Student + Scientist
Aashna Shah is a senior Macaulay Honors College student at City College. She is pursuing her B.S. in computer science and psychology. She wants to use the power of technology to make mental health care more effective and universal. She is currently a neural engineering research intern at Cornell Tech, and a research assistant at the Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab at City College. She is a Horace W. Goldsmith scholar, a recipient of the Bronx Science-CCNY scholarship, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, and the Golden Key International Honors Society.
Professor of Computer Science
Andrew Rosenberg is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Queens College, and a member of the Doctoral Faculty of the Computer Science and Linguistics programs at the CUNY Graduate Center. He leads the Speech Lab @ Queens College,
and is a a NSF CAREER Award winner. His research concerns Natural Language Processing, Spoken Language Processing, Prosody/Intonation and Machine Learning. He completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University.
Emma Sulkowicz was born in 1992 in New York, NY, where she continues to live and make art. She is perhaps best known for her nine-month endurance perfor- mance titled Mat- tress Performance (Carry That Weight) and her more recent work titled Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol.
Professor of Criminal Justice
Erin Thompson is an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and is America’s only full-time professor of art crime. She studies the damage done to humanity’s shared heritage through looting, theft, and the deliberate destruction of art. Currently, she is researching the ways in which terrorist groups sell and destroy antiquities. She has discussed art crime topics in The New York Times and on CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera America, and the Freakonomics podcast. Her book, Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors, will be published by Yale University Press in January 2016.
Advocate + Community Organizer
Galen Baughman is an Open Society Foundations Soros Justice Fellow working to end the practice of civilly committing youth as sexually violent predators. Incarcerated for nine years, including four-and-a-half years in solitary confinement, Galen is now a campaign strategist on issues related to sex offender policy and public and trains advocates around the country to build movements against mass incarceration. He is a JustLeadershipUSA 2015 Leading with Conviction cohort member, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Sexual Justice.
Hila Tzipora Chase
Artist + Scientist
Hila Tzipora Chase is a multicultural, NYC-born artist and scientist. Using her visual and performing arts background and her interdisciplinary bone, paleontology and biomechanics research, she works to dissolve the barriers between art and science. She is currently co-developing a movement called Outward Mind that aims to encourage empathetic interconnectedness through the use of play, deep imagination, nature education, interactive ritual, and collaborative art.
Student + Musician + Aspiring Economist
J. A. Strub is a student of economics at Hunter College. He is currently working on bringing Participatory Budgeting, a program by which members of a community can choose how to spend a portion of a budget, to campuses at the City University of New York. J.A. performs with life long musical partners, Michael Schuler and Johnnie Luca, whose new band "Storytellers" is expected to release a debut recording in 2016.
Smokejumper: Aerial Firefighter
Jason Ramos is an aerially-delivered firefighter. He has responded to fires from Alaska to Florida and nearly everywhere in between. Aerially delivered firefighters, sometimes referred to as Smokejumpers/Helitack, are highly trained and specialized professionals who can parachute or rappel into remote areas to fight forest fires. They work independently in some of the most difficult terrain imaginable. They remain one of the oldest resources deployed by the fire service today.
Biological scientist + professor
Jayne Raper is a principle investigator in the Department of Biological Sciences at Hunter College, where she has been since 2011. She is currently managing a program project (NSF/Gates) to generate transgenic cows that will be resistant to all forms of a lethal parasite, African trypanosome. Prior to joining CUNY she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Raper has conducted her postdoctoral research at the ICP, Brussels, Belgium, and at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England.
Jess X Chen
Artist + Activist + Filmmaker
Jess X Chen is a first generation Chinese-American poet, artist/activist, filmmaker. Her work exposes narratives of colonial trauma, diaspora and collec- tive protest by con- necting the violences between the female, queer and colored body and the body of the Earth. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, her art and films has been featured by The United Nations, The Huffington Post, The NY Times, The Wing Luke Museum, Feministing, and more. She is currently developing a feature film on the Navajo Nation, and teaches art and poetry workshops to Navajo youth. She thinks you're sparkling.
Jill Bargonetti + Choreographing Genomics Team
Cancer researcher + Dancer
"Choreographing Genomics" is a course under the Biological Sciences Department at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Taught by Jill Bargonetti, this course uses postmodern dance to model biological processes. Students explore the biological science of molecular genome information by viewing it through various artistic lenses, including dance and poetry.
