July 2016 Accolades

Accolades_Holly Sanchez_Big Stack_2016.07

Holly Sanchez Perry (2009) joined with U by Kotex and DoSomething.org to start “The Power of the Period” project. It’s the first-ever, national period products drive and second installment of the Period Projects – a series of projects, each inspired and led by a woman who has passion for creating change.

The project is from July 14 – September 30, 2016, and will bring awareness to the issues of homelessness and menstrual health. People can sign up to participate in the project on their local level by visiting https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/power-period and even have the opportunity to win a $5,000 scholarship!

Accolades_Holly Sanchez_Carrying Boxes_2016.07

“I did a small-scale Chicago-based drive in March of this year and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to help take this nationally,” said Holly.

July 2016 Connections

Connections_Chicago pizza dinner_2016.07

Chicago Scholars and alumni met up for pizza at Xoco, which they highly recommend to anyone passing through the city. Pictured left to right: Jeremy O’Brien (2012), Kurt von Laven (2008), Holly Sanchez Perry (2009), Mark Hendrickx (1997), and Radhika Rawat (2010).

Connections_Coke Scholars with USAid_2016.07

Scholars who work at US Aid in Washington, D.C., got together for lunch. Pictured left to right:  Ryan McCannell (1989), Jay Gilliam (2000), Kristin Kelly Jangraw (2003), and Karina Plascencia (2010).

Connections_Walter Natalia Brad_2016.07

Walter and Natalia Menjivar (2005 and 2004 Scholars) and Brad Galiette (2004) met up for dinner in Mystic, CT. Since becoming Coke Scholars, Walter and Natalia both attended Vanderbilt and later got married, and Walter and Brad collaborated on a Connecticut-focused economic development effort, not realizing their Coke Scholar connection at the time.

Connections_Jack Carolyn and Kamber in St Louis_2016.07

Carolyn Norton (CCSF Alumni Relations Manager) got together with Jack Terschluse (2012), Kamber Schneider (2001), and Kamber’s son when she was in St. Louis in June.

Connections_Kari Philbeck family and Mark_2016.07

Kari Philbeck (1994) and her family dropped by our office while she was in town for the Food Services Convention. Mark had not seen her in years, and it was great to reconnect! Kari works for The Coca-Cola Company in Las Vegas.

Connections_Liz Fisher and kids_2016.07

 Elizabeth Fisher (1996) and her adorable kids dropped by our office for lunch.

Alumni Accolades June 2016

Sulekha Ramayya (2012) graduated as Valedictorian from the University of Southern California and had the opportunity to address a crowd of over 65,000. Read more about her story.

Accolades_Nate and Jolene_Telly award_2016.6.15

Jolene Loetscher (1997) and her husband Nate Burdine, owners of Mud Mile Communications in South Dakota, won a Telly award for the 2015 Scholars Weekend video they produced for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation! Jolene and Nate received a Telly award for the 2014 Scholars Weekend video last year as well. Telly awards honor the very best film & video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs.

Accolades_Brendan Yue NBA trophy_2016.06

Brendon Yu (2010) works for the Cleveland Cavaliers and got this photo with the trophy when the team beat the Warriors in the NBA finals last week!

Elizabeth Walker (1989) sent up a powerful flare coast-to-coast with her moving reflection on leadership, life and service in an eloquent appeal to her alma mater, Harvard University, to rebalance its honor roll. Harvard published her op-ed in the Commencement edition of the University paper, and it has since been shared across more than 15 universities, including NYU, Yale, Notre Dame, Stanford, UNC, Cornell, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UVA, Duke, Georgetown, Vassar, Brown, and the London School of Economics.

Alumni Connections June 2016

Connections_DC Reception_Group Picture_2016.06

We enjoyed visiting with around 100 Scholars and alumni at our Washington, DC, reception this month!

Connections_DC Reception_Mark Davis Elise Stefanik_2016.06

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (2002) shared her journey into government and stories of unexpected meetings with fellow Scholars at the reception.

