2016-17 PULSErs

bowman-150x150RACHEL BOWMAN (Archbold, OH / Eastern Mennonite University ’16)

Rachel Bowman, a native of Archbold, Ohio, completed her undergraduate degree at Eastern Mennonite University with a major in Psychology. During her time in school, she was involved with the University Accord office, developing programming related to Restorative Justice education and facilitating Restorative Justice processes with students. She was also Co-President of the Peace Fellowship Club at Eastern Mennonite University and presented research at the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference in 2013.  In her free time, Rachel enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, and dancing. She is served at Partner4Work.

brown-equiana-150x150EQUIANA BROWN (Oakland, CA / University of Scranton ’16)

Equiana Brown comes to Pittsburgh by way of Oakland, California. Equiana received her degree in History with a minor in Communications from the University of Scranton. Prior to joining PULSE, she worked as the Director of Programming and Operations for WUSR 99.5. Additionally, Equiana was a part of the Public Relations Student Society of America where she had the opportunity to work on campaigns for local businesses and community events. In her free time, Equiana enjoys meditating, reading, and going on nature walks. She served at the Northside Leadership Conference.

brown-spencer-150x150SPENCER BROWN (Williamsburg, PA / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Spencer Brown grew up in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, and attended the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a degree in Chinese, with minors in Religious Studies and Economics, while also earning a certificate in East Asian Studies. At Pitt, he devoted much of his time to Cornerstone campus ministry, where he served as a co-leader of the Service Team. Spencer also received a U.S. State Department-sponsored Critical Language Scholarship to study Chinese abroad in Beijing for two months. In his free time, Spencer enjoys reading across genres and languages, writing poetry, and singing. He servedat Off the Floor Pittsburgh.

cason-150x150ISAAC CASON (Columbus, OH / Wittenberg University ’16)

A graduate of Wittenberg University, Isaac Cason majored in Biology and minored in Africana Studies. He was heavily involved in community service at Wittenberg, including his work with The Hagen Center, where he acted as Community Service Coordinator to lead service trips and classes. He also led the Concerned Black Students organization as president and was a founding member of the Lesotho Nutritional Initiative, a program at Wittenberg that provides food supplements to malnourished children in Lesotho, Africa. His work with Lesotho began with participation in a month-long study abroad program there that gave him the opportunity to learn about the local culture and language while completing community service. Isaac’s hobbies include photography and adventuring. He served at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

charles-150x150BRIAN CHARLES (State College, PA / Goshen College ’16)

Brian Charles, a native of State College, Pennsylvania, graduated from Goshen College with a degree in Sociology. Brian completed his senior thesis on social values within food cooperatives, which involved reaching out and working within the local food system of Goshen. He also was a member of the Goshen College Tree Care Committee, helping his campus gain membership for Tree Campus USA for the first time. In his free time, Brian enjoys playing sports, hiking, and hanging out with friends. He served at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

clark-150x150KAYLA CLARK (Los Angeles, CA / Davidson College ’16)

Kayla Clark, originally from Los Angeles, California, graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina with a degree in Biology. During her time at Davidson College, Kayla spent her time working with nonprofits across the southeastern United States and expanded her knowledge of different environmental issues as a Sustainability Scholar. She also became an active participant and supporter of causes relating to environmental justice. In her free time, she enjoys baking, crafting, volunteering with children, walking around, and exploring the city. She served at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh alongside Sean Mann.

driediger-150x150LUCAS DRIEDIGER (Hamilton, Ontario / Eastern Mennonite University ’15)

Lucas Driediger comes to Pittsburgh by way of Hamilton, Ontario. Lucas received his degree in Peace-building and Development from Eastern Mennonite University. He served as an assistant with L’Arche Hamilton and did his practicum with Creciendo Juntos, a community development NGO in Bogotá, Colombia. In his downtime, he enjoys reading, writing songs, and playing soccer. He served at the Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization.


