Swipe left to keep

Kept articles are stored in your profile for you to read later.

Got it!

The Faces of Fordham

human interest


Fordham University


The Faces of Fordham

Applauding Fordham’s finest leaders and luminaries.


Undisputedly, Fordham is full of life. Here, life blooms courtesy of A. Bulfamante landscaping, through communal bathroom friendships, and through the energy of the student body; it is a place that is constantly regenerating. Edward’s Parade is not only the geographical heart of the Rose Hill campus, but also a place that has carved a significant spot in the heart of every Fordham student I know. On any given sunny afternoon, it's the place where familiar faces of Fordham congregate to celebrate the end of a day. In a grander scope, it's the green space that marks the beginning and end of 4 years.

Last year, The Rival applauded Fordham’s finest leaders and luminaries, the students that oftentimes go unrecognized or unthanked. We loved learning their stories so much, we decided to do it again. I am delighted to introduce to you this year’s “Faces of Fordham.” These individuals breathe new life into every corner of this place, be it on stage, on the field, in a pitch meeting, or with their endless positivity and progress. Though they come from different chapters of this community, they all agree on one thing: Fordham is home because of the people who push this place to new heights every day.

Photos by Emma DiMarco.

Neil Joyce (FCRH ’19)

You know how the fall semester’s Club Fair makes you want to sign up for anything and everything? This sophomore proves it's worth it. Currently the Vice President of the Ballroom Dance Club, a member of the Rose Hill Society, and the President to Fordham’s newest club, The Student Humanitarian Group, Neil Joyce knows that being a well-rounded Fordham student means caring as much about social consciousness as learning how to salsa. “When else in your life can you get free ballroom dance lessons and also be part of a club that helps you realize your places of privilege?” The International Political Economy major thanks “the people at Fordham who have taught him so much, and have been so loving, undeservedly so,” and is excited to leave his footprint at Fordham through this new club. Also, ladies: he’s looking for a woman he can woo with his moves…

Drew Casey & Corey Miller (FCRH ’17)

These senior Communications Majors are the voices of Fordham athletics…literally. As the Sports Manager and Assistant Sports Manager of WFUV, Drew Casey and Corey Miller, respectively, are responsible for covering every single Fordham Athletics game on the radio, WFUV's online broadcast, and then some. ("Then some" being complete Yankees coverage, like how they attended and broadcast every single one of the 81 home games last season.) Last year they went to cover the Fordham women’s basketball tournament in Vegas. They’ve been to the Superbowl for WFUV. But the coolest thing they’ve done by far was live broadcast this past November’s football game at Yankee Stadium. Corey was on the sidelines, and Drew was in the press box calling play by plays. This was the game that they had spent the summer and their entire WFUV careers preparing for.

“There were a ton of moving parts that day in terms of in-studio and on-site, but the energy was amazing,” Miller reflects. “The setup was so professional from the Yankees, and having the connections we had already with them made it such a phenomenal way to end our Fordham Football broadcasting careers,” added Casey. Their large personalities and passion for radio have made them familiar faces on campus, but they are also a reason for a heightened awareness of all the cool things that WFUV does.

“It’s nice to know there’s an appreciation on campus for what the radio does, because when I came here there wasn’t,” explains Miller. On becoming part of the incredible and renowned alumni network bred by WFUV, Casey adds, “We want to keep the line moving, and take what we’ve learned here and take it out into the real world.” They laughed about having “faces for radio” when they learned they were nominated for “the Faces of Fordham." They want to give a shoutout to the Executive Sports Producer at WFUV, Bob Ahrens. He is their mentor, their “second grandfather,” and the reason for their WFUV journeys, and so upon his retirement, they wanted to publicly thank him for his 20 years at WFUV: “when he calls, you answer.” This package deal considers themselves “sophisticated but approachable,” and we applaud them for their four years of hard work at the radio.

Daniel Stroie (GSB ’17)

Father McShane’s stunt double keeps a busy schedule. As President of the United Students Government, Daniel is the liaison between the student body and the administration. He has also spent the past three years serving as a freshman RA in Loyola Hall, where he is the liaison between the community and its newest members. This Accounting and Information Systems major epitomizes hard work: in his free time, he tutors Gabelli students, has served as an advising assistant, and is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting society. “It’s amazing how hard students work for this university, and the fact they do it out of the kindness of their heart is what encourages me to do what I do,” Daniel reflected. “I would be so bored at a school where no one cares.”

His various experiences in leadership positions are driven by the potential of future generations, and how excited they are about change. “I think through the younger students,” he explains. “I don’t care necessarily about leaving resolutions behind, if I've inspired the younger students or helped them reach their goals or get to a certain place, that's way more important to me than a piece of paper.”