Connections_ Albert and Kevin in Los Angeles_2016.06

Kevin Chung (1990) and Albert Lawrence (2003) met up for dinner in Los Angeles when Kevin was in town for work.

Connections_Jany Brown and Graham VanSchaik_2016.06

Jany Brown (1992) and Graham Van Schaik (2008) met up in Atlanta with Graham’s Mom and Jany’s son (also named Graham) when he was in town taking his medical board exams. Jany had helped to select “Graham 1.0” (as she calls him) as a Coke Scholar in 2008, and was so impressed by him that when she found out she was pregnant with a boy, she told her Mom, “If this guy is as amazing in person as he is on paper, it’s a sign,” and she named her son Graham! They have since formed a friendship and stay in touch often. Jany says that her son Graham, which they call “Graham 2.0,” has “big shoes to fill!”

Connections_Julie and Kavita_2016.06

Julie Gherki (1998) and Kavita Shukla (2002) got together while in the same town for work.

Connections_Office Visit_Hannah and Sami_2016.06

The Coca-Cola Company interns Sami Stoner (2013) and Hannah Nemer (2010) came by to have lunch with us.

Connections_Ashley's Wedding_2016.06

Mark Davis’s daughter Ashley was married in Athens, GA, and the CCSF crew was in attendance! Pictured left to right: Ericia Ward-Williams, Patti Ross, Alison Davis, Ashley Davis, Michael Morrow, Mark Davis, Carolyn Norton, Jane Hale Hopkins, and Lauren O’Brien.

Alumni Accolades May 2016

Herschbach SIYSS award Pontius and Revanur_Crop

2016 Scholars Swetha Revanur and Wyatt Pontius won the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Awards at the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The SIYSS is a multi-disciplinary seminar highlighting some of the most remarkable achievements by young scientists from around the world. Swetha and Wyatt will attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS) and attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Sweden.

Nadya Ted Talk

Nadya Okamoto (2016) presented at TEDxPortland, speaking about the unaddressed needs of
menstrual hygiene among poor and homeless women.

She founded Camions of Care after her family experienced a degree of homelessness, during which she discovered the unaddressed need of menstrual hygiene among poor and homeless women. Her nonprofit is dedicated to helping women who can’t afford menstrual products so that they can achieve their full potential.

Jennifer Bergman Harkness City Council_Crop_2016

Jennifer Bergman Harkness (2000) was elected to City Council in Cleveland, Texas!

Alumni Connections May 2016

Our 2016 Scholars have been busy receiving year-end awards, but also have been presenting their Educator of Distinction Awards to the teachers and mentors who have had a significant impact on their intellectual and personal development. Below are photos from only a handful of the Scholars and their EOD honorees.


Caleigh Propes


Manaal Ali


Cole Diggins


Raymar Turangan


Jessica Peebles


Shangda Xu


George Pandaya


Esther Brown


Angel Chin

2016EODSchramGracie _2

Gracie Schram

2016EODFranklinTalia(Teacher is Anne Flenner)_Crop

Anne Flenner, teacher of Talia Fradkin


Azim Dharani

Jorge and Nadya

Jorge Casimiro (1994) met up with Nadya Okamoto (2016) in Portland, Oregon. Nadya graduated from the same K-12 school that his daughter attends and where his son will go in the fall! Nadya will be attending Harvard University.

alumni at dosomething gala in NYC with Russ from Coke_PAC event_Crop

Four Coca-Cola Scholar alumni had the opportunity to attend the 2016 dosomething.org gala in New York City on behalf of The Coca-Cola Company. One of the world’s largest organizations for youth and social change, dosomething.org has over 5 million active members, and Coca-Cola has been a proud partner since 2015. Featured in this photo, left to right, are: Jonathan Mark (2009), Kyle Baldwin (2006), Russ Mischner (The Coca-Cola Company), Eva Amesse (2007), and Elizabeth Galbut (2007).

