Presidential Hosts: Bios

Presidential Host

Faiyad Ahmad ’14

Faiyad was born to Bangladeshi parents and is from Andover, MA. Though he has not yet declared a concentration, he is interested in Biology and Economics. He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, where he served as the School President, wrestled and rowed. At Brown, he is actively involved with the Muslim Student Union, where he has led prayer services and facilitated discussion groups. He is also part of the Orientation Welcoming Committee, which organizes and coordinates the orientation experience for first-years. He has a variety of interests, including playing the sarod (a classical Indian instrument), learning martial arts and filmmaking.

Presidential Host

Shahid Mallick ’14

Shahid is a junior at Brown University majoring in Neuroscience. Last year, he served as the Co-President of the Entrepreneurship Program, and is currently an afterschool teacher for the Breakthrough program. Originally from Fremont, CA, Shahid hopes to enter the field of medical entrepreneurship. His vision is to expand the unique discipline of neuroeconomics and study decision making in the context of consumers and investors. In his spare time, Shahid enjoys doing MMA, playing golf, and reading Batman comics.

Presidential Host

Thomas March ’14

Thomas was born and raised in Oak Lawn, Illinois . In high school he was a three year varsity basketball athlete, played the lead role of Tony in West Side Story, and was the only student to ever have been elected student class President all four years. At Brown University, Tom is an Economics major, a member of Delta Tau Fraternity, and an office holder in the Alexander Hamilton Society and the College Republicans. He spent his sophomore summer working as an intern at the Federalist Society in Washington D.C. He has interests in law and politics and desires to attend law school.

Presidential Host

Meg Miller ’14

Meg was born in Montreal but was raised in Providence. As a local, she has been lucky enough to see Brown from an outside perspective through her extensive engagement in the community prior to becoming a student. Meg has always been interested in the idea of finding sustainable solutions to the structural inequalities that lead to poverty but is still exploring the different disciplines that will lead her there, including engineering, economics, community health, and anthropology. The most rewarding parts of her experience thus far at Brown have been her participation in UCAAP (University Community Academic Advising Program) and BRYTE (Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment). She is excited to continue working with BRYTE as it grows and to find new ways to reach out to the local community.

Presidential Host

Farzanah Ausaluth ’14

Farzanah is studying Mechanical Engineering. Born and raised in inner city London to a Mauritian family, Farzanah enjoys immersing herself in various cultures and connecting with people. In her freshman year at Brown she co-founded ‘Spira Engineering Camp’ a summer engineering camp for girls from local high schools. She is also involved in the Brown Muslims Students’ Association whereby she was an executive board member. Her recent study aboard experience in Istanbul, Turkey has been eye opening and it here that she is working on combining her interests in social entrepreneurship, technology and women. In her spare time, Farzanah loves to write, doodle, paint, and laugh. As a presidential host, Farzanah is excited to be the face of Brown.

Presidential Host

Noah Elbot ’14

Noah was raised in Beverly, Massachusetts before joining the Brown community and studying Economics and East Asian Studies. Noah has experience in a wide range of activities from serving as a legislative intern on Capitol Hill, tutoring through Brown's Writing Fellows program, and helping pilot a technology education program within Providence's public schools system. Noah received a scholarship after freshman year from Brown's East Asian Studies department to work as an ecological field assistant at a research base in the jungles of southern Yunnan Province, and later attended LSE's Entrepreneurship Summer School in Beijing. In the fall of 2012, Noah studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Noah is also a leader with the Brown Meditation Community and proud uncle to his 4 year-old nephew, Oliver.

Presidential Host

Julia Harvey ’14

Julia is a senior; originally form Lincoln, RI, concentrating in Community Health here at Brown. Outside of class, she works with social science researchers at Brown and The Miriam Hospital on HIV/AIDS prevention in Philadelphia and Mississippi. In the future, she hopes to pursue her Master’s in Public Health and conduct community health work abroad, with particular interest in Latin American and the Caribbean. Outside of her research, Julia is a Co-Director of Attitude Dance Company and an active member of imPulse Dance Company."

Presidential Host

Saeed Hassan ’14

Saeed is a junior from Manassas, VA. concentrating in Political Science. He is very passionate about his major and is currently serving as the co-president of the Political Science Undergraduate Group. Saeed works at the CareerLAB as a peer career adviser and is a student consultant in Brown’s Collegiate Consulting Group. He is also very interested in entrepreneurship. As a founding member and operations officer for The School Fund, an international nonprofit start-up that connects students in the developing world unable to afford school fees with funders around the globe, Saeed has had the opportunity of traveling around the world while increasing access to education to deserving students.

Presidential Host

Adam Hoffman ’14

Adam is from Lafayette, California and is studying Neuroscience at Brown. He is currently pursuing research in a laboratory conducting pre-clinical trials for a novel drug aimed to treat muscular dystrophy. In addition to his academic studies, Adam has been extremely active in Brown’s environmental community as a member of Ecoreps, a student advocacy group that works to foster a culture of sustainability on campus. He also writes for the science and research section of the Brown Daily Herald, serves as a Meiklejohn peer advisor, leads regular campus tours to prospective students, and was a pitcher on the men’s varsity baseball team. In his free time, he is an active member of the Brown Meditation Community and regularly practices yoga.

Presidential Host

David Eugene Johnson ’16

David was born in Harlem, New York and grew up in a town called Greenwood Lake, located in upstate New York. He is concentrating in Neuroscience with a focus in education. His dream is to attend medical school and conduct autism-related research.
To have a deeper understanding of his interest in autism, Mr. Johnson started assisting in research in Downtown Providence at Woman and Infants Center, as this was his first real step in autism related research. At Brown, he participates in various groups, such as the Black Student Union (this year, he holds Community Service Chair), the Brotherhood, the Cognitive Neuroscience Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG), and the Minority Peer Counselor Program at the Third World Center. He has also participated in the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM). He credits his strong drive and willingness to succeed with his mother's consistent encouragement to be humble. He firmly believes that humility is an essential human trait and a major component of personal and professional success.

