Meet Our Newest Steins

Spring 2024

Fordham welcomes 21 students from the classes of 2026 (day and evening divisions) and 2027 (evening division) into the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics. Each student has been selected based on their demonstrated commitment to public interest law and diverse backgrounds to enrich the community. 


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Alryati_Lulu

Lulu Alryati ‘26 is a first-generation woman of color from a family of refugees whose background has fueled her passion for a career in civil rights litigation and international law. Lulu’s upbringing and experiences have instilled in her a deep sense of resilience and a commitment to justice and equity for communities around the world. Actively involved in racial justice initiatives, she is dedicated to advocating for marginalized groups and combating discriminatory systems. Alongside her legal pursuits, she works as a registered nurse specializing in women's health and labor and delivery. This combination of healthcare and legal advocacy enables her to address and champion issues at the intersection of health and human rights, striving to effect meaningful change at both local and global levels.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Cino_Alexis

Alexis Cino ’26 graduated from Fordham University in 2021 with a B.A. in international political economy with a double minor in peace and justice studies and political science. During her time there, she worked with the non-profit organizations Immigration Equality and Asylum Connect, both of which assist LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers. Alexis hopes to continue her advocacy through law school and afterwards on a professional level, hoping to serve these same communities as an immigration and human rights lawyer.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Davidson_Jessa

Jessa Davidson ‘26 graduated from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University in 2023, majoring in international affairs with a concentration in conflict resolution. While in college, she served as the assistant to the director of the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs. She helped create an interdisciplinary seminar series examining the domestic and international repercussions of the overturn of Roe v. Wade. As a Stein Scholar, Jessa hopes to continue advancing and protecting reproductive rights and the rights of all marginalized communities.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Falk_Katie

Katie Falk ‘26 received her master’s in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard in 2022.  She spent most of the last year and a half in Palestine, taking part in anti-apartheid activism with Palestinian activists in Masafer Yatta and supporting research efforts on international law and decolonization for BADIL, a prominent Palestinian human rights organization. As a Stein Scholar, she is hoping to focus on movement lawyering in the U.S. and international criminal law and human rights.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Garrido_Cara

Cara Garrido '26 is a graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in Latin American studies and American studies. During undergrad, she interned at a non-profit in Madrid that provides housing to refugees as well as a non-profit immigration organization in Miami to help Afghans and Cubans apply for asylum and other forms of relief. After graduating, she worked at an immigration law firm in Boston to help newly arrived children apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile status and asylum. Cara was born and raised in North Carolina and is the daughter of Cuban refugees. She is passionate about immigrant rights and plans to build a legal career committed to providing direct legal services to immigrants and other vulnerable populations.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Gygi_Ben

Benjamin Gygi '26 graduated from the University of Miami in 2021 with a B.A. in political science and computer science. While in school, Benjamin was actively engaged in progressive politics. He interned with his local congressperson and the Colorado Democratic Party and has served as a paid canvasser and volunteer phone-banker for progressive causes. After graduating, Benjamin worked as a data analyst, helping non-profit voter advocacy organizations target voter registration efforts and combat unlawful purges of voter registrations. Through the Stein Scholars Program, Benjamin hopes to work towards building a more supportive and equitable society by advocating for individuals traditionally forgotten by the legal process.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar Hemphill_Tony

Tony Hemphill '27 earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and business from Saint Anselm College. Upon graduation, Tony was accepted to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kosovo. After having his service cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tony joined New York University's Wagner School of Public Service where he earned his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in  advocacy and political action. Tony has served with advocacy organizations across a variety of sectors including humanitarian aid, refugee & immigrant rights, climate justice, and public transit. He currently serves as the data and quality assurance coordinator for International Rescue Committee's New York program office. He is driven by the idea that rigorous, data-informed research and decision-making can help us be more effective advocates, improve our service delivery, and allow us to achieve our policy goals. As a Stein Scholar, Tony looks forward to further developing his skills as an advocate and expanding on his experience in public interest work.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar Hofmeister_Liam

