Ron Brown Scholar & Alumni Updates
May 22, 2012
Marco Ellis (1997) will finish his residency in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Northwestern University. His next stop is Johns Hopkins where he will complete a fellowship in Craniofacial & Microvascular Surgery.
Damian Williams (1998) is working in Manhattan as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. He is enjoying his new position and is looking forward to his upcoming wedding in July!
Ryan Stewart (1999) is completing his first year in the Doctor of Education Leadership Program at Harvard University. He was recently awarded an Ambach fellowship form the school which will support his summer work at the Massachusetts and California state departments of education. In addition, Ryan will also spend three weeks this summer shadowing Carol Johnson, the superintendent of Boston Public Schools. On a more important note, Ryan's (and his wife Gretchen's) son Miles will be turning two years old in May.
Amanda Alexander (2000) is a JD/PhD candidate finishing her second year at Yale Law School, where she’s co-founded a ‘Women, Incarceration & Family Law’ clinic project that helps incarcerated parents navigate child custody and parental rights issues. This summer she will be working at The Bronx Defenders, as well as training to teach college courses in prisons through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program.
May Lugemwa (2000) is a Producer for Disney Interactive in Los Angeles. Check out her work at DisneyChannel.com. She and husband Ken are expecting their first child! in late July.
Maria Velazquez Earley (2000) is working on her book chapter, "Come Fly With Us!" on girlhood and gaming for the anthology Case Studies in Digital Learning. She recently published in Strange Horizons, Expanded Horizons and WisCon Chronicles. She's also prepping a book chapter on Harry Potter and racism for EBSCO, and working on her dissertation. When she's not writing, she's organizing other writers as book review editor for Femspec, and talking about fiction for the blog The Angry Black Woman. She's really enjoying her very busy year in Hawaii!
Ronnie Threadgill (2001) is currently an Audit Manager at Deloitte. She's working on an MBA in Finance and Real Estate at Baruch College in NYC, and using her newly improved business skills to develop her sales business at YOR Health.
Karla J. Hardy (2001) is in the middle of her first year as a litigation associate with the international law firm, Hogan Lovells US LLP. Recently named to the firm's Diversity Committee, Karla mentors a first-year law student from Japan and recently served as an alumni volunteer judge for first-year oral arguments at the University of Virginia School of Law. Busy with work and wedding plans, Karla is looking forward to September 15!
Sheila Adams (2001) has less than four months remaining in her federal district court clerkship in Norfolk, VA, before she heads to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Shreveport, LA, where she will clerk for one year beginning this August. In personal news, she was baptized for the first time in March and recently obtained her first driver's license (thereby overcoming the handicap of being a native New Yorker). She is interested in connecting with any RBS in Dallas or New Orleans, since she will be spending a lot of time in both cities over the next year.
William Chichester, III (2001) is wrapping up his most successful campus recruiting season to date after hiring 107 college students (and counting) for Capital One's eleven full-time programs, seven internship programs, and one externship program for freshmen & sophomores. Recently, he was humbled to learn that he single-handedly hired the most college students ever for the firm in a given recruiting cycle. His new hires will be working in various departments including Strategic Planning, Finance, IT, Brand Management, Project Management, Human Resources, Commercial Banking, and Quantitative Analytics (Business Analysis, Operations Analysis, Data Analysis, Statistics). William enjoys recruiting for Capital One and hopes to move up within the bank. Outside of work, William continues to speak to students, parents, and young professionals at various panels, workshops & conferences on topics relating to college planning, career development and or personal finance. For his commitment to the growth & professional development of young black males, the newly chartered Collegiate 100 Society of Virginia, an auxiliary organization to 100 Black Men of America, Inc., inducted William as an honorary member on February 12th, 2012. Over the summer, William plans to cash in on all of his accrued travel miles & hotel stays and take several tropical vacations to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Brazil before he starts the heavy travel season all over again in September. He's open to suggestions on other travel destinations.
