Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life

2012 Fellows

 

Candice Alcaraz
Truman State University
As a first generation college student from Chicago, Candice Alcaraz has made quite the transition from a passive three sport, high school athlete to an active member of seven different campus organizations. These organizations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, National Pan-Hellenic Council of TSU, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Association of Black Collegians, MAC Peer Academic Mentor Program, and MAC Peer Mentor Program. She is also participating as a Bullet Women’s Rugby Player. Currently, Candice is preparing to run for President of NPHC, studying for the GRE, researching graduate schools and programs, while also maintaining a 3.72 GPA. After graduation, she will pursue a master’s degree in criminology. As a criminal justice major , she is particularly interested in helping wayward youth and improving our correctional systems by changing one-size fits all policies to help make rehabilitation a successful process. She is very excited about the prospect of acting in the public sector, as well as being a part of the processes that can make changes for the betterment of society.

Karissa Anderson
Southeast Missouri State University
Karissa Anderson is a St. Louis, Missouri native. Graduating from Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in 2008, Karissa is now a senior at Southeast Missouri State University. After graduating in December 2012, Karissa hopes to attain a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Social Work Leadership and Management.  Her passions are education and diversity as well as family.

Nazgol Bagheri
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Nazgol Bagheri is an Interdisciplinary PhD candidate focusing on Geography and Sociology. Her dissertation centers on the construction and reformation of public space through emphasizing gender roles and modernization process in Tehran, Iran. In February 2012, she was honored by the Susan Hansen Dissertation Proposal Award from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and her research has been featured on UMKC and local news. She is currently a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow, an instructor, and a founder of Middle Eastern Urban Studies Group at UMKC. Back in Tehran, Nazgol was a project manager at an international design firm (2005-07). She is a local organizer of Jane’s Walk and leads an annual free neighborhood walk to help put people in touch with their environment and with each other. Nazgol’s dream is to become a University professor and to promote the quality of public spaces through her publications and actions.

Tamarra Booze
University of Central Missouri
Tamarra Booze is a sophomore Political Science student. She is a transfer student from State Fair Community College. This is her first year at the University and she is currently becoming involved in College Democrats. Tamarra is a non-traditional student and raises a six-year-old boy by herself while attending school full-time. She also volunteers for her son’s basketball and soccer teams on the weekends. Tamarra’s life-long dream of attending law school has since changed after her first semester at the University and she would like to emphasize her studies in International Relations. After college, Tamarra would like to start a non-profit organization to help other young mothers and children throughout the world. In her free time Tamarra loves working out, running, and watching movies.

Michelle Campbell
Lincoln University
Michelle Campbell is a senior at Lincoln University where she will be graduating in May with honors and a B.S.Ed in Elementary Education. She has had outstanding academic preparation at Lincoln University.  In addition to a 3.8 G.P.A., she has been repeatedly recognized for outstanding academic achievement.  She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and the Women’s Leadership Academy. As a member of the Women’s Leadership Academy, Michelle created a presentation entitled “Extra Prep for the Next Step”. She is applying to elementary schools in hopes of becoming a teacher. Michelle has and continues to demonstrate her dedication to the field of education and her commitment to being a life-long learner.

Shawnta Clark
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Shawnta Clark is a second year graduate student majoring in Education Administration-Higher Education Administration. Shawnta also completed her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She currently works full-time at Penn Valley Community College where she assist students navigate through the financial aid process. Aside from her full-time work schedule, she also is completing an internship as an Academic Advisor at Penn Valley Community College. While at Penn Valley, she has served on several committees including Organization Advisor for Sisterhood of African American Students. She volunteers with community organizations to help prospective college students and their families complete their Free Application for Student Aid. Her main priority is being a role model to her son, Jordan. After graduation, she plans to serve as an Academic Advisor and Adjunct Instructor at a community college.

