Meet The 20 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics


This fall, Fordham Law School welcomed 20 students into the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation of public interest lawyers through academic and specialized discussion series, mentorships, and volunteer work with public interest organizations.

This group of highly motivated Steins, who were chosen from diverse backgrounds for their demonstrated commitment to public interest law and public service, are members of the classes of 2023, 2024 (day division), and 2025 (evening division).

Alan Eiland ’24

Alan Eiland ’24 has a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations and has academically focused on Black labor history and racial justice within the labor movement. He hopes to use his legal education to further understand the role the legal system plays in systemic oppression and the ways in which lawyers can be advocates for broader social justice.



Liam Galligan ’24

Since graduating from McGill University in 2017, Liam Galligan ’24 has interned and worked at NYC Parks, NYC Department of Housing and Preservation and the United States Congress, and most recently the New York State Assembly. While serving as a legislative director for a Manhattan assembly member, Liam helped pass critical police reform and LGBTQ+ rights legislation, and helped draft legislation that would end “no-knock” search warrant raids in the State of New York. Liam currently lives in Ridgewood, Queens, where he volunteers at his local neighborhood mutual aid group and harbors big aspirations of adopting a cat.




Nayab Hayat Khan ’24

Nayab Hayat Khan 24 was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2020 where she studied History and Religion, with independent research focused on the relationship between the Cold War and Islamic Law. During college, she volunteered at South Middlesex Correctional Center as a tutor for individuals incarcerated at the facility. This experience laid the foundation for her interest in criminal defense and legal advocacy work. She is also interested in immigration law, housing rights, and juvenile justice initiatives. She is excited to join Fordham Law as a Stein Scholar and looks forward to collaborating with her peers and faculty.


Chloe Kim ’24

In 2017, Chloe Kim ’24 graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with B.S. and M.S. in Accountancy and started working as a regulatory risk consultant at Deloitte & Touche LLP in New York City. Right before starting her master’s degree, Chloe found her passion for public interest advocacy through her internship at Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice in South Korea, where she had exposure to advocating for workers’ rights through her research on Labor Inequality—particularly focusing on undocumented immigrant workers in South Korea. Additionally, she helped organize boycott campaigns for the consumer victims of toxic cleaning products. She is excited to grow as a public interest advocate through her legal education at Fordham Law.



Titus Levy ’24

Titus Levy ’24 comes to Fordham Law School after spending the last decade working on behalf of indigent defendants caught up in the criminal legal system. Titus started on this trajectory as an investigator at The Bronx Defenders, where he saw firsthand the brutal toll that mass incarceration extracts from communities of color. He also saw how zealous, determined legal advocacy could make a real difference in supporting those same communities. Titus later moved to Texas to work as an investigator and mitigation specialist for an office that represents capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings. His experiences have inspired him to pursue a career as a litigator dedicated to defending vulnerable individuals and underserved communities affected by poverty, violence, and racism.



Joe Marchese-Schmitt ’25

Joe Marchese-Schmitt ’25 graduated with his Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Virginia in 2017. Since graduation, he has worked in intergovernmental relations for the New York City Office of Management and became a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Baldwin, New York. Joe hopes to use his law degree to create and advocate for good policy in healthcare, education, and environmental justice.




Maritza Medina Olazaran ’24

Maritza Medina Olazaran ’24 is a licensed master social worker who completed her clinical internships with the Federal Defenders of New York and The Legal Aid Society’s homicide defense task force. As a social work and mitigation intern, Maritza advocated on behalf of people incarcerated in correctional facilities and local hospitals. Maritza also served as a paralegal for the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization working to exonerate wrongfully convicted people using DNA testing. She earned her B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2016 and her MSW from Columbia University in 2021.





Samantha McCarthy ’24

Samantha McCarthy 24 has spent the last two years teaching fourth grade in Miami Dade County as a Teach For America corps member. During that time, she worked tutoring programs after school and weekends to help her students reach proficiency and mitigate learning losses due to the pandemic. Prior to teaching, she attended the College of Charleston where she tutored students with learning disabilities, worked at a family law firm, and organized debate events. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. Samantha hopes to use her experience as a teacher and what she will learn in Stein Scholars to help all children have access to equitable education.


Karen Normil ’24

Upon graduating from Brown University with a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Africana Studies, Karen Normil ’24 joined Immigrant Justice Corps as a community fellow. In that role, she represented low-income immigrants in their affirmative immigration proceedings. She worked primarily with Black immigrants, which exposed her to the harsh realities of working at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. After her fellowship, she joined Youth Represent, where she corrected errors on record of arrests and prosecutions (RAP) sheets to enable youth to obtain access to immigration benefits, housing, and employment. At Youth Represent, she also worked on the “Raise the Age” project, legislation that changed the age that a child can be prosecuted as an adult to 18 years of age, as a research assistant. Most recently, she worked as a paralegal at Brooklyn Defenders Services in the Immigration Community Action Project. As a Stein Scholar, she hopes to continue working with low-income communities while discovering new ways to implement change.


