Bennis Scholars Class of 2019: Cohort 2

Pooja Agarwal

Pooja Agarwal is a senior from Massachusetts majoring in Business Administration with minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She is a Leonard D. Schaeffer Government Service Fellow and is spending the summer interning at the California State Assembly in Sacramento. Around campus, she is involved as Vice President of Finance for Peaks and Professors; member of Environmental Core, Rotaract and Unruh Associates; and tutor at the Friends of EXPO Center. In her free time, Pooja enjoys being outside, cooking new recipes and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams. After she graduates, Pooja hopes to pursue her goals of increasing environmental literacy and promoting sustainable living.

Catherine Browne

Catherine Browne is a senior from New York City majoring in History with a minor in Forensics & Criminality and is pursuing the pre-law track. On campus, she serves as an Associate Justice to the Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Council and volunteers as a tutor for the local 32nd street Magnet School. Catherine is the Director of Service and Philanthropy on the Panhellenic Council and enjoys helping the Greek community participate in local community service. In her free time, she loves to travel, paddle board, discover new neighborhoods, and read non-fiction history books.

Michael Cesar

Michael Cesar is a senior from London, England studying business administration and international relations, and interested in promoting greater understanding in the global community. Currently, he works at UBS Wealth Management and Helena, a non-profit in Downtown LA. Michael is the captain of the USC Rugby team and previously was president of his fraternity, and co-chair of the USC Sexual and Personal Misconduct Committee. He represents USC at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities program on world challenges in Vladivostok, Russia. Michael loves to dance, and he will play any sport when the opportunity arises.

Tingyee Chang

Tingyee Chang is a senior from Sunnyvale, California double majoring in Neuroscience and Public Policy. She studies PTSD treatment efficacy in refugee communities with Professor Stanley Huey in the Department of Psychology and the criminalizing of immigration with Professor Roberto Suro at the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and Price Center for Social Innovation. She teaches a discussion section for Critical Issues in Race, Class, and Leadership Education (CIRCLE), a program focused on Asian American history, politics, and activism. She leads Roosevelt Institute at USC, a student-run, progressive think tank, and serves on the Roosevelt Network’s national leadership team. She has held leadership positions in Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI), Joint Educational Project (JEP), and Undergraduate Student Government (USG). She intends to improve mental health outcomes for refugee and immigrant communities by developing treatments for trauma-related mental illness and advocating for more humane migration policy. In her free time, she loves standup comedy, traveling, and trying new restaurants with her roommates.

Edward Chiu

Edward Chiu is a senior from Arcadia, California majoring in business administration with a minor in social entrepreneurship. He is a founder and former Co-President of USC’s branch of 180 Degrees Consulting, an international student-run social impact consultancy. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor. He was previously a 2nd-year Resident Assistant at Parkside International Residential College. Edward is also a member of Troy Camp, Global Brigades at Marshall, and a brother of the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. Post-graduation, Edward hopes to work in social impact consulting, promoting social change by helping nonprofits and social enterprises solve their business challenges.

Fernando Garcia

Fernando Garcia is a senior from Los Angeles majoring in Economics at USC’s Dornsife College. He has been a research assistant at the Rossier School of Education for the past two years and a 2017 Gold Summer Intern at the San Francisco Federal Reserve. In addition to that, he is also part of the Fisher Fellowship on campus which focuses on volunteering and giving back to the community around USC. He is a 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar and will attend graduate school after his undergraduate career.

Mounir Ghabrial

Mounir Ghabrial is a senior from La Verne, California, majoring in Accounting and Business Administration. With roots stemming from Egypt and Dubai, Mounir is passionate about Middle Eastern food and determined to open his own “Egyptian-fusion” experiential restaurant someday. At USC, he serves as Co-President of Global Brigades @ Marshall, a pro-bono consulting and micro finance organization that sends students to rural under-resourced areas of Panama and Nicaragua. Mounir is also a Coptic Club representative. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, drumming, working out, and playing soccer. After graduation, he plans to volunteer for a few months in East Africa where he believes that there is ample opportunity to thrive as a budding entrepreneur who is socially conscious.