Carolina Costa Candal
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Carolina Costa Candal is a Political Science and International Relations major attending UMKC. Being the recipient of enrichment scholarships, she has been able to study in the United States, England and Spain throughout her education. In 2010, Carolina was granted the Academic Excellence Award by the University of A Coruna, in her hometown. She is currently an intern at the UMKC Women’s Center, where she assists in event planning, among other projects. In past years, Carolina has volunteered in several programs and campaigns for International NGO's such as Terre des Hommes, Intermon Oxfam and the KU United Nations Association. She has also been involved in Model United Nations conferences and activities at Kingston University. In the future, Carolina hopes to reconcile an academic career, as a Political Science lecturer, with the public advocacy efforts necessary for the empowerment and advancement of women.

Jasmin Draper
Lincoln University
Jasmin is a junior majoring in Political Science. She is a transfer student from Solano Community College, located in the Bay Area of California, where she was born and raised. Jasmin is involved in the American Democracy Project organization, which focuses on civil initiates and citizen leadership. She is also a Supplemental Instruction Leader for the Political Science Department. Jasmin plans to attend law school after earning her undergraduate degree and is active in pre-law student events. She is committed to civil and human rights advancement. Jasmin is very interested in progressive political movements and defining equality. She hopes to have a major influence on women and minorities while encouraging education throughout her career.

Madalyn Enzmann
Southeast Missouri State University
Madalyn Enzmann is in her second year of college at Southeast, she is a Political Science and Philosophy major. She attended Lafayette High school in Wildwood, Missouri.   She is very involved with school and community organizations, providing her with ample experience and leadership opportunities.  Along with her internship in the district office, Madalyn frequently volunteers for Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson’s campaign; just this semester she has spent multiple Saturday nights at Lincoln Day events throughout the eighth district.  Foundations of Madalyn’s political ambitions developed when she was a Girl Scout.  She has earned all note-worthy awards in Girl Scouts, including being recognized as a thirteen year Girl Scout and achieving the Gold Award.   Madalyn is a proud member of Delta Delta Delta, in which she has held multiple leadership positions and assisted her chapter in raising thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Outside her education and social obligations Madalyn enjoys reading, music, and being in the outdoors. 

Angela Filbeck
Missouri State University

Angela Filbeck earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southwest Missouri State University in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Since serving as a therapist in an elementary school, she has worked in a variety of roles, including administrative and training positions, gaining experience in management and organization. She is a certified yoga instructor, has participated in a yoga outreach program and currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Teach to Inspire Lifestyle Education Center in Springfield, Missouri. In 2009 she made the decision to return to school and earn a second master’s degree, this time in Public Administration. Her degree has a focus on Public Policy, with an emphasis on environmental issues. Angela’s coursework includes policy analysis, leadership and ethics, and environmental economics. She will graduate in May 2012, with a goal of running for public office – eventually hoping to serve as a member of congress.

Mary Francis
University of Missouri
Mary Francis was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She has participated in various organizations during her collegiate years that have allowed her to give back to the community and help international students on campus. She currently serves as a volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps, Asian Affairs Conversation Program, and Hospice Advantage. While in undergrad, Mary served as president of Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS). A year after her presidency, the chapter was recognized nationally by the organization as Chapter of the Year for making a robust change in leadership, community service, and excellence. As a second year master student, she is pursuing dual Masters in Public Health and Public Affairs. Last summer she had the opportunity to intern at Kansas City Health Department in the HIV Services Program, where she assisted the program director in strategic and community health planning sessions. After graduation, Mary would like to work in the public sector as a policy analyst and go on to pursue a PhD in Health Policy and Administration.

Courtney Hayes
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Courtney Hayes, a sophomore and English major at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is also studying for a Certificate in Gender Studies. She is currently an employee for the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors, working as a lifeguard and office assistant, but her true love is her work at Touchpoint Autism Services where she has worked for 1 ½ years as an individual support assistant improving the social, verbal, and academic skills of children with autism and making lifelong connections with these children. Courtney’s interests vary greatly and, although she has many goals and aspirations, her dream is to attend Law School and have an effective role in government. After finishing law school, Courtney hopes to promote social change and equality for disadvantaged people; especially women, the disabled, and individuals in the LGBT community who are still fighting for true social acceptance and equality. Courtney loves good movies, classic rock music, and Cardinals baseball.

