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The University of Miami Alumni Association honors 30 outstanding young alumni for making impressive strides in their professions and their communities.

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, 2022. The Young Alumni Leadership Council review committee selected 30 finalists, based on the impact made on their profession, community, and the University of Miami.

In the spirit of Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century, we asked the honorees about their brightest moment(s) at the U. Scroll down for their answers - and you can read much more about each honoree in the 30 Under 30 booklet, linked below. 

View and download the 30 Under 30 list

30 Under 30 honorees for 2022: 


Abigail Adeleke

B.S.C. 21
Financial Consultant, Charles Schwab 

My brightest moment at the U was being elected as the Student Government President in 2020 and working alongside our university and community leaders to keep students safe, healthy, and full of 'Canes Spirit during a truly unprecedented situation.

Adriana Baez

B.S. ’19
Medical and law student, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and School of Law

My brightest moments at the U have included making friends at late-night dining during freshman year, leading my sorority and other greek life members to a first-place win at O-Cheer during Greek Week, presenting my first poster at ESRF, beating FSU on my birthday, and crossing the Watsco Center stage, crying, at graduation. As a graduate MD/JD student, there has been nothing more fulfilling then providing hands-on care to and uplifting individuals in the Miami-Dade community. I can only hope that I continue to create many more beautiful, bright moments.

Alessandria San Roman

B.A. ’15, J.D. ’18
Associate Attorney, Holland & Knight

My brightest moments at the U started with my admission to the University. While it’s hard to pin down just one, I am particularly honored to have been able to serve as the first UM SG President, UM Law SBA President, and Student Trustee in school history. Those moments (both rewarding and challenging) shaped me to be who I am today.

Andrea G. Brenes

M.S.F. ’17
Chief Financial Officer, Alimentos Raag (McDonald's franchisee for Dominican Republic)

My brightest moments at the U were having the opportunity to develop a global perspective in finance and build my network, capitalizing on its excellent location and engaging in a multicultural environment.

Avani Reddy

B.S. ’21
Founder and CEO, R3Med

My brightest moments at the U were during Homecoming. To be surrounded by all of the successful alumni and feel their joy and love for the school was incredible. It truly is the most special event.

Bailey Crespi

B.B.A. ’18
Business Development Associate, Oppenheimer & Co. 

My brightest moments at the U were in the opportunities I had to learn beyond the classroom. Participating in the 'Business of Healthcare Conference' with influential executives, listening to and questioning speakers leading Fortune 500 companies, getting scuba dive certified, and regularly conversing with students from countries around the world...these opportunities made me learn immeasurably more about myself and the future I hope for.

Benjamin Slavin

B.S. ’15, M.D. ’21
Integrated Plastic Surgery Resident, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

My brightest moment at the U was matching into my dream residency as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at my number one choice, the University of Miami! 



Brianna Commerford

B.B.A. ’20
Analyst, American Express

My brightest moment at the U was being accepted into the President's 100 Society as a freshman! When I was in high school and toured the campus, I had the best tour guide ever who ultimately convinced me on the spot that The U was the place for me. I knew that I wanted to have that impact on future canes and show off my amazing school at recruitment events and campus tours. It was such an honor to be chosen as one of the 100 students on campus - from all different backgrounds - to represent the University of Miami.

Casey Dresbach

B.A.M.A. ’19, M.P.S. ’20
Senior Associate Sustainability Consultant, Environmental Resources Management

My brightest moments at the U came from a recognition of the value of our shared community. A mutual “Cane connection” in a social, professional, or even casual interaction has always set the stage for meaningful experiences and connections, many of which have turned into profound relationships I am eternally grateful for. My mentors have become family, and my professors have become my peers. I know I can always count on my ‘Cane identity to continue to guide me as I navigate through life alongside my existing and future community to come.

Catherine LaSpina

M.B.A. ’21
Research Fellow, Veracity Selfcare

My brightest moment at the U was being able to graduate with my M.D./M.B.A. in only a short 5 years thanks to the joint program.

Christel Wekon-Kemeni

B.S. ’15
Pediatric Resident, University of North Carolina Hospitals

My brightest moment at the U - outside of meeting the woman who is now my wife - would have to be when I was tapped into Iron Arrow in the second semester of my senior year. It came as a complete shock to me but man did it feel awesome to be marched to the Iron Arrow mound and recognized as someone who was deserving of the highest honor attained at the University of Miami. The tapping felt like the culmination of all my experiences in college. To this day, I think fondly of that moment and all the emotions that came with it!

Daniel Kleinman

M.P.S. ’21
Founder and CEO, Seaworthy Collective

My brightest moment at the U was launching Seaworthy Collective during my first semester of graduate school at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. I was able to find members of my team and support through the Rosenstiel community that helped us get our initial momentum. I left a stable job and life in San Diego mid-pandemic to move cross country to pursue my masters degree and launch my startup, and the moment I followed through on making years of hopes, dreams, and business planning reality was incredibly gratifying.

Daniela M. Darquea

B.S.Ed. ’18
Professional golfer, LPGA

My brightest moment at the U was being named as an All-American in 2013. The U was the place I realized I had the potential to make my dreams come true. I am eternally grateful.

Danielle Cohen

B.S.C. ’16
Art Director,

My brightest moments at the U were when I discovered my true passion for creative work, including branding and creative direction, and where I discovered what makes me happiest - leading a team of wonderful designers, developers, videographers, and UX/UI. During my senior year capstone, I had a concentration in my art media around the human "eye" and all of the ways an eye can view life and the different perspectives. These pieces were featured in the Lowe Art Museum for the Michelle Edelson Photo Award and were showcased when I was presented with the Outstanding Senior Visual Journalism Award for the School of Communications in 2016. This moment shines brightly.

