Bennis Scholars Class of 2021: Cohort 4

Michelle Au

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Hong Kong, Michelle is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in cinema and media studies with a minor in marketing. In addition to being a student assistant in the Cinematic Arts department, she currently serves as the general manager of USC’s television station, Trojan Vision, and oversees a variety of live shows reaching over 700,000 homes in the greater Los Angeles area. She previously acted as executive producer of an entertainment news talk show that covers movie premieres to awards shows such as the Academy Awards. She has worked on projects ranging from public service announcements to a web series selected for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. In her free time, Michelle can be found exploring Los Angeles and the world with her friends.

Jack Baker

Jack is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pursuing dual majors in business administration and real estate development. At USC, he serves as VP of external relations for Los Angeles Community Impact and is an executive board member for his fraternity. He was formerly the director of professional affairs for Marshall Business Student Government. Last summer, Jack interned with a real estate nonprofit in Jakarta, Indonesia and hopes to apply this experience to affordable and sustainable development after graduation. In his spare time, Jack enjoys swimming, hiking and going on road trips.

Aisa Castro

Aisa is a junior born and raised in Pasadena, California, and is currently double majoring in psychology and Spanish with a minor in education and society. She works as the program assistant coordinator for the Joint Educational Project (JEP), serves as the VP of USC Room to Read, and plays trumpet for the Trojan Marching Band. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in higher education administration. In her free time, Aisa loves playing Mario Kart, exploring new food spots in LA, and visiting her family, especially her three younger sisters.

Megan Gates

Mae is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in public policy on the health policy and health management tracks. At USC, Mae served as the director of the Black Student Assembly and director of the Leadership Fund in Undergraduate Student Government. She considers herself to be a Beyoncé enthusiast, and concerts are her favorite pastime. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master of Public Administration and work in the health policy field.

Max Gunara

Max Gunara is a junior from Pasadena, California, majoring in business administration with minors in applied analytics, cybersecurity, and real estate development. He is a founder of Trojan Capital Partners, an independent asset management firm, and the Family Business Society, a group dedicated to supporting students with a passion for multigenerational business. Post-graduation, Max plans to pursue a career in finance, gaining the skillset necessary for his long-term goal of founding an impact investing fund focused on social enterprises in Southeast Asia. In his free time, Max enjoys engineering medieval siege weapons, international travel and botanical gardens.

Julia Han

Julia is a junior from Torrance, California, studying applied mathematics and business administration. She currently serves as the VP of fellowship for Los Angeles Community Impact, which provides pro-bono consulting for local nonprofits and social enterprises. Julia is involved in Alpha Phi Omega and works as a teaching assistant for the Marshall School of Business. After graduation, Julia hopes to move abroad to continue learning about diverse cultures and communities. In her free time, Julia enjoys running at the beach, meeting new people and exploring new places with her Nikon in tow.

Isabel Hanewicz

Isabel is a junior from Tampa, Florida. She is double majoring in cognitive science and Spanish, although she has studied everything from journalism to mathematics as she believes in the value of a diverse education. On campus, she serves as the president of Los Angeles Community Impact and gives tours as a student ambassador for USC’s Office of Admission. She has run two marathons and is an avid listener of The New York Times’ “Modern Love” podcast. After graduation, she plans to pursue a fellowship in Spain or Latin America before returning to the US to help improve health and sustainability efforts in the private sector.

Ayojide Hospidales

Jide is a junior from Burbank, California, majoring in political science. Jide serves as the co-president of Brothers Breaking B.R.E.A.D., an organization that reframes black masculinity by servicing the community and mentorship of youth, brotherly fellowship, and professional development. In addition to serving as an outreach intern for the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, Jide is the director of programming for the Unruh Associates and is the acting treasurer for the USC National Black Prelaw Student Association. In his free time, Jide likes to follow professional sports leagues, watch historical documentaries, discover captivating cartoons and anime, and explore Southern California with his friends and family. After graduation, Jide plans to attend law school to continue fighting for underprivileged communities. He hopes to become a federal judge.

Max Jablonski

Max is a junior from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is double-majoring in political economy and international relations global business. At USC, Max serves as the president of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the largest Greek fraternity at USC. During his tenure, he has led efforts to fundraise over $130,000 for charitable causes. He is a founding member of a nonprofit foundation that has raised over $1 million for spinal cord research. In his free time, Max plays on the USC Club Ice Hockey Team and explores Los Angeles as much as possible.

Sara Khoshniyati

Sara Khoshniyati is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in human biology with a minor in health-care studies. She is the founder and president of Recuperative Care Program, an organization that advocates for the homeless population and a holistic healthcare experience for patients. Sara is an Undergraduate Student Government senator and is passionate about promoting health and wellness for students. Sara has done extensive clinical research studying normal pressure hydrocephalus, and she currently works as a research assistant at HSC’s Stem Cell Lab, studying how stem cells act to repair the brain. Sara aspires to attend medical school to continue researching neurodegenerative diseases and hopes to improve the quality of street medicine. In her free time, Sara enjoys indoor cycling.

Young-Kyung Kim

Young-Kyung Kim is a junior majoring in computational linguistics and international relations. This year, she is the head coordinator of Freshman Dance-Off, a no experience-required hip hop group, and is involved with Spark SC, an entrepreneurship-focused student organization. In addition to pursuing research in satellite imagery and language processing, she is exploring the subject of migration through her studies and volunteer efforts. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography, art and reading.

