Each year, we honor graduating students for significant contributions to the NYU Wagner community and beyond. We recognize these awardees for their extraordinary engagement.

Presented for leadership capacity and exceptional contribution to public service.


Cherelle Hall

Cherrelle Hall (EMPA)

Cherrelle Hall is interested in improving the operational effectiveness of organizations focused on equity in education so they can successfully achieve their missions. At NYU Wagner, she focused on her continued leadership development and deepening her expertise in organizational strategy and change, inclusive leadership, and operational excellence. With enhanced skills and a renewed commitment to public service, she will continue in her position as Director of Operations and Student Support at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School.

Presented for academic achievement, participation in school activities, and public service.


Yi Ping

Yi Ping Bong (MPA-HPAM)

Yi Ping Bong came to Wagner to redirect her career towards improving people’s lives through the healthcare system. She has gained meaningful insights on challenges and potential solutions for achieving this through internships, her involvement in the NYU Public Health Ambassador program, as well as interactions with faculty and fellow students. She also served as the Co-Chair of the Wagner Health Network and as the Volunteer Lead of WagnerCares as a nod towards her passion for community development.

Katherine Key

Katherine Key (MUP)

Katherine Key is interested in how data can be used to create smarter and more equitable cities. At Wagner, she has focused on developing her data and policy analysis skills inside the classroom and applying these skills outside the classroom through a fellowship at the New York Community Trust and research at the NYU Furman Center. After graduation, she plans to continue her work as a policy analyst.

Presented for contribution to the global experience, academic success, and exceptional capacity for international leadership.


Alexandra Kirton

Alexandra Kirton (MPA-PNP)

Alexandra Kirton came to Wagner after working in Washington DC for several years as a contractor supporting a U.S. government agency working in international trade. While she enjoyed this work, her passion was studying the importance of sustainable food systems in emergency scenarios. Throughout her time at Wagner, she studied these topics academically and professionally, as a John D. Solomon Fellow at NYC Emergency Management. She will use this foundation as she begins the Mickey Leland Hunger Fellowship, where she will support Mercy Corps in Nepal.

Emily Ralic-Moore

Emily Ralic-Moore (MPA-PNP)

Emily Ralic-Moore is passionate about improving the lives of women and girls around the globe. During her studies, she developed a foundation of knowledge in international development and policy. She also was able to strengthen her writing and research skills through classroom learning and internships. While at Wagner, Emily served as the Vice President of Wagner Womxn. She plans to use these experiences and skills to create innovative, multi-sectoral solutions to advance gender equality worldwide.


Presented and named in honor of previous NYU Wagner deans. 

Presented for significant contribution and commitment to identity, diversity, belonging, and equity at Wagner.


Sakura Miyazaki

Sakura Miyazaki (MPA-HPAM) 

Sakura Miyazaki came to Wagner with an interest in health policy advocacy after working with rural healthcare providers and community-based organizations. As a student, she learned in-depth about the policy side of healthcare and disparities. With her newly acquired skills and knowledge, she will continue in her position as a Program Manager of Training and Technical Assistance at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations.

Presented for exemplary work done by a Capstone team.


L-R: Joseph Baietti (MUP), Carrie Eidson (MUP), Jah-Milka McClean (MPA-PNP), David Zhong (MPA-PNP)

The Belize Association of Planners

The Belize Association of Planners (BAP) is a nonprofit professional planning organization committed to promoting social justice and sustainability in the natural and built environments. BAP enlisted a team to identify intersectional vulnerabilities between climate change and gender in urban Belize, including aspects of social identity that contribute to heightened climate impacts on women and other marginalized groups. The team created public-facing materials — including policy briefs, short-term pandemic recovery guidance, and an interactive story map highlighting the team’s major research findings—to promote awareness of climate change and the importance of equitable urban planning. The team also created a framework for participatory action research projects for BAP to use to directly engage affected communities.


