2005 Kelly Anthony
2006 Allison Howard
2007 Chyanne Lockhart Cardarella
2008 Suzanne Struglinski Broadfield
2009 Marcia Chatelain
2010 Kelly Newsome McNichols
2011 Carolyn Chrisman
2012 Churie Spreng
2013 Antionette Carroll
The 21st Century Leadership Academy helped open her eyes to the strength and of power women in the public sector, said the 2005 Amethyst Award winner.
In four short years and two election cycles, 1999 Shear Fellow Kelly Anthony distinguished herself by breaking barriers to the elections process for people with disabilities. As director of the Missouri Disability Vote Project (DVP) at Paraquad, Inc., Anthony led one of the most recognized statewide, nonpartisan, grassroots projects in the country to close the political participation gap between people with disabilities and the general population. Under Anthony’s direction, 19 disabilities organizations engaged in a sophisticated Get-Out-The-Vote process in the 2002 election, resulting in a 17 percent increase in voter turnout statewide. For the first time in Missouri history, people with disabilities out-voted the general, non-disabled population by 11 percent. In 2004, 45 organizations were mobilized, over 215,000 potential voters were identified statewide, and major polls suggest that people with disabilities voted in record numbers in 2004 in Missouri and around the country. The Missouri DVP has resulted in the development of one of the most effective voting blocs in the Missouri, and has become a model for other states. Kelly has provided consultation to efforts in twelve states, including Illinois.
Through her work on behalf of the disability community, Anthony also led a coalition that was successful in mandating through state law that Missouri complete a statewide survey of the accessibility of polling places on Election Day. The results showed that 71 percent of polling places in Missouri have some barrier to voting for people with disabilities. In 2004 she was asked to testify before the federal Elections Assistance Commission as an expert on elections procedures.
Since winning the Award in 2005, Kelly has worked as a grassroots organizer for the Human Rights Campaign and campaigned against constitutional amendments to define and limit marriage in at least three states (including California and Florida. She is currently an organizer for Missouri Jobs with Justice in St. Louis.
In her Award application, Kelly said she also learned the power of mentoring relationships at the Academy. "I have learned to take the work that I do personally, and to truly be what I do, both in work and life. To me, being a community organizer is about realizing the dream most people have at one point or another - being able to change the world."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, "When you give yourself, you receive more than you give."
Allison Howard’s participation in the 21st Century Leadership Academy propelled her into public service and self sacrifice. She deferred medical school for a year to join AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program that fights poverty. As a VISTA member in Montana, Allison staffed the Billings Out of School Time (BOOST) task force where her efforts more than tripled the attendance at the BOOST signature “awareness raising” event. She even succeeded in getting the Governor of Montana to attend.
Allison points to the 21st Century Leadership Academy as the source of her confidence and conviction that she could help those less fortunate. Following her attendance at the Leadership Academy and the completion of an internship with State Rep. Barbara Fraser, the University of Missouri-Columbia student approached her senior year with a new sense of purpose.
Allison enrolled in a public service course offered by MU’s Honors College and became a mentor to a young pregnant woman through Advent Enterprises’ Resource Parents. As she listened to the trials and tribulations of young parents during the group meetings, she realized that she could teach these young women to follow a healthier eating lifestyle.
To achieve this goal, Allison created “Food for Life,” a comprehensive nutrition education program specifically designed to help young, low-income mothers learn to buy, store, prepare and eat healthy food with their families. The program was successful and has continued even after Allison’s graduation from UM-Columbia in 2005, with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in leadership and public service.
Currently, Allison is finishing up her third year of medical school at Mizzou and plans to be radiologist.
Chyanne Lockhart Cardarella
A 2003 Fellow from University of Central Missouri , Chyanne graduated in 2004, earning a degree in political science with concentrations in state government and environmental policy.
Even before graduation, Chyanne used her leadership savvy to advocate for clean, renewable energy sources. A leader in the drive for wind energy in Northwest Missouri, Chyanne worked with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and various environmental organizations, traveling to the State Capitol regularly to lobby on environmental legislation.
In addition, she held two two-year terms as president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas City/Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties. Elected at the tender age of 23, she was then the youngest League president in the nation.
Chyanne’s accomplishments are all the more inspirational in light of personal obstacles she has overcome. She moved 20 times between kindergarten and fifth grade and worked full-time to earn her college degree, taking only one student loan.
When she accepted the Amethyst Award in 2007, Chyanne expressed aspirations of running for office, and in 2010 she is seeking a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. She is the second Shear Fellow to run for the legislature.
Suzanne Struglinski Broadfield
It was aboard presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s airplane that Suzanne Struglinski Broadfield stopped typing on her lap top, looked up to see Gov. Romney a mere eight rows ahead and gave herself a pinch. The young journalist couldn’t believe that she was actually covering the popular New Hampshire and Florida primaries for the Deseret Morning News.
“I thought, ‘I worked hard. I may not be the best reporter in the history of all time,” Broadfield joked, “but I made the right connections to be on this airplane’.”
The UM-Columbia graduate started her career with an internship as a regional reporter through the University of Missouri’s Washington Reporting Program, covering Alabama and New Hampshire’s congressional delegations. She contributed to several papers including the Las Vegas Sun where she followed the 2004 Presidential Election. By December 2005, she was working as the sole Washington Bureau Chief for theDeseret Morning News, Salt Lake City’s oldest newspaper.
A Chicago native, Suzanne grew up in an informed household where the news dominated the television. She decided to become a journalist because she liked the idea of taking information and sharing it with others on a basic level. One “cannot do anything if they aren’t educated about what’s going on,” she said.
