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Directory of Cooperman Scholars


Nady Abdelmonem is a senior at Hunter College with a major in Economics.  She worked two years as a Research Analyst at Basel Asset Management, a Swiss Hedge Fund based in New York City. Her research consisted of analyzing legal documents and audits to write sophisticated due diligence reports, exposure reports, and audit reviews for senior management. She studied a diverse set of strategies and sectors including private equity, long/short equity, & diverse investment funds of interest to the firm.  She volunteers her time to tutoring mathematics and economics to high school students in her community in Queens. She has a strong desire to pursue a career in business.


Stephanie Ahwireng is a Junior pursuing a degree in Economics at Hunter College. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she is a sports enthusiast and proud member of Hunter's Tennis Team. Stephanie has won two Tennis Conference Championships. She has also been awarded multiple CUNY Scholar awards. Stephanie's passion for entrepreneurship led her to co-found a beauty e-commerce business that has been profitable for the past three years. Having placed 6th at a business plan pitch competition at American University in March of this year, she is refining her business plan for ScholarshipU, a one-stop-shop site for students seeking academic scholarships, and will begin fundraising for the her newest start up this summer. Next year, she looks forward to serving the student body as the Undergraduate Student Government's, External Affairs commissioner. Stephanie can be reached at


Aleksandr Akulov graduated from Macaulay Honors College with a major in Economics and Political Science. While at Hunter, he had the opportunity to study in China, Cuba, and Israel. He worked in Corporate Development for Financial Products at Bloomberg LP focusing on mergers and acquisitions and strategic partnerships. He then worked as an Equity Specialist with a focus on fundamentals and equity derivatives assisting clients globally in dual languages.  Most recently he was promoted to the Asset and Investment Manager trade desk team where he closely manages major institutional buy-side firms and particularly hedge fund clients. Understanding the importance of opportunity, Aleksandr created a partnership between Bloomberg Assessment Test (BAT) and Hunter College; bringing opportunities to the school's diverse and driven students. Aleksandr currently attends New York Law School as an evening student, focusing on financial services law. In the near future, he is interested in attending business school and fulfilling the CFA designation. He is heavily involved with Hunter College and is proud and honored to mentor current Hunter College students.


Vashti Barran is currently a junior at Hunter College. She is an Economics major and a student in the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. Originally from Guyana, Vashti grew up and still resides in Queens, New York. In addition to being a Leon Cooperman Scholar, Vashti is a 2012 New York Needs You Fellow and the President of the Hunter College GlamourGals Chapter. In May of 2013 she was awarded with the Vice Chancellor of the City University of New York's Excellence in Leadership Award and also the Hunter College Outstanding Service Award. Last summer she interned with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and will be working with Macy's Corporate in the Buying & Planning team this summer. Vashti will also volunteer abroad in Guatemala City this summer with the international volunteer organization, Cross Cultural Solutions.


Ryan Baxter graduated with honors from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in June 2012 with two bachelor's degrees in Urban Studies.  As an Urban Studies major, Ryan used his senior thesis to analyze and evaluate the affordable housing initiatives within the Bloomberg Administration's PlaNYC 2030 effort.  His major also required him to spend a semester working with New York State Assemblyman Dan Quart of the 73rd District on pertinent policy issues facing the area.  Ryan was a four-year starter on Hunter's Varsity Wrestling team, for which he received a CUNY Scholar-Athlete Award Honorable Mention and 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian award his senior year.  Ryan utilized his life-long participation in sports in his volunteer efforts on the board of a non-for-profit run out of Weill Cornell Medical School called Motivating Action through Community Health Outreach ("MAChO"), which works to promote healthy living through free after-school programming, mentoring, and family-oriented community based events for underprivileged children in Central and East Harlem. After graduation, Ryan joined the Real Estate Board of New York (“REBNY”) as a Policy Analyst.  Working within the Government Affairs and Management Services divisions of REBNY, Ryan’s work involves liaising with various City agencies and lobbying the State Legislature on behalf of the City's real estate industry.  His policy focus includes affordable housing, sustainability, as well as construction, and he was promoted to Senior Policy Analyst in 2013.  Prior to joining REBNY, Ryan also worked in investment banking with Lazard LTD and Gordian Group LLC.  Born and raised in New York City, Ryan was one of Hunter College's Campus School's last "lifers" as he graduated from the former nursery school in 1995.


