1vyG 2019


Schedule and Speakers

Image: Andy, looking to his left, wearing a blue sweater.

Andy chen - Untraditionally FLI?: Defying the Career “Norms” for FLI Students

Andy studied sociology at Princeton University, where he was awarded the Pyne Honor Prize, the university’s highest general undergraduate distinction. He studied graphic design at RISD, where he received his MFA as a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow. Andy started his career at Pentagram, where he worked on the rebranding of Bausch + Lomb with partner Paula Scher. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Art, he conducted ethnographic research on aging, sexuality, and social stigma. Andy is a contributor to Design Observer, Design Taxi, and Open Manifesto. He has spoken at international conferences including Design Indaba, the London Design Festival, the XVIII International AIDS Conference, RGD DesignThinkers, and the University of Chicago Medical Conference.

Anea Moore - FLI on the Wall: Engaging with Recent (& Soon-to-Be FLI) Alumni

Anea B. Moore, Philadelphia, is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Sociology and Urban-Studies. After both of her parents passed away in 2015, Anea became committed to improving the lives of low-income families before they experienced tragedy like her own family. She assists in the creation of family and community engagement programming at a public school and helps to coordinate a free music program. Her research focuses on the intersection of education and family policy, gentrification, race, and class. On campus, Anea helped to found her university’s first-generation, low-income (FGLI) student program which provides resources to 1,000+ students. She has advised universities on FGLI student issues through her roles on Penn's University Council and as the Co-Chair of the 2018 Penn 1vyG Conference. Anea's advocacy for low-income people has lead her to being named a 2018 Truman Scholar and a 2019 Rhodes Scholar. Next year, she intends to pursue a MSc in Comparative Social Policy then a doctorate at Oxford.

Image: Anea, smiling, with short black hair, wearing a black and grey striped sweater.
Image: Anthony, smiling, with short black hair and a beard, wearing a black glasses and a blue and white checkered shirt.

Anthony Abraham Jack - Guilt: Soaring Past the Hidden Inhibitor of FLI Success

Anthony Abraham Jack is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds the Shutzer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His first book, The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Poor Students, explores the experiences of lower-income undergraduates at elite colleges.

For recent updates: anthonyabrahamjack.com

Cindy Renata - Insights on navigating wall street and CORPORATE america

As a FinTech payments professional at Visa, Cindy is responsible for enabling global sales to commercialize Visa Direct, which enables faster payments to cardholders around the world. Previously, Cindy led strategy and planning for prepaid products and was the head of Small Business Debit. Prior to joining Visa in 2004, Cindy held various marketing, product and finance positions with Schwab, American Express, Coopers & Lybrand and Salomon Brothers. Cindy received her bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and later returned to Wharton to receive her MBA. Cindy met her husband at the University of Pennsylvania and they have two children. As a first-generation, low-income (FGLI) graduate, Cindy is passionate about helping FGLI students achieve higher education and success in their careers. She has mentored many FGLI students over the years. In early 2018, Cindy founded Rise First to use web and emerging technologies to serve more FGLI students. Rise First is also designed to be built for and by FGLI students, allowing them to hone real-life business skills. Cindy is constantly inspired by the students she is working with and believes that together as a community we can help many FGLI students achieve professional and personal success.

Image: Cindy, smiling, with long black hair, wearing a blue blouse and white blazer.

Yessica Martinez - Untraditionally FLI?: Defying the Career “Norms” for FLI Students

Yessica Martinez is a poet and educator originally from Medellin, Colombia. She graduated from Princeton University with degrees in Comparative Literature and Latin American studies and has worked as a literature promoter, teaching artist and writer in residence in her community of Corona, Queens. Yessica is currently interested in the history of modern social movements in Latin America with attention to popular education and artistic practices that contributed to their flourishing. She has studied violence, trauma and testimonial narratives in her academic work and her poetry similarly seeks to bear witness to her own collective history. She is a 2018 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.

Jessica Brown - Keynote speaker

Jessica is an organizer dedicated to creating education models where Black and brown learners can thrive[from cradle to grave]. She concentrated in Business at Brown University '16 where her work, in community with others, contributed to the founding of Brown's First-Generation and Low Income Student Center and the Social Justice Peer Education Program at the BCSC. In 2014, Jessica, Manuel Contreras, and Stanley Stewart co-founded 1vyG, the inter-Ivy, first-generation student network to mobilize students, shift institutional culture, and build and test resources for student success through college. She is currently a Designer at the Business Innovation Factory, a nonprofit that utilizes human-centered design methodologies to research, design, prototype, and scale innovative education, healthcare, and public sector models. She was also recently appointed by RI's governor as a Commissioner on the Rhode Island Commission for National and Community Service. Always a champion for first-gen serving organizations, Jessica has previously served as the VP of the Board of FLIP National and currently supports College Visions as a member of its Advancement Committee.

Image: Jessica, smiling, with short curly hair, wearing black glasses and a pink blouse.
Image: Jordan, smiling, with short curly black hair, wearing a light blue button-up shirt.

