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Undergraduate Student Leaders


Meet Your 2019 Student Leaders

Summer Orientation Assistants are current NYU Steinhardt students who are available to help you through the advising and registration process this summer. During Welcome Week, Peer Mentors will host events around NYC, and in the fall, they will be co-facilitating New Student Seminar. 

Before getting to campus in August, see NYU Steinhardt through their eyes via Instagram. Once you activate your NYU email, you'll be added to your department's Google Group. This message board is where you can get fast answers to your questions about registration and student life in your specific department. 

Applied Psychology

Sohini Das is a senior majoring in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health and concentrating in Social Cultural Analysis. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio but has made New York her true home! Some of her favorite parts to explore in New York include the parks all over the city, exquisite coffee (and tea) shops, art galleries/museums, and, of course, the unique charm of each neighborhood. Also, on the e-board for the Applied Psychology Undergraduate Club, Sohini hopes to provide opportunities for her fellow peers to engage with the APUG community through fun and exciting events! She prides herself on being a social justice warrior and her passion for decolonizing pedagogies. Part of research teams in Applied Psychology, she plans to pursue research and intervention as a career. Sohini is especially interested in how adolescents resist and negotiate oppressive gender, race, and class ideologies in their relationships at school. She plans on pursuing a PhD in Community Psychology upon graduation. Sohini is so excited to meet each and every new student this upcoming semester! She is looking forward to an amazing year ahead!

Marissa Alonzo is a rising sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology. She is from Florida and came to New York City to experience new cultures and to push herself to step out of her comfort zone and into city life. She spends most of her time in small coffee shops and finds joy in old bookstores and stationery shops. Marissa is a proud Latina who focuses heavily on the intersectionality between culture and psychology. She is always available to have a meaningful conversation about social justice issues in Latin America and loves to share her passion for Hispanic food with those around her! She can’t wait to meet all of APUG’s new students and is looking forward to making new memories in the upcoming academic year!

Annabelle Ang is a sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology. An international student from Singapore, she came to NYU in order to broaden her horizons and get out of her comfort zone. She loves having solo adventures exploring the various history museums and cultural landmarks that the city has to offer, and is determined to eat her way through New York -- she’s always down for food, friends, and fun! Throughout her undergraduate career and beyond, Annabelle hopes to deepen her understanding of mental health and learn how to apply her newly learnt knowledge to help people around her from all different walks of life by encompassing the cultural differences of a globalizing world. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology and achieve her goal of becoming a clinical psychologist. In addition to pursuing a career in mental health, Annabelle is also a sister of the αΚΔΦ (alpha Kappa Delta Phi) at NYU, and seeks to further her passion for awareness of Asian-oriented issues, female empowerment, and service for others during her time as an active member. She can’t wait to meet all the new students starting their journey in Applied Psychology, and is excited to hear more about them and their stories!

Enrique Colon is a sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology on the Pre-Health track. Working towards a career in Psychiatry, he is dedicated to assisting his community in any way he can. The Bronx may be where he grew up, but he’s just as comfortable roaming the concrete jungle of Manhattan. A veteran of city life, he knows how to balance a budget and a good time in New York and is constantly hopping from deal to discount. For Enrique, every day is an adventure, with new things to learn and experience. Come sunlight or moonlight, he can be seen taking advantage of all the city has to offer, from pop-up fairs to drag shows. He is most looking forward to getting to know the Class of 2023’s APUG students!

Jhala Ché is a rising sophomore majoring in Applied Psychology and minoring in Francophone Studies. She prefers to be called by her last name (pronounced “Shay”). Born in Brooklyn and raised in Philadelphia, she often travels back and forth between both places––always chasing bright city lights. Ché loves exploring the hidden bookstores and art museums that NYC has to offer, and can be spotted journaling about her findings in any given coffee shop in the city. She is excited to engage with incoming students and learn about their ideas, perspectives, and interests while helping them navigate their time at NYU!

Jordan Lopez is a rising sophmore in Applied Psychology with a double major in Sociology and pursuing a minor in ASL. She is originally from sunny south Florida but really enjoys having actual seasons in New York rather than it just being summer all year. Some of her favorite things to do in New York City are read in the Washington Square Park, go thrifting at any of the shops around the city and explore all museums she can get into for free thanks to NYU. Jordan is a board member of Pulse Dance Project, an audition-based dance club here at NYU that is perfect for students who love to dance but are not majoring in it. She is excited to meet and get to all the new students joining APUG and is here to help them have a great first semester here at NYU!

Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities

Cristina Anillo is a rising junior majoring in Education Studies and minoring in Spanish. She was born and raised in the Washington, DC area and transferred to NYU this year. Her favorite part about NYU is the passionate and friendly Education Studies community and the opportunities to learn by engaging with New York City. Outside of class, she is a mentor for middle school girls with NYU WYSE (Women and Youth Supporting Each Other). She loves exploring the city, reading in Washington Square Park, listening to music, and cooking dinner with friends. She is so excited to meet all the incoming students and introduce them NYU Steinhardt and the Education Studies community!

Natalie Cuenco is a sophomore in the brand new Education Studies and Applied Psychology dual major in Steinhardt. She grew up just north of San Francisco, in Marin County, California and has pleasantly enjoyed the transition to East Coast life. She loves dogs, boba, traveling, baking desserts, and exploring the City via walking. After coming to New York for the first time during her summer between junior and senior year of high school, Natalie knew that NYU was the school for her after being blown away by the unique opportunity to study in a place as vibrant and full of culture as Greenwich Village. She has not been let down! One of her favorite ways of getting involved was joining hall council in her dorm (Weinstein!), which she highly recommends. She cannot wait to get to know the class of 2023 and have a great year!

Art and Art Professions

Rehmat Zafar is a Studio Art major with a minor in Creative Writing, originally from Pakistan and Switzerland. She is a rising sophomore and has fallen in love with New York in her first year. She can be found in art galleries, museums, bookshops, restaurants, and plant shops all over the city. Rehmat is passionate about fostering community. As a member of USAO - Undergraduate Student Art Organisation she is creating a welcoming and connective network for students in Studio Art. She is also passionate about access to education, and creating social change through art. In her free time, Rehmat loves to wander up to Central Park, sketching along the way, reading, having nights in with home-cooked food, and working on her art. She is very much looking forward to meeting all the incoming students and hearing about their journeys to NYU, where she hopes she can be a friend to them.

David Ma is a Studio Art major with a minor in Film and BEMT (Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology) from Virginia. He is a rising sophomore that works in the Sculpture studio, who is dedicated to supporting faculty and students in the Barney building. David loves the blend of different cultures in New York, the fact that everything is walking distance. He also loves how university life has facilitated his ability to create meaningful, and diverse friendships. David is passionate about sculpture and its various forms in public installations. He is also interested in art history, improving his practice, and debate. David loves his neighborhood in Queens, tinkering in the sculpture workshop, and painting on his handmade canvases. Finally, he is so excited to welcome new students to the studios and spaces they will create memories in for the duration of their college experience at NYU, in Studio Art.

Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Shmico Orosco was born on the lively island of Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to New York City at a young age and resided in Brooklyn, New York ever since. Shmico entered NYU as a HEOP student and is currently a rising senior studying Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Ultimately, she aspires to become a speech therapist because she wants to help people become confident in the daily task of communicating. Shmico also has a deep appreciation for the arts as she was exposed to and performed hip-hop, modern, ballet, and African dance. She admires the convenience of the New York City culture‒ the various stores around every corner and the accessible transportation system. She has interned at Speech Matters and was also the peer mentor for the fall 2017 and fall 2018 semesters. Currently, she is a research assistant in the linguistics department and is on the Executive Board for the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She finds community at NYU through the NYU Navigators -a christian fellowship on campus. Additionally, she is excited about hearing the stories of new students and learning about their diverse backgrounds. She hopes to have a meaningful connection with new students and form relationships that would last beyond their first year.

Media, Culture and Communication

Sosena Bekele also goes by Sosy. She is very active in the Academic Achievement Program (AAP), and during the spring semester of her freshman year she held the position of community service chair for a women's empowerment group called WEST (Womxn of Excellence, Strength, and Tenacity). She is currently the secretary of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Association and the advocacy chair for Black Student Union. Her passion lies within representation and event planning. One of Sosy’s life goals is become a media representation challenger and possibly change the face of beauty through media. She believes the media is a huge tool that can be used to educate, which, is why she thinks it’s so important to have accurate, positive representations of Black womxn in the media. Besides her school life, she is originally from Ethiopia and moved to the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) area when she was about 3 years old. She is so excited to get to know you all and hear your stories as well as find out what you’re all passionate about!

