Phi Beta Kappa’s “30 Under 30”

By Sarah Al-Arshani

Each year Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list honors the brightest pioneers and young achievers in a variety of professions. This year, 38 Phi Beta Kappa members are among the most distinguished in categories such as “Law & Policy,” “Science,” and so much more. 


Rob Lehman (ΦΒΚ, Duke University), one of Compass’ first 30 employees, was promoted five times and now holds the title of Chief Growth Officer. Lehman runs all expansion, sales, mergers and acquisitions, and strategy for the company. Revenue under his leadership is expected to double again in 2018. 

Siqi Mou (ΦΒΚ, Stanford University) is the cofounder and CEO of HelloAva, an AI-powered personal skincare consultant that has raised $1.5 million. Mou also had roles at Morgan Stanley, the Federal Reserve, and Bloomberg TV Indonesia and currently serves as a Music Ambassador for Carnegie Hall as a seasoned concert pianist.

Carolyn Witte (ΦΒΚ, Cornell University) is the cofounder and CEO of Tia, a women’s healthcare startup that helps users tap into a network of health experts. Witte previously served as a team lead at Google’s Creative Lab. 


David Agranovich (ΦΒΚ, Ohio State University) currently serves as a public policy manager for Threat Disruption at Facebook. He previously worked as the director of intelligence at the National Security Council. He headed U.S. efforts to detect and counter state-led interference in elections, coordinating the global expulsion of 153 Russian intelligence officers, and contributed to Putin’s Kleptocracy the New York Times bestseller that uncovered a web of dark money fueling Russian oligarchs.

Lauren Blodgett (ΦΒΚ, Boston College) is an immigration attorney for the pro-bono Safe Passage Project. Blodgett is also launching The Brave House, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit for sheltering young immigrant girls.

Jerry Ting (ΦΒΚ, University of Southern California) is a cofounder of Evisort, which uses AI to automate contract reviews for lawyers. 

Sean Mirski (ΦΒΚ, University of Chicago) is a former clerk for the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He has also worked on Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation team and served as a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

Lauren Moxley (ΦΒΚ, Duke University) is an associate at Covington and Burling focusing on privacy, surveillance, and cybersecurity. Moxley also represented Microsoft in their U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the government’s attempt to gain customer emails. She is also behind the Ginsburg Tapes, a podcast analyzing Justice Ginsburg’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the 1970s.

Esther Tetruashvily (ΦΒΚ, The College of New Jersey) is a Consular and Economic Officer for the U.S. Department of State doing tours in Guangzhou and Beijing, China, influencing U.S. and China’s economic diplomacy. She previously received a meritorious honor award for her work in promoting gender equality in Tajikistan.


Nabiha Saklayen (ΦΒΚ, Emory University) is a  physicist and cofounder of Cellino Biotech. The company utilizes lasers to modify stem cells in order to make it far more efficient to create the types of cells that are needed for new, innovative cell therapies.

Abdullah Feroze (ΦΒΚ, University of New Mexico) is a neurosurgical resident at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Feroze worked to pioneer the use of a monoclonal antibody vaccine (anti-CD47), designed to block the CD47 ‘don’t eat me’ signal that cancer cells are known to express. 


Sarah Kettler (ΦΒΚ, University of California-Berkeley) is a senior manager of marketing strategy at SeatGeek. Kettler has led sponsorship negotiations with several teams and also developed a marketing services group to share purchaser analytics with SeatGeek’s partners.


Sheldon Zhai (ΦΒΚ, University of Wisconsin at Madison) is the Founder of Supreme Optimization, a digital marketing agency that designs for the fields of life science, pharmaceuticals, and biotech. Some of the company’s clients include Illumina, Trovagene, and Curaleaf.


Arpoorv Bhargava (ΦΒΚ, Rice University) is the cofounder of Weave Grid, a company that aims to use AI to model and predict shifts in power demand, helping utilities deal with a looming surge in charging by electric vehicles. 

Daniel Kroupa (ΦΒΚ, Butler University) is an Innovation Research Fellow at the University of Washington. Kroupa is working to develop a new class of solar absorbers that could greatly increase the efficiency of solar panels and lower their costs.


Meagan Speight (ΦΒΚ, Spelman College) is an investment analyst at Empyrean Capital Partners. Speight specializes in consumer and healthcare deals.

Leah Cohen-Shohet (ΦΒΚ, Princeton University) is the Vice President and founding member of Symphony. Cohen-Shohet is responsible for growth and adoption at the fintech firm that offers secure messaging for its Wall Street clients. 


