Current EHP members

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. 

Class of 2018


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.



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. 




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.




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.



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. 

PARABLE KHALAWAN is currently a third-year Honors English Literature Major student and a minor in Childhood Education. She began pursuing her Degree at Lehman College in 2013. Parbattie was born and raised in Guyana. She then migrated to the United States in 2010, though 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 fulltime housewife and a full time bank teller, Parbattie has been dedicating all of her limited spare time to burn the midnight oil studying assiduously as a means of maintaining her A’s in all her classes. Parbattie has always been a top-of-the class academic student from as early has grade school and it is her passionate dream 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 and The New York Times Bestseller novels. Parbattie has also been a long serving volunteer member of a charitable organization called the Nirvana Humanitarian Foundation which is based in Queens, New York. She dedicates some of her time to perform in the organization’s Annual Variety Fund Raising Christmas Concert which offers her a soothing break from her fall semesters and drives her into the Christmas spirits. 

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. 


Arlinda Mulosmanaj

is a junior 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. 

SARA ROSADO is a Macaulay Honors Student with a passion for creative writing. Along with working as a tutor at the Academic Center for Excellence at Lehman College, she also works as a secretary and editor for Obscura, Lehman College's literary magazine. She plans to minor in philosophy and pursue a career in journalism or psychology after graduate school.



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.

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.

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.



ANABEL VENTURA 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.

Class of 2019



ATHENA HARRIS 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.




JAVIERA MORALES-REYES 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.