Giovanna Trabasso has been blessed (maybe cursed?) with a name that has so many different pronunciations that she rather just be called Gigi. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, she grew up in sunny Salvador by the sea. She's a rising senior part of the Steinhardt class of 2020 majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. Gigi has worked as the Executive Producer for WNYU’s podcast “Talking Series-ly” and was a member of the Social Media Team at the Washington Square News. She is also a returning Peer Mentor for the Fall 2019 semester! When it’s too cold to be reading at the Park, Gigi can be found at Kimmel’s 8th floor reminiscing when the weather was nicer with a pile of Roland Barthes books. In her free time, Gigi aims for weekly trips to the movie theater, but is most often found writing for The Kraze Magazine, at her music PR internship or at a concert. Gigi is incredibly excited to meet the Class of 2023 and help the newest MCC freshmen find their place at NYU as quickly as she did!

Maame Attakora (pronounced MAH-ME) is a rising Sophomore in the MCC program here at NYU. She was born in Ghana but has spent an equal amount of time there and in the United States. She is involved in many campus organizations such as NYU Labcast which is NYU’s on-campus podcast, WNYU (the radio station) and is a content creator for MCC’s Comm Club where she writes periodically for its website. She also works as a Production Assistant for the various theaters on campus. Maame enjoys travelling and loves engaging with diverse communities and people. She even has a goal of travelling to at least 5 continents before she turns 25. Apart from that, she describes herself as a cross between a shopaholic, cinephile and a book lover and writes spoken word and poetry during her free time. Maame can’t wait to meet the new MCC class of 2023, share her experiences, give tips on where to find things in New York (including the best affordable clothing stores) and help them find their place in NYU!

Justin Kipp is a rising senior studying Media, Culture, and Communication at Steinhardt. Originally from a small town in Connecticut (that oddly prides itself as being the capital of Christmas tree farms), he’s now happy to call NYC his new home - even despite a lack of tree farms. Justin is passionate about politics, watching drag shows, and relaxing. Oh, and eating. He really likes eating. Besides being a student and Peer Mentor, Justin is currently an artist engagement intern at the ACLU. He’s thrilled to welcome the Class of 2023 to Steinhardt as he wraps up his time on Washington Square!

Madyson Barnfield is a rising junior studying Media, Culture, and Communication and minoring in Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Madyson was born in Phoenix, Arizona but is thrilled to now be living in her dream city. She is involved in multiple clubs on campus that have introduced her to people who are also passionate about art, theatre, activism, and music. When she is not studying, working, acting, designing, or campaigning, you can find her at a concert in the city, having a picnic in the park, or chilling at a coffee shop. Her favorite part about New York is that there is always something new to see or do! She can’t wait to get to know the Class of 2023 and share what she’s learned about school life, thriving on a budget, and the best dumplings in the city!

Emma Samant is so excited to be a peer mentor this year and to help welcome you to NYU! Originally from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, she is now a rising senior studying Media, Culture and Communication with a minor in the Business of Entertainment. During her time at NYU, she has taken exciting classes, studied abroad in Madrid and had multiple internships. She has a passion for film, TV and theater and hopes to someday work in the entertainment field. In her free time, she loves to go to shows and explore the different neighborhoods of NYC (there is always something new to see in the city). You are sure to catch her with a coffee in her hand - you can definitely ask her about the best cafes near campus. She thrives in the fast pace of NYC, though loves the occasional Netflix-in-bed day. She can’t wait to welcome you in person into MCC and NYU!

Music and Performing Arts Professions

Bridgette Kontner is a junior studying Music Business in Steinhardt and minoring in Producing in Tisch. She is originally from Maryland, right outside of DC, and just finished a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. But she has loved New York City since she first visited years ago and enjoy loves going to concerts and cool events around the city. She knew she wanted to pursue music from a young age when she started playing the violin, and later drums and guitar. Now, Bridgette is still passionate about performing, but loves learning about new areas of the business and trying new things in music. She loves meeting and talking to new people, and will even gladly take any chance she gets to show you pictures of her adorable puppy! She can’t wait to meet the new Steinhardt students and help ease the transition in any way that she can!

Lizzie Diaz is a sophomore at NYU Steinhardt and is majoring in Vocal Performance with a focus on Musical Theatre- although she loves singing classical when given the opportunity! She is a Venezuelan-American who has spent much of her life moving around the world. Her interests aside from singing are so vast, she could speak on them for days, however some highlights include playing soccer and volleyball, being politically active, serving her community, and watching Gilmore Girls until she collapses from exhaustion. Her favorite thing about NYU is the large community of people from all different walks of life. Elizabeth is most looking forward to hearing about the different experiences the incoming students have had over their lives and learning about their interests outside of music. She is beyond excited to be able to see and be a part of the growth the first years experience during their NYU experience!

