Bennis Scholars: Cohort 7

Russell Agustin

Russell Agustin is a junior from Union City, California, studying public policy and minoring in social entrepreneurship. Russell’s involvements include operating a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Sole2Soul for over five years, spearheading a global Ashoka-based civic innovation project called Tilt, engaging with student governance as a student senator, and furthering environmental advocacy as a podcast researcher for a student podcast called Eco Alarm. In Russell’s free time, he enjoys going to the gym, playing video games, practicing his improv skills, and trying new foods.

Melissa Ayala

Melissa Ayala is a public policy major with a minor in nutrition and health promotion. She is a first generation Latinx student and currently serves as the assistant director for USC’s Latinx Student Assembly! Her interests lie in advocacy, civic engagement, community building, and diversity and inclusion. mathematical theory videos.

Eric Bui

Eric Bui is a philosophy, politics, and law major and English minor from New Orleans, Louisiana. He serves as USC’s undergraduate moot court team’s vice president of Competitive Affairs and edits for two research journals. He’s an avid cook and creative writer — but never both at once.

Samantha Chacko

Samantha Chacko is a junior from Dallas, Texas, double majoring in philosophy, politics, and law, and classical vocal arts. Her passion for politics, public service, and supporting the arts has led to her involvement in several political internships, pre-law organizations, USC Thornton Ambassadors, and Asli Baat. After graduating from USC as a Renaissance and Warren Bennis Scholar and obtaining a JD, Samantha plans to put her leadership skills to work and pursue a career in government service.

Christine Fisseha

Christine Fisseha grew up in Uganda, is from Ethiopia, and is studying business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a double minor in enterprise informations and communication technology. She is currently involved in USC AIM Consulting as a project manager, WYSE as a mentor for middle school girls, HeadStart Fellowship as a consulting mentor and blog writer, Sigma Eta Pi as director of social impact, and heading to McKinsey as a business analyst for the summer. Eventually, she wants to be a self-starter and positively impact her communities through entrepreneurship, consulting, and social impact projects centered around education, women empowerment, poverty alleviation, and personal development to drive social change and help others reach their potential. She enjoys playing volleyball and basketball, art and design, traveling, and nature in her free time.

Kenna Horgan

Kenna Horgan is a Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California pursuing a degree in philosophy, politics, and law, and minors in international relations and news media and society. Interested in the intersection of law, politics, and the American media ecosystem, she is on a pre-law track and working towards a career as legal counsel to political endeavors.

Nivea Krishnan

Nivea Krishnan is a third-year double majoring in public policy and economics. Outside of the Warren Bennis Scholars program, she serves as the vice president of USC’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the executive policy director at New Voters, a national 501(c)3 dedicated to high school civic engagement. She’s passionate about political engagement and activism, and for fun she enjoys dancing on the Breakthrough Hip Hop team at USC, exploring LA with friends, and watching movies. 

Princess Isis Lang

Princess Isis Z. Lang is a sophomore majoring in musical theatre with the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Princess loves being involved in her community of USC and beyond. She is a member of USC Black Student Assembly, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and involved with the USC Athletics Department. She also is the president of a new campus activity, The Cardinal Divas of SC, a new majorette team.

Daniel Leung

Daniel Leung is from Hinsdale, Illinois, majoring in business administration and minoring in applied analytics and comedy performance. In his free time, he likes listening to music, watching movies, playing guitar, and hanging out with friends. After graduation, he seeks to work in consulting. 

Jordan Marx

Jordan Marx is a Los Angeles native majoring in business administration and double minoring in computer programming and psychology.  He is president of the Global Investment Society on campus, has served as a junior consultant and executive board member in the International Consulting Club, interned at the USC Brain and Creativity Lab, and will be working in technology investment banking as a summer analyst. With entrepreneurial aspirations, Jordan is drawn to the way human relationships interact in the world of business to create products and services that improve the way people create, interact, and experience life. In the meantime, he enjoys playing and watching basketball on weekends, exploring LA restaurants, and reading philosophy.