Rebecca Harbeck

Rebecca Harbeck is a senior double majoring in Public Policy and Sociology. This summer, she is interning at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute. There, she is working on the To&Through Project, which focuses on high school and college graduation rates in Chicago Public Schools. This fall, Rebecca will lead the Critical Issues in Race, Class, and Leadership Education (CIRCLE) program under USC’s Asian Pacific American Student Services as the Coordinator. Previously, Rebecca has interned in Taipei, Taiwan as a USC Global Fellow and in Washington, D.C. for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Having worked with education researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers in two of the largest U.S. school districts, Rebecca is passionate about urban education and plans to pursue a career that bridges the gap between education research and practice. In her free time, Rebecca trains for her next marathon, tries out new yoga studios, reads, and travels with friends and family.

Sydney Hibberd

Sydney Hibberd is a senior studying Business Administration with an emphasis in International Relations. Originally from Hong Kong, Sydney has lived in Australia, Canada, Connecticut, and Denmark, but has settled in California for the time being. At USC, Sydney is an Advisor to Peaks and Professors; a student run organization that connects students and USC professors through hiking and camping trips around Southern California. She is also involved in the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study and the Teaching International Relations Program. An outdoors enthusiast, she plans on pursuing law school before applying her international experience and business education to build a career in the growing community of socially and environmentally responsible ‘B Corporations’.

Jonathan Horwitz

Jonathan Horwitz is a senior majoring in political economy and triple-minoring in Spanish, statistics, and urban sustainable planning. Jonathan serves as the editor-in-chief of the USC-UNESCO Journal for Global Humanities, Science & Ethical Inquiry at the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics. He also works as a tour guide at the Office of Admission, and he is a member of the Trojan Knights, USC’s oldest service and spirit organization. Previously, Jonathan has served as a Daily Trojan staff writer, a resident assistant, and a committee member of the Sports Business Association. He has interned at Fox Sports-USC Properties and spent this past summer at Jupiter Intelligence, a start-up using machine learning and artificial intelligence to accurately predict the risk of climate change at the property-level up to 50 years in the future. Through various USC programs, Jonathan has researched topics ranging from Europe’s migration crisis to the impact of climate change on international affairs in the Arctic. His highlight of college has been studying abroad in Mexico, Spain, and the Nordic countries.

Rick Keaton

Rick Keaton Jr. is a senior pursuing a major in Public Policy with a concentration in Health Policy and Management, as well as a double minor in Public Health and Popular Music Studies. He is a Leonard D. Schaeffer Government Service Fellow and a USC Global Fellow, and recently spent his summer in Taiwan conducting health policy research at Taipei Medical University, focusing specifically on disaster management policy and universal single-payer system design. On campus, Rick is an active member of Troy Camp, Society 53, Chief of Staff for the Undergraduate Student Government, and an ambassador for the Sol Price School of Public Policy, all while previously serving as a two-year Resident Assistant in South Residential College. Off campus, Rick manages the Department of Government Relations for the Los Angeles County Medical Association, advocating the organization’s health policy positions to local, state, and federal government officials in efforts to improve quality, access, and affordability of healthcare within the county. In his free time, Rick is likely to be found making music, finding free food on campus, or hosting the weekly TV show The Morning Brew.

Amanda Liaw

Amanda Liaw is a senior from Singapore pursuing a BA in Cinema and Media Studies. As a passionate advocate for the environment, she spent this past summer planning a fundraising event for environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay, and gaining practical knowledge about urban farming with the Garden School Foundation. Moving forward, she hopes to complete her first documentary on the nature of bodies and its relation to gender and sexual identity, as well as to continue working in the nonprofit sector. On campus, she works as a Stage Manager with Trojan Event Services and can often be found napping on one of the university’s many lawns. One day, she plans on building a fully self-sustainable house in which she can farm her own food, host friends, and make whatever art she wants.

Jasper McEvoy

Jasper McEvoy is a senior from Palo Alto, California majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Psychology. He spent this past summer conducting research on climate change policy with Professor Steve Lamy in the Arctic, and creating engaging science lessons for the education company TCI. On campus, he assists Professor Eric Webb in his research on microbial communities, and serves as the editor of the science desk at the Annenberg Media Center. He is also an active member of Trojan Knights and volunteers at the Good Karma Cafe. In his free time he likes to play basketball, read books, and go hiking with friends.