HOLLY GIANG (Souderton, PA / Temple University ’16)

Originally from Souderton, PA, Holly Giang graduated from Temple University with a degree in Political Science. She also did summers of intensive language at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan. While at Temple, she was involved with the Student Advisory Coalition on Multicultural Programming and the Political Science Society. Holly also worked as a legislative intern with PA State Representative Brian Sims and organized for the Obama for America campaign in 2012. Her work with LIFT, Inc. as a student advocate gave her the opportunity to assist community members in Philadelphia in achieving economic stability and empowerment through identifying and achieving their goals for housing, employment, and educational opportunities. In her down time, she likes to travel, explore the culinary and craft beer scene, and kickbox. She served at The Buhl Foundation.

harris-150x150DAVE HARRIS (Philadelphia, PA / Yale University ’16)

A graduate of Yale University, Dave Harris studied theater with a concentration in Playwriting and African American Performance. Four of his plays were produced during his time at Yale; White History was a UMASS Play Lab Finalist, The Promised Land was presented by Yale School of Drama actors at the Annual Festival of New Work, and  Exception to the Rule won the 2015 Yale Playwrights Festival. In addition to his playwriting, Dave was the president of WORD, Yale’s Slam Poetry Team, and was an Artist in Residence at New Haven Arts & Humanities Co-op from 2014 to 2015. He became the youngest winner of the Rustbelt National Poetry Slam in 2015. He enjoys chocolate chip cookies, dancing salsa and blues, and writing anything and everything. He was placed at Alumni Theater Company.

hendrock-150x150CORINNE HENDROCK (Silver Lake, OH / John Carroll University ’16)

Corinne Hendrock, a native of Silver Lake, Ohio, graduated from John Carroll University as a Biology major with a Public Health minor. She held the role of event coordinator with the Student Union Programming Board where she organized and planned events for students on campus. Corinne also volunteered with children and adolescents at the Galway Autism Partnership during her semester abroad in Galway, Ireland. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and traveling the world. She served at the Pitt Center for Health Care Research.

hochstetler-150x150BENJAMIN HOCHSTETLER (Goshen, IN / Goshen College ’16)

Benjamin Hochstetler, originally of Goshen, Indiana, graduated from Goshen College with a degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Benjamin served on the Goshen College Campus Activities Council and was also the assistant coach for the high school cross country team for Bethany Christian Schools in 2015. Benjamin likes being active, reading, and listening to music. He served at Green Building Alliance.

ibibo-150x150ISABELLE IBIBO (Green Bay, WI / Carleton College ’16)

Hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Isabelle Ibibo graduated from Carleton College with a major in Spanish. During her time at Carleton, Isabelle worked with Tamarin monkeys in a lab as a student researcher and caregiver and was the Chief Design Editor of Carleton’s literary magazine, The Lens. She also received an Initiative for Service Internship award to fund her work with the Center for Social Well Being in Peru in 2014 and studied abroad in Ecuador, where she worked as a health promotion volunteer with Centro de la Nina Trabajadora, an NGO that services public health in Quito. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, running, and sewing. She served at Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

john-150x150NISHITA JOHN (Freeport, IL / University of Iowa ’16)

Nishita John, originally of Freeport, Illinois, graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in International Studies and Human Rights. Nishita was a board member of the Human Rights Student Collective, where she helped plan Refugee Relief Month and organized a reusable feminine hygiene product initiative that was then sent to Europe.  As well as serving time as a member of Amnesty International- Iowa Chapter and Students for Human Rights, she also has experience in leadership, including her position as board member for the Indian Student Alliance and a cultural committee member for the her school’s Campus Activities Board. In her free time, Nishita enjoys watching foreign films, reading, and dancing. She served at Mount Ararat Community Activity Center.

keen-150x150IVY KEEN (Bellaire, TX / Hope College ’16)

Originally from Bellaire, Texas, Ivy Keen attended Hope College, where she studied Psychology and Business Management. At Hope, she served as the treasurer of the Psychology Club and secretary of the Asian Prospective Association, and was involved with the International Relations Club. She also worked as a tutor and writing associate, a capacity in which she assisted students with the writing process and other work for classes. She also traveled to Port-au-Prince in Haiti on a service trip, and studied abroad in Sydney, Australia at Macquarie University. Ivy has served a great deal with churches in Holland, Michigan, assisting in trips and events. She has also long studied instrumental music and plays the flute, piccolo, and oboe. She served at PittServes.

koletar-150x150JOSHUA KOLETAR (Lakeville, MN / St. Olaf College ’16)

