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Notable Sigma Kappas

2020 Colby Award Winners

Margaret Hawkins Hill

Lambda, University of California, Berkeley
Bio

Margaret is an educator, literacy advocate and volunteer who has made service and leadership an integral part of her life. As a professional educator with a doctorate and a certified diagnostician, Margaret chaired the university department in language and literacy and led her university to increase professional teachers through guidance of many national boards and standards. She also directed the reading clinic which helped autistic and dyslexic children. International literacy has been Margaret’s life-long work with the implementation of border literacy conferences along the Texas/Mexico border, teaching in Guadalajara, Mexico, and international research around the globe. She has been involved with the League of Women Voters for more than 50 years at both state and national levels, volunteered with a seven-county program for quality early childhood education, served as an expert writer for Texas English and Reading Standards, and directed community literacy projects in youth jails and county welfare agencies. Adding to her long list of involvement, she has also held leadership positions with National Federation of Garden Clubs, Daughters of the American Revolution, and multiple professional honor societies.

 

 

Sonja Shannon Hogg

Beta Epsilon, Louisiana Tech University
Bio

Sonja Hogg graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1968 and a master of science degree in 1973. After graduation, she was a physical education teacher and head women’s basketball coach at Louisiana Tech. She built the Lady Techsters from scratch to a national powerhouse that included six consecutive Final Four appearances and two national titles. In 1994, Sonja returned to college coaching to take over a floundering Baylor basketball program. After six years at the helm, she led Baylor to its first post-season appearance in 17 years. She retired from Baylor University this year after serving for the past 20 years in the Office of Development. In 2004, Sonja Hogg received the Naismith Women’s Outstanding Contribution to Basketball Award. In 2009, Sonja was elected to the Woman’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee and she has the honor of being only the second female coach inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Winsome Lenfert

Gamma Gamma, Indiana State University
Bio

Winsome Lenfert is the Acting Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Airports. The mission of the Airports organization is to provide leadership in planning and developing a safe and efficient national airport system. The office has responsibility for all programs related to airport safety and inspections, and standards for airport design, construction and operations. Winsome graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science, and Indiana University with a Master’s in Public Affairs. She is a certified pilot. Throughout her aviation career she has served as inspector, safety specialist, planner and manager for state and federal agencies at airports in Indiana, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Atlanta. She is an active member of Indiana State University and Indiana University and Sigma Kappa Alumni Associations; and Women in Aviation International. She is married and has three legacies.

 

Notable Sigma Kappas

Dr. Maria Carrillo

Theta, University of Illinois
Bio

As Chief Science Officer, Dr. Maria Carrillo sets the strategic vision for the Alzheimer's Association gobal research program. Dr. Carrillo oversees the Association's portfolio of research initiatives, manages the Worldwide Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, and plays an instrumental role in lobbying both the public and private sectors for increased funding for the disease. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University's Institute for Neuroscience and completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on Alzheimer's brain imaging and risk factors at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. 

Glennon Doyle

Delta Rho, James Madison University
Bio

Glennon Doyle is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, blogger and nonprofit founder. She is the author of Untamedthe #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Love Warrior, which was selected as an Oprah’s Book Club pick, as well as the New York Times bestseller Carry On, WarriorShe is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $20 million for women, families and children in crisis.  

Margaret Chase Smith

Alpha, Colby College
Bio

Margaret Chase SmithAlpha, was the first U.S. woman senator, first woman to sit in both houses of Congress and the first woman to represent Maine in either. She is recipient of the U.S. Air Force's most prestigious award and has been presented with 96 honorary degrees and presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by President George Bush in 1989.

She was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination in the 1964 presidential election, but was the first woman to be placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party's convention. Upon leaving office, she was the longest-serving female Senator in history, a distinction that was not surpassed until January 5, 2011, when Senator Barbara Mikulski was sworn in for a fifth term. 

Nina Davuluri

Alpha Tau, Michigan State University
Bio

Nina Davuluri is the first Indian-American woman to win the Miss America competition. She is also a host, speaker and advocate for women in STEM and for cultural competency. Currently, she is the host & producer of the reality show, “Made In America,” which empowers young women to discover more about themselves through a series of challenges as they fulfill their dreams in America. Since serving as Miss America 2014, Nina has logged approximately 500,000 miles traveling across the world to address an array of audiences on her platform, “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency.” She has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Education promoting women in STEM-related fields. 

