WSA Executive Board

WSA Executive Board

President - Erin Connell

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Erin serves as the 2016-17 WSA President, and is a full-time MPA-PNP student specializing in Policy. Last semester, Erin served as the Board Chair for Wagner’s Students for Criminal Justice Reform (SCJR). Erin currently works part-time as a Consulting Associate at Cause Strategy Partners, collaborating on matters of non-profit management and board governance. Erin earned her B.A. from Columbia University in Philosophy and Human Rights. Previously, Erin worked at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wahrton & Garrison LLP (New York); City Year (Washington, D.C.); The District Office of Congressman Engel (Bronx, NY); and The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, D.C.). Erin is passionate about public service, nonprofit management, and social policies, including criminal justice reform and equal gender rights.

Erin is excited and humbled to serve the Wagner student body and the administration as President. As a liaison between students and staff, Erin looks forward to better understanding and meeting the unique needs of our diverse student body.

Ombudsperson - Christian Adams

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Christian Adams serves as the WSA Ombudsman. Christian is a full time student in the MPA-Health track concentrating in finance. Originally from New York City, Christian attended undergrad in Maine at Bowdoin College. While in college, Christian served on student government all four years including as President of his class junior and senior year.

After college, Christian worked for two years in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree and was standing on the house floor when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed. Following his time on Capitol Hill Christian worked in the international department of L.L.Bean before moving to Beijing. In China, Christian worked in the marketing department of a travel company before transitioning to a role in client relations for Beijing United Family Hospital. He returned to the U.S. after 2.5 years abroad to apply to and attend Wagner.

Christian is thrilled to once again be serving on student government and would love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about life at Wagner feel free to send him an email or stop by his office hours.

Vice President of Events and Operations - Shirley Duong

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Shirley is a full-time MPA-PNP student specializing in Management. Born and raised in the Bay Area (California), Shirley obtained a B.A in Asian American Studies and Communications at the University of California, Davis. Shirley holds extensive experience in community organizing focused on social justice issues such as economic development, education equity, women’s empowerment, diversity and inclusion.

Prior to Wagner, Shirley was the Project Manager and Staff Assistant for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA), where she was given the opportunity to serve her community, the largest Vietnamese-American community in the country, and pioneered the first annual Student Advisory Board program. Concurrently, Shirley organized conferences to pipeline students from low-income communities into higher education and civic engagement, as well as, programs to engage the public on contemporary issues affecting the Asian American community. Currently at Wagner, Shirley hopes to learn more about the ways in which communities can intervene with government policy to achieve economic equity. Shirley also works as the Project Assistant for Wagner’s Office of Career Services.  As VP of Events and Operations, she hopes to streamline efficiency and impact through WSA events, as well as, creating an inclusive space that builds, encourages and enriches a strong student community in which students will be empowered to reach their career, life and social goals. She is a complete foodie, and is very proud of her Yelp Elite status. When she’s not finding new places to brunch, she enjoys running, biking and netflix/hulu.

Vice President of Student Groups: Program/Specialization - Michelle Spiegel

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Michelle is currently an MPA-PNP International/Policy specialization. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She worked for an education non-profit for a year as a teacher in the South Bronx of New York City. She then flew off to Israel for a year and coordinated the Relocation Project at the African Refugee Development Center. Michelle is wholly committed to working with vulnerable populations. Moving forward, her interests lie in research and evaluation. 

She can be easily won over through pizza and/or pasta, grew up with four dogs, and loves the beach. As a WSA Board Member, Michelle intends to ensure all Program/Specialization Student Groups are set up to succeed through leadership, access to resources and connection to alumni.

Vice President of Student Groups: Identity and Diversity in Public Service (IDPS) - Imtiaz Hossain

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Imtiaz Hossain is an MPA candidate specializing in Policy and Planning. Prior to coming to NYU Wagner, Imtiaz had served in various roles in community development, research, organizing, and advocacy – working primarily with underserved and in communities of color. In multiple roles he has led program design, development and evaluation to enhance equity and integration. He is interested in sustainable urban growth through economic and housing development, political advocacy and cross-sector collaboration. He is currently a NYU Leadership Initiative’s Graduate SSLD Fellow. As the Chair of Wagner Diversity Council, he leads efforts with students, faculty and administration to cultivate an inclusive academic community.

Originally hailing from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Imtiaz grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. He completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Comparative Literature from SUNY Buffalo. He hopes to work alongside the diverse student body and groups at Wagner to shape an engaged community of leaders, accessible to each-other’s concerns and aspirations.