Leon Bodden is in the 2015 class at Hunter, studying both Africana/Puerto Rican/ Latino Studies and Economics. He is from Hempstead, NY and proud to be a student of NYC Business. Leon is Social Chair of the Leon Cooperman Pre-Business Program and Event Planner for the Hunter Entrepreneur Club. Leon is highly interested in entrepreneurship and has interned with startup companies around NYC. He is currently interning at a Startup company in the marketing and product development division, working closely with the COO and Marketing Director. He looks forward to being a serial entrepreneur in the future.


James Broughel is program manager of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center. He is a doctoral student in the economics program at George Mason University. He earned his MA in economics from Hunter College of the City University of New York.


Colleen Cash is a rising senior from Stony Brook, New York. As a Muse Scholar, Colleen has had the privilege of acting as an arts ambassador for Hunter, and as such, Colleen has made it her goal to highlight the overlap between the arts and other disciplines by majoring in Special Honors through the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. Through the program, Colleen has been focusing on economic and cultural development via the Museum of Arts and Design, and Colleen hopes to expand her studies to include how cities build their cultural capital. Also a JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt Public Policy Scholar, Colleen has held several positions at the New York City Council, the New York States Council on the Arts, and most recently, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Office. Colleen is currently an intern at Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house, and Colleen will continue her tenure at the company through August 2015. Recently elected as Hunter College’s Undergraduate Student Government President, Colleen is dedicated to the success of the student body at large, and she hopes to ensure that each student’s Hunter experience is one of extraordinary opportunity. Colleen will graduate in January 2015, and she hopes to enter the private art market upon her graduation. Colleen can be reached at


Karamo “Moe” Ceesay is a junior at Hunter College. Moe lives in Scarsdale, New York and is pursuing a degree in Political Science and Economics. Outside of class, Moe is a member of the Economics Club, the Pre-Law Society, and the Philosophy Club at Hunter. When not at Hunter, he works part-time at The Buckingham Research Group and Buckingham Capital Management, conducting research on the financials, retail, and automotive sectors. Prior to Buckingham, he worked in the Business Development division for the Private Equity and Leveraged Finance practices at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.


Josephine Djonovic is graduating in Spring 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in International Relations as well as Communications and Public Relations. Josephine has been a member of the Hunter Model UN Team since the Fall 2011 semester, has served as the team's Head Delegate since Fall 2012 and has won countless team and individual awards at national and international conferences. She has also received the Amelia Ottinger Award for Excellence in the Art of Debate every semester since joining the team. Though she is from the Bronx, Josephine credits her family’s background, being ethnically Albanian from Montenegro, for her interest in international affairs. Josephine is a Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women – Eleanor Roosevelt Scholar, which she was awarded for her passion for public service and women’s equality. She is also a Thomas W. Smith Fellow selected for her academic excellence and future plans, and a Leon Cooperman Scholar. Her ability to communicate well with others and represent the interest of large groups inspired her to study communications and public relations. Josephine has held numerous internship positions within the realm of external affairs at nonprofits, government offices, the UN and more recently in the corporate sphere. Josephine is currently completing an internship in corporate communications for Nickelodeon. 


Kidus B. Gebrekidan is a Senior at Hunter College pursing a double major in Mathematics and Economics. He is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and came to New York in pursuit of a better education. His hard-work and dedication has led him to thrive at Hunter earning him great distinctions and multiple scholarships. He has made the dean's list and is now a part of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. Currently, Kidus interns at a small commodities trading firm in New York gaining invaluable experience as an options and futures trader.  


