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About Us

College Democrats of New York is the official college outreach wing of the New York State Democratic party. As an affiliate of College Democrats of America, our goal is to empower young progressives one student at a time. We are committed to electing strong progressive Democrats in the state of New York and across the country.

Colin Crowley
Syracuse University

Colin Crowley is entering his final year at Syracuse University, majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. His previous experience with the College Democrats includes serving as the Political Director for CDNY and as chapter President at SU.

Having worked on behalf of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman Dan Maffei, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and a variety of campaigns in Upstate New York, he understands what it means to be a young operative and what students need to be successful.

Colin enjoys reading everything he can, musing about the nature of the universe, and celebrating any holiday which provides an excuse to wear a costume.

Donya Nasser
Vice President
St. John's University

Donya Nasser is a junior at St. John’s University, where she is majoring in Government and Politics and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, Public Address, and Public Service. She currently serves as the Vice President for the St. John’s University College Democrats Chapter and Vice Chair of the College Democrats of America Women’s Caucus.

A first generation American and college student, Donya understands diversity and the importance of advocacy for minority groups. An Orlando native, she found her love for politics while in high school and campaigning for the 2010 Governor’s seat. She has since volunteered on many different races and issue campaigns, including the 2012 Presidential race. Donya is currently a YP4 Fellow and an intern for Ruth’s List Florida, the Florida Democratic Party, and Senator Bill Nelson. Her passion lies in gender equality and women’s rights. She hopes to help more women get elected before possibly starting a race of her own.

Luis Quinones
Political Director
St. John's University

Luis Quinones is a junior at St. John's University, majoring in Government and Politics. He is currently the president of the St. John's College Democrats, while previously serving CDNY as Membership Director.

Coming all the way from the far away lands of the Midwest, Luis has been enthralled in politics ever since seeing the very first Obama/Biden rally in '08. Through working for the State Treasurer of Missouri and a City Council race in NYC, he has worked to ensure that true liberal Democrats get elected to office.

In his limited free time, Luis likes to watch episodes of Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and the West Wing as ways of expanding his political philosophy.

Sarah Ben-Moussa
Stony Brook University

Sarah Ben-Moussa is a senior at Stony Brook University majoring in political science with a minor in writing. A native of Long Beach, New York, Sarah has volunteered in various local and congressional campaigns on Long Island. In addition to serving as secretary of CDNY, she has also served as Media/Communications officer of the Stony Brook College Democrats and will continue to serve this year as treasurer.

In her spare time, Sarah serves as president of the Stony Brook Vocalists, a co ed acappella group on campus as well as pursuing her love of traveling, writing, and painting.

Rachel Clark
Communications Director
Stony Brook University

Rachel Clark is a senior in the Honors College at Stony Brook University, majoring in political science. In addition to serving as CDNY Communications Director, she is the president of the Stony Brook College Democrats and has previously served as CDNY’s Long Island Region Chair.

Originally from Oswego, New York, Rachel has interned for Congressman Bill Owens, completed a field fellowship with Congressman Tim Bishop's 2012 campaign, and volunteered for campaigns locally, nationally, and internationally. Most recently, her passion for women’s issues led her to an internship with the government relations department at Planned Parenthood’s DC headquarters.

In her spare time, Rachel enjoys traveling (mostly so that she can unlock new Foursquare city badges) and constantly refreshing her Twitter feed. She also enjoys marathoning The West Wing on Netflix and rationalizing this as “research” that allows her to better serve CDNY by emulating CJ Cregg and Toby Ziegler.

Haris Alic
Finance Director
University at Albany

Haris Alic is a sophomore at the University at Albany double majoring in public policy and urban planning. In addition to serving as this year’s Finance Director, Haris is also the treasurer of the College Democrats of UAlbany.

Originally inspired to get involved in politics by Barack Obama’s historic 2008 election Haris hasn’t been drawn away since. Having participated in a congressional campaign, a state senate race and now a mayoral campaign he has developed an endearing love for local politics.

In his free time Haris enjoys running, hiking and hopefully watching UAlbany take home the America East conference title in 2014.

Jamie Zieno
Development Director
University at Albany

Jamie Zieno is a sophomore at the University at Albany studying political science. He currently serves as Development Director for CDNY and President of the UAlbany College Democrats, being the youngest President ever elected. Jamie has been involved in politics since 5th grade, and eventually helped create the New York State High School Democrats. Most recently, Jamie has gained political experience as campaign manager for a county judicial candidate, intern for Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20), and summer assistant at the Chenango County Clerk’s office.