Judith Guest

Alpha Mu, University of Michigan
Bio

Judith Guest is the author of Ordinary People, Second Heaven, Killing Time in St. Cloud (with Rebecca Hill), Errands, and The Tarnished EyeOrdinary People, published in 1976, was the first unsolicited manuscript published by Viking Press in 26 years. It would go on to win the Janet Heidiger Kafka Prize for best first novel. It was also the basis for the 1980 film of the same name, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.  

Anna McCune Harper

Lambda, University of California, Berkeley
Bio

Anna McCune Harper was a professional tennis player who was ranked in the U.S. top ten five consecutive years from 1928 through 1932 and was top ranked in 1930. She won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1931 and was the runner-up in singles at the 1930 U.S. Championships. She was also the runner-up in women's doubles at the 1928, 1930, and 1932 U.S. Championships and in mixed doubles at the 1931 edition of those championships. She served as Sigma Kappa's national president from 1939 to 1942 and was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981. She played tennis until age 81 and died at the age of 96. 

Rhea Seddon

Lambda, University of California, Berkeley
Bio

Rhea Seddon was one of six women in her medical school class of 100 and one of the first six women accepted into the NASA astronaut program. She is a veteran of three space flights, logging a total of 30 days in space. After leaving NASA in 1998, she served as Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville and founder of healthcare consultancy LifeWings Partners, LLC. Rhea was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005, the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. She also wrote the memoir Go for Orbit, which won gold in the autobiography and memoir category from the Independent Book Publishers Association. 

Sarah Weddington

Zeta Nu, University of Texas-San Antonio
Bio

Sarah Weddington is an attorney, law professor and former member of the Texas House of Representatives best known for representing "Jane Roe" in the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the United States Supreme CourtShe is believed to be one of the youngest individuals to win a case before the United States Supreme Court. Sarah is a nationally known spokesperson on leadership and public issues, specifically issues affecting women. She has served as an attorney, legislator, Presidential advisor, professor and expert called upon by the national media and institutions of higher learning. 

Colby Award Winners & Honor Initiates – 2018

Kelly Harrison

Epsilon Alpha, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Bio

Special Agent Kelly Harrison has been with Homeland Security Investigations for the last nine years, serving as a lead investigator of human trafficking and transnational child exploitation.  

She is recognized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a Subject Matter Expert of human trafficking investigations. Her investigative efforts have resulted in the conviction of human traffickers who received some of the longest prison sentences the federal courts will allow, including life sentences. She serves as an instructor, teaching basic and advanced courses for the HSI National Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia.

Jane Sinclir Hilk

Theta, University of Illinois
Bio

Jane Hilk is a 24-year veteran of Kraft Foods who began her career in consumer insights and analytics and most recently led the $3.6B Beverages and Snacks business unit overseeing all aspects of supply chain, sales, marketing, human resources and R&D. She was also the functional head for marketing and marketing services, leading over 400 employees to drive the marketing agenda for the company. 

Jane is currently on the Board of Directors for Kar’s Nuts Co., the US Advisory Board for Greencore USA, and consulting in the consumer goods, marketing services and private equity industries on a range of topics. 

Dr. Michele McManus Howard

Theta Mu, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Bio

Dr. Michele Howard is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Georgia, where she has worked since May 2016. She oversees six departments within Student Affairs: Academic Partnerships and Initiatives, Student Affairs Assessment and Staff Development, the Center for Leadership and Service, International Student Life, the LGBT Resource Center and Multicultural Services and Programs. Prior to this role, Michele worked at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 19 years, serving as Dean of Students for 14 years. 

Cyndy B. Waters

Alpha Delta, University of Tennessee
Bio

Cyndy Waters is the founder, director and chairman of the board of the Orbit Village Project in Nairobi, Kenya. The Orbit Village Project includes a 500-student K-12 school, a children’s home, large family feeding program, medical clinic, other community development projects, and three churches. Prior to founding Orbit Village, she worked as a professional photographer for 20 years. She is from a family of Sigma Kappas, including her mother, several aunts and cousins, and her daughter, and became the 13th Sigma Kappa in her family upon her Initiation. 

