Class Notes

Hear updates from your former classmates and fellow alumni!


January 2021

  • 866 is a NYC restarant known for its Taiwanese comfort food. Tisch Center of Hospitality alumnus, Eric Sze '15 along with fellow restaruant co-founder and NYU Steinhardt alumnus, Andy Chuang '17, were named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 2021 list.  886 was one of the first restaurants in NYC to set-up a meal donation system for frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic.
  • Division of Programs in Business alumna, Annie Scranton '18, and Founder of the award-winning PR firm based in NYC, Pace Public Relations, has officially launched its podcast, "The PR Pace", where she breaks down the biggest news stories of the week through a PR lens.
  • Katharine Lau '11 of the Tisch Center of Hospitality is the CEO and Co-founder of the new modern, tech-enabled, storage solution company, Stuf.
  • Division of Programs in Business', Lourdes Olvera-Marshall, Esq. '17, was featured in Vanidades, in the magazine's 60th anniversary issue.
  • Schack Institute of Real Estate alumnus, Lyon Porter's '11 Urban Cowboy Lodge has been featured in Purewow as the perfect NYC winter escape.
  • Recent Tisch Institute for Global Sport alumna, René Rismondo '18, who works for the Major League Baseball Players Association, was quoted in the Sports Illustrated article titled "'I Feel Like It's Me' What Kim Ng's ascent means to the women of baseball".
  • Chief People Officer at Deloitte Global, Jonathan Dunne '14 alumnus of the Division of Programs in Business published an article, "There Really Is Power in Positive Thinking"
  • Meg Grasmick '20, alumna of the Division of Programs in Business, has announced the pre-launch of her personal growth book, Always Arising. This timely read explores what it means to lead a fulfilling life, and how to find solace in an isolated world.
  • Tisch Institute alumnus, Matthew Gaeta '17, was recently named "Sports Agent of the Year" for 2020 by the sports media outlet PGSports.




December 2020

  • For three members of the La Poll family of Los Altos, California, attending the SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS) has become a family tradition. Within the last decade, each has pursued her academic journey at DAUS, but, in what is a reversal from the usual custom, daughters Katarina '15 and Kelly '16 enrolled at SPS first, with their mother, Myla '21, following in their footsteps.
  • Tisch Institute's Matthew Gaeta '17 was named to Sports Business Journal's “30 Under 30: New Voices” 2020 list; highlighting the new wave of leaders in sports business.
  • Kimberly Castro '08, Center for Publishing alumna and Editor and Chief Content Officer of US News & World Report, recently interviewed Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, about the massive impact COVID-19 has had on the US population, the news of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and the ways to keep each other safe from COVID-19 infection during the upcoming holiday season.
  • During the 53rd Annual Conference on Capital Markets in Real Estate, Robert S. Blumenthal moderated a lively discussion on the outlook for New York City with esteemed real estate business leaders including Schack alumnus Scott Rechler '90, Chairman & CEO of RXR Realty.
  • The NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference was held this year as a series of highly informative panel discussions. A special alumni panel was moderated by professor Sean Hennessey and featured alumni John Paulsen '09Steen Petri '03, and Evan Weiss '03 as they discussed industry trends, decisions, operations, and safety-related enhancements.
  • Eli Nachmany '17, alumnus of the Tisch Institute, recently spoke with Tisch Institute students, Polina Manis '21 and Ben Schleider '21 to discuss his career and his work spearheading the publication of a special edition of the Journal on Congress's consideration of legislation concerning NCAA student-athlete name, image, and likeness compensation.
  • Dilek Tas '20, Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, has been named a 2021 Rangel International Affairs Fellow from the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program.
  • Center for Publishing alumna, Kenrya Rankin '07's recently authored a column for HealthCentral featuring an interview with Regina Davis Moss, Associate Executive Director of Public Health Policy & Practice at the American Public Health Association, about racism as a public health crisis.
  • Evan Weiss '03 of the Tisch Center of Hospitality participated in the recent United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) virtual conference spotlighting the Middle East and Israel.


