Meet the First Gen Summit
Student Planning Committee

Sofia Elhusseini

Fundraising Lead: New York University '24

Sofia Elhusseini is a student at NYU Stern currently studying Accounting and Global Business. Born and raised in the Big Apple, she thrives in fast-paced environments. When she's not studying you can catch her trying new foods anywhere in NYC.

Adeola Akinyemi

Graduate Track Lead: Boston University MA '23

Adeola Akinyemi is a first-generation student pursuing a Master's of Social Work degree at Boston University. For fun, Adeola loves to dance, loves watching and acting in theatre performances and loves music.

Liliana Peréz Díaz

Technology Co-lead: Brandeis University '23

Liliana is a first-generation student double majoring in Business and Economics and minoring in social justice and social policy. She is a Spanish tutor and community advisor. When she is not working she loves to bike ride in the city and listen to music.

Rosine Mpozenzi

Technology Co-lead: Colby College'23

Rosine Mpozenzi is a first-generation student majoring in Psychology at Colby College. Rosine was born in Burundi and raised in Houston, Texas. For fun, she loves to dance, read and create choreography.

Laila Rouhi

Project & Documents Co-Lead: Wellesley College '25

Laila Rouhi is a first generation student majoring in Economics and is an Air Force ROTC cadet at MIT Detachment 365. Laila is an undergrad researcher at MIT Sloan her interests include investment banking (finance), law, and policy implementation. For fun, she likes to go backpacking abroad and camping in rural areas!

Srishti Nautiyal

Project & Documents Co-Lead: Brandeis University '23

Srishti is a first-generation student double majoring in Physics and Mathematics. She is a research assistant at Brandeis working on Quantum States Measurements and is pursuing a Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence program at MIT. Outside work, you can find her screaming at strangers in debate rooms as part of her role as the President of Brandeis Debating Society.

Shayla Zamora

Content Co-Lead: Wellesley '23

Shayla is majoring in Political Science and Anthropology. She is an aspiring first-generation Latina lawyer and hopes to attend law school in the fall of 2023. When she is not studying or interning at a local business, she loves to immerse herself in a good book, watch movies, and embroider.

Emmanuel Quiroz Martinez

Content Co-Lead: Salem State University MA '23

Emmanuel (Manny) Quiroz Martinez is a first-generation student pursuing a Master's of Education with a concentration in Student Affairs at Salem State University. Manny worked with the First Gen Summit last year and is looking forward to meeting everyone this year at the summit.

Jocelyn Rodriguez

Design & Marketing Co-Lead: Wellesley College '24

Jocelyn Rodriquez is a first-generation Latinx student from Maine who is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science. Jocelyn is super excited to make connections with other first-generation students at this year's summit.

Nayeli Conill

Design & Marketing Co-Lead: Monmouth University '24

Nayeli Conill is a first-generation student majoring in Communications and minoring in Interactive Media. She is a radio personality for a Spanish show called “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos,” on Monmouth's WMCX 88.9 FM radio which embraces Latin culture through music and on-air discussions in Spanish and English.

MIT - Student Host Site Committee


Shaida Nishat

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, '22

Shaida Nishat is a first-generation student majoring in Biology. She has an interest in public health and hopes to pursue it in the future. Outside of work and classes, she can be found trying new restaurants, spending time with friends, or exploring the city.

Kathleen Julca

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, '25

Kathleen is a sophomore studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. She hopes to build a community of love and understanding on the MIT campus. She is passionate about sustainability and recently I have been growing plants and reading books by Bell Hooks!

Davy Deng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '27

Davy is a first-generation low-income student in the joint Harvard-MIT HST program. He grew up in Loess Plateau, western China, and moved to the US by himself when he was 19. He is interested in health equity and humanitarian medicine and is committed to promoting fair access to STEM education for FGLI and LGBTQ+ community.