Joshua Koletar, originally from Lakeville, Minnesota, graduated from St. Olaf College where he studied Religion. During his time at St. Olaf, Joshua was heavily involved in campus residence life programs, serving as a Student Hall Coordinator of Mohn Hall in 2015-16. He also facilitated vocational and spiritual discernment activities as a member of the Quo Vadis Sophomore Retreat leadership team and as a member of the Ole Spring Relief service experience. He also likes basketball, making new friends, and working to learn all the flags of the world. He served at Family House.

mann-150x150SEAN MANN (York, PA / Juniata College ’16)

Sean Mann, a native of York, Pennsylvania, graduated from Juniata College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. During his time at Juniata, Sean started a 3D printing business using a grant offered by the school, while also serving as president and founder of his campus soccer club during his sophomore year. Sean also likes playing racquetball and other sports, reading, and building things. He served at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh alongside Kayla Clark.

marcucci-150x150REBECCA MARCUCCI (West Middlesex, PA / Slippery Rock University ’16)

Rebecca Marcucci received her degree in Communication Journalism from Slippery Rock University, where she played a role in the publication of the school’s weekly newspaper, The Rocket. She first worked as a contributing writer, then rose to the post of campus life editor. While at Slippery Rock, she was involved in the American Sign Language Club and worked for VOICe, an advocacy group for victims of domestic violence. She also volunteered at First Assembly of God Church with the worship team and the drama team, which gave her a chance to work with children in the community. In her free time, she likes to sing on her church’s worship team, perform skits with her drama team, and read anything she can get her hands on. She served at the YWCA.

mathew-150x150JIMSON MATHEW (Abu Dhabi, UAE / Saint Joseph’s University ’16)

Jimson Mathew of Abu Dhabi, UAE received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Saint Joseph’s University. He served as a tutor at the school’s Learning Resource Center and did mathematical research in the Summer Scholars Program. His service experience includes involvement with The Philadelphia Project, where he assisted with home repair, and his leadership of the Ignite Freshman Retreat for Saint Joseph’s. Jimson has also been involved with faith communities in his volunteering with Citylight Church and as a leader of the DTP Christian Fellowship, where he facilitated weekly meetings with 65 students to promote their spiritual development. His hobbies include journaling, reading, and chirography. He served at Homewood Children’s Village.

mcknight-150x150NATHANIEL MCKNIGHT (Gaithersburgh, MD / Eastern Mennonite University ’16)

Hailing from Gaithersburgh, Maryland, Nathaniel McKnight attended Eastern Mennonite University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Peacebuilding and Development. At EMU, he participated in an interfaith philosophical and religious discussion group called the Freethought Coalition and worked as a Student Reference Assistant in the library. He also completed a study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, where he had the opportunity to study Spanish language and culture and engage with host families. He comes to PULSE after a summer of facilitating programming for formerly incarcerated people with the Washington Community Scholars Program in Washington DC. He likes to bike, hike, and do yoga in his free time.

mohamed-150x150ALAA MOHAMED (Mechanicsburg, PA / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Alaa Mohamed comes to Pittsburgh by way of Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania. Alaa received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Global Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She served as Co-Founder and Co-President for Project Potter, a philanthropic service organization that uses youth passion for the Harry Potter series to encourage college students’ investment in their local community via fundraising and volunteering. Alaa also wrote her thesis on female genital mutilation in Egypt for her Bachelor of Philosophy degree and had the opportunity to travel to Egypt, interview Egyptian women, and write and defend her thesis. In her down time, Alaa enjoys reading, binge-watching TV, and sleeping. She served at The Global Switchboard.

mulholland-150x150THOMAS MULHOLLAND (Mayville, NY/ State University of New York at Geneseo ’14)

Thomas Mulholland, originally of Mayville, New York, graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a degree in Sociology.  Thomas was involved with volunteering at the Thomas Merton Center by helping to coordinate the NewPeople and special events as well as promoting sustainable food and environmental sustainability in his work at the East End Coop. Thomas also enjoys drawing, printmaking, and listening to music. He served at GTECH Strategies.