David Yankana

B.G.S.C. ’17, M.H.A. ’20, M.B.A. ’21
Director of Operations, Amatheon Pharmaceuticals | Amatheon Animal Health

My brightest moments at the U are many - and they have simply changed my life: walking across the stage at the Watsco Center (three times!), growing with my fiancée during my MBA in 2021 through our shared experiences, having the opportunity to work with the Hurricane football team in spring and summer 2016 as a Student Volunteer Assistant, and working with the staff during Head Coach Mark Richt's inaugural season - these are among my greatest moments. 

Dewayne Washington, II

B.S.B.A. ’20
Wealth Management Analyst, JPMorgan Chase

My brightest moments at the U were the 2017 Notre Dame game and being tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

Eric Milton

B.S.Cp.E. ’17
Owner's Representative and Chief Technology Officer, United Property Management

My brightest moments at the U included working with colleagues from the College of Engineering on the Association of Cuban-American Engineers' Cuba Infrastructure Challenge in 2015. We investigated satellite imaging of Cuba that had recently been made available, mapping vegetation growth along the Rio Almendares. As a sophomore, I worked with a group of mostly upperclassmen to evaluate vegetation trends, linking the data with political events in Cuba. This project brought me closer to my roots as a Cuban-American and gave me more confidence in my ability to analyze data and offer solutions to real-world problems.

Ethan Creo

B.B.A. ’15
Vice President, Investment Banking, Guzman & Company

My brightest moment at the U lasted four years. The lifelong friendships that were forged during my time at University of Miami has been incredibly meaningful to me.

Haley Moss

J.D. ’18
Owner, Haley Moss LLC

My brightest moment at the U was being selected as our Law School Student Commencement Speaker and having the chance to make memories with the J.D. Class of 2018.

Harrison M. Albert

B.A.M.A. ’17, M.P.S. ’18
Science Education and Conservation Manager, Amoray Dive Resort
Adjunct Professor, Broward College and The College of the Florida Keys

My brightest moment at the U was realizing that the skills and knowledge that I was learning from my professors and fellow Canes was the formula to be successful and accomplish anything I set my mind to.


Justin J. Suca

B.S.M.A.S. ’16
Postdoctoral Scholar | Fisheries Oceanographer, NOAA Fisheries

My brightest moment at the U was probably getting hired as a student assistant in a fisheries oceanography lab. That really sent me down my current path toward fish ecology and fisheries oceanography.

Nicolle Castañeda

M.P.H. ’20
Project Manager, Organization Enablement and Transformation, UHealth

My brightest moment at the U was when I graduated with my MPH from the Miller School of Medicine after having worked full-time and completed a capstone that allowed me to give back to my community. Another big moment for me is when I was able to mentor fellow employees as my direct reports and build a relationship that was professionally engaging and enriching to them.

Roselaure Anstral

B.A. ’14, B.S.N. ’15
Assistant Nurse Manager, Baptist Medical Center Heart Hospital

My brightest moment at the U was my first bachelor graduation. I am the first to earn a college degree in my family; that graduation meant everything to me. It was a love letter to my parents for all their sacrifice and dedication to me. It was the biggest moment of my life.

Sara M. Klock

J.D. ’17
Associate, Holland & Knight

My brightest moment at the U was [working on] the University of Miami Law Review. UMLR was filled with brilliant minds and amazing mentors from years prior and subsequent, many of whom I am fortunate enough to now work with at Holland and Knight. We bonded over many long nights of blue booking, studying, and job searching. The Miami Law community is incredible, and my best friends are from law school. 

Savanah Leaf

B.A. ’14
Film Director and Photographer

My brightest moments at the U were simply winning games and breaking records with the volleyball team while also learning psychology from some of the best professors out there. I think I’ve used both of those lessons in the career I’m in now.

Shana Weisman

B.B.A. ’19
Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway

My brightest moment at the U, my very brightest moment, although there were many, was graduating alongside my best friend whom I met freshman year in the dorms! I made a lifelong friendship all thanks to the communal environment that thrives at the U.

Sterling W. Jackson

B.B.A. ’18
Agency Owner, AllState Insurance

My brightest moments at the U included being honored with the Laurel Award while working at the Dean of Students' Office, which was a great honor. From a personal standpoint meeting my wife the first day of college was the brightest moment.

Taiesa Heath

M.M. ’18
Law Clerk, Sanchez Law Group

My brightest moments at the U included being an online student for the first time in my life and then being able to experience the campus for graduation was very memorable. It wasn’t my first time seeing the school in person, but I was also able to experience walking the campus with my family and an aunt who was visiting from Trinidad for my graduation. Being able to share that with the people I love, who were not afforded the same opportunities, was priceless.

Victoria Humphrey

B.S. ’14
Resident Physician, Internal Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

My brightest moment at the U was having the privilege of representing the university at the Miss Florida Pageant as Miss University of Miami. It also gives me great joy to have had the opportunity to spearhead the return of the pageant to the University so that young women could have the same experience for years to come.

Violeta Rodriguez

M.S.Ed. '15
Senior Research Associate, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

My brightest moment at the U was graduating with my master of science in research, measurement and evaluation while working for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine! It was the perfect combination of professional opportunities to prepare me for my Ph.D.


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 for linked below - you can even nominate yourself!

Go to the 30 Under 30 nomination form