Marquise McGraw (2002) is preparing for his oral Qualifying Exam and expects to advance to candidacy in the Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of California - Berkeley by mid-May. He is currently conducting research on the relationship between transportation infrastructure and economic productivity. He has also recently received two awards for outstanding teaching - the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and the Teaching Effectiveness Award, the latter of which was awarded to only 12 people across the entire university. He will be spending the summer in Albuquerque, NM, as a Teaching Assistant for the American Economics Association's Summer Program in Economics which is based at the University of New Mexico.
Errol Saunders (2002) is wrapping up his sixth year teaching at Hopkins School and preparing himself mentally for the fact that the members of his first class of seventh graders are indeed old enough to graduate from high school and go off to college. He has spent the last year teaching and tweaking courses that he designed: a thematic and chronological seventh grade ancient history curriculum and a project-based New Haven History curriculum for eleventh and twelfth graders. In addition to this, Errol continues to be actively involved in the greater education community of New Haven. He is the Assistant Director of Breakthrough New Haven, an educational non-profit dedicated to the academic preparation and high school placement counseling of underserved students from the New Haven area and is currently serving his second term on the Board of Directors of the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, which runs a summer program at Yale for public school students in New Haven. Errol has recently been asked to join the Board of Directors of New Haven Festivals, Inc., a commission that creates and promotes arts programming in the city. On May 23, 2012, Errol will be giving the keynote speech for the New Haven Preservation Trust Annual Meeting entitled “Our Industrial Legacy: History and Adaptive Re-use in New Haven”.
Tracy "Ty" Moore (2002) is working with Jason Young (2000) on Mindblown Labs, an early stage educational gaming start up. They are currently testing the closed beta version of their game with numerous college students and preparing the game for launch (i.e., release into the app store for any interested consumer) in August of this year. They are also preparing for a major KickStarter (crowd-sourced funding) campaign commencing at the end of June and concluding near the end of August. We hope you'll support us in this major endeavor!!
Alvin Hough, Jr. (2002) is the Musical Director/Conductor/Keyboard 1 player of the first national tour of the 2010 Tony-Award winner for best musical, MEMPHIS. The tour around the country has been great thus far, and has just been extended through May 2013. Check out www.memphisthemusical.com to see if they’re coming to a city near you!
Jade Craig (2002) will graduate from the J.D. program at Columbia Law School this month (in the same class with fellow Scholars Jennifer Green and Wendy Francois!) and spend the summer studying for the New York bar examination. In August, Jade will relocate to Detroit to begin a clerkship with Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In the fall of 2013, he will return to his native Mississippi and complete a clerkship for Judge Carlton W. Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson. Jade has a long-term interest in civil rights law, public service and community development.
David Williams (2003) will graduate from Harvard Law School in May. After taking the bar exam in July he will begin working for Klein Hornig LLP, a law firm in Boston that specializes in affordable housing and community development. Beginning this summer he will also serve as a resident tutor in Leverett House at Harvard College. He plans to stay involved with the housing and anti-eviction advocacy work he was involved with at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and Project No One Leaves.
Ihotu Ali (2003) is enjoying life in Harlem, NYC, with her new fiancé and plans this year to launch a part time women's wellness coaching practice focusing on healthy, whole foods, doula/ childbirth support, and women in the black diaspora. She is still working in global maternal health research at Columbia University and travels periodically to Africa, and hosts the Speakeasy (arts, justice and wellness) Collective.
Chaz Beasley (2004) is finishing up his second year at Georgetown Law. This summer, he will work at two law firms: Alston & Bird in New York, NY for the first half of the summer, and Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog in Raleigh, NC for the second half.
Geraldine Pierre (2004) has completed coursework for her doctorate in Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins. She is currently completing her dissertation proposal and working on several research projects at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She continues to intern at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in the Public Policy and Community Affairs Department. She is looking forward to a summer filled with family and friends, travel, and fun!
Lowell Caulder (2005) is taking the summer off before starting at Harvard Business School in the fall. In the coming months, he is looking forward to participating in the AIDS/Lifecycle--a 7-day, 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS-- and to helping re-elect President Obama.
Mondaire Jones (2005) recently completed his second year at Harvard Law School. He looks forward to relocating to New York City this summer, where he will work at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell and live in Morningside Heights.
