Alumni News and Notes

News and notes highlighting the work of the alumni of the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School. Send your updates to [email protected]

Spring 2020

Cristina DiGiacomo (MS ’11) is the author of a new book,Wise Up! At Work.

The Prime Minister of Haiti appointed Claude Joseph (PhD ’18) Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Jeff Lindor (MS ’15), CEO of The Gentlemen’s Factory, talked to Business Insider about moving the coworking and community space he founded to a digital platform in response to COVID-19.

Patricia Oviedo (MS ’17) started a new position as Economic Affairs Officer at the Embassy of Bolivia in Panama.

Philip Mark Plotch (PhD ’13) is the author of the forthcoming book Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City. Philip’s book Politics Across the Hudson: The Tappan Zee Megaproject was winner of the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter Journalism Award.

HowlRound Theatre Commons published an essay by Donny Repsher (MS ’19), Woke Supremacy: A Critical Perspective on the American Theatre,” based on his capstone paper.

Daphany Rose Sanchez (MS ’15) was named one of this year’s NYC Climate Heroes leading the way to address the climate crisis and create a more just, safe, and sustainable city. 

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation has named Valerie White (MS ’92 OD Certificate) as executive director of LISC NYC.

Fall 2019

Global Citizen’s Monae Evans ’18 is featured on the Ending Cash Bail episode of ACTIVATE the National Geographic Channel documentary series.

Pooya Ghorbani (MS ’11, PhD ’18) has been named a 2019 Lincoln Institute Scholar. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy program provides recent PhDs specializing in public finance or urban economics the opportunity to work with senior economists.

We mark the passing of alumna Barbara Hillarywho graduated from Milano in 1981 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in 2017.  She was an extraordinary member of our community who went to the ends of the earth and back. She was the first black woman on record to reach both the North and South Poles. Read this profile in The New Yorker and this tribute in The New York Times.

The Festival of New in celebration of The New School’s centennial featured Janaye Ingram ‘09 in conversation with Reshma Saujani on The New Approach to Inspiring Women and Girls in Tech.

Ritta McLaughlin ’95 has been chosen as this year’s public sector winner of the Freda Johnson Award for Trailblazing Women in Public Finance.

Spring 2019

Awards and Honors

Timothy Johnson ’09 is a recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s 12th Annual Minority Business Leader Awards.

Daphany Sanchez ’15 named one of the 2019 Grist 50!

Writing, Research, Podcasts

Alan A. Aja (PhD ’08) is lead author on a new report, The Color of Wealth in Miami. His co-authors include Daniel Bustillo (MS ’12),  Anne E. Price (MS, ’88), Gretchen Beesing, Danielle Clealand, Mark Paul, Khaing Zaw, William Darity, Jr, and Darrick Hamilton.

Caroline Craig ’17, wrote this article, Industry Surrounds Newark’s Ironbound Neighborhood—But These Residents Won’t Let It Define Them, published April 1, 2019 on

Imani Darden ‘14 just launched her podcast, Forward 40, highlighting the experiences of women of color in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors. Her first guest was Milano Public and Urban Policy PhD student Ofronama Biu of the Building Movement Project. You can listen here.

Samantha E. Erskine ’15 co-authored White Allyship of Afro-Diasporic Women in the Workplace: A Transformative Strategy for Organizational Change, published May 15, 2019 in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.

A study by Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis Associate Director Bridget Fisher and Flávia Leite ’17 on the cost of NYC’s Hudson Yards redevelopment project garnered press attention including this article in The New York Times

Cynthia Warner ’17 is co-author with Niko Canner and Shanti Nayak of “Shaping strategy to change systems” in Perspectives on Impact: Leading Voices on Making Systemic Change in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Nina Montgomery, and out this month from Routledge.

Presentations and Appearances

Cindy Taylor ’10 was a featured speaker at the Game Change Her REAL Women Build Wealth event on May 18, 2019.

Erin McCarthy ’17 presented their paper, ‘Trinity Place Shelter: A case study in contextualizing metrics for New York City’s Queer Homeless Youth’, at the 2019 Eastern Evaluation Annual Conference, Adapt! Evaluators in a Changing World, May 5, 2019.

Alums Daphanay Sanchez ’15, Taylor Morton ’17, Annel Cabrera ’16, Tifani Peguero ’15, and moderator Mike Harrington ’18 (pictured above) took part in an alumni-led panel on Inclusion, Equity, & the Environment on April 24, 2019.

Jacqueline Toppin ’17 gave the opening remarks at the Monitoring and Evaluation Collaborative Association (MECA) Conference, Monitoring and Evaluation for Social Change, April 12, 2019. The New School’s MECA is a student/alumni organization dedicated to putting the technical skills of Impact Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) into practice. May graduate Yelka Kamara presented her paper, ‘Designing and Managing Progress in Rural Sierra Leone’, at the conference and was invited to present at the 2019 Eastern Evaluation Annual Conference, Adapt! Evaluators in a Changing World. Current student Lisa Borsellino presented her work, ‘Navigating Disjointed Narratives: Getting Nonprofit Leaders on the Same Page’, at the MECA conference.

Alumni gathered on March 12, 2019 to celebrate The New School’s Centennial at this year’s “An Evening with The New School” event in San Francisco featuring Chair Ana Baptista in conversation with Alexandria McBride ’16, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Oakland.