Jermecia Jackson
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Jermecia L. Jackson is the only child of a proud two parent household. A first generation college student, Jermecia is in her senior year at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she is studying Criminology, Criminal Justice and Psychology. By 2013, she will be a first year law student. While Jermecia has faced adversities, she believes in giving back to the youth by educating and mentoring them so that they too may have someone to reach out to. Jermecia has been the coordinator and leader of her church youth dance group for four years. She wants to engage and learn more of what she can do to change/implement policies that affect victims of violence against women (involuntary sterilization, intimate partner violence laws, etc) and would like to open her own women’s shelter. Additionally, Jermecia would like a community based dance institution that provides youth the opportunity to interact with others in an enriching environment.

Chermain Jennings
Truman State University

An intelligent young lady with strong ambitions, Chermain Jennings is a twenty-three old African American female currently finishing up her final year at Truman State University. As a Sociology major and Justice Systems minor, she loves working with others and desires to understand more about the world and people around her. While academics are an integral part of her life at this point, she is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, where serving the community and those around her is a top priority. As an undergraduate, she has conducted and published her own research through the Ronald E. McNair program and because of this, has been given the opportunity to present at various conferences. Although she already has many accomplishments, she has no intention of slowing down and looks forward to a successful and meaningful career.

Patience Naa Kai Kanyi
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Patience is a graduate student pursuing Public Policy Administration with emphasis in Managing Human Resources and Organizations. She is very passionate about issues relating to women and girls education and empowerment. While in Ghana (her home country), Patience was the President and Adviser to her local Presbyterian Church Children’s Ministry. She is currently volunteering as a Sunday School Tutor in the University United Methodist Church, St. Louis.  Patience is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Technology and Learning Center of the College of Education. She was an International Student Orientation Leader during the 2011 UMSL international students’ orientation week, and a peer mentor for the 2011 UMSL Girls Leadership Camp. She is currently an International Student Leader and also a member of Student Today Alumni Tomorrow. Patience recently received the UMSL Black Faculty and Staff Leadership Award. She led a team of three to successfully organize the 2012 Variety Show and Multicultural Night on campus. Patience likes cooking!

Susie Kekec
Missouri State University
Susie Kekec is a senior pursing a double major in Intercultural and Organizational Communication, with a minor in General
Business. Starting this fall she will be spending a year abroad teaching English in Japan. Once Susie has returned she plans to continue working in the International Arena, pursuing a master’s in Student Affairs and then working as an international student advisor, recruiter, or English instructor. Susie has also been working at the MSU English Language Institute (ELI) as Special Programs Logistics Coordinator since May 2011 where she’s had such opportunities as co-presenting an intercultural communication workshop, and serving on the International Education Week Committee. Susie’s involvement on campus has led to a number of leadership opportunities and has allowed her to present at regional and serve as a voting delegate at national residence life conferences. Most recently Susie was honored as one of the recipients of MSU’s Distinguished Woman Award.

Elise Kittrell
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Elise Kittrell is a graduate student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. After graduating with a Biology degree as Magna Cum Laude from Southeastern Louisiana University, she is now working on her master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. While pursuing her degree in Environmental Engineering, Elise is conducting research on ways to increase the efficiency of acid mine drainage cleanup. Her involvement on campus has led her to become the Conference Chair Officer for the Society of Women Engineers Missouri S&T Student Chapter. She is also the Vice President of the Water Environment Federation where she hopes to increase student interest in protecting local water ways and informing the community about the need for clean water. Elise also has a leadership position as the starting pitcher for the Missouri S&T NCAA Division 2 Softball Team. In the future, she hopes to attain a job in the field of mining. Her ultimate goal is to become a female leader in the water environment field, with an emphasis on reducing the impacts mining and acid mine drainage have on the environment. In her free time, Elise enjoys hiking, scuba diving and reading books.