Sue Suh and Jeremy Obrien_2016

Jeremy O’Brien (2012) interviewed for a position at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City after reading about it in our Coca-Cola Scholar Alumni LinkedIn group. While there, he connected with Sue Suh (1992), their Chief Talent Officer and member of our Board of Directors, who had told us about the job in the first place!

mackenzie with staff

Mackenzie Lowry (2006) visited us for lunch while she was in town and told us about her new company, Oasis, that makes the beauty-item-dispensing kiosk, BeautyTouch.

Nina Vasan and polar bear_Crop

Nina Vasan (2002), author of Do Good Well, was in town for a conference and stopped by during The Coca-Cola Company’s 130th birthday party in the courtyard!

Joe Semsar visit_Crop

Joe Semsar (2005) was in Atlanta for work and stopped in to say hello.

Alumni Accolades April 2016

Roberta Capp

Roberta Capp (1999) won the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. Watch a video about her here!

As summarized by the Vilcek Foundation, Roberta found that, largely due to systemic barriers to primary care, many patients on Medicaid often depend on emergency departments for non-urgent conditions. To address the issue, Roberta conducted a trial program with patient navigators, trained professionals who work closely with patients to help them obtain timely primary care from diagnosis to follow-up. The trial showed that such services made a significant dent in emergency-department use and hospital admissions. Roberta is working with Medicaid officials in Colorado to improve health care access and delivery for underserved communities. Her work has implications for making health care accessible, affordable, and patient-centered. Roberta is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and she was born in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Vilcek Foundation awards the Vilcek Prizes annually to immigrants who have made lasting contributions to American society through their extraordinary achievements in biomedical research and the arts and humanities. Two prizes are awarded, one in biomedical research and one in the arts and humanities, in a field designated by the Foundation. They are currently accepting applications for 2017 Vilcek prizes. Learn more and apply.

Joelle Murchison

Joelle Murchison (1991) has been named Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at University of Connecticut. She begins her new role on July 5.

Merry Willis

Merry Willis (2000) was offered a Fulbright Distinctive Awards in Teaching grant to New Zealand! She will leave this fall and be there for a year studying how technology impacts learning.

LaToya Franklyn

LaToya Franklyn (2003) authored College As Reality, a step-by-step guide through the college and scholarship application process. The book documents her own experience with the process and gives the reader an intimate view into her life growing up as a Trinidadian immigrant in Brooklyn, New York.

Alumni Accolades March 2016

Accolades_We Give Two_2016.03.21

Ari Krasner (2014) co-created the website We Give Two, a charitable cash giveaway that was featured in the Washington Post, and highlighted CCSF as one of their charities of the day!

Accolades_A chance for Change_2016.03.21

The University of North Carolina Press recently published Crystal Sanders’s (2001) book, A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle, in its John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture. A Chance for Change examines how working-class black women transformed a federal early childhood education program into an opportunity to challenge Mississippi’s closed political system and white supremacist ideology.  Sanders is an assistant professor of history and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Accolades_Leila Janah Conscious Company Cover_2016.03.21

Leila Janah (2000) was featured on the cover of Conscious Company magazine. Read the article, Combating Extreme Poverty Through the Power of Dignified Work.

Accolades_Albert Lawrence on the Oscars_2016.03.21

Did you watch the Oscars?  If you did, you may have seen Albert Lawrence (2003) hosting part of the “On the Red Carpet” pre-show on ABC.

Accolades_Christopher Gray Commercial_2016.03.21

You may have also seen Christopher Gray (2010) featured in this Cadillac commercial that aired during the event!

Accolades_Aaron Chadbourne_2016.03.21

Aaron Chadbourne (2002) joined us as a member of the Regional Interview Committee in February and wrote a piece about his experience in Medium. “I was selected as a Coca-Cola Scholar back in high school. Since that time, the Coca-Cola Company and the many Coke Scholars I have developed relationships with have made a profound impact on me. Becoming a Scholar is about much more than the money for college — which is helpful — but it’s also about becoming part of a connected community of leaders driven to change the world for the better,” Aaron wrote.

