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NSLS Members in the News


In November, we are so thankful to see NSLS members making headlines for living our mission and leveling up as leaders. See the top stories our members made using their leadership skills this month.

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.


Communications major Aubree Poag, University of North Alabama (UNA), has won the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) Michael K Simmons Student of the Year award. Alongside recognition for her dedication and hard work, the award provides a $500 scholarship, which Poag used to help with the cost of textbooks.

Poag earned the award due to her exceptional GPA, her active involvement with campus organizations, and her community service initiatives, including several projects through Faith Church.

Competing with students from bigger schools throughout Alabama, Poag was reluctant at first to apply. Shocked and grateful to receive the award, she uses her experience to encourage other UNA students to apply for awards and scholarships, even if they’re uncertain.

Read More at The Flor-Ala >>


Gina Whitaker, Walden University, an executive administrative assistant for Baldwin County School District in Georgia, is one of two winners of the Georgia Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award. 

Awarded by a panel of judges from the Georgia Department of Education and other educational organizations, the award honors the “unsung heroes” who provide exemplary service in public education. In her role as an executive administrative assistant, Whitaker excels in her work through event planning, document development, and actualization of the superintendent’s initiatives. 

Skilled in communications, web design, and marketing, Whitaker is described as reliable, knowledgeable, effective, and kind. She has been instrumental to the success of many district events, and her community outreach has helped the district gain more than 175 Partners in Education.

Read More at AllOnGeorgia >>


Graduate of Salem State University and Boston’s New England College of Optometry, Lily Jean Sanfilippo has opened a new optical boutique in her hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts. 

Alongside comprehensive eye exams, Dr. Sanfilippo diagnoses glaucoma and diabetes of the eye and specializes in treating dry eye syndrome. She also helps patients choose glasses in her “boutique” of frames. 

Sanfilippo’s interest in optometry began early, when she discovered she needed glasses at age 5 or 6. She credits her mother and grandfather with supporting her success through their nightly help with her homework. Still living in Gloucester with her fiancé, she looks forward to establishing Sanfilippo Eye Care in the community she loves.

Read More at Gloucester Times >>


Matthew Birch and Madelyn Siekmann of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have been accepted into the university’s newly-created President’s Leadership Academy (PLA). 

A year-long development program for STEM students, PLA supports students in developing the skills, insights, and perspectives they need to become effective leaders. Students attend a CEO speaker series and receive opportunities for networking with the speakers, elected officials, and community leaders, alongside dialogue sessions exploring lessons in leadership.

A sophomore biomedical engineer major, Madelyn Siekmann is a member of several campus and professional organizations. She acts as a Women in Science & Engineering mentor and is a member of the WiSE Scholars program. 

Matthew Birch is a junior mechanical engineering major. He is a member of several organizations, including the SAE Aero Design team and South Dakota Mines Professional Development Institute, and recipient of the CAMP scholar award.

Read More at News Center 1 >>


Davenport University graduate Molly Koroleski, currently an auditor and assistant vice president at Huntington National Bank, is paving the way for disability awareness in her workplace with her hearing dog, Mater. 

Koroleski experienced a wake-up call during a routine fire drill, when her cochlear implants, which have Bluetooth technology that enables her to zero in on voices during phone calls, prevented her from hearing the alarm. Between the unheard alarm and her inability to hear when co-workers wanted her attention, Koroleski realized she needed support in noticing important cues around her. 

Koroleski turned to Paws with a Cause (PAWS), which trains assistance dogs, and was matched with Mater in 2017. Mater gives Koroleski a sense of safety through his training in alerting her to alarms, storms, and intruders, and he has improved her self-confidence when traveling. Koroleski and Mater are an example of just how powerful such bonds with assistant animals can be, providing people with the peace of mind they need to be more successful at home and at work.

Read More at SHRM >>

Other NSLS Members Receiving Recognition in NOVEMBER:

Maren Jensen, Houston Community College - Coleman College for Health Sciences, has won the national Dr. Alexanderia K. Lane Memorial Scholarship, which provides recipients with $10,000 toward their education. An active student on campus, Jensen looks forward to helping others through her career in dental hygiene. Full Story >>

Kalli Gregory is leading her NSLS chapter at Bowling Green State University in creating a tradition of helping children during the holidays. They are turning their toy drive, begun last year in conjunction with the Bowling Green Fire Division, into a yearly event, with the goal of collecting 150 toys, 50 more than in 2022. Full Story >>

Darrius Frazier, Lake Land College, was honored as one of 10 nominees for the university’s Non-Traditional Student of the Year Award. An IT computer applications student, Frazier has worked diligently with an Asperger’s diagnosis to earn two other associate degrees in radio/TV broadcasting and geospatial technology. Full Story >>

Alex Fitzpatrick, Clemson University, has been hired to join Hussey Gay Bell as a Civil Design Engineer. Fitzpatrick brings wide civil and structural engineering experience to the organization. Full Story >>