Interviews Compiled by Karen Flores, Kyla Guilfoil, Zoe Defazio, Grace Cardinal, Rebecca Kranich and Jocelyn Visnov
The Quad 10 is similar to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, but on a Manhattan College scale. The ten following members of the graduating class of 2023 were chosen to be recognized by staff members of The Quadrangle as some of the best and brightest seniors MC has to offer.
Doriz Yari has mixed passion and community in her four years at Manhattan College.
Yari has been an integral part of the work-study program with CMSA since her freshman year at Manhattan. In addition to her massive dedication to helping others, Doriz serves as an RA in Lee Hall and is on the executive board for both the Tri Beta and Alpha Epsilon Delta honor societies. On top of her many extracurriculars, Doriz manages a heavy workload through her major in biology and minor in chemistry.
Yari’s favorite part of her time at Manhattan has been her work toward social justice. Much of her work focuses on immigration, which is an issue close to her heart, as a daughter of immigrants herself.
Both her freshman and senior years, Yari was able to attend L.O.V.E. trips in El Paso, Texas. She said that comparing her first trip to her last was a full-circle moment in her life.
“My freshman year I went on a love trip to El Paso, Texas where we did a social justice reform trip to talk about what happens at the border. Full circle moment, I went back on the same L.O.V.E trip last month. I went for the first time my freshman year as a participant, I led it last month when we went back. It was really nice to be able to see the progression of different things that have happened since we last went, and it was just a really full circle moment.”
In her future, Yari sees a career as a cardiologist. Before that however, she plans to travel abroad.
“I’m taking two years off between completing my undergrad degree and going to medical school. In that time, I’m studying for my MCAT. I’m going to Thailand this summer and to Barcelona. I plan on finishing off in South America. I’ve been to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador. I plan on maybe doing Europe because I have two years off, it’s gonna be really nice.”
Yari reflected on her decision to attend Manhattan and where it has led her to today.
“When I first first chose Manhattan, I was really weary of it. I was not sure if it was the best fit for me. As cheesy as it sounds, it really ended up being the best for me and I really loved my four years here.”
Rosalia Cefalu has certainly left a lasting impression on Manhattan College in numerous ways.
Originally from Boston, Cefalu is a business analytics major, a James Patterson scholar and a research fellow for the O’Malley School of Business. Cefalu also worked as a Data Assurance & Technology intern with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). She has been a tour guide for all four years and has served as vice president of social life for Sigma Delta Tau in 2021 and is the current vice president of social life for student government.
Cefalu explains that the crowning jewel of her time at MC was her term as SDT sorority president in 2022.
“It changed my entire life. It’s a role that made me more confident. “I think being president was kind of just a wow moment for me where I went from ‘Oh, I’m trying to do all these things to I’m actually doing all these things. It inspired me to enjoy being a leader, and it’s the thing that just made me who I am today,” said Cefalu.
Celfalu has dedicated her four years to the MC community and states that her most valuable contribution has been her term as vice president of social life for student government. She explains that despite setbacks, this year’s board brought events to campus.
“Because Student Life was hit with budget cuts this year, I’m really proud of my work operating through those budget cuts and still having some memorable events like getting NAV for Spring Fest and still having Senior Week this year,” she said. “I’m also working with John O’Connor to plan the unofficial Senior Week. There was a lot of adversity when it came to planning these events, but I think myself and the board really persevered and got some really good events.”
As she prepares to graduate, Cefalu will stay in New York City and return to PwC to work full-time while studying part-time for her MBA.
Donovan Vincent Jr. arrived at Manhattan College after finishing two years at Westchester Community College. He will graduate with a major in chemical engineering, with a concentration in biopharmaceuticals and a minor in computer engineering.
Vincent explained that the decision to attend Manhattan College wasn’t easy, but found that being a Jasper is just what he needed.
“When I first applied to Manhattan College, I was really stuck between on whether I was gonna come here or go to Binghamton, but really those were the two choices that I boiled it down to, and I’m really glad that I chose here. Since I’ve come here, I’ve been part of a lot of activities.”