Shivani Parikh ’24

After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in development sociology, Shivani Parikh ’24 worked in her county’s domestic violence and sexual assault services nonprofit agency’s education and outreach department. Her ongoing reckoning with her racialization as the daughter of Indian immigrants growing up in New York post-9/11 has led to her passion for grassroots South Asian community organizing. She is especially committed to expanding immigrants’ rights, curtailing the War on Terror’s surveillance project and multi-issue advocacy for marginalized and disenfranchised Desi families.




Gabrielle Aiosa-Perrin ’25

Gabrielle Aiosa-Perrin ’25 joins Fordham Law as an evening student. Before law school, she obtained a MSW degree from New York University, and has spent the past six years working to support children, youth, and families involved in the New York City child welfare system. Gabrielle is eager to combine her interests in both social work and law as she fights the criminalization of black and brown children.



Carrie Plover ’24

As a Vassar College student, Carrie Plover ’24 provided dedicated support to students impacted by sexual assault. For her efforts, she received Special Recognition for Volunteer Contributions to Campus Life. Recognizing her passion for public service, Carrie matriculated at the Columbia School of Social Work. As a licensed master social worker, Carrie advocated for individuals affected by mental illness, homelessness, and domestic violence. In her law career, Carrie intends to bridge her past experience with her future ambition — providing legal services to New Yorkers while organizing to influence progressive public policy.



Yash Ramesh ’24

Yash Ramesh ’24 graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2019 with double majors in history and neuroscience. She has worked with the Northern Virginia Capital Defense Office on capital cases and with the D.C. Public Defender Service as an investigative intern for juvenile clients. Throughout the last year, she worked as an intervention specialist at an upper elementary school in Oregon and researched the overcriminalization of young Black girls in educational systems. She has been passionate about applying neuroscience research and data to criminal justice reform. She is excited to join the Stein Scholars Program and pursue advocacy in public defense.


Diobel Rodriguez ’24

After Diobel Rodriguez ’24 graduated from Cornell University in 2020, he spent a year working as a family treatment and rehabilitation case planner at Forestdale Inc., a child welfare agency. Through the agency, Diobel used preventive measures to counsel families and individuals in crisis intervention regarding domestic violence, corporal punishment, and rehabilitation—all to ensure a more sustainable environment for their children. Diobel’s experiences have inspired him to pursue educational law and, as a Stein Scholar, Diobel is looking forward to working with peers and faculty to explore possible solutions to the affordable housing crisis and the many issues low-income children face within the educational system.



Joan Rosello ’24

Joan Rosello ’24 was born in Santiago, Chile, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Nursing. Over the past three years, she has been working as a registered nurse in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in Washington, D.C. With experience as a frontline healthcare provider and a passion for social justice, Joan is looking forward to advocating for a more equitable and accessible healthcare system in our country.





Cristel Taveras ’25

Cristel Taveras ’25 is passionate about advancing equity and justice with an intersectional lens. Since graduating from Fordham University in 2014, she has worked as a paralegal with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, a policy advisor in a New York City government agency, and most recently as a campaign researcher with Color Of Change. As a Stein Scholar, Cristel looks forward to cultivating a sense of community with her fellow classmates and further exploring her interest in labor and employment law.



Mayu Tobin-Miyaji ’24

Mayu Tobin-Miyaji ’24 graduated from Rice University in 2018, where she majored in computer science and cognitive sciences. After graduating, she spent three years working as a software engineer in the Bay Area. This experience gave her insight as to how the current technology landscape often rewards exploiting unregulated spaces to extract data, increasing wealth inequality and leaving large swaths of the population to fend for themselves. As a Stein Scholar, Mayu hopes to use her legal expertise to shape a more equitable and accessible world where innovation serves everyone.



Oona Wallace ’24

Oona Wallace ’24 graduated from Wesleyan University in 2017 with a B.A. in History and Spanish. She became interested in attending law school after working as a resource navigator at Boston Medical Center where she assisted patients to connect to immigration legal services. Since then, she has continued to advocate on behalf of immigrant communities in Boston, most recently as a paralegal for immigration lawyers who primarily represent asylum-seekers. Originally from New York City, Oona looks forward to using her law degree and passion for immigrant justice to bring about a more just New York.



Avery Wolff ’23

Avery Wolff ’23 graduated from Vassar College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies, specializing in Political Science and History. After college, Avery worked for five years as an elementary school administrator in Brooklyn. Before starting law school, he additionally served as an organizer for a Congressional campaign, interned at the International Rescue Committee, and was a paralegal at a plaintiff-side antitrust firm. At Fordham Law, Avery is a Crowley Scholar in International Human Rights, a staffer on the Urban Law Journal, and serves as a board member for Fordham’s National Lawyers Guild Chapter and the Immigration Advocacy Project. This past summer, Avery worked for The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit, focusing on removal defense.


Rachel Zhu ’24

After college, Rachel Zhu ’24 worked in television and film production with the intent on creating stories focused on social justice, predominantly on race, gender, and climate change. At Brandeis University, her passions for environmentalism included chairing the Student Union’s Sustainability Committee and working at a nonprofit that advocated for campaigns such as clean water and limits on the use of antibiotics on factory farms. As a Stein Scholar, she is excited to concentrate on environmental law, particularly land use and regulation and environmental racism.


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