Who We Are

Julia Barravecchio

Julia is a first year student in the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is planning to major in political science but is still largely undecided. She grew up in Staten Island, just a short trip away from Manhattan. Julia enjoys diving more deeply into the different cultural communities of New York City and learning so many new things about the place she has lived all her life.

Calvin Herman

Calvin is a first year student who attends Hunter College as a Macaulay Honors student. He is majoring in biology and aspires to be a doctor and researcher who is involved in his community. Perhaps a surprise to many, science is actually not the only thing that sparks Calvin’s interest. Besides that, he is passionate about immigrants’ rights and equal educational opportunities for underserved youth. During Calvin’s free time, one can find him watching a sitcom, or burying himself in books. There is no in between.

Lauren Lazarte

Lauren is a freshman at Hunter College currently majoring in psychology, however this is subject to change due to her fervent indecisiveness. At the moment, she wishes to be an art therapist for children with special needs. She enjoys watching The Office re-runs and listening to Joey Bada$$’s entire discography. Lauren prides herself in her desire for adventure, her appreciation of the arts, and her vastly broad taste in music.

Micaela Arena

Micaela Arena is a student at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is a writer, curator, and currently works with kids with learning disabilities. She enjoys reading, sleeping, sailing, and playing with other people’s pets. She is also working as a volunteer coordinator for the UN and as the Creative Director for the Hunter Journal of Undergraduate Research. She was born and raised in New York, and can be reached at Micaela.Arena06@myhunter.cuny.edu

Jackie Palmer

Jackie is a Long Islander, born and raised, but she has fulfilled her dream of going to college in Manhattan as a first-year student at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is planning on majoring in Human Biology, possibly minoring in English and Spanish, and, although mostly undecided, looking into a career in research. On any given weekend, you can find Jackie spending time with family and friends, listening to music, or watching Netflix.

Emanuel Zbeda

Emanuel Zbeda is a Political Science major (with a double minor in Legal Studies and Public Policy) at Macaulay Honors College. A first-generation Israeli-American, he hopes to pursue a cross-disciplinary career in law, with a special focus in public policy as it pertains particularly to mental healthcare. He is the Vice President of the CUNY Debate Society and the founder of Generation Vote at CUNY, and Generation Vote Team Leader at Hunter College. His work has been long-listed by The Economist, and he contributed to the Huffington Post in late high school, where he was also a member of the School Leadership Team and the President of several clubs pertaining to civic action and philanthropic works. 

Talia Askowitz

Talia Askowitz is a freshman Macaulay Honors student at Hunter College who grew up in NYC and White Plains, NY. Talia feels innately connected to the immigrant population of NYC as both her grandmothers immigrated to the United States when fleeing Nazi Europe.  Talia is grateful for the kindnesses the United States showed her family and the many who fled persecution. Talia enjoys her forays into the  the “Littles” of the city, as she loves to immerse herself various rich cultural life.

Christopher Chiang

Christopher Chiang is a freshman in the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. He is currently studying biochemistry and Chinese language and literature under the Chinese Flagship Program at Hunter. He is the son of Chinese immigrants from Myanmar and grew up in Flushing, Queens. In his free time, Christopher enjoys watching horror movies, taking Snapchats of neighborhood cats, and consuming excessive amounts of sushi. In the future, Christopher hopes to combine his interests in language-learning, medicine, and community health to serve underrepresented populations in New York City.

Jennifer Dikler

Jennifer Dikler is majoring in Political Science and Economics on a prelaw track, and is a Cooperman Fellow. She hopes to eventually do work involving immigration or education-related policy. Jennifer is the daughter of Russian immigrants who arrived in the United States a few years before she was born. She works as a paralegal and tutor, and volunteers with a college access nonprofit called Let’s Get Ready. 

Christopher Lester

Christopher is a freshman at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. He intends to major in Psychology and Political Science with a possible minor in film. In the future, he hopes to attend law school and eventually become a bankruptcy attorney. Despite his narrow career focus, he is also very invested in U.S. politics and issues of human rights. He hopes to one day run for public office and bring these values with him to his position.

Matthew Tomko

Matthew Tomko is a student at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College studying Computer Science and Urban Studies.  If he isn’t writing essays or long pages of code, he is often found wandering New York City’s many neighborhoods or composing music.  If you still can’t find him doing either of those things, he is likely at the nearest SoulCycle location.  His favorite quote comes from Steve Jobs; “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Simmeon Chanka

Simmeon Chanka is a Macaulay Honors Scholar at attending Hunter College. He loves anything that challenges him and pushes him to become a better person. Although being born and raised in New York, he has also spent a considerable amount of time in his parents native land of Trinidad, where he was able to develop a love for other cultures, and has learned to keep an open mind. Currently on the pre-med track in college, he is hoping to one day be able to travel the world and help people all over who may need medical care. The multi-cultural experiences that he has had both in the Melting Pot of New York City as well as overseas have given him this drive to explore the people and customs across the world.

Jason Sabatelle

Jason Sabatelle is a food and exercise enthusiast that lives in Brooklyn, New York. He enjoys reading philosophy, tanning on the beach, and rock climbing. He once wrestled, but now prefers dancing for intimate physical contact. Jason hopes to travel the world, taking in Earth’s breathtaking sights and eating wonderful food from every culture.

Emanuel Khaimov

Emanuel Khaimov is a first-year freshman studying economics in New York’s very own Macaulay Honors College. Born and raised to an orthodox Jewish community in Rego Park, New York, Emanuel accomplished his goal to find himself residing in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City. A compassionate foodie, avid Snapchatter and occasional Instagramer, Emanuel has sought to learn and utilize all of New York City’s opportunities. Emanuel hopes to make his mark on the world one step at a time.