Tia Dizon is a senior majoring in Music Technology in Steinhardt and pursuing a double major in Computer Science in the College of Arts and Science. This Dallas, Texas native came to NYU to learn more about the bridge between audio and technology. Her love of electronics helps her succeed as a sensor engineer for the NYU research project, Sounds of New York City, and as a product designer and builder for the recording gadget company, Brand New Noise. Tia loves playing the guitar and performs with friends she meets in her music technology and music core classes in the MPAP program. She’s happy her life at NYU inspires her to create her own musical projects and allows her to learn more about the industry of audio technology. In her free time, you can catch her playing guitar, grabbing food with friends, or resisting the urge to drink boba tea. Tia is looking forward getting to know the new students and sharing her experiences as a fellow NYU undergrad!

Brendon McCray is a sophomore at NYU Steinhardt, majoring in Vocal Performance with a concentration in Musical Theatre. His family has moved all around, and is currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Alongside singing, he also plays piano and trumpet, and was very active in the concert and jazz bands in his high school alongside choir and theatre. He loves NYU because of the great location and the incredible opportunities that are present in the city. He loves hanging out with his friends in the city and going out to see Broadway shows (when he’s not studying of course!) He can’t wait to meet the new students at Steinhardt and is super excited to help them start off their first year right at NYU!

Dominique Cunningham studies Instrumental Performance for Tuba & is on a pre-health track. Next year, she will be a sophomore. She grew up in sunny South Florida but constantly visits the beautiful island of Jamaica, where the majority of her family resides. Choosing NYU was not much of a hard decision, though no one would want to give up their car key for a metrocard. She loves NYU! From the close proximity of Weinstein Hall, to the Chipotle within a 400 foot distance, there is no place she’d rather be than here. When she is not practicing on the 9th floor of the Ed Building, you can find her at churches in Jamaica, Queens, singing gospel music. Home isn’t as far as she thought. Dominique is counting down the days to meet all of the amazing new students, and hear their stories. She can’t wait for a successful year!

James Closs is a sophomore studying Music Business at Steinhardt and is planning to minor in Integrated Digital Media at Tandon. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he was always fascinated by New York City, and quickly found a new home in New York and NYU. His love for music started when he began playing piano and guitar in elementary school. He now plays guitar and bass in a band called Ben, Blue, and the Bear, which was formed with his Music Business classmates. He loves NYU because of its location, all the incredible opportunities that New York City offers. There are few weekends where he won’t be at a concert or seeing live music somewhere in the city. In his free time, he also enjoys walking around New York, going to broadway shows, and eating Joe’s Pizza. James is looking forward to meeting new students and helping to make the transition to NYU as smooth as possible!

Marséja Cardwell is a sophomore majoring in Music Education with a concentration in Violin performance here at NYU. She grew up in Washington County Maryland where her love for new scenery and adventures brought her to New York City. When she’s not stuck in a practice room, you can often find her on the seventh floor of Kimmel (a great study/lounge spot!), Drinking tea (you’ll see a lot of that), or involved in some kind of school club event. Marséja is involved in several groups on campus, a big one for her being W.E.S.T (Womxn of Excellence, Strength, and Tenacity) where she will be the PR Chair this semester, other groups that she’s involved in include BSU, OBW, and AAP. Some things she enjoys doing around the city is taking walks around Central Park when the weather is nice, visiting the various amounts of Museums the city has to offer, and spending quality time with some of her commuter friends. Marséja has a great love for the Music Ed program and the people inside it. She can’t wait to introduce the new student’s to such a wonderful group of faculty/students and help them transition into making NYU as comfortable as can be.

Charles Stacy is a junior at NYU Steinhardt majoring in Composition for Film and Multimedia (now known as Screen Scoring). Born and raised in NYC, Charles grew up listening to his favorite symphonic works at Lincoln Center, which later influenced his love for film music and desire to write for orchestra. He also plays the violin, and is an instructor and coach at The Children’s Orchestra Society. As a commuter, Charles balances his academic and social life in the city with spending time in his studio on Long Island alongside his beloved dog. If he has free time, Charles enjoys busking with friends, collecting and making new gear, and playing Overwatch. Twice a week, he practices zazen, a form of meditation that eases the mind of the noise and clutter of everyday life, which helps Charles focus his listening. Few things are more stimulating for Charles than a good conversation, which is why he is delighted to meet fresh faces and help them acclimate to their new environment!

