Urban Fellows ~ The Class of 2003-2004

Brandis Anderson Brandis Anderson 
Stanford University
Department of Homeless Services

By introducing me to a number of highly intelligent and motivated city employees who work hard to create and evaluate effective policies for New York, the Urban Fellows program challenged me to reevaluate my perceptions of civil servants and the effectiveness of city government.

David Anderson David Anderson 
Harvard College
Economic Development Corporation

When I think about my future career path, I see Urban Fellows Program as perhaps the most central component. This isn't because it was my first job or my first taste of the working world. It's because it prepared me to embrace a set of clients, constituencies, and concerns more diverse than any I'll probably encounter from now on.
Rachel Berger Rachel Berger 
Yale University
NYC Police Department
Ben Branham Ben Branham 
University of Illinois
Department of Small Business Services
Melissa Colon Melissa Colon
Hunter College
Department of Education
Marco DeSena Marco DeSena
Baruch College
Department of Education
Monique Duwell Monique Duwell 
University of Chicago
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Ola Friday Ola Friday
Tufts University
Housing Preservation and Development
Joseph Greaves Joseph Greaves 
Oberlin College
Department of Transportation
Daniel Jang Daniel Jang
Yale University
Economic Development Corporation
Jose Jimenez Jose Jimenez 
Bard College
Parks and Recreation
Angela Jin Angela Jin 
Georgetown University
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

After brief stints in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Asia, Angela finally found herself among the great Urban Fellows. As an Urban Fellow, Angela worked for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and came to call downtown her home. She got her hands into everything from memorial planning at the WTC site to tourism marketing campaigns in Chinatown. She also learned much in the realm of economic and community development, which she plans to pursue as a career interest.
Craig Katerberg Craig Katerberg
University of Chicago
Department of Small Business Services
Jen McVetty Jen McVetty 
Princeton University
NYC Police Department
Kristen Misner Kristin Misner 
College of the Holy Cross
Department of Homeless Services

If you want to play the New York City lotto, you need a dollar and a dream. If you want to make an impact in New York City government, you need a vision and a plan. Being an Urban Fellow has fueled my belief that one person can make a difference. I have been consistently inspired by people who want to improve some aspect of the city and have succeeded - people who are not afraid to take a chance. As an employee of the Department of Homeless Services, I know that progress does not happen in a vacuum. It requires collaboration and hard work from numerous parties. I am thankful for the opportunity to be an Urban Fellow and to contribute to a vision for the future.
Zak Royse Zak Royse 
University of Arizona
Taxi & Limousine Commission

The Urban Fellows Program provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to explore the inner workings of the largest and most complex city government in the world. Nowhere else could I find such an amazing and unique experience in public service and nowhere else would I have had the chance to meet 24 extraordinarily talented young individuals as those I have encountered through this Fellowship.

Sarah Samis Sarah Samis
Barnard College
Health and Hospitals Corporation

Participating in the Urban Fellows Program confirmed that there are passionate and innovative people in public service. In addition to the city government veterans that displayed this spirit, being surrounded by the 24 other enthusiastic fellows solidified my commitment to a career in public service.

Francine Sanchez Francine Sanchez 
Lehman College ‘01
Univ. of Penn  M.A.’03
Administration for Children’s Services

Working with Commissioner Bell and Jennifer Marino, Chief of Staff, of the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) has been a rewarding experience for me. Throughout my tenure at ACS,I have had the opportunity to work on groundbreaking projects related to mentoring, higher education, child care, group work practice, the September 11th Scholarship and many other special projects that have come through this office. I have also had the pleasure to attend meetings with Commissioner Bell and other key representatives from city government; elected officials, nonprofit and private organizations. In addition, I have been able to get a diverse perspective about city government through my experiences attending both a city hall hearing and federal court case, and shadowing a caseworker from an ACS Bronx field office, an attorney from the Bronx Family Court, and ACS Deputy Commissioner Zeinab Chahine. These experiences have been extremely gratifying for me and I look forward to working on children's issues and youth development throughout my career.

My experience as a NYC Urban Fellow has been one of enormous opportunity and exposure. Meeting and learning from city government officials has taught me that we have brilliant and dedicated people working for us and has introduced me to the many challenges they face. I am thankful for this experience and am happy to call myself a New Yorker.

Meg Scheding Meg Scheding
Harvard College
Department of Environmental Protection

Meg grew up in Los Angeles, CA before moving East to attend Harvard College. She graduated in 2003 with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy. She immediately put her degree to work with the Urban Fellows program placement in the New York City Office of Environmental Coordination, where she gained expertise in environmental regulations and law-making, land recycling, economic development, and City-wide sustainability initiatives. She enjoyed representing her office in several inter-agency task forces and being a project manager for a redevelopment project in upper Manhattan. She was also the Captain of the Urban Fellows' co-ed indoor soccer team, Bouncing Off the Walls. Post-fellowship she finds herself at City Hall, working as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff and assisting commissioners in operating their agencies. Meg is now enjoying captaining a co-ed outdoor soccer team, Kick Some Grass, that boasts 8 recent Urban Fellow grads, and learning to sail in the "other" ocean, the Atlantic.

Eric Schepard Eric Schepard 
Amherst College
NYC Fire Department

Working at the Fire Department has exposed me to an organization with a mission and culture which I had never before experienced and never thought I would get a chance to experience. Thanks to the Urban Fellows Program I have met many interesting people and have seen my interests expand in many exciting directions.
Aviv Segev Aviv Segev 
Metropolitan College
Department of Correction
Sarah Showalter Sarah Showalter 
Wesleyan College
Housing Preservation and Development
Kiran Singh Kiran Singh
Brown University
Department of Transportation

Kiran Singh spent her tenure as an Urban Fellow in Commissioner Iris Weinshall's Office at the Department of Transportation. As a Project Manager in the Commissioner's Office, Kiran was exposed to every facet of this very large organization. Working directly for the Commissioner's Senior Policy Advisor, Kiran worked on a range of projects including speech writing and managing the DOT agency newsletter. Coming from a social services background, she found her work at the Department of Transportation to be a refreshing change. Working for an agency that provides basic infrastructure to the city's residents, she began to understand the complex challenges that the engineers and political minds at DOT face every day.

Kiran's past professional experiences include internships at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Harvard Law School and at the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts. Kiran graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Brown University in 2003 with a degree in Political Science. At Brown, Kiran was awarded the CV Starr Institute Award for leadership in community service. Kiran is originally from Braintree, Massachusetts where she attended Milton Academy. She is currently a first year law student at UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall and hopes to become a public interest lawyer possibly returning to work for the government on some level or working in the field of immigration law, women's rights or criminal law. As her fellow Urban Fellow Alums know, Kiran is also an avid Law and Order fan and especially enjoyed working for the City because she spotted the cast everywhere in lower Manhattan!
Andrew Troisi 
Loyola College
Office of Emergency Management

It has been since becoming a part of a city government that directly serves 8 million people that I have come to appreciate what is required to maintain a (very big) well-oiled machine.
Astra Williams Astra Williams
Hunter College
Department of Finance