What’s playing on this powerhouse’s radio? “I’m really partial to 'No Frauds' by Nicki Minaj at the moment…” How fitting.

Eddie Cush & Will Lerlan (GSB ’20)

The heart and the mind are intertwining channels of energy, and these two Gabelli freshmen understand the connection between the two perfectly. New York natives of Brooklyn and Syracuse, Eddie and Will aim to conquer the app world—and the anti-bullying one, too. For once, a good story comes out of a summer reading assignment: Gabelli’s mandated consumption of “How to Change the World” by David Bornstein prior to freshman year spurred a 3 AM conversation on their second night as roommates.

“It was like a lightbulb went off,” recalls Will. From that night, they started to brainstorm how they would change the world, and from there, the app “On Your Mind” was developed. “A lot of the times in high school or college, kids can't talk to counselors because of judgement, and they don’t know how to come forward with the problems they’re facing,” explains Eddie. So, these boys decided to do something.

It’s going to be an anonymous student counseling app, and they’re working tirelessly to recruit school counselors and mental health professionals across the country. Students can anonymously log on to "On Your Mind" to find someone that caters to their needs—bullying, body image, depression, anything. “We want people to have this conversation as a first step, so they can then take the steps to the necessary ones for getting help. We want to bridge the gap between the denial and the help,” they explain. The cherry on top? The two Social Impact 360 club members pitched their idea last month in DC at the National Conference, where they were the runner ups. On the forefront of their minds now is “making an imprint on the community that has already made an imprint on us.” Stay tuned.

Lia Paolucci (FCRH '18)

“My biggest thing is that girls can do anything guys can do,” explains this English and Psychology double major and Army ROTC cadet. As the only female in Fordham’s chapter of Pershing Rifles, a national military fraternity, Lia has dedicated time and energy outside her usual ROTC duties to bettering herself physically and mentally for her future in the army. As the Vice President of Ski Club, a club lacrosse player, a participant in the upcoming GO! Romania trip, and an intern and campus rep for the One Love Foundation for Yeardley Love, this sophomore is bound and determined to soak in every corner of Fordham by involving herself in “as many communities as possible.” Lia chose Fordham so she could have the opportunity to pursue a classic college life, while still chasing her military dreams.

“Fordham is home because of the wide array of people, with so many different interests and backgrounds, and it's cool to see this within New York, because it's the epitome of diversity, and Fordham represents just that.” She’s working on leaving her mark as both a woman of the military, and as a vehicle for social change, “I’m always trying to meet the standards guys can do. I want to prove women belong in the military,” she reflects confidently, coolly. Fordham in three words? Full of opportunity. Herself in three words? Driven, independent, open. Oh—did I mention she ran the New York City Marathon, too?

Melissa James (FCRH '17)

This native upstate New Yorker calls Fordham her “little urban oasis.” Fordham is "full of texture," she notes, and her acute eye for detail and unabashed dedication to all she does has rendered her quite the resume. Melissa is graduating with Neuroscience major with an honors concentration in American Catholics Studies. Outside the classroom, she serves as the President of the Pre-Dental Club (she will be attending UPenn’s Dental School in the fall), is an instructor for CSTEP which is a science enrichment program for Bronx students, and conducts research with Dr. Roy of the Neuroscience department. Melissa explains how her mood is "intensely linked to the vibe of her surroundings,” so it is no question she will go on do to great things. “I love the general lack of ego our student body has,” she adds, “I like going somewhere where everyone around me is smart, humble, and not too cool to play bingo.” With graduation around the corner, Melissa says she seeks not to be “remembered here,” because “this school with always have amazing people doing amazing things. I’m just happy to contribute a little bit to that greatness.”

Samantha Mandich (FCRH ‘17)

Whether she’s behind the lens or in front of it, this Film major senior is no stranger to the stage nor screen. As former publicist and president of Expressions Dance Alliance, this California native spends her days curating her creativity into a lifestyle. As a Style Guru for College Fashionista, a public relations intern at Louis Vuitton, and a freelance photographer, Sammy bubbles with life and luminosity. Her passion for “aesthetic things” pushed her to expand Expressions' multimedia marketing strategy, which has in turn pushed the dance company to new heights and has opened Expressions to the greater Fordham community. A camera in one hand, and a Pugsley’s slice in another, she credits her passion for dance as the source of her love for Expressions, but credits Expressions for her love for Fordham. “I want to be remembered as someone who gave back to the school in my own personal way,” the graduating senior smiles, “take everything Fordham gives you, and give it back in a more personal, artistic way.”

