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Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians
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Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians

Author: Cornell Alumni Association

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Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians will give you an inside look into the lives of some of our most notable young Cornellians. Learn who they are and what role Cornell University played in their professional and personal lives.

Created and produced by Amanda Massa.
Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13.
Artwork by Chris Kelly.
23 Episodes
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We're opening up season two of Fresh from the Hill with a very special bonus episode featuring Cornell Club NYC General Manager Craig Lasnier.Listen in as Craig sits down with host Lou Diamond '92 to discuss the Club's history, present, and future, what special offerings they afford Young Alumni and recent grads, how the Club has aided alumni in times of disaster and tragedy, what notable Cornell alumni come through the club, and how it's a very special place for Cornellians right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.As Craig says, "There’s a Cornellian in every facet of life," and "we’re family and we want people to feel like family."Created and produced by Amanda Massa. Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu. Artwork by Chris Kelly. 
 This week on Fresh from the Hill, you'll hear clips from the episodes listed below. If you haven't already listened to those episodes in their entirety, we recommend you go back and take a listen! It will be well worth your time. Episode 13: Meet Aaron Kominos-Smith '04Episode 14: Making Something Beautiful From a Pile of Dirt - Justin Kondrat '14Episode 15: The Value of People - Julio Casado '08Episode 16: The Business of Broadway - Dana Lerner '14Episode 17: Empowering Podcast Creators - Nir Zicherman '08Episode 18: The Lucky Break - Ritu Raman '12Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians was created and produced by Amanda Massa. Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu. Artwork by Chris Kelly.
This week on Fresh from the Hill, you'll hear clips from the episodes listed below. If you haven't already listened to those episodes in their entirety, we recommend you go back and take a listen! It will be well worth your time. Episode 7: Meet Lou Diamond '92Episode 8: Little Sister - Irene Li '12 Episode 9: I Just Need a Beer - Jack Mason '11Episode 10: People are the X Factor - Kia Albertson Rogers '13Episode 11: Pathways - Becky Katz '09Episode 12: Connecting Artists to Fans... from WVBR to SiriusXM to Spotify - Jordan Gremli '08Episode 19: Second Chances - Darnell Epps '19Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians was created and produced by Amanda Massa. Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu. Artwork by Chris Kelly.
For the next three weeks, we'll be bringing you the best moments from season one of Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians. In this episode, you'll hear clips from the episodes listed below. If you haven't already listened to those episodes in their entirety, we recommend you go back and take a listen! It will be well worth your time. Episode 1 (trailer): Introducing Fresh from the Hill - Alex Zalben '99Episode 2: Find Your North Star - Svante Myrick '09Episode 3: Take the Plunge - Stephen Hall '06Episode 4: Who Made Your Beats for You - Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo '08, MA '15, PhD '19 Episode 5: Why are you Trying to Study the Magic that is Love - Dr. Marisa Cohen '06Episode 6: It Doesn't Get Old - Meghan Dubyak '04Fresh from the Hill: Inside Stories of Noteworthy Cornellians was created and produced by Amanda Massa. Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu. Artwork by Chris Kelly.
From the Brooklyn housing projects, to private Catholic School, to a near 17-year incarceration at Five Points Correctional Facility, to Cornell University, Darnell Epps '19 is not your typical Cornell Senior. Hear Darnell's fascinating and inspirational story about taking the wrong path in life, lessons learned, and coming out the other side.“One thing that struck me deep was seeing the pain… When I walked in the courtroom and I would see a packed courtroom and I would see families on both sides, feeling pain. I would see the tears in my mother’s eyes, the embarrassment that I caused her, the shame that I brought. She was a New York City Police Officer, but yet had to explain to her colleagues that her two sons were incarcerated for murder. And she was at trial every day. She stuck by me. She came up on the visit practically every month to see Darrell and I. It was that. It was witnessing that. It was seeing that. That really brought me face-to-face with the need to ultimately become a responsible adult and to break out of this way of thinking that seemed to dominate my teenage years.” Check out Darnell's Op Ed in the New York Times.Hosted by Lou Diamond '92.Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.    
Ritu Raman is an engineer, writer, and educator with a passion for introducing bio-hybrid materials into the toolbox of every inventor. She grew up in India, Kenya, and the United States and has learned to appreciate and thrive in diverse and dynamic environments. Her life experiences have shown her that technical innovation can drive positive social change, and this inspires her to help democratize and diversify STEM education around the world.Ritu is currently a L’Oréal USA postdoctoral fellow in the renowned Langer Lab at MIT and a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2018. Listen in as Ritu chats with Aaron Kominos-Smith about how she navigated the US college process and learned "the Ivy League is a good thing," how she originally picked Cornell because of her aspirations to be an astronaut, how her successes in life not only resulted from her hard work but also some luck, and what she's currently working on at MIT. Check out WiSDM (Women in STEM Database at MIT), which Ritu mentions at the end of the episode at http://wisdm.mit.edu/. “We all get value out of something when we see that it impacts other people”Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.  
