Alumni Accolades June 2015

Christopher Gray

Christopher Gray (2010), founder of scholarship search engine app Scholly, was honored as Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The state of Montana has announced that it will be buying Scholly for every rising senior in the state each year!

Ayyan Zubair (2015) is running a youth Iftar (breaking of the fast) for members of all faiths in his hometown of East Meadow, NY.

Julia Li Business Journal

Image: St. Louis Business Journal, Dilip Vishwanat

Julia Li (2006) was recently featured in the St. Louis Business Journal. The article detailed her abrupt career change following her diagnosis of a pituitary adenoma, a benign brain tumor that causes hormonal imbalances. Julia moved back to her hometown of St. Louis to help her parents with the family business, LuLu Seafood, and has had great success. Passionate about building communities, she established Create Space, a community-oriented artisan space for 30 plus different businesses. When asked who she goes to for business advice, Julia was quoted in the article, “I turn to the many mentors I made in New York, through the Kauffman Foundation where I did a free entrepreneurship program called FastTrac that taught the basics of running a business. I’m also mentored by those I met with the Coca-Cola (Scholars) Foundation, when I was named a national Coca-Cola Scholar in high school for giving back to the community.”

Cindy Rajkumar (2015) has been invited to be an innovative speaker and motivational presenter for TEDx’s “Ideas Worth Spreading” show and leadership conference.

2015 Scholars Akintobi “Irvin” Akinseye and Zaria Noble have been named Ron Brown Scholars.

Alumni Connections June 2015

kevin chung 2

group at twitter event

San Francisco Scholars came together for a professional development workshop hosted by Nola Weinstein (2001) and Kevin Chung (1990, pictured at top) at Twitter last week. Nola is Head of Executive Engagement at Twitter and taught alums how to tweet like an executive.


Coca-Cola Scholars in New York City attended the National Academy Foundation’s 12th Annual Benefit as guests of The Coca-Cola Company. The picture above includes Dr. Ayodola Adigun (2002), Melissa Lukasiewicz (2010), Melanie Lyon (2008), Dr. Jack McKinstry (2000), Ashley Chang (2006), and Regina Bain (1990).

Shariff and Kelsey

Kelsey Tainsh (2008) spoke at Odyssey Atlanta where she met 2014 Scholar Shariff Lee Brown.


More than 30 Coca-Cola Scholars got together to welcome the 2015 Scholars who were visiting Stanford! Thank you to Grant Means (2012) who organized the event.

GLAAD awards pic

Robert Accordino (1999) and Joel Bervell (2013) attended the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 9, 2015 as guests of The Coca-Cola Company. They had the pleasure of joining Pam Stewart (Vice President – National Retail Sales, Publix for The Coca-Cola Company) and her wife.

Jillian CC Jane and Sachin

2011 Scholars Jillian Roberts, C.C. Gong, Jane Chung, and Sachin Patel met up at Harvard while Jillian was visiting Boston.

Alumni Accolades May 2015


In 2014, the state of South Dakota established Jolene’s Law in honor of Jolene Loetscher (1997) that created a task force to study child sexual abuse. Despite opposition by some legislators in 2015 to continue the task force, South Dakota’s Governor announced an executive order in March 2015 allowing Jolene’s Law to continue its work. “In my estimation, this work is too important,” Daugaard said. “I’ve heard that from many in the past couple of days who urged that it continue.” The task force is developing recommendations for changes to K-12 curriculum, reporting of child sexual abuse, undergraduate and graduate programs and training for adults to better understand and report child sexual abuse. “I’m so relieved that people cared and that they were able to have their voice heard. There are a lot of people that have suffered that pain that I have, and they want to be sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.” said Jolene.

Molly and Rings

Molly Himmelstein (2008), who works for Google in New York City, won 2 Sports Emmys in the categories of Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Event Coverage and Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Programming with her team from the London Olympics.

Kate Wesler Pippin

Katie Wesler (2010) is touring over the next few months throughout the United States and Japan as part of the National Tour of Pippin. Click here to see if she’s coming to a city near you. Katie and her boyfriend Benjamin are pictured above in front of the Fox Theatre before her last Pippin show in Atlanta. “I had a friend take a pic as I was heading to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Saturday—and Coca-Cola was on the marque! So many thanks to Coca-Cola for helping to sponsor the Atlanta Broadway Series! And I’m thrilled to be a part of this tour!” said Katie.

