Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life

2013

 

Heather Barnhart

Lincoln University

Heather Barnhart will be graduating with summa cum laude honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. She currently holds membership in the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is a member of Lincoln University's 2012 - 2013 Women's Leadership Academy and has assisted other students in financial areas addressing budgeting, credit reports, and financial planning. She plans to pursue a master of business administration with an emphasis in accounting and becoming a certified public accountant.

Kailea Bogner

University of Central Missouri

Kailea Bogner, is a 2011 graduate of Raymore-Peculiar High School.  As a junior at the University of Central Missouri, Kailea is very active on campus as President of UCM College Republicans and the Pre-Law Students Association, among other organizations. Upon graduation from the University of Central Missouri Kailea intends to go to law school and start a career in criminal prosecution. Kailea has the ambition to one day be elected to state office and soon after to serve as a U.S. Congresswoman and Senator.

Chynna Byrd

Truman State University

Chynna Byrd is a junior at Truman State University majoring in Political Science with a double-minor in International Studies and African/African American Studies. Each summer, she works as a summer camp counselor with the AmeriCorps program in her hometown of Belleville, IL. Chynna is a founding member and the Cultural Climate Chairperson of the Minority Ambassadors Program Association. She has done extensive research on Afro-Latinos in Latin America through her self-designed research course Afro-Latino Politics with Political Science professor Margaret Edwards. During her senior year, she will serve as the founding chapter leader of React to Film’s College Action Network showing social issue documentaries on campus. Upon graduation, Chynna plans to pursue a master’s degree in Latin American Studies or International Relations to then work in the federal government and foreign embassies.

Annaly Eimann

University of Missouri–St. Louis

Annaly Eimann is a Fulbright Scholar from Namibia, a country on the south-west coast of Africa. She just completed her master’s in Elementary Education, and will begin a doctoral program at UMSL in the fall. While in Namibia, Annaly served on various boards and committees to enhance the lives of women and children. She is an elementary school teacher by profession and worked as project coordinator to decentralize early childhood development to local authorities in Namibia, under the Vantaa/Windhoek cooperation agreement between the Association of Local Authorities in Finland and Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.  During fall 2012, she became a member of UMSL Women LEAD, Pi Kappa Alpa-Zeta Pi, an academic honors society of UMSL, and served as volunteer at Ferguson Youth Initiative and Project SEARCH (UMSL). Eventually, she aspires to return to Namibia to start homes for abandoned teenage mothers and her own school of early childhood education. She also hopes to influence Public Policy for women and children in her native country and engage in more civic activities while studying at UMSL.

Alex Engert

University of Central Missouri

Alex Engert is a Psychology major and Women’s Studies minor currently reorganizing Students Advocating Gender Equality as acting president at the University of Central Missouri. She is also working closely with UniteWomen.org, the Feminist Majority, and NARAL. She is currently the co-fundraising director for Missouri’s Unite Women.org chapter. Alex is also an ice hockey player and a Quidditch player, who also paints, throws pottery, works as a photographer and audio engineer, and plays the cello. In the future, she wants to continue her education with a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She would eventually like to work in domestic violence shelters or clinics as a counseling psychologist.

Alexius Gandy

University of Missouri–St. Louis

Alexius Gandy is a native North St. Louis, Missourian who is a product of the St. Louis Public Schools District.  Alexius earned her BS in Mathematics in 2001 from Webster University, and is a non-traditional student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she studies business administration with an emphasis in management.   She transferred to UMSL in 2011 to obtain her management credentials and graduate with her MBA.  Alexius taught high school mathematics before her transition into business administration.  She is an alumnus member of Pi Kappa Delta speech and debate honors fraternity and regularly adjudicates current fraternity tournaments.  Alexius was also a member and officer of the Webster University Omega Psi Phi Community Service Fraternity.  Last summer, she volunteered for the Democratic National Campaign Committee, where she canvassed, made phone calls, and promoted voting. Alexius is recently completed a legislative internship and political science class with the Associated Student of the University of Missouri (ASUM), a non-partisan, nonprofit student group that aims to keep students informed and involved in the political process.

