Cortney Ahern ’10

Industry panel: sustainability

Peace and conflict studies; MEM environmental management, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Co-Founder and Manager, Regenerative Agricultural Initiative

I recently graduated with a degree focused on food system innovation and regenerative agriculture. While at Yale, I interned with fellow Colgate alumna Rebecca Gildiner '09 on the Impact Strategy team at Sir Kensington's, a food innovation company, to build the company's social and environmental impact strategy. Prior to graduate school, I built my career working across the food chain at Feeding America, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Slow Food, and as an independent researcher and consultant for many nonprofits, think tanks, and start-ups. During my time at Colgate, I apprenticed on a farm and trained in organic farming practices from seed to harvest, and lived abroad in Thailand where I studied development and globalization, land rights, and ecosystem services in the Isaan region. I am a proud Midwesterner from Minnesota and Chicago.

Joe Aiken ’16

Industry panel: business development and operations

Writing and rhetoric

Associate, Heidrick & Struggles

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, I completed a management rotational program at McMaster-Carr Supply Company before being placed in a Project Management/Supervisor role in the Sales and Logistics department. My responsibilities included consulting on cross-departmental process improvements as well as managing relationships with customs brokers and account executives for various transportation companies used to service their customer base. While at Colgate, I was a Link, President of the Interfraternity Council, and a member of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society.

Jacob Anderson ’07

Industry panel: real estate

Geography; MA urban planning and graduate certificate in real estate, University of Michigan

Senior Associate, Heitman

I work in the investment research department at Heitman, a real estate investment manager with $44 billion in assets under management. In this role, I provide insight into economic, capital markets, and property market fundamentals to support Heitman's private equity and debt investment strategies. Prior to joining Heitman, I was employed at JLL in the capital markets and research platforms.

Ethan Atwood ’16

Industry panel: technology and computing

Mathematical economics, minor in Spanish

Product Development Associate, Fidelity Investments

I develop fixed income trading products for Fidelity Capital Markets. As a student at Colgate, I majored in mathematical economics and minored in Spanish, but my favorite class was definitely Astronomy in Culture with Tony Aveni. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, rock climbing, and playing soccer.

Nahla Azmy ’87

Industry panel: finance

Political science; MBA, NYU Stern

Vice President, Investor Relations and Financial Communications, PQ Corporation

I joined PQ Corporation as Vice President in January 2018 to lead its investor relations and financial communications program. I have nearly 20 years of experience as a senior investor relations officer and equity analyst. Prior to joining, I was Head of Investor Relations for Versum Materials, which was spun out of Air Products in October 2016. At Versum, I developed and executed an investor relations program for the company. My previous roles included leading investor relations programs for Alcoa/Arconic, Rockwood Holdings, and NRG Energy. Before joining NRG, I was an equity analyst for eight years with a top-ranked Utilities and Power Research team.

Greg Barry ’05

Industry panel: consulting

Mathematical economics; MBA, Georgetown University

Principal Consultant, Capco

I am an experienced management consultant and project manager with 10 years of experience leading projects in strategy, human capital planning, technology modernization, and analytics. I previously worked as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting's federal practice as well as a business consultant at fintech provider Eze Software Group.

Adam Basciano ’16

Industry panel: common good and education

International relations

National Director, IPF Atid

I am the founding national director of Israel Policy Forum's young leadership program, IPF Atid, based in New York City. In this nonprofit role, I oversee the activities of millennial-led volunteer chapters across the United States, working to influence American foreign policy to better address Israeli-Palestinian relations and a future two-state solution to the conflict. As a leadership-oriented program, I work with hundreds of professionals across different industries by convening conferences and programs with ambassadors, policy experts, and former heads of state. Prior to joining the think tank, I interned on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Mayor of Tel Aviv's International Relations team, AIPAC, and served as a research assistant for two years on the book Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World.

Steve Bennett ’90

Industry panel: common good and education

History; MPP Public Policy, Georgetown University

Senior Vice President for Academic Operations, Syracuse University

I have been in the nonprofit sector my entire career, starting as a program assistant, becoming a subject matter expert, and ultimately landing in executive management. I started small, working for a grassroots human rights organization, and over the course of the last 30 years have worked for larger organizations including the Brookings Institution, where I served as COO for 12 years and now Syracuse University, a large private research university. In almost every role, I have had international issues as part of my portfolio. My first job, Witness for Peace, focused on human rights and economic justice in Latin America. I co-founded a global leadership forum Global Fairness Initiative. I oversaw Brookings' global expansion, opening offices in China, India, and Qatar, and now I oversee Syracuse Abroad and the university's global partnerships. In my first days in the job market, Colgate alumni helped me land my first job. In the spirit of paying back and forward, in every job, I have tried to help Colgate students and recent grads who are ascending the career ladder.

Seth Bidder ’04

Industry panel: consulting

History; MA International relations, Georgetown University

Practice Area Lead, Slalom

I am a management consulting leader with specific experience in strategic planning, change management, and organizational culture efforts that support business transformations. My diverse industry background across television and news media, education, hospitality, health care, and government ensures that I bring a differentiated and unique voice to business transformation challenges. I am a leader in Slalom's Business Advisory Services practice, accountable for capability development and go-to-market solutions that maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of my clients' operations.