Vincent is no stranger to campus organizations. Throughout his time at Manhattan College, Vincent has made significant contributions with his involvement. Vincent became a part of the men’s rowing team, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and Omega Chi Epsilon, the chemical engineering honor society.
Vincent dedicates his work towards everyone at the chemical engineering department for helping him reach his goals.
“There’s been times where I’m stuck on so much stuff, right? And they’re like, ‘yeah, you know, well have you tried to do this?’ They’re so willing to help out with everything and it’s like, such a great feeling.”
As Vincent prepares for the next chapter of his life, he remains humble. Never forgetting where he came from.
“After I graduate. I’m still gonna be a jasper. So go Jaspers. And now that I’m about to be an alumni, I’ll come back, see some of the games and give back to the school.”
Vincent will be attending Johns Hopkins University where he will pursue a doctorate degree in chemical-biomolecular Engineering as well as a masters degree in mathematical statistics.
Anna Woods has been an active member of the Jasper community for all of her four years. She’s a passionate liberal arts student who has shown her dedication to social justice and helping fellow students strive to do their best.
Woods is a political science major with minors in Spanish and digital arts and humanities. Throughout her time at MC, Woods has been involved in a plethora of activities. She served as the general manager for WRCM Radio for a year and has held numerous positions on The Quadrangle’s masthead, including being elected editor-in-chief in 2021. Woods has been involved in the WGRC and worked for the Voter Engagement Committee during the pandemic. She currently works at the Writing Center in the Center for Academic Success and she was part of the Summer 2022 Cohort of WISE.
“I’m looking forward to moving back home and traveling this summer.” she said. Then, you know, waiting to hear back from a job. Like right now I’m looking into either government affairs or fundraising, so looking at either of those.”
As she prepares to graduate, Woods looks back fondly at the memories made over the past four years.
“I just think Manhattan College is such a special place and it really is what you make it, so if you make the most of it, it will reward you tenfold.” She said, “And I’m so sad to be leaving and I’m just grateful that despite COVID and everything our class has gone through we’re able to graduate in, you know, a time of normalcy., which is great. I’m gonna miss The Quad and everyone but I’m so grateful.”
Caroline McCarthy is a shining star at Manhattan College. A communications major concentrating in journalism with a minor in marketing, McCarthy can be found everywhere around campus, performing with the Jasper Dancers in Draddy Gymnasium, editing LOTUS Magazine and the sports section of the Quadrangle in Kelly Commons or presiding over Pen and Sword Honor Society Meetings as president.
However, McCarthy got off to an unconventional start at MC — she left.
At the beginning of her sophomore year, McCarthy decided to transfer to the University of Alabama. However, within just a few weeks, she was back at MC.
McCarthy credits communication professor Thom Gencarelli, who she calls her “one call” from Alabama, with guiding her back to Manhattan, and pushing her in pursuing a career in journalism.
“The fact that I can say casually to someone who works at the school, ‘I think I made a mistake,’ and for them to not even try to force me to come back… You learn that it’s okay to take chances, but it’s also totally okay to be wrong and to admit that and to just start over,” McCarthy said.
When she returned, she had lost her position on The Quadrangle’s masthead, but through her dedication was placed as assistant features editor, and eventually sports editor her junior year. McCarthy had never seen herself in sports journalism before, but a sports reporting class with the Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond — and a controversial article cowritten with Maddie Mulkigian on the Jasper’s unvaccinated women’s volleyball coach that caught the attention of the New York Post — started to change her mind.
“I realized that… it’s a whole microcosm of reporting, like there’s financial news, there’s human interests, there’s so much that goes into sports reporting,” McCarthy said. “And the most important thing was that people were actually talking about some of the stuff that goes on here. So I just kind of got hooked.”
McCarthy draws a direct line between the volleyball article and her post-grad plans to join the New York Post as a digital producer for the sports section.
While she defines herself as a journalist, McCarthy remarked that it was not the center of her MC experience. The Jasper Dancers, she said, were the most important thing to her throughout college years.
“I’m really happy that I have a job and that I get to do journalism, and that’s awesome. But dancing was where my heart was for the last four years.”