Dragana Marinkovic

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MBA '23

Dragana is a second-year MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management. She was born and raised in Bosnia, studied in the US and Hungary, and worked in Kenya in a social enterprise prior to business school. Dragana is passionate about entrepreneurship, product management, and using technology to build socially impactful products in emerging markets.

Anthony Meza

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '26

Anthony Meza is pursuing PhD in Physical Oceanography in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. Currently, he is researching drivers of deep ocean heat transport and extreme weather in California. In his free time, he likes to go biking, climbing, or sailing.

Diana Grass

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '28

Born and raised in Colombia, Diana is a first-generation student pursuing her Ph.D. in the joint program of Harvard-MIT in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics. Diana’s research is at the intersection of multimodal neuroimaging, neuroimmunology, and computational neuroscience to understand neuroinflammation. Diana enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Omar Tantawi

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '25

Omar is in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Plata Lab and uses environmental sciences and analytical chemistry to inform the design of new sustainable polymers. Omar is passionate about supporting students from underrepresented groups to achieve their full potential. When not working, Omar enjoys hanging out with friends and cooking.

Bianca Lepe

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '23

Bianca is a PhD candidate in Biological Engineering at MIT. Her research focuses on elucidating the surface proteome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and applying machine learning techniques to improve vaccine design for tuberculosis. Outside of lab, she is passionate about improving the graduate student experience. Bianca enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Amitabh Guha Roy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MBA '23

Born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Amitabh is currently in his second year of MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management. Before MBA, Amitabh was the Vice President of Finance at bKash, world’s largest mobile money fintech. Amitabh is currently the Co-President at both Sloan Data Analytics Club and Sloan First Generation Low Income Club and also represents the Student Advisory Board for Finance Track at Sloan.

Cesar Dominguez

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD '25

Cesar Dominguez is a graduate student studying biochemistry and structural biology. He previously worked as a research assistant in the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he discovered bench work was right for him. Prior to that, he studied biology and french in Williams College.

Faculty, Staff, Administrator Advisory Council
(to the Student Planning Committee)

Jessica Twiest

Radford University Assistant Director of the Center for Opportunity & Social Mobility

Radford University, Radford, VA.

Lead Committee

Megan Wigton

Assistant Director, Student Success and the First Year Experience 

Salem State University, Salem, MA.

Lead Committee

Natalie Aleman, EdD

Associate Director of Academic Services Opportunity Programs

New York University, New York, NY

Lead Committee

M. Damm

Assistant Director of the Newbury Center

Boston University, Boston, MA

Lead Committee

Perla Rivas

Counselor, First -Year Program TRIO Student Support Services.

California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA.

Lead Committee

Jessica Angeles

Program Coordinator

The Valedictorian Project, Boston, MA.

Lead Committee

Claude Taylor

Director for Academic Transition and Inclusion

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

Lead Committee

Adj Marshall

First Gen Summit Founder & Coordinator

Boston MA

Lead Committee, General Committee, Student Planning Committee


Dr. Jamie D. Motley

Anne Shen Chao '74, Director of Student Success

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.

General Committee

André Jordan Jr.

Residence Hall Director

Stony Brook University, Stonybrook NY

General Committee

Maria Dykema Erb

Director of the Newbury Center

Boston University, Boston, MA

General Committee

Rachel Renbarger, PhD

Research Director with the Accelerating Systemic Change Network

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.

General Committee

Becca S. Bassett, PhD

Postdoc at Harvard University Cambridge, MA.

Director of the Freedom Project Alumni College Success Program

Sunflower, MS.

General Committee

Ashlee Fecteau

Assistant Director of TRIO SSS Johnson Scholars

University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, ME.

General Committee

Nicole Williams

PhD student Antioch University

Founder, Changing Spaces LLC

Former: Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Office of Multicultural Initiatives

Merrimack College, Andover, MA

General Committee

Kim Parent

Assistant Dean of Studies & Class Dean for New Students

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

General Committee

Ann Philbin

Executive Director, Class Action

Boston, MA

Lead Committee


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