Since 2015, BetaNYC has worked with CUNY students to improve access to open data and develop public interest technology and design opportunities for interested college students. In 2016, BetaNYC retained a few Civic Innovation Fellowship graduates as mentors. In 2022, we added an associate program to expand our ability to work with Graduate students and early-career public interest technologists or designers.
Now, BetaNYC has two apprenticeship programs — a fellows program for individuals starting their journey into public interest technology and an associates program for graduate students or early career public interest technologists. Associates work alongside full-time staff members running BetaNYC’s programs, copywriting our communications, performing analysis, and designing interactions or visualizations.
Apprentices and Fellows are critical to our mission. They train and support community boards’ adoption of new technologies and practices. They help organize and host events while refining prototypes and developing new processes.
BetaNYC’s full-time staff serve as mentors to apprentices. Our team conscientiously makes every effort to enrich their experiences and expand their portfolios with work assignments that complement their fields of study and support their professional goals.
As we foster the next generation of civic leaders who can combine their unique and diverse lived experiences with tools and methodologies for the digital era, we want our apprentices to gain experiences and skills that full-time staff didn’t have as younger technologists, designers, analysts, and activists.
Our goals are to hone their skills, foster a life-long passion for civics and public interest technology while allowing them to express their leadership and project management skills, and develop solid portfolios that make them the most attractive employees to hire.
Our Civic Innovation Associates help perform critical work by working alongside BetaNYC staff to perform data analytics, research municipal technology/data systems, run events, co-host workshops, assist in training, and mentor new Civic Innovation Fellows.
Some Associates are past and present CUNY students who, in their fellowship year with us, demonstrated professional abilities in communicating effectively, managing tasks independently, and acquiring and applying skills from our civic bootcamp.
Lab Associates are comfortable learning new skills and then teaching those skills to Civic Innovation Fellows, community board members, Borough Presidents, Council staff, and the general public. Lab Associates are instrumental in hosting trainings, researching tools, maintaining projects, and helping build new instruments.
All associates receive personal attention from the BetaNYC staff.
Read about our Associates
Gabrielle Langston – Communications Associate
Gabrielle (better known as Gabby) graduated from New York City College of Technology in July 2020 with a BS in Applied Mathematics, and is currently pursuing a MS in Data Analysis and Visualization at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was previously a Civic Innovation Fellow with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where she was a member of the 6th cohort class.
Gabby is passionate about data transparency and its role in creating a more fair, unified, and equal world for all. She is a native Brooklynite, and a city lady at heart. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, watching (and reading!) Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version), being a cat mom, and cooking arroz con pollo with maduros.
You can email her at < gabby(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.
Dimitri Mimy (he/him) – Fellowship Associate
Dimitri graduated in June 2021 from Queens College with BSs in Biology and Psychology and is currently pursuing an MS in biology, with a focus on urban ecology, continuing at Queens College. He is also an alumni of the 9th cohort of the Civic Innovation Fellow Program with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.
Drawing in part from his time as a BetaNYC civic innovation fellow, Dimitri is passionate about the intersection of open data, environmental justice, and accessibility, and in learning more about how biological life exists in an urban context. He enjoys visiting green spaces in the city, and also finds leisure in reading, watching his favorite shows, and surfing the interwebs!
You can email him at < dimitri(-at-)beta(-dot-)NYC >.
Hailee Hoa Luong
Languages: English, Vietnamese
Education: Hailee is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Information Experience Design at Pratt Institute.
Role at BetaNYC: UX Designer
My name is Hailee Hoa Luong. I am a UX designer based in New York City, and currently pursuing a Master of Information Experience Design at Pratt Institute.
I am passionate about crafting a meaningful experience centering users and their behaviors within a digital environment. I am currently working at BetaNYC, responsible for improving the BetaNYC website, and supporting the Civic Innovation Lab in responding to people’s needs of using open data.
Hao Lun Hung
Languages: English, Mandarin
Education: Lun recently graduated from Parsons School of Design with a master’s degree in Data Visualization.