Natalie R. Davis (2005) is doing a victory dance having just completed her first year of doctoral studies at the University of Michigan. She is continuing to work on various research projects in conjunction with Detroit Public Schools and the Center for Black Youth in Context. One, for example, involves the design, implementation and assessment of a Critical Literacy and Youth Participatory Action Research curriculum with middle school students. Essentially, Natalie is thinking about sustainable ways to empower children, engage families and foster a spirit of activism in urban localities. Natalie is also planning a completely over-the-top baby shower for her older sister (it's a girl!), due in early.
Robert Smith III (2005) will continue to serve as the Development Associate at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission until August 2012, when he will begin a PhD program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He plans to study the intersection of race, class, and sexuality in processes of gentrification in U.S. cities.
Kristian Henderson (2005) is working at Johns Hopkins Hospital as the Assistant Director of General Services where she is currently designing and implementing a comprehensive Sustainability Program. She is also pursuing her DrPH in Health Care Management and Leadership from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
After nearly 3 years in the Minneapolis office of the Boston Consulting group, Jeremy McGee (2005) left in January to join the president's reelection campaign. He currently works in the Analytics department with the communications team and does various other freelancing for different parts of the campaign. Jeremy will be in Chicago through the summer after which he will move to Boston to begin a stint as an associate at Bain Capital Ventures (..yes, that Bain Capital).
Jay Lundy (2005) is working as the Public Affairs Officer for The Miami Foundation, a $160 community foundation. He’s also working as a consultant for a few other nonprofit and development projects. This fall he will be pursuing a public policy degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Amanda Bass (2006) is currently residing in West Chicago, IL where she is thinking, reading, and writing about love and justice in the public sphere and imagining the making of a better world through the pursuit of love -- in every decision and human interaction -- rather than power. Voices that have influenced her reflections include: bell hooks, The Art of Loving; Henri Nouwen, The Life of the Beloved, The Inner Voice of Love, The Road to Daybreak; Tony Campolo, Choose Love Not Power: How to Right the World's Wrongs from a Place of Weakness; Alice Walker, "Be Nobody's Darling." She plans to continue this exploration in the fall as a student at NYU School of Law where she has been blessed with a full-tuition scholarship and plans to study international human rights law.
Cameron Drake (2006) is currently mourning the loss of Derrick Rose to a season-ending ACL injury. He is by day developing mobile web apps for a number of projects including a newly released music app Ohm Music (available on iOS and Android). By night, he has been focusing on trying out time-lapse photography, and pushing the boundaries of toppings tried on pizza.
Crystal Boyd (2006) is in the midst of production of her film-series project, "Downtown Girls," with her production company, 1990 Lex Productions. She just wrapped an Off-Broadway theatre production in Times Square, "Innocent Flesh," which followed the narratives of four teenage girls trapped in the underground sex trafficking world. Crystal will be the Operations Administrator for ASTEP and the International Refugee Commission in New York this summer, where she will be heading a summer camp of 70 staff and 400 children, that works to build literacy with refugee children through both academics and the arts. You can check her out at www.crystalnboyd.com or the company at www.1990lex.com/downtowngirls.
Tariq West (2006) is leaving his cushy post at digital ad agency AKQA in search of adventure. Over the next 3-6 months he will read good books, write, exercise, meditate, have heady conversations and build geeky things in his garage (so to speak). There is a problem out there that his mind and heart fit like a key, and he hopes to find it and solve it. His first experiments in the coming months will likely have to do with applications for improving taxi cab services, tools for foodtruck entrepreneurs and/or market making between product designers, material suppliers and small batch domestic craft manufacturers. He is excited, and terrified, but mostly excited.
Ronnie Tisdale (2006) is finishing up his first year of the MD/MPH program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC before his research in the Geriatric Emergency Department this summer. He's happy to be growing as an artist by developing his stand-up comedy and music writing. Check him out on the big screen with a small role in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator or at RonnieTisdale.com!