Jamie was raised in Chenango County and graduated from Norwich High School. In his junior year, he was elected Student Body President and became an advocate for education reform. He was appointed by Mayor Joseph Mauirano as a member of the City of Norwich Youth Bureau in December 2011. In July 2012, Jamie testified at the Governor’s education reform commission. Additionally, he attended Dell’s ‘Student Voice’ symposium in April 2013 where he discussed the unique challenges of rural school districts with education reform leaders from across the United States.

Ben Lavender
Membership Director
Stony Brook University

Ben Lavender is a senior at Stony Brook University, majoring in political science. Originally a computer science major, he made the decision to pursue his passion as a career after the Occupy Wall Street protests. He joined the Stony Brook College Democrats in sophomore year. He interned for Organizing for America and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), working in both her Long Island and D.C. offices. He's a proud Wobbly and political activist, organizing and participating in various rallies across New York. In his free time, he enjoys reading and watching German soccer.

Katherine Santana
NYC Region Chair
St. John's University

Katherine Santana is currently a sophomore at St. John’s University, where she is majoring in Speech Pathology/Audiology with minors in Government & Politics and French. A native of Bayside, New York, Katherine has volunteered in several local and congressional campaigns in Queens, NY. She currently serves as the Membership Director for the St. John’s University College Democrats Chapter.

Her love of politics dates back to riveting political discussions during her AP Government & Politics course and volunteering for local elections. During her first year, Katherine volunteered with President Obama's 2012 campaign, and was actively involved in politics in the NYC Region. She loves spending her spare time volunteering at Ozanam Hall Nursing Home, helping elderly residents communicate their treasured life stories, babysitting her adorable yet rambunctious siblings, and catching up on missed episodes of “New Girl” and “SNL”.

She hopes to be able to spread her infinite passion for politics, equality, and kindness; locally, nationally, and perhaps globally.

Kevin Gomez
Long Island Region Chair
Stony Brook University

Kevin Gomez is a Junior at Stony Brook University. He is majoring in biology with a minor in political science. Along with serving as the Long Island Region Chair for the College Democrats of New York, Kevin also is the Vice President for Stony Brook College Democrats. Kevin grew up in a Long Island suburb, which is where he learned that people's inactivity in government could have serious consequences. In his free time he likes spend time with friends and discuss his policy interests that include foreign policy as well as equality within the United States, specifically concerning gay rights.

Marty Ascher
Hudson Valley Region Chair
Vassar College

Marty Ascher is a rising sophomore at Vassar College where he is studying political science and history. He has previously interned the the office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey, and has volunteered for various campaigns during the 2012 election. Besides politics, Marty has a passion for rock music and plays the guitar.

Christian Chowdhruy
Capital Region Chair
University at Albany

Christian Chowdhruy was born and raised in Bronx, NY. After graduating from Bronx Leadership Academy, Christian moved to Albany in the fall of 2012 to attend the University at Albany, where he is currently a sophomore majoring in both biology and political science, while minoring in math and Spanish. Since May 2013, this young student has been the Vice President of the UAlbany College Democrats chapter.

During his first year Christian aided in the efforts of major congressional campaigns throughout New York State, volunteered with President Obama's 2012 campaign, and was actively involved in politics in the Capital Region. As field organizer for Democratic candidate for mayor of Albany Kathy Sheehan, Christian excelled in recruiting and organizing. While in the Bronx he helped on both a council race and New York City mayor race. Christian’s future goal is to become a medical doctor.

Anthony Rini
Central New York Region Chair
Syracuse University

Anthony Rini is a Junior, International Relations major as well as a Middle Eastern Studies and Economics minor at Syracuse University. He joined the College Democrats of Syracuse in the first month of Freshman year and now serves as the communications director, as well as being the treasurer of the Syracuse debate team. Anthony is currently the Central New York Region chair for CDNY

Anthony has volunteered for the Obama campaign and has been an intern for Dan Maffei's successful election campaign in 2012 and Kathy Sheehan's campaign for mayor of Albany, as well as helping with Darius Shahinfar's campaign for Albany City Treasurer.

When not working on campaigns, Anthony's hobbies include: debate, every sport on ESPN, and anything to do with The Lord of the Rings.

Kathleen Bitter
Finger Lakes Region Chair
Cornell University

Kathleen Bitter is a sophomore majoring in Biology at Cornell University. She is currently serving as the Director of IT and New Media for the Cornell College Democrats.

Kathleen was raised on a goat farm in Skaneateles, New York to a couple of agriculture-loving democrats. She has been following politics since the 2004 elections and became especially passionate about the Democratic party during the 2008 presidential election. She looks forward to working with fellow New York State Democrats to help make this year's elections a success for the Democratic Party.