Dr Kayes

Dr. Andrew Kayes (1991), Medical Director of Maui Diagnostic Imaging, was recently named the Intersociety Private Practice Representative for the American College of Radiology. This title holds a 2 year term that will have him traveling to the mainland for conferences that now puts a Hawaii representative on the front line of all things radiological. Andrew is the first Hawaii radiologist to ever hold this title. “It’s an honor to be chosen to represent the private practice sector and it’s a special moment to have radiologists from Hawaii involved in shaping our field of expertise nationally” he said.

Alissa Anderegg

Alissa Anderegg (2012) was selected as a woman leader of the Alzheimer’s Association’s newest national campaign, Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge, alongside female leaders including Ann Romney, Brooke Shields, and Senator Barbara Mikulski. “This campaign is especially exciting to me because it focuses on the fact that 2/3 of those affected by Alzheimer’s are women. For this achievement, I earned Duke’s inaugural WomC National Impact Award for improving the lives of women on a national scale.” said Alissa.

Erin Muffoletto

Erin Muffoletto (2003) was named by Albuquerque Business First as a Woman of Influence, an award that names some of the most powerful and innovative women in New Mexico. Erin discusses her greatest professional achievements, leadership ability, and how she gives back to the community in Erin Muffoletto.


Scholly, a social enterprise co-founded by 2010 Scholars Christopher Grey and Bryson Alef that allows people to search for college scholarships, is partnering with President Obama’s organization My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which will supply participants free access to the app.

Alumni Connections May 2015

SF Parade 1SF Parade 2Coca-Cola Scholars in San Francisco were invited to walk beside the Coca-Cola float in the Chinese New Year parade in April. The Coca-Cola float won for “Best Lunar New Year Theme” and will be recognized by the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce on May 8!

Princeton Scholars

Coca-Cola Scholars at Princeton got together for a pizza dinner together before their school year comes to an end. Michael Kochis (2011), Michelle Molner (2012), Sneha Goswami (2011), Adi Chauhan (2013), Douglas Bastidas (2011), Josh Roberts (2013), Judy Hou (2012), Vivian Yao (2013), Manraj Singh (2012), Benjamin Lei (2014), and Megan Abbott (2012) were in attendance.

CASA, Clyde, Judy and Kevin

Kevin Kalra (2004) and Judy Hou (2012) attended the CASAColumbia (Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse) 23rd Annual Awards Dinner on May 6 as guests of The Coca-Cola Company.  They joined Clyde Tuggle, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer at The Coca-Cola Company and member of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s Board of Directors, and Donna Cirolia, Vice President, Regional Public Affairs & Communications, Northeast at The Coca-Cola Company.

Alumni Accolades April 2015

Elizabeth Brajevich glamour

Elizabeth Brajevich (2012) is one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women! The story is in the May issue with Michelle Obama on the cover. “I had a great experience last weekend in New York, receiving the award, visiting Google and LinkedIn’s New York offices and talking to high schoolers at Manhattan Bridges School. I am a 2012 Scholar and would encourage all 2013 ladies to apply for this amazing award!” said Elizabeth.

Peter Kim and Jennifer

2011 Scholars Jennifer Mahan and Peter Kim were selected as Senior Marshals for The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and Columbia College, respectively, and will be leading the procession at their commencement ceremonies. Senior Marshal is an honor bestowed upon members of the graduating class who have demonstrated achievement in their academics and extracurricular activities as a student at Columbia University. Senior Marshals are worthy of recognition for their personal achievements and for demonstrating what it means to “be a Columbian.”

