New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars

The New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program represents a unique partnership between Barnard College and Bridgewater Associates. The objective of the program is to advance women, and in particular individuals from communities that have been underrepresented in financial services, computer science, STEM, and other fields. New Pathways provides four years of funding and support for students to pursue research, internships, and mentorship/training in a cohort of exceptional future leaders.

Meet the Current New Pathways Scholars

Jizal Aboneaaj '25 (she/her)

Jizal Aboneaaj grew up between Atlanta, Georgia and Nazareth. She has an interest in behavioral economics and ESG and plans to do research with Professor Homa Zarghamee this coming fall. In the meantime, she is serving as president of Columbia's BlackGen Capital chapter and participating in the Girls Who Invest Summer Intensive Program. Additionally, Jizal will be interning in the Real Assets division of the MacArthur Foundation as well as continuing to be a personal trainer throughout the summer.

Camila Fernandez '25 (she/her)

Camila Fernandez is a sophomore at Barnard College studying Economics with a minor in Psychology. She was born and raised in Venezuela. This summer she is interning at American Express as a Finance intern in Financial Planning and Analysis. Next fall, she will be researching with Prof. Zarghamee, through the Bridgewater program, exploring the intersection of Economics and Psychology. In campus, she is on the board of Columbia Women’s Business Society and BlackGen Capital. Outside of school she loves to exercise and cook! 

Michelle Zhou '26 (she/her)

Michelle is from Los Angeles, California majoring in computer science. She has multiple interests spanning from how environmental sustainability can be applied to different industries like the financial services industry to how to make data more private. She has done multiple programs and clubs like the Goldman Sachs Possibilities Summit, the West Monroe Journey Program, and the Global Research and Consulting Club to learn more about consulting and finance. Michelle is also in Columbia University’s Cybersecurity Club which focuses on teaching cybersecurity methods and attending CTF competitions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends and family.

Tobechi Onwuka '26 (she/her)

Tobechi Onwuka is a Barnard College student from Haverhill, Massachusetts who plans to major in Computer Science! She cares about social issues such as accessible education, bias in artificial intelligence, and representation in the technology industry and hopes to base her studies around these topics!

Syna Sachdeva '26 (she/her)

Born and raised in Ambala, India, Syna is majoring in Computer Science at Barnard College. With a passion for computer science and a keen interest in behavioral economics, she strives to bridge the gap between these two disciplines. Syna's research areas of interest lie in exploring the intersection of human behavior and technology, specifically focusing on the application of behavioral economics principles in designing effective nudges. Her research paper on nudge theory demonstrates her ability to critically analyze complex concepts and propose innovative solutions. Syna's work highlights her commitment to understanding human decision-making processes and using this knowledge to create a positive societal impact. Beyond her academic pursuits, Syna is a vocal advocate for gender equality in STEM fields. She actively works towards integrating more women into STEM courses and closing the gender gap.  Looking ahead, Syna envisions herself in a fulfilling career where she can combine her expertise in computer science and behavioral economics. Her long-term goal is to contribute to the development of user-centered technologies that empower individuals to make informed decisions. Through her research and advocacy, she aspires to inspire more women to pursue careers in STEM and create a more inclusive and equitable future for all genders.

Reda Shaikh '25 (she/her)

A bay area native, Reda has grown up influenced by the world of technology and business. She is interested in pursuing a career in quantitative financial analysis and its intersection with innovation. She is a research assistant for Professor Anja Benshaul-Tolonen, conducting developmental economics research on extractive industries in Zambia. She is additionally very involved on campus holding leadership positions in pre-professional organizations and works as a student admissions representative for Barnard. She is passionate about interdisciplinary learning and is a strong advocate for underrepresented female empowerment in finance.

Carly Law '26 (she/her)

Carly is an Economics major from Long Island, New York. Her research at Columbia Business School alongside Professor Jeremy Kagan focuses on entrepreneurial resources for startups in New York City. Her passion for entrepreneurship stems from an Incubator class she took where she won first place for developing the most creative idea and attractive business model. This class sparked her interest in entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing. She plans to further explore these interests through the Bridgewater Scholars Program at Barnard and hopes to start her own company one day. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, spending time with her friends and family, and trying new foods from all over the world.

Yuqi Cheng '25 (she/her)

Born and raised in China, Yuqi Cheng is a rising junior majoring in economics-mathematics. She is doing research with Professor Rajiv Sethi on Models and Market Prediction Performance this summer. Yuqi’s research interests lie in Applied Microeconomics, Game Theory, and Econometrics. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in economics and use economic knowledge in her future career. In her free time, Yuqi enjoys traveling and reading greatly.

Alexia Dias '26 (she/her)

Alexia is an economics major at Barnard College. Born and raised in NYC by Brazilian, immigrant parents, she is interested in researching the economic inequalities that exist in society and how to develop more equitable systems. Alexia hopes to enhance her skills in finance and pursue a career that fosters economic progress. She is a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and plays volleyball at Columbia in her spare time.

Sreya Nandanampati '25 (she/her)

Sreya Nandanampati is a rising junior from Atlanta, Georgia majoring in Computer Science and Archaeological Anthropology. She is interested in how technology can be utilized to create equity and make social impact. She founded the Barnard/ Columbia campus chapter of the organization Encode Justice to spread awareness on the challenges of ethical AI, and she is currently working on a research project under Prof. Kathy McKeown to mitigate racial bias on large language models like GPT-3 and GPT-4. Furthermore on campus, she is involved with the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and hopes to use her background in technology for a career in finance. Outside of work, she loves to bake, play the piano, and try new foods around the city!

