Who We Are

We created this podcast to share unique ideas with the world.

Shivani Pandya

Founder, Director Emeritus

Shivani Pandya CM ‘18 is from Sugar Land, Texas. Her interest in people and podcasts led her to start Free Food for Thought in early 2016. On campus, Shivani was also Technology/Data Manager of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government. In her free time, Shivani enjoys watching her beloved Packers win, reading books about World War II, and watching anything created by Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin. 


Melanie Wolfe


Melanie is a senior from South Florida pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a sequence in Public Policy Analysis. She joined the Free Food for Thought team to explore her passion for podcasts by becoming a content creator herself—just try and catch her without headphones in at least one ear. Besides podcasting, Melanie researches redistricting policy at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and spends her Friday evenings working on policy proposals of her own with her new campus organization, Roosevelt @ the Claremont Colleges. 



Sam Whittemore

Sam Whittemore is a senior at Claremont Mckenna College from Mill Valley, California. Currently he is pursuing a degree in Economics and looking to add Philosophy as a second major. His love for learning, comedy, and storytelling quickly turned into a passion for podcasts. In his free time, Sam enjoys watching the Warriors win, playing basketball, and reading fantasy novels.


Tori Johnson


Tori Johnson is a junior from Colorado pursuing a degree in Economics with a sequence in Data Science. Tori joined the Free Food for Thought team to further develop her technical chops through podcast editing. Aside from podcasting, Tori is interested in supporting technology and innovation on campus. She holds multiple positions on the Student Technology Assistant Team and is piloting a twelve-week student program for prototyping and product development at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. In her free time, Tori can be found climbing rocks, snapping photos, and crafting with her high-temperature hot glue gun.


Shiv Pandya

Shiv Pandya is a senior at Pomona College from Sugar Land, Texas, pursuing a degree in Economics. His past experiences have centered around legal advocacy and policy work, and he plans to go into federal practice consulting. In his free time, Shiv enjoys watching any historical or sci-fi TV show, board games, and the occasional game of badminton.


Nick Sage

Nick is a senior from Seattle, Washington, and is majoring in History and Government at Claremont McKenna. Nick has worked as a research intern at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in the summer of 2015. He also worked as a curator for the civic startup ActiveGiver in 2016, which is working on a crowd-funding style campaign finance platform. In the summer of 2017, he was awarded CMC’s Appel Fellowship, and drove 9,500 miles around the United States writing about American history and politics. On campus, Nick serves as a student steward for the history department.


Brian Luna

Brian Luna is a Senior at Claremont McKenna College from Mountain View, California. He is studying to earn a dual degree in Psychology and Media Studies. He's always been an avid fan of podcasts as a creative format for comedy and personal narrative. Free Food for Thought offered a platform which he could explore and create student-focused content. When he's not editing or interviewing for the podcast he can be found primarily analyzing media, playing board games, watching horror films and rock climbing.

Connor Sinclair

Connor Sinclair is a senior from Alamo, California, pursuing a degree in Economics and Film Studies. Connor is a defensive lineman on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team and enjoys fishkeeping, producing multimedia, and browsing Reddit for the hottest memes. He can be found conversing with friends in Collins dining hall or sleeping on the beach in his spare time. Connor's career ambition is to produce film and other forms of entertainment...and maybe make a few people laugh on his journey through the cosmos.


Simon Gilbert

Simon Gilbert is a sophomore from Los Angeles, CA, studying history. He regularly listens to political podcasts from publications ranging from Vox to National Review. When he’s not working on the podcast, Simon edits for the Claremont Radius and plays on the 5C men’s ultimate frisbee team. Simon loves strategy board games, playing guitar, and reading magazines.


Elena Castellanos

Elena is a junior from Los Angeles, CA. Her passion for public service and public policy has led her to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at CMC. On campus, Elena can be seen picking up a Coconut Crème Bowl of Soul at the Motley, nerding out over the latest redistricting news for her research at the Rose Institute, or attempting to stay on beat during spin at Roberts. Elena loves listening to political podcasts, re-watching West Wing episodes, and yelping her next food adventure.


Nandeeni Patel

Nandeeni is a junior from Murrieta, California pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a sequence in Human Rights. Aside from working at the podcast, Nandeeni is a Research Assistant at the Rose Institute and the Director of Overnight Visits at the Admission Office. In her free time she likes to discuss South Asian affairs, eat the Athenaeum’s cheese cubes, and watch Bollywood movies.


Sabrina Hartono

A self-proclaimed book-geek, semi-foodie and lexicon-lover, Sabrina Hartono is a junior majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, means that being stuck in jam-packed traffic gridlock allows for hourlong YouTube videos and podcasts. On campus, she is co-president of the Claremont Creative Coterie and does archery. In her spare time, she loves touring pop-up food festivals around Los Angeles, and going on nature hikes around the area.


Anna Green

Anna is a junior from Fairfield, CT studying Government and Public Policy. She first discovered her passion for podcasts by listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History and is now excited to be an interviewer and a member of the communications team at Free Food for Thought. On campus, Anna also works as a tour guide in the Office of Admission and as a research assistant at the Rose Institute. In her free time, Anna loves binge-watching political dramas on Netflix, searching for new coffee shops,  spending time with friends, and listening to podcasts. 


Luis Verdin

Luis is a sophomore from Chicago, IL pursuing a degree in Psychology. On campus, Luis plays guitar in the Pomona Jazz Ensemble and works in the Athenaeum kitchen. Last summer, Luis interned at Harmony, Hope, and Healing, a non-profit focused on ailing trauma through the restorative power of music. In his free time, Luis enjoys eating peanut butter, reading good books, and playing guitar.


Izzy Davis

Izabella (Izzy) Davis is a sophomore at Pomona college from Seattle, Washington. She plans to major in Public Policy Analysis and Computer Science with a minor in Spanish. An avid podcast listener, Izzy is excited to join the Free Food for Thought team this year and learn the behind-the-scenes of her favorite storytelling medium. As Pomona’s Director of Disability and Mental Health Advocacy, Izzy is passionate about disability justice and founded a nonprofit, Express Yourself, to combat the isolation and insecurity teenagers with physical disabilities often face. Izzy loves playing Magic: The Gathering, nerding out over her favorite fantasy novels, and playing outlandish witnesses on Pomona’s Mock Trial team.


Adhitya Venkatraman

Adhitya is from San Jose, California and plans to major in Economics and Computer Science. He loves anything and everything NPR, from Hidden Brain to Car Talk. On campus, Adhitya is involved with SOURCE Nonprofit Consulting and the Rose Institute. In his free time, you can find him baking, wearing beanies in 100° weather, and failing to perform magic tricks—usually all at once.