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2022 Student Spotlights

Undergraduate students in the class of 2022 know a thing or two about perseverence. They have navigated a global pandemic, and with it remote internships and coursework, followed by a re-entry into campus life. Along the way, all have developed a diverse set of skills and many have emerged as  campus leaders. Now, our senior Jaspers are preparing for their next challenge — the professional world — and we can't wait to watch them succeed. 

Meet a few members of our graduating senior class: 

  • Abby Drayer ’22
    student in blue shirt in front of green manhattan college sign outside campus

    Major: Sound Studies

    Future Plans: I will begin a position as a junior associate at Cerami, an acoustic consulting firm located in Manhattan.

    You are involved in a lot of different groups on campus, including the LGBTQ Student Group and Pep Band. Is there one in particular that has been particularly meaningful during your time at Manhattan College?

    My time in the Manhattan College Pep Band has been particularly meaningful to me. Through the band, I was able to meet many incredible people, including friends, my partner, and my current roommate. Between being in Pep Band, serving on the band's executive board, and performing at events, I have been able to grow as a musician, as a student, and as a person.

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your last four years?

    Looking back, the MAAC Tournament in March 2020 was an event that really inspired me. I traveled with the Pep Band to New Jersey in order to attend, and it ended up being cut short as the school and the tournament itself shut down due to the first spike of COVID-19 in the U.S. That event then became the last in-person college experience I had for over a year, and it inspired me to push through two and a half semesters being completely remote in order to participate in extracurricular events again my senior year.

  • Sarah Dziewit ’22
    female student on campus wearing white blazer and smiling in front of pink flowered tree

    Majors: Marketing and Finance 

    Future Plans: I plan to stay in New York City. My goal is to work as a brand or product marketer for a cosmetics company.

    What made you choose Manhattan College and the marketing major? I chose Manhattan College because I knew I wanted to live in New York City, and felt "at home" when first touring the campus. I was excited to have an open, green campus nestled in the city. It was the best of both worlds of a traditional college experience while also being so close to the city. The Marketing department made me feel extremely welcome. I've been passionate about marketing since high school, and felt the Manhattan program would help me thrive.

    How has the marketing major prepared you for your future career? Can you tell us about your career experiences (internships) while at MC? I had two internships during my time here. The first one was the summer of my sophomore year, and I was grateful to be chosen for the Women Inspiring Successful Enterprise (W.I.S.E.) program with female students across all disciplines. 

    I also was an analyst intern at Balyasny Asset Management (BAM), a midsize hedge fund with an office in Manhattan. Although COVID-19 prevented me from working in New York City, I was very blessed to still be working remotely. I helped a team of analysts work on projects that added stocks to the overall fund's portfolio. The following summer, I was a marketing intern at ThomDigital Group, an IT company based in Manhattan. I luckily secured this internship through the Office of Career Pathways. The hiring manager, Anthony Liota ՚14, was eager to take on another Jasper. This was thankfully in person, and I was able to travel to sites getting IT build-outs, and help the business development manager build a brand and support client management. 

    We understand that you're the president of the Investment Club. What about this experience has been rewarding? I joined the Investment Club as a freshman with very (very) little investment knowledge, and learned along the way everything to know to deliver a successful stock pitch. Year after year, I earned a higher position within the club. As president, I managed all sectors of the club, brought in alumni to speak to our members, and managed a real-money portfolio of about $80,000 alongside our faculty advisor, economics and finance professor Amira Annabi, Ph.D. It feels fantastic to leave a legacy with the club as the second female president in the club's history. I hope in the future my legacy allows more young women like myself to leap into the investment world even if they feel like it's not their place — it certainly is!

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College? As a freshman, I bought a cheap foldable map of New York City in a touristy store. I put it on my dorm room wall, and each weekend was determined to visit each neighborhood of the city. I was inspired by discovering all the nooks and crannies of the city, all the hidden gems I wasn't familiar with, since I'm from Massachusetts and hadn't spent that much time here before. I felt extremely lucky to walk right down to the train and visit any part of Manhattan my heart desired. Dr. Annabi is also a major inspiration to me, who has pushed for me to trailblaze within the Investment Club, advocate for myself, and remind me of all the things I can do.
  • Charles Ohene-Karikari ’22
    student in blue shirt in front of green manhattan college sign outside campus

    Major: History, Minor: Biology 

    Future Plans: I do not have a set plan in regards to my future, although a goal of mine is to continue my education into graduate school. Then I would like to go into research or library sciences.

    You're completing an internship at the Huntington Free Library, working on unearthing different pieces of Bronx history. What has that experience been like? Why were you interested in that?

    The experience as a whole has been revelatory! Despite being a resident in the Bronx for all of my life, I have not really delved into the wider history of the Bronx. That is not for a lack of trying, but more so because I lacked the opportunity due to my youth and my primary focus on pre-modern history. I was particularly interested in this internship at the Huntington Free Library because I felt this was an opportunity to help preserve historical records that can be better used to help educate others. My goals aligned with the library’s altruistic mission to be a place of service for the community and researchers.

    Is there one person, place, or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College?

    Now, this is a difficult question, as I can not point to just one source. The kind and attentive nature of the History department provided me with the tools to take advantage of opportunities like [the library internship]. There is also my group of friends whose diverse experiences continue to inspire me to experience all that life has to offer.