Enzo Obeso (GSB '18)

A global thinker and innovator, this Gabelli junior proves "being obsessed with your interests" is worth it. Enzo is a member of the Fordham Foundry for his backpack company, Ventir, which creates modular backpacks customized to specific needs. Additionally, he manages membership in the Entrepreneurship Society and Social Impact 360 to refine his crave for creativity and constant curiosity. Growing up in Manila, this finance major adores Fordham for its diversity. "It’s really cool meeting people from different areas and seeing their way of thinking," he comments, "and because Fordham is so diverse, you’re bound to find others interested in what you’re interested in. When you’re living out what you love, it’s a good example for other people who have those same interests."

Niko Thorpe (FCRH '18)

This junior, part of Hippie Tribe, and a linebacker for Fordham football recognizes that “the people you meet here are once-in-a-lifetime kinda people." Not only does he seek to set the world on fire, he seeks to bring it together. Music has always been a part of Niko’s life. He plays piano for various churches in the Bronx, writes scores for short films, and produces music and lyrics for his band, Hippie Tribe…all while playing football and studying sociology and philosophy.

“People tend to stay in their own clique; I want to bring them together,” the singer-songwriter-athlete explains. “I want to expand with my music, I want to create a more open interpretation to [our] music so it allows people to get their own feel from it, while still being in a part of a community. It’s called Hippe Tribe—it automatically implies community.” Describing Fordham as as “a backwards, misplaced melting pot,” Niko never fails to notice the color and culture that is the Bronx.

“I think Fordham is a twilight zone,” Niko notes. “The clock rings a minute early? The hawk that flies around? Where did that come from? Why is that in the Bronx? There’s a different vibe coming onto campus from off. As soon as you break through the gate there’s a different energy.” And he’s no stranger to interpreting energy. Whether it be a crowd in the stadium stands or flanked around a stage, Niko leads both on the stage and on the field. “Both are performing,” and he’s as much a leader as he is a teammate.

Dylan Skinner (GSB '20)

This freshman makes New York her campus, her closet and her runway. The Gabelli freshman not only designs and makes her own line of clothes (@dylanskinnerdesigns), but also showed 20 original looks on the Fashion For Philanthropy runway last month. Growing up thirty minutes outside the city, Dylan spent her high school weekends taking classes at Parsons, but chose Fordham because of the access to the city and the experience of a college campus. “I love fashion is because I love making people feel beautiful. I sound like I’m bullshitting, but it is such a serious issue how little confidence women have,” Dylan urges. “Fashion is just one of the ways I can help make people feel beautiful.” She treats fashion as a global project, and Fordham’s inclusion in New York simply is the catalyst for her creativity. “I want to be remembered as someone who didn’t let her age or inexperience hold her back, instead, just as someone who went for her dream.”

Natalie Martinez (GSB '19)

This Ram has a hand in everything. As a member of Varsity Volleyball and Fordham Flava while managing a side hustle in the makeup business, Natalie has fallen in love with Fordham because of all the different communities that come together as a family. Her YouTube channel and Instagram handle, @ProjectMakeupFX, may be just a hobby, but has been a vehicle for meeting more people. “I’ve done Senior Ball and Senior Night makeup, I get a lot of Halloween makeup requests, I even get random people reaching out to me for help with random events. It’s a cool way I meet a ton of people.” While her days are packed with volleyball training and dance rehearsals, Natalie wants nothing more than to “bring a smile to people’s faces,” whether she’s painted them or not! This Gabelli student proves that a lot of life’s learning is done outside the classroom.

Joe Halpin (GSB '17)

With a mere two weeks until graduation, this quintessential member of many Fordham communities wants nothing more than to “be remembered as a friendly face both on and off campus.” Halpin, an Information Systems major, has for sure left his footprint. As the Vice President of Communications for USG, President of the Entrepreneurship Society, and a member of GSB’s Dean’s Council, the Rose Hill Society, and New Student Orientation, he has dedicated his time and energy into the school that’s changed his life (*cue Wicked’s “For Good”*). Off campus, Joe has interned for AOL and PwC, and is an incoming analyst at BlackRock. “The people, hands down,” are his favorite part of Fordham. He has sought to make his mark by “leaving things better than he found them,” and we commend him for seeing this through. His perfect Fordham day begins with Starbucks, ends with Beer Hall, and “has a lot of laughs in between…and Pugsley’s.”

Tiffany Chandler (FCRH '17)

This senior has perfected the art that is the balance of sass and service. As a senior graduating with a degree in Psychology and African American Studies, Tiffany has spent her years giving back. She is the Vice President of Fordham Flava, an integral member of the Dorothy Day Center and ASILI, and a former RA. “If there is something to be remembered about me, I want it to be that I was the Black girl who not only worked at the Dorothy Day Center, or was seen talking to Francis at the caf everyday, or as the only Black person on the hip hop dance team for 3 years, or the RA, but as the girl who lived her truth and let it shine through her around campus.” Tiffany urges women of color to “not be afraid to get involved, even if they do not see others that share the same racial backgrounds,” because taking chances is what helped her make her best friends, and even pushed her to learn more about herself. Tiff, you will be missed.

