Claremont, Calif. (May 26, 2014)—Five Pitzer College recent graduates—Megan Dooley ’10, Shiyana Gunasekara ’14, Aidan Lukomnik ’14, Adam Mandel-Senft ’11 and Romarilyn Ralston ’14—have been named 2014-15 Coro Fellows, setting a new College record for number of Coro Fellowships awarded in a single year.
Dooley, an environmental analysis major with an anthropology minor, has been awarded a Coro Fellowship to St. Louis. At Pitzer, she was involved in many aspects of campus life as an Orientation Adventure coordinator, first-year mentor, Jumpstart corps member, campus tour guide, overnight visit coordinator and Admission Fellow, to name a few. Dooley spent a semester in Nepal and conducted summer research in Botswana. Since graduation, she has worked as an admission counselor at Mills College and as assistant director of Alumni Relations at Pitzer. Currently the resident director of West and East Halls, Dooley serves on the Alumni Board and ultimately plans to pursue a graduate degree in counseling at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Gunasekara, a double major in economics and political studies, was awarded a fellowship in St. Louis. She interned with US Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Center for American Progress in DC and studied sustainable development and social change in India. As a volunteer with the South Asian Network, Gunasekara works on financial literacy courses for marginalized members of the Southern California South Asian community. At Pitzer, she served as an Admission Fellow, economics tutor and member of the 5C Asian-American/Pacific Islander Advisory Board. She aspires to follow in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, the first female Sri Lankan ambassador to Ghana, by pursuing a career in public service. Gunasekara was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Sri Lanka.
Lukomnik, who was awarded a fellowship in San Francisco, previously served as a digital fellow with the Organizing for America campaign. His passion for social change led him to work with the sexual health and reproductive rights organizations Advocates for Youth and Centro Ecuatoriano de Desarrollo y Estudios Alternativos while studying abroad in Ecuador. A political studies major, Lukomnik was a bicycle technician with Pitzer’s Green Bike Program and co-president of Pitzer’s Cooking Club. He intends to use the Coro fellowship to gain experience with multiple types of organizations as he prepares for a career promoting a socially just world through digital communication and politics.
Mandel-Senft was awarded a fellowship in New York, where he will work on a series of individually tailored assignments with a variety of public affairs organizations. An organizational studies major at Pitzer, Mandel-Senft taught middle school students about the environment through the College’s LEEP program and played on the Sagehens Men’s Water Polo team. Currently, he is conducting postgraduate research in Berlin with Freie Universität and Bard College Berlin. He is studying the societal factors that must coevolve with the transition of electric vehicles from niche technologies to mainstream applications.
Ralston, a gender and feminist studies major, has been awarded a Coro Fellowship to St. Louis. A New Resources student, she will draw upon her experience in motivational leadership, behavioral management and alcohol and drug addiction counseling. She has worked with juvenile delinquents and residents of Crossroads, which provides housing, education, and counseling for women who have been incarcerated. Ralston plans to work with underprivileged youth and young adults. She was also a Napier Fellow this year.
The highly selective Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time, graduate-level experiential leadership-training program that prepares talented and committed individuals to become effective and ethical leaders in the public affairs arena. Sixty-four Coro Fellows are chosen nationally each year. During the nine-month Coro program, fellows are rotated through the major political and economic institutions of an urban area in the US. Former Coro Fellows include Pitzer Board Chair Robin Kramer ’75 and US Senator Dianne Feinstein.