Elise Stefanik

Rep. Elise Stefanik (2002), discussed her first 100 days in office as the youngest woman elected to Congress, and the unique perspective she brings to Capitol Hill on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Kavita Shukla and Tina Brown at Women in the World Summit 2015

FreshPaper Inventor and Fenugreen Founder/CEO Kavita Shukla (2002) was featured at the 2015 Women in the World Summit, presented by The New York Times and Tina Brown Live Media. (Kavita is pictured above with Tina Brown.) Kavita was recognized for her work on FreshPaper at this event, which gives a platform to global women on the front lines—activists, artists, CEOs, peacemakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have saved or enriched lives and shattered glass ceilings in every sector. Participants of the summit included Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Barbra Streisand, Katie Couric, Helen Mirren, Ava DuVernay, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Jon Stewart, Tom Hanks and Aamir Khan.

christopher gray with Kevin plank

Christopher Gray’s (2010) app Scholly won first place in Under Armour‘s pitch competition, winning $75,000 and an additional $5,000 from Salesforce. “It was amazing getting to meet Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank who now wants to invest in our next round. In addition, the City of Memphis has bought Scholly for all of their high school juniors and seniors!” said Christopher.

Amy Malone in North Korea

Amy Malone (2012) traveled to Seoul, South Korea to present a research paper at CHI2015, The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Human-Computer Interaction Conference. “Coca-Cola was everywhere! Even at the DMZ!” Amy said. DMZ is the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

I am here - Anna Delamerced

Anna Delamerced (2012) wrote a piece that was published alongside a collection of stories in an anthology called “I Am Here: The Untold Stories of Everyday People“. The book is available on Amazon. The story she wrote is about a pivotal moment of faith that happened during her first year at Brown University.

Daniel Nguyen (2010) received a Fulbright Award to teach in Macau, China this coming year.

Daron Roberts (1997) was named to the Austin Sports Commission Board of Directors.

2015 Scholars Kawther Berhanu and Amadou Bah have been named Gates Millennium Scholars.

Alumni Connections April 2015


Harvard Selfie

Scholars at Harvard University wasted no time welcoming our newest class from 2015! Groups were able to come together several times during Harvard’s admit weekend.

Scholars at Notre Dame

Coca-Cola Scholars at Notre Dame came together for Coke and pizza at their favorite place, Rocco’s. Pictured left to right: Caitlin Crommett (2011), Zachary Bequette (2013), Christina Gutierrez (2011), Lindsay Renz (2011), Kathleen Krah (2011), and Emily David (2013). Marc Drake (2011) also attended.

Paul Mulligan and Nick Shannon at ASU

Nick Shannon (2012) listened to Paul Mulligan, President of Coca-Cola Refreshments, speak at his college, Arizona State University.

Allen Osgood and Joel Bervell in London

Allen Osgood (2013) visited the London Eye with Joel Bervell (2013) while on their study abroad travels, and Allen stayed with Kevin Shen (2000) during his short stay in London as well.

St Louis Alums

Carolyn Norton, Alumni Relations Manager at CCSF, had coffee with a few Scholars and Alumni in St. Louis while in town.

Sandy Liz Taylor and Taras

Liz Fisher (1996) ran into Sandy Williams, Chairman of Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling and former Chairman of CCSF, and his family at Callaway Gardens while she was celebrating her birthday with her husband and baby girl Taylor.

Gabi visit

erica tuggle

Pregnant 2001 Scholars Gabi Maris and Erica Tuggle both visited the Scholars Foundation for lunch.

Jasmine and kids

Jasmine Taiwo (2003) stopped by our office with her 2 girls Olivia (2) and Zoe (1) during their visit from South Korea.

The Coca-Cola Company invited Jane Chung (2003) to the 15th Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards on March 26, 2015 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

Alumni Accolades March 2015

Ben Anders

Ben Anders (2007) was announced as the 2015 American Dental Education Association (ADEA)/Sunstar Americas, Inc./Jack Bresch Student Legislative Intern. Ben will be a member of the ADEA AGR staff and participate in congressional meetings on Capitol Hill, coalition meetings, and policy discussions. To learn more about this internship, visit the ADEA website.

Akbar Khan

Akbar Khan (2014) and his nonprofit Bags to Riches, an organization that is dedicated to making education more accessible to underprivileged youth by collecting unused and unwanted conference bags for children across the globe, was featured on the ONE website, where he is interning this year.

