Meet the 30 Under 30 Award Recipients for 2020

Here we celebrate our trendsetters, problem-solvers and innovators. As you read the stories of these rising achievers, you’ll see the passion and grit that define all Owls on full display.

Community Advocates

Cultivating strong neighborhoods takes humility, understanding and respect. These Owls aren't afraid to get involved when they see a need. Our community advocates connect people to resources and opportunity, work to protect our environment and ensure all voices are heard.

Picture of Julie Bare, TYL ’12

Julie Bare, TYL ’12

Senior Estate Gardener, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Julie discovered her passion for gardening during her first year at Temple when she happened to take an entry-level horticulture class. Since then, she's became increasingly convinced that a well-cultivated garden could have a positive impact on its community.

Read Julie’s full story.
Picture of Jazmine Jackson, EDU ’17

Jazmine Jackson, EDU ’17

Second Grade Teacher, National Association of Independent Schools

Jazmine is passionate about breaking down the systemic barriers that keep children from achieving success in their lives. She leads her school community in ensuring equity exists in the classroom and in the minds of students.

Read Jazmine’s full story.
Picture of Erik Jacobs, CLA ’13

Erik Jacobs, CLA ’13

Policy Coordinator, U.S. Department of Energy

Erik’s passion for politics at Temple led him to the international stage in Japan and eventually to a permanent position in the nation’s capital.

Read Erik’s full story.
Picture of Rachel Schwaab, ENG ’15

Rachel Schwaab, ENG ’15

Environmental Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

For Rachel, an innate love of nature and, more specifically, the water, led her to Temple’s stormwater engineering program. From there, Rachel’s taken her degree and run with it—all across the world.

Read Rachel’s full story.
Picture of Eric Todd, FOX ’15

Eric Todd, FOX ’15

Finance Manager, Campaign for Working Families

As a high schooler, Eric had two goals: to go to a diverse, urban school and to find a job that was as focused on serving urban communities as he was. By attending Temple, he was able to achieve both of his goals and more.

Read Eric’s full story.

Diversity Ambassadors

Together, Owls work to ensure all perspectives are represented. These fearless leaders are championing values of inclusivity, creating new pathways for marginalized groups and facilitating crucial conversations.

Picture of Erinn Corbett-Wright, CLA ’14

Erinn Corbett-Wright, CLA ’14

Vice President, Charitable Foundation Program Manager for TD Bank

Only five years after graduating, Erinn found her calling in the nonprofit world. Fueled by her passion to do good and make a difference in her community, she attributes the start of her explosive career to one political science class she took at Temple.

Read Erinn’s full story.
Picture of Diana Fernandez, TYL ’12

Diana Fernandez, TYL ’12

Landscape Architect, Sasaki Associates

From urban pocket parks in Boston, to 180-acre brownfields in Florida, to a waterfront promenade in the Port of Los Angeles, Diana is—literally—redesigning the world as she goes.

Read Diana’s full story.
Picture of Jeffrey Meris, TYL ’15

Jeffrey Meris, TYL ’15

Independent Artist and Studio Fellow, NXTHVN

For his project, Dis We Tea Party, Jeffrey crafted 40 ceramic teacups and 40 ceramic saucers and invited 40 Bahamians to have tea with him. It won the Central Bank of the Bahamas Art Competition in 2013.

Read Jeffrey’s full story.
Picture of Noelia Rivera-Calderón, LAW ’19

Noelia Rivera-Calderón, LAW ’19

Tom Steel Fellow, National Women’s Law Center

Noelia’s experience as both Latinx and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community was a springboard to her success in advocating for changes in public policy.

Read Noelia’s full story.

Entrepreneurial Disruptors

Business thrives on change; these Owls are here to help that along. From the C-suite to the startup seat, Temple’s young alumni are challenging the status quo and making the world of commerce a more open, inclusive place all along the way.


Picture of Patrick Jeune, FOX ’13

Patrick Jeune, FOX ’13

Real Estate Developer and Founder, J.P. Holdings Group

Patrick bought his first property in his second year at Temple. Now the Philly native, whose mantra is “Be a good neighbor,” is transforming the world around him one block at a time.

Read Patrick’s full story.
Picture of Joshua Lee, BYR ’16, ’19

Joshua Lee, BYR ’16, ’19

Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Jazz Lives Philadelphia

Josh says he learned a lot from studying with his musician/professors at Temple and watching them perform. That’s why he’s giving back by mentoring young musicians and teaching them about Philadelphia’s jazz legacy.

Read Joshua’s full story.
Picture of Tamer Morsy, CST ’12

Tamer Morsy, CST ’12

Founder and CEO, Spotlight Media Labs

Trained as a scientist, Tamer became increasingly concerned about the rise in misinformation across the country. So, he developed a software application that aggregates and distributes only verified content from trusted sources.

Read Tamer's full story.
Picture of Kendra Plummer, STH ’13

Kendra Plummer, STH ’13

Founder, Elise Capital

Kendra grew up knowing what she wanted to do. What started as a dream to own a bed and breakfast turned into a vision to close the wealth gap in the U.S. through hotel ownership.

Read Kendra’s full story.

Healthcare Influencers

Relentlessly seeking new ways to treat disease and provide care with compassion is what these Owls do. Born to lead, they’ve risen to the fore of the next generation shaping the future of the healthcare industry.

Picture of Marcus Forst, CST ’19

Marcus Forst, CST ’19

Knight-Hennessy Scholar, Stanford University

A life-changing medical diagnosis didn’t stop Marcus from becoming Temple’s first ever Knight-Hennessey Scholar. Forst found refuge in his research and accumulated many prestigious awards and accolades while a student at Temple.