Teddy Segmuller leaves Manhattan College behind with a unique footprint. A major figure in academics, athletics and community outreach, Segmuller is known as a friendly, reliable and diligent face on campus.
Segmuller will earn her Bachelor of Science in exercise science / pre-physical therapy this May before heading downtown to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from New York University’s prestigious program.
She will graduate having been inducted into Phi Epsilon Kappa, Pen & Sword Honor Society, and Epsilon Sigma Pi.
Segmuller not only has made a name for herself in the classroom, but also as an athlete.
As an athlete, Segmiller contributed greatly to the college’s swim and dive team. As a freshman, Segmuller contributed to the record-breaking 200 and 800 freestyle relays by MC at the MAAC Championships. In her junior year, she broke both the school record in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, as well as contributed to breaking the 200 and 400 freestyle relay records.
Segmuller not only uplifted the swim and dive squad as a leader in points, but also as a captain of the team during her senior season. As she battled a serious injury throughout her last season, Segmiller continued to show up for her team and offered support, guidance and long hours to ensure the team’s success.
On top of her dedication to her own team, Segmuller has also served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee throughout her college career, currently contributing as vice president of the group.
Segmuller has helped lead a multitude of community outreach events through SAAC, helping to unite the college with its surrounding community. However, one of her most impressive initiatives happened right on MC’s campus.
Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, Segmuller worked with the college’s administration to start a system to better recognize mental health on campus. The “Support Awareness and Care Initiative” is meant to come into full effect next August, as the college will begin printing several important phone numbers onto all student ID cards, including mental health hotlines. This semester, the initiative began with giving out bag tags and phone wallets with the same phone numbers.
Segmuller hopes that she is leaving behind a legacy which will provide more support and awareness for students, for whatever they may be struggling with.
“I’m beyond grateful for the amazing team that I’ve had here,” Segmuller said. “I am excited to see the legacy, hopefully, that I’ve left behind.”
Jilleen Barrett has certainly left her mark on Manhattan College. The communications major, concentrating in journalism with a minor in women and gender studies, has held a number of masthead positions on the Quadrangle, was vice president of diversity and inclusion of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority and led the Kairos retreat her senior year, among numerous other positions and accolades.
With so many different positions under her belt, Barrett’s experiences at MC have become intertwined, each influencing the others.
“I started recognizing the serendipity between the classes that I was in, the retreats that I went on, the clubs that I was in, and how they all kind of worked together to teach me different things,” Barrett said. “So I would learn something in class and then it would happen to apply to something I was doing the same day or something else that would happen.
For example, Barrett took her experience as the second-ever vice president of diversity and inclusion for SDT with her in her mission to reshape LOTUS Magazine as co-Editor-in-Chief. Barrett spent two years, alongside co-EICs Lily Brown and Cari McCarthy, working to make the magazine the MC cultural phenomenon it is today.
“I think that we started to really prioritize including people of color, including men, including transgender people, as well as women and people of all body types,” Barrett said. “We also got a pretty diverse masthead, and we had a very diverse set of editorial content. I am really proud to have arranged a team and attracted people who were interested in writing things like that, because… everybody should be able to see themselves in LOTUS.”
Barrett’s current post-grad plans involve freelancing, a skill she has developed in her magazine writing class and independent study with communication professor Arshia Anwer. While her ultimate goal is a career in magazine writing, she has no intention of limiting herself in her journalistic pursuits in the meantime.
“I would be very, very happy to continue going towards magazines, but I would also definitely like to keep my mind open about what I want to do and where I’ll end up,” Barrett said. “I feel, just like at the beginning of college, like I’m at the beginning of something new and I have to figure out where I can go and where I can get paid and where I can exercise all the skills that I’ve gathered from here.”
With a wide range of extracurricular activities and involvement, John O’Connor is a friendly face to many.
You may recognize O’Connor from his being the first male Jasper Dancer in MC history. In doing so, he was able to inspire his peers and other incoming students to try something they’ve never done before.
Having worked professionally in the arts before his time here at MC, O’Connor was able to bring in a new perspective to MC’s Players as well and be an important part of their productions for the past 4 years.