Jessica B. Garcia

Missouri State University

Jessica Garcia is in her first year at Missouri State University where she is double majoring in Sociology and Spanish. Once

Jessica graduates, she plans on apply for Teach For America, which is an organization whose mission is to eliminate education inequity by enlisting high-achieving recent college graduates and professionals to teach for at least two years in low-income communities throughout the United States. This program will also enable Jessica to earn her teaching credentials while she studies for her Master’s degree in Multicultural and Urban Education. Jessica is extremely passionate about educational policies and one day, after she has some experience in the classroom, she hopes to get involved in the political world of educational reform. She hopes to be able to reform the way the education system in America currently operates. Jessica is involved in campus organizations such as Chi Alpha and Spectrum. She spends most of her free time doing weekly volunteering and outreach. She does all of this while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Nikki Gomez

Missouri S&T

Nikki Gomez is a first generation college student attending Missouri University of Science and Technology to obtain her B.S. in Biological Sciences and minors in Chemistry and Multiculturalism & Diversity.   Nikki is very involved on her campus and in her community.  She is currently the historian for Christian Campus Fellowship, the Executive for the Student Services Committee in Student Council, and is an active member in the following organizations:  Phi Sigma Society, Helix, S.C.R.U.B.S., and Conversation Partners.  Along with all her positions, she is an alumna of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Sigma Pi Fraternity.  Nikki can also be found coaching Upward Basketball for children (K-6th grade) in Rolla every spring or mentoring the youth at Laquey R-V High.  After graduation, she will go to medical school either for her D.O. or M.D.  As a doctor, Nikki hopes to practice medicine in a rural area.

Cassandra Hunt

Truman State University

A Truman State University graduate, Cassandra is pursuing her Master of Arts in Special Education.  She completed her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders while playing NCAA Division II basketball for the Bulldogs.  A 4.0 student, Cassandra was selected to defend her thesis publicly at Truman State’s Student Research Conference Day on the topic of, “The Effects of Check-In Check-Out (CICO) Targeted Intervention on Struggling Middle School Students”.  In addition to the requirements of her graduate program, Cassie is a homebound teacher and a 7th grade girls’ basketball coach.  Her passion for education is invigorated by her membership in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and its foundation, which is built on education and “Greater Services, Greater Progress”.  Following the fulfillment of her Teach Grant requirements, Cassandra plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Education.

Ke’yanna Johnson

Lincoln University

Ke'yanna is a graduating senior majoring in broadcast journalism. She has worked for the KJLU radio station for more than two years, assisting with writing and broadcasting the news. Ke'yanna is also an intern at Missouri Digital News where she serves as a statehouse reporter. She is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and a participant in Lincoln University's Women's Leadership Academy (2012-2013). Ke'yanna will be attending graduate school at Columbia College in Chicago, IL to study public affairs reporting. She plans to work for a major media network as an investigative reporter.

Rachel Kinahan

University of Missouri–Columbia

As a Chicago native, Rachel Kinahan came to the University of Missouri seeking a change and new opportunities. Currently as a sophomore, Rachel is pursuing a major in Finance and Banking and a minor in Leadership and Public Service. Through her affiliation with the business school, Rachel joined the Delta Sigma Pi, and currently presides on the financial committee in an effort to fundraise for the fraternity. She is also involved in the sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and is a part of the advertising committee for their philanthropic event, Mi CASA es Su CASA. This past semester, Rachel interned in Missouri State Senator Ryan Silvey’s office, dealing mainly with constituents’ issues. Rachel has volunteered at the Child Development Lab and at Russell Elementary School. After completing her undergraduate degree, Rachel aspires to complete a master’s degree in business or political science, and would love to work in political finance.