Megan Rosenberger

Megan Rosenberger (2013) was selected as a Resolution Fellow after presenting her venture Barrels by the Bay, which seeks to bring awareness to World Water Day by painting and installing rain barrels throughout Annapolis. In partnership with the Clinton Foundation, over 500 students competed for one of the fellowship positions which provide hands-on mentorship, world-class global advisory resources, and $5,000 in seed funding. Chelsea Clinton announced Megan and 14 others as the winners at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative Conference in Miami. Afterwards, Megan even had the chance to discuss her non-profit with Clinton.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is a proud Pathway Partner with the Resolution Project. Learn more about their model for identifying and inspiring young leaders through their Social Venture Challenges and Resolution Fellowships at their website.

Justin Pasquariello

Justin Pasquariello (1997) is featured in an article on the Harvard Business School Alumni site regarding his career as the Executive Director or Children’s HealthWatch in Boston.

Daron Roberts

Daron Roberts (1997) was selected to be a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, a unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the U.S. presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. These presidential centers have partnered to bring together a select group of leaders who have the desire and capacity to take their leadership strengths to a higher level in order to help their communities and our country. The next round of applications will be open this summer, and details can be found on their website.

Marvin Carr (2005) received his doctorate from Morgan State University in Baltimore and is working at the White House in the office of the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith, as her STEM education policy intern.

Alumni Connections March 2015

Helen and Rachel

Photo Credit: Shelby Lin and Lydia Burns

As a part of the Harvard women’s rugby team, Coca-Cola Scholars Helen Clark (2011) and Rachael Stein (2013), pictured center, took part in a photo shoot with their teammates to illustrate the supportive nature of the team and express body image positivity. Markers in hand, players wrote words of encouragement and admiration on each other, resulting in photos documented on their Tumbler, Rugged Grace, that tell a story of empowerment and celebration. Helen and her co-writers describe the motivation behind the project in an article in the Harvard Political Review:

“Words cannot adequately describe the liberating feeling that being a part of a team with such body positivity provides. Imagine the relief of taking a breath of fresh air after being drowned for so long in the pressure that society places on women to fit some unrealistic mold. Rugby, and our team in particular, only pressures players to utilize and to be proud of the parts of their bodies that make them unique.”

Rugged Grace has been featured on the Huffington Post, Time, and Today Health, and continues to inspire others.

Pamit & AnjaliAnjali Bhatla (2013) interned for Pamit Surana (1989) at Accenture last summer. “He invested a significant amount of time on me, teaching me the importance of intentionality, good communication skills, and reflecting on best practices to improve performance. He also consistently pushed me to become better, and the personal development that occurred while I worked with him has greatly improved my endeavors in college,” she said. Pamit said “Anjali was awesome… a lot of my colleagues still ask for her. Given she did so well, I have hired 2012 Scholar Manraj Singh for this summer.” If you are an alum who is interested in hiring a Coca-Cola Scholar, post your job listing in the Coca-Cola Scholar Alumni LinkedIn Group and email Carolyn.

Bita and JasonJason Feldman (1990) passed through the CVS pharmacy drive-thru in Greensboro and the pharmacist who was working at the window was none other than Bita Emrani (2006)!

Stacey, Shardy and staffThe Scholars Foundation staff had the pleasure of visiting with Stacey Edmonson (1989) and Shardy Camargo (2009), who were visiting Atlanta for work conferences. Stacey is the Dean of the College of Education at Sam Houston State University in Texas, and Shardy works for Americorps in Florida.

Coca-Cola Scholar alums had a big presence at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference recently – Rudy Fernandez (1991), Spencer Lucker (2006), Nasir Uddin (2006), Clara Tsao (2009), Shejuti Paul (2011), Karishma Popli (2012),  Will Orton (2013), Ala Tineh (2013), Samuella Takyi-Buachie (2013), and Megan Rosenberger (2013) all met up in Miami between sessions. See pictures below:

Scholars at CGIUScholars at CGIUScholars at CGIUScholars at CGIU

Alumni Accolades February 2015

Jacob Tobia

Jacob Tobia (2010) was featured on MTV as part of The T-Word, a documentary project about transgender and gender non-binary youth directed by Laverne Cox. Watch Jacob discuss the use of pronouns in this clip. Jacob has also been featured in the Washington Post, Upworthy, and Huffpost Live over the past few months.

Nicholas Cobb head and shoulders

Nicholas Cobb (2014) was named to The Root’s 2015 Young Futurists, who are young African-American men and women who are forging a path to future greatness.


