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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Outstanding Seniors

2022 Outstanding Seniors

Toyosi Ayanwola (HCP) matriculated from the Alcuin School in Dallas, Texas. During her time at Cornell, she served as the President of the Magnificent Mu Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, President of Big Red Buddies, and as the Head TA for General Chemistry. Toyosi was also involved in the PAM Undergraduate Advisory Council and PAM Diversity Equity and Inclusion Working Group.  Her hobbies include cooking, yoga, taking pictures on her film camera, listening to music, and walking around the gorges in Ithaca. Upon graduation, she will be participating in the BUILD Fellowship at Mckinsey & Company in New York City. Her favorite class at Cornell was PAM 2350  Introduction to the US Healthcare System, with Professor Sean Nicholson,  which inspired her to change her major to Healthcare Policy. Toyosi is going to miss Macs flatbread, Big Red Bear Tracks, her wonderful advisor Jennifer Wright, and most of all being so close to her friends. She would like to thank Professor Sassler, Professor Nicholson, and all her family and friends for all their support.

Awards: Meinig Family Scholar

Chelsea ChenChelsea Chen (HCP) matriculated from Millburn High School in Millburn, New Jersey. During her time at Cornell, Chelsea served as the Vice President of Marketing and Professional Development and Trainer for EARS (Empathy, Assistance & Referral Service). In these roles, she taught students, led marketing of EARS’s services, and organized alumni events such as EARS’s 50th anniversary, an internal alumni mentorship program, and multiple speaker series events.  . She also served as a Research Assistant for Professor Maria Fitzpatrick and as a Teaching Assistant for BIOG 1500 Investigative Biology Laboratory. She enjoys baking bread, going to farmers markets, traveling, and exploring different cuisines. After graduation she will be studying for the MCAT and continuing research for Professor Fitzpatrick. She would like to thank Undergraduate Advising Coordinator Jen Wright for immediately reaching out to her upon transferring to Cornell and always being there to answer her questions.

Awards: Dean’s List (all semesters)

Riya DesaiRiya Desai (PAM) matriculated from Detroit County Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan. During her time at the Brooks School, she was the Head TA for PAM 1050 Career Explorations and PAM 3780 Comparative Healthcare Systems.  Riya served on both the Brooks Undergraduate Advisory Council and the Dean’s Advisory Council. Outside of the Brooks School, Riya was the Vice President of Internal Affairs for Cayuga Healthcare Consulting and the President and Co-Founder of Cornell University Healthy Futures Undergraduate Chapter. In her free time, she loves to go on hikes around Ithaca, attend salsa classes, try new restaurants, and spend time with friends and family. Riya will miss the Brooks Schools’ sense of community and passion for improving the lives of others, but luckily she will return this fall to finish her Sloan Master in Health Administration degree! After completing her MHA, Riya plans to work in healthcare consulting.  She would like to thank Professor Sharon Sassler for her continual guidance.

Awards: PAM Copenhagen Policy Scholarship

Julia EddelbuettelJulia Eddelbuettel (PAM) matriculated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois. Throughout her time in the Brooks School, she was a Lab Manager for Professor Avery’s Pharmaceutical Advertising Databases lab and a Teaching Assistant for PAM 2250 Social Problem in the U.S. and PAM 2030 Population and Public Policy.  Julia was also the Co-founder and Co-president of One Love at Cornell in addition to serving on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. In her free time, Julia enjoys running, exploring Ithaca, reading, and listening to music. After graduating in the Fall 2021 semester, she has taken on a position as a senior programmer analyst in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She would like to thank both Professor Avery and Professor Sassler for the instrumental impact they made on her undergraduate education.

Awards: Dean’s List (all semesters), Cornell Human Ecology Summer Internship Funding Grant Recipient, Human Ecology Independent Research Summer Grant Recipient, “Best in Category” Award for Applied Research Presentation at CURB Fall Forum, Senior Honors Thesis, Kappa Omicron Nu.

Aiyana GreenAiyana Green (PAM) matriculated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Massachusetts. During her time at the Brooks School, she served as the Head Teaching Assistant for PAM 2300 Introduction to Policy Analysis, on the Brooks Undergraduate Advisory Council, and as the College of Human Ecology Academic Integrity Advisory Representative. In June 2021, Aiyana also published an article with Mathematics Professor Steven Strogatz in The New York Times, titled “Who’s Afraid of Big Numbers.” She is an avid dog lover and home workout enthusiast. Upon graduation, Aiyana will be a Strategy Analyst at Deloitte Consulting with an interest in Life Sciences Services. She will miss the Brooks School’s strong sense of community the most and will strive to emulate these bonds in her future endeavors. She would like to thank Professor Avery for her continual support throughout her four years at Cornell. She would also like to thank Professor Sassler for enabling her to translate her interest in female labor force representation into research, and Professor Strogatz for empowering her voice as a co-writer on their New York Times article.