Ashley Koesterer

Missouri S&T

Ashley Koesterer is an undergraduate student at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  She is studying Business Management and Systems along with Economics, and plans to graduate in May 2014.  Ashley has dedicated herself to many leadership positions on her campus and was recently elected to be the Student Body President of Missouri S&T. She also serves as President of Women in Business, Vice President of Membership for Zeta Tau Alpha, and the Recognition and Leadership Chair for Student Council.  Her passion includes helping women reach their goals, becoming a successful manager, and traveling around the world to learn more about other cultures and political systems.  She hopes to become a very strong leader that many people look up to.

Lindsey Kolb

Missouri State University

Lindsey Kolb is a student at Missouri State University where she is currently pursuing a major in Socio-Political-Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a Press-Politics certificate. She currently serves as the state secretary of the Missouri College Republicans, an affiliate of the College Republican National Committee. Lindsey has been writing about politics since 2010 on her own personal blog, reaching over 24,000 page views. She currently writes for the nationally syndicated online news site, The College Conservative. She interned for Shane Schoeller's campaign for Secretary of State (he is the former Speaker Pro Temp of the Missouri House of Representatives and is the current Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party), and then she was hired as a field representative for Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's campaign for reelection in the fall of 2012 for Southwest Missouri. Enjoying public speaking and communicating with people about important issues, Lindsey also lobbies for issues pertaining to rural areas with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She has served on the Missouri State University Student Government Association first as a senator, and now as the Chief of Staff to the student body president and the SGA cabinet.

Ellen Komaromi

Lincoln University

Ellen is a junior pursuing a bachelor's of science in nursing. She has traveled twice to Piura, Peru to participate in medical missions. She is highly involved in her community, volunteering her free time in outreach projects, serving at the Jefferson City Pregnancy Help Center, and helping coordinate a 5k run for charity. Ellen has been on the Dean's List every semester of college and was a participant in the 2012-2013 Lincoln University's Women's Leadership Academy. Through nursing, Ellen hopes to promote the dignity and well-being of the most unwanted in society and have an impact, one person at a time, with the poor, the elderly and the unborn.

Rebecca Kramer

University of Missouri–Kansas City

In her junior year, Rebecca Kramer is pursuing dual majors in Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Human Health Humanities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. With her career goal of becoming a dentist, she remains busy both on campus and off. This year she is a Peer Mentor, Biological Sciences Tutor and UMKC Campus Ambassador. Off campus she is a regular volunteer with the Kansas City Health Clinic and Harvester’s Food Bank. After graduating from undergraduate work, Rebecca plans to start dental school. But wanting to do more than just be a general dentist, Rebecca has another goal of revolutionizing access for all people to receive dental insurance with any full time job. It is her goal and strong conviction that dental insurance must be changed, because the number of people receiving dental insurance is horrifically low. Rebecca will participate in a volunteer dentistry program in Panama through International Student Learning in the summer of 2014. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys watching movies, reading, spending time with family and friends and doing anything with a little adrenaline rush.

Mackenzie Martin

University of Central Missouri

Mackenzie Martin is a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri, pursuing dual majors in Political Science and History. She is Representative in the University of Central Missouri Student Government Association and is also a member of the Elections Committee. As a Representative, Mackenzie strives empower the student voice through creating legislation. Mackenzie also serves as the Vice President for the University of Central Missouri College Republicans. As Vice President, Mackenzie has worked with political campaigns, she has worked to promote conservative views around campus, and she has worked to inform students at the University of Central Missouri of political issues and the voting process. Mackenzie is also the secretary for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Advising Office. As the secretary, she has assisted students with their class schedule needs. Mackenzie is also a member of the University of Central Missouri Students for Political Action Group, where she has assisted in Politics and Social Justice Week.

