Logotype for NYU Alumni Changemakers in yellow and purple

True to its name, this program recognizes graduates who offer hope of a better future to vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underserved communities through their work. You and the Alumni Association Board of Directors select the nominees. Our Profiles section showcases five of these impressive individuals, and here we shine a spotlight on the others in this heroic cohort.

To find out more about these and past honorees, submit a nomination, and more, please visit the NYU Alumni Changemakers website.


Wemimo Abbey (WAG ’15) and Samir Goel (STERN ’16)
are the cofounders of Esusu, a financial equity platform that leverages technology to report automatically residents’ on-time rent payments to the three major credit bureaus. Tenants build and improve their credit score, which in turn enables them to qualify for lower interest rates on mortgages and a host of loans.

Wemimo Abbey  and Samir Goel stand side by side, with arms crossed, and smiling

Samir Goel (left) with Wemimo Abbey

Joan Furey (MEYERS ’76)
is a retired US Army nurse who established the Center for Women Veterans. She also won the Veterans Affairs Distinguished Career Award.

Joan Furey photo

Eric Goldstein  (LAW ’80)
is a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and spearheaded the nationwide public campaign to eliminate lead from gasoline.

Robert Lee photo

Eugene Kleiner (TANDON ’48, ’51, HON ’89) (1923–2003)
was an engineer and pioneering Silicon Valley venture capitalist whose firm helped get more than 300 tech companies funded.

Liz Fanning photo

Melissa Kushner (WAG ’06)
founded Yamba Malawi, which helps Malawian communities break the cycle of poverty through childhood well-being and financial management education.

Israel Rocha photo

Hinda Miller (TSOA ’76) and Polly Smith (TSOA ’75)
used the skills they honed as stage design students to invent the first sports bra—arguably changing the future of women’s athletics. Jogbra became a global, multibillion-dollar enterprise and an icon: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History acquired portions of the company’s sports bra–related archival materials.

Judith Haber photo

Hinda Miller

Judith Haber photo

Polly Smith

Maura O’Malley (WAG ’82)
cofounded Lifetime Arts, which helps older adults build communities, fight isolation, and—perhaps most importantly—express themselves through art.

Jasper Kane photo