The 26 Most Impressive Students At Yale Right Now

Marina Horiates Yale

Yale is one of the best universities in the U.S. — if not the world.

Each year, it attracts top high school applicants, this year had a record-low acceptance rate of 6.7%.

As a result, Yale has some pretty remarkable students. We found 26 particularly impressive undergraduates at Yale.

They’re entrepreneurs, composers, athletes, scientists and writers who are making a difference in the world.

Jenny Bright is a Rhodes Scholar who was editor-in-chief of the Yale undergraduate Law Review.

Class of 2013

Bright is finishing her senior thesis on public-health initiatives under the Bloomberg administration, specifically critiquing the process of policy making behind the 2002 smoking restrictions, the 2008 trans-fat restriction, and the recent attempt to limit the portion size of soda.

She was editor-in-chief of the Yale undergraduate Law Review, and was President of the Urban Collective, a group of undergraduates who are interested in urban studies who come together to discuss topics relevant to cities.

In November, she was named a Rhodes Scholar and will pursue a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford next year.

She hopes that her studies in the U.K. will allow her to ground her interest in urban health in a public-policy foundation.

Eventually, she wants to attend law school.

Victoria Buhler ran Yale's Model United Nations team and is interested in international relations.

Class of 2013

Buhler works with Professors Robert Shiller and Mobel laureate George Akerlof as a research assistant for their upcoming behavioural economics book.

She ran Yale's Model United Nations team. They had an undefeated season including winning at the largest national competition.

She edited the Yale Economic Review, and used to teach international relations to local New Haven high school students.

Recently, one of her papers was used as the basis for David Brook's Op-Ed column in the New York Times.

Next year she will be studying international relations at Cambridge before returning to the Boston Consulting Group.

Kevin Daly recovered from a severe boating accident to become captain of the rugby team.

Class of 2014

During Daly's junior year of high school, he had a severe boating injury when his leg was run over by a propeller.

He was completely out of athletic activities for a while, but used rugby as a recovery method and a way to return to competitive sports. Eventually, he became captain of the Yale University Rugby Club.

Daly is also on the Model United Nations team, and won Best Delegate in the largest delegation at Nationals last year.

He is very involved with his fraternity, serving as social and rush chair.

Daly plans to write his senior essay on Irish ideas of sovereignty during the Euro Zone crisis.

Casper Alexander Daugaard has already started two companies and is about to launch his third.

Class of 2013

Daugaard took time off from Yale after his first year to found two companies, the risk management firm Daugaard Consult and Protein Power (now FitnessNord), a Scandinavian online retailer of nutritional supplements.

Back at Yale, he founded YaleCONNECT, a leadership program that teaches sophomores in the College to harness the power of mentors and relationships to achieve their goals.

He's about to launch his next startup, Identi, an entertainment company that will allow users to identify and purchase any products (like clothing) worn or used by characters on their favourite TV shows.

Daugaard has completed two Ironman triathlons, enjoys cage-diving with great white sharks, is writing a mystery novel, and was voted one of Yale's most beautiful people last year.

He speaks English, Danish, French, and German.

Diana Enriquez wants to build sustainable development in under-resourced areas.

Class of 2013

Enriquez spent last summer doing fieldwork for her thesis in Bogota and Medellin, Colombia. She also conducted research on informal economic growth in India's largest slum.

She has since worked on smaller research projects on the U.S.-Mexico border for a think tank based in Bogota called Scientific Vortex Inc.

During her sophomore year, she started and directed a conference for Latino student activists across the East Coast under the theme of 'Arts and Activism.'

Enriquez is also the founder and curator of TEDxYale and presented at TEDActive 2012 on the best practices for a new university level TEDx. She continues to consult new TEDx groups with their projects.

Aaron Feuer founded a company that is making a difference in education.

Class of 2013

For three years, Feuer helped lead Community Health Educators, an organisation of 150 Yale students, who teach health and sex ed classes in most of New Haven's 45 public schools.

Last year he founded Panorama Education, a technology startup that serves k-12 schools. The startup helps schools use data to tackle big issues such as drop-outs, bullying, safety, and teacher training. They are already working with 950 schools across seven states.

As CEO, he leads a team of 10 students who work full-time in addition to classes, and they are continuing full-time after graduation.

Class of 2016

Gangwar is passionate about electronics. When his grandmother lost her vision, he decided to use his love of electronics to help her.

So he designed the 'Smart Stick,' an infrared-based path guidance system for the visually impaired.

This invention earned him the CSIR Diamond Jubilee invention award, India's highest invention award for school children.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, applauded the invention and encouraged him to work towards applying technology to help improve lives.

