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September 2022 Connections

Local Receptions

This month we were fortunate to see Coke Scholars in person for the first time in 3 years! Thanks to all who were able to attend our receptions in Atlanta and the Northeast.

Our first networking reception welcomed over 40 Scholars to The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta on September 16.
The following week, we traveled to Boston and visited with over 125 Scholars and friends from the Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast team at a networking event at Harvard University on September 19.
We continued to New Haven, connecting with more than 50 Coke Scholars at a networking event at Yale University on September 20.
Married Coke Scholars Walter Menjivar (2005, second from left) and Natalia Menjivar (2004, third from right) brought their 3 “Future Scholars” to the New Haven reception.
The next day, we had lunch with 14 Scholars in Princeton, NJ.
That evening, more than 50 Coke Scholars joined us for a networking event at the Inn at Penn in Philadelphia.

Slices for Scholars

Coke Scholars on campus connect over pizza and Coke.

Raghav Tripathi (2013), Maggi Kreisheh (2014), Joel Bervell (2013), Nadia Nazar (2020), Michelle Moffa (2014), and Kiara Smith (2018) got together for a Slices for Scholars event in Baltimore. They attend Johns Hopkins, UMD, and MICA.

Coca-Cola Connections

Jessica Barbier (Public Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company) connected with Karina Plascencia (2010) during a beach clean-up service event with Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling in San Diego.
Brandon Hardy (2016, left) and a guest attended the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s 40th Anniversary Garden of Eden Ball as guests of The Coca-Cola Company.

Scholar Meet Ups

Krystal Kappeler (2009, middle) celebrated her wedding with bridesmaid Michaella Gallina (2006), Carolyn Norton (CCSF), Kaitlyn Chana (2009), and CJ Alison (2009) in Golden, Colorado, over Labor Day weekend.
While in Colorado, Carolyn had breakfast one day with Felicia Michael (2003), Michelle Sisk (1999), Kalen Acquisto (2009), and Samantha Reising (2022)…
…and then had lunch another day with Kyle Baldwin (2008), Warner Phipps (2008) and Samantha Reising (2022).
2015 Scholars Anabel Moreno-Mendez, Sreya Atluri, and Ayleen Perry all live in Washington, DC, and met for lunch.
Jackie Liu (2021) created a piece of art for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (2003) that was hand-delivered by Josh Schmidt (2010).
Madi Pfaff Edgar (2013) and Jenny Kim (2009) visited with Carolyn in Philadelphia. Madi brought the new additions to her family, and during the visit, Madi and Jenny discovered they were neighbors!


The SIP, The Coke Scholars Ignite Podcast, is back for season 3! The SIP shares a taste of the Coke Scholars around the world who are igniting positive change.

In the fourth episode of The SIP, Coke Scholars and mental health advocates discuss destigmatizing the topic:

  • Dr. Robert Accordino (1999) – Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital; Lecturer (part-time), Harvard Medical School; and Chief Medical Officer, Ontrak Health
  • Diana Chao (2016) – Founder, Letters to Strangers
  • Chris A. Biehn (2014) – Creator, raging seas & Rising Suns
  • Dr. Nina Vasan (2002) – Chief Medical Officer, Real & Founder and Executive Director, Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation

The Scholars share their personal experiences with mental health, discuss how mental health has changed since the pandemic started, and how feelings of imposter syndrome can affect Coca-Cola Scholars and high achieving students and professionals. They also take questions from the Scholar community, giving advice about what to do if you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, dealing with online bullying, and how you can proactively keep yourself well and healthy.

The episode is introduced by Aisha Chebbi (2020).

Watch a video of Robert, Diana, Chris, and Nina recording this episode here with captions on YouTube.