Shayan Kohanteb

Shayan is a junior from Los Angeles, California, majoring in business administration with minors in real estate development and comedy (performance). Before starting his collegiate tenure, Shayan took a gap-year in Jerusalem, Israel, and followed his passion for the Jewish community at USC by serving as the president of Chabad@USC and the president of Trojans for Israel. Shayan served as a senator in Undergraduate Student Government and plans to continue his platform to improve student life at USC. In his free time, he can be seen hanging out with his friends, exploring the world or diving into a new book.

Catherine Liang

Catherine is a junior from Sonoma County, California, majoring in international relations global business and economics. At USC, Catherine has served as VP of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and has participated in the USC Global Fellows Internship Program. She is also a recent graduate of the Girls Who Invest Summer Intensive program and currently works as a Daily Trojan photographer. Catherine represented Los Angeles at the 2019 Miss Chinese International Pageant. Catherine is a travel fanatic and enjoys exploring and photographing new destinations. Post-graduation, she hopes to participate in a fellowship program abroad before pursuing her goal of serving as a Foreign Service ambassador, focusing on impact investing to support microloan programs.

Matteo Mendoza

Matteo is a junior from Los Angeles, California, majoring in business administration. He currently serves as president of the USC Interfraternity Council, which is the governing and representative body of social fraternities on campus. Matteo loves spending time with friends, exercise, concerts, eating and fashion. He plans to begin his career as an investment banker, and his other interests include diversity and inclusion, international cultures, and higher education.

Vikash Mody

Vikash is a junior from Palos Verdes, California, majoring in computer science and business administration. At USC, Vikash serves as the director of advocacy for Marshall Business Student Government, helping develop proposals for policy-change initiatives and presenting them to Marshall’s administration. He is also involved with Los Angeles Community Impact. Vikash is a Course Producer for CSCI 104: Data Structures and Object Oriented Design, and has enjoyed teaching computer science to students at John Mack Elementary. Down the road, he hopes to leverage technology to create socially focused ventures. In his free time, Vikash loves to play sports, discover new food, and spend time with friends and family.

Tejas Ramdas

Tejas is a junior from Mumbai, India majoring in computational neuroscience with a minor in philosophy. He serves as the VP of operations for Peaks and Professors and is involved with the USC Volunteer Center as a lead for the Alternative Breaks trip to Orcas Island in Washington. In the future, he hopes to attend graduate school and eventually pursue a career in research at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence. When he’s not working with fruit flies at the Dickman Lab, you can find him hanging out at the Polymathic Academy or desperately trying to find a pickup soccer game on campus.

Seher Randhawa

Seher is a junior from Saratoga, California, majoring in business administration with a minor in spatial sciences. At USC, Seher serves as VP of consulting for USC’s chapter of the American Marketing Association and as VP of administration for the Marshall Women’s Leadership Board. Seher is a student researcher at the Spatial Sciences Institute, supporting the city of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office efforts to address environmental and socioeconomic issues in Los Angeles communities. Furthermore, she serves as director of programming for SCMappers on campus. Seher enjoys playing tennis and golf, finding the best coffee in downtown L.A., and traveling.

Trenton Stone

Trenton Stone is a third-year student from Grand Junction, Colorado, studying philosophy and international relations (global business) with a minor in business finance. On campus, he serves as the president of the Undergraduate Student Government. Trenton is also a member of Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI). While at USC, Trenton has extended his professional and academic journey overseas, competing in a business event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, working at a technology startup in Hong Kong, and conducting political research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. After graduation, he hopes to participate in a fellowship or work abroad before returning to the U.S. to attend law school. In his free time, Trenton loves hiking and spending time outdoors.

Dustin Wong

Dustin is a junior studying public policy with minors in classics, and education and society. He primarily focuses on transportation planning and spends time exploring cities and communities. At USC, he directed a restructuring of the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund scholarship program, serving as the governing board chair. He will also be teaching a class on globalization through the Shaukat Initiative. Dustin currently works with the city of L.A. to improve its public transportation system. He will be studying abroad in Athens, Greece. After graduation, he aims to become a city planner who can balance historical conservation with modern development.

Christian Yeghnazar 

Christian Yeghnazar is a junior from Pasadena, California, majoring in business administration and minoring in applied analytics. He currently serves as the president of Spark SC, a student organization that fosters the entrepreneurial community at USC through varying programs, speaker series and events. Christian co-founded Trojan Capital Partners, a private asset management firm that seeks to develop student’s financial literacy and investment experience. He is also part of Cru, a Christian Fellowship on campus. He loves cooking, trying new coffee spots, and running his podcast about all things sports!

Stephen Zimmer 

Stephen Charlie Zimmer is a rising junior from Chicago, Illinois, studying industrial and systems engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering. He is a Navy ROTC midshipman with aspirations to become a carrier-based fighter pilot. Starting next fall, he will be head of the Homeless Ministry at the USC Caruso Catholic Center and 4/C training officer for USC NROTC. He enjoys traveling and hopes to backpack Southeast Asia next spring before spending a semester at the University of Melbourne.