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Meet the 2024-25 Cohort

Introducing the newest cohort of Barack Obama Scholars at Occidental College.


Sehan Adan headshot

Sehan Adan ’25, a biochemistry major and transfer student from Augsburg University in Minnesota, is committed to rectifying the historical injustices of slavery and discrimination through health equity initiatives as a physician-scientist. Sehan has engaged in multiple initiatives to promote the health outcomes of communities of color and has participated in various research programs, including at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. At Occidental, she works with the biology department as a Biology Equity and Action Representative, with Oxy’s Neighborhood Partnership Program as a college ambassador, and serves as president of the Student Health Equity Initiative.  


Raymond Arias headshot

Raymond Arias ’26 is a pre-law economics major originally from La Habra, California, and more recently from Tualatin, Oregon. As a first-generation Mexican American and college student, he is passionate about economic inequality and studying how policy and law can be used to counteract its effect on society's most vulnerable populations. Raymond has interned at the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. At Occidental, he works as an economics research assistant under Assistant Professor of Economics Jorgen Harris, studying the various aspects of the US legal and criminal justice system within an economics context. He also serves as the co-president of the Occidental College Law Society, acts as a consultant for the Occidental Consulting Group, and is a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. After graduating, Raymond plans to attend law school to further research links between law and economics.


Aminah Gassama headshot

Aminah Gassama ’25, a first-generation transfer student, plans to graduate with a degree in critical theory and social justice and a double minor in Black studies and media, arts, and culture. Drawing inspiration from her Gambian heritage and upbringing in Atlanta, Georgia, she is passionate about community organizing through decolonized storytelling. On campus, Aminah serves as historian for the African Students Association, editorial board member for the Critical Theory and Social Justice Journal of Undergraduate Research, newsletter editor for The Occidental student newspaper, and vice president of the Transfer Students Union. Off-campus, she collaborates with the UndocuBlack Network's narrative and media team, providing support to both current and former undocumented Black communities. She aspires to pursue a master's in visual anthropology to create multimedia projects spanning anthologies and experimental textbooks to television series and documentaries.


Cecilia Grane headshot

Cecilia Grané ’26 is a politics major and public health minor from Pasadena, CA. Committed to making a difference through social justice policy and community organizing, she interned with Pasadena City Council, where she presented her research findings on public-private partnerships and made recommendations for the development of a local space to provide housing and health services. She is passionate about her involvement in the Oxy community, including being an active member in the Latine Student Union and serving as the Associated Students of Occidental College’s Senate Chair. As an intern at the Collective for Liberatory Lawyering, she is currently working to develop a guide for public school families and caregivers to know their rights regarding student discipline. After graduating from Oxy, she plans to study law and explore avenues in movement lawyering. 


Owen Lee headshot

Owen Lee ’26, from Edmonds, Washington, is an American studies major and an urban and environmental policy minor. As chair of the Edmonds Youth Commission and a member of the 2021–22 Bezos Scholars cohort, Owen sought to give back to their community and enact mutual aid infrastructure and a broader culture of reciprocity in the city of Edmonds. These experiences directly inform their community-building and anti-gentrification efforts as the Community Liaison of the Diversity and Equity Board at Occidental, as well as their interest in regenerative agriculture. Owen hopes to facilitate community-based initiatives that promote environmental justice, community sovereignty, and reciprocal interdependence.


Liliana Madrid-Larranaga headshot

Liliana Madrid Larrañaga ’26 is a biochemistry major and public health minor on the pre-med track from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a woman of color with profound hearing loss, she is passionate about improving health equity and strives to provide for those underrepresented in health care. She has worked closely with New Mexico School-Based Health Centers, her district health council, and the University of New Mexico Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to investigate and address barriers to accessing health care. At Oxy, Liliana has interned with Essential Access Health, where she was certified as a family planning health worker, providing equitable reproductive health care to her community. On campus, she is a peer health educator with Emmons Wellness Center, a residential advisor, and president of Newman Catholic Community. She plans to pursue a career in rural New Mexico, specifically providing prenatal and postnatal care to women of color.


Jhozibel Medina-Gonzalez

Jhozibel Medina Gonzalez ’26 is an economics major and critical theory and social justice minor from Los Angeles. Having grown up in a predominantly immigrant working-class community, she is committed to making legal aid and resources accessible to undocumented immigrants. As an intern at CHIRLA, Jhozibel assisted the legal staff in translating evidentiary documents and client-attorney meetings, where she witnessed the difficulties of navigating the legal system with a language barrier in place. On campus, she is a language tutor for Comparte and an administrative coordinator for the Neighborhood Partnership Program. Jhozibel plans to attend law school and become a legal resource and political advocate for the undocumented immigrant community.


Tram Nguyen headshot

Tram Nguyen ’26, from New Orleans, Louisiana, is an urban and environmental policy major with a double minor in public health and education. Guided by her community’s experiences navigating the challenges of the post-Hurricane Katrina public school system, she is deeply committed to fostering equity and justice within the education system. In high school, she worked with young children as an ESL tutor, emphasizing the importance of literacy and language skills in empowering underserved communities. As an intern at CANext, she worked to foster supportive networks for recent high school graduates to ensure they had equitable access to essential resources and opportunities. On campus, she is an office assistant for the Office of the President. Tram aims to drive impactful policy initiatives that promote equity and access for students in underinvested areas. 


July Paw headshot

July Paw ’26, a biology major, is a refugee from Myanmar who grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is now a first-generation college student at Occidental. July has participated in social justice organizations such as Voces de la Frontera, Youth Empowered in the Struggle, and Alliance for the Climate Emergency. Currently, she is an executive board member of the Sustainable Oxy Citizens Club. After graduation, July plans to earn a master's through a physician assistant program and pursue a career in health care. 

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