Brandy Bones ’05

Industry panel: consulting

Political science; MBA, University of Florida

Senior Director, ICF

I have more than 13 years of experience helping states and localities implement disaster recovery and resiliency, neighborhood stabilization, and affordable housing programs. I have led and provided support on disaster recovery and resiliency programs and projects in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. I specialize in voluntary buyout programs, helping disaster-impacted communities maximize their funding resources to build more resilient communities and improving outcomes and economic opportunities for vulnerable populations most affected by disasters.

Jane Brogan ’02

Industry panel: government and public policy

Psychology; MS environmental science, University of Sydney, Australia

Chief Policy & Research Officer, NYS Governor's Office of Storm Recovery

As chief policy & research officer, I play an integral role in helping carry out four key areas of recovery: housing, small business, infrastructure, and community resilience. Established in June 2013, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) coordinates statewide efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee and invests $4.5 billion made available through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery program to better prepare New York for future extreme weather events.

Jennifer Levene Bruno ’94

Industry panel: advertising, communications, marketing

Educational studies, sociology, and anthropology

VP, Group Publishing Director/Chief Revenue Officer, Hearst

I have been at Hearst, one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with 25 U.S. titles and 300 international editions, for more than 12 years overseeing sales and marketing for various brands. In my current role, I'm responsible for print, experiential, and digital business for the Hearts Luxury and Design Collection which includes Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Town & Country, and Veranda. My clients span many fields, including fashion, beauty, jewelry, watches, travel, retail, financial, automotive, and more. Among my biggest program projects each year are nationwide Philanthropy Summits that bring together extraordinary individuals and organizations that are creating a wave of positive social change.

Frank Cherena ’03

Industry panel: sustainability


Principal Geologist, Roux Associates

I am an environmental consultant with a geology education organization specializing in management and the mitigation of environmental issues associated with redeveloping contaminated properties. I provide support to my clients from acquisition, risk assessment, and entitlement all the way through development. I try to encourage development and regrowth of otherwise overlooked areas by finding added value for my clients at properties that are often neglected due to the stigma of environmental contamination. I have several professional licenses, including a professional geologist in NY and a licensed environmental professional in CT. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and playing music in a hard rock band.

Jeff Cloetingh ’05

Industry panel: consulting

Economics; MBA, S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell

Managing Director and Partner, L.E.K. Consulting

I am a member of L.E.K.'s industrials practice, with a particular focus on the packaging, building products, chemicals, and automotive sub-sectors. I have experience developing value-enhancing strategies, such as growth strategy development and go-to-market model creation for corporate clients, as well as vendor and commercial due diligence mergers and acquisitions support for private equity. Prior to joining L.E.K., I worked for a boutique consulting firm focused on incentive plan design and competitive benchmarking in the financial services industry.

Danielle Crawford ’06

Industry panel: technology and computing

Psychology and philosophy; MFA, creative writing and publishing, University of Baltimore

Proposal and Contract Developer, UScontracting, Inc.

I have supported technical Department of Defense programs and contractors for over 8 years in various roles including proposal management, project coordination, process automation, and technical documentation. In my current role, I work at a Maryland defense contractor that provides software and systems engineer services to the government intelligence community.

Bob Connelly ’84

Industry panel: entertainment, journalism, media

English; MFA film and electronic media, American University

Head of Research, Steve Rotfeld Productions

I provide research, fact-checking, and script copy editing expertise for television and film productions. For ten years in National Geographic Channel’s Department of Research, Standards, and Practices, I evaluated program proposals, conducted research, and edited script content for acquired and commissioned documentaries. I oversaw all phases of a program’s quality control process in cooperation with production companies to ensure factual accuracy, editorial integrity, and overall compliance with the standards and practices of the National Geographic Society and applicable broadcasting regulations.

Stephen Constantine ’04

Industry panel: medicine

Philosophy; MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Emergency Medicine Physician, Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center

I am an emergency physician at a busy level 1 trauma center and long-established Emergency Medicine residency program in Charlotte, NC. In addition to providing emergency care to the sick and injured, I train residents and medical students in my specialty and work within various aspects of Emergency Medical Services, in which I am subspecialty board certified. I also supervise our community paramedic service and maintain additional roles within the department and the hospital system.

Diane Danielson ’89

Industry panel: real estate

English; JD, Boston College

Chief Operating Officer, SVN International Corp., Commercial Real Estate Franchisor

As COO of an international commercial real estate company, I oversee all day to day operations including marketing, IT, legal, HR, accounting, finance, and franchise training departments. I am also involved in developing a corporate growth strategy.

Tucker DePaolo ’18

Industry panel: real estate

Political science

Senior Analyst, Walker & Dunlop

I currently work on debt financing for multifamily acquisitions and refinances. At Colgate, I was captain of the club lacrosse team and also played club soccer. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, fishing, and playing soccer.

Carrie DeWitt ’07

Industry panel: sustainability

Sociology and women’s studies; MS, agriculture, food & the environment, Tufts University

Director of Community Engagement, Boston Public Market Association

I am passionate about sustainable agriculture, building communities around the culture of food, and supporting small food businesses. I currently work as the director of community engagement at the Boston Public Market Association. The Association is a 501c3 that runs the Boston Public Market, a year-round, indoor marketplace featuring over 36 regional farmers, fishers, and small food businesses. I have worked in food and with farmers for several years and have a background in program development and implementation, event planning, corporate engagement, and fundraising for nonprofits.