Suzanne attended the Leadership Academy in 1998 and credits the experience with giving her the confidence to set her professional goals and achieve them at the youthful age of 29-years-old. She is a member of the National Press Club, and is the only person ever elected to serve two terms as president of the Regional Reporters Association, a 20-year-old professional organization.
It was through skills she learned at the Leadership Academy and connections she made at the Regional Reporters Association that Suzanne landed her current job as the legislative press secretary for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Now on the other side of the press, she watches federal legislation in Congress and works with the media on a variety of environmental issues.
There is an old saying, “those who can’t do, teach.” No one could say that about Professor Marcia Chatelain.
Since completing the Sue Shear Institute’s 21st Century Leadership Academy in 1999, Marcia has proven that she can do AND teach, and motivate others to do, too. She has been the Reach for Excellence Assistant Professor in African-American Studies and Honors at the University of Oklahoma-Norman Honors College, since 2007. Some of her course offerings include “Culture, Representation and the Search for America,” “Girls and Girlhood in America,” and “African-American Women’s Activism.”
The daughter of a proud Haitian immigrant mother, Marcia earned degrees in Religious Studies and Journalism from the University of Missouri in 2001. Prior to graduating, she was selected to receive The Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a prestigious national award that provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. Roughly 10 percent of applicants are selected to receive the Fellowship each year. She earned her Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University in 2008, and received a Black Studies Dissertation Fellowship from the University of California-Santa Barbara where she taught from 2006-2007. She is the first in her family to earn an advanced degree.
Marcia is the author of several papers, book chapters and articles, and is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled, Daughters of the Great Migration: Girls and Racial Uplift in a Changing Chicago, 1900-1950. “I have dedicated my professional career to telling the stories of women and girls who exist at the margins of history, but whose labor and love allow women like me to thrive and succeed,” she said in her Amethyst Award application. “In the ten years since I learned how to shake hands and shake things up as a Shear Fellow, I’ve drawn great wisdom and strength from discovering the past and trying to make a difference in the present.”
As a professor, Marcia uses classroom discussions to identify other women who may be ready for leadership, and encourages them to apply to attend NEW Leadership-Oklahoma, a sister program of the 21st Century Leadership Academy that helped her develop her own leadership skills.
Kelly Newsome McNichols
Kelly is emerging as a strong voice in the field of capital consulting for faith-based nonprofits and churches. Using skills and inspiration she acquired at the Leadership Academy, Kelly created a niche for herself, helping African-American churches expand their stewardship and fundraising capacities. She served as a a senior consultant at Church Development, a capital consulting firm in Kansas City. She is the only female and person of color on the consulting team. Church Development President, Denis Greene, says: “When Kelly came to me desiring to join our consulting firm, I had two main doubts; she was at least 10 years younger than any consultant that had ever worked for me and she had very limited fundraising experience. However, what tipped the scales in her favor was not only her obvious drive to assist faith-based communities, but the extensive research she conducted before our meeting concerning African-American congregations. – a demographic that we had not yet been able to partner with prior to her joining Church Development. Over the next 3 ½ years, adding Kelly to our team of consultants would prove to be well worth the risk.”
She has written a guide for conducting capital campaigns in African-American congregations and designed a workshop for pastors that has quickly become the leading resource for capital stewardship in the African-American church. The workshop has been requested from churches all over the country, and will soon be expanded into a book.
Kelly earned a BA in communication studies and French from UMKC in 2004, and completed a MPA with emphasis in Nonprofit Management from UMKC in 2006. In addition to her work as a consultant, Kelly is a realtor with Newsome Realty Company, LLC. She is a member of numerous professional and service organizations, and is a professional musical theatre actress. Kelly is currently a student at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.
A social studies teacher at Kirksville Middle School, Carolyn earned extra credibility with her students in 2009 when, at the age of 26, she won a seat on the Kirksville City Council. A first-time candidate, Chrisman used skills she gained at the 21st Century Leadership Academy and the Institute’s “Pipeline to Public Office” campaign school to defeat two opponents with over 41 percent of the vote. She continues to be the youngest member on the Council and is currently the only woman. In her role as a City Council member, she serves on the Kirksville Downtown Improvement Committee which - under her leadership as fundraising chair - established a Community Improvement District (CID) to fund downtown revitalization. She is also a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Carolyn is also emerging as a strong voice in the field of education. In 2010, she was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Grant and was one of 12 teachers from across the United States to study for five weeks in China. She will travel to South Korea this summer on a similar program. Carolyn earned a BA in Political Science from Truman State in 2004, and has since earned an MA in Education from Truman State and a Master of History from UMSL.
A Churie Spreng earned her GED and attended community college before coming to the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2006. As a student at UMSL, Churie began lobbying for the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM), and became interested in politics. She became a Shear Fellow in 2009, and just over a year after she graduated from the Leadership Academy, she was elected State Rep. for the 76th District. In addition to her legislative duties, Churie is a mentor to other young women in difficult circumstances.
Through her creative studio, CHAx365, Antionette Carroll has used her passion for publicity and the arts to raise awareness about important public policy issues including bullying, diversity inclusion, mental health, and violence against women. She was the Katherine Dunham Fellow in Grants & Gallery Management at the Regional Arts Commission in 2011, and is the co-founder of Emerging Leaders in the Arts-St. Louis, an organization that seeks to create a strong network of emerging leaders within the arts and creative sectors. A 2007 Shear Fellow, Antionette earned a bachelor’s degree in media studies and a master’s in communications from UMSL, and is a candidate for a master’s in public relations at Webster University.
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