Colby Award Recipients

2018

Kelly Harrison, Epsilon Alpha, Lenoir-Rhyne University - Field of Law Enforcement
Jane Sinclair Hilk, Theta, University of Illinois - Field of Business

 

2016

Corinne Brinkerhoff, Delta Theta, Truman State University - Field of Entertainment and Television
Dr. Cynda Crawford, DVM, Ph. D., Gamma Phi, North Carolina State University - Field of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Tisa Johnson Mason, Ed.D., Epsilon Kappa, Transylvania University - Field of Higher Education
Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, Ph.D., Gamma Gamma, Indiana State University - Field of Higher Education
Dr. Lori S. White, Ph.D., Lambda, University of California-Berkeley - Field of Higher Education

 

2014

Glennon Doyle Melton, Delta Rho, James Madison University - Field of Communication and Mass Media
Janice Jacobs, Gamma Kappa, Southern Illinois University Carbondale - Field of Government
Martha Van Steenderen, Psi, University of Wisconsin - Field of Athletics

 

2012

Dr. Carolyn Wilson Bartlett, Gamma Gamma, Indiana State University - Field of Higher Education
Brigadier General Linda S. Marchione, Tau, Indiana University - Field of Public Service
Traci D. Sooter, Delta Upsilon, Missouri State University - Field of Architecture, Construction Management and Education

 

2010

Cheryl Stanton Bachelder, Tau, Indiana University - Field of Business
Nancy Brown Bicket, Eta, Illinois Wesleyan University - Field of Information Systems and Technology
Sandra Tauberg Bartley Hess, Alpha Sigma, Westminster College - Field of Business

 

2008

Sharilyn Smith Gasaway, Beta Epsilon, Louisiana Tech University - Field of Business
Debbie Neinast Harris, Gamma Iota, Texas Tech University - Field of Science & Education
Beverly Reid O'Connell, Alpha Omicron, University of California, Los Angeles - Field of Law & Justice
Carolyn Caudell Tieger, Epsilon Epsilon, University of Georgia - Field of Public Relations
Karyn Nishimura Sneath, Delta Sigma, Western Illinois University - Field of Higher Education

 

2006

Cheryll McLaughlin Adams, Epsilon Epsilon, The University of Georgia - Field of Education
Dr. Patricia Frisby Galloway, Beta Sigma, Purdue University- Field of Engineering
Judie Lipsett Hughes, Zeta Kappa, Angelo State University- Field of Technology
Celeste Knierim, Delta Theta, Truman State University- Field of Athletics
Jennifer Marie Sloan, Epsilon Epsilon, The University of Georgia - Field of Public Service

 

2004

Myra Morgan, Beta Tau, University of Florida - Student Affairs

 

2002

Tara Stephenson, Zeta Omicron, The University of Arizona - Arts

 

2000

Joyce Furrey Conner, Beta Upsilon, Ohio University - Volunteer Administration
Marjorie Peace Lenn, Epsilon Kappa, Transylvania University - Education

 

1998

Theresa Shank Grentz, Theta, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign - Athletics
Dr. Suzanne Gordon, Delta Tau, University of Central Arkansas - Education

 

1996

Karin Spencer Haspell, Gamma Theta, California State University, Long Beach - Business, Technology, & Science
Marcia Milby Ridings, Alpha Chi, Georgetown College - Public Service
Debra Amidon, Delta, Boston University - Technology Management
Sarah Ragle Weddington, Zeta Nu, The University of Texas, San Antonio - Public Service

 

1994

Sondra Chase Shaw-Hardy, Alpha Tau, Michigan State University - Public Service & Philanthropy
Kathlyn Reed, Xi, The University of Kansas - Occupational Therapy
Audrey Noiske Grosch, Alpha Eta, University of Minnesota - Sports & Computer Science
Dr. Sharon Haddon Andelora, Alpha Lambda, Adelphi University - Education

 

1992

Dr. Patricia Jarboe Buchanan, Beta Sigma, Purdue University - Education
Dr. Jean Samuelson Elder, Alpha Mu, University of Michigan - Education & Public Service
Dr. Dorys Crow Grover, Upsilon, Oregon State University - Education
Linda Ellis Jennett, Sigma, Southern Methodist University - Environmental Engineering
Karen Zander, Eta, Illinois Wesleyan University - Nursing/ Science

 