My name is Anna Galayda. I was born and raised in Russia, Kamen na Obi - a small town in South-West of Siberia. I moved to NYC all by myself with nothing but big dreams when I was 21. Currently I’m majoring in Accounting at Hunter College and I’m also on Hunter College Accounting Society E-board where I serve as an Assistant Treasurer. I’m a Mentoring Program Scholar and I volunteer at VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Service). I have had 3 diverse accounting/finance related internships during 2013 academic year in different companies and one summer internship in Goldman Sachs Executive Office, Finance Group – which I consider the biggest highlight of my experience as a student so far. I was invited to intern in Finance Division of Goldman Sachs for the second summer in a row which I’m anxiously preparing for now (summer 2014).My biggest passion outside academics is Bikram Yoga (which is practiced in 105 degrees Fahrenheit heated room). I love it because it requires a lot of concentration, Bengal tiger strength and English bulldog determination. Even though it is very challenging – it gives me piece of mind after rigorous studying and huge workload as a student. Anna can be reached at


Hui Ting Jiang, class of 2014, is majoring in economics with minors in public policy and mathematics. She is a member of the Macaulay Honors College and Thomas Hunter Honors Program. Currently, she serves as the Finance Commissioner of Undergraduate Student Government, handling over one million dollars of student activity fees to better the Hunter College student body and community at large. She has previously worked in cross-cultural communications, private banking, and health care. Now, she is volunteering at the "I Have A Dream" Foundation and hopes to pursue education policy. Feel free to contact her at


Darya Kulyk is a student in the Thomas Hunter Honors program and is working towards an Honors BA degree in Media Studies with a minor in Economics. Based on her outstanding academic record, she is the recipient of various federal scholarships including the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant. She has also recently become a member of the prestigious Golden Key Honors Society. Darya has seven years of management experience in various industries, the latest of which is the position of the project manager at a zoning and building code consulting firm. She curated the newly-built B & B carousel at Coney Island among other residential and commercial developments across the city. Darya is planning to pursue an MBA degree upon graduation. Her professional interests lie in consumer research and behavioral economics. She is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian and is competent in German.


Rita Kirzhner is a rising senior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, and will graduate in May 2015. A native New Yorker, Rita grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and has now lived in three of the five boroughs. Rita is completing a double major in Economics and Psychology, and is currently the President of the Entrepreneur Club at Hunter College. She is also a member of the Photo Club, the Economics Club, and Cult. Magazine. Rita is currently interning at the Institute for Private Investors (IPI), where she will be working for the summer of 2014. She previously interned as a Marketing Research Assistant at Sheffield Haworth, a global executive search firm in New York, and also worked for Azure NY Inc., a luxury apartment rental business. Rita is passionately exploring her interests in business, entrepreneurship, finance, and psychology, with the ambition of creatively combining them all. Rita can be reached at


Juliette Levinton is a Junior at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, currently pursuing a degree in Accounting. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Juliette has always had a keen interest in pursuing the world of business. She currently works as the executive assistant to the managing member of a financial advising company. This position requires her assistance in a variety of tasks, such as editing business plans, calculating various investment scenarios, and interacting with prospective clients on a daily basis. Juliette also works as the Treasurer for WHCS Hunter College Radio, where she co-hosts a Classic Rock Radio show. Juliette was recently selected as the NYC Affiliate of the American Woman's Society of CPAs 2014 Scholarship winner. When she’s not busy reading financial statements at work, or budgeting expenses at the radio station, Juliette enjoys reading at the local park (short stories especially), going to concerts (rock or indie music especially), or spending time at home with family (her dog, especially).


Bianca Malhotra is in the 2015 class at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter, studying Economics, Public Policy and Human Rights. She is from Brooklyn, NY and proud to be a student of the NYC public school system. Bianca is President of the Economics Club and Vice-President of the Hunter chapter of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network. She is also involved in the greater Campus Network, a national student-run think tank and serves as the New Chapters Coordinator for the Northeast region. Bianca has interned at the Conference Board, NYC Law Department, and served as an academic mentor at a community college. She is currently interning at a non-profit in the development division, working closely with donors and future prospects to raise awareness about efforts to curb youth smoking. 