O’Connor has been inducted into Sigma Iota Epsilon and Epsilon Sigma Pi, proving to be an exceptional student. O’Connor was also chosen for the Horan Family Scholarship which is gifted to a student who exemplifies what a true Jasper student can be.
O’Connor dabbles in a variety of other disciplines. He is currently Vice President of PRSSA, creates and hosts his very own podcast titled “Dear John.” He has also held multiple internships, most recently having worked with LeagueApps as a People Operations Intern. O’Connor has also worked for MC Admissions and gained accolades for being recognized as one of the top tour guides in January 2023.
Post-graduation, O’Connor hopes to work in either human resources or sports entertainment. With multiple offers, he feels in no rush to choose his path just yet. Aside from his professional goals, O’Connor expressed his personal interest in taking some time to travel.
During his time here, he was often described as someone with exceptional school spirit. O’Connor offered the following advice for underclassmen and returning students.
“This is what you make of it,” O’Connor said. “If you’re struggling, and you’re not sure if it’s right for you, take the chance, join an extra club… If you are questioning your place, channel that energy and put it into something. The outcomes will be endless.”
Ali James is graduating with a degree in Public Health with a concentration in healthcare administration and a minor in management. She will be working as a National Advisory Committee Fellow on Rural Health and Human Services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon graduation. James hopes to be able to work towards making “healthcare policies more supportive of people of color and lessen healthcare disparities.”
James has been involved with various organizations on campus. She has been part of the Bias Education and response team with the Diversity Council, the vice president of Academic Affairs in Student Government, a Public Health ambassador in the Kinesiology department, a student success mentor at the Center of Academic Success and an Intern in the Women and Gender Resource Center.
She has also conducted research with the WGRC about the impact of microaggressions on people of color in MC as well as research centered around analyzing campus climate through the creation of a Socio-Ecological outcomes model.
James has expanded her horizons and used her knowledge in places like the New York Presbyterian Hospital within the Division of Community and Population Health where she has been an outreach intern since her sophomore year, a Summer Youth Experience Coordinator and a Lang Youth Medical Program Educator.
James is the first Harry S. Truman Scholar in MC history and has also been awarded the Newman Civic Fellowship. From being a representative for the MC student body to being a leader in COVID-19 and First Aid events, James has excelled in all her endeavors.
She hopes that students keep an open mind and look for opportunities that can expand their perspectives and most importantly to challenge themselves.
“Definitely try to stay open-minded. There were a couple of opportunities I didn’t necessarily want to participate in but I ended up doing which opened so many doors,” said James. “If I never took those chances I would never be in the place that I am today. Seeking out new found classes, anything that challenges you is really important.”
Christopher Machol is graduating with a dual degree in Finance and Economics with a concentration in environmental economics. He will be working as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve within the International Finance Division upon graduation.
His involvement on campus spans a variety of areas. He has been the president and an active member of the MC Investment Club and has been involved in the Fed Challenge as well. He is also a member of the LGBTQ+ Club and has also been a tour guide for prospective students.
Machol has used the skills he cultivated at MC in places like Everest Insurance where he was an underwriting intern in the Cyber Division and has also worked in the Bronx River Alliance as a data analyst intern and also participated in initiatives to revitalize the New York City aquatic ecosystems.
Machol has been involved in two research projects both of which he has presented in conferences. He was a research assistant under Hany Guirguis, P.h.D, a professor in the Finance and Economics department and their research paper, Inflation and Price Discovery in the G7 Countries, was accepted into the 2023 National Business Economics Society Conference in Puerto Rico. He also conducted independent research on the Impact of Weather on Photovoltaic Energy Production. He conducted data analysis during his internship at the Bronx River Alliance for his research and it was accepted at the 2023 Eastern Economics Association and Midwestern Economics Association Conferences.
One of the things that Machol believes to have been significant during his time at MC is the mentorship and vast opportunities offered. He hopes that students will take advantage of the expertise given by professors and the different clubs offered.
“I’d say just getting involved in as many clubs and activities as you can. The most impactful experiences have been my relationships with professors within the economics department,” said Machol. “[These relationships] have helped me grow as well as helped me figure out that this is the [career] path that I want to go down and have also opened up a lot of doors for me.”