IgnitedThinkers' Leadership

Board of Directors

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Leadership

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Gitika Gorthi

Founder/CEO

Gitika is a rising freshman attending Columbia University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as a C. Prescott Davis Scholar. Gitika is aspiring to become an aerospace physician, astronaut, and medical researcher. Working with NASA Ames Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine Space Medicine Center, Brown University, and Columbia Medical School, Ms. Gorthi is working with visionary aerospace industry leaders to advance our current medical understanding.

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Sahpar Nil Ozer

Co-International Outreach Volunteer Lead

Ms. Özer is a Junior at American Collegiate Institute, Turkiye. In addition to the education and awards she got from institutions such as NASA and CERN, Şahpar is preparing for her dream of becoming an aerospace engineer through research projects and internship programs in various US and Turkish universities. Ms. Özer is currently working to introduce the game of Go and STEM careers to children and contribute to the awareness of society, alongside her IB program.

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Maria Cuevas

Aerospace Contest Volunteer Lead

Maria Cuevas is a rising freshman at Columbia University where she will be majoring in astrophysics and computer science. Maria aspires to get her PhD in astrophysics and create a startup in the space industry. Her ultimate goal is to use astrophysics as a tool to characterize new worlds and open up new possibilities for humanity. 

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Megan Sawant

National Outreach Volunteer Lead

Megan Sawant is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Passionate about biomedicine and the impact of interstellar environment on human explorers, she is the outreach sublead for Project Caelus, the first independent high school to launch a liquid fueled rocket into space. Megan is a Chief Master Sergeant & Cadet Advisory Council member in Civil Air Patrol, working towards her pilot’s license. She participated in the NASA Cinespace Challenge, creating a video highlighting the advancements of the NASA Artemis missions. Through Ignited Thinkers, she hopes to empower young individuals to get excited about the opportunities space exploration holds. 

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Shreya Sharma

Co-International Outreach Volunteer Lead

Shreya Sharma is an incoming PhD student at the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT AeroAstro. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering (majoring in Aerodynamics) in 2020 from IIT Kanpur, where she worked on an experimental method for Vortex Breakdown Control, and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics in 2018 from IIEST Shibpur. She also has experience as an intern at IIT Kharagpur, researching guided-wave based detection of delamination in composites. Since 2020, she has been working as a Product Design Engineer at Eaton India Innovation Centre, in the Aerospace - Fuel and Motion Control Team.

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Ira Sharma

Website Content Volunteer Lead

Ira Sharma, a 16-year-old from Kathmandu, Nepal is a current A-Levels student at Little Angels' College GCE A Levels. As a passionate individual in Science and Space and with a joint interest in giving back to the community, Ira is always interested in learning and spreading all she learns. She aspires to increase her horizon of knowledge as much as possible to aspire for a better future with other passionate individuals. 
 
Ignited Thinkers is one such amazing platform where Ira can follow her interests along with spread the knowledge she has gained in the past years through being one of the 12 participants in The VR BETA Program, representing Nepal in Space Camp India, and many more!
 
From providing guidance to being someone to share your silly jokes with, Ira is the go-to person for everyone and we are delighted to have her as she says "I feel delighted to be a part of the integral team of Ignited Thinkers and cannot wait for all that awaits.