Dorothy Zhang '25 (she/her)

Dorothy Zhang is a junior from Bellevue, WA studying Computer Science. She is interested in exploring the dynamic applications of technology to impact education at every level. For the past year, she has been working with Prof. Lydia Chilton at Columbia University in investigating the role of AI in promoting effective communication of complex scientific topics. On campus, she is a teaching assistant for Advanced Programming and also participates in Columbia Taekwondo. Outside of school, she loves to hike and volunteer at her church.

Anushka Kumar '26 (she/her)

Anushka Kumar is a rising sophomore from Dallas, Texas intending to major in Economics & Statistics on the Computational Track. She is currently working in Professor Rajiv Sethi’s lab in projects regarding prediction markets, the history of deadly force by law enforcement in the United States, and developing interactive economics modules for students. On campus, she is part of the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs. She is interested in exploring fields related to the intersection of data analytics and economics. In her free time, Anushka loves dancing with Columbia Bhangra, crocheting, and finding new cafes in the city. 

Ramya Subramanian '26 (she/her)

Ramya Subramanian is a Computer Science and Economics major from the Bay Area, California. She is interested in the intersection between finance and technology and hopes to pursue a career in fintech. Her research at the Data Science Institute at Columbia, under the guidance of Professor Wu, focuses on databases and creating a front-end interface framework. She plans to further explore her fintech interests through the Bridgewater Scholars Program. Ramya is also actively involved on campus in the Columbia Women in Computer Science club and the Application Development Initiative, helping to plan hackathons for the Columbia/Barnard community. In her free time, Ramya enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family!

Aishwarya Thiyagarajan '25 (she/her)

Aishwarya Thiyagarajan is a rising junior from the Bay Area, studying Computer Science with a minor in Statistics. In the future, she hopes to learn about the applications of artificial intelligence on human interaction and mobile development. On the social aspect, she also passionate about learning the gender biases within the tech industry. This summer, she is in Mountain View, California as a Google STEP Intern. During school, she is involved on the education committee of the Application Development Initiative at Columbia. During her free time, she loves to bake and trying new restaurants in the city.

Anna Hammell '26 (she/her)

Anna Hammell is from Long Island, New York double majoring in Computer Science and Economics. She is a member of Columbia Women in Computer Science club and actively participates in programs that support women in STEM fields, such as Girls Who Code and Goldman Sach's Engineering Possibilities Summits. In her spare time, she enjoys solving crosswords and crocheting.

Meaghan Jungels '25 (she/they)

Meaghan Jungels is a History and Mathematical Sciences double major from Chicago, Illinois, now based in Dublin, Ireland. As a Research Assistant for Columbia’s Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas, Meaghan uses GIS, archival sources, and census data to investigate how migration, residential, and occupational patterns in the 19th and 20th centuries shaped the city’s development. Alongside exploring applications of quantitative methods in the social sciences, Meaghan is a Peer Health Educator at The Wellness Spot, where she develops educational programming and workshops to promote health and wellness in the Barnard community. A fan of Russian and Victorian literature, Meaghan is sure to like your updates on Goodreads when she isn’t too busy listening to The Ezra Klein Show.

Neasha Mittal '26 (she/her)

Neasha Mittal is a Barnard College student from New Delhi, India, planning to major in Computer Science, and possibly minor in Economics. She is interested in exploring the intersection between finance and technology, more specifically, technology consulting. This summer she is working in the Accessible and Accelerated Robotics lab, A2R lab, under the guidance of Professor Brian Plancher. She strives to inspire more women to enter finance and STEM fields to encourage gender equality and diversity. In her free time, she enjoys biking around the city and trying out new cuisines.

Jessica Sun '26 (she/her)

Jessica Sun, a rising sophomore from Houston, Texas, is pursuing a dual major in Computer Science and Economics at Barnard College. Passionate about the stock market and cryptocurrency, she aims to pursue a career in finance in the future. Jessica is also a part of the Columbia Women's Business Society in hopes of inspiring more women in financial services. In her free time, Jessica volunteers to teach English to children at a Myanmar orphanage weekly and runs her own business to raise funds for rescuing laboratory animals. This summer, she is conducting research with Professor Rajiv Sethi, focusing on Models and Market Prediction Performance through Bridgewater Program. With a strong commitment to learning and making a positive impact, she aspires to merge her analytical skills and passion for finance to provide financial assistance to women in developing countries.

Suhani Sharma '25 (she/her)

Suhani Sharma is a rising junior studying at Barnard College, double majoring in Economics and Political Science. Her passion for the intersectionality of these two academic interests carries over into her work and her aspirations for the future. She is a research assistant for Professor Sharon Harrison's Unintended Consequences Lab, taking a behavioural economics and econometrics-based look at the process by which key economic policymakers make decisions. She is also heavily involved with NY state politics, interning this summer with Eleanor's Legacy, an organisation committed to helping pro-choice Democratic women secure seats across the political structures of the Empire state. On campus, one can find her most easily in creative spaces — indulging her minor in Shakespearean Literature with the Shakespeare troupe on campus, helping run and facilitate space for student musicians or writing pieces about what goes on in her favourite sports. A strong advocate for equitable and sustainable economic policy, she is most interested in pursuing ESG and Federal Public Policy.

In Fall 2021, Barnard College announced a new partnership with Bridgewater Associates, providing financial support for young women pursuing academic study in economics, math, statistics, and computer science, with the goal of encouraging more women to enter critical sectors of the labor market where women are underrepresented. The New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program provides the training, exposure, and opportunities required for students to achieve success in their academic and professional goals. 

The program provides access to a range of mentorship opportunities (including at Barnard and at Bridgewater Associates), along with funding to support research and internships. The program is open to incoming First Year students at Barnard College who express interest in conducting research in the fields of economics, math, statistics, and computer science at the time of their application to the College. They apply as part of their application process to Barnard.

Questions about how to apply can be sent to