1990

Mary Korstad Engholm, Alpha Omicron, University of California, Los Angeles - Education & Art History
Beverly McGinnis Lowe, Delta Rho, James Madison University - Dietetics and Child Nutrition
Joan Reagin McNeill-Murray, Alpha Theta, University of Louisville - Volunteerism
Karen Malinka Powel, Epsilon Lambda, California State University, Sacramento - Business Professional & Science
Nancy Woolf, Alpha Omicron, University of California, Los Angeles - Research & Science

 

1988

Carole Amick, Alpha Epsilon, Iowa State University - Politics
Margaret Andrew, Chi, The Ohio State University - Science & Technology
Fay Burnett, Sigma, Southern Methodist University - Nutrition
Lynn Fox Nafziger, Alpha Theta, University of Louisville - Education
Suzanne Faulkner Schimke, Alpha Omicron, University of California, Los Angeles - Engineering
Margaret Chase Smith, Alpha, Colby College - Politics & Education

 

1986

Lillian Peterson Budd, Theta, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign - Author
Joan Norbut O'Byrne, Lambda, University of California, Berkeley - Law
Dr. Elizabeth Landymore Smith, Epsilon Omicron, Texas State University - Psychology

 

1984

Rhea Seddon Gibson, Lambda, University of California, Berkeley - Medicine & Space Exploration
Joan Howard, Xi, The University of Kansas - Archives
Kathleen Larey Lewton, Eta, Illinois Wesleyan University - Public Relations

Honor Initiates

2018

Michele McManus Howard, Theta Mu, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Cyndy Waters, Alpha Delta, University of Tennessee

 

2016

Maria Fuentes Martin, Zeta Nu, University of Texas - San Antonio
Amy Parisi, Epsilon Epsilon, The University of Georgia
Heather Snyder, Theta Zeta, University of Virginia
 

2014

Maria Carillo, Theta, University of Illinois 
Virginia Schaefer Horvath, Theta Iota, The State University of New York at Fredonia
 

2012

Nancy Lopez, Theta Xi, Auburn University
Kay Malone, Beta Epsilon, Louisiana Tech University

 

2010

Julie Laperouse, Beta Epsilon, Louisiana Tech University
KaAnne Morris, Beta Sigma, Purdue University
 

2008

Wilsie Bishop, Gamma Lambda, Louisiana Tech University
Pamela Davidson, Beta Sigma, East Tennessee State University
 

35 Under 35 Honorees | 2021

2021 Honorees

Angela Alfano

Epsilon Epsilon, The University of Georgia
Bio
Field of Interest:

Sports Industry

 
About Angela:

Angela is a trailblazer in the sports industry. As Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Major League Soccer (MLS), she leads publicity efforts in the business and lifestyle space for the league. Angela is passionate about forging a new path for the next generation of female sports public relations executives, championing the new wave of leadership in the industry, and reimagining the mentorship experience. As the driving force behind the league’s multi-faceted corporate communications team, Angela’s diverse background has been critical during the growth period of MLS leading up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be the most powerful sporting event in the history of North America. Since joining MLS in 2018, Angela has been instrumental in garnering positive publicity for the league and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) properties – the preeminent commercial soccer enterprise – outside the traditional scope of soccer. Previously, Angela worked at Tough Mudder’s headquarters in the communications department and spent six years working in public relations for professional football – both at the NFL headquarters and for the Washington Football Team. Angela graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a master’s degree in Sports Industry Management (2011) and received undergraduate degrees in both public relations and political science from the University of Georgia (2010) where she started her sports communications career working as a student assistant in UGA’s Sports Information Department. While at UGA, she was a member of the Epsilon Epsilon chapter where she served as Vice President of New Member Education.  

 
What Her Nominator Said:

 "Angela is an inspiration, not only to those in the Sports Industry, but to all women everywhere. Through her intelligence, compassion, hard work and dedication, she has accomplished so much in her career. The thing that sets her apart is her heart and desire to build sisterhood within a primarily male-dominate industry. She lifts up those around her and supports other women in every way she can. She has paved the way, through her example, for women everywhere, especially young women who desire to change the game."

