How Your Life Will Change

Exeter is a place where opportunity and interest intersect, in seemingly endless ways. Meet Exonians whose unique life experiences share a common thread: the ability to ask, “What if?” while they are at Exeter, and the resources and support to explore the answers.

Sarah Milkovich '96
photo of Sarah Milkovich
“A natural interest in science surrounded me growing up.”
Stargazing: A Family Pastime

Sarah watched the sky avidly from her home in Ithaca, NY, and on vacations.

Meteor Shower
“The sky was amazing. There was always a meteor shower in August around my birthday.”
“On the TV show NOVA, I would see the team of scientists that operated spacecraft and I wanted to do those same things.”
Rocks on the Go

Family car trips included frequent stops to study natural formations, using the Roadside Guide to Geology.

Cover of Roadside Geology
“We’d talk about how the rocks are telling you a story: a mystery, a puzzle with half the pieces missing, and it’s in a different language.”
Bancroft 1995
“Exeter taught me how to buckle down and get work done, and to have enough self-confidence to speak up and defend my ideas in class.”
Sarah Yearbook Page
“Along the way, I discovered that I had ideas, and they were good ones.”
First NASA Liftoff

Internships with the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission at Cornell provided hands-on experience and a front-row seat to a liftoff.

NEAR Launch
“When you put astronomy and geology together, you get the planets and planetary geology. I think that’s where my interest in planets comes from.”
Exeter Graduation Milkovich
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

After a B.A. at Caltech and a Ph.D. in planetary geology from Brown, Sarah has been at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab ever since.

NASA logo
“I started graduate school thinking, ‘I’m interested in any kind of planets, as long as they have solid surfaces.’ It turned into Mars.”
The Red Planet

At JPL, Sarah has worked on the Mars Phoenix landing craft, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and two rovers: Curiosity and the current Mars 2020.

Carnegie Hall

Mars Phoenix, her first big project, landed the same weekend Sarah played trombone with the JPL/Occidental orchestra in New York.

Sarah doing an interview on CBS News
“Our culture likes to portray a line between science, math, engineering and art. To be a good scientist, you need creativity. They all work together.”
Curiosity Rover
Her First Rover: Curiosity

The investigation scientist for high-resolution imaging, Sarah helps Curiosity set new standards for planetary images.

Bridging the Gap on Mars 2020

Sarah presents the science requirements to engineers, ensuring they build solutions that meet the research needs.

“Once Mars 2020 is done – if another project came along and NASA said, ‘We’re trying to land a boat on Titan,’ I’d say, ‘That’s awesome, I’m in!’”

Sharing this planet with her husband and son, Sarah is still looking skyward, part of a global team making progress toward human life on Mars.

Sarah Milkovich Family
Jason Kang '12
Jason Kang Bicycle
“I was the type of kid who collected caterpillars and watched them become butterflies, and looked at everything I could under a toy microscope.”
Jason Kang Soccer
Outside Guy

Days spent with an “insane amount of time outdoors” included soccer, bicycle riding and fort building.

All in the Family

Jason had fun watching his inventor/professor dad design and draw things, and play with “cool gadgets” in the lab.

Jason Kang Lab
Endless Ideas

By middle school, Jason was drawing an invention every day. “Some were ridiculous, but it was a good exercise regardless.”

“I had a stack of papers with hundreds of ideas drawn out. That helped expand my view of what can and can’t be done. And what makes sense.”
Jason Kang and friends Wentworth
“Exeter was where I really grew up.”
Four-year Volunteer

Exeter Social Service Organization “opened our eyes to how powerful service is,” Including a service trip to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Trip
Furthering Invention

To create more avenues for idea exploration, Jason founded two student clubs: Invention and Biology Research.

track with friends and Hilary Coder
“Harkness forces you to articulate and learn how to listen, and being in such a diverse student body opens your mind to different modes of thought.”
Jason Kang and friends Wentworth
“At Exeter, I became a more optimistic person, and I learned to put others before myself.”
Columbia Bound

While majoring in biomedical engineering, Jason becomes close friends with two freshmen, Katherine and Kevin, who will later join him for the Ebola Challenge.

Global Startup #1

He co-invents a device for managing postpartum hemorrhage in low-resource areas, and pursues clinical trials in Bangladesh.

“My interest in global health and startups that have a tangible benefit on other people’s lives stems from my experience doing community service at Exeter.”
Columbia Ebola Design Challenge

Jason and his friends develop Highlight, a powder that mixes with bleach to improve decontamination in the field.

Play VideoKang Columbia Video
Highlight Takes Off

Acclaim leads to news coverage and product validation. The New York Fire Department adds Highlight to decontamination protocols.

“At that point we realized that this was not just a project but a viable business.”
Kinnos is Born

As juniors, the trio creates a company to refine and commercialize Highlight.

“Our goal is to get Highlight to as many people as possible as quickly as we can.”
Big Win

Kinnos wins the 2015 USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, from a pool of 1,500 entries. Their $500,000 grant enables testing in Liberia.

Jason in Liberia testing Highlight
2016 Forbes 30 Under 30

Kinnos gets the nod. The college seniors look forward to 2017, with planned sales to NGOs and pilot testing in hospitals.

Play VideoKang Kinnos Video
Jameel Mohammed '13
Jameel Young
Budding Designer

Growing up in Chicago, Jameel drew everything from realistic drawings, to Japanese manga comics and graffiti.

Jameel Teen
“As a kid, I would just draw women and design different outfits for them. I guess I’ve been designing my whole life.”
Fall Dance Concert
“I’ve never been so committed to dance as I’ve been at Exeter … the thing that struck me when I got here was the innovative nature of the work.”
Beauty and the Beast
Fashion Immersion

Internships at Nicole Miller and Narciso Rodriguez provided insider access, and Jameel designed garments that went into production.

Jameel Work
The internships “really helped clarify that there was nothing like fashion that I would work so hard for. I work harder and harder every day.”
“Modern Subversion”

For his senior project, Jameel designed and created a fashion collection, capped off by a runway show with Exonian models.

Play VideoJameel Video
“It all started at Exeter, with being empowered to go for it.”
Jameel Graduation
Penn Bound

Majors in philosophy, political science and economics, and a minor in business “inform his practice as an artist.”

Photo of Jameel Mohammed
New York, New York

Barneys New York Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura mentors Jameel, encouraging him to focus on jewelry.

Jameel Senior Project Necklace

This rope necklace designed for his senior project at Exeter, “started it all.”

KHIRY Debuts

He launches his jewelry line, KHIRY (Swahili for “extremes in fortune and health” and also his middle name), from his dorm room.

“There was a void in the culture for someone to really champion the black aesthetic as being beautiful and culturally grounded.”

Crowdfunding campaign raises $25,000 in 48 hours. Paper Magazine and Man Repeller fashion blog herald KHIRY, now poised for its spring line.

Photo of Jameel Mohammed
In Vogue Paris

KHIRY Khartoum bracelet featured in piece on tribal-themed jewelry.

At New York Fashion Week

The spring ’17 collection is a hit. Essence magazine showcases KHIRY and Jameel in a video interview.

“To see that KHIRY has become bigger than just me, and grown into something significant to other people, has been truly humbling.”
Change with purpose.