Meet Our Alumnae
Samantha Haber Wasser ’05 is the founder, senior vice president, and creative director of popular plant-based, fast-casual brand by CHLOE. Samantha’s creative vision has been credited for the brand’s rapid expansion and evolution, from their critically-acclaimed New York City launch in 2015, to their now international presence across 16 locations. Samantha is an innovator and thought leader in the restaurant industry, and her aim in founding by CHLOE was to make plant-based eating more inclusive. “I want to create a welcoming, non-intimidating brand that serves delicious food and targets non-vegans, as well. We make vegan eating fun for everyone.”
Samantha explains that her ten years as a Hewitt student had an impact on how she manages and leads today. “Being in a close-knit community, working together, and knowing everyone was a wonderful experience. At Hewitt, our learning was hands-on, with teachers who took the time to get to know us and gave us the freedom to make choices.” She recalls fondly the support and dedication of her advisor, Joan Wolf (Hewitt 1999-present ), and the drum circle that she and her classmates formed with the support of long-serving faculty member Daniel Denver (Hewitt 1993-present). “He helped us orchestrate a Ben Harper song. I’ll never forget that. That personalized attention, that’s what I try to emulate in my team now.”
Now that Samantha is in a position of leadership, she makes it a priority to know and empower her employees, much in the same way her Hewitt teachers modeled for her as a student. Her management style is clearly successful: Samantha’s work in restaurant development earned her spots on both Zagat's and Inc. Magazine’s prestigious "30 Under 30” lists. Samantha also serves on the advisory board of WeWorks Food Labs, which is supporting entrepreneurs as they address the biggest challenges in food today. Central to the company’s values is a commitment to sustainability, and by CHLOE regularly donates portions of its proceeds to charitable causes, including LGBTQ advocacy, environmental non-profits, and social justice organizations.
Samantha’s advice to Hewitt students today is, “Try not to give into the pressure of having to declare your career and purpose at a young age. Life may take you in a different direction than you imagine. Try to fix or solve a problem that no one else is looking at, and learn along the way. I am constantly learning. I always loved the idea of creating spaces and experiences that would bring people joy, and now I also know the difference between a convertible note and equity.” Samantha also encourages people to work with their friends. For example, when by CHLOE launched a chocolate bar in January, Samatha’s former Hewitt badminton doubles partner, Morgan Curtis ’05, founder of the Morgan Lane clothing line, sold the vegan treats in her pop-up retail shop. “It’s an exciting time for the brand. We are actively hiring, looking at different markets, and seeking investors. That I can do this work with people I know and love makes it even better.”
Stephanie Reyes graduated from Pomona College in 2018 with a B.A. in Latin American studies and Spanish. She currently works as an analyst for energy storage developer Convergent Energy + Power, working on projects across the business including asset management, financial optimization, regulatory and policy development, project execution, business development, and customer engagement. While a student at Hewitt, she worked on the Venturer magazine, focusing on art selection for the publication. In her free time, she continues to be involved in the arts by serving as a pro-bono translator for artists in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Spain, and by appearing in puppet productions throughout New York City.
Alexandra Nicklas is the Founder and President of Different & Able, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with various disabilities and medical conditions find the support and resources they need to live happy and “able” lives. Throughout her life, Alexandra dealt with some of her own different abilities, which she overcame with the help of specialists and the support of her family, friends, and teachers. Through her own journey, Alexandra was inspired to make it easier for those in need to get access to resources. Alexandra earned a B.A. in speech and language pathology from Marymount Manhattan College, and pursued graduate studies in speech and language pathology at CUNY Lehman College. In her free time, Alexandra volunteers with many programs and organizations that serve people with an array of health conditions.
Diana Marin is completing a self-designed Master's in Divinity through the Open Master's program. Her study centers on the themes of roots, courage, and vision as pillars in community-building. Diana graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Romance Languages and Literatures, and has worked with the Archdiocese of New York in development and scholarship management.
Dr. Raygine DiAquoi ’00 is an Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and the Director of the Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. A sociologist of education, her research is grounded in Critical Race Theory. She is interested in the racial socialization practices of black families, particularly the strategies used to prepare children for racial discrimination. She is co-editor of the book Education For A Multicultural Society (2011), has written about the specific competencies required of African American students and their families (2012; 2014; 2015, in press), and has discussed her research on Al Jazeera America. Dr. DiAquoi earned her Doctorate in Culture, Communities, and Education and Masters in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Columbia University.
Susannah Meyer '15 majored in computer science at Stanford as a member of the class of 2019. She has held software engineering internships at JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bloomberg LP, and Facebook. At Stanford, Susannah was the webmaster and technical team lead of the student publication The Stanford Daily and conducted research at the university's virtual reality lab. While at Hewitt, Susannah served on the Community Service Board, edited The Hewitt Times, and led audio work for the theater technical crew. She was a runner-up for the prestigious Award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women and Information Technology in 2014.
Sofia Caballero Stafford ’13 studied Global Health and Cultural Anthropology at Duke, earning her AB in 2017. In 2016, her team won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Duke STEAM Challenge to fund the development of "Pocket Counselor: Health in Hand," a mobile application designed to help task-shift mental health counseling to lay practitioners in Kenya. Sofia also found purpose in her internship with USAID working on the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. After graduation, she moved to D.C. and is currently working at USAID through the Global Health Fellows-II program. While at Hewitt, Sofia initiated what would become a multi-year partnership with Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation and a community of nearly half a million passionate student advocates focused on girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.