Presidential Host

Erin Kelley ’15

Erin Kelley '15 grew up in and often talks about San Antonio, Texas. Now an Environmental Studies concentrator at Brown, Erin can routinely be found at the Urban Environmental Laboratory, the cozy building on Angell Street that houses the Center for Environmental Studies, where she works as a TA. On Thursdays, though, Erin is more likely to be at the Brown/RISD Hillel building, helping to coordinate food distribution with Brown Market Shares. Her involvement in that program since her first year at Brown is rooted in her interest in food systems, a subject she studies academically as an important complement to her primary focus on environmental health. Erin also loves to go backpacking and has enjoyed doing so as a leader for Brown's Outdoor Leadership Training program. (Abroad)

Presidential Host

Lan Mei ’14

Lan was born in Guilin, China and grew up in Maryland. She is concentrating in Mathematics and is planning to attend law school following graduation. She loves trying out new activities and has been involved in various groups at Brown, participating in programs such as the BUMP (Brown University Mediation Group) Mediation Training. She is currently the president of the Brown Lion Dance Team and one of the co-presidents of Bear Pairs, an organization dedicated to promoting stronger ties between students and staff members. She also works as a Residential Counselor and a student consultant with the IT Services Help Desk. Additionally, she likes to cook (and eat!), make crafts, and travel.

Presidential Host

Dakotah Blue Rice ’14

Dakotah Blue Rice ‘16 is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. At the age of twelve, Dakotah moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he resides with both his mother and grandmother. Dakotah intends to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He hopes to morph his studies into a career first in investment banking and eventually in venture capital focusing on developing economies. Outside of Econ, Dakotah’s passions include watching reality television and helping students at a local Providence High School learn and compete as policy debaters as a coaching assistant and coordinator with the Rhode Island Urban Debate League. In addition to being a member of the Undergraduate Finance Board, he serves as the finance chair for BSU and the production chair for the Queer Alliance.

Presidential Host

Liliana Sykes ’15

Liliana is from Seekonk, MA. She is concentrating in Art History. On campus, she is involved with the Bruin Club, where she gives tours and helps plan ADOCH, as well as Brown Lecture Board, and Brown's fashion magazine "Unhemmed." Additionally, she loves working her job at the Admission Office. Liliana studied abroad in Florence, Italy where she fostered her love of art and Italian food. She loves Brown so much and is excited to be on campus.

Presidential Host

Yen Tran ’14

Yen was born in Vietnam and raised in Southern California. At Brown, he concentrates in Ethnic Studies, but has soft spots for social science and applied science fields as well. Outside of academics, Yen works as an archivist and office assistant for the Department of Modern Culture and Media and as an event coordinator for the Sarah Doyle Women's Center. He enjoys cooking, running, watching films, and doing collaborative works in his free time. He also loves traveling and meeting new people, and is very grateful to have had the opportunities to live in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Granada (Spain) and, of course, Providence within the last few years.

Presidential Host

Mark Villanueva ’15

Mark Villanueva was born in Warwick, Rhode Island to Filipino parents and raised in the adjoining town of West Warwick. Grafted into the Brown community at a young age, he learned to play piano at Steinert and wandered the halls of the Anthropology department, long before college was a consideration. In 2011, he graduated from West Warwick High School after holding multiple positions within and participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including drama, choir, and student government. As a Brown University student, Mark is currently pursuing a Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations degree. In his spare time on campus, he works for Media Services, and has taken part in activities with Brown’s Fantasy Gaming Society and the Branch Campus Ministry as well as Sacred Harp Singing. Off campus, he enjoys time with his family, continues playing music recreationally, and is an active member of his community.

Presidential Host

Jonathan Vu ’15

Jonathan is a Public Policy concentrator from York, Pennsylvania, and a member of Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education. In his time at Brown, Jonathan has been actively involved with student government and has served on UCS, the Strategic Planning Committee for Financial Aid, the BUCC, and as President of the Class of 2015. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys martial arts, weight lifting, cooking, and getting involved with his church back home. He is blessed to have a loving family and amazing friends, and is thoroughly enjoying his Brown experience.

Presidential Host

Robert Weiner ’16

Rob grew up among the rich mix of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, he developed a deep appreciation for the vast landscapes, diverse ways of life, and Pre-Columbian ruins scattered throughout his birthplace. At Brown, these interests have manifested in Rob’s dual concentration in Archaeology and Anthropology, where his interests range from the Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean to the practice of indigenous archaeology alongside local populations. Rob is a dedicated practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism in the Shangpa Kagyu lineage and actively seeks to integrate the practice of meditation, mindfulness, and compassion into his daily life. He is also a leader with the Brown Meditation Community. Additionally, he enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and writing poetry, and training with kettle bells.

Presidential Host

Ivania Zepeda ’16

Ivania was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She intends to double concentrate in Ethnic Studies and in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. Currently, Ivania works for the Third World Center as a Minority Peer Counselor, providing mentoring and support for first-year students of color. Aside from hosting events for President Paxson, Ivania also volunteers for the Sarah Doyle Women Center and manages Brown's Salsa Club. In her spare time, Ivania blogs for ‘I’m First,’ an online community founded by the Center for Student Opportunity to provide first-generation college students with information and support on their path to and through college. Her other interests include: dancing Salsa and running marathons with her mother. After Brown, Ivania hopes to attend law school to serve as an advocate for her community.