Three Stellar Alumni Return

Last February, Pitt hosted a panel featuring three distinguished economics alumni. The panel featured three students with stellar academic achievements, as well as an active involvement and voice in their respective fields.


Joseph Kannarkat, BS-Economics 2018

Joseph Kannarkat with Chancellor GallagherThe most recent graduate on the panel, Joseph Kannarkat, was awarded the Kanders Churchill Scholarship to further his education at Churchill College – the science and technology school of Cambridge University. Kannarkat was the only Kanders Scholar of 2019.


While studying at Pitt, Kannarkat majored in economics with the intention of entering healthcare. The Kanders Scholarship is intended to focus on the communicative relationship between healthcare policy and the needs of patients.  After his year at Cambridge, Joseph plans on attending medical school, currently leaning towards cardiology; he hopes his education at Cambridge will help forge a new understanding and perspective when interacting with his future patients.


Lia Petrose, BS-Economics 2017

Lia Petrose2016 Truman Scholarship winner and 2019 Rhodes Scholarship winner, Lia Petrose, returned to discuss her post-graduate career and goals. While at Pitt, Petrose was involved in student government board, as well as an advisor to the University’s Provost and Board of Trustees. Petrose graduated with a dual degree in economics and neuroscience. She went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a lab assistant to Professor Heidi Williams, conducting pharmaceutical research and development.


As a Rhodes Scholar, Petrose was awarded two years at the University of Oxford in recognition of her high academic achievements, leadership potential, and personal integrity. She was named the eighth Rhodes Scholar to ever graduate from Pitt.  This past fall Petrose began her two-year graduate studies at the University of Oxford where she is currently pursuing her second bachelor’s degree in philosophy and computer science.


Sangya Gyawali, BA-Economics 2016

Sangya Gyawali at Tsinghua UniversitySangya Gyawali graduated from Pitt in 2016. Gyawali majored in anthropology and economics, pursuing a post graduate career as an analyst at BNY Mellon. While at Pitt, Gyawali made a huge impact on a small, rural Ugandan community by founding the Pittsburgh Hope Institute. Within the program’s first operating week, Gyawali and her counterparts were able to collect over 2,000 children’s books from elementary schools in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, which Gyawali delivered in person the following summer. Upon graduating, Gyawali also founded BeamData, a social-tech start-up concerned with fixing the inaccurate data reports regarding minorities in areas with a high immigrant concentration.


Gyawali was awarded the 2020 Schwarzman Scholarship, leading to a one-year program in Beijing, at Tsinghua University, China’s leading school in science and technology. During Gyawali’s year abroad she will be earning a degree in global affairs with a focus in either international affairs, business, economics or public policy.