Current EHP members

Class of 2018


Kimberley Aguirre

is an English major with a specialization in Creative Writing and a minor in Professional Communications. She is currently a senior college assistant for Lehman College with hopes to join the publishing world soon. When she is not on campus working or learning she is caring for her toddler daughter Emmaliene. Additionally, she is a freelance blogger, independent writing teacher and book reviewer for Penguin Random House USA. Kimberley hopes to author captivating novels to inspire young adults for generations. She wants to endure the world's treasures by helping the movement of #WeNeedDiverseBooks. This movement has a lot to offer and she wants to explore each depth. While she has many ambitions, her foremost goal is to improve her daughter’s life and have a positive impact on the world she lives in.


Rakiye Benjamin

is an English Honors Creative Writing major with a special interest in screenwriting. She is also double majoring in Film to learn as much as she can about the industry. She enjoys all forms of creative expression but hers lies within writing. (She is a self-proclaimed "word artist"). Rake is also an active member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.


Shivani Boodhoo

is an English Major with a concentration in Professional Writing. She has been published in Obscura and The Meridian. Shivani wants to write, edit, and publish in the future. She also enjoys reading, going to concerts, and planning adventures in New York City.



Tana's love for poetry and short stories influenced her decision to become a Creative Writing major. She aspires to be a professor so she can change the lives of her students, the way professors at Lehman did for her. Her poem Red (which she has tattooed) was featured in Obscura, Lehman's literary magazine. 


Deirdre Fanzo

is an English Literature major at Lehman College. She hopes to earn her Bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2018 and would thereafter like to obtain a job with a publishing company. Currently, Deirdre is a writing tutor at the Academic Center for Excellence on campus, where she enjoys her rewarding job helping students enhance their writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, going to the movies, cooking, and baking. She hopes to one day publish a collection of short stories.


Justin Joyce 

was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He is an English-Creative Writing Major currently attending Lehman College. He is a contributing writer to the Theater Development Fund's PXP Magazine.  


Parbattie Khalawan 

is currently a fourth-year Honors English Literature Major student and a minor in Childhood Education. She began pusuing her Degree at Lehman College in 2013. Parbattie was born and raised in Guyana. She then migrated to the United States in 2010, through marriage, fully equipped with almost 11 years of experience in classroom teaching. She is still profoundly fanatical about teaching and desires to be back into the classroom after she graduates with her Masters. Though a mother of a five-year old boy, a full-time housewife and a full-time bank teller, Parbattie dedicated all of her limited spare time studying assiduously as means of maintaining an A average. Parbattie has always been a top-of-the class academic student from as early as grade school and it is her passionate desire to graduate from Lehman College in 2018 with Honors.  On weekends and special holidays she enjoys going to church, cooking sumptuous meals, listening to music and dancing. She also greatly fancies Danielle Steel's novels as well as many of The New York Times Bestseller novels. Parbattie has also been a long-time volunteer member The Nirvana Humanitarian Foundation based in Queens, New York and performs in the Annual Variety Fund Raising Christmas Concert.


Mena McCarthy 

is an English major with a literature specialization on the pre-veterinary track. She hopes one day to be a veterinarian and work closely with animal rescues and non-kill shelters to rehabilitate the abandoned animals. In her free time she enjoys bellydancing and playing with her six dogs and cat. 


Francis Angel Mindanao

is a pre-law English major minoring in psychology at Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College. She works as a writing tutor for the Instructional Support Services Program at Lehman and a journalist at the Meridian, a student-run newspaper. Currently, she is a summer intern at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Starting in the fall of 2017, she will also be working as a fundraising coordinator at the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition through the CUNY Service Corps program. She was president and co-founder of the Macaulay Step Club in 2016 and was a senator of the 2015-2016 Lehman College Student Government on the Co-Curriculum Development board. As a musician, she has sung in choirs, performed at Carnegie Hall, was an instrumentalist and dancer for nine years at the Filipino Arts and Music Ensemble, and was a music volunteer at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn hospital from 2015 to 2016. She continues to sing and mentor children at the Lord’s Flock Catholic Charismatic Community Brooklyn Chapter.


Arlinda Mulosmanaj

is a senior in the English Department with a special interest in fictional literature. She plans to begin a career in publishing after graduation. She is also pursuing an ECCE minor and plans to continue her education by obtaining a graduate degree.



Maria Reyes-Ramirez

is a senior at Lehman College pursuing an English degree with a minor and middle and high school education. She is a member of the Tau Sigma transfer student honor society and plans to graduate in 2017. She hopes to teach after graduation and eventually plans to pursue a Doctorate in Education. 


Melissa Ruiz

is a junior in the English Department with a double minor of Japanese and Linguistics. She is planning for a career in translation or as an overseas instructor. Her immediate aim is to study abroad.