Margaret Ivey (2007) is finishing an acting internship at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She is currently on tour as River Rat in "River Rat and Cat," an educational outreach touring show that brings live theatre to thousands of children and families in the tri-state area (Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana). She will continue working in Cincinnati through the summer at the Playhouse and the Cincinnati Opera, and is saving money for the big move to NYC (hopefully January 2013). She is looking to connect with RBS in the Big Apple -- any and all advice would be appreciated!
Lucas Habte (2007) is currently living in Sydney, Australia, on his fellowship year working with Aboriginal filmmakers through Harvard's Gardner Travelling Fellowship. He spent the first four months in Alice Springs, in remote central Australia, working with remote community film and television. Now he is working with filmmaker Rachel Perkins on the production of a television drama about the lives of urban Aboriginal people in the neighborhood of Redfern, called Redfern Now. He is also continuing to work on community focused media projects and a couple of his own short films. He will be travelling to Broome, Western Australia, before returning to the states in September.
Mya Thompson (2007) has been working in Portland, Maine as the Director of Operations for the Michael Phelps Foundation for nearly a year. The Foundation provides water-safety, health and wellness instruction to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics athletes throughout the world, and has been an amazing learning experience for Mya. As this is Michael Phelps' final Olympic Games this coming summer, Mya is gearing up for an exciting 2012 Olympics in London!
Dorian Dargan (2007) is happily ENGAGED to his wife-to-be, Camille Peggs, and is looking forward to getting married in September 2013! Apart from that... he is also working at a tech startup in New York City. YouNow (http://younow.com) is a social platform for live video where users broadcast live and get feedback and interaction in real time. As Operations Manager, he is doing Product Management, Analytics, Business Development, Community Management and Support! He is loving the hustle of working at a startup, and plans to start his own company one day.
Jamel Seagraves (2007) is working for Ford Motor Company as a Research & Advanced Engineer in a rotational program. He recently completed his first full rotation in Active Safety where he developed software to automate the testing procedures of a new pedestrian detection system with auto-braking capability. He spent several weeks at test tracks in Ohio and Arizona leading the integration of his software into the vehicle testing process. He has now transferred to Vehicle & Battery Controls where his primary project involves software development to control deactivation of the new Stop/Start system based on GPS location information. As a side project, he is working to decrease the time it takes for an engine to start-up. Faster engine starts make for happier customers.
Amanda Reid (2008) is finishing up her final week of classes at Williams College and will be heading off to Vietnam in August on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship in Vinh City.
Osha Kondori (2008) is about to graduate from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology. She has a busy summer of continuing her internship with the Kaiser Family Foundation's national health Campaigns, finding an apartment in San Francisco, and travelling to India before starting full time at Wildfire Interactive (social media software company) in Redwood City, California in September. She also plans on slowly completing her Masters in Communication from Stanford, one class at a time concurrently with her new job.
Ethan Monreal-Jackson (2008) will be returning to his family in the greatest place in the world, Texas, after graduation. There, he will work in the Dallas office of the Boston Consulting Group as an Associate. During the summer, he plans to study for the GMAT, practice guitar, join an MMA dojo, and continue learning Japanese.
William Tarpeh (2008) is graduating from Stanford in June with a Chemical Engineering major and an African Studies minor. In August he will start an MS/PhD program in Environmental Engineering at Berkeley with a concentration on international sanitation. He is taking a break before grad school this summer to travel and spend time with family and friends back in Virginia.
Kiah Thorn (2008) is excited to be graduating from Stanford University with her B.A. in International Relations in a little over a month. She'll be spending her post-grad summer as an intern with the Americas program at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, where hopefully she'll continue to fine tune her Spanish skills because...she has also been blessed to be selected as a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholar and will be heading to Spain in early September to fulfill her ETA grant. She looks forward to 10 months of tapas, teaching and living out her long-time dream of being an ex-pat in Europe. Thrilled doesn't even come close.