Accolades_Shaan Patel Marc Cuban Announcement_2016.03.21

2400 Expert, SAT prep company owned by Shaan Patel (2007), will get a name change. New business partner Mark Cuban announced the change in this video.

Accolades_Jason Pate Tava Kitchen_2016.03.21

Tava Kitchen, co-founded by Jason Pate (2005) was named one of 10 cutting edge restaurant concepts poised to influence the industry in a big way by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Accolades_Ahmad Shawwal_2016.03.21

Ahmad Shawwal (2015) was voted President of his class at UVA for the second year in a row.

Justin Pearson (2013) at Bowdoin College and Dana Sweeney (2013) at the University of Alabama have won a Princeton Policy Fellowship and will be attending Princeton University’s Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School this summer. The program’s mission is to help students from underrepresented groups acquire a graduate degree, typically in public policy, public administration or international affairs. The program provides a $5,000 scholarship to its participants if they end up attending one of 30 top public policy graduate programs.

Zephanii Smith (2008), Associate Consultant, California Legislature Joint Committee on Legislative Audit, has been named a 2016 New Leaders Council Fellow for the Sacramento Chapter.

Alumni Connections March 2016

Connections_Joey Hurlocker and Lisa_2016.03.21

Lisa Sobajian and Joey Hurlocker, 2015 Scholars at Stanford who met during their Scholars Weekend, are leading a book drive for high schools in need in the Palo Alto area. Stanford’s freshman book program requires all students to read 3 books selected by the University’s President over the summer before their freshman year. Lisa explained, “It’s a great program and I thought it would be fantastic to share the program with high schools in need.”

Having attended a public school in Los Angeles, Lisa knew many teachers find it difficult to obtain new sets of books for a classroom of 40 students, let alone enough books to teach 2 to 3 classes of students. She contacted Joey, and they asked fellow freshmen to donate their books to schools in need. They were able to collect over 600 lightly used books, and plan to do it again next year!

Lisa and Joey consider this a wonderful accomplishment because their project has never been done at Stanford. The books will be donated to 5 large urban high schools in California and many smaller high schools. “Coca-Cola Scholars are change makers!! I am proud to be a member of this select group,” Lisa said.

Connections_Asian American Parade_Group_2016.03.22

This February in Northern California, Coca-Cola celebrated their 6th year of community engagement during the most important and largest Chinese American cultural celebration, the Lunar New Year ~ The Year of the Fire Monkey. The 15-day celebration culminated with the annual Chinese New Year street festival and night parade with an estimated 1 million spectators on the streets of San Francisco.

The beloved Polar Bear was featured on the “Coke Float” along with members of our Northern California Asian Business Resource Group, our customers and 9 local Coke Scholars. Scholars who attended included Carrie Schroeder (1989), Jackie Welch (1990),  Karen Cruden (1995), Madison Rezaei (2008), Julia Qiu (2008), Kylan Nieh (2010), Sarah Williams (2011), Maricarmen Hernandez (2013), and Abhishek Mangla (2015). Thank you to Dora Wong from The Coca-Cola Company for inviting our Scholars!

Connections_Hager Rand Jamie Lathan and others at NCSSM_2016.03.21

Jamie Lathan (1996 Scholar and a Dean at The North Carolina School of Science and Math), Hager Rand (President, Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Company), and Jean McGuire (Durham Coca-Cola) welcomed 2016 Scholars Tejal Patwardhan and Jalen McGee to the Coca-Cola Scholars family.

Pictured left to right: Ms. Patwardhan (Tejal’s mom), Gina Burger (Tejal’s school counselor), Hager Rand, Tejal Patwardhan (2016), Jamie Lathan (1996), Jean McGuire, Elizabeth Peeples (one of Tejal’s humanities teachers), and Todd Roberts (the Chancellor of NCSSM).

