Hilary Almanza ’22
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
The stories and experiences of alumni in her high school enrichment program helped Hilary realize the versatility and flexibility of a law degree. Her motivation for this career path is the prospect that her work may help combat the legal injustices that her home community regularly faces. Hilary hopes to understand the nuances and complexities of our country’s legal system and be able to translate the language of the law for those who need it most. Her experiences helped her to understand what defending and upholding those laws before the court looks like and to explore litigation law.
Caylea Barone ’21
Majors: Environmental Studies and Art and Art History
Hometown: LaGrangeville, N.Y.
Caylea is a lifelong learner pursuing a career in environmental law to address the climate crisis. She is committed to advancing sustainability and environmental justice for all. Caylea held leadership positions as a sustainability intern, Career Services’ office ambassador, and senior editor for the Maroon-News at Colgate. She graduated early and moved to Washington, D.C., to join BQ Energy, a renewables development firm, as a project manager. Caylea volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby to grow her advocacy network and plans to continue in policy and research. In fall 2022, she plans to enroll in a joint JD/master’s degree in environmental management and policy.
Cecilia Belzer ’22
Majors: Italian Studies and Spanish
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
After working for two senate campaigns in Georgia, it became clear to Cecilia that she not only wanted to go to law school, but also yearned to be a part of the legislative conversation. Her work on Teresa Tomlinson’s campaign doing policy research, then later on Warnock’s successful campaign doing opposition research, sparked her interest in government. Now, Cecilia is planning to pursue a career in law, specifically in the public policy arena, though she does not know yet whether that means being a lawmaker herself, staff attorney on Capitol Hill, or an in-house attorney at a nonprofit.
Helen Ferguson ’21
Majors: Peace and Conflict Studies
Hometown: Bethesda, Md.
Helen has always had a passion for peace building, human rights, and advocacy. Colgate’s peace and conflict studies major was a big draw for Helen, and her studies have confirmed her love for advocacy and dedication to pursue human rights law. She interned as a paralegal for the Safe Center for Human Trafficking Survivors at the University of Maryland for the past two summers, gaining valuable legal experience. In the spring of 2020, Helen studied in Geneva, Switzerland, while interning at World YWCA. After graduating from Colgate in May, Helen will begin work as a litigation paralegal at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Addison Hillerbrand ’23
Major: Molecular Biology
Minor: Anthropology and Writing
Hometown: Wilmette, Ill.
Medicine combines Addison's love for science and desire to help others. Childhood experiences volunteering at shelters fostered her interest in public health and health care equity. At Colgate, Addison earned her EMT license and volunteers for the Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps, where she gains critical clinical experience and builds relationships with the local community. Additionally, she has gained leadership experience as a senator, orientation leader, peer tutor, lab instructor, and member of leadership for Pre-Health Pathways. Addison plans to pursue an MD/PhD program in public health and practice in pediatric epidemiology.
Ehran Hodes ’21
Major: Peace and Conflict Studies
Hometown: Hamden, Conn.
Ehran can be described as an avid learner. His passion for learning has taken him on the most meaningful journeys of his life thus far. It has brought him into the worlds of hip-hop and poetry, movies and writing, and most recently, advocacy and law. As a peace and conflict studies major, Ehran is required to take a human perspective on real-world social justice issues. At Colgate, Ehran is a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, a co-vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, president and founder of the Colgate Wellness Advocates, and a mailroom clerk. This past summer, Ehran interned for Strategies for Youth, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Mass., that strives to improve relations between children and law enforcement officers. Upon graduation, Ehran hopes to work in the public or nonprofit sector before pursuing a law degree. Ehran intends to use this degree to better advocate for those who experience disproportionate prejudice and injustice in our legal system.
Lauryn Johnson ’23
Majors: English and Neuroscience
Hometown: Winter Park, Fla.
Lauryn is dedicated to advocating for others and, since learning of the inequalities and wrongful convictions within the criminal justice system, she is pursuing a career in civil rights law. On campus, Lauryn is a member of the new-student orientation staff and a leader of Colgate Christian Fellowship. She currently works as an intern with the Madison County Council for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. There, she helps develop and assist with education programs and initiatives focused on substance abuse prevention. Lauryn is motivated to pursue a legal career centered around equality and advocacy.
Johna Joseph ’22
Hometown: Gricignano Di Aversa, Italy
Johna is committed to combating health inequities and becoming a leader who helps restructure medicine to reduce barriers by advocating for a system of healthcare that is reflective of its population. As president and founder of Pre-Health Pathways, Johna is working on ways to educate his peers effectively on important topics in public health as well as providing more peer mentorship for pre-health students on campus. He is also a Raiders of Color Connect ambassador, general chemistry tutor, research assistant, and captain of the track team. Music is a hobby of his, and he has released his first single, hoping to release more.
Sophie Karp ’21
Majors: Art and Art History and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Westchester, N.Y.