Niriksha Mehta

Niriksha Mehta is a senior from Mumbai, India who is dual majoring in Economics and Mathematics and minoring in Business Finance. On campus, she is a Tutor for the Economics Department, member of Habitat for Humanity and Novus, a student run think-tank centered around social change. Outside USC, she enjoys volunteering at service learning organisations, exploring new eateries around LA and binge watching Netflix specials. Niriksha is passionate about the empowerment of women and aims to implement the knowledge she has gained from USC back home in India after she graduates. She hopes to work in the fields of impact investing and strategic philanthropy.

Savannah Robinson

Savannah Robinson is a senior from Berkeley, CA majoring in Journalism and minoring in Human Rights. Savannah works in the USC Dornsife Office for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives as an undergraduate research assistant where she helps organize events and programs that support the university’s underrepresented students. She also serves as co-president of the USC chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and is an executive producer for Annenberg Radio News. She loves to travel and try new foods, and hopes to pursue a career in advocacy or mission-driven journalism.

Ethan Strijbosch

Ethan Strijbosch is a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering. He is Dutch-Indian and was born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, although his family currently lives in Indonesia. As a Viterbi Research Fellow at USC, Ethan led a team of undergraduate students conducting wind tunnel research on micro air vehicles and has conducted similar research in USC’s water channel. Additionally, he held positions in both engineering and fundraising for USC Hyperloop, one of the teams that competes in the international SpaceX Hyperloop competition. He previously served as the pneumatics lead for the team. He also worked as a teaching assistant for a core Aerospace Engineering class. Ethan aims to bridge the gap between the technical and management sides of the aerospace industry while making air transportation more environmentally friendly. In his free time, he loves surfing, free-diving, and traveling.

Ciara Taylor

Ciara Taylor is a senior from Portland, Oregon, majoring in Middle East Studies and minoring in International Relations. Ciara works as a Program Coordinator for the Center for Active Learning in International Studies on campus, and serves as a Research Assistant with the Lab on Non-Democratic Politics under Professors Brett Carter and Erin Baggott-Carter. Outside of class and work, she is a member of USC’s Women’s Lacrosse Club as well as the foreign relations professional fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon, and enjoys trying new restaurants around Los Angeles and hiking with friends. She spent spring semester 2018 continuing her Arabic studies in Amman, Jordan, and interned in DC over the summer at the Department of State. After graduation, Ciara is interested in law school as well as humanitarian work focused on refugee issues.

Michelle Whang

Michelle Whang is a senior from Cerritos, California, with a major in Communication and a minor in Digital Studies. She is passionate about the exquisite power of listening to stories and learning from human experiences. Previously, she has organized and advised a number of TEDx conferences in her communities and led in USC’s Design for America team to support causes like education for minorities and sustainable transportation. Now, you can usually find Michelle in one of four places on campus: dancing with her Chaotic 3 family in Parking Structure B, serving as a USC Helene at university and community events, working in the USC Annenberg Digital Lounge as a Media Support Specialist, or lounging around in Campus Center, people-watching and treating herself with Truffle Mac n Cheese from Lemonade. In Spring 2018, Michelle studied abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul to learn more about her family’s culture and roots, while researching about the underground tattoo subculture of South Korea and its policy implications with a faculty mentor in the Yonsei Political Science department on the side. She then interned as a Media and Advocacy intern at Swipe Out Hunger, working to develop the startup company from the roots up. After graduation, Michelle hopes to continue her work in media and advocacy at a tech company or startup, eventually transitioning into becoming a social entrepreneur of her own.

Jamil Wilkerson

Jamil Wilkerson is from Indianapolis. He is a senior majoring in Sociology and at Dornsife College with a minor in cinematic arts. At USC, he is a member of Intervarsity and Black Campus Ministries. Jamil is also a Philanthropy Chair of the USC Sociology Club. More recently he has served as an intern with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Los Angeles District Attorney. Jamil has also served as a college mentor with Los Angeles Team Mentoring. He has a passion for serving and being a positive role model for underprivileged youth. In his free time, Jamil enjoys listening to music, running, or catching up on his favorite TV shows. After graduation, Jamil hopes to attend law school and eventually become an executive in the entertainment field and oversee projects that inspire change within society.