Influential 2019


This year’s Influentials is a bit of the same and a bit of something new. While the issue still contains 10 profiles of incredible students making an impact at NYU, there’s a twist this time around. For the first time, we’ve added a theme! This year’s Influentials issue is not just about a set of influential people, but also a type of influence — environmentalism. The issue is meant to analyze the ways in which students are working to engage with environmental issues and provide solutions while also giving insight into who each of these students are, as the leaders of tomorrow.

First, a huge thanks to our influential students: Winnie Xu, Carlos Martinez-Mejia, Heather Vaxer, Jon Chin, Devin James Gilmartin, Maha Hashwi, Wayne Carino, Omar Gowayed, Jakiyah Bradley and Eni Owoeye. We are not only grateful for the time you afforded us in letting us into your lives, but of course for the incredible work you all do in and out of NYU to build and save communities.

Of course, we must also thank our other amazing profile writers who did an outstanding job bringing these stories to light: Sam Klein, Arin Garland, Anna de la Rosa, Victor Porcelli, Claire Fishman, Mansee Khurana, Anna (Fin) Muratova and Alex Johnson. We are endlessly proud and appreciative of your hard work and diligence — not just for this issue, but for other Special Issues and countless editions that we have worked on throughout the semester.

We want to give a special shout out to Mansee, who has been instrumental in the creative and logistical execution of this issue. Without her, this process would not have been as fluid or creatively enriching as it was. Thank you, Mansee, for putting in so much effort, always being the first to offer new ideas or solutions to random problems and writing an amazing profile.

This issue would not look nearly as beautiful as it does without our creative directors Sophia Di Iorio and Debbie Alalade. Your creativity and talent are limitless, and you never cease to surprise us by making every layout more stunning than the last. These special issues, and our weekly print issues, are consistently elevated by your work.

The multimedia for our issue must also be commended, starting with the lead multimedia editor on this project, Exposures Editor Celia Tewey. Celia, you are a godsend of organization and logistical planning, making the main photoshoot go as smoothly as possible — and the photos are astounding. We also want to thank the rest of our multi team who shadowed with our writers and took the great photos that grace our spread: Sam, Julia McNeill, Elaine Chen, Marva Shi, Ellie Ballou, Jorene He, Min Ji Kim, Chelsea Li and Sara Miranda.

This is also the first time we have produced additional content for an Influentials issue, which you will be able to find online. Traditionally Influentials has only included 10 profiles, but this year, we also have a series of features, creative writing pieces and a stunning photo essay, allowing us to take an expansive scope at tackling this theme.

We would like to thank Fin, Marva, Kate Lowe, Fareid El Gafy, Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes, Kaylee DeFreitas, Rachel Lee, Eugene Hu (thanks for your comic, too) and Tayler Bakotic. Maxine, especially, has gone above and beyond in putting together so much Voices content for online. You guys have done a wonderful job with each of your pieces and have taken this year’s Influentials to greater heights, helping set a new precedent for everything that this issue is capable of.

Thank you to our copy chiefs Sam Brinton, Daija Dewberry, Dana Sun and Mandie Montes for catching every style and grammar mistake, and beyond anything else, your patience. We apologize for all the stories that have come in late. This paper would be nothing without your dedication and keen eye for detail.

Thank you to Alana Beyer and Taylor Wong for your help with our web layout, being able to deal with the seemingly insurmountable amount of content that comes your way and making it look fresh and fun on our website.

Last, but not least, what would this issue be — what would every week look like — without the combined efforts of the rest of our management team, Sam and Kate? We could sing endless praises about both of you; your dedication and talent absolutely unmatched. Not only are you two great writers and leaders, but some of the best colleagues and friends we have made while at WSN.

To say that this issue was ambitious is an understatement, but hopefully you enjoy our content, and are inspired to become involved, stay   and take action after reading with our issue.



The following essay and five poems are personal reflections on ecosystems lost, displaced and uprooted by human activity, and the current state of the natural world as a result of climate change.
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(From back then clockwise) Harry Winer, Matthew O’Connor, Vivian Gisle, Mia. Varrone, and Heather Vaxer.