Awards: Dean’s List (all semesters), Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society, 2021 recipient of the Professor Gwendolyn J. Bymers Named Scholarship.

Julie KimJulie Kim (HCP) matriculated from River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland. During her time at Cornell, she served as the Director of Internal Affairs for the Cornell Asian Pacific Student Union, Vice President of Community Service for the Sloan Students Association, a Teaching Assistant for PAM 3780 Comparative Healthcare Systems, and a Research Assistant for Professor Maria Fitzpatrick. Julie was also involved with Cayuga Healthcare Consulting, Korean American Students Association, and Loaves & Fishes.  Her favorite class at Cornell was PAM 2350: US Health Care System with Professor Sean Nicholson, which inspired her to pursue her degree in  Health Care Policy. This summer Julie will be interning at Mount Sinai Heart in New York City, before returning to the Brooks School this fall to finish her Sloan Master in Health Administration. In her free time, Julie enjoys spin classes, yoga, culture podcasts, and exploring new restaurants. Julie would also like to thank Professor Julie Carmalt for being an amazing advisor, professor and mentor.

Awards: Dean’s List (all semesters), Kappa Omicron Nu

Aadi KulkarniAadi Kulkarni (PAM) matriculated from The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. At Cornell, he held many leadership roles, including President of the Cornell International Affairs Review, Vice President of Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, Co-Founder of, and Executive Director of the Cornell Office of Student Government Relations. Aadi also served on the Broad of Directors for the New Jersey Leadership Program and as a Senior Residential Assistant. His hobbies include cooking, running and listening to music. Upon graduation, he will be a Fulbright Scholar in Copenhagen, or a Mitchell Scholar in Dublin, Ireland. He would like to thank Professor Max Kapustin for his support and encouragement in writing his thesis, taking risks, and pushing himself.

Awards: Dean’s List, Summer Research Grant, Alan D. Mathios Research & Service Grant, Beck Fellowship, Senior Honors Thesis

Henry ManleyHenry Manley (PAM) matriculated from Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York. During his time at Cornell, he served as Vice President of Cornell’s Federal Reserve Challenge, co-founded a tech start-up, participated in Cornell Jazz Voices, and was a research assistant. In his free time, Henry enjoys going on long runs in Ithaca, cooking with friends, skiing, and playing chess. His favorite class was PAM 6090: Empirical Strategy for Policy Analysis. This class made him appreciate how connected economics is to statistics and computing. After graduation, he will be a Pre-doctoral Research Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in advance of a PhD program in Economics. He would like to thank Professor Doug Miller for teaching him the valuable lesson of being genuinely excited about and invested in the process of learning.

Awards: Human Ecology Summer Research Grant, Alan D. Mathios Research and Service Grant, Engaged Cornell Opportunity Grant, Maria and Barry Beck Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Blackstone Launchpad Techstars Fellowship, Dean’s List, Senior Honors Thesis.

Sophia MattonSophia Matton (PAM) matriculated from George Mason High School in Falls Church, Virginia. During her time at Cornell, she was a TA for PAM 2300 Introduction to Policy Analysis and Vice President of Kappa Delta Sorority. She was also a research assistant at ACT at Youth Nonprofit and a member of the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, running, and baking. After graduation, Sophia will pursue a Law degree at University of Michigan.  One thing she will miss about the Brooks School is the tight knit community she has found here, but she looks forward to furthering these relationships after graduation. She would like to thank Professor Avery for choosing her to be a Teaching Assistant and for her mentorship the past four years. She would also like to thank Professor Sassler for supporting her honors research project on paid family leave.

Awards: Dean’s List, Senior Honors Thesis

Candace MegerssaCandace Megerssa (PAM) matriculated from Killian Hill Christian School in Lilburn, Georgia. During her time at Cornell, she served as the Co-President of the Ethiopian-Eritrean Students Association, President of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and as an Engaged Ambassador for the Einhorn Center for Community Engagement. Candace also served on the PAM department’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Working group, where she co-founded an undergraduate peer mentorship program, aimed to help students connect with peers of similar interests and backgrounds.   In addition, Candace served on the Brooks Undergraduate Advisory Council where she helped coordinate many student and alumni panels.  After graduation, Candace will be a Public Finance Analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City. She is going to miss the Brooks School’s close knit community – she writes that she “has seen the department grow with the interests of students in mind and [she] is so happy to have seen that progress.” Candace is particularly passionate about mentorship and giving back to the communities that helped her get to Cornell. She would like to thank Professor Matthew Hall for teaching her that academic interests and passions can align, and for reminding her of the importance of research within the role of enacting social change through policy.