Vice President of Student Groups: Professional and Interest Based - Yunong (Stefanie) Zheng

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Yunong is a full-time MPA-PNP student specializing in Policy. Born in the northeast of China and raised in Shanghai, Yunong spent her undergrad in three universities - University of Hong Kong, Fudan University, and The University of Melbourne. She double majored in Psychology and Sociology and obtained a B.A in Social Sciences at HKU.  While in College, Yunong served as the Vice-President in a nonprofit founded by students that focused on education problems in rural China, Hong Kong and Ghana. She then worked on community development and sponsorship management in World Vision. After graduation, she worked as a full-time research assistant in the City University of Hong Kong in the Applied Sociology Department. With a mixture of experience in social services and social sciences, Yunong is passionated about education innovation, children development, and environment protection. Currently, Yunong works as an associate in Cause Strategy Partners, a B-Corp helping nonprofits in board capacity building and strategic planning. She develops great interest in the intersections of nonprofit and for-profit sectors. In leisure time, Yunong enjoys table tennis, poetry, cajon and modern dance.

As VP of Professional and Interest Based Student Groups, Yunong hopes to promote collaboration between student groups, ensure effective communication and students groups’ access to resources, as well as encourage both local and international students to engage in student activities. 

Treasurer - Chai Jindasurat

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Chai Jindasurat is a David Bohnett fellow and MPA-PNP student specializing in public finance and financial management. Chai grew up mixed race and gay in Oklahoma, where he became involved in LGBTQ organizing and public service work shortly after coming out and helping to form his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Chai has spent the past eight years in the LGBTQ anti-violence movement, starting out as a part-time outreach worker at the Kansas City Anti- Violence Project, and more recently as the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs Coordinator and the Co-Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. In this role, Chai led national policy advocacy campaigns and research projects on LGBTQ violence in the United States. Prior to working at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, Chai served as the Director of Organizing and Education at The Network/La Red. Chai served on the Steering Committee of the Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York for two years. He is passionate about the intersections of government budgeting and public policy, and hopes to work in municipal government following graduation.

Secretary - Therese Russo

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Therese is a full-time MPA-PNP student specializing in Policy. Committed to ongoing explorations on the intersection of healing and social justice, she is interested in the fields of mental health administration and leadership development. Born on the West Coast and raised in South Carolina, she studied Dance Performance and Composition at Bard College and then completed her undergraduate studies at Coastal Carolina University, with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies focused in Comparative Religions. Prior to Wagner she worked as Project Manager of Governance-Level Initiatives at the Meher Spiritual Center. She was also a ballet and modern dance instructor and mentor for years and loves working with adolescents.

As Secretary of the WSA executive board, she plans to contribute her internal and external communication skills to support the functioning of student groups and larger student life at Wagner. She is excited to continue cultivating meaningful partnerships with students, faculty, and administration, as she believes in the power of community for accomplishing the most effective public service.

Senator - Hannah Byford

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Hannah is a full-time MPA-Health student specializing in international policy and management. Born and raised in Round Rock,TX Hannah attended undergraduate studies at Baylor University, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) in May 2015.

After graduating, Hannah worked as a registered nurse for Baylor Scott and White Healthcare in Dallas on a liver, pancreas, kidney, and autoislet transplant unit. While in Dallas, she went on to volunteer at the Dallas Life Homeless Shelter, where she sought to improve and advance public health. Currently, Hannah works as a nurse at Lincoln Medical Center on an inpatient surgical unit specializing in neurosurgery. Outside of her job as a nurse, Hannah is employed by Health Leads at Woodhull Medical Center's outpatient pediatric clinic, where she helps to connect families with community resources. She also works as a tutor for America Reads and Counts, where she educates elementary school children in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Hannah also volunteers her time as the Director of Outreach and Development for Project College NYC, a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between high school students and college affordability. 

Hannah is passionate about working with people from all walks of life, and is excited to have been given the opportunity to be an advocate for all students at Wagner. She looks forward to the coming year and hopes to become one of many voices representing our great community.

First Year Representative - Max Zeiger

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Max is a full-time MPA-Health Policy & Management student. Born and raised in Needham, Massachusetts Max obtained his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan he volunteered as a research assistant at the Michigan NeuroSport clinic studying the connections between sports related concussions and migraines. For the past three years he has served as the Clinic and Research coordinator for the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSport Program, the concussion program at UCLA. While at UCLA he became passionate about working in a management position at an academic medical center, and plans to seek out administrative fellowship programs following graduation. In addition to his role as first year rep for the WSA, he is also the graduate assistant for the Health Policy & Management program. He looks forward to working with everyone over the coming year.