November 2020

  • Three alumni were honored at the 2020 SPS Dean's Awards:
    • Distinguished Alumna AwardKeia Clarke '06 (Tisch Institute)
    • Distinguished Public Service Award: Casey Rotter '09 (Center for Global Affairs)
    • Distinguished Young Alumnus AwardAditya Kashyap '16 (Division of Programs in Business)
  • Center for Global Affairs alumnus, John Paterakis '09, has been nominated for a 2020 Tony as a Producer of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.
  • Adina David '15 of the Schack Institute of Real Estate was recently named one of EG’s 2020 Rising Stars, noting her as one of the sector's brightest, most ambitious young people.
  • Center for Global Affairs alumnus, Grant Fox '11, was recently featured in the NYU Alumni Magazine for his work developing solutions to personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages and other COVID-related crises.
  • Craig Pinto '10, '14 set his fourth Guinness World Record by making 149 field goals in one hour, while raising money for the Celiac Disease Foundation.
  • Malika Harrison '17, Division of Programs in Business alumna and the Director of Social Responsibility for the Orlando Magic, was selected to Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for her work in the Central Florida community.
  • Schack Institute of Real Estate alumnus, Michael Landy '03, has been re-elected as a member of Nareit's 2021 Advisory Board of Governors. This will mark his fourth year as a member of the board.
  • Emily Nadal '20 of the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies and former SPS Dean's Scholar, recently published an article in Bklyner, "Giving Birth During Pandemic: East Flatbush Moms Dream Of Homebirth, Try To Make The Best Of It", discussing the impact COVID-19 has had on expecting mothers.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Sharon Harris '04, has been appointed the first Global Chief Marketing Officer with Jellyfish, a digital partner to the world's leading brands.


October 2020

  • Lili Nikolova '13 has been honored as one of the 2020 NYU Alumni Changemakers, a recognition that was launched in 2018 to recognize a select group of NYU alumni whose accomplishments help build a better world. Lili is the Project Director, Counter Human Trafficking, Northeast Nigeria at Heartland Alliance International, recognized for her work advancing human rights and providing comprehensive services for marginalized groups and victims of severe human rights violations—torture, gender-based violence, and human trafficking—and helps them recover and start new lives.
  • Akira Barclay '12, Center for Global Affairs alumna and Founder of Fresh Philanthropy, hosted a SPS webinar discussion to explore ways to harness the true power of collective giving by acknowledging and understanding the pivotal role of Black-led giving circles.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Katarina La Poll '15, recently won Blood Tree Literature's 2020 Chimera Hybrid Contest for her poetry that was also turned into a tiny visual piece.
  • Amy Ganz '19 of the Divsion of Applied Undergraduate Study was accepted at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and has started the online Communications@Syracuse master's program.


September 2020

  • Division of Programs in Business alumna, Bettina Garibaldi '08, was recently named to the PRWeek 40 Under 40 Class of 2020. She is currently the SVP – Travel and Economic Development at Ketchum.
  • Aaron Leonard '12, alumnus from the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, will host a launch event for his book, Folk Singers & the Bureau. He will present his research and speak to Woody Guthrie specialist, Will Kaufman, on September 12.


August 2020

  • Andrew Avner '97 of the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, has a debut Latinx middle grade novel entitled Toro (Black Rose Writing) set for release on September 17. It tells the story of Alicía Catalina Cortés, a Spanish cow who wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona. The audiobook is available now.
  • Center for Publishing's Kenrya Rankin '07's upcoming book, ANTI RACISM: Powerful Voices, Inspiring Ideas will be released next month. This collection showcases passages from the writings or speeches of thinkers and activists in the anti-racist community. Partial proceeds to benefit The Movement for Black Lives Fund.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Alisson Wood '17, will release her memoir, BEING LOLITA, on August 6. Pre-order is available now.
  • Chloe Demrovsky ’13, President and CEO of Disaster Recovery Institute International and adjunct instructor at the Center for Global Affairs was recently interviewed for the 'Five Questions' series on the impact of past disasters on education, and how previous lessons learned can help us as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis.


