Meet Our Alumni
Janet Rodriguez is a first-generation Dominican-American from New York City. In the summer of 2011, she made a career change from corporate to education to follow her passion. She is currently a College and Career Coordinator at the NYC Department of Education where she performs school and community outreach work related to alternative school programs that support students in meeting their education and career goals. Before joining the NYC Department of Education, Janet was a Tax Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in the Consumer, Industrial, and Products Services practice. While at PwC Janet actively participated in several initiatives including promoting PwC diversity programs, minority recruitment and charitable projects.
Janet is also a co-founder of M.O.V.E. Inc. College Preparatory Program which she co-founded as a Baruch College student in 2007. It's a non-profit organization that targets high potential, low-income public high school students to provide them with one-on-one mentoring amid high achieving young professionals, SAT prep and college immersion.
Janet is a graduate of CUNY Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business where she earned her BBA with a concentration in Accounting and a minor in Psychology and Law. While at Baruch College, Janet was an active leader and held many leadership roles within various organizations including ALPFA, the largest Latino association for business professionals and students and received numerous awards for her contribution to the Baruch College community. Upon graduation, she became a member of the ALPFA New York Student Programs Committee. She is currently the ALPFA New York Vice President of Student Development where she oversees and manages all the student chapters and student leader development in New York.
In 2008, Janet was named the ALPFA National Student of the Year and received the Baruch College SEEK Rita Leed Community Service Award. In 2011, she received the ALPFA National Most Promising Business Professional Award and also received the ALPFA Baruch College Member of the Decade Award. In 2012, she received the SEEK Alumni Recognition Award.
Janet considers herself an agent for social change and believes in providing infinite inspiration and opportunities to less privileged youth in urban communities and creating leaders.
Shazard Ali is currently an Assistant Vice President in the Corporate Tax Department at Sirius America Insurance Company, located in downtown Manhattan, New York City. He has been with the company for 2 and a half years. Shazard is also responsible for all corporate tax matters, both domestic and foreign within the Sirius International Parent Company Group, which consists of 30 to 40 entities. Since joining Sirius America, Shazard has used his experience with corporate tax compliance in preparing tax return forms 1120, 1120PC and consolidated tax returns. He has 6 years of ASC740 (formerly FAS 109) and statutory financial reporting experience. Some of his responsibilities include assisting with the completion of the consolidated GAAP financial statements, statutory quarterly/annual statements, IFRS & SEC 10K filings and global effective tax rate reconciliation. His background with investments has allowed him to work on discrepancies in investment accounts between GAAP, statutory and tax.
Prior to joining Sirius America, Shazard was a Manager within the Financial Service Office, Insurance Tax practice of Ernst & Young for 2 and a half years. At E&Y he worked on various clients and assignments including federal, state and international tax compliance, GAAP and tax financial reporting. He also worked on tax basis studies for MetLife, AIG, Morgan Stanley and Tower Insurance Group. Before joining Ernst & Young in August of 2008, Shazard was a Senior Tax Accountant with American International Group, Inc. During his 7 year career there, he was responsible for the preparation and review of both statutory and GAAP income tax provisions, completion and review of federal and state tax returns, Sarbanes Oxley 404 compliance and quarterly management testing. He furthermore spent time working on international tax compliance and financial reporting for foreign branches and subsidiary companies of AIG.
Shazard graduated from Pace University with his Masters of Science in Taxation (2006) and from Baruch College with his Bachelor’s of Business Administration, with a Major Concentration in Accountancy (2002). Shazard is currently an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.
Hortense Ford is a marketing extraordinaire, visionary with insatiable passion and dedication to help organizations and consumers succeed. She has gained industry experience in both private and public sector with such organizations as Key Media, USA Network, Research Foundation of CUNY, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pfizer, Hill Holiday and MRM Worldwide.
In 2004, Hortense channeled her expertise further in the telecommunications industry as a MARCOM consultant for Verizon Communications. She made significant contributions to tactical brand management for Multicultural, National and Regional markets, while receiving several accolades and rewards for company milestones achieved.
Today, Hortense serves on staff within the Verizon Enhanced Communities Downstate New York/North West division providing strategic leadership of FiOS product and services, promotions, sales initiatives and affinity partnerships to over 30,000 residential multi dwelling apartments. During Women’s History Month of 2013, Hortense was recognized by the Verizon WAVE Worldwide organization for her leadership, professionally and personally, and became the 2013 recipient of the “Who Inspires You?” Award for making an outstanding difference.
Outside of her professional accomplishments, Hortense continues to build a strong network by helping others succeed. She currently serves at her alma mater, Baruch College as President for the Baruch College Alumni Association. She provides career coaching to students in SEEK, Urban Male Leadership Academy and was recently inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society. In addition, Hortense serves on the Verizon WAVE NY/Northern NJ Board and is currently the Co-Director of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathemathics) affinity partnership program.
Hortense has a B.B.A. degree with dual concentration in Marketing and Advertising. She has pursued MBA Studies in Media Management and is currently enrolled at Benedictine University as a graduate student for a Master’s of Science in Leadership degree.
Joy Osemwenkhae is a Senior Accountant with Citi Private Equity Services. In her current role, she work on clients that includes Buyout Funds and Fund of Funds. She started her career in public accounting at Deloitte and ventured off into nonprofit at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Outside of work, Joy remains active with the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. and mentor students at Baruch College. She recently joined Citi Toastmasters, and developed an interest in helping those within her community. Joy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, fashion, basketball and Bikram Yoga.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, April Leong started her career in District 79 as an English teacher and family group advisor. As a young mother raised in poverty, April was determined not only to create a better life for her children but also believed what was god for her boys was good for everyone else’s children. During her teaching career at High School Redirection, Aril was awarded the Allan Houston My Teacher Is My Hero Award. While at High School Redirection, April was responsible for creating many innovative programs in youth development and community service. April credits her experience as a SEEK student in Baruch College for teaching her valuable lessons of being an underdog that was destined to win. Her support system at Baruch equipped April with the necessary foundation that enabled her to not just overcome her challenges and her tribulations but also helped to refine and define who she was and who she wanted to become. April learned invaluable leadership shills as she served on Student Government, the Security Board of Directors, the Day Care Board of Directors, the Student Affairs Board of Directors and the Retrenchment Committee.
April Leong was an integral member of the team who brought the nationally recognized Alternative H.S. Initiative, Diploma Plus to NYC. As an Assistant Principal, April successfully transformed two underperforming suspension sites and received awards of recognition for outstanding leadership from her staff, Principal and Superintendent. With a Bachelor’s degree from Baruch, Masters degrees from both College of St. Rose and Brooklyn College, she conceived, developed and opened her own alternative high school and is now the founding principal of Liberation Diploma Plus High School, where she continues to be a strong student advocate, educator, family and community supporter, and fearless leader. April Leong also completed her Cahn fellowship from Teacher’s College and is a proud Cahn Alum.