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D. C. Young Alumni Chapter Welcomes New Board Members

By Melissa Bevins '02

This spring, the D.C. Young Alumni Chapter welcomed several new members to its executive board. The board is currently comprised of 15 alumni from the classes of 2002-2011, and represents each school and college at American University. The new members join a group of hardworking, dedicated individuals, charged with creating alumni programming targeting graduates of the last ten years who live or work near Washington, D.C.

Ed Levandoski, SPA/BA ’11 serves as an associate case manager at Kroll Advisory Solutions. As a student, Ed served as comptroller of the AU Student Government and was active in the College Republicans, among other student groups.

Lin Li, Kogod/BSBA ’06 came to AU as an international student and enjoyed the opportunity to engage with fellow students who shared the same background. Lin says, “As the only Asian American board member, my goal is to promote diversity and inclusion and engage more Asian American students and alumni.”

Tara Shaughnessy, SPA/BA ’10 was born and raised in Atlanta. She transferred to American at the end of her freshman year and graduated with a major in political science and a minor in international affairs. Currently, Tara works as a legislative assistant to an Ohio Congressman.

Barak Sky, Kogod/BSBA ’09 was recruited to American University to play on the school’s Division I tennis team. Despite tennis being dropped from AU’s roster of Division I sports, Barak decided to remain at AU to finish his studies. He is now a realtor in Bethesda, Md.

John Sonsalla, SPA/BA ’11 was active in Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, serving as president during his senior year. John was also an active member of the SPA leadership program. He currently serves as a policy assistant in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the government relations group.

Jonelle Williams, SPA/BA ’09 was active in the African Students Association and the Black Students Association. He also is a co-founder of DC Today… DC Tomorrow, a student group that fosters leadership skills in D.C. inner-city youth. Now, Williams works as a paralegal at Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

In addition to the new faces on the board, Laura Matteo, CAS/BFA ’07, was elected to serve as the group’s new president. “I'm very excited to be a part of our Young Alumni Chapter board. I loved connecting with my fellow classmates across campus whether it was when I was working with the Student Union Board to set up concerts, being the coxswain of the men's crew team, or working with all of our student leaders as a part of the student activities staff. I'm currently working on main campus as part of the Housing & Dining Program staff, but I look forward to reconnecting with all of you in the D.C. area at our great events,” says Matteo.

The D.C. Young Alumni Chapter hosts several events throughout the year, including a series of networking luncheons around the city. The board accepts applications on an ongoing basis, and is always interested in ideas for future programming. For more information, please contact Melissa Bevins at