Gangwar also designed 'i-Mat,' a pressure-sensitive mat for preventing bedsores in bedridden people. He has filed patent applications for both inventions.

He went to high school in New Delhi, India, where he edited the science magazine, played varsity soccer, and directed the electronics club.

At Yale, he is involved with the Yale Leadership Institute, the Yale Student Investment Group, and the Yale Cricket Team.

Jeremy Goldstein is a leader on and off campus.

Class of 2014

Goldstein is Head Director of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program, a leadership development organisation, at Yale.

The program was defunct when he arrived, but with the help of two other freshmen, they turned it into one of the largest student organisations at Yale.

The organisation just hosted 12 schools, including Harvard, Princeton, West Point, and the U.S. Naval Academy for the Perspectives on Leadership Conference.

He also founded and is running a pet insurance company.

This past summer, Goldstein successfully started up and managed the entire Midwest expansion of Gotham Dream Cars' (an exotic car rental company) 'Dream Car Sprint.' Over the course of 10 weeks of working, his project earned over $300,000 in revenue and Gotham has expanded to five more states.

Marina Horiates survived childhood leukemia and now conducts research on oncology.

Class of 2015

Horiates had leukemia as a child and has been fascinated with oncology ever since.

She has done research on radiation treatment for breast cancer (partial breast irradiation).

Before heading to Cambridge for a study abroad program this summer, she will be working at a hospital in Dallas on a project looking at new vaccine-type treatments for breast cancer.

Horiates is also the co-chair for the Yale Relay for Life Team Development and Recruitment Committee, and volunteers in the pediatric oncology wing at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Additionally, she has acted in 10 shows at Yale, and 35 since the beginning of high school.

She has been on a mission to Mexico and is planning another one, and she hopes to blend her medical career with missionary work later in life.

Philip Jameson is a composer of classical music.

Class of 2016

Three of Jameson's orchestral works have been performed by the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia, in the City Recital Hall of Sydney, and the Sydney Youth Orchestra will be premiering a new orchestral suite in August.

He also writes chamber music, and his brass quintet 'The Collatz Variations' recently won third prize in the Franz Schubert Conservatory's International Composition Competition.

Currently, he is writing the words and music for a children's opera, to be performed in 2014 by 500 children under the age of 12.

After that, he will be writing another orchestral work and a string quartet, both commissioned by large Australian organisations.

When he is not composing, Jameson enjoys reading and studying Greek and Roman literature, particularly Homer.

Courtney Kaplan has worked to improve business conditions in the developing world.

Class of 2013

Kaplan spent time in Honduras during her sophomore year teaching personal finance and basic business skills.

Last summer, she worked with a social enterprise called Farm Shop in Kenya that hopes to improve access to quality agricultural inputs for the nation's farmers.

Kaplan also spent a summer in Spain, researching the Spanish government's relationship with the solar industry and writing a case study for the I.E. Business School.

At Yale, she served as Vice President of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, wrote for Business Sphere magazine about energy, taught health education classes with Community Health Educators, and worked Tuesday nights as a burger flipper on campus.

She will be working at McKinsey next year.

Kenta Koga started a think tank and is a professional magician.

Class of 2014

Koga is from Tokyo, and during freshman and sophomore year he created a web platform for a virtual tutoring service that connected Japanese high school students with Ivy League students.

That experience led him to start GAKKO, an educational think tank that designs summer camps in Japan, at the end of his sophomore year.

He has raised over $220,000 and plans to expand to Europe and Southeast Asia.

Koga has practiced Karate and kick boxing for 10 years and is currently part of the Yale Kick Boxing club.

He is also a professional close-up magician and he performs at private parties around the world.

Brandon Levin is a student leader who is dedicated to public service.

Class of 2014

Levin was student body president junior year, student body treasurer sophomore year and freshman class president.

He worked with the Yale Alumni Association and the President's office to found Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY).

He also negotiated a partnership with the Jefferson Awards for Public service, to create the Yale-Jefferson Public Service Award.

Levin won the Liman Fellowship for Public Interest Law from the Yale Law School, and worked for Newark Mayor Corey Booker. He has continued to work remotely for the Mayor's Chief Policy Advisor.

He has also played Tony in West Side Story, and is a tour guide.

Levin is currently taking a year off to sing and travel with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, a campus a capella group that recently appeared on NBC's 'The Sing-Off.'

Brooke Levin helped free a wrongly convicted man after serving 17 years in prison.

Class of 2016

Levin is a tour guide, a member of the sketch comedy group Red Hot Poker, and a member of the Freshmen Class Council.

She also serves on two committees: the Alcohol Advisory Board and the Students and Alumni at Yale (STAY).

As an intern for a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School, Levin worked with the Northern California Innocence Project. With her help, a man was released after serving 17 years for a murder that he did not commit.