Connections_American Indian Fund Dinner_2016.03.21

Coca-Cola Scholars joined Kirk Glaze (Public Affairs Director, The Coca-Cola Company) at the American Indian College Fund 2016 Flame of Hope Gala in New York City!

Pictured left to right: Elizabeth Del Cid (2001), her husband John Mancebo, Celeste Campbell, Kyle Baldwin (2008), Cynthia Lindquist, Kirk Glaze (The Coca-Cola Company), Vira Tarnavska, Manraj Singh (2012), Judy Hou (2012), and her guest Maggie Thompson.

Connections_Office Visit_Derreck Kayongo_2016.03.21

Our staff enjoyed a visit from Derreck Kayongo, the new CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Derreck spoke at our 2013 Leadership Summit and will be speaking to our 2016 Coca-Cola Scholars when they come to Atlanta for their Scholars Weekend in a few weeks.

Connections_Office Visit_Antonio McBroom_2016.03.21

Antonio McBroom (2004) came by our office with his colleague Mike Horton to share some ice cream! Antonio owns a Ben & Jerry’s franchise and brought us 3 new Ben & Jerry’s flavors to try.

Connections_Office Visit_Abby Martin_2016.03.21

Abby Martin (2007) joined us for lunch while in Atlanta for work.

Connections_Office Visit_Pat Blute_2016.03.21

Pat Blute (2008) also visited our office while in Atlanta for work.

Alumni Accolades 2016 February

Shaan Patel_2012.02.22

Shaan Patel (2007) appeared on Shark Tank and entered a partnership with Mark Cuban: $250,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in his SAT prep company, 2400 Expert! Watch the full episode, where he is the last entrepreneur to appear, here, or see just his introduction hereHis experience was written about in Forbes magazine, and he wrote How I predicted that Mark Cuban would be my Business Partner on his SAT prep company’s website.

Grace O'Brien_2016.02.23

Grace O’Brien (2015), Founder of nonprofit Ears for Years, was featured in USA Today and interviewed about her goals for her organization.

Christopher Gray_Rings Nasdaq Bell_2016.02.23

Christopher Gray (2010) was named among the top 100 most powerful entrepreneurs under the age of 25 by Richtopia last month and was invited by Forbes and Nasdaq to ring the NASDAQ Opening Bell alongside a few other Forbes 30 Under 30 standouts.

Michael Tubbs_Stanford Event_2016.02.22

Michael Tubbs (2008), City Councilman in Stockton, CA, visited his alma mater, Stanford, as a speaker for the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader (ETL) Series in late January. The ETL Series is a production put on weekly by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) and places Michael among such speakers as Melinda Gates and John Hennessey. He has a great group of Stanford Scholars and alumni in attendance cheering him on! You can watch his talk here.

Marvin Carr_2016.02.22

Marvin Carr (2005), the White House Policy Advisor to the United States Chief Technology Officer, was listed among 28 honorees for NBCBLK which honors 28 of the nation’s most talented innovators and game changers 28-years-old and younger. Honorees were selected as industry and community leaders who are constantly striving to break barriers and defy stereotypes, redefining what it means to be Black in America today.

Cindy Rajkumar_2016.02.22

Cindy Rajkumar (2015) was selected for the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference at the University of California, Berkeley from April 1-3 for her efforts of expanding her nonprofit organization, which targets vulnerable students for advanced education opportunities in the Miami-Dade area. Cindy was also selected to represent Florida for the American Medical Student Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC, for her innovative cancer research project regarding targeted viral injections and inflated tumor suppressors at Jackson Hospital.

Daron Roberts

Daron Roberts (1997), former NFL Defensive Coach and now head of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at UT Austin, wrote 3 Business Lessons from Legendary Super Bowl Coaches for Fortune magazine.