Other memberships include the Delta Epsilon Iota Honors Fraternity at UCM in which she has assisted the Office of Career Services; Student Ambassador for the University of Central Missouri, assisting the Admissions Office by giving tours to perspective students and with helping out with visit days. Mackenzie was also chosen this year to represent the University of Central Missouri at the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point, NY.

Lindsay Mathews

University of Missouri–Kansas City

Lindsay Mathews is a second year law student at UMKC School of Law. She is pursuing a concentration in Family Law. While enrolled in law school, she has worked at Legal Aid of Western Missouri in the Domestic Violence Unit and Youth Court of Johnson County. Before attending law school, Lindsay worked in the field of education. She spent two years teaching High School Special Education in Brownsville, Texas before returning back home to teach and work at Teach for America Kansas City.

Ally Melvin

Southeast Missouri State University

Ally Melvin is a double major in Economics and Philosophy at Southeast Missouri State University, with hopes of attending law school. After her recent experiences in Ghana, West Africa, Ally developed a passion for the issues of global justice and stopping the spread of slavery in general, and child slavery in particular. While in Ghana, Ally was able to stay at a children’s shelter built by an organization called Challenging Heights, which is an advocacy group for freeing the slaves from Lake Volta, Ghana, and integrating them back into the community. Following this experience, Ally has devoted significant time and effort as President of Free the Slaves- Southeast Chapter, a chapter of the nation-wide organization Free the Slaves. Free the Slaves is an organization that aids in the rehabilitation of former child slaves in hopes of providing education for the victims and awareness in the global community. Knowing how important social stability is and the necessity to implement laws accordingly, especially with regard to the issue of slavery, Ally has a particular interest in helping to spread global justice.

Misha Miller-Gilmore

Missouri S&T

Misha Miller-Gilmore is currently the Vice-President of Recruitment for Panhellenic Council at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She has contributed to the Greek community at MS&T by serving as the bylaw revision committee chair when the council was undergoing a complete restructuring and now, as VP Recruitment, is facilitating recruitment policy revisions. She is working toward her bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering. She became more involved with the Geological Engineering department after completing a study abroad trip to Brazil sponsored by the department. Misha is very passionate about educating students on global issues and opportunities, bettering the image of the Greek community on campus, and encouraging cross-campus connections.  Misha hopes to one day work in South America to create and improve water systems so that more people have potable water available to them and are less likely to contract deadly illnesses. She also hopes to serve as a resource to other students that may need guidance for policy making.

Sandra Ostad

University of Missouri–Columbia

Sandra Ostad was born and raised in Oslo, Norway and is a senior at the University of Missouri, pursuing a double major in International Studies with an emphasis in Peace Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She earned a gymnastic scholarship and enrolled at the University of Missouri in January 2010. Through the athletic department she started volunteering and developed a passion to help people. After being a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for a year she was voted Vice-President of Community Service and was given the opportunity to engage and coordinate student-athletes giving back to the community. She was recognized by the Southeastern Conference for her efforts within the community and named to the SEC Community Service Team. Last summer Sandra visited Joplin and helped their community to build and paint houses, and she also volunteered at the MU Women and Children’s Hospital through Caleb’s Pitch program. Her dream is to work for the United Nations to help make a better world.

Anissa E. Paredes

Truman State University

Anissa Paredes is a junior Political Science major at Truman State University with a minor in English.  She has interned at the Missouri State Attorney General’s office, assisting the Chief Counsel of the Eastern Region.  She is dedicated to community service and has volunteered for United Way, Kids Art Corner, the Multicultural Affairs Festival in Milan, Missouri, Big Week of Giving, Trick or Treat for Canned Goods, The Big Event, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Challenge.  In addition, she is currently a coordinating team member of the First-Year Activities Committee, where she works to create a welcoming environment for first-year students. Anissa, a Scholastic Enhancement Experience Scholar, has been on the Executive Committee for the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Challenge and currently serves on the Diversity Enhancement Grant committee.  After graduation she plans to attend law school.  Her career goal is work in international affairs and foreign policy; fields that would allow her to utilize her legal background and Russian language skills.