Dimonique McGruder
Truman State University
Born in Palmyra, Missouri, Dimonique McGruder is a junior, History major at Truman State University. Currently, she is a member of the Track and Field Team and is actively involved in several other organizations including College Democrats and Fellowship for Christian Athletes. She also serves as the Chairman for the Athletic Fee Accountability Committee. Dimonique has a strong passion for government and politics and is particularly interested in policies that include education, social services and healthcare. This passion partly stemmed from her participation in the American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State Program. In the future she hopes to attain her law degree and then one day become a judge or run for political office, so that she can use her abilities to further the causes she believes in.

Olufunmilola “Lola” Oduyeru
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Olufunmilola Oduyeru is a senior Political Science major with a minor in Economics. She aspires to pursue a Law degree as well as a Master’s degree in public administration. During her time at UMKC, she remained active in campus groups such as UMKC’s Coaching Program, The Campus Ambassador program, and the Pre-Law division of the National Black Law Students Association. She has served as president of the African Student Culture Organization and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor society. Highlights of her undergraduate career include receiving the National Black Law Students Association’s Nelson Mandela award in Houston, Texas and participating in the UMKC School of Law’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholar’s program. This summer, she will be interning for Congressman Emanuel Clever II in Washington DC. After graduation, she plans on interning with Intervarsity Christian fellowship prior to pursuing postgraduate programs.

Paige Oxendine
Missouri State University
Paige Oxendine is a junior from Neosho, Missouri who is currently pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Public Relations and Socio-Political Relations at Missouri State University. Outside the classroom, Paige works extensively with the Student Government Association and next year will serve as student body president at the university. Paige has also had the privilege to serve as a student representative on several university committees, including the Public Affairs Theme Selection Committee and Advisory Board for Student Publications. When not busy with on-campus work, Paige volunteers with the Springfield Literacy Council as a volunteer reader at local elementary schools and has also worked closely with the Springfield Alzheimer’s Association. Paige has a keen interest in the expanding role of social media in everyday life, particularly in the power of social media relating to movements for social change. Paige hopes to spend time abroad before completing her undergraduate work and would like to pursue a career in Political Communication.

Roslyn Parker
Lincoln University
Roslyn Parker is a junior majoring in Journalism. She is a reporter and photographer for the Lincoln University Clarion and a Student Ambassador for the People to People World Leadership Forum. In 2011 she was sponsored by the Lincoln University D.C. Alumni Chapter to represent D.C. students at the National Alumni Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Roslyn has enjoyed traveling throughout Europe, as a missionary in Romania and as a Student Ambassador. Roslyn plans to further her education by continuing her studies in Journalism in hopes of advancing in a career in human resources or public relations.

Christina Parle
University of Central Missouri
Christina Parle is a sophomore Criminal Justice major, with a minor in Political Science at UCM. She currently holds membership in the UCM Student Government Association as the Vice President. In the SGA, Christina has also held positions as Senator, University Issues Chair, Floor Leader, and helped assist the Senate Selections Committee in interviewing prospective candidates. She has empowered the voice of her constituents in every way possible. Christina is the Social Chair of the Honor’s College Student Association. As the Social Chair, Christina has developed new ways to connect with the Honor’s students and worked diligently with the Public Relations Chair to advertise events for HCSA. Christina is also a Supplemental Instruction Leader for American Government. As a Supplemental Instruction Leader, Christina reviews information from previous lectures, creates study guides, and practices quizzes. Christina plans to further her education in graduate school in the fall of 2014.