Ian Lange-McPherson is a junior studying Music Technology in Steinhardt. He is from the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, but he loves New York and all the great things it has to offer. He loves all things music, and is especially passionate about performing, recording and writing. When he’s not studying, he enjoys playing gigs around the city. He is also an active member of NYU’s radio station, WNYU, as a broadcast engineer and podcast recordist. Aside from being a musician, Ian enjoys hiking, running, and the great outdoors. He also loves the urban jungle, and he spends a lot of time exploring the city and going to shows. He loves NYU for its unique student body, and because of its one of a kind programs. He’s excited to get to know all the new incoming freshmen and he looks forward to working with all of them throughout the fall!

Nutrition and Food Studies

Leah Li is a rising senior student majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics with a minor in Media, Culture, and Communications. Leah’s interest in health and communications began when she noticed how the media can powerfully disseminate nutrition knowledge and health trends. At NYU, she is a board member of the Restaurateur Club, where she enjoys sharing amazing restaurants and planning tasting events for students. Leah fell in love with yoga and hiking as she grew up in Vancouver, Canada. During leisure times, she also enjoys testing recipes and watching movies and reality shows. She has yet to watch Avengers: Endgame! NYC has become Leah’s second home, and she can’t wait to welcome the new students to their homes and community at NYU :)

Ashley D'Esposito is a rising junior studying Nutrition and Dietetics and minoring in Dance. She is from Freehold, NJ and grew up visiting the city often, so she loves that NYU has given her the opportunity to call it home. Ashley is a member of the NYU Dance Team (which received 3rd place at Nationals!) and the departments Club E.A.T. In her free time, you can find her taking dance classes at Peridance Capezio Center, reading her favorite young adult novels, and watching Pretty Little Liars and The Bold Type. Ashley is so excited to be a Peer Mentor because she wants to help new students become acclimated to the school and department, just like her Peer Mentors helped her when she started at NYU.

Teaching and Learning

Sidney Lin is a sophomore majoring in Early Childhood Education and Spanish and minoring in Dance. Originally from North Carolina, adjusting to life in New York City was a big change. She hopes to help new students ease into this transition this fall as a Peer Mentor. At NYU, Sydney is involved in Latin and Ballroom Team, Ballet Club, and Glamour Girls, a national community service organization. Sydney loves to dance and can usually be found in Kimmel’s dance studio during her free time. Beyond dance, Sydney also loves dog walking and exploring NYC on a budget. She is very excited to start her first year as a Peer Mentor and is looking forward to meeting and helping NYU Class of 2023 in the fall!

Helen Wajda is a rising sophomore double majoring in English and Childhood/Special Education. Originally from upstate New York, Helen is thrilled to have made the traitorous switch to living downstate, and she loves exploring NYC (especially Greenwich Village) whenever she has time. When she’s not studying or writing, Helen can usually be found reading, trying not to spend all of her money at The Strand Bookstore, or listening to Coldplay. In addition to being a Peer Mentor, Helen is a contributing writer for Washington Square News and an intern at a literary agency in Manhattan. She’s found her time at NYU to be incredible and so far, and she can’t wait to help incoming students take advantage of everything NYU has to offer.

Asata Spears is a rising sophomore majoring in Early Childhood Education/Special Education with a minor in Educational Theatre. She is from Poughkeepsie, New York, only an hour and a half north of campus, so coming to the city was something always on her radar growing up. As an HEOP scholar she was able to have a smooth and easy transition into college and has loved her time so far at NYU. On campus Asata is on the Step Team and has worked with the theatre club Lamplighters. When she is not at rehearsal or studying she is usually making materials for the preschool she works at in the Teaching & Learning lounge while jamming out to showtunes. She can’t wait to meet the new members of the Steinhardt community and help them with all things NYU this fall!

Jennifer Nunez is a sophomore majoring in Early Childhood & Special Education. She is originally from Westchester, NY which is only a 30-minute train ride from NYC. While she is lucky enough to be able to travel back home whenever she pleases, she is glad she has made a home at NYU. Currently, Jennifer proudly competes for the NYU Figure Skating Club Team, and she is involved with philanthropic events on and off campus with her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, dancing, watching BuzzFeed Unsolved videos, exploring the city, and spending time with her friends. As someone who enjoyed her first year at NYU, Jennifer is excited to share her experiences with you and assist you in any way she can to help make sure your first year here is a great one!

Kaili Le is a rising junior majoring in Early Childhood/Special Education and minoring in both Communicative Sciences & Disorders and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Originally from Northern California, she moved across the country and quickly came to love New York City’s fast pace and endless food spots. Last semester, she also explored Europe while studying abroad at NYU London! Kaili has spent her free time volunteering at toddler story times and dancing on Synchronic-- a tight-knit urban/hip hop team that performs and competes in New York and New Jersey. She has absolutely loved her time at NYU so far and can’t wait to welcome all of you!