  • Timothy Kohany ’22
    male student with blond hair and blue shirt in front of trees

    Major: Civil Engineering

    Future PlansThis summer I will continue to intern at Siefert Associates, a construction engineering firm in White Plains, New York. There, my focus is on bridge design. I also plan to continue my structural research this fall at Manhattan College, where I am pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering, specializing in structural engineering. My long-term plans include obtaining my professional engineering license and contributing to my community in the best way I can, as a structural engineer. 

    What drew your interest to the School of Engineering and Manhattan College? 

    Manhattan College has a great reputation for its civil engineering program. The classes are small and the 11:1 student-faculty ratio made difficult engineering topics more accessible. Top academic standards and the extremely convenient proximity to all-things-New York City made going to Manhattan College an easy choice for me.

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College? 

    Since my first day at Manhattan, I've wanted to be the best engineer that I could be. The only way I could accomplish this was by learning as much as I could during my short time at college. My life has been transformed as a result of my education, and I can already see the benefits from all of those years of hard work. I decided from day one that I was going to give school everything I have, and that decision was all the inspiration I needed.

    When I started at Manhattan, it was a goal of mine to become involved in academic research. While at MC, I had the privilege of advancing research on seismic moment connections (structural steel connections) with Shahriar Quayyum, Ph.D., visiting professor of civil and environmental engineering. Our research was published in the first quartile peer-reviewed international journal Steel and Composite Structures in November 2021 and I had the pleasure of sharing this research at a poster presentation on campus in April during the induction ceremony for the science and engineering honor society Sigma XI. I will continue to work with Dr. Quayyum throughout my thesis based master’s degree in the fall, when I hope to develop this research further and explore some new structural concepts.

  • Zach Olivan ’22
    male college student sitting in gymnasium bleachers wearing blue shirt

    Major: Exercise Science / Minor: Psychology

    Future Plans: I will begin a master’s in athletic counseling at Springfield College. My ultimate goal is to become a holistic performance and well-being coach. 

    What drew your interest to physical education and the School of Education and Health? 

    I knew I wanted to be a coach, educator, mentor, counselor and much more within the field of health and wellness. More importantly, however, the high quality of professors and students in the School of Education and Health is what initially drew my interest. 

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College? 

    One place that has inspired me is Alumni Hall, where I've made lasting memories, formed lifelong relationships, and have gotten to call the Kinesiology department my home for four years.

  • Alexandra O'Neill ’22
    female student with brown hair outside campus on a spring day

    Major: Mathematics and Psychology

    Future Plans: After graduation, I will be working as a clinical research coordinator in the division of neuropsychiatry and neuroimaging at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. My ultimate career goal is to get a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology and work as a clinician, researcher and professor.

    The double major of math and psychology may seem like an unusual pairing. Why has it been something that you've enjoyed?

    It definitely is a unique pairing, but I had interest in both and truthfully was too indecisive to pick only one. In mathematics, I loved learning statistics, linear algebra and machine learning. All of those can be applied to clinical research questions and the questions I am most interested in are related to psychology. 

    Also, I have really enjoyed being able to take many classes in both the School of Liberal Arts and School of Science. As a result, I have been able to make more connections with peers and professors across both schools.

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College?

    Being part of the academic community at Manhattan College that focuses on teaching and mentoring students has been transformational. As a result of this focus, I have had opportunities to learn, significantly contribute to faculty research, and develop personal relationships with professors that I know would not be possible at a larger school. While I have benefited tremendously from all of the professors I have had at Manhattan College, I am particularly grateful to mathematics professor Angel Pineda, Ph.D., and psychology professor Nuwan Jayawickreme, Ph.D. Their unwavering support, dedicated mentorship, and direction have enabled me to grow as a student, researcher and person. They each have inspired me to pursue careers in teaching, research and clinical practice.

  • Nadine Salameh ’22
    female student with long dark hair in front of red brick wall inside library

    Major: Radiation Therapy Technology (RTT)

    Future PlansI recently accepted an offer at New York Presbyterian - Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where I will begin work as a radiation therapist. In the next couple of years I plan to pursue a master’s degree and teach, within my field, at Manhattan College. 

    What drew your interest to the School of Continuing & Professional Studies and radiation therapy?

    During my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a medical profession after taking a sports medicine course at BOCES. One of my close friends suggested I become a radiologic technologist. I took her advice and started looking up colleges and programs within the radiological sciences, which is how I stumbled upon Manhattan College's radiation therapy technology major. The goal of radiation therapy is to deliver a concentrated amount of radiation to a patient's tumor to shrink, eradicate or relieve symptoms. Some people call radiation therapy the “hidden gem” in healthcare. I was drawn to Manhattan College because it was relatively close to home, located in the city (which broadened the clinic options) and is the definition of a nice, tight-knit community. 

    Is there one person, place or thing that inspired you during your time at Manhattan College?

    The Manhattan College community, especially my program director, Kayla Valentino, and clinical coordinator, Sara Silverstein, provided me with the tools and support I needed in order to succeed academically, professionally and personally. I also found a lot of personal inspiration while tutoring the underclassmen in the program. I enjoyed meeting each student and getting to know them both as students and future radiation therapists.