Executive Board


Alex Kulagin, President

Alex is a business professional with accounting and operations experience. He worked in such industries as real estate investment, construction sector, and manufacturing, and navigated many aspects of taxation, accounting, and risk management issues in a wide variety of subject areas. Through his experience, he became very interested in taxes and went on to pursue MS Accounting with an emphasis on taxation. Alex enjoys riding a motorcycle, listening to audiobooks (podcasts), and surfing.


Michael Noto, Executive Vice President

Michael is a first year MST student at Baruch. He graduated in May 2018 with a BBA in Accounting. Michael has over a year worth of tax internship experience including international, partnership, and commercial taxation. He has a desire to become a professional tax consultant specialized in international tax. In his free time Michael enjoys listening to hip-hop, skiing, and endlessly critiquing animated films.

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Yingfan He, Executive Vice President

Yingfang is currently a graduating senior at the undergraduate level of Baruch College. She plans to continue her study at MST program for master’s degree. She enjoys the process of thinking strategically, analytically, and conceptually with creativity, that’s why she chooses taxation. Her expected date of graduation is May 2019.




Riva Zhu, VP of Marketing

Riva Zhu is currently pursuing her MS in Information Systems with a Concentration in Data Analytics program at Baruch College.  Previously, she has gained the MBA in Public Accountancy and MS in Taxation degrees and has been working at a mass media company as a Tax Analyst for over a year.  Riva enjoys travelling, skiing, hiking, playing volleyball and reading.  Riva is also a cat lover and wishes to have her own cats someday.  Being a new Committee Member of ZTAX in Spring 19, Riva would like to get to know more tax students/professionals and bring in more events to this diversified tax society.


John Ruggiero, Secretary

John Ruggiero is currently pursuing his MS in Taxation at Baruch College. John is also a certified tax preparer in VITA, which includes preparing tax returns for low and middle-income individuals. Currently, John is pursuing his CPA. John enjoys travelling, snowboarding and watching movies. John looks forward to being the Assistant Secretary of ZTAX in Spring 19, and is excited to make new friends and acquire new skills!


Mengjie (Melody) Yang, Treasurer

Melody Yang is an undergraduate student at Baruch College. She is majoring in Accounting and minoring in Mathematics, and her expected graduation date is June 2019. She joined ZTAX because she would like to learn more about tax, broaden her network, and enrich her experience.


Suna (Jungsun) Hwang, VP of Event Planning

Suna graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Accountancy. She had internship positions in diverse industries during her undergraduate years such as airline, construction and trading. Shortly after her graduation, she worked as an associate at a local accounting firm for a year which, eventually made her decide to pursue a career in tax. She’s currently working as a tax consultant at Viacom and very excited to solidify her career in tax. Suna loves food, wine, travel and she’s recently into cooking exotic food at home.


Michael Ferrandino, VP of Communications

Michael Ferrandino has been a Certified Public Accountant for three years. He has been working for New York State government as a sales tax auditor for six years. He wants to join a CPA firm to assist businesses with their audits. To do this, he is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration, assisting the Zicklin Graduate Tax Society as an IT Committee Member and networking on campus. Michael enjoys running and reading in his spare time. He is looking forward to working with ZTAX and meeting new friends this semester!

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Yoon Young Kim, VP of Research

Yoon Young came to New York about a year ago to continue her journey in Accounting and Taxation. She is currently majoring in Taxation and expected to graduate in Dec 2019. Before coming to New York, she worked at a global accounting firm and start-up company in Korea. Those professional experiences sparked her interest in tax-related issues. As a part of ZTAX family, she is excited to learn deeply about issues in tax practice with the team members and interact with tax professionals. She loves trying new cuisines and exploring hidden restaurants in NYC.


Samantha Light, AVP of Research

Samantha Light is currently pursuing a MS in Taxation at Zicklin business school. She has a Bachlores degree in accounting. Samantha also has work experience in accounting and tax from interning at The Muse hotel. She currently works full time managing a Restaurant in New York City. Samantha looks forward to being a member of ZTAX and taking advantage of all the opportunities it can bring! 


Zhimei Wang, VP of IT

Zhimei is a graduate student in Baruch College studying Taxation. She has strong interest in international tax and she is doing international tax internship at Cohnreznick. Prior to her internship at Cohnreznick, she was a tax consultant in international tax department at Viacom. Zhimei graduated with a double major in Accounting and BAIS (Business Analytics and Information System) from the University of Iowa. As an absolute lover of food and cultural diversity, Zhimei fell in love with New York City at first sight.

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Shriya Gupta, VP of Membership

Shriya is currently studying in the Masters in Taxation program at Baruch College. She has experience of working with PwC India for 7 years where she was responsible for driving auditing engagements of various industries ranging from financial services, manufacturing, travel, media etc. By education, she is a Chartered Accountant and currently pursuing CPA. Shriya loves exploring new travel destinations or experimenting with food. She also enjoys playing tennis and badminton.


Yan Chen, Treasurer

Yan recently graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Taxation. She works at a business management firm that provides tax services in the entertainment industry. She joined the ZTAX family because ZTAX provides valuable resources and connections to students. Yan is interested in learning more about tax and the different industries through ZTAX. She is a foodie and love to explore the city when she is not studying for the CPA. 