Angela Pearson

University of Missouri–Columbia

Angela Pearson is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and a sophomore at the University of Missouri. She is a dual major in journalism and political science and a minor in Spanish, and has plans to enter the political communications or campaign arena upon graduation.  Angela is an active member of the Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative, a student organization dedicated to providing a supportive sisterhood and academic resources to freshman and transfer students. She also serves as the staff photographer for the group. Angela served on the steering committee for the 2013 Columbia Women’s Leadership Conference held in March, working on the Presenter’s Relations Committee and assisting with conference promotion. In addition, Angela works as a Desk Attendant in the Department of Residential Life. After college, Angela anticipates attending graduate school for Public Relations.

Kelly Postlewait

University of Missouri–Kansas City

Kelly S. Postlewait is a second year law student at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Law School. At UMKC, Kelly serves as Vice President of the American Civil Liberties Union student organization, as a Law School Emissary, and is a staff member for the UMKC Law Review. Additionally, she competes on the UMKC Client Counseling Team and serves as a Law School Research Assistant. Kelly has worked as an intern for the Missouri Public Defenders System in the Jackson County Trial Division. She is currently employed with Pique Co., a full service business consulting firm, where she works on business and property redevelopment projects. Notably, Kelly is also a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Society, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and Association for Women Law Students. Kelly graduated from the University of Kansas with a BFA in Dance and earned her Master’s degree in Urban Affairs at Hunter College in New York City. While completing her master’s degree, Kelly worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff for State Assembly Member Jonathan Bing. In her free time, Kelly volunteers for the Justice Project in Kansas City. Upon graduating from law school and passing the Bar, Kelly hopes to pursue her passion for developing and implementing socially and fiscally responsible public policy through a legal practice in the public law sector and eventually running for public office.

 Sharon Pruitt

University of Missouri–St. Louis

Sharon Pruitt is a non-traditional student at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in English with a creative writing emphasis and a certificate in Gender Studies. Following graduation, she plans to earn her master’s degree in social work so that she can combine her passions for writing and helping others into developing programs to help underprivileged girls and women empower themselves through writing.

Shannon Reid

Missouri State University

Shannon Reid is a first year student at Missouri State University studying Socio-Political Communication. She plans on completing her undergraduate degree in three years before pursuing her master’s degree through the Accelerated Master’s Program offered through the university. She is dedicated to her schoolwork, currently holding a 3.8 GPA, and enjoys studying public policy, media, and professional writing. She is passionate about politics at all levels and is currently a Senator for the Student Government Association at Missouri State University, receiving the Senator of the Month award earlier this year. While she enjoys these pursuits, Shannon is also an active member of Phi Eta Sigma, an international honors fraternity, as well as the Recreational Outdoor Club, where she enjoys rock climbing and cliff jumping with her friends.

Jessica Rodas

University of Missouri–Kansas City

Jessica Rodas is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City majoring in Health Science and Communications Studies with a minor in French.  She currently works for the Kansas City, Kansas Saturday Science and Math Academy and is very active in her community as a United Way volunteer.  While at UMKC, Jessica has been active in a wide range of activities, from Campus Ambassador and Avanzando Scholar to co-founder of the multicultural Latina based sorority (Interested Ladies of Sigma Lambda Gamma) and as an Honors student.  After graduation, Jessica plans to do research abroad and get her Master’s in Public Health and Social-Cultural Anthropology and attend Law School to pursue a career in public service.  In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with her family. 