July 2020

  • Soraya Al-Olama '14Natia Kvachadze '13, and Turab Saleem '06 participated in the "5 Questions with" series to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry in the UAE. See what your fellow alumni have been up to!
  • Sponsored by Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation and President Michael Landy '03, the Summer 2020 REIT Leadership Series addresses key challenges facing REITs as they navigate our emergence from the pandemic, plan for the economic recovery, and craft strategies for the future. Sam Zell, Chairman, Equity Group Investment, spoke about his outlook on the economy, COVID-19, and real estate trends.


June 2020

  • Jerry Pi '07 has established The Jerry Pi Diversity Scholarship to offer support to graduate students who seek to pursue a degree and a career in the real estate industry from underrepresented demographic groups at the Schack Institute of Real Estate. The recently established scholarship is timely given the hardships faced by students during the 2020 economic downturn.


May 2020

  • Center for Applied Liberal Arts', Minxuan Sun '19, recently took on her first large-scale translation project, creating the English translation of the CCTV documentary Xu Zhimo and His Contemporaries, originally recorded in Chinese.
  • Rusty Thompson '14 of the Center for Global Affairs celebrated one year at the Pentagon supporting the undersecretary of defense for intelligence (USD-I) Joe Kernan.
  • Laila E. Dreidame '19 of the Center for Applied Liberal Arts' “Bringing your whole self to work: Arab or Muslim Welcome” was published on, where she explores multiple experiences of what it means to be Arab or Muslim in workplaces across the US.


April 2020

  • On February 19, 2020, Hudson County NJ Freeholder Anthony Romano presented Veronica Manning '10 from the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, with the 2020 Rhudell Snelling Sr. Award for Community Service for her outstanding work as the Executive Director of the Jubilee Center of Hoboken. The Jubilee Center is a nonprofit, academic enrichment after school program that mainly serves low income elementary and middle school children who reside in the Hoboken Housing Authority.
  • A former professional hockey player turned top producing broker, designer, hotelier, restaurateur, and developer, Lyon Porter '11 of the Schack Institute of Real Estate has opened his latest Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskill Mountains! Urban Cowboy already has locations in Brooklyn and Nashville. His growing brand of boutique hotels includes The Dive Motel.
  • Carol Lujan '19 of the Center for Applied Liberal Arts was the 2019 American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) Scholarship recipient, which allowed her to attend the 2019 American Translators Association (ATA) conference.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies' Reed Alexander '17 has launched a news site, The Pivot, covering the COVID-19 crisis. It reports on the societal changes that the international community is experiencing as a result of the pandemic.
  • Center for Global Affairs' Claire R. Thomas '08 was awarded a core Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant in Law. She will spend the 2020-2021 academic year in Guadalajara, Mexico at the host institution ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara. She will focus on asylum-seekers who are left in limbo by changes in U.S. immigration policy and are now trapped in Mexico and will organize a training in Mexico for U.S. and Mexican lawyers to exchange ideas for best practices.


March 2020

  • Sylvia Zhou '14 from the Division of Programs in Business, and Facebook's Global Industry Relations & Intelligence Lead, returned to campus to discuss her SPS experience as an international student, her professional trajectory, and advice on career success to an audience of over 100 alumni and students. As a surprise gift, a handful of guests were invited to attend a private industry mixer at Facebook’s Park Avenue offices. Zhou is responsible for driving Facebook’s industry relations and strategic partnerships globally.
  • Rafael Hernández '17 from the Schack Institute accepted an Account Executive position with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Office of Residential Care Facilities at HUD’s Region VI - Fort Worth, Texas Office. Rafael was recently an FHA Asset Manager at Walker & Dunlop in Needham, Massachusetts.
  • Dolores Luna Kosydar '09 of the Tisch Center opened her travel agency, Lobby Boy Travel. Lobby Boy Travel, an independent travel agency of Tzell Travel Group, is a personalized luxury travel advisory that caters to those who are searching for the most authentic travel experiences.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Malika Iman Stanley '05 has published her memoir, Intimate with the Ultimate and hosted a reading at Brooklyn College in honor of Black History Month.