Heifan Pau, VP of Finance

Heifan Pau is currently pursuing his MS degree in Taxation at Baruch college. He works as a tax accountant at a public accounting firm preparing various tax returns and resolving different types of tax notices for clients. With his experience and strong passion, he wants to be a competent financial services tax professional. Heifan looks forward to expanding his professional network and is excited and enthusiastic to interact and assist with members of ZTAX. He enjoys searching and trying all kind of tasty food and exploring the city as well.

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Sebastian Lipovac, VP of Digital Marketing

Sebastian is a first year MST student at Baruch. He graduated in May 2019 with a BS in Applied Accounting and Finance from Fordham University. Sebastian worked at PwC in the AWM tax group over the summer, working with private equity clients. He has experience in dealing with federal partnership returns, K-1s, and the SALT equivalents of these forms. He is targeting roles in the transaction space working in M & A, either in an advisory or tax function. While Sebastian doesn't have much free time thanks to studying for the CPA, he enjoys listening to music, exercising, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people at events or when traveling.


Vickie Savvides, AVP of Research

Vickie recently graduated from Baruch (Class of June 2019) with a major in accountancy, minors in New York City Studies and Spanish, and a concentration in philosophy. She is a full-time student in the MST program. During her undergraduate career, she had internships in the fields of international tax law, legislation, audit, and wealth management. Her long-term goal is to become an attorney with a specialization in international taxation. She is a huge fitness enthusiast who will always make time for a killer workout.


Shuang Xu, VP of Alumni

Shuang studies MS in Accountancy in Baruch and has been a New York licensed attorney since 2017. Before joining Baruch, Shuang obtained an LL.M. in Taxation degree from the University of Florida and a J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. Shuang has worked in various legal settings and has experience from government agencies, courts, law firms, non-profit organizations, and companies. Shuang is interested in accounting and taxation, as well as commercial and business practices.


Oxana Churilova, AVP of Event Planning

Oxana graduated from Baruch College with BBA in Accounting and is now pursuing her MS in Taxation. She is a certified VITA tax preparer and is currently studying for her CPA exams. Oxana joined ZTAX to make new friends and explore different opportunities in the tax industry through numerous ZTAX events. In her free time Oxana enjoys being outdoors in the summer, reading, practicing yoga, and exploring the city all year round.


De Hua (Derrick) Huang, Assistant Secretary

Derrick has recently graduated from Baruch College with a BBA in Accounting and is currently pursuing his MS in Taxation. Right now, he is helping out in a financial institution in its accounting department. Along the way, Derrick wants to continue on learning more in regards to tax and bolster his knowledge. He also enjoys traveling and experimenting with food. As a new member, he is looking forward to making new connections and working with ZTAX!


Lina Chen, AVP of Communications

Lina Chen is currently a first year MSA student at Baruch. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.S. in Applied Accounting and Finance. She had diverse experiences from Social Media Marketing to Financial Modeling and finally, Tax. Lina has an interest in traveling around the world to visit every well-known museum, next stop: The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

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Helen Kim, Committee Member

Helen has experience as an accountant and tax professional in many industries, including financial services, construction, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. She has lived and studied in Seoul, Milwaukee and Vancouver before settling down in New York. Helen is pursuing an MS in Taxation to build a strong foundation in public accounting, especially in corporate tax.  She is striving to become a great public accountant, and believes she is on the right track by building close relationships with Baruch students, teachers and alumni. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, rock climbing, hiking and board games (occasionally).  Her favorite city is New York! 

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Katherine Garcia, Committee Member

Katherine Garcia is from Lima, Peru and came to New York some years ago to pursue a Master’s degree in Taxation. She worked at PwC Peru and EY Peru where she gained valuable knowledge about Peruvian Taxation. However, her curiosity of understanding other tax systems, specially in developed countries, brought her to U.S. In her spare time she likes to work out, cook Chinese Peruvian food, listen Latin Jazz, and dance Salsa.


Jiayin (Vicki) Huang, Committee Member

Vicki graduated from Baruch College with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting in December 2017. After graduation, she joined a small local accounting firm as a bookkeeper and then been promoted to a junior accountant, preparing tax returns for both individuals and corporations. Vicki wants to be a tax professional. She starts pursuing MS in taxation in Spring 19. As a new committee member, Vicki would like to make new friends and improve networking skills in ZTAX. Vicki enjoys traveling, skiing, making dessert and taking pictures to record life.


Qian (Ashley) Lin, Committee Member

Qian is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Taxation at Baruch College and has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She has two years of work experience in individual income tax and payroll tax. She joined ZTAX in Fall 2019 in order to develop her networking skills. Qian likes to assemble 3D jigsaw puzzle such as Lego. She also enjoys traveling and food.


Cameron Kerst, Committee Member

Cameron Kerst is a student in the Masters of Taxation program, where he has especially enjoyed his courses in State and Local and International Taxation. Prior to Baruch, he worked seven years for a multinational freight forwarder, mostly in sales and account management. Working in an international environment and chatting with his colleagues every April brought about a curiosity for tax. Cameron studied Economics and Spanish at Occidental College and he enjoys lacrosse, running, going to concerts, snowboarding, and the outdoors in general.

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Kai Chen, Committee Member

Kai is a recent graduated from Baruch college's BBA in accounting program and currently enrolled in the Master in Taxation program. Kai is also an intern in Citigroup Inc.'s domestic tax team. His goal after graduation is to join a Public accounting firm as a crop-tax specialist. Besides work and school he is also currently studying Japanese since he have it as his undergraduate degree minor. In his free time he enjoy reading literature works and playing volleyball.