nigida-150x150ALEXANDRA NIGIDA (Fairfield, PA / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Alexandra Nigida, originally from Fairfield, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Political Science, minoring in History and receiving a certificate in Russian and East European Studies. At Pitt, Alexandra was the president of the school’s Global Human Rights Brigade and led a trip to Panama. She also worked as an intern for her local state representative. In her down time, Alexandra enjoys reading, cooking, and running. She served at Manchester Academic Charter School.

norman-150x150JOEL NORMAN (Grand Rapids, MI / Calvin College ’16)

Grand Rapids native Joel Norman attended Calvin College, where he attained a Philosophy major and Biochemistry minor. While in school, he was involved as choir president with a capella, played on the Ultimate Frisbee team, and served with the Campus Ministries. He also worked as a scholars program volunteer at the library, tutoring and mentoring elementary school kids. Outside of school, Joel interned with North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, leading youth retreats and facilitating young adult activities through the church. His other community service experiences include volunteering with the YMCA as a food service worker and acting as a personal care assistant to Clark at Home‘s elderly residents. In his free time, Joel likes to play frisbee, read the news, and run. He served at Manchester Academic Charter School.

ohara-150x150BRIGID O’HARA (Mt. Lebanon, PA / The College of Wooster ’16)

Brigid O’Hara, a native of Mt. Lebanon, is no stranger to the Pittsburgh region. She spent her college years at the College of Wooster where she studied Political Science and earned a minor in Education. Brigid participated on her school’s track and field team since her junior year, serving as captain and holding a leadership role throughout her involvement. She also was invited to the Propel Ohio Conference in Fall 2015, which gathers leaders from colleges in the state to discuss solutions for Ohio’s largest problems, such as food security, sex trafficking, and mental health. Outside of her interest in running and physical activities, Brigid enjoys photography and outdoor adventures. She served at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.

onakomaiya-150x150DAMILOLA ONAKOMAIYA (Ibadan, Nigeria / The College of Wooster)

Damilola Onakomaiya grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria, and attended the College of Wooster where she earned a degree in Philosophy. She served as a service trip leader in 2016 for a service trip in West Virginia and also earned an award for Distinguished Achievement in Biology in 2014 at Green Mountain College. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and meditation. She served at East Liberty Development, Inc.

pascale-150x150JULIA PASCALE (Point Lookout, NY / Cornell University ’16)

Julia Pascale got her degree in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University‘s College of Arts and Sciences. She also completed a Career Discovery Program in Urban Planning from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2015, and did a term abroad with the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. While at Cornell, Julia worked with the Cornell Annual Fund as a University Representative and served as Alpha Xi Delta’s financial vice president, which involved managing a large budget and serving on an executive committee overseeing all sorority activity. Her hobbies include cooking and baking, traveling, and reading. She served at the Lawrenceville Corporation.

pearson-150x150EARL PEARSON (Munhall, PA
 / University of Pittsburgh ’15)

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Earl Pearson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and minored in Political Science. During college, Earl was involved with Pittsburghers for Public Transit as a research intern, a capacity which allowed him to learn about fare policy, as well as the links between transit access, affordable housing, and food deserts. He also interned Bike Pittsburgh, where he was involved with the organization’s membership and online presence. Earl also participated in the work of Pitt’s chapter of FeelGood, an organization that aims to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030 and currently serves as Vice Chair on the national organization’s Board of Directors. He enjoys exploring Pittsburgh, cooking new things, and hanging out with Gracie, his Irish Setter puppy. He served at the Design Center.

ALYSSA RAPELJE (Columbus, OH / Allegheny College ’16)

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Alyssa Rapelje attended Allegheny College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Global Health Studies and a second major in Psychology. As a complement to her academics, she participated in immersion trips to India and Kenya, becoming acquainted with local culture and development and in Kenya teaching the proper use of water filtration systems to families. Alyssa has pursued her passion for public health issues through internships in Washington, D.C., where she worked for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and in Kianyaga, Kenya, where she volunteered at a health clinic and taught English and math at an elementary school. During her time at Allegheny, she played on the varsity lacrosse team and was a service leader with Alpha Phi Omega. She enjoys watching movies, spending time outdoors, and playing with animals. She served at Beverly’s Birthdays.