Emma Bausert (FCRH ‘17)

Self-described as "loyal, hardworking, and passionate" for the place she describes as "incredible and transformative," Emma Bausert is one of the most recognizable faces on campus, and for good reason. As the graduating President of the Residence Halls Association, a member of Global Outreach, the Senior Week Committee, and New Student Orientation, and an intern for the United Nation's Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Emma operates under the understanding that "positive change comes from listening to others." Emma laughs at how she often compares herself to a stapler: "I feel like I have always been forced to keep it together with extracurriculars, friends, and schoolwork. It was hard at times, but I managed." A definite staple to this community, Emma's passion is one we will applaud for years to come. While her impending graduation is bittersweet, she is excited to join in Fordham's rich history of alumni, as her "Fordham experience has been shaped by the experiences of the students and faculty that have come before me." Cheers to that.

Kiera Maloney (FCRH '17)

This senior is the human synonym to selfless service. As an Economics major and Peace & Justice Studies minor, this Californian has poured her time into the Dorothy Day Center, several GO! trips, St. Rose’s Garden, and maintaining membership in the Fordham Foundry for her company called Radiate Market. Radiate is an online marketplace where people can buy authentic, handmade clothing and jewelry from vendors in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and India.

“When my roommate and I were sophomores, we had been on several typical volunteer trips, and people kept wanting us to bring them stuff we bought locally in the communities,” Maloney explains. “Because volunteers can often have negative impacts on the sustainable development efforts of poor communities, I decided to start a Radiate Market with my roommate Alyssa as a place that empowers artists in developing regions by providing them an online platform, and to provide shoppers with a place to purchase ethically.” While she is empowering struggling artists across the world, she credits Fordham and “all the amazing little communities I’ve been a part of, blending together” for empowering her.

Kathryn Teaney (GSB '19)

This sophomore is in the business of comedy. As a major in Business Administration in Gabelli, with a minor in Film & TV, Kathryn has dedicated her two years at Fordham to perfecting her finesse for the fine arts. As the co-chair for the CAB Comedy Board, a member of the Theatrical Outreach Program, tech support for Mimes and Mummers, and a campus ambassador for Rosie’s Theater Kids, she wants to leave a footprint that is rooted in the mantra “seriously, stop taking everything so seriously.” She laughs at creating a legacy as “the girl who calls bingo."

"Someone has actually recognized me from it,” she adds. She loves Fordham for the legacy of Eddie’s. “It’s factual that everyone considers a warm sunny day on Eddie’s their favorite part of Fordham,” Kathryn laughs, and we couldn’t agree more.

Rachel Hanon (FCRH '17)

As someone who has moved eight times and identifies with the East Coast as a whole rather than a certain town, this Communications & Media Studies senior calls Fordham home. Transferring her sophomore year from a huge public university, Rachel notes how "it was such a welcome surprise that all of my professors were so friendly, intelligent, and genuinely interested in me as a human." Off campus, Rachel has taken full advantage of New York. She has interned with the womenswear designer Rachel Antonoff, and the historic Plaza Hotel where she worked in special events, including the CBS Upfronts and the Tony Awards Gala. And on top of that, she's a visionary behind the camera ( #slaythesidehustle. She calls Fordham her "breath of fresh air." Amen.

Natalie Dowd (FCRH '20)

This freshman is on a mission to prove that sustainability can be as stylish as it is socially conscious. Hailing from Philly, Natalie is a member of Social Impact 360, and the winner of the most recent National Social Impact 360 Pitch Competition for her business venture, Boxer. A “chic and sustainable lunchbox that gives a portion of proceeds to urban agricultural gardens that give fruits and vegetables to local communities,” Natalie has big dreams, and a big plan to see them through. She commends Fordham for being so ahead of the game in integrating social justice into their curriculum, as it was the very thing that “pushed her to involve social impact and business” into her career here at Rose Hill. Self-described as creative and confident, “New York’s role in making fashion more ethical and sustainable” is quite the catalyst for her next three years.


Emma DiMarco (FCRH '18)

Emma DiMarco is a junior, majoring in visual arts with a concentration in photography. Thanks to a Fordham University Research Grant and the Butler Travel Grant, this summer she will be driving across the country with her brother working on a photo project about the evolution of bowling alleys in tandem with blue collar towns. She will also be interning with fashion photographer Sophie Elgort (Yes, Ansel's sister). Passionate about tacos, day drinking, and her Boston Terrier, Dewey, this ray of upstste sunshine considers photography her number one priority, and deepest love.
See more of her incredible work at