Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life

2013 Participants


Lacey AhlemeyerLacey Ahlemeyer
Major: Economics

Lacey Ahlemeyer is a senior at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics and minoring in Business Administration and Political Science.  Previously she has had co-ops as a registered lobbyist at the Missouri State Capital and as regional field director for 5 counties on a United State Congressional Campaign. She has also interned designing electrical systems at a utility company near Washington, D.C. This past summer, she interned with Ameren analyzing 80% of the monthly budget and documenting 2 business strategies. Due to her love of travel, she plans to visit all 50 state capitols (13/50) and is planning 35+ day trip to Europe over winter break. While she is considering earning a MBA, she plans to pursue a career in corporate finance, business strategy, and/or investment trading.

Christine Burger

Christine Burger
Graduate Student

Christy worked in the medical laboratory for over 15 years, and then returned to school to earn an Associate’s degree in Business. After working 15 years in accounting and raising her family, she entered academia once more to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado-Denver. She moved to St. Louis for the Master’s of Science in Gerontology program. Her desire is to become an advocate for the elderly and to assist them in aging successfully.  

Christy lived overseas in the South Pacific for many years raising her children. While abroad she interfaced with many different cultures and customs. This experience made her aware of how important it is to give respect and tolerance to ideas and customs that are unfamiliar.

Presently Christy volunteers at a Senior Center in Kirkwood/Webster Groves and is active in her church.

Tonya ChappellTonya Chappell
Major: Social Work

Rebekah CripeRebekah Cripe
Major: Special Education

Rebekah Cripe is a Sophomore studying Special Education with a minor in music. Her goal is to one day teach special needs kids, mainly autism and down syndrome, through music. Ms. Cripe grew up in a very musical family, and feels that it greatly helped her growth and development. She have spent a lot of time with special needs kids through church and learned very early that she wants to dedicate her life to teaching. Rebekah is very involved on UMSL's campus. She am a member of Delta Zeta and serves as the Publicity Chair. She also is the Administrative & Communication Chair on the executive board of University Program Board along with participating in PLHCSA, Catholic Newman Center, Emerging Leaders, and is starting a running club. Rebekah is a very outgoing and loves to meet new people. Her main goal in life is to have a positive attitude and try to make everyone feel included. Other hobbies include running, ballet, baking, scrapbooking, jewelry making, volunteering, reading, and much more.

Shatera Davis Shatera Davis
Major: Communication

Shatera is a Junior, working towards her Communication Bachelors Degree with a Minor in Management and Certificate in Gender Studies. She is the President of National Society of Leadership and Success and graduate of the Young Emerging Leaders program.  She was also President of Residence Hall Association and a mentor in the First Year Experience Program. She grew up in Saint Louis and went to high school at Normandy Senior High School. She is the recipient of the Gear Up scholarship where she is fortunate to have a full ride scholarship. In her free time, she loves to read and watch movies.  She hopes to refine her leadership skills while meeting like-minded individuals who want a support system. When she graduates her hope is to work in the Human Resources field where she feels she can help people find a perfect fit in an organization and provide comfort for people who are starting careers.

Alexius GandyAlexius Gandy
Major: Business Administration

Alexius Gandy is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Business Administration.  She is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and plans to be a business consultant after graduating.  She is also interested in working for either the Government Accountability Office or for a local government agency.  She is a 2013 Sue Shear Fellow, Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) member and UMSL Executive Leadership Consortium member.  Alexius is an active volunteer and leader in her community.  She is always looking for ways to apply her academic acumen and leadership skills, so participating in LEAD program is a delightful opportunity to continue to serve.

Roberta GordonRoberta Gordon
Major: English

Roberta Gordon is a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s in English with an emphasis in British Literature, as well as a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies and a certificate from Pierre Laclede Honors College.  She transferred from St. Louis Community College after earning an Associate’s in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Literature as well as the Honors diploma. Prior to her return to school, she was a stay-at-home mom for nearly ten years, until the youngest of her five children began preschool.  During that time, she was an active Girl Scout leader and volunteered extensively at her children’s schools.  With encouragement from family and friends, she returned to college nearly twenty years after graduating high school, and is preparing for the next step of graduate school. 