Ryan Williams French (2008) is currently finishing up his senior year at Dartmouth College where he is majoring in Theater and African American Studies. He spent the past year performing in and directing several plays, including African Company Presents Richard III and The Colored Museum. As a result of his work in the theatre, Ryan was awarded the Mark L. Lebowtz Memorial Scholarship for graduate studies. In addition, he has dedicated time to working as a dramaturge and acting at the Eugene O’Neill Young Playwright’s Festival. His work this past summer also includes interning with the New York Theatre Workshop and gaining skills as a playwriting apprentice with Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College. Last but not least! Ryan recently received the outstanding news of his acceptance into one of the nation’s top 5 graduate program in Acting: The San Francisco American Conservatory Theater for an M.F.A. where he will be joining the legacy of alums Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Danny Glover, and Anika Noni Rose to name a few! Ryan feels truly blessed for his college experience and appreciative of the support that the Ron Brown Scholarship has exhibited throughout the years.
Jonté Craighead (2009) has recently been elected President of the MIT Undergraduate Association, and is looking forward to a great summer and a productive senior year. He will be interning with Accenture in their Boston office this summer and also making time to visit home before his younger brother graduates from high school and prepares to attend UVA.
Andrea Headley (2010) is in the process of rapping up her finals to complete her 2nd year at the University of Miami. With her current hopes of graduating a year early, she has been racking up her classes to prepare her for her last year. She has been mentoring and tutoring student athletes on campus, working as an office assistant at a nonprofit entitled Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in which she works with retired professionals. She has also been interning with Miami Street Law, where she teaches law at an all boys correctional institute. Over the summer she is preparing to intern at two different organizations, the Urban League of Broward County and the Legal Aid of Broward County.
Frederik Groce (2010) is currently a sophomore at Stanford University studying Political Science. He has spent the last two years working at Stanford Student Enterprises in the Advertising division. He just recently signed on to help transition this division into a student run division where he will be running the entire division. He will be helping business advertise themselves to the Stanford Community this summer and next year.
Michael Robinson (2011) has completed his freshman year at Yale University. He is still undecided on a major having taken political science, computer science, and physics courses thus far. Over the summer he is interning with Verizon in NW Washington, D.C. doing public policy. He is reflecting on his first year in college while also looking to stay busy and gain valuable skills in his internship.
Brandon Hill (2011) has just concluded his gap year adventure, which began at Morehouse College and took him to twelve countries thereafter. Over the summer, Brandon will be involved with the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. He will also be producing his gap year movie, compiling his education research, and authoring a memoir to his travels; the three Year On products he hopes to release before he matriculates into Stanford as a freshman in the fall.
Qaren Quartey (2011) just wrapped up her freshman year at Harvard. She might be concentrating in Molecular Cellular Biology, though other departments are becoming more appealing. This summer, Qaren looks forward to being a part of the University of Connecticut’s Clinical Summer Research Fellowship Program.
Aubrey Walker (2011) has finished his freshman year at Harvard University where he got involved as an intern at the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relation, President of the Freshmen Black Students Association, usher at the Institute of Politics and as a cutter in Ultimate Frisbee. Having received a David Rockefeller grant for the summer, he plans on attending a Latin American Studies program in Lima, Peru where he will engage in Spanish immersion, community service and independent research.
SallyAnn Garvey-Lumumba (2012) will spend the summer working on a Connecticut State Representative's re-election campaign after which she will enroll at Smith College as a member of the class of 2016. She is finishing up a very exhausting (yet rewarding) semester as a legislative intern at the CT General Assembly and looks forward to ending her term as editor of her school newspaper on a high note covering the state-wide education reforms enacted during the spring legislative session.
Faith Jackson (2012) is currently experiencing the culmination of four years of too much blood, sweat, and tears. As she finishes her final year at Charles Herbert Flowers High School: The Mecca of Excellence in Springdale, Maryland, she eagerly awaits her commencement at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Moreover, she is currently concluding her 15-month research project at the United States Department of Agriculture, in which she successfully cultivated a natural mosquito repellant. As she completes her project and schoolwork, she continues to learn more about herself and to solidify her future plans. Ultimately, as an evolving person with eclectic interests, she does not know exactly what tomorrow holds, but does know that she can do nothing but “Keep the Faith.”