Olivia Plumlee
Southeast Missouri State University
Olivia Plumlee is a junior at Southeast Missouri State University.  She is a Political Science major and a History minor.  Olivia finds success through her passionate tendencies while serving in leadership roles. She is actively involved in various leadership positions in Alpha Xi Delta, Pan-Hellenic Council, and College Republicans.  She has also been selected to act as the student representative to the Southeast Missouri State University Strategic Enrollment Management Subcommittee and has participated as a Student Ambassador for Southeast Missouri State University.  As a first generation college student, and the only person in her family to leave her city for school, Olivia is not afraid to try new things. In fact, she believes that the only way to ultimate success is not by following great leaders, but by paving her own path and making herself vulnerable. She believes that without taking risks, she is not allowing herself to fully excel.

Angie Postal
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Angie Postal expects to graduate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in May with a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration. Angie works as the Lead Organizer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. During her career as an advocate for women’s health, Angie has lobbied in both Jefferson City and Washington, D.C., organized rallies, marches and lobby days, organized community campaigns on sex education, developed and executed campaigns  to turn out women voters for pro-choice candidates, and managed and mentored many interns and volunteers. Angie is the very proud mother of Virginia Postal Murphy, age one, and who at two months was the youngest participant at the pro-choice lobby day 2011, and at nine months was the youngest door knocking volunteer on the Tracy McCreery’s campaign for State Representative. Angie is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the honor society for Public Policy Administration.

Shon Cele Rainey
Missouri State University
Shon Cele Rainey is a senior at Missouri State University where she is a photography student pursuing a BFA in Art and Design and a Film Studies minor. She has been steadily employed since she was a teen; all of her positions have been in customer service. Her current positions are as an Information Desk Attendant at MSU and the Plaster Student Union bookstore, Paw Prints. Currently she is working on a photographic exhibition for a non-profit organization. The exhibit will focus on women and correspondence. Her goals are to pursue a graduate degree in Film/Media Studies and to become a public advocate for equal rights policies.

Sarah Ramlal
University of Central Missouri
Sarah Ramlal is a junior who is dual majoring in Psychology and Political Science, and is in pursuit of attending law school. She is actively involved in the Student Government Association and currently serves as the President. She has also served as the Internal Issues Committee Chairperson as well as a Senator for the junior class. Sarah is also involved in the Psi Chi, the academic honor fraternity of Psychology, the Honors College, and she sits on the Public Relations Committee for Honors College Student Association. Sarah shows a high commitment for bettering the student body and voicing their concerns to the administration staff in hopes of developing effective solutions that accommodate both students and administration staff. After graduating from the University of Central Missouri, Sarah is planning on attending law school and working towards an S.J.D. She intends on becoming actively involved with humanitarian law projects throughout the country and the world.

Ashlee Reese
University of Missouri
Ashlee Reece is a junior at the University of Missouri (MU), majoring in Communication with a minor in Business.  Ashlee is originally from Southern California but spent much of her childhood in St. Louis Missouri with her aunt and relatives.  As a student at MU, Ashlee has made an impact by serving her community through leadership positions such as being a Peer Advisor in Johnston Hall, being a 2011 Summer Welcome Leader, and being a co-facilitator for the Student Success Center’s Learning Strategies class. Above many things, Ashlee is dedicated to her contribution to her community and breaking barriers that stand against women and minorities.  After graduation, she plans to attend law school where she will gain the skills needed to practice family or corporate law.

Hilary Sedovic
University of Missouri-Columbia
Hilary Sedovic was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and moved to Columbia in the fall of 2009 to attend the University of Missouri.  She is a senior in the Social Work undergraduate program and is also working on her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, along with earning a minor in Leadership and Public Service and a Multicultural Certificate.  She has worked as a legislative intern for Representative Rory Ellinger at the Missouri State Capitol, and served the minority and disadvantaged populations of Columbia through her volunteer work at Centro Latino, Grant Elementary School, and Heart of Missouri United Way.  In the fall, she will be serving her practicum at Refugee & Immigration Services in Columbia.  Hilary plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Policy, Planning, & Administration in Human Services, and to serve a term in the Peace Corps after completing graduate school.