February 2020

  • After the sale of Normandy Real Estate Partners, David Welsh '97 of the Schack Institute, will be launching a new investment firm with partners, Finn Wentworth, and Giorgios Vlamis: Senlac Ridge Partners. It is an entrepreneurial PE firm targeting a broad range of investment opportunities spanning real estate and non-real estate assets and businesses.
  • Allison Ditchek Adler '96 from the Division of Programs in Business, will receive the Nedivat Lev Award at the 2020 annual Yeshivat Frisch Dinner for her volunteer work at the school for close to a decade. She has been a member of the Frisch Parent Association since 2011 and served as the group’s co-president from 2015 to 2018.
  • Rafael Hernández '17 from the Schack Institute accepted an Account Executive position with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Office of Residential Care Facilities at HUD’s Region VI - Fort Worth, Texas Office. Rafael was recently an FHA Asset Manager at Walker & Dunlop in Needham, Massachusetts.
  • Dolores Luna Kosydar '09 of the Tisch Center opened her travel agency, Lobby Boy Travel. Lobby Boy Travel, an independent travel agency of Tzell Travel Group, is a personalized luxury travel advisory that caters to those who are searching for the most authentic travel experiences.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Malika Iman Stanley '05 has published her memoir and hosted a reading at Brooklyn College in honor of Black History Month.


January 2020

  • SPS Alumni in Singapore met with Associate Dean of the Division of Programs in Business, Martin Ihrig at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Marina Bay on October 24. It was a wonderful night filled with good conversation with former classmates and learning about exciting SPS activity around the globe, while enjoying a drink in the suspended pods!
  • Lillian Carrero '87, '89 from the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies self-published a variety of novels and short story collections including WLCDRS presenta… Telenovela Traiciones (Betrayal), Equilibria, Song Book: Lyrics and Stories, Ghost Stories: A Collection of Short Stories on Death and Dying, and Bored of Education or Help! Get Me Out of Here: What Every Parent and Taxpayer Needs to Know.
  • Veronica Manning '10 who graduated from the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies is currently the Executive Director of The Jubilee Center, an after-school academic enrichment nonprofit in Hoboken, and has just received her Master's in Public Administration from NYU Wagner.
  • Tisch Center of Hospitality's Jeremy L. Schulman '03 has been named Director of Economic Development & Tourism for the County of Rockland, NY.
  • David J. Gallo '07 from the Schack Institute received the ERASE Racism Leadership Award at the June 11 Annual Benefit of the regional civil rights organization based on Long Island in New York.
  • Center for Global Affairs alumnus John Paterakis '09 has been elected Chairman of Scouting in the borough of Manhattan. He presides over the "Big Apple District" within the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America, which includes 44 Cub Scout packs, Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships.
  • Steven Avary '15 from the Center for Global Affairs was named President of the Board of Directors of Chamber Orchestra of New York.



November 2019

  • Corporate executive and Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Jyoti Chopra '89, has been named senior vice president, chief diversity and sustainability officer at Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International. In her new role, she will lead MGM’s social impact and sustainability efforts, which includes attaining key environmental sustainability goals by 2025. She will also oversee the MGM community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability departments, including oversight of the MGM Resorts Foundation and Community Grant Fund and corporate giving program.
  • Real estate investor David Hirsh '90 of the Schack Institute has been appointed to the Pace University Board of Trustees. He has also recently been named to the board of Domio, a technology start-up focused on the travel and hotel industries.