revankar-150x150SHRUTI REVANKAR (Houston, TX / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Shruti Revankar grew up in Houston, Texas, and attended the University of Pittsburgh where she earned a degree in Neuroscience. She was awarded the Community Based Research Fellowship twice by Pitt’s Honors College to work with Amachi Pittsburgh, an organization that serves children whose parents are incarcerated. During her time at Pitt, she was chosen to present knowledge on mental health disparities among marginalized populations and community-based research at two national conferences. Shruti likes exploring “hole in the wall” places and restaurants, reading novels, and watching documentaries. She served at 3E Now.

rybarczyk-150x150LILY RYBARCZYK (Monroe, WA / Franklin University Switzerland ’14)

Lily Rybarczyk, originally from Monroe, Washington, graduated from Franklin University in Switzerland with majors in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies and French. She traveled extensively as part of her studies, visiting Oman, Malawi, Morocco, Scotland, Iceland, and Former Yugoslavia, to name a few. She had the opportunity to study everything from sustainable agriculture to local musical and artistic traditions along the way. After college, Lily worked with several organizations, including PROVAIL, which provides employment opportunities, education, and programming for disabled children and adults, and The World Is Fun, a nonprofit that pairs volunteers with organizations for events and projects in the Seattle area to serve communities in need. She served at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

sauder-150x150HANNAH SAUDER (Lititz, PA / Goshen College ’16)

Hannah Sauder comes to Pittsburgh by way of Lititz, Pennsylvania. Hannah received her degree in Communication with minors in Graphic Design and International Studies from Goshen College. She worked as an Event Photographer for the Communications and Marketing Office from 2013 until her graduation and also served on the Student Associates in Advancement Team in the Development Office of Institutional Advancement. This summer, Hannah participated in Maple Scholars through Goshen College. Through the summer program, she digitized the college newspaper, the Record, and collected data on the gender of the editors and contributing writers for the opinion page. In her free time, she paints, researches and learns about other artists, and listens to podcasts. She served at Assemble.

steiner-150x150CHRISTOPHER STEINER (Kidron, OH / Eastern Mennonite University ’16)

Originally from Kidron, Ohio, Christopher Steiner graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2016 with a degree in Biochemistry. He was involved in the school’s Community Adviser program, in which he held a leadership position in his underclassmen dorm, planning weekly activities and facilitating community among residents. He also participated in the Middle East Cross Cultural study abroad program, where he studied the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other issues. His hobbies include all forms of athletic competition, hiking, and biking. He served at East End Cooperative Ministry.

stiffler-150x150KAHLEY STIFFLER (Hollidaysburg, PA / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Kahley Stiffler, originally of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. Kahley has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for the past three years, serving as education chair and the campus chapter president. She also has volunteered and worked at Blind and Vision Rehab Services in Pittsburgh. Outside of work and academics, Kahley enjoys reading, looking at pictures of baby animals on the internet, and drinking tea. She served at The Friendship Circle.

thompson-150x150KELSEY THOMPSON (Honey Brook, PA / University of Pittsburgh ’16)

Kelsey Thompson, originally of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Administration Justice with a concentration in Adult and Juvenile Corrections, while minoring in Political Science. Kelsey was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, holding a term on the executive board as Vice President of Recruitment and serving as a choreographer for Greek Sing competition. She also underwent training and served as a peer educator on sexual assault through Pitt’s health program, educating student organizations about what it means to be an active, positive bystander in the event of sexual assault. Outside of work and academics, Kelsey enjoys spending time at Phipps Conservatory, dancing, and dog watching in the park. She served at Best of the Batch Foundation.

tracy-150x150SAVANNAH TRACY (Black Mountain, NC / Oberlin College ’16)

Originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, Savannah Tracy  graduated from Oberlin College where she majored in Sociology and Religion and was awarded the John F. Oberlin Scholarship. She has experience in media arts, including her post as News Director at WOBC, Oberlin’s College radio station and her involvement with DIGA Vision‘s television production. Oberlin provided her with opportunities for community building and cooperative resource sharing in both the Bike Cooperative and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, a student-run organization in which students plan and cook meals for up to 80 co-op members, clean and maintain an industrial kitchen, and participate in group discussions concerning the running of the cooperative. In her free time, she enjoys tinkering with bikes, trying new recipes and playing music with her folk band. She served at CASANA.