Meet Our Alumnae

Morgan Monaco

Morgan Monaco '02

Morgan Monaco ’02 is the deputy director of project management for the New York City Mayor's Office of Operations. Morgan credits Hewitt with helping to set her on the path of public service through a two-week internship with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation during her senior year of high school. She attended Vassar College, where she explored the role of gender in the political landscape while majoring in international studies before going on to earn a master of public administration with a specialization in public and nonprofit management at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. 

Morgan came to Hewitt in second grade, and she has fond memories of the close-knit community she joined here. Morgan remembers the meaningful relationships she formed with classmates and faculty as she worked on the yearbook, The Hewitt Times, student council, and the earth committee. Hewitt offered “a top-notch education in an encouraging environment. When I graduated from Hewitt, I was well prepared for the next step in my academic career, with a strong intellectual foundation that gave me the confidence to share my opinions and ideas. Hewitt helped me hone my voice as a feminist.” 
 

At the New York City Mayor’s Office, Morgan’s project management team works with agencies throughout the city to help launch projects that cross multiple agencies’ jurisdictions. One such project, ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap for All, is an unprecedented, comprehensive mental health plan for all New Yorkers. With six guiding principles — change the culture, act early, close treatment gaps, partner with communities, use data better, and strengthen the government’s ability to lead — the plan depended on collaboration among several agencies including the department of health, department of education, emergency services, children’s services, and hospitals. “We function as internal consultants for the city. We bring everyone together to explain their roles and responsibilities and decide how to track progress over time, and we encourage people to adjust and improve work based on data. Our work, whether it’s mental health or modern infrastructure, is grounded in promoting economic opportunity and equity, particularly for marginalized populations.”
 

Morgan has advised on projects related to environmental conservation and criminal justice reform, and her advice to Hewitt students today is to “recognize that you have a role to play in affecting change. Decide which of the many problems facing society — racial justice, economic inequality, environmental sustainability — speaks to you. Figure out some way to have an impact. Volunteer your time, use what influence you have, make a difference. Make service the hallmark of a Hewitt girl.” 

Samantha Haber Wasser

Samantha Haber Wasser '05

Samantha Haber Wasser ’05 is the founder, senior vice president, and creative director of popular plant-based, fast-casual brand by CHLOE. Her 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. 

Of her inspiration for by Chloe, Samantha says, “I wanted 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

Stephanie Reyes '14

Stephanie Reyes earned her B.A. in Latin American studies and Spanish from Pomona College in 2018. She is currently 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 Venturer magazine, focusing on art selection for the publication. In her free time, Stephanie 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. “Hewitt, more than any other school I attended (including my college), taught me how to think critically and share my thoughts with conviction and confidence.”

Alexandra Nicklas

Alexandra Nicklas '08

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, and these experiences inspired her to make it easier for those in need to get access to professional support resources.

“My time at Hewitt planted the seed of altruism within me. In my life I've had to overcome a few challenges, but I always had the support and encouragement of my family, peers, and teachers throughout my journey. I learned that no challenge is insurmountable with the right support, but I also recognized that not everyone has access to the supports that they need. Since graduating Hewitt, I've worked to increase access to necessary supports for those facing their own challenges.”


Alexandra earned her B.A. in speech-language pathology from Marymount Manhattan College, and pursued graduate studies in speech-language pathology at CUNY Lehman College. In her free time, she volunteers with many programs and organizations that serve people with an array of health conditions.

Diana Marin 

Diana Marin '07

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. She completed a self-designed graduate degree in divinity exploring the themes of roots, courage, and vision as pillars in community-building through the Open Master's program, and is currently earning her master of divinity at Harvard Divinity School.
 

"Hewitt, a place that shaped me and which I love, taught me where to find my anchors. Faith and courage don't originate in external movement and action. They're anchored in the deep rooted sense of who I am. Serving on the Alumnae Diversity Committee is a way for me to honor these roots and to strengthen them with the ever-growing Hewitt community."

Dr. Raygine DiAquoi

Dr. Raygine DiAquoi '00

Dr. Raygine DiAquoi ’00 is assistant dean 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.

Dr. DiAquoi 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. She earned her doctorate in culture, communities, and education and her master's in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She earned her bachelor of arts in sociology from Columbia University.


“Hewitt taught me that the greats, people whom we admire and emulate, are characterized by their faith and courage. They have faith in their gifts and the courage to share them with the world. Be great.”

Susannah Meyer

Susannah Meyer '15

Susannah Meyer '15 majored in computer science at Stanford as a member of the class of 2019. 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. She has held internships at JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bloomberg LP, and Facebook, where she now works as a software engineer. 

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.


“The tight-knit, girls’ school environment that Hewitt fostered around me for 13 years gave me the confidence and drive I've needed to pursue my interests without hesitation, stay curious and open-minded, and prevent gender barriers from blocking my goals.” 

Sofia Caballero Stafford

Sofia Caballero Stafford '13

Sofia Caballero Stafford ’13 studied global health and cultural anthropology at Duke University, 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 Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. After graduation, she moved to D.C. to work at USAID through the Global Health Fellows-II program.

“Hewitt showed me the value of seeking achievement not for achievement's sake alone, but because living a life of consequence, and recognizing that my actions, whether positive or negative, intentional or unintentional, impact the lives of others. I am discovering the ways in which my actions can contribute to making the world a better place.” 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.


Sofia is currently a market strategy associate at Gradian Health Systems.