Lauren Steinberg (ΦΒΚ, University of Southern California) is the founder of Queen V, a wellness brand that strives to make feminine care accessible, easy, and stigma-free. Queen V is expected to generate $6 million in revenue this year.

Jenna Kerner (ΦΒΚ, Cornell University) is a cofounder of Harper Wilde, a bra brand that offers benefits like free at home try-ons. Kerner and her partner raised $3.6 million from backers.

Ramy Badie (ΦΒΚ, Johns Hopkins University) is the founder of TeeTurtle, a company that makes apparel, toys, and games featuring its own designs and licensed characters from Disney and Marvel. It is on track to generate more than $20 million in revenue this year.

Maria Markina (ΦΒΚ, Columbia University) is a cofounder of Athena Club, an organic tampon delivery startup. It also aims to empower women by destigmatizing periods through the Owl Periodical, its wellness blog.


Sami Ghoche (ΦΒΚ, Harvard College) is a cofounder of Forethought, an enterprise search company that has built a question-answering retrieval AI agent called Agatha Answers.

Amelia Friedman (ΦΒΚ, Brown University) is a cofounder of Hatch Apps. Hatch Apps is a platform that automates software development aiming to make it possible for anybody to design and launch a mobile app without coding.

Martin Hu (ΦΒΚ, Stanford University) is a cofounder of Prodigy, a platform that allows consumers to handle their entire car purchase from home. Prodigy’s software is projected to process more than $10 billion in car sales in 2019. 



Jackson Boyar (ΦΒΚ, Indiana University) and James Lu Morrissey (ΦΒΚ, Carleton College) are cofounders of Mentor Collective. They have developed alliances with 50 colleges and mentored 35,000-plus students resulting in an up to 9% increase in retention rates and 5x decreased likelihood of academic probation.

Sally Nuamah (ΦΒΚ, George Washington University) is a professor at Duke University. Nuamah, who is a first-generation Ghanaian-American, founded an organization that provides funding for low-income girls to become the first in their family to attend college.


Frances Schwiep (ΦΒΚ, Boston College) is a principal at Two Sigma Venture. Schwiep also worked for companies like MC 10, Highland Capital, and Comcast Ventures. Companies she’s worked with have gone on to raise more than $250 million in follow-on funding so far.

Astasia Myers (ΦΒΚ, Stanford University) is a principal at RedPoint Ventures. She previously assisted in deploying $100 million across startups at Cisco Investments. She helped Redpoint win several competitive fundraisers including for chaos engineering company Gremlin.

Thomas Krane (ΦΒΚ, University of Pennsylvania), Vice President at Insight Venture Partners, has worked on 16 new investments including those in cybersecurity, DevOps, IT/cloud automation, and education technology. He has deployed over $1 billion of growth capital for Insight. 


Caitlin Dickerson (ΦΒΚ, California State University-Long Beach) is a reporter with The New York Times. Dickerson is known for her in-depth coverage of deportation and detention policy and the status of separate migrant families.

Alexandra Ellerbeck (ΦΒΚ, Wesleyan University) is the North America Program Coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists. Ellerbeck launched the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a database documenting press freedom violations, last year. 


Chris Boyce (ΦΒΚ, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University. Utilizing an interdisciplinary and unconventional approach, Boych studies multiphase granular flows, a property of physics at work in natural disasters like mudslides and tsunamis.

Ava Carter (ΦΒΚ, Harvard College) is a graduate student at Stanford University. Carter studies the epigenome, the control switches that turn genes on and off during different points in an organism’s life. 

Scott Tan (ΦΒΚ, Pomona College) is a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tan’s goal is to build a brain-inspired computer system. So far, he has helped develop an artificial synapse made of single-crystalline materials.

William Tarpeh (ΦΒΚ, Stanford University) is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. Tarpeh is developing chemical reactions that recover the waste from wastewater and turn it into useful products.


Jennifer Xia (ΦΒΚ, Harvard University) is the co-founder of FreeWill, an online tool for leaving charitable bequests as part of a will. FreeWill raises more than $1 million daily and has raised more than $200 million in new commitments to nonprofit organizations since 2017.

For Phi Beta Kappa, the achievements of these members signal the power of the liberal arts to cultivate the talent and imagination that lead to innovation. Their notable early-career accomplishments—from advances in scientific research to groundbreaking journalism—show what a broad education and a commitment to excellence can make possible.

ΦΒΚ member Sarah Al-Arshani is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut where she majored in journalism and political science. The University of Connecticut is home to the Epsilon of Connecticut chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.