Andrew Marcus is a double major in math and physics and will graduate in May 2014. Andrew is pursuing a career in public service, with a focus on economic development and NYC government policy. Andrew was accepted into the highly competitive NYC Urban Fellows Program, where he will work full-time in city government for a nine month term. The program also includes weekly seminars from commissioners and government officials as well as trips to Albany and Washington, D.C. Andrew has previously worked in the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the NYC Office of the Mayor, and Goldman Sachs. Andrew was born and raised in Brooklyn and proudly attended NYC public schools. He can be reached at


Anthony Margulies is a graduating senior at Hunter College majoring in both environmental studies (earth science concentration) and economics. Anthony was born here in New York City, in Riverdale, uptown in the Bronx. He attended public elementary, middle, and high school in Riverdale. Following his graduation from Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy in 2010, he was accepted into the William E. Macaulay Honors College scholarship program, with his home campus being CUNY Hunter College. While attending Hunter, Anthony became an active member of The Undergraduate Student Government of Hunter College, as well as a Peer Health Exchange educator. In USG Anthony achieved the position of Senior Senator while still in his junior year of college. In Peer Health Exchange Anthony was a member of the Leadership Council that actually coordinated and instructed the activities of the program on campus. In addition to these responsibilities, during the 2014 academic year (senior year) Anthony also became an RA at the Hunter College Brookdale Campus. It was also during this year that Anthony was accepted into the Cooperman Scholarship Program. Currently Anthony is wrapping up his senior year.  Post graduation he will work as a lifeguard for the last time during the summer of 2014 and in the fall he is planning to intern at Seeger Weiss. Most importantly, however, is Anthony’s plan to join the United States Marine Corps as an officer candidate by the winter of 2014. This opportunity is part of his plan to get a JD-MBA and ultimately work in environmentally responsible investments. Anthony can be reached at:


Sara Setareh Shenas will graduate with a BA/MA in Statistics, and Economics in 2016. She is the vice-president of the Economics and Mathematics Clubs at Hunter College, and a member of the Hunter College Senate. She was born in Jerusalem to Iranian refugees. She is fluent in Farsi and Hebrew and is learning Spanish. Sara was a technical assistant at the registered investment advisory American Financial & Tax Strategies, Inc., and is currently a mathematics and economics tutor at Hunter College.


Umila is from Queens, New York and graduated from Hunter College in 2013 with a degree in Economics.  After graduation, she traveled to India to study Hindi as a Critical Language Scholar.  She also interned for a public policy think-tank based in Bangalore, India. Umila hopes to pursue a career in international development with interests in service delivery and social exclusion. 


Daniel (Danny) Sokolovsky is a Stastics major and Macaulay Honors College undergraduate in the class of 2015. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where, on the famous asphalt park basketball courts, he developed a lifelong passion for basketball. He is a current and three-year member of the Hunter College Men's Basketball team. Daniel has spent time in various employment fields included summer camp management, casual and athletic apparel retail and personal academic tutoring. Currently, Daniel is completing his Junior year at Hunter College and entering the summer with an internship position in the Basketball Operations department of the Brooklyn Nets. Daniel can be reached at


Scott Tierney is currently a senior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. He grew up in Pleasantville, NY and attended Pleasantville High School. Currently, he is a Political Science major with a minor in Economics. Along with being a Leon Cooperman Scholar, he is a Macaulay Honors Freshmen Peer Mentor and a senior senator in the Hunter College Undergraduate Student Government. Scott has studied abroad in both Argentina and Chile. He has completed internships at the Ecuadorian Trade Office, Monarch Business and Wealth Management, Core Group, and most recently Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. He is currently working at John F. Murphy Assessed Valuation. After graduation, Scott hopes to pursue a career in real estate.






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