30 under 30 30 Under 30


Last fall, the University of Miami Alumni Association announced an open call for its 30 Under 30 list. To be considered, candidates had to receive either an undergraduate or a graduate degree from the University of Miami and be under the age of 30 as of May 31, 2023. The Young Alumni Leadership Council review committee selected 30 finalists, based on the impact made on their profession, community, and the University of Miami.

The 30 outstanding ’Canes under 30 chosen were asked to reflect on their brightest memories of the University and their own achievements. Their experiences highlight camaraderie, philanthropy, academic achievement, and an enduring love for the U from a young age.

Scroll down for their answers—and you can read much more about each honoree in the 30 Under 30 booklet, linked below. 

Adam Roberti, B.A.M.A. ’18, M.P.S. ’19

Executive Director, Xavier Cortada Foundation
My brightest moments at the U include successfully defending my Master of Environment, Culture, and Media degree and celebrating with friends and family at The Wetlab afterward!

Alana Dombrosky, B.A. ’15

Support Engineering Manager, Microsoft
My brightest moment at the U was when I returned with my fiancé, also a ’Cane, to get married at the Shalala Student Center. Sebastian was at our reception and, of course, the colors were orange and green. We were both members of the band, so we were able to arrange for the pep band to play the UM fight song right as we said ‘I do!’

Alissa R. Musto, M.M. ’19

Musician | Singer | Actor
My brightest moment at the U was being published in the national Music Business Journal after encouragement from my Frost professors to submit. This opportunity was special because it reflected not only my unique experiences and accomplishments in the music industry, but also the academic rigor and demand of my business classes.

Andrea Ochoa Lozano, J.D. ’21

Associate Counsel, Analytic Partners
My brightest moment at the U cannot be narrowed down to one occasion, but rather it is a collection of moments during my time in law school when I met life-long friends and mentors.

Antonella Valdivia, B.B.A. ’18

Assistant Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives, Vanderbilt Career Center
My brightest moment at the U was being part of the ’Cane Kickoff Orientation as a student orientation program coordinator. This was a full circle moment in my college career because I had the opportunity (as a senior) to be a part of the formal program that was welcoming incoming first years. The energy in the room buzzed with 'Cane pride and that’s something I will never forget.

Anabelle “Belle” Torek, J.D. ’20

Associate Director, Technology Policy, Anti-Defamation League
My brightest moments at the U were the ones in which I had the ability to drive impact in my field. Most often, I felt that way working as a legal fellow for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, where my fellow practicum colleagues and I played a role in legislative drafting, conducting research for amicus briefs, and advising social media platforms on their content policies.

Beth Markowitz, B.F.A. ’18, M.S. ’22

Manager of Foundation Relations, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
My brightest moments at the U include graduating with two degrees from the University of Miami. The connections I formed with classmates, professors, bosses, and mentors at the University have shaped who I am today. It also gave me the skills to effectively lead in today’s ever-changing world.

Daniel Briggi, B.A. ’15, M.D. ’21

Resident Physician, Baylor College of Medicine
My brightest moment at the U was pitching for the school’s baseball team. I probably remember my first game against Rutgers and our run to the College World Series best, but having the opportunity to play with that team and on that stage was very special.

Daniel Quevedo, B.S.B.E. ’15

Senior Manager, METiS Therapeutics
My brightest moments at the U include rushing onto the court with fellow students after our underdog basketball team beat top-ranked Duke. It was a moment of pure school spirit and pride, a memory I will always cherish. Another bright moment was winning the College of Engineering's Thomas Brownell Award, the highest honor a student can receive for academic achievement and service to the school and community.

Ethan Homedi, B.S. ’17

Pediatric Resident, Loyola University Medical Center
My brightest moment at the U was discovering Camp Kesem my freshman year. The organization became an integral part of who I was–and still am–and served as my impetus for becoming a pediatrician.

Ginelle Solis, Ed.D. ’22

Director of Admissions for Graduate Programs in Public Health, University of Miami
My brightest moments at the U include completing and passing my dissertation defense. It was a mixture of emotions and one of the most exciting moments in my life. I had the opportunity not only to reflect on all the work I had done to reach that point, but also to think about the next steps in my career.

Ian H. Malesiewski, B.S. ’22

Law Student, Harvard Law School President, DefIANT Scholars Program
My brightest moment at the U was being tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

Inngide E. Osirus, B.S. ’18

Epidemiologist, New Jersey Department of Health
My brightest moment at the U was becoming a member of the Sigma Delta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Being in a sisterhood with like-minded women and part of a community-conscious, action-oriented organization impacting communities worldwide — easily one of the best decisions I made at the University of Miami.

Irene Guerrero-Calderón, B.A. ’16, M.P.A. ’17

Founder & CEO, Holy Crab Delivery
My brightest moments at the U include my bid day, when I pledged for Delta Phi Epsilon, and Senior Day at the Rat with Sebastian, gliding picnic tables, and our personal pitchers around the lake!

Jesica Westwright, M.S. ’17, Ph.D. ’20

Clinical Psychologist, Herschel Woody Williams VA Medical Center
My brightest moment at the U was marrying my husband, Joseph Westwright, in 2017. Joe moved to Miami with me in 2014 to support my pursuit of doctoral training, giving up the opportunity to pursue his own graduate training at another university. He has since earned a M.S.Ed from the U and been honored with this award.

Jessica Firdman Moore, M.D. ’20

Resident Physician, Jackson Health System - University of Miami, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
My brightest moment at the U happened after a night shift with my wonderful co-resident, Lindsey Finch, when we mustered up the strength to volunteer at the DOCS Keys Health Fair. I have participated in countless DOCS Health Fairs, but this was my first time participating as a physician. [It] was an unforgettable experience.

