Meet The 17 Newest Members of the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics


This fall, Fordham Law School welcomed 17 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.

Chosen from diverse backgrounds for their demonstrated commitment to public interest law and public service, this group of highly motivated Steins are members of the classes of 2025 (day division) and 2026 (evening division).

Steffanny Acevedo-Perez ’25

Steffanny Acevedo-Perez ’25 was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and raised in New York. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 where she studied Government and Sociology. During college, she volunteered with Georgetown’s Prison and Justice Initiative where she had the opportunity to engage with incarcerated individuals. Through this program, Steffanny became passionate about advocating for prison reform and pursuing a career in criminal defense. She is also interested in immigration law and hopes that the Stein Scholars Program will provide her with an arsenal of tools to legally help vulnerable communities.



Sarya Baladi ’25

Sarya Baladi ’25 graduated from Boston College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic civilization & societies. She then worked at an immigration law firm in Boston where she helped clients from around the world secure permanent residency and citizenship in the United States. Sarya is the child of Lebanese immigrants and was raised in three different countries—her life experiences have made her passionate about advocating for migrants in the United States and abroad through her law career.


Michelle Buestan ’25

Michelle Buestan ’25 graduated from Williams College in 2018, majoring in political science and Arabic studies with a concentration in Latinx Studies. Before law school, she worked as a paralegal and analyst at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She went on to become an AmeriCorp member through the NYC Service program, serving at Make the Road New York. As a Stein Scholar, Michelle hopes to continue exploring ways to further empower and work with marginalized communities throughout New York City and beyond.



Madison Edwards ’25

Madison Edwards ’25 graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2020. While in school, she led a weekly class in the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Hall through a restorative justice non-profit. Since graduating, she has done volunteer work with the Northern California Innocence Project as a member of their Racial Justice Act working group. As a Stein Scholar, Madison looks forward to advocating for alternatives to incarceration and for greater justice within the criminal legal system.



Dean Feinman ’25

Dean Feinman ’25 is from Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2016 with his B.S. in literature and minor in grand strategy. As an infantry officer, Dean lived a convergence of his academic interests: culture, national security, and the law. Committed to a safer world which respects the dignity of all human life, Dean looks forward to building upon his experience to promote human rights.




Darcy Gallego ’25

Darcy Gallego ’25 graduated from The George Washington University in 2018 with a B.A. in international affairs. For the past three years, she served on the Immigration Hub’s legislative team in Washington, D.C., where she led and supported efforts to advocate for pro-immigrant policies on the federal level. Previously, she was an outreach staffer in the Newark office of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) where she worked with community members on issues including immigration, healthcare, and housing. Darcy is the proud daughter of Colombian immigrants and is originally from New Jersey. She hopes to use her law degree to directly serve communities and advocate for systemic change through policy.


Arianna Hopkins ’25

Arianna Hopkins ’25 is a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She spent her undergraduate career promoting racial justice in American politics and became an intern for the United States Congress to further her advocacy. After spending time at a North Carolina district attorney’s office, Arianna witnessed the biases in the criminal justice system towards adolescents, which drove her to start her nonprofit organization in an effort to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline in marginalized communities. She is excited to join Fordham Law as a Stein Scholar in hopes the program will assist her in becoming a juvenile justice and family attorney.




Victoria Leahy ’25

Victoria Leahy ’25 graduated from Fordham University in 2019 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies. After graduating, Victoria began working in the New York State Assembly, serving as executive director for Assemblymember Brian Barnwell. She then moved on to serve as chief of staff for a social service and advocacy non-profit in Western Queens, focusing on legislative and policy advocacy initiatives on the New York City Council level and New York State redistricting efforts. Most recently, she managed a successful Assembly campaign in Queens during the June Democratic Primary. Victoria is interested in the legal intersection of environmental and housing law, specifically equitable city planning.


Chantel Mattiola ’26

Chantel Mattiola ’26 (she/her) joins Fordham Law as an evening division student. She dedicated the past decade to working in the progressive nonprofit sector, developing strategy and fundraising for gender equity and LGBTQ+ equality. Chantel is currently the deputy director of Special Projects, Development at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. She earned her B.A. in international relations and women, gender, and sexuality studies from The Johns Hopkins University and her M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from Arcadia University. Chantel lives in New York City with her wife and two daughters.