Sophie aims to pursue a career as a physician-scientist focused on nephrology. She researched chronic kidney disease at the University of Miami and worked with medical robotics at Burke Neurological Institute. She spent her summers at Yale University, conducting nephrological research, the most recent of which is under review for publication in Kidney International. Sophie has conducted research at Colgate in ornithology and will be submitting her work for publication soon. She has volunteered as an EMT for almost four years. Sophie recently accepted a nephrological research position at BIDMC, Harvard University School of Medicine, and will be working there for the next two years before attending medical school. She also loves painting and drawing and studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh.
YJ Lee ’22
Majors: Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Mathematical Economics
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Through his unique, global upbringing, YJ approaches the big questions by considering solutions creatively and multilaterally. YJ’s academic interests include behavioral economics and labor law, propelling him to pursue a legal career. YJ took two years of personal leave from Colgate in 2018 to serve in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps as a squad leader. After his discharge in April of 2020, YJ returned to Colgate and is the current president of the Korean Cultural Association and is a member of the Class of 2022 Senior Honor Society and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Kathleen Maro ’22
Major: International Relations and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Hometowns: Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif.
In Phoenix, the staples of Kate’s community were heat strokes, spring training, and immigration. Here, Kate saw the pervasiveness of discriminatory policy. At Colgate, Kate is involved in Arabic, transcending expectations to learn about cultural history and participate in CLS Arabic 2021. Her focus on foreign affairs and MENA led to spending her summers doing refugee resettlement with the IRC and government affairs with the CAIR. Between her professional experiences and her leadership roles in Model Arab League and Utica Refugee Tutors, Kate reaffirmed her passion to work for equitable and effective policy. Kate hopes to pursue research and language in MENA before law school. Kate hopes to use a law degree to advocate for representative diplomacy and security policy.
Kenzie Martin ’21
Majors: Molecular Biology and Economics
Hometown: Lexington, Mass.
Kenzie’s passion for medicine developed through her love of science, drive to help others, and personal experience. Diagnosed with a significant hearing loss at the age of five, Kenzie is familiar with hospitals’ strengths and flaws and what it is like to be a patient. Kenzie has fostered her interest in medicine through her experiences as a Manzi Fellow and cardiology research assistant. At Colgate, she is the captain of women’s club water polo and is a research assistant in economics. Kenzie has recently accepted an NIH post-bac position in Dr. Isaac Brownell’s lab, studying Merkel cell carcinoma.
Domenique Masi ’21
Hometown: Bethpage, N.Y.
Domenique is a lifelong learner who hopes to build a career serving others, resolving to eventually become a judge. She reinforced this commitment to service at Colgate as the former service committee chair of the Newman Catholic Community and her involvement with Adopt-A-Classroom, the varsity crew team, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Domenique pursued coursework intersecting law and labor reform, immigration, the separation of church of state, and environmental injustice at Colgate and the University of Wollongong, Australia. Ultimately, she hopes to utilize her degree as a judge in understanding people’s motivations and behavior. Domenique graduated early and is currently studying Spanish to hopefully work with future clients in their native tongues. She is eager to begin her law school career at Boston University School of Law this fall.
Julia McQueen ’21
Majors: International Relations and Political Science
Hometown: Seminole, Fla.
Understanding the appeal of law since a heated debate over a cinnamon roll at the age of five, Julia’s determination to obtain a legal degree was solidified after a summer internship at Community Law Program. While this internship initially set in motion a desire to become a civil rights attorney, she has since realized that her true passion lies in the field of education law and policy. Most of Julia’s time at Colgate is spent with the varsity rowing team, but she is also an active member of Gamma Phi Beta, Career Ambassadors, and SAAC. Julia has spent previous summers studying Arabic, working alongside 2Ls at Stetson College of Law’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic, in an internship at the Tampa office of CAIR, and as a political data manager with the organization WeVote. She is extremely excited to begin her 1L year at Fordham Law in the fall.
Madison Mixer ’21
Majors: Biochemistry and French
Hometown: Newton, Mass.
Madison is a driven student with a passion for connecting with and helping others. Madison has been volunteering as an EMT at SOMAC since her freshman year; she enjoys the opportunity to connect with the local community. Madison is doing research for her biochemistry degree in Professor Jacob Goldberg’s lab, optimizing the use of enzyme-mediated reactions to add exogenous probes to proteins. She is also a genetic counseling intern in Dr. Yu’s lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, working with rare pediatric neurogenetic diseases. Madison has accepted a post-baccalaureate position at the NIH with the NIAID Centralized Sequencing Initiative.
Grace Poncsak ’22
Major: Molecular Biology
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Grace began as a student-athlete at The Ohio State University, where she studied and researched molecular genetics and was a 2017 Big Ten Conference champion. Additionally, she collaborated with the University of Cape Town during the 2018 water crisis in South Africa by distributing water to villages. In 2019, Grace transferred to Colgate to pursue molecular biology and play on the soccer team, where she also serves on the Leadership Council. Grace hopes to alleviate disparities in medicine and wants to devise policies that reimagine healthcare. In medicine, she wants to be a trauma surgeon and do medical missions work and clinical research.