Roberta is considering graduate programs in library science, museum studies, and English, all of which tie in to her love of reading, and the arts of archiving and preservation.  She and her family are cast members of the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, and she also enjoys running 5Ks with her daughters through the Girls on the Run program.  The LEAD program offers Roberta a valuable opportunity to further develop her leadership skills in a professional context.

Cynthia HolmanCynthia Holman
Major: Spanish and Education

Cynthia Holman is a senior studying Spanish and education. During her collegiate career at UMSL, Cynthia has served as a mentor for the Emerging Leaders Program, a mentor through Multicultural Student Services, a supplemental instruction leader through the Center for Teaching and Learning, on the advisory board of Students of Service, and as a participant in the Advanced Leaders Program. She currently serves a Spanish tutor through Anthropology, Sociology, and Languages, and as a first year experience mentor for the University Studies course through the College of Arts and Sciences. Outside of UMSL she has served as a development intern for Lydia’s House in St. Louis as well as an education intern teaching English at Green Valley Bilingual School in Atenas, Costa Rica. Additionally, Cynthia has volunteered extensively throughout greater St. Louis, serving as a writing mentor for elementary aged children through StudioSTL and as a volunteer teacher through Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis. After graduation, Cynthia aspires to teach English in Spanish-speaking countries, serve in the Peace Corps, and work in the public sector.

Aichatou KonteAichatou Konte
Major: Biochemistry

Aichatou Konte is currently a sophomore at UMSL. She was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal and moved to the United States in 2005. She is majoring in Biochemistry and hopes to double major in Business. She attended Hazelwood West High school where she was a committee member for the Special Olympics, the Festivals of Nations,and also the A+ tutoring program where she tutored an  elementary class. She is a member of  FCCLA  (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America).  At UMSL she is an Army ROTC Cadet, an office assistant for the Office of Residential Life and Housing. She is a member of the Pre-Dental Society, the International Business Club, Associated Black Collegians and the Residential Hall Association. Aichatou is studying to become a dentist; her mission is to brighten the world one smile at a time and to open a free dental clinic in developing areas in Senegal. She is fluent in French and Wolof. Aichatou is very excited to participate in the LEAD program

Lashaun Logan

LaShaun Logan
Major: Nursing

LaShaun Logan is a junior pre-clinical nursing student at UMSL. She is excited to complete the nursing program to pursue her journey of being a registered nurse. She currently works for Lifeskills and Right at Home Healthcare; which she accompanies and assists adults with developmental disabilities within their homes and community. On campus, she is a involved member of the University Ambassadors. In the community, she is a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. She is also a volunteer tutor to elementary students for the Urban Youth organization. She is passionate and enjoys helping others. LaShaun is excited to become more acquainted and to interact with the other members of the program!

Amanda MuellerAmanda Mueller
Political Science/Pre-Law

Amanda Mueller is a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is majoring in Political Science with a pre-law emphasis.  She is also minoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Here at UMSL Amanda is a member of the Political Science Honor Society as well as the National Society for Leadership and Success.  In her free time she volunteers at the Nazareth Living Center for active seniors.  This semester she was a recipient of the Political Science Academy Scholarship and the Politics in America Scholarship.  Upon graduation in May of 2014, Amanda plans to attend law school where she will pursue her career in constitutional law.  It is her hope to inspire women to take an active interest in governmental affairs.

Tyra PearsonTyra Pearson
Major: Graphic Design

Born on July 20, 1994 in St. Louis, Missouri, Tyra began her life as a sponge. She absorbed everything, and by the time she reached kindergarten, she knew how to read, count to 100, and all of the colors in Spanish. Tyra attended school in the Normandy School District, and St. Louis Public School District until fifth grade. Afterward, she attended Confluence Schools until her departure for college. Tyra graduated from middle school and high school as valedictorian, and attended college in Chicago to Major in Graphic Design. After another transition, Tyra found a home with UMSL, where she is still mastering the craft of Graphic Design and enhancing her leadership skills. Tyra plans to get more involved on campus, and offer help to those who need it most.