October 2019

  • Joanna Douglas '03, Head of Native Content for Popsugar, and NYU alumna, hosted SPS Center for Publishing students at their NYC office. Students were thrilled to have candid conversations with seven of the company's editors about the Popsugar brand, their jobs in digital media, workplace culture, and innovation.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies alumna, Lauren Greenberg '06, won a 2019 Emmy award! She was awarded as a Producer for "Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool" in the category of "Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)."
  • Russel Wong '96 and Center for Publishing's Jillian Gatcheco '12 are two of the 2019 NYU Pan-Asia Conference's esteemed speakers. The conference is taking place in Singapore on October 12, 2019.
  • Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies' Aaron Leonard '12 will discuss his upcoming book The Bureau & the Folksingers (Repeater, 2020) on Tuesday, November 5 at NYU's Tamiment Library.
  • Center for Publishing's Sabrina Ricci '12 and her husband (and co-dinosaur podcaster) recently released their 250th episode of I Know Dino—featuring the Bone Wars, a period between the 1870s and 1890s, where two paleontologists, Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, had a rivalry that eventually ruined them but also made dinosaurs mainstream.
  • Schack Institute of Real Estate's Jerry Aversano '19 has joined Benefit Street Partners (BSP), a Franklin Templeton alternatives boutique, as director, real estate product specialist and head of business development.
  • Center for Global Affairs' Ani Karapetyan '18 and Division of Programs in Business' Valentina Martinez '16 appeared on SPS Wasserman's October 10 Career Wellness Forum panel Career Wellness in the Workplace, Classroom, and Beyond discussing their professional experiences and how to enhance self assessment in order to navigate constant change.
  • Another great night of networking at the SPS Fall Alumni Mixer, held on October 3 at the Royalton Hotel's Forty Four Lounge! It may have been chilly and rainy, but it was a perfect night to welcome fall and reconnect with friends. Over 75 SPS alumni came out and had some fun!


September 2019

  • Two of our amazing alumni ambassadors, Jefferson Gomez '19 and Val Misra '01 joined us at the 2019 Graduate Welcome & Orientation to answer our newest students' questions and speak with them about their time at SPS!
  • On September 5, we were delighted to welcome over 100 alumni to our End of Summer Alumni Mixer at the Refinery Rooftop in NYC. Alumni had a wonderful time networking with faculty and friends while enjoying a stunning sunset and skyline views.
  • Said Sabir Ibrahimi '18 and Marta Bautista Forcada '19, both Center for Global Affairs alumni, co-authored a piece titled “Some Lessons From Columbia’s Peacemaking Process for Afghanistan,” which was published by the Afghanistan Research & Evaluation Unit (AREU) and republished on the United Nations ReliefWeb.
  • Center for Publishing's Andrea DeWerd '12, marketing director, Currency, Convergent, Crown Forum, and Image, New York City was announced as one of five finalists of Publishers Weekly's Star Watch Award. This highly coveted award recognizes some of the most vibrant and talented future leaders in publishing and book-selling.


August 2019

  • Katie Krum '11, MS Integrated Marketing and SVP, Digital Innovation at Weber Shandwick was just announced on the 40 under 40 PR Executives by PR Week. The list also includes other communications professionals who attended NYU.
  • Alison Kwiatkowski '17, MS Real Estate, has been named Young Leader of the Year by Corenet, the Corporate Real Estate Organization, New York City Chapter.
  • Carmella Glover '19, MS Public Relations and Corporate Communications and 2019 graduate convocation speaker has recently accepted the position as Executive Director of the PRSA Foundation.
  • SPS Alumni Ambassador, Amelia Mae Wolf ’13, keeps our DC alumni connections alive and strong by hosting regular meet ups! Pictured here with fellow CGA alums at Mission DuPont on July 23.
  • SPS Alumni in China met with visiting SPS leadership at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's Qi Bar in Shanghai on July 24. It was a wonderful night filled with networking, conversation with former classmates, and learning about exciting SPS activity in China!