Jeffrey Sanders

is a Bronx native who came to Lehman in 2014 in an effort to pick up where he left off as an English undergrad. He's fulfilled his goal in the spring of 2018 at 32.  Jeffrey has spent much of his childhood, teens, and young adulthood with an active imagination, channeling his emotions through characters and stories centered on individuality and personal power.  While earning a Bachelor's is an accomplishment, it is only the beginning, a small step towards a much larger journey.  Jeffrey intends on pursuing his Master's degree sometime in the near future, out of sheer desire to not only further his education but delve into and explore the craft of storytelling.  Meanwhile, his focus remains on seizing any opportunity that comes with his degree(s), including teaching English abroad - or wherever he is needed in his community (that doesn't involve standardized test prep!); and working towards his main goal: finishing where he left off with not only his thesis but other creative works in progress - in hopes of causing a much-needed (and welcome) stir!


Nicholas Santiago

is a rising Senior in the English Honors Program with a specialization in Literature and double majors in Philosophy. A former Computer Science major, he is currently a writing tutor at the SEEK Learning Center on campus, where he doubles there as a Critical Thinking instructor for first-year students and greatly enjoys helping all students strengthen their writing and discover their own distinct writing style. Becoming a professor is an aspiration, while becoming a professional, published author is his ambition. Seeing personal hardships as didactic, he aims to study abroad in London upon graduation and earn his Doctorate’s degree in English (Comp Theory and Rhetoric), setting the groundwork for his dream to author books on worldbuilding and writing practices. Stealth fiction and war fiction are his favorite genres to read, and finds solace in contemplating just about everything related to major philosophical questions in life. On his free time, he loves to travel, enthuse about both nature and avian life, and partakes in human rights activism. He hopes to soon join Obscura to try his hand at creative writing for a change.


Eileen Sepulveda 

has always had a love for writing poetry and short stories and has been since she was about thirteen. Raised and still living in the South Bronx, Eileen dedicates her life as a single mom to her two teenage boys. She works full time and attends Lehman College part time. She recently joined the EHP at Lehman in Fall of 2015. For now, her goals include receiving a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing and to get her writing recognized and published. She also wishes to explore Theatre Writing and Directing. Eileen's hobbies including reading graphic novels and cooking Latin cuisine.


Rachel Strom 

was born in Paraguay, South America. She is adopted and was raised in an American family. Rachel is now majoring in Professional Writing and plans to work in publishing. She enjoys creating different genres of stories. Her goal is to become a successful author and to reach as many people as possible with her stories.


Nicole Torres

is currently a senior majoring in Creative Writing at Lehman College. She is currently in the English Honors Program and is doing an Internship with Lehman's literary magazine, the Obscura.  She loves to write poetry and short stories, as well as live inside the realm of darker genres. She most gravitates towards literary works of horror, fantasy and Sci-Fi and hopes to become a published author that caters to these themes. She hopes to attend graduate school for a M.F.A in English along with editing, publishing and owning her own literary magazine someday.



is an English Literature major and a History minor. Before she transferred to Lehman, Anabel studied Childhood Education at LaGuardia Community College. Here hobbies include collecting records, listening to music, and reading. screenwriting.

Class of 2019

Calandra Albert

is a junior at Lehman College studying to be an English teacher for Middle and High School Students. Her love for writing and teaching started young. At the age of five she joined her first creative writing class. The following year she became a teacher to her two year old sister by teaching her ABCs and basic words. Calandra aspires to be a teacher in the New York City Department of Education after graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree. Her long term goals are to be a college professor and writer amongst several genres. Currently she works at the tutoring center, ACE, at Lehman College. She finds her work fulfilling and a great way to train for her future endeavors.


is an English major with a specialization in Creative writing and a Philosophy minor. He transferred to Lehman in the Fall 2017 semester. He is a spoken word artist, poet, and fiction story writer. He hopes to one day write novels, shows, and movies that will live on forever in people’s hearts and minds. Growing up his favorite books were the Harry Potter series and the Series of Unfortunate Events. The most impactful book in Bernard's life is Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.


Ndeye Fatou Coundol

is a spoken word artist who started her journey as a writer two years after she came to the United States. She picked up the English language with dreams of one day becoming a writer. She started to write poetry when she was in the seventh grade, and has performed at Lincoln Center and the Nuyorican Poet's Café. She is currently rediscovering her love for reading as she focuses on Literature and Creative writing at Lehman. In her free time, she loves watching Korean Dramas and ice skating with her close friends.


Ashley Davis

transferred to Lehman in the Fall 2016 semester. She came to New York from Georgia in pursuit of finishing her English literature degree. She has a love and passion for the art of storytelling. Whether from a book, movie, or play she enjoys hearing or watching tales from a variety of different genres. She began her own journey as a storyteller over fifteen years ago when she discovered she had a knack for fiction writing. Ashley hopes to one day publish a novel born from her over active imagination. For her, imagination is paramount. She agrees with Albert Einstein when he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."


Ashley Gonzalez

is a junior at Lehman College.  Her major is English Literature with a minor in education.  She loves to read, write, and most of all travel.  Ashley enjoys journaling about her experiences with all the places she has visited and hopes to soon share it with others.  Although she is pursuing a career in education, she hopes to one day get a job writing in the travel section of a newspaper or magazine.



is a double major in Music and English - Creative Writing. She is interested in music therapy and writing fiction. She is part of the Lehman Chorus. She is looking forward to taking the introductory writing courses in fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.


