Class of 2017


Sheema Alamari

is a senior in the English Department with an interest in Professional Writing. She is pursuing a Middle and High School teaching minor and plans to teach after graduation. She is fluent in Arabic, her home language.



Danitsa (DANI) andaluz

is a junior in the English Honors Program as well as a student of the Macaulay Honors Program. She has a special interest in creative writing (fiction). She is minoring in Middle/High School Education and plans to teach upon graduation. She currently works as a writing tutor at the Academic Center for English.



KEJANA AYALA, a senior in the English Honors Program and Lehman Scholars Program, majors in Creative Writing. She is currently the new Editor-in-Chief of Obscura, Lehman's student literary magazine, and she aspires to be an author/screenwriter in the future. An avid lover of Peter Pan, she hopes to have an "awfully big adventure." Her thesis shall feature a  collection of short stories with magical realist aspects.



AMY B. CATANO is a senior in the English Department with a special interest in British Literature. She plans on working within the publishing field after graduation and dreams of working for Penguin-Random House. Her senior thesis concentrates on trauma theory with a focus on displacement after a catastrophic event. 



ELISSA FANZO is a returning adult student in the Lehman Scholars Program. She is an Honors English Literature major, and expects to graduate in January, 2017 after an extended hiatus. She is a lifelong avid reader, and aficionado of all things science fiction, fantasy and dark. Rumor has it she may be the original emo kid. She is copy editor of the Meridian, as well as editor to her significant other, author Thomas Behnke. In her not-so-spare time she is a mother of four—a junior and a sophomore also attending Lehman College, and sixteen-year-old fraternal twins—as well as a Girl Scout leader. She enjoys crocheting, cooking, baking, and entertaining friends and family. You may have seen her in the English Department, attempting to knit a replica of the signature scarf worn by fourth Doctor Who, Tom Baker.


Nadia Floyd

will graduate in Spring 2017 with degrees in Psychology and English literature. After graduation, she plans on attending a PhD program in social psychology. Traveling is a hobby of hers, and she hopes to conduct research abroad while pursuing a graduate degree.

Melanie IRIS Hernandez,

English Honors Student, expects to graduate with a degree in Professional Writing in 2017. She's minoring in the Program for Professional Communications. She is a member of the Tau Sigma Honors Society for transfer students and the Golden Key International Honor Society, where she serves on the Executive Board as the New Member Engagement Officer. She blogs and plans events for Obscura, Lehman College's literary magazine. She is a graduate of the Student Leadership program and a student Senator serving on the Governance Committee. Melanie is an avid cat lover, and she has worked hard to create a substantial social media presence for her two cats, Charlie and Friday. She will be creating the deliverables for a two-day seminar designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs successfully promote their brands using social medial platforms as her Senior Honors Thesis.


Merita Ljubanovic

is a senior in the English Department and a member of the Lehman Scholars Program. She plans to pursue a Ph.D in early modern literature after graduation. Her senior thesis project focuses on Samuel Richardson's novel Clarissa.


Luis Machuca

is a junior in the English Department with a special interest in literary studies. He is pursuing a Developmental Disabilities minor and plans to obtain a Master's degree in clinical rehabilitation counseling after graduation. His senior thesis project deals with disability narratives and the portrayal of characters with disabilities, particularly blindness, in literary works. Luis is a winner of this 2016 Don and Mary Ellen Passantino Scholarship, awarded by CUNY's University Student Senate. 


is a senior majoring in English with a focus in Professional Writing. Her honors thesis focuses on the media portrayal of menstruation in the last decade. After graduation, Alejandra will apply to internships in the radio field. Her dream internship would be at WNYC with the Brian Lehrer Show. 

Corey Lionel Spencer

will graduate from Lehman College, CUNY with his B.A. majoring in English Honors Literature and a minor in African and American Studies in 2017. While attending Lehman, he has spent some time as a columnist for the college newspaper The Meridian and published poetry in its literary magazine Obscura. He has been accepted to the CUNY Pipeline Program where he hopes to further his educational studies in a doctoral program. He currently resides in the Bronx, New York, where he works as a non-teaching adjunct and tutor at Bronx Community College.

Nisha Varughese

is a rising senior with a specialization in Literature in the English Department. She is pursuing a minor in Middle and High School Education and hopes to obtain her certification in teaching. Throughout her college career, she has had the pleasure of collaborating with organizations such as the G.O.A.T. Music Club and Lehman Bollywood Dance Club to hold performances on and off campus. She has also completed an internship with the CUNY Service Corps in which she was able to work with a phenomenal group of students from the Bronx.