Jordan Thomas - FLI on the Wall: Engaging with Recent (& Soon-to-Be FLI) Alumni

Jordan is a 2018 graduate of Princeton University, where a successful academic career culminated in such distinctions as Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, the Myron T. Herrick Thesis Prize, and a 2018 Spirit of Princeton Award. At Princeton, he concentrated in Public and International Affairs; he received dual certificates in Portuguese Language and Culture and in African American Studies; and he focused his academic coursework on poverty, inequality, and social mobility. Jordan is particularly interested in the role that law, public policy, and high-quality education play in expanding access and opportunity for disadvantaged populations. In addition, he has a growing interest in impact investment, urban economic development, and the ways in which the power of capital can be harnessed for social good. As one of 32 American students selected from a pool of over 2,500 applicants to receive a 2018 Rhodes Scholarship -- the first Rhodes Scholar in the history of the Newark Public Schools system -- Jordan will engage in two years of postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. He will spend the first year completing a Master's degree in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation before joining the Saïd Business School's one-year MBA program or the Blavatnik School of Government’s one-year MPP program in the second year. Ultimately, Jordan intends to pursue a JD degree at Yale Law School, and to engage in work that most directly promotes equal opportunity, social mobility, and justice for all.

Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad - Closing Speaker

Kameelah is the Founder and President of Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing mental health stigma and promoting healing and well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training. Kameelah also serves as the Fellow for Spirituality, Wellness and Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and advisor to Penn Sapelo, the first Black Muslim student organization on campus. In this capacity, Kameelah supports students in their exploration of faith-based activism, spirituality, emotional well-being and healing. Working in conjunction with the Chaplain’s Office, she collaborates with other cultural centers on campus to facilitate intersectional conversations on race, religion, identity, belonging and advocacy. She served three years as the Muslim Chaplain at UPenn and continues to facilitate discussions on religious identity development and challenges faced by American Muslim youth. Kameelah graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and MEd in Psychological Services. She has obtained further graduate education, completing a second Masters in Restorative Practices & Youth Counseling (MRP) from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She is pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA

Image: Kameelah, smiling, wearing a blue floral hijab and blue blouse.
Image: Kathy, smiling, with short curly hair, wearing black glasses and pink blouse.

Kathy J. Alvarado - What is Mentorship?

Kathy is a Career Counselor for the Career and Alumni Services at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA). She advises and supports LEDA Scholars and Career Fellows through the career-planning, decision-making, and job-searching processes. In addition, she supports alumni engagement through communications, collaboration, and programming. Kathy has held positions in several areas of the education field, including TRIO programs, first-year seminars, residence life, developmental student services, academic advising, diversity/inclusion programming, and student organization advising. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Keisha J. Taffe - What is Mentorship?

Keisha is the Senior Director of Career and Alumni Services at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA). She oversees all aspects of the Career Network initiative, which includes cultivating strategic employer partnerships and developing programs and services to engage LEDA Career Fellows, Scholars, and alumni. Keisha has worked at New York University, where she served as the Senior Assistant Director at the Wasserman Center for Career Development. During her career in higher education, she held positions focused on international education, leadership development, and access to global internship opportunities. Keisha has a B.A. in Journalism and English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego and a Master’s Degree from the College of Communication at Boston University.

Image: Keisha, smiling, with curly short brown hair, wearing a black blazer and blouse.

Kris Harvey - Knowledge is Power: Learn, Connect & Share with Other FGLI Students

Kris Harvey is the Founder and Executive Director of FirstGenerationCollegeStudents.org. She is a former first-generation college student from a rural midwestern town, and now has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University (graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and a master’s degree from Georgetown University. Kris has been passionate for years about helping other first-generation and low-income students successfully navigate higher education. She has written articles on the subject for the magazine of the American School Counselor Association. In addition, Kris has founded other non-profits that serve(d) FGLI students, including CollegeKnowledge.org. She previously worked for The College Board on its CollegeEd program, which is designed for first-generation and low-income students. Kris has attended and/or presented at many national conferences for or about FGLI students, including Stanford FLI, NASPA, National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and others.

Linda Banks-Santilli - Guilt: Soaring Past the Hidden Inhibitor of FLI Success

Linda Banks-Santilli is an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Clinical Associate Professor at the newly-merged Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University. Before joining the administrative leadership at Wheelock-BU, she served as a dean and faculty member at the former Wheelock College for 18 years. Prior to her work in higher education, Linda worked with children and adolescents who suffered from developmental loss and emotional and behavior issues at McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA in the department of psycho-education. She then became a public school teacher and taught at the elementary and middle school levels in the Boston Public Schools for over a decade working primarily with special needs children from under-resourced communities.

Image: Linda, smiling, with blonde short hair, wearing a teal sweater.
Image: My, smiling, with short black hair, wearing pink glasses and a white dress.