Jonathan Dienst ’90

Industry panel: entertainment, journalism, and media

Political science; M.S. Journalism, Columbia University

WNBC Chief Investigative Reporter and NBC News Contributing Correspondent

I report on stories ranging from terrorism to corruption and other breaking news events. My stories appear on WNBC, MSNBC, the Today Show, Nightly News, CNBC, and NBC digital properties. I previously worked for WPIX, NY 1, and WSAV and wrote articles for the NY Times, NY Post, and Newsday.

Christopher Donnelly ’15

Industry panel: science

Chemistry; MS chemistry, Villanova University

Forensic Chemist, NMS Labs

As a forensic chemist, I am responsible for handling and sampling of forensic casework samples for the nation's leading independent provider of professional laboratory testing services. I conduct analytical experiments with various state of the art instrumentation to determine the identity and quantity of drugs of abuse and other analytes of interest. My position further requires being able to communicate these results as an expert witness as needed.

Lee-Lee Ellis ’08

Industry panel: public health and social services

Philosophy; Ph.D. health policy and bioethics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; M.A., bioethics, New York University

Health Researcher, Mathematica

I am a health researcher who specializes in mixed-methods evaluations of service delivery reforms. I have methodological expertise in designing and leading qualitative research to support implementation evaluations and in synthesizing data with quantitative impact findings to characterize the effects of health policies and programs.

Sarah Ellis ’12

Industry panel: common good and education

English and environmental studies; environmental conservation education, NYU

Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Currently located in the Midwest, I am the youth and family programs coordinator at Olbrich Botanical Gardens where we strive to connect people with the natural world by sharing the joy, diversity, and beauty of plants. Prior to coming to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to hone my skills through informal education in New York City at the Children's Museum of Manhattan and at the Alley Pond Environmental Center. Both of these institutions provided me with the tools to not only encourage a curiosity for nature but also enhance the learning experience for children of all ages. I continue to enjoy snowy winters after the many in upstate NY, in Wisconsin with my husband and our cat, Pete.

Jeff Embree ’98

Industry panel: finance

Economics and theater

First Vice President, Morgan Stanley

I serve primarily high net worth individuals and families with comprehensive wealth planning, portfolio management, and asset allocation strategies. In addition, I help families prepare for the unique financial challenges that face people with disabilities as well as those going through a divorce. I have broad experience in investment research and management as well as single stock concentration issues, hedging, and trust and estate planning.

Sam Feldman ’08

Industry panel: consulting

Psychology; MS business analytics, NYU

Head of People Analytics, Gray Scalable

I am currently at Gray Scalable, a human resources consulting firm whose clients are predominantly tech companies such as WeWork, Netflix, Cheddar, Gemini, Bowery Farming, and New York Public Radio. I help our clients use HR data to make better decisions about their employees and people operations. My most common projects include compensation design, diversity reporting, employee survey analysis, and visualizing recruiting data. Before Gray Scalable, I worked in human resources at AOL and BNP Paribas.

Bob Fenity ’06

Industry panel: government and public policy

Political Science

Senior Manager, Individual & Major Gifts, Partnership for Public Service

I lead the Partnership for Public Service's outreach to individuals looking to support the Partnership’s nonprofit mission of building a more effective government for the American people, with a focus on major gifts. Prior to joining the Partnership for Public Service, I spent over a decade working in politics, including serving as a senior member of Governor Martin O'Malley's Presidential Campaign, as the Executive Director of the Maryland Democratic Party, as the Mid-Atlantic finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and with a variety of members of Congress and their campaigns. I am proud to serve as the leader of the Colgate Alumni Club of Washington, D.C.

Alyssa Fritz ’18

Industry panel: finance

Economics and English

Wealth Management Analyst, Morgan Stanley

I'm originally from St. Louis but have lived in NYC for the past two years. After my junior year at Colgate, I interned at Morgan Stanley in the Wealth Management division, which ultimately led to my current role as a Wealth Management Analyst in the WM Rotational Analyst Program. At Colgate, I was in the Swinging ’Gates, on the Panhellenic Council, and participated in several tutoring programs through Colgate's Center for Outreach Volunteerism and Education. In my free time, I love going to workout classes, cooking new recipes, and traveling when possible.

Denny Gonzalez ’13

Industry panel: common good and education

English and creative writing; Master’s, English and adolescence education

Upper School English Teacher; Assistant Director, Skip Grant Program; Assistant Director, STA/NCS Coordinate Theatre Program, St. Albans School

I'm a first-generation student and a frequenter of the chapel. I studied abroad in London my junior year and ended up writing a thesis on it senior year, then wrote about it again as part of an Oxford dissertation as part of my master's degree. After graduating from Colgate, I started teaching in independent schools and absolutely hated it, taking a year off to discern whether teaching was meant for me or if I were meant to be an academic. After a year of service at a Jesuit all-boys high school in Cleveland, OH as a campus minister and community service coordinator, I found myself entering the fray again as a teacher at an all-girls Catholic high school in Westchester County, NY, all the while pursuing a master’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Adolescence Education.

Alexandra Granville ’88

Industry panel: public health and social services

Fine Arts; MSW, Columbia University

Psychotherapist in private practice

I work with adults individually and in couples looking collaboratively and deeply at their core beliefs, values and assumptions so that they can achieve greater satisfaction.

Zac Hamilton ’18

Industry panel: consulting

Neuroscience and economics

Associate, Artisan Healthcare Consulting

I currently work for a small healthcare consulting firm in Boston that works primarily with companies developing medicines for oncology and rare diseases. While at Colgate, I was a goalie for the men's ice hockey team and was the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Konosioni Senior Honor Society.