Role at BetaNYC: Front-End Developer
Hao Lun Hung is a front-end and data visualization developer. He loves to build interactive data visualizations and to explore new technologies for transforming complex information into simple insights for users.
Lun graduated from the Parsons Data Visualization Master’s program. He currently lives in New York, and is excited for the challenges of data visualizations and creative coding.
Former Civic Innovation Apprentices
Nicholas He (he/him) – Civic Innovation Apprentice
Nicholas is a former Civic Innovation Fellow from the ninth cohort and a recent graduate from New York City College of Technology with a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems. He also holds an A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems from Borough of Manhattan Community College.
After completing BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellowship, he developed a huge passion for open data and wants to use it to help our local community. Nicholas also loves to play basketball in NYC public parks with his friends.
Onedeige James – Civic Innovation Apprentice
Onedeige graduated in July 2020 from LaGuardia Community College with an AS in Environmental Science and is currently pursuing a BS in Environmental Science, with a focus on Geographic Information Systems at Lehman College. She is also an alumni of the 6th cohort of the Civic Innovation Fellow Program with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.
Onedeige has a strong interest in data visualization and is also concerned about data access and interpretation against biases across the board. Originally from the coast of Guyana, she loves outdoor activities and is always up for an adventure. Onedeige also enjoys ballroom and latin dancing particularly foxtrot, salsa and swing.
Ishrat Chowdhury – Civic Innovation Mentor
Ishrat graduated in the spring of 2020 from Queens College with a BA in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. She was a Civic Innovation Fellow from 2018-19 and joined BetaNYC as a Mentor in the fall of 2019. She previously interned for a summer at Accenture and will soon be joining them full time as a software engineer.
She is passionate about tech and government, and also enjoys volunteering and reading books.
Murat M. Akaydin – Discretionary Actions Consultant
Murat is a Native New Yorker and an Army Intelligence War Veteran. He has completed his BBA in IT Management and his MPA in Public Policy and Administration. Murat also holds certifications in project management, IT service management, and business analysis. He worked briefly as an IT Project Management Consultant on Wall Street before transitioning to the public sector.
Murat served as a member of the 6th cohort of Civic Innovation Fellows with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. He has been working with BetaNYC to support community boards in their transition to remote work as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his spare time, he works with Generation Vote to establish a NYC Hub to improve civic engagement among the youth and under-served populations. He has a deep and genuine passion for public service and strives to leave a positive impact on the lives of those around him. At the end of the day, he’s just a Brooklyn boy trying to give back to the city that has given him so much.
Jennifer Maldonado – Discretionary Actions Consultant
Jennifer completed her Environmental Studies BA at Queens College in Fall 2019 and was a member of the 5th cohort of the Civic Innovation Fellowship Program. At the end of the fellowship, BetaNYC provided the opportunity for a fellow to work with Manhattan Community Board 1 and she took that opportunity as a learning platform about community boards.
She now holds a position as a Discretionary Actions Consultant, advising on licensing applications as well as assisting with modernizing and streamlining the approval process with respective city agencies. After a year and a half in this position, she is always learning something new about community interactions and addressing the issues that impact the district. Jennifer is very hands-on, and would love to work with animals in the future, and hopes to explore work in the environmental policy field.
Ramesh Beharry – Discretionary Actions Consultant
Ramesh Beharry collaborates with New York City community boards on improving technology and data literacy, assistance in municipal service delivery, and connection with the communities served. He graduated from the Civic Innovation Fellowship in 2018 and has since worked with community boards on front-end design and build-out of BetaNYC’s constituent relationship management tool, a spreadsheet database with applications and script functionality, which helps ensure service request delivery and enhances our ability to communicate with civic stakeholders efficiently. Before joining the Civic Innovation Fellowship, Ramesh served in the Marine Corps.
Civic Innovation Mentors from Fellowship Cohort 3
- Bruna Jermann
- Eli Rivera
- Muhammad Aslam
- Shalom Joseph