My Bui - FLI on the Wall: Engaging with Recent (& Soon-to-Be FLI) Alumni

My Bui is from Saint Paul, Minnesota and studied Politics at Princeton University. On campus, she was the co-chair of the first-generation/low-income student organization where she focused on building a community and advocating for better policies to support first-generation/low-income students. She also mentored first- and second-year first-generation/low-income students with the Scholar’s Institute Fellows Program. She was the grant-writer for a student-run nonprofit, HomeWorks, which works to provide an after-school boarding program for under-served Trenton high and middle school girls. Through her experience in high school and at Princeton, she came to understand the inequities present within low-income communities and learned how powerful education is in empowering students from these backgrounds. She is interested in education policy and improving the lives of under-served youth. She is excited to work with Chicago Beyond as they strive to help each child reach their fullest potential through their partnerships with nonprofits and people across the city.

Myesha Jemison - Moderator

Myesha Jemison is a 2018 graduate of Princeton University where she focused on Global Health in Hispanophone and Lusophone countries and earned certificates in African American Studies, African Studies, Environmental Science, and Latin American Studies. At Princeton, she served as the first Black woman student government president, institutionalized multiple projects and programs to support first-generation students, and engineered initiatives within the Black community. She also spent three years as Co-Chair and four years as a volunteer for Community House, a tutoring and mentoring program founded in 1969 “to support underrepresented youth through innovative programming that focuses on providing tools for academic success and enhancing social-emotional literacy”. In 2017, she joined the board of Edmobilizer as the Director for Strategic Initiatives and founded the Jemison Scholarship Foundation, Ltd. to bridge the educational achievement gap in Hampton Roads for first-generation, low-income students of color from her hometown. In 2018, she was elected to a four-year term as a voting member to Princeton’s Board of Trustees. Since graduating, she’s begun a Master’s program in Education at Columbia University. Ultimately, she aims to pursue social entrepreneurship to continue developing programs that increase access and inclusion in education and healthcare on local and international scales.

Image: Myesha, smiling, with long black braids, wearing a yellow blouse.
Image: Rebecca, smiling, with black shoulder-length hair, wearing a black blouse.

Rebecca Covarrubias - Guilt: Soaring Past the Hidden Inhibitor of FLI Success

Dr. Rebecca Covarrubias is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Director of the Student Success Evaluation and Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As a social and cultural psychologist, Dr. Covarrubias examines the importance of reflecting the cultural strengths and practices of students from diverse backgrounds in educational settings as a way to foster inclusion and equity. Dr. Covarrubias utilizes a variety of methods and an intersectional, asset-based framework to bring visibility to the diversity in the student experience. As one example, she develops culturally-grounded interventions that aim to facilitate the cultural transition to college for low-income, first-generation students of color and their families. A first-generation faculty member, she co-launched UCSC’s First Generation Initiative to foster a sense of community among first-generation students, staff, and faculty. For her research, teaching and community engagement, Dr. Covarrubias was awarded a 2018 UCSC Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity, the 2018 Society for Research in Child Development Latino Caucus Early Career Award, and the 2017 Society of Psychological Study of Social Issues Michele Alexander Early Career Award. With her team of student researchers in the Culture and Achievement Collaborative, she works to translate these findings into actionable practices that can shift the culture of institutions and can help students thrive.

Sash Rentala - Insights on navigating wall street and CORPORATE america

Sash Rentala is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company. Sash has over 17 years of investment banking experience and specializes in advising private equity sponsors and hedge funds on a wide variety of corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged finance and restructuring transactions such as bank and bond new money issuances, exchange offers, consent solicitations, lender negotiations and amendments. Prior to Moelis & Company, Sash was an Executive Director at UBS Investment Bank where he focused on the industrials sector including transactions in the chemicals, auto and metals and mining sectors. Sash was previously a Vice President in Investment Banking at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He also was a Lieutenant in the United States Navy based out of Yokosuka, Japan with the Seventh Fleet Battle Group serving two tours in the Persian Gulf as a bridge and engineering officer.

Sash holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. He is married with 2 kids and emigrated from India to the US when he was three years old.

Image: Sash, smiling, with black short hair, wearing a black blazer and white button-up and tie.
Image: Viet, smiling, with short black hair, wearing a black blazer, pink button-up, and maroon tie.

Viet Nguyen - Keynote Speaker

Viet Andy Nguyen currently serves as co-founder and executive director of EdMobilizer, a national advocacy organization for low-income, first-generation college students. He has spearheaded initiatives to automatically waive application fees for high-need students as well as the #FullDisclosure movement against legacy admissions. In 2018, he was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 in Education for his policy work. He graduated from Brown University in 2017 and currently serves as a trustee on the Brown Corporation.

Waqas Jawaid - Untraditionally FLI?: Defying the Career “Norms” for FLI Students

An architect and public artist, Waqas Jawaid received his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Princeton University and a Masters in Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. At Princeton, he was awarded the Frederick White Prize for his thesis on architectural apartheid in the Paris banlieus.

Waqas started his design career at Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam. He has since worked on design for the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem with Tokyo-based firm SANAA, and urban-scale development projects in China with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Waqas has also worked with the Harvard Art Museums on client-side brand strategy to make the institution more accessible.

Image: Waqas, with black short hair, wearing a blue button-down shirt.