Ananya Cleetus


Founder at Anemone

Software Engineer

Mental Health Advocate

Meme Enthusiast








French (limited profiency)



St. Louis


Hong Kong

New Delhi (born here)


Hey! My name is

Ananya Cleetus

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. Feel free to check out my work or connect with me below:


Hi, I’m Ananya Cleetus (she/her), a senior in Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the founder of Anemone, a mental health crisis app for people in emergencies. I am currently the chair of the CS Mental Health Committee but in the past, I’ve taught a freshman honors course, CS196, and helped run Reflections|Projections, the largest -run technology conference in the Midwest. In addition to my work at UIUC, I’ve also developed my own low cost 3d-printed robotic prosthetic arm for leprosy victims in India which I presented at the White House and started Magikstra, a Carnegie Science Award-winning social network for high school students to find mentors. I also have a day named after me in the city of Pittsburgh. In my free time, I make pecan pies and memes (I started UIUC Memes for Underfunded Teens and taught a meme class at Illinois CS Sail for four years.).

Besides tech, my other main passion is mental health. I started getting involved in the mental health advocacy space through my own lived experiences with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. I took over a year off from school to focus on my health and create Anemone, before returning to campus. I even gave a TEDx talk about my mental health journey, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Since rejoining UIUC, I’ve helped with initiatives such as the development of an Engineering-wide mental health syllabus statement, a student mental health forum, student ID card resources, and a campus-wide mental health task force. I’ve served on Mental Health America’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council, as co-chair of UIUC’s Counseling Center Advisory Committee and worked on projects with We Are Saath and Active Minds. I've also been a mental health advisor for a variety of tech companies and groups, including Google and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). This past year, I was also fortunate enough to receive funding from the Fiddler Innovation Fellowship and Carle Illinois Health Maker Lab for my app, Anemone.

We are currently looking to grow our team so if mental health interests you or you just enjoy building tech for good, feel free to shoot me a message!

If this was too long of a bio and you're just here for the music, click here.


I created a mental health crisis mobile app that allows users to prepare and respond to mental health emergencies with built-in customizable crisis plan tools, national and location-based emergency resources, CBT/DBT coping skills, and a virtual grounding box. Anemone was awarded by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and recently selected as a Carle Illinois Health MakerLab winner.

I developed a cost-effective 3D-printed prosthetic hand system that utilizes user haptic feedback to mimic hand movement. It was created using simulated tendons, flex sensor feedback, and an Arduino control system and tested with the Brown AM-ULA metric and motion capture tracking. It was selected for the White House Science Fair and World Maker Faire.

I built a social network for high school students to find mentors at universities and businesses for projects and career guidance. It was inspired by my own struggles as an engineer growing up in a family of artists. For Magikstra, I won the Carnegie Science Award for Start-Up Entrepreneur as the youngest ever recipient of the award.

I designed an improvement to the Indian Jaipur Foot, a prosthesis that is given away completely free to low-income residents. The improvement was based on a spring lever propulsion system and developed with the assistance of a mentor at Carnegie Mellon University.

I worked on a mental health app through the organization #NeverAgainTech to assist violence survivors with PTSD recovery, in addition to work on analyzing historical gun violence data. We have been featured in Forbes, Smithsonian, and NPR, as well as an upcoming Netflix documentary, “The Great Divide”.

I worked with a team at The Port at CERN to design a mobile-based Blockchain verification system in order to track the drug supply chain from manufacturer to consumer. We also created an automated peak analysis system as part of a low-cost drug-testing capillary electrophoresis device.

I started the Computer Science Mental Health Committee at UIUC that aims to improve mental health dialogue, wellbeing, and student resources within the CS Department. The committee hosts student events (such as educational mental health awareness talks and social de-stressing nights), develops policy initiatives related to student resources and faculty training, and promotes wellbeing through social media campaigns and partnerships. This year, we are also developing a mental health forum run by trained student responders in order to support peers in the community. If you are interested in getting involved, follow us on Facebook.



Combating Mental Illness in a Digital World | Ananya Cleetus | TEDxUIUC

AnitaB.org Presents: Managing Mental Health During Uncertain Times

Carnegie Science Awards: Start Up Entrepreneur Award

Mental Health America National Conference 2020

UMich Depression Center: Depression on College Campuses Conference

Our Future in Mind | IDONTMIND and Mental Health America (starts at 59:40)


I was recently highlighted in the feature story of I'm More Than A Cover Magazine! Click below to read:


I’m absolutely obsessed with classic rock, but I do enjoy a lot of indie rock, hip-hop, lo-fi, electronic, and jazz. The 60s-80s are the best decades for music, hands down, and my favorite band is The Police. I’m also a huge fan of musicals, especially Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Hamilton, and My Fair Lady. My other big weakness is Bollywood and sometimes I think more of my brain is filled with song lyrics than any other practical information.

I'm always looking to find new bands and shows so please send any recommendations my way! I haven't been to a ton of concerts but my favorites so far include U2, Flume, The Killers, Chet Faker, and Snarky Puppy. Also, if you happen to know where I can find a copy of the White Album vinyl on a college student budget, please let me know ;)

If you've really made it this far on the site, here's an Easter Egg for you: click anywhere on the page and type in the Konami Code.