Duke professor, alumni land spots on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Special to the Chronicle
Special to the Chronicle

The Forbes 30 Under 30 lists recognize 600 young innovators across 20 different industries, identifying business and industry leaders on the rise. 

This year, 14 individuals with ties to Duke found themselves on the lists, earning recognition for their work in areas ranging from environmental innovation to feats in medical developments. The Chronicle looked into what earned these 14 their places on the lists. 

Sally Nuamah, Education

As a first-generation Ghanaian-American, Sally Nuamah earned a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from George Washington University in 2011 and was named one of two Distinguished Scholars by GWU. 

She then went on to complete her Ph.D. in political science at Northwestern University and is now an assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and a Women and Public Policy fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Nuamah is the one Duke professor who made the Forbes lists this year.

“My brother Robert, who has been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, has always emphasized the importance of taking an entrepreneurial approach to everything that I do,” Nuamah wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “This award reflects a culmination of my various efforts to help disadvantaged young people attain a better life through education. I am honored to be selected and excited to keep doing this work!”

Abhishek Kumar, Education

Abhishek Kumar, Pratt '11, was named to the 2019 30 Under 30 list for co-founding PremedHQ along with Shad Chowdhury. The organization works to address barriers that members of minority groups face when pursuing a medical education by connecting potential B.S./M.D. college students from disadvantaged backgrounds with coaches from top-tier medical schools. It also offers free MCAT video lectures, test preparation and one-on-one mobile mentoring. 

Kumar graduated from Duke University with a triple major in biomedical engineering, chemistry and biology before attending medical school at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine.

Lakshya Madhok, Finance

Lakshya Madhok, Trinity '11, graduated from Duke with a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and economics before kick-starting his career at Morgan Stanley. On Forbes’ 2019 30 Under 30 list for finance, Madhok is recognized as a vice president on a structured credit team at Bain Capital Credit. 

Abdullah Feroze, Healthcare

Now a neurological surgery resident at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Abdullah Feroze completed a fellowship in the Global Health Fellows Program at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy before attending Stanford University School of Medicine. While at Stanford, Feroze helped initiate the use of a monoclonal antibody vaccine designed to block the CD47 cancer cell signal, which is critical to the disease’s advancement. The vaccine, anti-CD47, is now in clinical trials for leukemia subtypes and brain tumors. 

Megan O’Connor, Energy

Megan O’Connor is a chemist and environmental engineer who earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Union College before receiving her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2017. O’Connor is one of the co-founders and CEO of Nth Cycle, a company devising environmentally friendly techniques to recycle rare metals from discarded batteries and electronics.

Arsheen Allam, Energy

Arsheen Allam earned her Master of Business Administration from the Fuqua School of Business in 2018. Driven by prior visits to India and Pakistan, Allam sought to devise new methods to filter water and therefore established CNanoz, which develops nanotechnology-based carbon water filters. In 2015 she founded GOLeafe, a company working to produce graphene for supercapacitors with patent-pending technology which uses only organic materials. 

Stephanie Papes, Healthcare

Papes, Trinity '12, is recognized by Forbes for co-founding Boulder Care, a mobile platform designed in response to the opioid crisis. The platform’s goal is to make treatment for opiate use more widely available to the population, and has raised over $3.7 million from investors. Papes graduated from Duke University, double majoring in public policy and biology.

Lorin Crawford, Science

Now an assistant professor of biostatistics at Brown University, Lorin Crawford received his Ph.D. from the Duke University department of statistical science in 2017. Today, Crawford’s research is focused on building machine learning algorithms that help scientists understand interactions between genetic features, aiming to elucidate the nature of genetic disorders that currently confound doctors and researchers. 

Lauren Moxley, Law and Policy

When Microsoft took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the government’s attempt to gain access to customers’ emails, the company needed legal representation, and Lauren Moxley was up to the task. Recognized for her presentation and her work at Covington and Burling, Moxley is on the 30 Under 30 list. Graduating from Duke University in 2012 with a B.A. in public policy, Moxley completed her law degree at Harvard Law School. 

Now at Covington and Burling, she focuses on privacy, surveillance and cybersecurity. Moxley was also recognized for a podcast she will be launching in January called The Ginsburg Tapes.

"I'm honored to be included on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for law and policy—and to be among so many hardworking Duke alum," Moxley wrote in a email. "I'm also excited because the list is a terrific way for interested listeners to learn about my podcast, which is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s oral arguments in the Supreme Court in the 1970s—before she became #NotoriousRBG."

Rob Lehman, Consumer Technology

After short stints at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, Lehman got in on the ground floor of Compass, a real estate company valued at more than $4 billion. Five promotions later, Lehman, Trinity ‘11, now runs expansion, mergers and acquisitions, sales operations, new revenue and strategy. According to the Forbes biography, Lehman has driven Compass’ geographic expansion into more than 100 cities around the country.

Kyle Rand, Consumer Technology

When Rand, Trinity and Pratt '14, was at Duke, he studied memory decline in the elderly. After graduating with degrees in biomedical engineering and neuroscience, he founded Rendever, a company that created a virtual reality platform for residents in assisted living and senior care communities. According to the company’s website, the VR device allows seniors to relive the past by visiting their former homes or a favorite scene or create new memories by exploring different parts of the world.

Kim Shui, Art and Style

At Duke, Shui, Trinity '11, majored in economics and French. Almost a decade later, she’s a world-renowned fashion designer who has been featured in Vogue, Elle, The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, W, Interview and Vogue Italia. Two years ago, Kylie Jenner wore one of Shui’s signature pieces, a sheer lace bodysuit, at New York Fashion Week. Her other prominent clients include Cardi B, Solange Knowles, Olivia Palermo and Maye Musk.

Gautam Chebrolu, Social Entrepreneurs

Armed with two Pratt degrees, Chebrolu, Pratt '17, cofounded Pilleve with Yossuf Albanawi. Pilleve aims to tackle prescription drug abuse with its secure pill dispenser. Patients can input information about their pain, mood and side effects into an app and then, the pill dispenser will output the pills. If patients are taking more than is prescribed, the collected information is sent to providers.

Jack Davis, Hollywood and Entertainment

Davis, 27, is the founder and CEO of Crypt TV, a company focused on creating and distributing horror-themed digital content. Crypt TV uploads the content to Facebook and YouTube, where it has almost two million subscribers. At Duke, Davis was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and graduated in 2014 with a degree in sociology and a minor in political science.

Editor's note: This article was updated Wednesday to include Moxley's comments.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect that 14 former Duke students included in the Forbes list, including Chebrolu and Davis who were previously excluded. The Chronicle regrets the error.

Likhitha Butchireddygari

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Class of 2019

Editor-in-chief 2017-18, 

Local and national news department head 2016-17

Born in Hyderabad, India, Likhitha Butchireddygari moved to Baltimore at a young age. She is pursuing a Program II major entitled "Digital Democracy and Data" about the future of the American democracy.


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