Alia Khoury

is a student who lives and breathes art. She’s a painter, actress, and writer. Alia is an English Major with a specialization in Honors Literature. Her favorite poets are Philip Larkin, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats, and T.S. Eliot. Her creative inspirations are Anne Rice, Stephen King, H.P Lovecraft, and David Benioff. Her hobbies are painting, writing, and playing with her dogs. Her favorite painter is Vincent Van Gogh. Alia is interested in going into international law, but her real dream is to be an author and screenwriter.


Sharon Lee

is a rising junior majoring in English Literature with the intentions of minoring in Japanese and Psychology. As of late, she has a soft spot for Adventure Time and crocheting. She hopes that studying Asian American narratives and will help her better understand and explore her Korean-American identity.



is a sophomore in the Macaulay Honors College. She is majoring in English literature as well as History. She hopes to teach at the high school level and eventually teach abroad in South Korea.


Karina Rice is an English Honors Creative Writing Major with a specialization in Fiction Writing and a double minor in Philosophy and African American Studies. She is a poet with a lot to say ad has been published in the Spring 2018 issue of Obscura. Her love for the craft, vivid imagination and admiration for words are what influenced her to follow this track. She aspires to become a successful author, and dabble in writing shows and movies that will impact others. She hopes to earn her BA in the spring of 2019 and thereafter move on to earning her MFA. Eventually she hopes to obtain a job in the publishing world and who knows, even open a publishing company of her own!   


Ashley Sanchez

English Honors Student, expects to graduate with a Bachelors degree in Professional Writing in the Fall of 2018. She is also minoring in Business Practice. She expects to continue her education in Professional Writing as she enters graduate school in the Spring of 2019. She currently holds the position of the secretary and office manager of Lehman College's school newspaper, The Meridian. She is also a member of Lehman L.I.F.E., an alternative break program that allows students to do volunteer work domestically and internationally. Traveling and volunteering are two hobbies that she's truly passionate about. She hopes to one day become an editor at a publishing house. Along with being an editor, she hopes to create an organization that will donate books to shelters, school libraries, and kids/young adults in need of books.


Hema Sookhai

is a native Trinidadian who has lived most of her life in the Bronx. After transferring from LaGuardia CC from a background in Psychology, she has found her home with us in the expansive world of writing and literature. Her goal is to use her skills of observation to write novels, TV shows, and screenplays that connect with people in a meaningful way. Ever the believer in complex characters, she herself might be called as such - as a Creative Writing major with a minor in Business. When she's not thoroughly engrossed in working for her classes, she enjoys photography, meditation and keeping up with new media and tech.


Hardik Yadav

is an Indian-born student of (Honors) creative writing. He tutors English at the Academic Center for Excellence on campus and contributes to Obscura’s online presence every Monday under his recurrent CINÉMONDAYS WITH HARDIK. Claim to fame other than being: he has appeared in The New Yorker for “taking issue with Trump’s ‘gibberish’” in their 2016 article, ‘Donald Trump vs. New York City’ by Daniel Wenger. Other than that, he’s just an introspective earth child like Nate Fisher from HBO’s Six Feet Under—just as one should be.


Class of 2020


is a sophomore with Macaulay Honors College and is set to graduate in 2020. He is majoring in English Literature and minoring in Latino/Puerto Rican Studies. As of now, he is preparing to become a firefighter and hopes to read many books while he waits for fires. 



Paula Castro is a sophomore pursuing a double major in English and Spanish Literature and a minor in Middle and High School Education. She is also a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. She likes to read and enjoys approaching literature in different ways. Paula loves to be surrounded with new cultures and learn from them. 






who prefers to be called Parker, was born in Queens raised in New York City. She always has a charismatic attitude about everything. The momentum she has for English Literature, however, held true since her high school years. Mr. Xavier, Parker's high school English teacher, recognized her talent and told her that English Literature would be her pursuit in the professional world. A decade later, here she is, following the steps necessary to pursue her dream in teaching English Literature as a professor. Ms. Parker considers traveling the "essence" of life. She asks, "What is the purpose of harboring the gift of analysis?" as this is what she say's English Literature is all about. Some of the countries she will teach in are: Dubai, Czech Republic, London and Spain. She says there are many others on her list, however; the mentioned countries is where she will begin her journey in what she likes to call "travel to teach".  If you see Parker, don't hesitate to say Hello, Hola(hello) or Marhabaan(hello) as she also enjoys learning different languages. 


is a English Honors Professional Writing major with a minor in Philosophy. He is also a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. He hopes to one day own his public relations company. He also wants to rewrite the narrative of the African American minority that has been incorrectly told for centuries. He hopes his writing will inspire others the same way writing continues to inspire him. He wants to be able to give a voice and lift a voice. He would also like to write scripts for films, television shows, and executive produce as well. 


Class of 2021