Kelly Henderson ’09

Industry panel: sustainability

Physics;  MS, sustainable energy systems, University of Edinburgh; MAT, secondary science education, Chatham University

Eden Hall K-12 Education Manager & Adjunct Faculty, Chatham University

My 10-year career experience in sustainability varies greatly: from solar research in a national lab and green building project management to community development and youth education. At the moment, I am centering my work at Chatham University's sustainable Eden Hall Campus on helping youth, educators, and community partners to understand how social justice and the social identities we hold are critical within the field of sustainability. At Colgate, I was involved in Outdoor Ed, the Native American Student Association, the Orchestra, and played regularly with the local Mohawk Valley Frasers Bagpipe Band that performs at Colgate's graduation ceremony. When I'm not working, I love to dance, make art, and volunteer as an instructor and director for the Explorer's Club of Pittsburgh's backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering schools.

Leigh Herzog ’13

Industry panel: start-ups, innovation, entrepreneurship

Political science

Regional COO, New York & New England, Inception Fertility Ventures

I'm passionate about improving the business and operations aspects of the healthcare industry. I've worked at a private equity firm that invested in healthcare companies and two healthcare startups. Long story short: I figured I'd be better at helping doctors than being one.

Maggie Hynes '13

Industry panel: consulting


Senior Manager, Payer Market Access, Foundation Medicine

I work for Foundation Medicine, a biotech company focused on enabling personalized medicine through cancer genomics. In my role as Senior Manager, Payer Market Access, I am responsible for contributing to the development of the strategies, tools, and tactics by which to engage payers to secure coverage for genomic sequencing. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, I spent 4 years with a Boston-based boutique life sciences consulting firm, where I led engagements focused within oncology on rare diseases. I’ve worked with a range of healthcare ecosystem stakeholders including Academic Medical Centers and Community Hospitals, top 10 pharma, emerging biotech and rare disease companies, and health plans, across all stages of commercial development. I began my career with the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC.

Uzoma Idah ’10

Industry panel: arts and creativity

Art & Art History

Designer, Y.A. Studio

I am a Nigerian born American designing architecture in San Francisco. I played football at Colgate and my relationship with art and architecture started with classes taught by professor and now good friend DeWitt Godfrey.

Danielle Iwata ’15

Industry panel: arts and creativity


Program Associate, Private Sector Initiatives, America for the Arts

I participated in the London History Study Group, where I wrote my thesis on ballet and the Cold War. Dance, and the arts in general, are incredibly powerful, and I continue to see this play out in the "real world." Thanks to alumni mentors, I am now able to pursue my passion of advocating for the arts.

Alyse Kalish ’16

Industry panel: entertainment, journalism, media


Editor, Prime Freelance, Business Insider

I'm currently an editor on the Business Insider team, where I work closely with freelance writers and contributors to publish exciting articles for our subscriber network, otherwise known as BI Prime. Before working at BI, I was an editor and writer at The Muse, where my work was featured on sites such as Fast Company, Inc., CNBC, and TIME. I live in Brooklyn, and outside of work I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with fellow Colgate alumni.

Amanda Martin Katz ’10

Industry panel: arts and creativity

Art and art history

Artist, Writer, and Director, 3307 W Washington Blvd

My work focuses on structures for collaboration, embodied inquiry, and performativity. I am the director of the Los Angeles literary exhibition and event space 3307 W Washington Blvd (2016-present) and a freelance consultant for public art and engagement projects. For the past six years, my practice has focused on the design and operation of conceptual residency programs (in Katz’s Deli, since 2012, and BOOKSHELVES, since 2016), that explore how text influences and determines artistic practice. My work has been presented in institutional and publication formats that range from museums, journals, and sculpture parks to artist-run spaces, small presses, galleries, and magazines.

Scott Konicki ’10

Industry panel: government and public policy

Mathematics and Economics; MS survey methodology, University of Maryland

Mathematical Statistician, US Census Bureau

I am a Mathematical Statistician at the United States Census Bureau and have been for nearly 10 years. I work on various production and research aspects of the decennial census, including measuring the coverage and quality of the census. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and spending time with my daughter, wife, and cats.

Leah Kovach '13

Industry panel: advertising, communications, and marketing

International relations

Senior Marketing Manager, IrisVR

I'm the Senior Marketing Manager at IrisVR, a virtual reality startup based in New York City. I own all marketing functions at the company, including demand generation, content marketing, PR, events, and more. Prior to IrisVR, I spent three and a half years at Movable Ink doing business development and marketing. I joined the company in 2013, becoming their first marketing coordinator in 2015, and watched the organization grow into a global brand with four offices and 150+ employees. On campus, I was actively involved in Colgate Women in Business, Gamma Phi Beta, and was a Senior Fellow in the Office of Admission.

Matt Kroll ’07

Industry panel: business development and operations


Field Sales Representative, Financial Services, Google

I was hired to be one of the first employees of Talener, a technology staffing firm, joining when they were only four employees. I helped grow the company into a national powerhouse, and led their college recruiting efforts for several years, making them one of Colgate's top alumni employers. In 2011, I was recruited by MongoDB, a database technology startup, and joined them as their first salesperson in New York City. After six years moving up through the ranks, I was recruited by Google and recently joined them as an account executive for financial services in the New York City metro area. At Colgate, I was part of the SGA Executive Board, the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, and the Konosioni Senior Honor Society.

