, I didn't have to worry about not having friends since I made some during the summer semester.

Sadie Frame

Year: 3rd
Major: Business Administration
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Macon, GA
Involvements: GT Women's Club Soccer, ADPi, Tech the Halls Mentor, GTAA Equipment Manager, Campus Outreach, SAA
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, making jewelry, video editing, love ALL sports (playing and watching)
Why iGniTe? You meet some of your best friends, get to know the ATL area, be able to maneuver campus easily, and much much more. Classes are easy and give you a glimpse of what to expect for Fall at Georgia Tech.

Samuel Ellis

Year: 3rd
Major: International Affairs
Track: Sustainable Communities
Where's home? Peachtree City, GA
Involvements: Greek life, SGA, Knit Mentor, First-Year Council, GT 1000 Team Leader
Hobbies/Interests: Cycling, running, debate and rhetoric, law, Korean language (doing a summer LBAT in Korea)
Why iGniTe? iGniTe students gain the necessary study habits before the classes intensify, allowing greater success and higher student performance. iGniTe prepared me to be heavily involved on campus and take advantage of the opportunities Tech presented.

Stephen Nash

Year: 3rd
Major: IAML (Spanish)
Track: Sustainable Communities
Where's home? Demorest, GA
Involvements: USSF soccer referee and coach with IAFC, drone pilot and producer with S. I. Aerials, iGniTe Advisory Board, Global Leadership Liason to IMP Hall, LEAD coaching participant, LLC Council and Recruitment Team, Bee-Snap VIP Research, CoE Champion, GL VR360 Video Team, International Plan
Why iGniTe? I'm from rural Northeast Georgia, so I thought that getting to spend the summer in Atlanta would be a lot more enjoyable. And I was right! Now in my third semester at Tech, I can conclusively state that my first summer at Tech was the best period of my life. I made literally hundreds of friends, many of whom formed my friend groups of the fall when campus became flooded by tens of thousands of unfamiliar faces. Additionally, amongst the late night ICEE runs and Stingerette runs to Waffle House, I managed to become accustomed to Tech's academics, giving myself a healthy GPA boost in the process. Nothing beats Hotlanta in the summer, and Tech provides a great program through which to experience it. 

Vicky Yang

Year: 3rd
Major: Business Administration
Track: Innovation
Where's home? Savannah, GA
Involvements: Delta Sigma Pi, Chinese Student Organization, Honorary Accounting Organization
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, traveling, learning new languages, binge watching shows, hanging out with friends
Why iGniTe? When I first found out that I had to do the summer session and could not enjoy my last real summer, I was adverse to going, but during the six short weeks, I met some of my best friends and got to explore Atlanta. Summer classes are very chill, so there's a lot of time to explore the Midtown area, especially if you're not from around the area, and try everything that Tech has to offer. There's plenty of events, so you'll never be bored and those six weeks will pass by in no time!

Vishal Malla

Year: 3rd
Major: Computer Science
Track: Leadership
Where's home? Columbus, GA
Involvements: iGniTe Advisory Board
Hobbies/Interests: hanging out with friends, Martial Arts, Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, running
Why iGniTe? iGniTe was one of the best experiences that I have had at Georgia Tech. I made many friends, some of whom am still close to and hang out with to this day. I was able to start classes which gave me college credit, an easy GPA boost, and made me feel productive instead of wasting my summer away sleeping. It was also just the most fun that I have ever had and a lot of good memories that I'll cherish forever were made that summer.