Alexandra Amato

Kappa Xi, University of Nevada, Reno
Bio
Field of Interest:

 Nonprofit Development & Management

 

About Alexandra:

Alexandra has taken the Las Vegas nonprofit world by storm. Since 2015, she has worked with three nonprofit organizations, developing successful fundraising programs that support the community. As the Campaign Development Manager for the Students of the Year Campaign at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada, Alexandra built the program from the ground up. Under her leadership, it has grown from four high school candidates who raised about $50,000 to ten candidates who raised $264,000 in 2020. Alexandra improved the program with focus on recruitment and innovative teaching methods on fundraising, structure and insight – skills she honed as a member of Sigma Kappa. Alexandra served as executive vice president, continuing membership chairman and PR chairman after transferring to the Theta Eta Chapter at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has been an advisor for Theta Eta for four years, currently serving as ABS. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society honored her two years in a row with the Transformational Growth Award. She also was awarded the Attainment to Budget Award in 2020.  

 

What her nominator said:

"Alexandra deserves to be recognized as one of Sigma Kappa’s 35 under 35 Honorees because of her devotion to making the Las Vegas community a better place. With her forward-thinking mindset I am confident that Alexandra will continue to make positive impacts in Sigma Kappa, her career, and any other project that she touches. Her unequivocal successes continue to prove that she is an outstanding member of the community. Alexandra lives with Sigma Kappa’s values at the forefront of her mind; Personal Growth For the past 10 years that I have known Alexandra she has grown into a confident and strong woman. Life is not always easy and Alexandra has shown that even during difficult times she perseveres and comes out stronger than before. Service Her dedication to service is profoundly noted through her successes at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada. Using this as a platform for leadership and growth for herself and the students that she interacts with. Loyalty Alexandra stands up for what she believes in and this stems from her loyalty to her passions. Friendship Putting aside all of her professional accomplishments, Alexandra does not let her personal relationships lack. She fosters her relationships and is always there to support those that she loves. Alexandra Amato would be an ideal addition to Sigma Kappa’s 35 under 35 Honorees. Her love and passion for Sigma Kappa has helped shape her into the remarkable woman she is today!"

Danielle Bechta

Zeta Phi, The University of Rutgers
Bio
Field of Interest:

Associate Director at the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF)

 
About Danielle:

Danielle has a passion to serve and to help those in need, and she approaches life with energy and enthusiasm. Professionally, Danielle puts her passion into action as an Associate Director for the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), which is dedicated to eliminating Parkinson’s Disease. In her role she supports the foundation’s efforts to engage the broader community in its mission to speed a cure for Parkinson’s, attending meetings and events with Parkinson’s patients, caregivers, donors and other MJFF stakeholders. A natural leader, Danielle fills her free time with volunteer work. She has served Sigma Kappa in many capacities, including as an advisor and ABS for the Zeta Phi Chapter, recruitment supervisor for the Kappa Upsilon Chapter, and on the Sigma Kappa Foundation Development Committee. Danielle also has served in multiple positions on the area Panhellenic board. Impressively, Danielle is the youngest person to ever serve as president of the Rutgers Alumni Association, a position she currently holds, and was awarded the honor of "Loyal Daughter of Rutgers." This award is the university’s highest recognition of service as an alumna. 

 
What her nominator said:

" I believe Danielle represents the best of what we seek to instill in women when they choose to follow the path of our Sigma Kappa founders. I see in her a love for our sorority, and a great desire to serve her sisters. She in tune with what really matters to her, and has chosen career and personal paths which allow her enthusiasm, and her skills and talents, to flourish in a way that impacts everyone she connects with every day. She's the kind of woman I aspire to be."

Jessica Bowser

Zeta Pi, Colorado School of Mines
Bio
Field of Interest:

Infrastructure & Engineering

 
About Jessica:

Jessica is the Assistant City Engineer for the City of Glenwood Springs, Colo., a small mountain town that has some big transportation and infrastructure challenges, including the bisection of the community by an interstate, highway, and two rivers in a narrow valley. Additionally, over 30,000 cars per day travel on the city’s main street, which is actually a highway. Jessica is one of three city engineers who manage the many challenging city projects and other developments that come through review. During Jessica’s tenure, her department has overseen a number of projects from apartment complexes to traffic detours, trail development and utility projects. Jessica’s first assignment was to replace the 27th Street Bridge, which was the worst-rated bridge in Colorado at the time. She was able to take this project from an idea through construction in a short amount of time, obtaining matching grants to supplement federal funding for the project. Jessica is also a competitive Olympic recurve shooter and bowhunter who has a Level II coaching certification from USA Archery. In her spare time, Jessica loves to coach kids (and friends!) at the archery range.  