Journalist + Author
is an immigrant. In November 1986, three years after arriving in the United States, he became one of the youngest national news anchors in the history of American television. Since then, he has been called “the voice of the voiceless” for other immigrants like him. Ramos holds a Bachelor’s degree in communication from the Ibero-American University in México City and has a Master’s degree in Internation- al Studies from the University of Miami. He is a father of two, plays soccer every Saturday morning and is considered one of the most eloquent, credible and powerful voices of Hispanic
Human Rights Advocate
Kathryn Rodriguez has worked on border, immigration, and human rights issues for more than 15 years. She is the Missing Migrant Project Specialist at the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, handling case management for migrants reported missing by their families. She also works as an Administrative Assistant with the Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras/Indigenous Alliance Without Borders.
With members from 7 different CUNY campuses and 10 different majors, the Macaulay Honors College’s a cappella group is unstoppable. While less than four years old, this a Cappella group has competed in the International Competition of College A Cappella three times and has won a handful of awards, including best beatbox and best soloist. In their rst two years, they performed at dozens of venues throughout New York and the Tri-State area, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Catch their next performance, “Net ix and Trill,” at 35 W. 67th St. tomorrow night (11/21) at 6:00 and 9:00 PM.
Professor + Artist
Marta Effinger-Crichlow is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist drawn to stories about black women and girls as well as migration and place. She is the author of Staging Migrations Toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones. She is Chair and Associate Professor of African American Studies at New York City College of Technology. She is the recent recipient of a PSC-CUNY Grant for her documentary project, “Little Sallie Walker."
Michel Karsouny is an artist. He is proud to be born in Beirut, Lebanon, where he attended French Catholic Jesuit school, studied Graphic Design and Fine Arts at both the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese University for the Arts, founded two design and illustration companies and is a prominent voice over actor for the MENA region working with companies like Nike, L’Oreal and McDonalds. Concerned with Middle Eastern issues such as sectarianism, anti-feminism and the binary understanding of the sexual experience, Michel held his controversial solo show entitled “Emporia” at ArtLab Gallery in Beirut in 2014. After the murder of his dog, Michel has been deeply immersed in the concept of loss.
University Director of CUNY Service Corps + Professor
Rachel is an educator, administrator, and writer. For the past 7 years, she has worked for The City University of New York (CUNY) designing and implementing innovative, high-performing programs focused on civic engagement, workforce development, and youth development for a range of inspiring CUNY students. Launching the CUNY Service Corps in 2013 is one of her proudest professional accomplishments. Rachel holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Veteran + Activist
Robina Asti is a 94 year-old World War II veteran with a passion for flying. In 2012, Robina was denied survivor benefits through the Social Security Administration because as a transgender woman, they did not see her marriage to her husband as legal. With the help of Lambda Legal, Robina not only was able to collect her survivor benefits, but she helped to change the SSA’s policy regarding transgender people in the United States. Dru Levasseur is the Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal.
2015 Beinecke Scholar + Poet
Sean DesVignes is a 2015 Beinecke Scholar and the author of “Take My Eyes To The Dry Cleaners.” A Cave Canem & Callaloo fellow, his honors include the Beatrice Dubin Rose Award and the Burton A. Goldberg Poetry Prize. He is a member of the Divine Fabrics Collective and a poetry editor at Kinfolks and shufPoetry.
Student + Aspiring Physician + Public Health Advocate
Sofia Ahsanuddin is a senior at the Coordinated BA/ MD Program and Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, where she is a Goldsmith Scholar and a Rosen Fellow. She has interned at the United Nations, NYU School of Medicine, and works at Weill Cornell Medicine. She served as a delegate to the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2014. As an aspiring physician, medical anthropologist, and public health specialist, Sofia intends to specialize in global health and infectious diseases.
Poet + Activist
Sonia Guiñansaca is a queer migrant feminist poet, culttural organizer, and activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador.
In 2008, Guiñansaca came out publicly as a formerly undocu- mented immigrant. She is the co-founder of some of the larg- est undocumented organizations in the country, coordinating and participating in groundbreaking civic actions in the immigrant rights movement. She has emerged as a national leader in the undocumented migrant artistic and political communities. Currently, she is one of the few migrant queer formerly undocumented poets in the country, and editor of the forthcoming rst undocumented anthology Home in Time of Displacement.