Courtney Lane ’00

Industry panel: sustainability

Geography; MA, environmental policy, Tufts University

Senior Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

I provide consulting services including policy and regulatory analysis on a wide range of energy and environmental issues. I have over 15 years of experience in demand-side markets and clean energy policy. Prior to Synapse, I held positions with National Grid, where I led the development of energy efficiency programs, and with PennFuture and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships where I worked to inform legislative and regulatory outcomes that support energy efficiency and renewable energy. I have testified before legislative committees and regulatory commissions and have served on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition.

Sally Langan ’17

Industry panel: law


Immigration Paralegal, Mintz Levin

I worked for a year as a paralegal in the securities litigation department at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York City right after graduation. I now work in Boston as a paralegal in the immigration department at Mintz Levin, and hope to attend law school in the future. I like to work with people, I am passionate about social justice, and I am hoping to use my education and knowledge of immigration law to represent and fight for communities that have been silenced. While at Colgate, I was a member of Link Staff, Student Senate, and club basketball.

John Lee ’15

Industry panel: government and public policy

Political science and international relations

Principal, Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP

I specialize in guiding corporations, trade associations, industry coalitions, and nonprofit organizations through the legislative and regulatory aspects of government advocacy campaigns. Through targeted outreach efforts, I develop and coordinate strategies to accomplish client goals in the legislative and executive branches. My experience includes organizing fly-ins, drafting materials to share on Capitol Hill, and developing messaging to best reach intended audiences. I assist clients in sectors including energy and sustainability, product safety, healthcare, and defense but have particular expertise in the appropriations process.

Lizzie Marino ’16

Industry panel: entertainment, journalism, media

English literature and film and media studies

Digital Business Coordinator, CNN

After graduation, I worked as an Executive Assistant at Viacom for a year and a half. I assisted the three SVPs of the Viacom Labs, an innovative team that was dedicated to creating a fans-first future. I've been at CNN since January 2018, where I am a Digital Business Coordinator, supporting 85 people over a number of teams.

Max Markusen ’12

Industry panel: government and public policy

International Relations

Analyst, U.S. Department of Defense

I am an associate fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and am currently detailed to the U.S. Department of Defense, where I serve as an analyst for the Defeat-ISIS Task Force in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. I have served in a variety of roles at CSIS, most recently as the Associate Director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project. My research focuses on terrorists, insurgents, and irregular warfare, and utilizes new and innovative research tools such as interactive maps, satellite imagery, and data visualization.

Jolanta Macdonald ’96

Industry panel: medicine

Molecular biology; DDS, University of Connecticut

Owner, Children's Dentistry of Northborough

While at Colgate I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Wollongong in Australia and conduct research at the National Institute of Dental Research in Washington DC. Upon graduating from dental school, I attended a two year pediatric dentistry residency at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. I am a board certified pediatric dentist and own my own multi-specialty dental practice in Northborough, MA.

David McKenzie ’08

Industry panel: advertising, communications, marketing

English and environmental geography; MBA, New York University Stern School of Business

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Anheuser-Busch

I lead brand marketing campaigns that focus on alcohol responsibility and sustainability, including Budweiser's "Give a Damn. Don't Drive Drunk." and led the partnership with Lyft and Stella Artois for "Buy a Lady a Drink." I was previously the marketing communications manager for Budweiser, Michelob ULTRA, Busch, and Natural Light, and spent six years at Edelman PR working with men's brands.

Jazmyn McKoy ’17

Industry panel: Start-ups, innovation, entrepreneurship

International relations and music

Founder, The Heart of Tabitha Foundation

I am the Founder of a nonprofit organization that coordinates targeted programs to provide education, basic essentials, and wellness resources to students 14-21, with a focus on young women facing economic and situational difficulties. Since the organization’s establishment in 2012, we have served hundreds of students in the DC/MD area. My goal is to continue to extend the organization’s reach and leverage my leadership skills, education, and professional experiences to drive the organization’s mission to inspire and empower students to excel and become positively impactful leaders of the next generation. At Colgate, I was active in many groups including Thought Into Action, Konosioni Senior Honor Society, University Church, University Chorus, and the Office of Admission. I was recruited into M&T Bank’s Management Development Program after graduation and now hold a full-time position at Wilmington Trust, the investment firm affiliate of M&T Bank.

Bianca McVaugh ’12

Industry panel: science

Biology; MS, Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

R&D Scientist, Pure Steeps Beverage

I currently work as a Food Scientist for Pure Steeps Beverage, focusing mainly on tea, coffee, and kombucha products. After I majored in Biology at Colgate, I worked in Colgate's Biology department for 2 years before pursuing my MS in Food Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That degree led me to my current role in the greater Philadelphia area. Food Science allows me to apply my science background to a fun and relatable topic — who doesn't love food?

Elizabeth Meer ’80

Industry panel: government and public policy

Biology; MS, natural resources policy and planning, Cornell

Special Assistant for Pollution Prevention and Green Procurement, New York State DEC

I am the Commissioner's designee to co-chair the Interagency Committee that leads the State's agency for sustainability and green purchasing programs. I also sit on the Advisory Council of the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute housed at RIT and work on New York's groundbreaking chemical ingredient disclosure initiatives.