Nir Zicherman '08 is the Co-Founder and CTO of Anchor, the easiest way ever to make a podcast, 100% for free. Previously, Nir ran server engineering at Aviary, where he built back-end systems to scale to tens of millions of monthly users until Aviary's acquisition by Adobe in 2014. In this episode of Fresh from the Hill, hear about Nir's journey as a Government major at Cornell, to NYU Law, to passing the bar, to finding his first job in programming (yes, you read that right). Nir believes in teaching yourself the things that you're interested in, which is what led him to a career in programming. Learn how Nir met his co-founder and decided to start Anchor, a company that's revolutionizing the world of podcasting in all facets: hosting, recording, distributing, editing, and monetizing. “With Anchor, we have discovered that there’s so much interesting content that can be created when you put the tools in the hands of people who have really interesting ideas, but historically haven’t been empowered to actually make those ideas come to life.”You don't have to be Joe Rogan to be successful in podcasting - visit  https://anchor.fm/ to get started today!Hosted by Aaron Kominos-Smith '04.Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.      
Dana M. Lerner '14 is a Tony-nominated theater producer and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Red Pelican Creative, LLC a social media consulting and management agency providing strategic advice and management consulting on social media, brand enhancement and development primarily in the live entertainment space .  In this episode of Fresh from the Hill, Dana sits down with host Aaron Kominos-Smith '04 to chat about what life as a theater major at Cornell was like, how to get into the business side of theater, how Hamilton is changing the game in ticketing and subscription models, what it takes to be a Broadway producer, and how she got involved with the Tony-nominated show Indecent. Also hear about the numerous ways Dana stays involved with Cornell in her very limited free time!Learn more about Dana and Red Pelican Creative at  https://officialdml.com/ and https://redpelicancreative.com/.  Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.     
Julio Casado '08 studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, received a Master’s degree in Management from the Harvard University Extension School, and is a 2018 Fellow of the New Leaders Council. He was born in Dominican Republic, grew up in Harlem, and is proud to call the Bronx home.Hear about how Julio's experience at Cornell in the ILR school directly launched him into a career in the labor relations and HR world, and how the power of the Cornell network helped him to get where he is today. Learn about the the different entrepreneurial paths he's pursued since graduation and how he currently consults in talent management and fundraising with a focus on advancing social impact organizations as well as being the Co-Founder of Smart Professions, which provides talented freelancers skills training and infrastructure support critical to their personal and professional growth.Additionally, Julio serves as the President of La Unidad Latina Foundation, a non-profit organization that propels students dedicated to advancing the Latino community from high school to college graduation and beyond. Together with the Alpha Chapter of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc., LULF established the Latino Living Center endowment fund to support the Program House and cultural events for Cornell's Latino community.Julio previously served as a Business Operations Manager at a Bronx, NY middle school and as a Human Capital consultant.Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.    
Justin Kondrat '14 is an inspiring alumnus who defeated all odds to go to his dream school, Cornell University. In this episode, host Aaron Kominos-Smith talks with Justin about his intense passion for horticulture and how Cornell helped him achieve his dream of working as a  horticulturist.Hear about Justin's journey to Cornell as a first-generation college student who grew up in a low income household and was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. Despite these limitations, Justin was always determined to go to Cornell. He earned his associates degree in horticulture production at SUNY Morrisville and then transferred to Schenectady County Community College to get his chemistry credits out of the way. He always knew in his heart that Cornell was where he was meant to be, and he was accepted after he finished his courses at Schenectady County Community College. In 2014 he graduated from the School of Integrative Plant Science. Justin currently is a horticulturist within the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection, Washington, D.C. In his free time, he leads community-based installations focused on connecting people with plants and serves as an advocate for person with learning disabilities. Most recently he produced The Pansy Project, Washington, D.C. This project was an extension of U.K. Artist, Paul Harfleet's work of highlighting the issues surrounding homophobia by planting an individual pansy at an identified site of a homophobic act. This gentle artwork and planting promotes discussion, invites dialogue and offers the opportunity for municipalities to publicly support the fight against discrimination in all its forms. This project engages the LGBTQ+ communities by the uses a pansy flower. The pansy is the ideal flower given associations with its name, but pansy flowers are hearty and easy to grow with its inherent, striking beauty:  “No matter how much it’s knocked down with the ice and the snow it always comes back up with a smiling face. It always shows that face proudly.” At Cornell, Justin led ROOTED at Cornell: a living community art installation designed to actively engage students. Justin believes that horticulture is a medium of inclusion where all may find belonging. He has devoted his life to catalyzing change through horticulture. “Plants have the power to help us transcend limitations that we place upon others and ourselves. Horticulture naturally invokes inclusion and invites all to feel welcome.” Created and produced by Amanda Massa.Music by Kia Albertson-Rogers '13, koa3@cornell.edu.Artwork by Chris Kelly.    
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