Read Marcus’s full story.
Picture of Carly Harsha, EDU ’15, PHR ’19

Carly Harsha, EDU ’15, PHR ’19

Senior Manager, Student and New Practitioner Development, American Pharmacists Association

At Temple, Carly found a tight-knit community determined to empower her. Within herself, she found the skills to become a mentor to young pharmacists across the country.

Read Carly’s full story.
Picture of Julie Lin, POD ’18

Julie Lin, POD ’18

Surgical Resident in Podiatry, Phoenixville Hospital

A doctor of podiatric medicine in her final year of surgical residency, Lin, who has a background in biomedical engineering, helped design a vascular closure device now being rolled out in U.S. hospitals.

Read Julie’s full story.
Picture of Keval Ray, CST ’16, FOX ’18, MED ’19

Keval Ray, CST ’16, FOX ’18, MED ’19

Resident Physician in General Surgery, Mount Sinai Health System

Working as a fully licensed emergency medical technician in New Jersey at age 16 inspired Keval to become a doctor. Now he can be found on the front lines of the pandemic in New York City.

Read Keval’s full story.
Picture of Maila Turay, CPH ’19

Maila Turay, CPH ’19

Registered Nurse, Einstein Healthcare Network

Maila sees caring for people in their most vulnerable moments as his calling. When COVID-19 struck, he signed up to serve as a travel nurse for eight weeks in New York City at the pandemic’s epicenter and followed that with a stint in Los Angeles.

Read Maila’s full story.

Media and Entertainment Visionaries

These are the creators, the ones who shape the stories that capture our imaginations. A documentary film editor, a producer for late-night TV, a sound designer for video games and more—each doing their part to keep us informed and entertained.

Picture of William Hilferty, TFM ’13

William Hilferty, TFM ’13

Filmmaker and Assistant Editor, Netflix

Bill arrived in Los Angeles following graduation wanting to write and direct films. But he found his passion in editing and its power to shape a story.

Read William’s full story.
Picture of Jonathan Shafer Kohl, TFM ’13

Jonathan Shafer Kohl, TFM ’13

Archival Producer, History Making Productions

Double majoring in film and history would have been challenging for most students. For Jon, it was a means to the ultimate end of sharing and highlighting the untold stories of the past.

Real Jonathan’s full story
Picture of Isabella Ness, BYR ’16

Isabella Ness, BYR ’16

Senior Sound Designer and Producer, Team Audio

Isabella knew she wanted to pursue a music career since high school. Temple professors ignited her passion and helped her stretch beyond the requirements of a college degree.

Read Isabella’s full story.
Picture of Abigail Sydnes, ENG ’17

Abigail Sydnes, ENG ’17

Product Manager, Comcast

At Temple, Abby built robots, launched a high-altitude balloon and interned at NASA. Now she’s emerging as a tech leader at Comcast’s headquarters right here in Philadelphia.

Read Abigail’s full story.
Picture of Alisha Zafar, KLN ’16

Alisha Zafar, KLN ’16

Associate Producer, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Ever since she was young, Alisha had a love for entertainment. After gaining experience and skills during her time at Temple, she achieved her childhood dream of working in the entertainment industry.

Read Alisha’s full story.

Sports Industry Standouts

Playing and working in the field of sports takes talent, determination and mental toughness. With help from the skills, experience and support they gained at Temple, these all-star alumni have taken the industry by storm.

Picture of Douglas Ammon, KLN ’15

Douglas Ammon, KLN ’15

Manager, Digital and Social Content Publishing, National Basketball Association

While completing his master of journalism degree, Doug found a passion for sports writing that led to an all-star career path. He credits the skills and support he received from Temple with furthering his journey to the NBA.

Read Douglas’ full story.
Picture of Brooke Williams, STH ’17, ’19

Brooke Williams, STH ’17, ’19

Director of Athletic Compliance, University of Southern California

When Brooke came to Temple, she had no idea that sports management was a career option. Today she spends her days helping young athletes live out their dreams.

Read Brooke’s full story.
Picture of Tahir Whitehead, CLA ’12

Tahir Whitehead, CLA ’12

Linebacker, NFL Carolina Panthers

As a team captain for the Owls, Tahir honed his leadership skills. Now he strives to serve as a role model for the next generation of student-athletes.

Read Tahir’s full story.

Temple Made Leaders

Great leaders blaze a trail for others to follow. Molded by their experiences at Temple, these Owls stand out for their ambition, imagination and drive and serve as an inspiration to all of us.

Picture of Toni Leja’ Dixon, KLN ’18

Toni Leja’ Dixon, KLN ’18

Management and Program Analyst, FBI

After the life-altering death of her god brother, Toni drew on the journalism skills she gained at Temple and her passion for criminal justice reform to jump-start her career with the FBI.

Read Toni’s full story.
Picture of Caroline Lowndes, ENG ’18

Caroline Lowndes, ENG ’18

Technical Program Manager, Amazon Lab126

Caroline’s outsized ambitions have taken her from prestigious internships in Philadelphia to big-name tech companies on the West Coast, like Tesla and Amazon.

Read Caroline’s full story.
Picture of Amanda McHugh, CLA ’13, LAW ’17

Amanda McHugh, CLA ’13, LAW ’17

Chief of Military Justice, U.S. Air Force JAG Corps

Participating in Temple’s Inside-Out program as an undergraduate student sparked Amanda’s interest in law. Currently, she serves as a Chief Military Justice for the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.

Read Amanda’s full story.
Picture of Matthew Wasley, FOX ’13

Matthew Wasley, FOX ’13

Director of Product Marketing, Knotch Content Intelligence Platform

Networking has become more than just a tool of Matthew’s digital marketing trade. It’s the Temple Made trademark of his successful business style.

Read Matthew’s full story.