Dara Mitchell ’07

Industry panel: medicine

Psychology; MD, University of Queensland

Psychiatrist, Samaritan Health Services

After graduating from Colgate, I completed clinical research in New York City for 2 years before moving to Australia for medical school at the University of Queensland. My psychiatry residency was completed at Oregon Health and Science University from 2014-2018 in Portland. After that, I worked as a staff psychiatrist at the Portland, VA and assistant professor for OHSU for a year before moving to Corvallis, Oregon to work for Samaritan. At Samaritan, I work in outpatient psychiatry as well as primary care consultation, and I supervise the residents.

Cait Moore ’11

Industry panel: entertainment, journalism, media

English and women's studies

Director of Operations, WME Live

WME’s Live Events Division produces speaking tours, predominantly focused on women’s issues. We produced Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want tour, Cosmo Magazine’s Fun Fearless Life Event for career-minded millennials, and my current project is a touring live event called Together which brings the seminal voices on purpose, resilience, and community-minded action to stages across the country. I oversee the event operations, programming, merchandise, and all written content. I have been with WME since graduating from Colgate.

Jonathan Mputu, Esq. ’13

Industry panel: law

Political Science; JD, Loyola Chicago Law School

Associate Counsel, WME-IMG

I am an in-house Sports and Entertainment Attorney working for the global agency Endeavor (William Morris Endeavor-IMG). My practice includes knowledge, expertise, and understanding of transactional contracts, sponsorships, vendor agreements, independent contractor agreements, talent agreements, venue agreements, agency agreements, protection letters, as well as social and economic issues faced by professional sports teams, leagues, sports and entertainment agencies, and talent. I attended Loyola Law School in downtown Los Angeles, CA where I was a student advocate on its vigorous 4th Nationally Ranked Trial Advocacy Program. At Colgate, I played wide receiver and free safety on the football team from 2009-2013, while also being a member of various campus groups and clubs. I grew up in Orlando, FL and attended Winter Park High School.

John O'Brien ’99

Industry panel: finance

Economics; MBA, Wake Forest University

Director; Siemens Financial Services

Within Siemens Financial Services’ Energy Finance team I am responsible for originating and structuring renewable — wind, solar, and storage — and traditional thermal power transactions. Since 2008, we have lent more than $10 billion to power projects and currently have a portfolio of over $5.5 billion split roughly between renewable and thermal transactions. Prior to Siemens, I worked in the utility investment banking groups for Wachovia Securities and KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Grace O’Shea ’11

Industry panel: start-ups, innovation, entrepreneurship


Impact Manager, Amplify Education, Inc.

I started my career as a middle school science teacher in NYC where I was trained in design thinking methodologies and charged with leading organizational change at the school level. Equipped with an education entrepreneurial know-how, I launched my own education venture out of the Harvard Innovation Lab (and TIA 2016). I currently work at Amplify Education, a large education technology company, serving as Impact Manager and bringing entrepreneurial practices to the process of defining, measuring, and reporting our products' impact on students, teachers, and classrooms.

JP Paquin ’96

Industry panel: finance

Economics and sociology; MBA, University of Pennsylvania

Partner, Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners

I’m responsible for the Investment Management business of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. We manage approximately $60 billion through equity and fixed income strategies on behalf of clients globally. I have investment, sales, risk, operations, and compliance professionals reporting to me. Prior to my current role, I was responsible for BBH’s private equity business.

Karen Parkes ’87

Industry panel: finance


Senior Vice President, Tompkins Trust Company

I have been in the commercial banking department with Tompkins Trust Company for 28 years. Positions have included commercial lender, cash management product manager, small business lending manager, and now regional manager for the Commercial Banking Team. I have stayed connected with Colgate as an alumni admissions representative and member of the class gift committee. My husband of 30 years and I have 3 boys, and I enjoy hiking, biking, and being outside year-round. I recently completed the Ironman Lake Placid race in July 2019.

Kim Peyser ’05

Industry panel: government and public policy

Sociology and Anthropology; Master’s in Public Policy, Georgetown University


I have more than 10 years experience in Democratic organizing, politics, policy and operations. The highlight of my career to date was my work on President Obama's 2008 campaign as well as the 6 years I served in his administration in several different roles in the executive branch. Since then, I have done some consulting on my own and I was the first COO of Michelle Obama's voter registration project, When We All Vote. Now, I am Chief of Staff at a progressive nonprofit called ACRONYM which is focused on digital strategy and infrastructure. I live in DC with my Colgate husband, Greg, and dog, Dakota.

Emily Rawdon ’10

Industry panel: advertising, communications, marketing

Art and art history and theater; BFA Studio Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; MBA,University of Massachusetts Amherst

Senior Digital Media Manager, The St. James

I oversee the paid marketing and digital strategy at The St. James, a 450,000 square foot sports and wellness complex in Northern Virginia. Prior to this role, I spent 6 years in the NFL as part of the Washington Redskins' Digital Department. In my spare time I play roller derby with Charm City Roller Derby and serve as the Business Director of USA Roller Derby. I live in Washington, DC with my partner and two cats.

Alyssa Logan Rickels ’94

Industry panel: common good and education

Philosophy and Religion; MSW, University of Pennsylvania

Middle School Dean of Students, The Philadelphia School

A clinical social worker by training, I worked for many years in the perinatal mental health field. Last year, I made a career shift into the education world. Following a brief stint as Preschool Admissions Director at The Philadelphia School, a progressive, preschool-8th grade independent school, I now serve as the Middle School Dean of Students. My work involves attending to the day-to-day social-emotional needs of middle school students, providing high school placement counseling for families, and supporting faculty around co-curricular programming and classroom management.