Aaron Chadbourne (2002) has taken a new job as Senior Policy Advisor within the Office of the Governor in Maine. When she learned of this news, Jennifer Cruickshank with the Coca-Cola Company in New England invited him to an event where he reunited with David Dumont of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England – the same Bottler who presented him with his Coca-Cola Scholar certificate when he won the scholarship!

Christopher GrayChristopher Gray (2010) will be pitching his scholarship app, “Scholly,” to investors on Shark Tank on Friday, February 20 at 9 p.m. Eastern on ABC. According to the ABC teaser, interest in Christopher’s app “ignites into the most heated Shark fight ever with 3 of the Sharks walking out of the tank!” See a clip here.

Update! Scholly is now the #1 app in the itunes app store after making a deal on Shark Tank, trading $40,000 for a 15 percent stake in his company with Lori Greiner and Daymond John. Watch Christopher’s pitch and the Shark fight that ensued here.


Albert Lawrence (2003) co-hosted the Oscars pre-show and post-show on ABC as part of his new position as the Digital Media Producer for ABC7 in Los Angeles! You can follow his adventures at @talkoffame or @ABC7Albert.

State Farm Youth Advisory Board

Last month we shared that Raygan Sylvester became part of the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, and we have since found out that 8 Coca-Cola Scholars have served on the board in the past 2 years! Pictured above: Macie Whatley (2013), Anjali Bhatla (2013), Jake Bernstein (2012), Pavane Gorrrepati (2012), ​Justin Pearson (2013), Macy Early (2013), Raygan Sylvester (2014), and Suneil Kamath (2012).

Elizabeth FisherElizabeth Fisher’s (1996) photo is featured on a billboard in Atlanta as the face for the Georgia Tech Executive MBA program!

Amrit Saxena (2011) sold Fancy That Technologies, a machine learning and analytics company he founded, to Palantir Technologies, a large data integration and analytics company. News of the buy-out has appeared in TechCrunchFortune, and Entrepreneur.

Jesse Bernal (2000) was recently hired as Vice President of the Division for Inclusion and Equity at Grand Valley State University.

Alumni Connections February 2015

RIC Atlanta GroupA great group of alumni came together at The Coca-Cola Company headquarters in Atlanta as part of our Regional Interview Committee. The group included: Torarie Durden (1994), Michael Hanley (1996), Andrea Camille Young (1990), J.J. Jaxon (1994), Valerie Love (1990), Darian Dabney (2005), Greg Melia (1989), and Kim Rash (1990).

Atlanta gathering

…and then Atlanta Scholars came together in a much more informal setting in late February!

Ben and Makila

Ben Anders (2007) and Micaela Connery (2004) met up while Ben was visiting Boston last week.

Liz and Taylor

Elizabeth Fisher (1996) and her 3-month-old daughter Taylor joined us for lunch in our office.

We were happy to bring together several groups of alumni while traveling for regional interviews the first weekend in February!

houston dinner1 again

Scholars in Houston came together not just one night…

houston alums at benjys

…but two!

Anjali, Rohit, Varsha and Sharmila

Houston also had a wonderful group of alumni who volunteered during the interviews: Anjali (2013), Rohit (2014), Varsha (2014) and Sharmila (2014).

philly thurs dinner

Not to be outdone, Philadelphia Scholars met up on Thursday…

Philly dinner 2

…and Friday!

San Fran dinner

San Francisco Scholars came together for dinner.

Patti and alums in NYC.jpg

Scholars in New York caught up Saturday evening.

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Chicago Scholars had dinner and embraced the winter weather.

Jason Feldman Kavita Swaroop and Travis

Jason Feldman (1990) and his partner Travis got together for dinner with Kavita Shukla (2002) and her business partner Swaroop when she was in Chapel Hill as a speaker for the TEDxUNC conference.

Mark with Carolyne and kids

Carolyne Dilgard-Clark (1995) visited the CCSF office with her kids during a cross-country road trip before moving to Switzerland.

Joel Martin

Alumnus and now 2015 Banquet sponsor Joel Martin (1996) came to visit with Foundation staff and make plans for placing his Brightbox charging stations on site during Scholars Weekend!