Ben McDonald ’25


Ben McDonald ’25 is a jazz pianist, composer, and music educator. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 with a B.M. in Jazz Studies and a B.A. in creative writing. Since then, Ben has performed in venues across the nation and in China. In 2016, he spent two months as an artist-in-residence at the Music and Arts Institute in Foshan, China, where he taught piano to underprivileged kids. After moving to New York City in 2018 to pursue his jazz career, Ben began working in the service industry to subsidize his income. Here, he developed his passion for labor rights advocacy. Most recently, he advocated for his co-workers to receive COVID-19 sick pay after discovering the company was non-compliant with state mandates. Ben’s excited to use the knowledge and skills acquired through the Stein Scholars Program to continue championing the labor movement in the hopes of creating a more democratic workplace.


Natalie Moulton-Levy ’26

After earning her M.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, Natalie Moulton-Levy ’26 received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. She then went on to complete her dermatology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital where she served as chief resident. In her career as a physician, one of Natalie’s main focuses is taking care of skin of color. As a result of the medical inequities that she has witnessed over the years in medicine, she has decided to attend law school, after which she intends to practice health law with a focus on racial justice.




August E. Naston ’25

August E. Naston ’25 (he/they) graduated from Hamilton College in 2020 with a B.A. in classics and a minor in art history. As an undergraduate, he excavated in Greece and studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, University of Glasgow, and Glasgow School of Art. At Hamilton, he founded and served as the first editor-in-chief of The Haley Classical Journal. After graduating, August conducted research as a National Italian American Foundation Pellegri Fellow before working in legal support in Virginia and New York. August’s background in archaeology and museum collections sparked his passion for art and cultural heritage law, although he is also interested in employment and LGBTQ+ civil rights as potential practice areas.



Miles Oliva ’25

Miles Oliva ’25 has spent the past several years in a variety of adolescent healthcare settings as a STI prevention researcher and sexual health advocate. During his time at Johns Hopkins, he received a Master of Public Health and worked to improve sexual health services in school-based health centers. With the education and training he will receive at Fordham Law, Miles will continue to fight for vulnerable Americans whose medical needs are currently unheard in our profit-driven healthcare system.





Jalyn Radziminski ’26

Jalyn Radziminski ’26 earned their B.A. from Emory University in linguistics and interdisciplinary studies with a human rights focus. Their work is dedicated to advocating for racial equity, community-based mental health services, voting rights, and disability justice for BIPOC and disability communities. At the national level, Jalyn works at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and serves on the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)’s Rev Up Advisory Board. At the local level, Jalyn is an elected commissioner for Indiana Disability Rights and the Founder of Count US IN, the first Indiana-based nonpartisan nonprofit led by Black, femme, and disability community organizers to increase and diversify civic engagement and voter turnout. Internationally, Jalyn has studied and worked in Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands to advance human rights via the U.S. Department of State, Hokkaido International Foundation, and Humanity in Action. Jalyn is excited to join the Stein Scholars and use their law degree for movement lawyering and public interest work.


Tyler Rockey ’26

Tyler Rockey ’26 joins Fordham Law’s evening division. He holds a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University and a B.S. from Oregon State University. Since 2015, Tyler’s worked for the New York City Department of Social Services as a researcher and advisor.





Anushka Sarkar ’25

Anushka Sarkar ’25 graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018, after spending her senior year as the university’s student body president. Following her time there, Anushka spent a few years in Washington, D.C. and New York City, working on issue advocacy campaigns to rein in corporate power, tax corporations, and wealthy individuals; expand federal power to lower prescription drug prices and health care costs; eliminate dark money from electoral politics; and more. Anushka is a staunch supporter of the right to organize in the workplace and served as an inaugural member of the organizing committee for her former workplace’s staff union. Anushka is committed to dismantling oppressive systems and putting power in people’s hands, and she spent the summer before law school as an Urban Leaders Fellow, drafting legislation to rein in Washington, D.C. police power and proposing an afterschool program to D.C. Council that aimed at diverting girls and non-binary children in D.C. Public Schools from the school-to-prison pipeline. As a Stein Scholar, Anushka looks forward to deepening her understanding of the law and political economy, antitrust, localized and community-centered advocacy, and workers’ rights.


Stephanie Sun ’25

Stephanie Sun ’25 graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020 with a B.A. in media studies and political science. In college, she worked for nonprofits like Matriculate and the Chinese Progressive Association to empower youth and expand access to higher education. She also became a JusticeCorps Fellow and provided legal services for housing and domestic violence issues. After graduating, Stephanie worked for GrizzlyCorps to support environmental justice efforts in California. Through these varied experiences, she has cultivated her passion for advocating for diverse and marginalized communities.


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