Summer 2023 ASCEND Coaches & Graders

The coaches and grader are the stars of the ASCEND program! They are older Duke students who know what it takes to succeed at Duke and are eager to share their knowledge. Each coach leads a small team of incoming students and guides them through the program.  They are available to answer any questions about STEM at Duke or campus life. So, ask away!

Sawyer Grovel '24

Sawyer Grovogel is from Green Bay, Wisconsin originally, but now lives near Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a rising senior majoring in Chemistry on a premed track. He is an executive member of the Duke Initiative for Urban Studies, a Global Fellow, a member of the Duke Aviation Association, works on research regarding functional biomaterials in the Becer Lab, and works with Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education. Sawyer is a big movie fan and also enjoys rock climbing and hanging out with friends. 

Daisja Honorable '24

Daisja Honorable is a rising senior majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Spanish on the pre-med track. She is from outside of Chicago, IL and also spends a lot of time around Atlanta, GA, but she can’t pick a favorite between the two. She has two dogs at home named Hazel and Blue, and adopted a rabbit in January that she named Snoopy. She loves playing guitar, baking, running, getting her nails done, and shopping. Outside of ASCEND, Daisja is involved with peer mentoring for the DukeLIFE office, is one of the co-directors of the Project Lead orientation program for incoming first-year students (which she helped create last summer), and will be studying to take the MCAT this fall. After graduation, Daisja will be taking a gap year before medical school to work in a clinical setting, do research, and/or take some time to travel. 

Tyler Klimas '25

Tyler is a rising junior from Detroit, Michigan studying Computer Science and French. Tyler has spent a semester living and studying in the beautiful city of Paris, and wold love to share about his experience or off any advice to students who want to study abroad. Outside of school, Tyler loves reading, spending time outside, or playing golf. 

Emma Maddock '25

Emma Maddock is a rising junior from Winston-Salem, NC. She is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in bioinformatics and computational biology. When she’s not studying or with friends, she loves going to the gym and exploring Durham. She is involved in many clubs, most of which she holds leadership positions in. These include: Theta Tau, Biomedical Engineering Society, Class Councils, Society of Women Engineers, Engineering World Health, Women’s Wellness Club, Camp Kesey, and Adopt a Grandparent. She also works for the Annual Fund on campus, is a Clark Scholar, and a biomedical engineering fellow. In addition, she is a volunteer student research assistant in the Roper Lab. 

Katie Newton '24

Katie is a rising senior from Denver, Colorado studying Biology. She has been involved with DukeLIFE, Project WILD, Duke QuestBridge chapter, Club Swim, research with faculty, and SLGs on campus, and she has loved Duke so far! Katie plans to become a marine mammal trainer in the future, with the goals of rehabilitation, entertainment, and general care.

Eleanor Strand


Diya Patel