She loves sports and plays on the Yale Women's Club Basketball Team. She also has a second degree black belt in mixed martial arts.

Levin has music interests as well, playing both the alto saxophone and piano.

She works in the Social Cognitive Development Lab and hopes to pursue research that will allow her to combine her passion for music, love of children, and interest in cognitive function.

Diana Li was the top ranked freshman debater at last year's nationals.

Class of 2015

Li writes for the Yale Daily News and has covered everything from the Newtown shooting to Obama's second election. She also covers New Haven City Hall.

Li is a member of the Yale Debate Association, which is the top-ranked team in the nation. At last year's nationals, she placed as the top freshman in the country, and currently as a sophomore, she is 11th in the nation of all parliamentary college debaters.

Additionally, she is working for two great economists, Robert Shiller and Nobel Prize-winning George Akerlof, helping them research and write their next book.

Li once spent two months living in a tent in the woods without Internet or a phone.

She will be one of the only sophomores interning for the Blackstone Group this summer.

Cristo Liautaud wants to create direct links between leaders and young people on policy issues.

Class of 2014

Liautaud was born in Paris but lived in London for the past 10 years.

At age 14, he founded the Eton International Forum, which brought hundreds of students from different educational, national, and religious backgrounds in the same room as ambassadors, media heads, military commanders, and political and business leaders such as the Head of the African Union and the Chairman of BP and Goldman Sachs International.

At Yale, he has worked to expand this into a new global project, called The New Discussion.

Cristo currently sits on Yale's Provost/President-elect Undergraduate Advisory Council.

This summer he plans to travel from the Middle East to the Far East on a research project for Yale's Grand Strategy program.

Paul Lorem is an orphan from South Sudan who want to help rebuild his country after graduation.

Class of 2015

The South Sudanese village Lorem grew up in had no electricity, and he almost died of tuberculosis as a young child.

The country was also in the middle of a civil war so his parents dropped him off at a refugee camp in Kenya, but they died after returning to their village.

The boys who raised Lorem forced him to go to school, but he didn't own any supplies, so he practiced writing in the dust.

He transferred to a different school for seventh and eighth grades, so he could take regional exams that would allow him to go to high school, except some of the exam was in Swahili, a language he did not know.

Nevertheless, he got the second-highest grade in the region and got a scholarship to a boarding school. He later went to the African Leadership Academy, which focuses on entrepreneurial leadership.

He plans to return to South Sudan after graduation to help rebuild his country, according to a New York Times column about Lorem by Nicholas Kristof.

English is his fifth language.

Now, he is trying to succeed at Yale, and English is his fifth language.

Jimmy Murphy was accepted to medical school his sophomore year.

Class of 2013

Murphy was accepted to medical school his sophomore year through the Humanities and Medicine Program, and to the Yale School of Public Health as a junior through a combined BA/MPH program.

He was invited to speak in Tokyo about sustainability at American universities.

Murphy has also led several sustainability initiatives at Yale. As a leader of the Student Sustainability Group, he helped quantify the amount of food waste produced by using trays in the dining halls, which influenced student habits.

As part of the Freshman Outdoor Orientation trips, he led a team that prepared food for over 50 backpacking trips.

This summer, Murphy will be working for the World Health organisation in their Emergency and Essential Surgical Care division.

Mackenzie Naert has a ton of global health experience and has already been accepted to medical school—as a sophomore.

Class of 2015

Naert took a gap year between high school and college and spent three months at the World Scouting centre in Switzerland where she worked to promote the Millennium Development Goals, a set of antipoverty goals by the United Nations.

She also worked for a month on an organic farm in Switzerland through the organisation WWOOF.

As a sophomore, she has already been accepted into medical school through the Mount Sinai Humanities and Medicine program.

Since getting to Yale, Naert has been on the board for Community Health Educators, an organisation providing the only form of health education to New Haven students. She is responsible for preventative education on substance abuse, reaching 1,000 students annually.

She recently got back from a two-week medical mission trip to Panama to work with the organisation Floating Doctors.

This summer, Naert will spend half her time in New Haven and half in Guatemala, working at a health clinic and reforming the local health education curriculum.

Vinay Nayak worked for the Obama campaign in the last two presidential elections, using social media to help influence politics.

Class of 2014

At age 15, Nayak helped organise Illinois high school students for Obama during the 2008 Presidential Election.

During the 2012 Presidential Election, he again worked for Obama's campaign, this time as a Digital Constituency Manager in the Chicago headquarters, rallying the youth vote online.

In D.C., Nayak also helped manage online communications in the effort to end the Bush tax cuts and avert the fiscal cliff.