Jasmine ToJasmine To
Major: International Business
Minor: Marketing

Jasmine To is a freshmen majoring in International Business, and pursing a minor in Marketing. She is the Social Adviser for International Business Club, and plans on joining a sorority this semester. She is also enrolled in the Pierre Laclede Honors College. She looks forward to making new friendships in LEAD and learning many new things!  

Loreli VelazquezLoreli Velazquez
Major: Social Work

Loreli Velazquez is a senior Social Work major who is hoping to pursue her masters in gerontology. She is currently volunteering at the Glady's and Henry Crown Center for independent living. She transferred to UMSL from UMKC and even changed her major from Elementary Education to Social Work. She has been a member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship as well as president of Intervarsity. Loreli hopes to get involved with the St. Louis community and help improve living situations for the residents. She is also anxious for the future to come. 

Sherre WaggonerSherre Waggoner
Graduate Student
Public Policy Administration

Sherre Waggoner is a strategist for nonprofit organizations and has raised over $16 million in grants. Sherre is also an educator and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education. At UMSL she served as President of the Opera Theatre Ensemble, was awarded the Bina Jo Walters Scholarship, the Missouri Federation Voice Student Scholarship and served on the Student Government Advisory Board. She began her graduate degree in public policy administration and nonprofit management at UMSL by winning the highly competitive TRIO scholarship and will complete her MPPA degree in May 2014.

Sherre has recently started three projects with St. Louis Regional Arts to make St. Louis a “singing city”, joining a global network of world-wide cities that engage in music-making projects on a large scale. For the first project, researchers from the Sidney DeHaan Research Center for Arts and Health in Kent, England will speak at a seminar in St. Louis in January 2014.  Their research focuses on the health benefits of “participatory singing”.   The second project has been co-created with a small group of young adults who are starting hipster choirs in several municipalities, where 30-40 people gather in local coffee shops or pubs to sing together each week.  The first will be in Maplewood, late Fall 2013.  (Watch for it!) And the largest project she’s working on is the gathering of 5,000 people to sing together under the Arch in 2014 as part of the city’s birthday celebration activities.

Heather WelbornHeather Welborn
Major: Biology

Heather Welborn is a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After receiving her Associates of Arts from Missouri State University, she transferred to UMSL to complete her undergraduate degree in Biology. Heather is a section editor and intern for The Current, the UMSL student newspaper, where she provides weekly event coverage, interviews and photography for print and online. This summer, Heather begins her graduate coursework at UMSL, pursuing a Masters in Secondary Science Education. Her career goals include teaching life science in high-need public high schools in the St. Louis area, as well as freelance science reporting for local print and broadcast media. Heather plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Education at UMSL, with a long-term aspiration to teach science communication and writing at the college level.

Ebony WilliamsLEAD Apprentice

Ebony Williams
Major: Social Work
Minor: Sociology

Ebony Williams is a senior Social Work major at UMSL wear she is also pursuing a minor in Sociology. Ebony graduated from St. Louis Community College in the spring of 2011 with an associate of Applied Science in Human Services. She currently works for Willows Way; which is a company that assists developmentally disabled adults live independently in their homes. Ebony is a part of the UMSL’s National Society of Leadership. Ebony is a mentor to children in the inner city of St. Louis. Ebony is also the assistant team leader of the True Redemption Centers’ outreach Team. This team feeds the homeless and brings encouragement and other services to the community. Ebony is currently a practicum student at St. Louis County’s prosecuting attorney’s office in the victim services department. Ebony enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Julie Klein

LEAD Apprentice

Juliana Klein
Major: Psychology

Juliana Klein is a Junior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and plans to attend medical school or graduate school as soon after. Juliana is also interested in research and eventually becoming a professor. At UMSL, Julie is the President of the Iota Xi Chapter of the Delta Zeta Sorority. She received the Student Life "Greek Leader of the Year" Award in the Spring of 2013.  Juliana worked with Residential Life and Housing for her first two years at UMSL. Juliana is an active volunteer in the St. Louis community, in which she has served as a tutor for the Youth Learning Center and a volunteer at BJC Hospital. Juliana is a graduate of the Emerging Leaders and LEAD 2012 program. She is very excited to gain experience with the Sue Shear Institute as a student leader for the 2013 LEAD program! 

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