Kelley Ryun

Missouri State University

Kelley Ryun, a junior at Missouri State University, is pursuing a major in Organizational Communication, a minor in marketing, and a certificate in dispute resolution. In order to empower and educate women and men on campus about the struggles women face and the strength women in leadership bring to the table, Kelley has helped create a gender equality group called Bluestockings. She is a member of Lambda Pi Eta (an honorary academic fraternity in Communication), Phi Kappa Phi (a collegiate honor society), and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is also active, both on campus and within her community, in Spectrum and PROMO (organizations that advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality) where she recently lobbied in Jefferson City for the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act and Safe Schools Act. After graduation, Kelley plans on working for a nonprofit organization advocating for the LGBTQ community or as a communication trainer.

Kelsey Saragnese

University of Missouri–Columbia

Kelsey Saragnese grew up in Columbia, Missouri. She is a junior at the University of Missouri, studying Women’s and Gender Studies with minors in Spanish, Linguistics, and Sociology. Kelsey first began getting involved in social justice work as a student at Rock Bridge High School and currently serves as the President of MU Stop Traffic, the Vice President of the MU chapter of the American Association of University Women, a trip leader for Alternative Spring Break, a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, and a staff member at the MU Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center. She has been able to integrate her academic work with extracurricular interests, focusing on prevention of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in all forms and across many communities. After graduating, Kelsey plans to join AmeriCorps and pursue a master’s degree in Social Work, eventually working on direct service or program development for violence prevention and intervention.

Anna Sarr

Missouri S&T

Anna Sarr was born in Senegal in the western part of Africa. Having seen firsthand how poverty and economic hardship can affect the life of a human being, she is very passionate about finding solutions to reduce global poverty and changing the quality of living of women and children, especially in the developing world.  Anna is a junior at Missouri University of Science and Technology majoring in Economics with a minor in Information System and Technology. She is working towards becoming a Chief Economic Development Officer, and wishes to work in government, or hold a position in an organization where she will be able to serve her community. Anna has been nominated in the president’s list for academic achievement and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. She has participated in many community service activities with Phi Theta Kappa, and helped build a playground for the kids with United Way in California. She is currently a member of the Solar House Team and the Women in Business Club at Missouri University of Science and technology. When she is not too busy with school, Anna loves to take road trips and travel around the country or abroad. She has been to Germany, passing through France and Belgium, and also visited ten states within the U.S. She equally loves to read novels, spiritual, and life changing books.

Linda Schreiber

Southeast Missouri State University

Linda Lou Schreiber was born in Hamburg, Germany on August 28 1991. After moving from one place to the next with her parents, she stayed in Tostedt, Gennany for a while, where she attended elementary school for four years, middle school for two years, and finally high school for seven years. Her high school is called "the Gymnasium" which is the highest level of school and takes the most ambition and intellect to pass. During her time at the Gymnasium, Linda took the opportunity to visit Australia for half a year to go to high school. This experience vastly improved her English. She learned to speak fluently and began to believe in her talent as bilingual person. After having learned French and Spanish, English seemed to be the only language that really inspired her, which is why she did not stop in Australia. After she completed high school in Germany, Linda decided to study Marketing Management in America. With every other aspect in her life that she really wanted having been fought for, this one worked out just fine. Linda has been studying at Southeast Missouri State University for two years now. She may stay in the U.S. after getting her bachelors, perhaps even her Masters. Her desire for international experiences and improving her language skills will never expire, and her will to become a very influential woman will only become greater over the years.

Lauren Schuette

Southeast Missouri State University

Lauren Schuette graduated high school in May 2010. She started her college education at Truman State University, but in Fall 2011, Lauren transferred to Southeast Missouri State University. She is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, with a minor in Philosophy. She has been on the Dean's List every semester since fall 2011. She was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, in December 2012. She is a member of the Jane Stephens Honors Program and intends to graduate with honors in December 2013. After graduation, Lauren plans to continue her education by obtaining a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Southeast Missouri State. Outside of academics, Lauren is involved with community organizations. She attends La Croix Church and is becoming more involved with its activities. She achieved her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2008, and is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of America. Lauren is also a member of the City of Jackson Community Outreach Board, which creates and carries out projects for community improvement and fundraising. She is a member of a sub-committee dedicated to putting on arts festivals, and also a sub-committee planning a fundraising event for military veterans. Lauren is aiming to begin a career in public administration, perhaps with a non-profit organization, and possibly later becoming involved in politics.