Mike Rickels ’95

Industry panel: medicine

Mathematics and biology; MS and MD, University of Pennsylvania

Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

I am a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. I presently serve as Medical Director for the Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation program at Penn, Director for Translational Research within Penn’s Institute for Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, and Associate Director for Penn's Center for Human Phenomic Science. My research aims at understanding the pathogenesis of different forms of diabetes and the in vivo mechanisms of new diabetes treatments, particularly focused on islet function and replacement in type 1 diabetes and pancreatogenic forms of diabetes. This work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Katie Rydell ’14

Industry panel: start-ups, innovation, entrepreneurship

Economics and Spanish

Head of Strategy, Hemster

I have a thing for building and growing brands, and launched a successful event management app through the TIA program while at Colgate. (I won the shark tank event, as judged by Ashton Kutcher!) Outside of work you can find me extensively researching DTC companies, at a concert, or binging Below Deck on Bravo.

Joshua Rosen ’96

Industry panel: advertising, communications, marketing

English; MS Mass Communications, VCU

Group Creative Director, Google Creative Lab

I’m a multidisciplinary creative director at Google Creative Lab in New York City. I started my career as an account exec at Arnold Worldwide in Boston while moonlighting as a wannabe art director taking classes into the wee hours of the night. After grad school, I moved back to NYC to work at Ogilvy and later Bartle Bogle Hegarty, before finding my way to Google. In 2017, I co-produced the feature length documentary, AlphaGo, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award in 2018. I live in Brooklyn and love to ski, bike, and be outside as much as I can when I’m not traveling for work/fun.

John Sanders ’00

Industry panel: science

Chemistry and astronomy; PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Principal Scientist, Merck & Co., Inc.

Although I initially did not know what I would do after graduate school, my path became clear after a few years in my program. It took about a year for me to find the right professional fit after graduation, but it was worth the wait as I have been passionate about my role in drug discovery at a leading pharmaceutical companies for the past decade.

Nick Schlein ’19

Industry panel: arts and creativity

Political science

Coordinator in Management Operations, Roc Nation

I am a coordinator in management operations at Roc Nation. I work with the management teams of several artists in the pop and hip-hop/rap spaces to build out business verticals and expand artists’ streams of revenue. To date, I have worked with four Grammy nominated artists. I began my collegiate career on the lacrosse team but transitioned to rowing. Originally from the Bay Area, I now live in Los Angeles.

Jon Sendach ’98

Industry panel: business development and operations

French and Political Science; Master of Health Administration, New York University

Deputy Executive Director of Hospital Operations, NSUH at Northwell Health

As the largest health system in New York State and the state's largest private employer, Northwell Health has a footprint throughout the New York City metropolitan area. I serve as the executive responsible for hospital operations and focus on finance, operations, strategy, and workforce engagement.

Clarissa Shah ’10

Industry panel: Law

Chinese and political science; JD and MA Chinese History and Language, Washington University in St. Louis

Managing Counsel, LinkedIn

A wonderful way to combine my two passions has been by serving as counsel for companies with a global footprint. I began my legal career as in-house counsel at Emerson Electric, a multinational conglomerate, and now work as commercial counsel for LinkedIn, supporting LinkedIn's sales transactions to ensure that they are legally compliant and in the company's best interest.

Tushin Shah ’10

Industry panel: law

Philosophy; JD Washington University, St. Louis School of Law

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

I practice transactional law, primarily private equity mergers and acquisitions, and look forward to speaking with each of you about my career path and experiences.

Amirah Shahid ’05

Industry panel: real estate

Environmental biology and geography; Master’s in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

Senior Landscape Architect, HDR

Drawn to the tangibility of shaping and creating space, I pursued a masters in landscape architecture and regional planning. I was especially interested in how intertwined placemaking is with economics and became involved in real estate design and development classes. I now put all these lessons and concepts together to bring a strong emphasis to the importance of placemaking and the public realm for projects to be successful as I strive for resiliency of environments and community.

Kenneth Silverman ’90

Industry panel: law

Psychology; JD, Rutgers University

Partner, Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP

I am a corporate attorney representing issuers and investors in a broad range of corporate matters and transactions. I have extensive experience counseling domestic and international clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements and shareholder activism.

Jamie Simchik ’07

Industry panel: real estate

Economics and geography; MUP, MBA & Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development, University of Michigan

Principal, Simchik Planning & Development

I am the Principal of Simchik Planning & Development in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Simchik Planning & Development is an urban/transportation planning and real estate redevelopment advisory services firm that manages our clients’ projects throughout their entire lifecycle to shape the highest and best use of the built form. Simchik Planning & Development works with real estate development firms to assist with urban planning, transportation planning, market feasibility, public engagement and project management.

Zoe Smith ’17

Industry panel: law


Student, New York University Law

Before going to law school, I worked for two years as a paralegal at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in the Financial Frauds Bureau. I helped Assistant District Attorneys draft subpoenas, conduct interviews with witnesses, review records relating to ongoing criminal investigations, and prepare for grand jury and trial. My work as a paralegal was very informative and ultimately led to my decision to attend law school.

Allison Spanyer ’16

Industry panel: arts and creativity

English and theater

Freelance Scenic Carpenter and Stagehand

I am a freelance scenic carpenter and stagehand based in New York City. I work regularly with Off-Broadway theatres such as the Public Theater and St. Ann's Warehouse. I spend my summers working for the Glimmerglass Festival, an opera company in Cooperstown, New York.

