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2012 Cohort

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Doran Baltus is currently studying as a Roosevelt Scholar at Hunter College. He was born in Asunción, Paraguay but was adopted at the age of four months and taken to Oswego, New York where he spent the remainder of his pre-college life. He has lived in New York City for over a year. He currently works for Bean & Bean Coffee and the Auxiliary NYPD. Beyond his academic interests, Doran enjoys bicycling, art and music.




Michael Bellamy was born and raised in Ohio where he attended Shaker Heights High School. Michael was involved in the campaign against Ohio Senate Bill 5, which was aimed at taking away collective bargaining rights from Ohio's public employees. In the last month of his senior year, Michael interned with Congressman Dennis Kucinich. During that time he became acquainted with the inner-workings of a congressional district office, and this experience inspired him to pursue a career path in politics. Michael is excited to be studying at Hunter College and eager to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from participating in the Roosevelt Scholars Program.



Claire Bleiler hopes to pursue a dual major in international relations and cultural anthropology concentrating on the countries of Darfur and Uganda. A graduate of Brandywine Heights High School, Claire served as vice president of her school's debate club, vice president of the national honor society, and vice president of her class. Claire participated in the Model United Nations club where she received the gavel for best delegate three years in a row, was awarded the all-state honor in field hockey, and graduated in the top ten percent of her class. Claire intends to further her studies with a doctoral degree and also hopes to work in Uganda or Darfur leading a child refugee organization.




Kristina Chan






Mariana Espinoza is currently a sophomore at Hunter College with an intended major in political science and minor in public policy. Born in Mexico City, Mariana has lived in New York City since the age of two. Mariana hopes to study law and pursue a career as an immigration attorney. Mariana graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School where she majored in Law and Society and took courses in AP US Government, Civil Law, Criminal Law, and AP Comparative Government. In her senior year, Mariana participated in her school's Moot Court and won second place in a citywide competition. She enjoys reading and thinks of it as a way to explore and learn.



Stephen Livshits is considering a major in political science and minor in computer science. Stephen is particularly interested in consumer electronics. He is a loyal Kansas City Chiefs fan.







Felicia Lokram






Sophie Mei is in her second year as a Roosevelt Scholar where she is pursuing her degree in political science and economics, with a focus on the implications of national and international policy on the growing global community. Sophie is also interested in learning about Chinese Language and Culture and hopes to travel to various places in Europe and Asia. She has participated in·workshops, has edited The Olivetree Review and Hunter's Literary Arts Magazine, and enjoys the art of writing and story telling. Sophie also enjoys video editing, film, and media.




Kassem Nasser is a second-year student at Hunter College. A native New Yorker of Lebanese descent, Kassem is fluent in English and Arabic and has a strong interest in current events in the Middle East. Kassem is a political science major and is also looking to pursue a certificate in Human Rights and Public Policy. He joined Model UN in the spring of 2013 and returned again in the fall later that year. Kassem recently completed an internship with the New York City Council for speaker Christine Quinn and hopes to continue on to law school.



Isaac Paulino was born and raised in Washington Heights, Manhattan. He is of Dominican descent and will be the first member of his family to successfully transition straight from High School to College. He is currently working toward being the first in his family to graduate from college. In High School, Isaac was involved in many community service activities including Aspira and the National Honors Society. He also took part in Cancer Walk, Bike NYC, Aids Walk, and Food Pantries. Isaac's passion for law has been with him since a young age and with the Roosevelt Scholar's Program he hopes to realize his ambition of pursuing a career in law.


Rose Rushing is a sophomore political science student at Hunter College. Rose spent this past summer fundraising and community organizing with California Public Interest Research Group on the Farm Bill and with Environment California on a statewide plastic·grocery-bag ban. She also worked with the Human Rights Campaign to end Proposition 8 in her home state of California. Rose has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of America to develop a more empowering curriculum for underprivileged girls, and she interned at California's Department of Justice. Recently, Rose has enjoyed working as an editor of the Hunter College literary journal and the Olivetree Review, and with NBC. After Hunter, Rose hopes to attend law school and continue to work as a public advocate.


Elizabeth Schneider is a rising Sophomore at Hunter College intending to pursue a degree in psychology. She is a Roosevelt, Thomas Hunter and Eleanor Roosevelt scholar. A strong proponent of social equality, Elizabeth founded Bringing Education and Unity to Youth (BEAUTY) as a freshman at Kings Park High School in order to educate the community on issues of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and mental and physical ability. For her activism, Elizabeth was awarded the Shirley Reiter Human Rights award from the Town of Smithtown, the Young Woman Leaders Award, and a $2000 grant from the Women's Fund of Long Island used toward a Day of Peace fundraiser. Elizabeth is excited to be at Hunter College in the most diverse city so she can expand her horizons and give back to the community.



Born in Madison, Wisconsin, David Tang later spent three years in Yichang near the province of Hubei, China. He returned to lay his childhood foundations in the Bronx and has never called anywhere else home since. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School, one of the nine Specialized High Schools in New York City. A sophomore at Hunter College, David is pursuing his degree in political science and intends to partake in Hunter's program for Human Rights.




Qiuxiao Zheng comes from a small, rural village in southern China. She is fluent in Chinese. Zheng obtained an associate's degree in Liberal Arts with honors upon her high school graduation. She is currently financially supporting herself and is interested in pursuing a degree in chemistry.


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