Amanda Shetler

Truman State University

Presently a senior at Truman State University, Amanda Shetler is majoring in Political Science with minors in History & English.  She is currently President and a founding member of the Political Science Student Association, serves as research assistant to Dr. Candy Young, and is a DJ and News Announcer for KTRM, the Truman State radio station.  During her first two years at Truman, Amanda served as Communication Director for the College Democrats creating and updating the club’s website, and was also a Student Senator specifically charged with reviewing the Organizational Activities Fee.  She is currently an active member of Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi.  Her interest in and respect for other cultures was heightened during her semester study abroad experience in Berlin, Germany, where she interned at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.  After graduation, Amanda plans to spend the fall of 2013 performing mission-work in Chimbote, Peru.

Amber Stevens-Hibdon

University of Central Missouri

Amber Stevens-Hibdon is a senior set to graduate this summer with a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from UCM.  As a non-traditional student, Amber balances school and work with the demands that naturally come from a family of six. When she is not being a dance mom or a soccer mom, she spends her time volunteering with a plethora of organizations, from her local PTA to an annual women’s conference with events all over the Midwest. Amber’s time is also filled with teaching classes for both adults and children at her church. Amber is currently enjoying a rewarding internship in her hometown with the City Administrator of Blue Springs. After graduation Amber hopes that following her passions of municipal government and public policy will eventually lead to an elected office position.

Jessica Stone

Southeast Missouri State University

Jessi Stone was born in Columbia, MO, and raised in Dongola, IL, until her parents divorced when she was in fourth grade. She, her mother, and her younger sister, Rikki, moved to Jonesboro, IL, and she attended Anna-Jonesboro Community High School where she was very involved with the Lady Wildcats golf and basketball teams and in track and field.  She attends Southeast Missouri State University to complete her bachelor's degree in Animal Science, and is a student worker at the Agricultural Department. She has made many lifelong friends at Southeast and is very happy going there. She is very involved with the department and is a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau, the Showman's Team, the Pre-Veterinary Club, and the Horticulture Club. She also attended the Agricultural Future of America Leadership Conference in Kansas City, MO. She has found her passion and love in the field of Veterinary Medicine and plans to do great things in this career. Her plans are big, but nothing can hold her back from obtaining her goals.

Tamica Stone

Lincoln University

Tamica graduated this May with a bachelor of science in criminal justice. She was a peer tutor in the Student Support Services, an active member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. She was a Gateway Classic Full Scholarship Recipient as well as a Freddy G. Ashford Scholarship Recipient. During her time as a participant in the 2012-2013 Lincoln University's Women's Leadership Academy, Tamica also found time to become a Big Sister with the local Boys & Girls Club. Tamica's future plan is to attend law school.

Ericka Thomas

University of Missouri–St. Louis

As a first generation college student, Ericka is majoring in Public Policy and Administration. She is passionate about empowering people to be successful and appreciate their own self-worth. Her interest in civil liberties and gender equality has fueled her educational work. A non-traditional student, she cares for her family and manages to maintain a 3.8 GPA. Ericka has worked with several agencies who serve the underserved, including seniors and individuals with varying degrees of Autism. Additionally, she has worked for the Juvenile Department in Jefferson County, mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth. As Ericka’s lifelong dream of attending law school draws near, she is preparing by completing an internship in the St. Louis County Public Defender’s office. After law school, Ericka hopes to create an inmate rehabilitation program, enabling individuals who have served prison sentences to gain skills and education in order to work on rebuilding their lives and their communities. In her free time, Ericka enjoys kickboxing, reading, and making others laugh.