Lauryn Poyser ’21
Major: International Public Policy Analysis
Hometown: Evanston, Ill.
After developing a deep interest in the intersection of global affairs, economics, and policy, Lauryn was compelled to curate her own major during her sophomore year at Colgate. Currently, Lauryn is working as a fintech intern with the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets. Post-graduation, she will continue to work in the financial services sector as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs’ New York office. On-campus, Lauryn has served in a multitude of leadership positions, such as being an ALANA ambassador, peer career advisor at Career Services, and an SGA class senator.
Jack Scaife ’21
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jack prides himself on his work, effort, and love of learning. Raised within a family of doctors, Jack tried to break from the family business by going to college across the country and studying economics. However, before his sophomore year, Jack interned at a mutual fund and realized that he was not interested in finance. A string of positive medical shadowing experiences led him to decide on becoming a doctor. Jack grew up appreciating the natural world, and has continued exploring outdoor experiences at Colgate in the rock climbing club and ski team. During the spring of 2020, he studied abroad in Cardiff, Wales, before COVID-19 ended the experience prematurely. For the past two summers, Jack has worked with a pediatric trauma surgeon in Salt Lake doing clinical research and also volunteered at the Maliheh Free Clinic helping patients who can not afford medication apply to receive it for free. His research projects include following the quality of life of children who receive a gastrostomy tube, looking into how families choose a hospital for their child’s surgery, and what factors influence that choice. In addition to this work, Jack spent the summer exploring the outdoors of the American west. Jack has applied to medical schools this year and is awaiting decisions.
Sarah Silverman ’22
Major: Molecular Biology
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Sarah has a passion for medicine that stems from her desire to work with and help people. During the summer of 2020, Sarah interned and shadowed in urology under Dr. Lev Elterman, performing tasks such as checking in patients, discussing medical histories, and working in a lab. During this time, she also performed research on the detection rates of clinically significant prostate cancer, which she presented at the PROSCA Global Congress on Prostate Cancer in October 2020. At Colgate, Sarah is a middle-distance runner for the cross country and track and field teams, served as the local philanthropy chair of Delta Delta Delta, and serves as co-VP of panhellenic recruitment.
Adrienne Vaughn ’22
Major: Molecular Biology
Hometown: Columbia, Md.
Adrienne is a varsity women’s soccer player and molecular biology major. She serves as a career ambassador for the soccer team, a Raiders of Color Connect ambassador, and currently mentors a middle school student of color in the Hamilton community. Due to COVID-19, Adrienne’s research internship with the Johns Hopkins hematology department was canceled. She took this time to create the Hamilton food delivery service ’Gate Grubs, hoping that it would help limit the spread of COVID-19 across campus and assist local restaurants. After graduating, she will pursue her MPH at Howard University and then seek medical school.
Elle Winter ’22
Major: Molecular Biology
Hometown: Duxbury, Mass.
Elle was drawn to Colgate’s embrace of holistic education in disciplines inside and outside of the natural sciences. As a Manzi Fellow, Elle served as a treatment program specialist at Boston Health Care for the Homeless. Through this opportunity, she crafted unique rehabilitation plans for patients suffering from substance use disorders and served as their advocate throughout the admissions process. Outside of the classroom, she is the speaker for SGA’s senate and on the university’s debate team. Looking to the future, Elle plans to pursue an MD/PhD and practice as a surgeon through a nonprofit organization.
Flora Zhang ’22
Major: Molecular Biology and Women’s Studies
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Flora developed her initial interest in health and the human body from her grandfather’s experimentation with Chinese herbal medicines. She developed her passion for medicine when she became involved in her grandparents’ healthcare and learned about healthcare inequities. During high school, Flora researched tuberculosis and autism spectrum disorder at the University of California San Francisco. At Colgate, she is a leader of MAPS, OASIS, and link staff. She is also an organic chemistry tutor, a library assistant at Cooley Science Library, a First@Colgate scholar, a research assistant, and a crisis counselor. In the fall of 2021, she will perform biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health.
Yiyan Janney Zhao ’22
Major: International Relations and Mathematical Economics
Hometown: Henan, China
Studying abroad from an early age taught Yiyan to be independent, practical, and constantly find ways to connect with her community. As a Manzi fellow, Yiyan helped homeless refugees with shelter and immigration documentation through Boston Heading Home. Yiyan recognized the inadequacy of volunteerism to address social issues and embraced the practicality of law. At Colgate, Yiyan is a leader for the Pre-Law Society, a community leader, a member of the Senior Honor Society’s Class of 2022, and a member of the Tri-Delta sorority. Yiyan also enjoys tutoring economics and volunteering with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. After graduation, Yiyan plans to pursue a JD/MBA.