Awards: Dean’s List, Lead for America Finalist, Vicki Saporta Social Justice Internship Fund Recipient 

Matt RichmanMatt Richman (PAM)  matriculated from Roslyn High School in Roslyn Heights, New York. During his time at Cornell, he was a PAM 2300 Introduction to Policy Analysis Teaching Assistant, served as Vice President of Internal Relations for Student Activities Funding Commission, and Fundraising Coordinator for Cornell Political Union. In his free time, he enjoys working out, traveling, watching sports, and cooking. His favorite class was PAM 4640: Regulation and Infrastructure Policy with Professor Rick Geddes because it sparked his interest in public finance. Upon graduating from Cornell, he will be working as an Investment Banking Analyst at Jefferies in their Municipal Finance group. He will miss the diversity of people, interests, academics and expertise Cornell has to offer. He would like to thank Professor Avery for giving him the opportunity to TA for the duration of his undergraduate experience, and for being a fantastic mentor. He would also like to thank Jennifer Wright, for always being there for him since day one.

Awards: Dean’s List (all semesters), Kappa Omicron Nu

Craig SchulmanCraig Schulman (PAM) matriculated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan in Old Tappan, New Jersey. During his time at the Brooks School, he was a Lab Manager of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Research Lab and a Member of the Brooks Undergraduate Advisory Council. He also served as a Teaching Assistant for PAM 3764 Intellectual Property Law and Policy and as the Commissioner for the Student Activities Funding Commission. Craig’s hobbies and interests include reading, running, advanced analytics in sports, and art. Upon graduation, he will pursue a law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center. Craig will miss how the Brooks School has allowed him to create bonds with professors and students alike. He would like to thank Jennifer Wright and Student Services for giving him the support and encouragement he needed to pursue so many different opportunities.

Awards: Dean’s List, Freeman Fellowship in Peace and Conflict Studies, Human Ecology Summer Internship Grant, Senior Honors Thesis

Zasu Scott

Zasu Scott (PAM) matriculated from Del Oro High School in Loomis, California. During her time at Cornell, she was the campaign coordinator for Climate Justice Cornell, and was a staff organizer for NY Renews Coalition, which is a coalition of 300+ organizations across New York State that organizes state level legislative campaigns. In her free time, she enjoys working as a climbing instructor, trail running, and hiking. Zasu shared that she will miss Cornell’s classes and the numerous trails in Ithaca, both of which spark a lot of joy and curiosity for her. After graduation, she will further her work at NY Renews. Ultimately, Zasu hopes to pursue a career in political organizing. She would like to thank Professor Sharon Sassler for her constant encouragement and mentorship. Zasu would also like to thank Professors Waller, Tach and Craib for classes that changed her worldview.

Awards: Campus Community Leadership Award, “The Best Event” award at the 2021 Campus Sustainability Awards

Matthew SheenMatthew Sheen (PAM) matriculated from Jericho Senior High School in Jericho, New York. During his time at Cornell, he was the Committee Chair for the Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Council and a Student Leader for Emmaus Road Church. After graduation he will be pursuing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His favorite class was PAM 4160: Ethnography of Poverty and Inequality with Professor Maureen Waller, which opened his eyes to the lived experiences and struggles caused by poverty and inequality. He will miss the faculty and friends who made Cornell incredibly interesting and entertaining. He would like to thank Professor Laura Tach for being his research mentor last year and preparing him to apply to graduate school.

Awards: Merrill Presidential Scholar Award, Senior Honors Thesis

Anjali VeluAnjali Velu (PAM) matriculated from Cary Academy in Cary, North Carolina. During her time at Cornell, Anjali served as the Captain for the Varsity Equestrian Team, was the Senior Vice President of Delta Sigma Pi, a former Project Manager of Social Business Consulting and was the former Creative Director of Thread Magazine.  Anjali was also involved in Cornell Athletic Leadership Academy, Cornell Fashion Collective, and Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. Her interests include fitness, mindfulness, and sustainability. She is going to miss seeing her fellow Brooks students every morning for their early classes. Upon graduation, she will be an Associate at EY-Parthenon in Chicago. The Brooks faculty member who has had the greatest impact on her is Professor Sharon Sassler who taught one of her first PAM classes and has remained a mentor throughout her Cornell experience. Anjali shared that she also had the wonderful opportunity to travel with Professor Sassler after her freshman year to Copenhagen, where she met some of her best friends.

Awards: SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, Academic All-Ivy League Athletics Honor, Cacchione Cup Reserve Champion, Deloitte National Undergraduate Case Competition Winner