Joe Spina ’14

Industry panel: science

Biology and Spanish; MS Biology, Tufts University; PhD candidate, Northeastern University

Associate Scientist II, AbbVie

As a staff bench scientist in a pharmacology department, I am responsible for designing, executing, and analyzing experiments to characterize potential drug molecules. Each potential drug must be tested in vitro for efficacy, safety, and selectivity for the target before progressing to animal models. I work closely with medicinal chemists to screen and prioritize the most promising potential clinical candidates for advancement in the Immunology Discovery portfolio. I coordinate the Colgate Alumni Admission Program in the Boston-area.

Natalie Sportelli ’15

Industry panel: advertising, communications, marketing


Content and Brand Manager, Lerer Hippeau

Formerly Associate Editor of 30 Under 30 at Forbes, I joined NY-based, early-stage venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau in November 2017. I currently serve as Content & Brand Manager, where I run our daily newsletter, write for our blog, manage our social channels, plan programming for our portfolio, and advise our companies on their content, brand, and messaging.

George Stanley ’90

Industry panel: medicine

Neuroscience; SUNY Upstate Medical University

Assistant Professor of OBGYN , Upstate Medical University

I'm a Board Certified OB/GYN physician. I am a member of the voluntary faculty in the Department of OB/GYN at Upstate Medical University. I am actively involved in teaching all students and residents.

Christine Swanson ’06

Industry panel: technology and computing

Computer science and physics

Senior Software Developer, Paychex

Paychex is a leading provider of payroll, HR, and benefits outsourcing. I am currently a technical lead/full-stack developer working on product development (SaaS). My primary expertise is in Oracle RDBMS and Java, but I am also passionate about Continuous Delivery. I was a member of the Colgate Pep Band and the women's club ice hockey team.

Maureen Taylor ’98

Industry panel: arts and creativity


Vice President, Tour and Artist Management at IMG Artists

I have worked in arts administration and management for 22 years, beginning as the Assistant Orchestra Librarian at The Juilliard School. I was employed by Columbia Artists Management and the New York Youth Symphony before arriving at IMG Artists where I am a Senior Vice President.

Franklin van Nes ’18

Industry panel: technology and computing

Computer science

Software Engineer, Lastmile Retail

In the time since I graduated in 2018, I have worked as a full stack software engineer for both a large engineering company, TripAdvisor, and for a small startup at which I currently work: Lastmile Retail. While at Colgate, I used my programming skills to build web apps for TIA members, and I also built a couple small projects for my own enjoyment. I love making programming fun — ask me how!

Brian Walsh ’06

Industry panel: science

Astronomy and physics; MS and PhD in Astronomy, Boston University

Researcher/Faculty member, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Boston University

I'm a researcher and faculty in aerospace and mechanical engineering at Boston University. My research focuses on developing spacecraft technology and using these tools to study space plasma.

Lauren Walsh ’15

Industry panel: public health and social services

Neuroscience and art and art history; MA Psychology, Boston University

Research Manager, Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute

After graduating from Colgate, I conducted research with minimally verbal children with autism while pursuing my master’s degree. Today, I work at a multidisciplinary clinic and research center in Lewisburg, PA. I oversee multiple research studies that serve children and adults with rare genetic disorders that cause neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric conditions.

Carly Weil ’10

Industry panel: finance

Russian; MBA Columbia University

Chief of Staff, American Express

In my role, I work closely with the COO and senior leaders of the Global Services Group to ensure alignment and provide strategic and tactical support. Prior to this role, I held several roles in American Express' Banking, Finance, and Pricing Strategy organizations. I started my professional career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Danielle Wessler ’12

Industry panel: business development and operations

Sociology and anthropology

Senior Technical Recruiter, WeWork

I've worked with a wide range of companies from start-ups to large fortune 500 companies in a diverse range of industries, including media, entertainment, publishing, real estate, advertising, and finance. I've grown from a purely sales and recruiting role into a leadership position among the organization. At Colgate, I played on the women's soccer team.

Brian White ’08

Industry panel: business development and operations

Geology; MBA and MA Higher Education, New York University

Director of Customer Experience, Drizly

Since Colgate, I have had the pleasure to work in geologic research, environmental consulting, business school admissions, and startups across 4 different locations (Hawaii, New York City, Bay Area-California, and Boston). I currently work in a technology start-up, Drizly, that partners with local retailers to deliver alcohol in ~40 cities across the US and Canada. At Drizly, I manage the Customer Experience team, which is divided between Boston and Denver.

Shane Wilson ’14

Industry panel: business development and operations


Director of Sales, Correlation One

I have spent the last five years building new business lines in technology firms that focus on preparing the workforce for the demands of the 21st-century economy. Currently, I am at a high-growth company, Correlation One focused on Data Science and AI transformation where I run sales, marketing, and community engagement. Past employers include Amazon-Audible and General Assembly.

Celin Wittman ’01

Industry panel: medicine

Political science; BSN and MS Nursing, New York University

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Heart Transplant, Levine Children's Hospital

I have worked in Pediatric Heart Transplant in Charlotte, NC for the past 3 years as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). Before that, I worked at the University of Chicago for two and a half years in Pediatric Nephrology and Kidney transplant as a PNP. I began my nursing career at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in NYC on a pediatric medical/surgical floor that specialized in abdominal transplantation.