Hayden Miller

Hayden Miller grew up just outside of Seattle with his parents, four siblings, and two dogs. He is passionate about soccer, reading and writing, music, good coffee, physical fitness, and hiking. He has met some incredible people, has been involved with several incredible organizations at USC and is very excited for the next two years. 

Sophia Perez

Sophia Perez is a first-generation, Latinx junior from Los Angeles, California, studying political science with a minor in legal studies on the pre-law track. Sophia has previously interned with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and is currently an intern for political affairs at the Borgen Project, where she works on campaigns in a Congressional District to make global poverty a priority of US foreign policy. At USC, Sophia is the incoming executive director of the Political Student Assembly, the director of public relations for the Latinx Student Assembly, and the director of publicity for Unruh Associates. On campus, she is also a first-generation student mentor and a director of diversity for Dornsife Ambassadors. Sophia is passionate about the empowerment of minority populations and hopes to go to law school to continue advocating on behalf of oppressed people on a greater scale. 

Sarah Phillips

Sarah Phillips is a human biology major who intends to go to law school. She is passionate about access to healthcare and hopes to work in the field of global health. Her interests include exercise, food, and crafts such as crochet and pottery. 

Yehuda Potash

Hudi Potash is a junior from New Orleans, Louisiana, majoring in public policy. At USC, he is involved as the co-president for Trojan Shelter, the vice president of internal membership for Peaks and Professors, and served as the former communications director of Trojan Knights and a Troy Camp counselor. In his free time, he loves to hike, visit museums, and spend time with his friends, and hopes to work to address the homelessness crisis after graduating.

Kimberly Riley

Kimberly Riley is a junior from Sacramento, California, majoring in political science with a minor in legal studies. She currently serves as a captain in the USC Trial Advocacy Program, advocate in USC Dornsife’s Agents of Change: Undergraduate Civil Rights Clinic, president of the Army ROTC Cadet Club, communications director for the Military Associated Student Assembly in Undergraduate Student Government, and a member of Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. Kimberly hopes to serve as a military intelligence officer before earning her J.D. and working in social justice litigation.

Eli Scott

Eli Scott is a philosophy, politics, and economics major and business finance minor. On campus, he is the vice president of Unruh Associates under the Center for Political Future, which focuses on bipartisanship and civil discourse on campus, as well as founder and vice president of Los Angeles Screening Club. He is also involved in Model UN, Trojan Investing Society, and the Joint Educational Project. 

Samantha Sorsby-Jones

Sammie Sorsby-Jones is from Austin, Texas, and is a law, history, and culture major with a minor in gender studies. She is the president and founder of the USC Survivor Support Community, where she aids the healing of survivors of sexual assault and advocates for change at USC. She is also on the competitive team for Southern California Moot Court and is a member of USC Helenes. 

Jake Stemmons

Jake Stemmons is majoring in economics and minoring in classics. After living in England for 19 years, he took a gap year, during which he worked in Shanghai and volunteered as a teacher in Uganda. At USC, he is the president of the Economics Association and Trojan Adventuring Party, a Dornsife ambassador, and a funding director of the Undergraduate Student Government. He is also working on an independent project with Campus Activities to build a community among all student organizations on campus to improve connectivity and collaboration. After college he hopes to go into nonprofit work with the goal of improving education and technology in Africa whilst maintaining the close communities there.

Asna Tabassum

Asna Tabassum is from Chino Hills, California, and studies biomedical engineering with a minor in resistance to genocide. Interested in healthcare, she attempts to understand how issues such as technology, immigration, and literacy contribute to the way people experience medicine in all corners of the world. She believes steps toward health equity are most effective with interdisciplinary approaches and looks forward to contributing to its progress. In her free time, she is an avid reader, music lover, and crossword-puzzler.

Holly Viphakone

Holly Viphakone is a rising junior from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, majoring in business administration. She is a lifetime membership Girl Scout and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient who is passionate about social change in underrepresented communities. Through the Warren Bennis Scholars program, she hopes to grow her leadership abilities so that she can continue to make the world a better place and support communities such as her own.