Liam Hofmeister ‘26 graduated from Northeastern University in 2019 with a B.A. in theatre and a minor in journalism. In the summer of 2020, he began volunteering as a legal observer and a protester rights education coordinator with the National Lawyers Guild’s Massachusetts chapter. He then worked as a law clerk for an employee-side employment law firm and later as an attorney ethics investigator for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. Whether collaborating with progressive protesters, uplifting employees, or protecting the public from attorney misconduct, advocacy for the vulnerable unifies Liam’s work. He’s excited to lean on his time in the Stein Scholars Program to continue finding ways to empower himself and others to create a more equitable world.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Hurtado_Kevin

Kevin Hurtado ’26 (Evening Division) graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies. He currently works full-time as the director of development at Voting Rights Lab, an advocacy and policy nonprofit designed to supercharge the fight against voter suppression and build more equitable voting systems. Prior to his current role, Kevin served in various fundraising capacities for other pro-democracy initiatives across the country. Born the child of Afro-Colombian immigrants, he is passionate about advancing progressive reform for underserved communities. As a Stein Scholar, he looks forward to further exploring this passion and engaging and collaborating with the Stein Scholars network.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Knight_Emily

Emily Knight ’26 graduated from Fordham University in 2022 with a B.A. in international political economy and music. After graduating, she began working in climate policy with the Center for Planning Excellence in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There, she worked with organizations and communities to promote renewable energy initiatives and sustainable infrastructure across the state. As a Stein Scholar, Emily looks forward to working at the intersection between environmental law and social justice to provide aid to vulnerable communities affected by the ongoing climate crisis.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Knoll_Spencer

Spencer Knoll ‘27 works as the data and impact manager of the Innovation Lab at the Housing Collective, a non-profit organization in Bridgeport Connecticut that serves as the backbone of the homeless response system in Western Connecticut and advocates for affordable housing throughout the state. She began at the Housing Collective as a Public Ally Americorp member in 2021. Prior to this work, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in theater direction and production. She looks forward to using her law degree and experience as a Stein Scholar to continue to advocate for housing and gender equity.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Longo_Jack

Jack Longo ’26 was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2020 where he studied economics and English (literature). Before law school, he worked as a middle school teacher in Kansas City, Missouri, developing passions for working with youth and restorative justice practices. He also witnessed how systemic inequalities and punitive discipline models impede students’ abilities to thrive in the classroom. Jack will continue advocating for children and their families while using his law degree to help them navigate complex, oppressive systems.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar Loomis_Olivia

Olivia Loomis '26 graduated from Barnard College with a degree in urban studies in 2020 and worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in New York City with renters facing eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before matriculating, Olivia was a paralegal at Legal Services NYC, where she assisted tenants with public benefits applications and met with unrepresented tenants in housing court. Olivia is interested in the financialization of rent-stabilized housing and hopes to use her law degree to advocate for housing justice and the safety of tenants.


Fordham Law Stein Scholars Lopez_Daniella

Daniella Nitza Lopez '26 graduated from Fordham University in 2023 with a B.A. in art history and a double minor in Spanish and political science. As an undergraduate, Daniella was a student worker in Fordham Law’s Office of Development and Fordham Law Clinic. She worked closely with Spanish-speaking clients as an interpreter and worked on Fordham Law’s Parole Advocacy Project by redacting parole interview transcripts and risk assessment instruments to protect the privacy of those seeking parole. Since graduating, she has completed a summer legal internship at the Fordham Law Immigration Advocacy Clinic and the International Cooperation and Justice Clinic. These experiences reaffirmed her commitment to protecting underrepresented demographics from policies disregarding a person's fundamental rights based on citizenship and socio-economic status. Daniella is excited to join Stein Scholars and hopes to help produce a more meaningful introduction to public interest law for prospective law students.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Luperdi_Pierina

Pierina Hernandez Luperdi ’26 was born in Peru and graduated from the University of Maryland with dual degrees in economics and government & politics. Prior to law school, she worked as a research analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice to help establish and sustain immigration representation programs throughout the country. Additionally, she has worked in several research positions focused on issues of education and labor. As a Stein Scholar, Pierina is looking forward to advocating for immigrants’ rights and exploring her interests in economic justice and education equity.



