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Four CCI Alumni Featured in Drexel Magazine’s 2017 ’40 Under 40’

March 22, 2017

Four College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) alumni have been recognized in Drexel Magazine’s “40 Under 40” — an annual feature that highlights some of Drexel’s most interesting, entrepreneurial and creative young graduates.

The four alumni are Christy Berghoff (MS information systems ’16), Towfique Raj (BS computer science ’05), and Vlad & Marat Mamedov (BS information systems ’01 and BS information systems ’07).

Berghoff, 38, has two jobs. She utilizes her skills in data analytics and knowledge management at the Department of Justice as a public key infrastructure program manager, assuring the protection of sensitive data. She’s also an entrepreneur and co-owns a restaurant called the Hideaway Cafe located in Virginia’s Northern Shenandoah Valley. Berghoff’s degree from CCI helped helped her reach the next level of information systems management look more in-depth into human-centered computing. She’s also said that the program provided her with a great foundation for career advancement by strengthening her capacity to handle challenging environments.

Raj, 34, serves as both a principal investigator and assistant professor for the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York. After graduating from CCI in 2005, he was awarded the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue a doctoral degree in human genetics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. Receiving the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship was largely a result of many Drexel faculty and fellow students who shaped his interests, challenged his thinking and opened doors of opportunity at CCI, as well as the opportunity that Drexel’s co-op program gave him to work on cutting-edge genetics research in a world-class lab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Raj’s long term goal is to use computational and genetic approaches to characterize the genetic architecture of Alzheimer’s disease to gain a better understanding of the causes of neurodegeneration and translate some of these findings into new therapies.

The Mamedov brothers, Vlad, 39, and Marat, 33, both landed jobs as consultants in top consulting firms after graduating from CCI. However, in 2015, the brothers toasted goodbye to their corporate lives, and co-founded a craft-distillery called Boardroom Spirits with Marat’s wife, Zsuzsa. The three started up a distillery company because the craft holds personal significance to all of them, both the Armenian brothers’ and Zsuzsa, who is Hungarian, have brandy-distilling heritages. Since both brothers’ graduated from Drexel, ingenuity and innovation are at the heart of their business model. Hence, rather than focusing on artisan methods, Boardroom utilizes automation and technology in its manufacturing process to help make the production process safer and more efficient.

This year’s group of “40 Under 40” alumni also includes a director of vascular neurosurgery, a bestselling author, a crossword constructor for Washington Post Magazine, a Fox affiliate political reporter, scientists, and startup leaders, among others. Click here to read more about the CCI alumni named in this 2017’s Drexel “40 Under 40.”