 

What her nominator said:

"Jessica embodies what it means to be a Sigma Kappa to me. I have known her for 15 years and all of my memories with Sigma Kappa involve her. She was a hard-working student and member of our chapter. It has been wonderful to watch her carry those qualities into her career."

Sidney Collin

Epsilon Omega, California Polytechnic State University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Entrepreneurship & Engineering

 
About Sidney:

Sidney is a hard-working entrepreneur with heart. She is the CEO and Co-founder of De Oro Devices, a company whose mission is to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. De Oro’s first product, NexStride, is a small, portable device that uses research-backed visual and auditory cues to help people with Parkinson's disease overcome “freezing of gait,” one of the most common and most debilitating symptoms of the disease. Sidney has an academic research background in computational neuroscience, with a research paper published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. In 2019, Sidney was awarded Cal Poly’s 2019 Outstanding Woman in Engineering Award, Outstanding Student Award, and the Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award. She has also been recognized as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly by the Wire in their 30 under 30 list, and as a business leader in the Pacific Coast Business Times' 40 under 40 list.  

 

What her nominator said:

"Sidney has always been a warm-hearted person and full of light. She is hard-working, dedicated, and truly wants to make a difference in this world. Since I've known her in college she has been focused on making an impact in the medical field and create a device that helps those suffering from Parkinson's disease. She is the true embodiment of performing self-less service for others."

Paige Cook

Xi, The University of Kansas
Bio
Field of Interest:

Events Planning & Performing Arts 

 
About Paige:

Paige puts her penchant for positivity and people skills to work each day as the Guest Experience Coordinator at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. Paige is responsible for ensuring visitors to The Clarice have a positive experience by interfacing with them in person and over the phone. She also trains and supervises the student staff who work in the ticket office and volunteer as ushers. Her coworkers praise Paige for making an impact every day in the way she shows up with purpose, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn and grow. Because Paige is deeply committed to and cares about all people, non-discriminately, she has taken the initiative to improve accessibility at the performing arts center, courageously leading the organization to embark on improvements to make the center and performances more accessible to guests by offering effective sensory-friendly performances. Paige is also Vice Chair of the Staff Council where she advocates for The Clarice with the Dean, campus partners and at industry conferences. Paige joined The Clarice after serving as a Leadership Consultant for Sigma Kappa, living on the west coast and providing support and motivation to collegians. When Paige is not at The Clarice, she spends her time volunteering at a local bookstore and exploring Maryland with her fiancé and dog. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Paige Cook is an incredible leader, mentor, colleague, and friend and I cannot imagine a person more deserving of this honor. To know Paige, is to know warmth, joy, loyalty, and care. One of Paige’s many gifts is an ability to make people feel like they are the most important person in a room. Whether she is talking with a student employee or the President of the University of Maryland, Paige extends the same kindness and respect to everyone she meets. I am incredibly impressed with Paige’s drive to ensure that people of all backgrounds and abilities are able to enjoy the same level of access to the arts. Paige’s enthusiasm and dedication to amplifying the voices of others make our university a brighter and more equitable place. I feel confident about the future of the arts because of people like Paige. A person who puts incredible care into creating meaningful and transformative experiences for others while being energized to go beyond what seems possible and achieve goals that elevate the quality of life for all."

Katie Coughlin

Alpha Chi, Georgetown College
Bio
Field of Interest:

Neuropsychology

 
About Katie:

A board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Katie focuses on cognitive skills, as well as emotional symptoms to help clarify why someone has trouble with their thinking related to either a neurologic or psychiatric condition. This field of study is the gold standard for diagnosing dementia and its cause (including Alzheimer’s disease). Katie doesn’t just help people with dementia; she also helps people with movement disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease), epilepsy/seizures, brain tumors, head injuries, schizophrenia, and other neurologic and psychiatric conditions. Katie works in a nonprofit hospital system and previously worked at a community mental health center that primarily serves low-income and/or homeless individuals. She also does contract work at a long-term care facility that specializes in helping people with brain and spinal cord injuries. Katie particularly enjoys working with elderly individuals, a passion that was stoked during college with Sigma Kappa’s philanthropic efforts. In addition to helping her patients, Katie also trains students and advocates for her profession. Katie has served as a clinical training supervisor for the past four years, which has given her the chance to invest in the future of clinical psychology and neuropsychology. She has also served as the 2020 President for Colorado Neuropsychological Society, which has allowed her to advocate and lead neuropsychology in the state. Katie has also served as a committee member for the Women in Leadership (WIL) for the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) for two years. WIL’s mission is to educate, encourage, and mentor female neuropsychologists to become leaders within NAN and in the field. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Katie has worked incredibly hard to pursue her fieldof pursuit. She has taken on extra responsibility, additional effort and gone to great lengths to help her patients. Her pursuit of education and experience in her own knowledge helps improve the lives of her patients. Mental health and brain conditions are an important subject in our nation that is starting to turn the tide of stigma and misunderstanding. It is due to professionals like Katie that more and more resources exist for those who suffer from these issues."