Joseph Westwright, M.S.Ed. ’19

Data Engineer, Google
My brightest moment at the U was marrying my amazing wife Jesica—I wouldn’t trade all the years leading up to that moment for anything.

Khaila Prather, B.S.P.H. ’19, M.P.H. ’20

Research Analyst, Abt Associates
My brightest moments at the U include my acceptance into the 4+1 B.S.P.H./M.P.H. program, graduating with my Master of Public Health during COVID-19, and being a part of the women's basketball team, where we won games and formed life-long friendships with teammates and coaches.

Kimberly Overton, B.S.B.E. ’20, M.S.B.E. ’20

Engineer II, NPD Manufacturing, Edwards Lifesciences
My brightest moments at the U happened when I joined my sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, in the Spring of 2019. It was so humbling to reactivate the Mu Nu Chapter on campus—the newest line since 2013—and continue its legacy alongside my three sisters. I became the Chapter Basilus, or Chapter President, the following year. One of our signature initiatives was the Be the Match program, which registered potential stem cell donors for the National Bone Marrow Registry.

Krishna Louis, B.S.Ex.P. ’21

PA Student, Morehouse School of Medicine
My brightest moments at the U include finding my purpose after overcoming many adversities during my undergraduate years and walking across that stage during graduation!

Kyrah L. Williams, B.S.A.E. ’16, M.Arch. ’18

Project Manager, Ashraf Consulting Engineers
My brightest moment at the U was spearheading the Diversity in STEM forum during my senior year. As president of the National Society of Black Engineers, we had the opportunity for students to voice their concerns regarding our education and the future of the workforce in front of the President, Vice Provost, and Dean of the College of Engineering.

Lauren E. Simonitis, B.S.M.A.S. '15

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology, Florida Atlantic University & University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs
My brightest moments at the U were through the UGalapagos program. My experience living on Isla Isabela with all sorts of interesting biomes in the surrounding land and sea was transformative for me as a scientist and as a person. Not only did we fully immerse ourselves into the surrounding ecosystems, but because we lived with host families, we felt tied to the community and culture of the island.

Leonard Barrera Allen, B.S.C.E. ’15, M.S.O.E. ’20

Senior Engineer, Cummins Cederberg, Inc.
My brightest moment at the U was winning the 2014 Cuba Infrastructure Challenge, hosted by the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers. I was part of the team that represented the University of Miami and won the scholarship competition against numerous other universities participating in the competition.

Mayra Arana, B.S.N. ’16, M.S.N. ’20

Pediatric Surgery Nurse Practioner, Miami Associates in Pediatric Surgery
My brightest moment at the U was serving on the executive board of the UM Wishmakers. We worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to choose a child with a critical illness and spent the entire semester fundraising to fulfill his wish . . . It was a lot of fun coming together as a team and rewarding to reach our goal!

Nadia Peyravian, Ph.D. ’22

Technology Transfer Patent Specialist, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
My brightest moment at the U was the day I defended my thesis in graduate school and officially became a “Dr.” My mentor, Dr. Sylvia Daunert, gave a beautiful and kind introduction before I presented two projects and patented technology in about an hour. Five years and 11 months of hard work paid off, and I was officially a Ph.D.!

Samantha D. Verling, B.S. ’19, M.S. ’21

Medical Student, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
My brightest moments at the U were through UM's Pre-Health Peer Mentoring Organization, which allowed me to attend to my love of teaching . . . One of my most memorable experiences in medical school so far has been leading Miller's Medical Arts Club and promoting UM student-made art, inspiring creativity among the student body and reinforcing the education of the whole person

Tuana Yazici, B.A. ’21, M.A. ’22

Law Student, University of Miami School of Law | Founder, Chair, and CEO of holding company Tuana Group and its subsidiary companies, AeroAI Voyages and AeroAI DesignLab | Founder, Chair, and CEO of nonprofit AeroAI Global Solutions
My brightest moment at the U was running for Senate as a freshman. Even though I had just started the University, the overwhelming support of my classmates showed me the incredibly strong sense of community at the U, and I knew that it would only grow as the years went by.

Valerie Quirk, B.B.A. ’16

Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania & Founder, The Great Untold EDU
My brightest moment at the U was founding the organization Girls 4 Good—now known as Girls of Outreach and Diversity, aka G.O.O.D.—which included weekly discussions, local community engagement, and global action on issues that primarily impact women and girls with a focus on equity in education. Through Girls 4 Good I worked alongside a group of incredibly smart, passionate, and wonderful people looking to make a difference.

Willie Herenton, B.A. ’21

Investment Analyst, Channing Global Advisors, LLC
My brightest moment at the U was receiving a full athletic scholarship for the men’s basketball team at the University of Miami, my dream school. Hearing the surprise announcement from my coaches and teammates is a moment I will never forget. Another bright moment was receiving consecutive years of academic recognition from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. I was among a select group of 15 Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes to make the cut.

Zahra Markatia, B.A. ’18, B.S. ’18, M.D. ’23

PGY-1 Ophthalmology Resident, Baylor College of Medicine
My brightest moments at the U include winning national dance competitions; joining executive committees such as Student Government, Honor Council, and SAFAC; getting accepted to the Miller School of Medicine; maintaining leadership positions with Women in Ophthalmology and Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision during medical school; publishing and presenting my ophthalmic research at dozens of ophthalmology conferences worldwide; and finally, matching into ophthalmology residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas!

Nominate a Young ’Cane for 30 Under 30

Do you know a young alum who is doing great things and making an impact professionally and/or in the community? Let us know! Click the nomination form linked below - you can even nominate yourself!