L-R: Marlene Artov (MPA-PNP), Shruti Bengani (MPA-PNP), Alexis Contreras (MPA-PNP), Christal Somar (MPA-PNP)

Land to Learn

Land to Learn is a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing food justice and community wellness through education. Its SproutEd Program brings garden education to students in grades K-2 in the Newburgh, Beacon, Kingston, and Garrison areas of New York State. Lacking easy-to-use and adaptable assessment tools to measure the program’s impact, Land to Learn engaged a team to construct effective and efficient impact assessment tools for its limited staff to use and sustain over time. To gather data in support of the organization’s short- and long-term goals, the team conducted educator interviews, researched case studies and best practices in garden education, and piloted tools with participating school districts. The team created a final report that includes a case study analysis, literature review, logic model, and recommendations for usable impact assessment tools that meet the organization’s needs.

Presented for innovative solutions to public service challenges.


L-R: Abdullah Alhussam (MPA-PNP), Madeline Dinsdale (MPA-PNP), Julia Maloney (MPA-PNP), Kyle Roland (MPA-PNP)

IBM tasked the team with investigating ways to scale the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the nonprofit sector. The team reviewed the literature on AI and its relationship to the nonprofit sector, interviewed nonprofits and foundations to understand the field’s current landscape and trajectory, and evaluated the nonprofit sector in terms of its receptiveness, preparedness, and need for new technologies. The team then provided IBM with strategic recommendations for how best to pursue its goal of scaling AI in the nonprofit landscape.

Presented for significant contribution to the NYU Wagner community.


Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown (MUP)

Rachel Brown is interested in using urban planning as a tool to build and promote resilient, inclusive, and equitable communities. As a student, she learned about economic development, transportation policy, and land use issues in the classroom and through various internship and research experiences. She also served as the Chair for the American Planning Association - New York Metro Chapter's Student Representative Committee. She plans to use the knowledge gained during her time at Wagner to support her work as a Research Project Coordinator at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.

Lara Fu

Lara Fu (MPA-PNP)

Lara Fu came to Wagner to broaden and deepen her nonprofit management skills. Her coursework in strategic management, talent development, and nonprofit governance, in addition to her on-campus work experience with NYU's Office of Student Affairs and the Dean's Office at Stern, prepared her well for her new role as Associate Director of Special Projects at DC Prep. While at Wagner, she also served as Wagner Student Association's Vice President of Events & Operations.

Bria Mathis

Bría Mathis (MPA-PNP)

Bría Mathis is passionate about leveraging the power of local government to create more equitable cities. During her time at Wagner, she was able to expand her data analysis skills and explore how technological innovation and climate change will transform the future of cities. As Chair of Wagner City Government Network, she was able to share the magic of New York City local government with our community and contribute to the vibrant student life. After graduation, she plans to utilize her newly minted skills to improve the lives of city dwellers. 

Jessie Miller

Jessie Miller (MPA-PNP)

Jessie Miller is passionate about moving capital toward justice to address social and environmental issues. During her time at Wagner, Jessie focused on corporate responsibility, impact investing, and philanthropy. She served as the president of Wagner Philanthropy, co-chair of WagnerCares, and a Vote2020 Fellow, in addition to internships at JUST Capital and the WES Mariam Assefa Fund. Jessie plans to continue working in the social impact field, bringing her expertise in project management, impact measurement, and grantmaking.

Rutika Naik

Rutika Naik (MHA)

Rutika Naik came to NYU Wagner to shift her focus from being a Physical Therapist to improving quality of care at an organizational level as well as managing healthcare organizations. At Wagner, she focused on building leadership, analytical, and management skills; gaining an in-depth understanding of the U.S. healthcare system; and emerged as a leader of our inaugural MHA graduating class. She plans to use her knowledge in leadership and management to lead change at healthcare organizations and serve the healthcare community.

Hanan Almarzooqi

Hanan Almarzooqi (MPA-HPAM) 

Hanan Almarzooqi is a healthcare professional from Abu Dhabi. As a student at NYU Wagner, she focused on honing her management and organizational development skills, as well as gaining a holistic understanding of the U.S. healthcare system. While at Wagner, she served as the Events Chair for the Wagner International Student Society. Hanan plans to step into strategy and operations roles, and explore the intersection of healthcare and technology to improve access and efficiency.