Antaniece Sills
University of Missouri
Antaniece Sills was born and raised in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. As a child she always saw things within her community that she wish she could change and those experiences lead to her passion for learning and helping others. Antaniece is a first-generation college student which motivates her to excel academically. Outside of academics, Antaniece is highly involved in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated and served as the president for one year within this organization. As president, her main goal was to help the Columbia community through programming. Antaniece is also currently the president for the National Pan-Hellinic Council, 2011-2012 McNair Scholar, Big Brother Big Sister of America mentor, and was recently inducted into Phi Alpha National Honor Society. Antaniece wishes to obtain a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and Juris Doctorate (JD) dual degree, and then work towards a PhD in Public Policy.

Jacqueline Soderstrom
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Heidi (legally Jacqueline) is an Applied Math major at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Her morality and sense of integrity play huge roles in her life. She is intensely interested in women's issues, research, and education. Her long-term goal is to be a responsible member of the global community.

Brooke Thedford
Truman State University
Born in Evansville, Indiana and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Brooke Thedford is an accomplished and determined Psychology student at Truman State University. She is also obtaining a minor in Sociology with a Pre-Law Concentration, and has been a contributing factor in several different organizations while studying at Truman as well as making the Dean’s list during the Spring 2011 Semester. The organizations she is involved with include the Association of Black Collegians, Delta Sigma Theta where she serves as both the Social Action Char and Ball Co-Chair, and the Psi Chi—TSU’s chapter of the International Honor Society in Psychology. In addition, during her sophomore year she was given the opportunity to participate in Walt Disney’s World’s College Program as an intern. There she was able to develop skills in human relations, networking, and leadership. Overall Brooke has a strong desire to help change the lives of others in a positive way. She hopes one day to obtain her law degree so she can do just that.

Rachael Wenzel
University of Central Missouri
As a child Rachael Wenzel would sit with her grandmother, a studio painter, as she worked and mimic her strokes. At the age of 14 Rachael became an apprentice to her grandmother. In high school she became passionate about teaching art – the subject she felt so strongly about. Immediately after high school Rachael obtained an Associate of Art Degree in Education and transferred to the University of Central Missouri to pursue a Degree in Art Education. While at UCM, Rachael traveled to St. Louis, Chicago, and New York with the Department of Art and Design. As a Student Artist Coalition leader, she had the opportunity to work alongside other art majors planning exhibits and student art activities. After graduation Rachael hopes to teach students the relevance of art and how to gain from the experience of creating it while instilling a commitment to civic engagement, community service, and public sector leadership in the arts.

Casey Whalen
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Casey Whalen is a senior Psychology major and Political Science minor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In 2010 she joined the Psi Chi Honors Fraternity, and has been on the Dean’s List throughout all four years at the university. As an undergraduate, Casey served as Vice President of Service in the Alpha Phi Omega, Chaplain for Delta Zeta, and currently holds the position of Philanthropy Chair in Delta Zeta. Her volunteer work off campus includes social justice work with MIRA, as well as work with Big Brother Big Sisters and Junior Achievement. She also has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Department of Psychology. After graduation, Casey plans to pursue work with a local NPO and volunteer for local political campaigns before graduate school.

Ebonee Woods
Lincoln University
Ebonee Woods is a senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology at Lincoln University. On campus, Ebonee is a member of the American Democracy Project, serves as Chair of Orientation Leader Board, and works as a Supplemental Instructor and Peer Leader. Ebonee presented Political Mobilization at Lincoln University to the Women's Leadership Academy which detailed the efforts to organize Lincoln University's Lobby Day/Email Campaign.  In June, 2011 she represented Lincoln University at the National American Democracy Project's Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. During the fall of 2011 she was one of LU's representatives to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute in New York City, NY and to the National Orientation Director's Association Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA. She maintains a 3.9 GPA and is a member of Alpha Kappa Mu and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies. After graduation Ebonee plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in political operations.