It might be the lazy days of summer, but our members continue to put their leadership skills to work. See the top headlines our members made ahead of the fall semester!
Our mission is to Build Leaders Who Make a Better World. Our members participate in volunteer events and take part in a wide range of community service initiatives. Upon graduation, they apply the interpersonal skills they've acquired to start businesses, pursue promotions, and more.
ALUMNUS APPOINTED TO THE MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR REHABILITATION SERVICES
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has appointed Khodr Farhat to the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), a position Farhat has rightfully earned.
He is no stranger to hard work and dedication to a cause. After immigrating to the United States from Beirut, Lebanon at age 16, Farhat spent his free time outside of school learning English, determined to graduate from high school on time. Farhat’s hard work paid off—he is fluent in both English and Arabic, and—as a visually-impaired person—can read both languages in braille.
As a student at Henry Ford College (HFC), Farhat dedicated himself to working with President Dr. Stanley Jensen to make campus more accessible, implementing braille signage in several buildings and conducting sensitivity training.
At HFC, Farhat earned 25 scholarships and awards. He transferred to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, did graduate-level coursework in public administration and community-based education, and was named a Difference Maker—someone who improves the lives of others and makes a positive impact on the community.
Farhat continues to lead with a focus on service. He is the community engagement coordinator for Meridian Health Plan in Detroit and volunteers as the publicity chair for the Eastern Michigan chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Farhat speaks at events for the disabled and looks forward to serving on the MCRS with the goal of ensuring vocational rehabilitation services are delivered to the community.
Alabama State University Students Named 2023 HBCU Scholars by White House
Alabama State University (ASU) students Haley Heard and Laquann Wilson have been recognized as part of the ninth cohort of HBCU Scholars by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Heard graduated from ASU in May and is now attending graduate school at ASU pursuing a masters of accountancy in the data analytics program. She is involved in several mentoring programs, including the ASU First Love Yourself mentoring program and the Build-A-Hornet mentoring program, and works as an intern with KPMG.
Wilson, a native of Augusta, GA, is a senior in political science at ASU. Greatly honored by being chosen as an HBCU Scholar, Wilson looks forward to the networking opportunities made possible by meeting his fellow HBCU Scholars, with hopes of eventually becoming an attorney.
Heard and Wilson are part of the largest cohort of HBCU Scholars since the program’s inception in 2014. In addition to pursuing community-engagement projects and connecting with one another professionally, the scholars serve as ambassadors for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the U.S. Department of Education, and their respective HBCUs.
Psychology Graduate Recognized for Work in Neurodiversity
Dr. Brynn Dombroski has pursued advocacy and treatment for those managing neurodiversity, in particular families with autistic children, since an internship opportunity as a behavioral therapist with Eden Autism Services of Florida.
Passionate about education and helping others, Dr. Dombroski has earned multiple degrees, including an associate of arts in psychology, associate of sciences in criminal justice from the College of Central Florida, a bachelor's in psychology with a minor in marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University, and a master's and Ph.D. in anatomical sciences and neurobiology from the University Louisville School of Medicine.
She has now been included in the prestigious Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes for her work in the field. Dr. Dombroski is a long-time leader in civic service work, volunteering with many organizations and founding the Dual Ascent Buddy Program, teaching children with autism and their neurotypical "buddies" arts and crafts and how to socially interact with others.
A doctor of neuroscience and a board certified behavior analyst, she actively contributes to the ongoing scholarly conversation around neurodiversity. Her goal is to increase education about medical conditions and personality styles contributing to behavioral patterns that promote neurodiversity, hoping to improve our communication and relationships with others to live happier, fuller, dynamically empowered lives.
'Hopeless Romantic’ Vies for LOVE AND $100,000 Prize in Peacock Reality Show
Originally from a small town in Minnesota, Carsten Bergersen, or ‘Bergie,’ is now in the limelight on a popular show.
He spent his university years dedicating himself to school and work, pursuing a degree in healthcare from Dakota State University, completing his school work while working as a Dairy Queen general night manager and a group fitness instructor. He graduated with a 3.7 GPA in May, and will start physical therapy school at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota next fall.
In the interim, Bergersen has turned to pursuits of the heart. A "hopeless romantic" who has never been in a relationship, Bergersen is a contestant on the 5th season of Peacock’s reality dating show, "Love Island USA." He came on board to make a real connection, joining the contestants in the pursuit of love and a $100,000 cash prize.
IT Professional Joins The Wound Pros as Director of Global Help Desk Integration
Ayanna Releford has worked as an IT helpdesk support professional through a variety of roles, making her The Wound Pros’ top choice for Director of Global Help Desk Integration.
The Wound Pros is a physician-owned and managed company providing support for chronic wound care. Implementing AI and Machine Learning to improve wound-healing outcomes, the company partners with long-term care facilities to provide comprehensive wound care services like wound care dressings and skin substitutes.
Releford began her IT journey in college, first with a bachelor's in information systems and Spanish literature from the University of Nevada, Reno, and then a master’s in information technology management from Western Governors University.
Releford has a number of accomplishments under her belt, including her instrumental work with the Los Angeles Unified School District to deploy and provide technical support for over 400,000 internet-enabled devices to families and employees in Los Angeles. Releford will put these notable skills to good use at The Wound Pros, creating and managing the global Wound Pros Help Desk.
Other NSLS Members Receiving Recognition IN AUGUST:
Desmond McNeil, Lindenwood University, joined Boone Center, Inc. (BCI) as Transportation Manager, where he will create new transportation solutions for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A United States Marine Corps veteran and former police officer, McNeil will combine his past experience with his bachelor’s degree in supply chain management to contribute to BCI’s goal of helping adults with disabilities live empowered, positive lives. Full Story >>
Janell Hodges, National Online Chapter, fulfilled a decade-long dream this spring when she graduated from California State University, Fresno, after working on her teaching credential while interning at Linell K. Walker Elementary School, volunteering for multiple organizations, and caring for her adopted sons and her nieces. Full Story >>
Prince A. Ordu, Walden University, has been included in Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Leadership (ETLL) Consulting, Dr. Ordu helps provide programs and training for health education, healthcare administration, and human services. He works extensively in the implementation of clean water in Nigeria. Full Story >>
Carla Diab, Cleveland State University, has a long history of influencing the fashion world. She leveraged her fame from appearances on Project Runway and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to propel her own fashion label, and since then she has been an advocate for sustainability and body positivity. Full Story >>
Christopher Carr, San Antonio College, returned to school recently and utilized AlamoONLINE to level up his skill set during his degree in information assurance and cybersecurity. As an online student, Carr was able to complete his coursework while participating in several student organizations, deepening his experience with internships, and nurturing his leadership skills. Full Story >>
Jared Boone, Ivy Tech Community College - Kokomo, has been honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence after completing his associate of applied science degree in advanced automation and robotics technology (AART). Boone leveraged his internship through Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Ivy+ Career Link office into a full-time position at Mid-State Engineering in Tipton, and he has already earned a promotion to the position of controls engineer. Full Story >>
Bailey Smith, Wittenberg University, a nursing major, landed an exciting internship this summer through the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital’s Student Nurse Technician Externship program. She will get hands-on experience shadowing professionals in an organ transplant unit. Full Story >>
Joshua Quinde, Coastal Carolina University, has been named to the school’s Dean’s List for the spring 2023 semester. He is a member of several student organizations, and he has spent several months as an internal audit intern at BNY Mellon. Full Story >>