Fordham Law Stein Scholars Martin III_Wiley

Wiley Martin '26 graduated from The Ohio State University in 2021, majoring in political science with a focus on poverty and social structures, as well as minoring in sociology and the legal foundations of society. After college, he joined the section 8 program in Columbus, Ohio, where he worked to keep families in affordable housing and to resolve issues between landlords and tenants. As a Stein Scholar and law student, he hopes to work towards the improvement of America’s social safety net.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Qiao_Sheena

Sheena Qiao ‘26 moved from her hometown of La Paz, Bolivia to pursue a B.A. in political science at Columbia University, where she studied international relations and U.S. history. After graduating in 2019, she worked at Paramount and the Brennan Center for Justice. As a Stein Scholar, Sheena hopes to gain a deeper understanding on how to strengthen election systems, combat voting suppression, and repair civic education to achieve a healthier democracy.



Liz Ralston

Liz Ralston ’26 graduated from Vassar College in 2021 with a B.A. in geography. Her studies focused on social movements, migration and environmental justice. During college she worked with local nonprofits on food security research, housing advocacy and afterschool programming. Following graduation, she moved to Brooklyn and worked as a paralegal on environmental mass tort cases. She is interested in continuing to work with clients and advocating for economic and housing justice.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Shetty_Priyanka

Priyanka Shetty '26 graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in political science. She worked for two years at the Harris County Public Defender’s Office as a Partners for Justice Fellow, where she assisted clients with various social services, such as applying for government benefits, securing housing, or drafting mitigation memorandums. She then worked as a civil rights investigator for a national impact litigation organization, investigating and supporting federal lawsuits around bail, police abuse, and probation issues. Priyanka is interested in continuing to work at the intersection of criminal justice advocacy, movement lawyering, and abolition.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Spitzenberger_Elizabeth

Elizabeth Spitzenberger '26 is from Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from Boston College in 2021 with degrees in English and environmental studies with a concentration in climate change and societal adaptation. Before law school, she worked as an environmental engineer at the Connecticut State Pier in New London, a major infrastructure project, working closely with local trade union crews to enforce environmental regulatory requirements in the field and demonstrate permit compliance to agencies. She is passionate about environmental justice and how it intersects with other disciplines, including women’s and workers’ rights. She is excited to explore a legal career helping others through environmental law and policy to create a more sustainable future for the planet and its people.


Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Tilson_Olivia

Olivia Tilson ’26 is from Rockbridge County, Virginia. She is passionate about food equity and was first exposed to regenerative farming and food policy through her family’s small local farm. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2021, majoring in foreign affairs and media studies. Her undergraduate studies focused on grassroots political movements and the American food system, emphasizing the intersecting lenses of labor rights, sustainability, and access. During college, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and advocated for affordable housing. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she got involved with food access programs through New York Cares and GrowNYC. She is thrilled to join the Stein Scholars and hopes to gain skills to protect the rights of underserved populations while being mindful of our environment and future generations.



Rebecca Vangelos graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied international relations and global business. Most recently, Rebecca worked on Snapchat’s public policy team in Washington, D.C., leading global partnerships with nonprofits and governments to raise awareness on civic engagement, youth mental health, and the fentanyl crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rebecca managed REFORM Alliance’s PPE distribution program, which delivered PPE to correctional facilities and incarcerated individuals nationwide. Rebecca also served as the chief of staff of Helena, where she developed projects addressing issues like democracy reform. She has also worked on several political campaigns throughout her career. As a Stein Scholar, Rebecca is excited to dive into complex topics related to public-interest law alongside engaged and like-minded classmates committed to making a difference.



Fordham Law Stein Scholar 2024 Vidal_Isabela

Isabela Vidal '26 graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2020 with a B.F.A. in dramatic writing. Since graduating, Isabela has worked in the nonprofit sector to combat food insecurity in Hispanic communities and for the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international organization that protects the rights of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal. Likewise, Isabela’s arts degree has led her to various domestic and service industry roles. These experiences fueled Isabela’s passion for labor rights advocacy, in particular the rights of domestic workers. As a Stein Scholar, Isabela looks forward to building upon her experiences to forge a legal career in the public interest.