Recently, he started working on social media for Sandy Hook Promise, an organisation started by the parents of children who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

He is a former National Speech and Debate Oratory Champion and captain of the National High School Mock Trial runner up team. Currently, he is captain of the Yale Mock Trial Team that will be at that national championship this month. Nayak won Yale's Buck-Jackson prize for best public speech by a sophomore.

He also ran for public office as New Haven alderman. He lost the election, but finished with 43% of the vote.

Omar Njie is influencing public health policies around the world.

Class of 2013

As a freshman, Njie was awarded funding from Yale to intern at the Swaziland Ministry of Health, where he participated in the development of a five-year plan adopted by the government to market health resources to public sector employees.

He was accepted into both the selective Global Affairs major and Yale's Global Health Fellows Program.

Furthermore, he will receive both a bachelor's and master's degree in public health before graduating, after which he will attend Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Humanities and Medicine program.

Njie was also elected Vice President of the Yale College Council, Yale's undergraduate student council.

Cody Pomeranz is a chess champ who hopes to be a presidential speechwriter.

Class of 2015

Pomeranz and two of his brothers started the Queen City Classic Chess Tournament, one of the largest scholastic chess tournaments in the Midwest.

He also won the student TEDxYale competition speaking on the topic.

Pomeranz has his own biweekly video interview segment on YTV, Yale's broadcast television station. It is called 'Everybody Has a Story.'

He contributes to The Huffington Post, writing mostly political articles, and he worked on the Obama campaign last summer, mostly doing speechwriting work.

Pomeranz is also a member of a program that tutors youth who are in prison. He does stand up comedy in his free time.

Meredith Potter has written reports that were included in briefs for President Obama and Secretary Panetta.

Class of 2013

Potter interned with the Department of defence's counter-terrorism task force, where she wrote reports that were included in briefs that made it to Secretary of defence Leon Panetta and President Obama.

Her thesis analyses the ethical and strategic dimensions of targeted killing.

She's a talented writer who has written articles for The Politic, Yale's undergraduate politics journal.

She is also the founder of the Yale chapter of Wishing Well: Water for the World, a student group that installs filtration wells in developing countries.

Potter is a member of Yale's debate team and directed Yale's annual tournament for high school students. She was also President of the Urban Debate League, which coaches local high school students in debating.

She plans to dedicate her career to government service.

Noah Remnick was elected Editor-in-Chief of two publications at Yale at the end of his freshman year.

Class of 2015

As a freshman, Remnick joined both The Politic, Yale's undergraduate political journal, and The Yale Historical Review. He was elected Editor-in-Chief of both at the end of the year.

For The Politic, he started a speaker series on campus, which hosted Salman Rushdie and Malcolm Gladwell, among others.

The summer after freshman year, Remnick worked as an intern for the Obama re-election headquarters in Chicago, where he was eventually hired as a paid staffer. He decided to take his fall semester off to continue working for Obama, but he continued to edit the Yale publications while in Chicago.

When he returned from the campaign, he worked for a not-for-profit called ReadWorks, which provides teachers with free tools that help schools with little resources.

This summer he will be working in D.C. for West Wing Writers, a speechwriting firm started by former Clinton White House speechwriters.

Blake Smith has done extraordinary cancer research.

Class of 2016

Smith has worked in cell biology labs since he was 16, first at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and now at Yale Medical School.

As a high school junior, he won first place in the category of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his research on a type of molecule that could help in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Over the course of two summers and almost 2,000 hours, Smith worked with another high school student on a project that inhibited two highly-activated pathways in the most common form of lung cancer. They created drugs that showed a response to a resistant form of lung cancer in mice, with minimal side effects.

He later published an article on his research, which was the first literature published on the topic in a scientific journal. This research earned 4th place at the Siemens Competition.

Smith is a writer for the Yale Scientific Magazine and is heavily involved in the various Model United Nations organisations on campus.

He hopes to pursue a MD/PhD joint degree, work as a medical oncologist, and continue his research on lung cancer throughout the way.

Joseph Yagoda is devoted to improving health policy.

Class of 2014

Yagoda coordinated a group of 12 student health educators to teach two workshops to hundreds of New Haven public high school students.

As a Zigler Fellow, he met with policymakers in Washington, D.C., to generate new ways for how research can influence the public sphere.

Yagoda was recently selected to travel to China and India with two Yale professors to conduct research on how industry and culture influence urbanization and the environment.

As Treasurer of the Yale College Council, he expanded gender-neutral housing to over 1,300 more students.

In the fall he won $9,300 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

This summer, Yagoda will be a Summer Business Analyst at McKinsey, and in the future he hopes to apply strategic analysis to health systems and policy.

Yale's students are pretty impressive, but how do they compare to the students at Harvard?

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