Jessica Cunningham

Epsilon Tau,California State University, Fullerton
Bio
Field of Interest:

Racial Equality Advocate & Credit Officer

 

About Jessica:

Jessica is a force of nature who goes above and beyond to make the world a better and more equitable place. After four years on Sigma Kappa staff, including two years as a Leadership Consultant, Jessica landed a job as the credit officer at Citi Bank, where she supports leaders at Best Buy stores across Indiana and Kentucky. She has already made an impact in this role, winning a prestigious award for her good work and being asked to work on specialty projects like the company’s podcast. Along with her professional skills, Jessica is a motivator who inspires those around her to know better and do better. Jessica co-chairs Sigma Kappa’s Diversity Equity Inclusion and Access (DEIA) Committee and has been featured in the Sigma Kappa Triangle for the inspirational way she motivates others to create a more equitable and world. Jessica is an outspoken advocate for Black people in America and uses her charisma, passion, leadership, and talent to help others learn more. Jessica is a go-to resource for Sigma Kappa volunteers and NHQ staff members on the topic of racial equality and the issues that matter most to our Black members. The progress Sigma Kappa continues to make toward becoming a truly inclusive organization will be, in large part, due to Jessica’s dedication and diligence. Jessica is the embodiment of the infamous Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote, “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” In addition to her commitment to Sigma Kappa, Jessica has also served at the Programming Coordinator for District 7 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Jessica is a force of nature who goes above and beyond to help others. She has been a go-to resource for Sigma Kappa volunteersand NHQ staff members on the topic of racial equality and the issues that matter most to our Black members. Jessica has done this no matter whatwhether as part of her role with the DEIA committee, or as a knowledgeable alumna who is always a text or callaway. While we may have gotten to where we are now without her help, I firmly believe that she has been influential and immensely helpful in getting us here even faster. The progress we continue to make toward becoming a truly inclusive organization will be, in large part, due to Jessica’s dedication and diligence. Jessica is the embodiment of the infamous Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote, 'fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.'"

DeAnna DeForest

Beta Theta, Marietta College
Bio
Field of Interest:

Public Health & Mentorship

 

About DeAnna:

DeAnna is a leader with a heart for service and a passion for developing the youth of Cleveland. She serves as the Executive Assistant for Building Hope in the City, a fast-paced and growing organization that seeks to advance the good of the city of Cleveland, magnify the mission of Jesus and unleash the capability of underestimated people. The Executive Assistant is key to this transformational work in Cleveland, supporting daily operations and ministry success. Previously, DeAnna worked for the Cleveland Department of Public Health as an Administrative Assistant for the MomsFirst program. This program provides home visits, education, and support to pregnant women until their babies reach 18 months old, an important step needed toward reducing the racial disparity in infant mortality. DeAnna also has a heart for youth in the Cleveland area and hosts bi-weekly Bible study meetings with Black youth, packages and distributes meals at local food banks, and distributes “care kits” to the city’s homeless population. She also organized and implemented a summer day camp program for Cleveland youth during the summer of 2020 when many childcare options were on pause due to COVID-19. Utilizing the experience she gained working with various nonprofit organizations in Cleveland, DeAnna recently founded a nonprofit called Chosen Generation, an organization focused on developing the whole child through education, work ethic, service, and kindness. DeAnna radiates positivity, passion, and commitment. She sees the youth of Cleveland as not only the future of the city, but also the world.  

 

What her nominator said:

"DeAnna is one of the most loyal and selfless individuals I know. She is constantly volunteering and encouraging others to volunteer or donate their time as well. DeAnna is someone who will find ways to cheer someone up and make their day. For as long as I have known DeAnna, she has been doing volunteer work within the greater Cleveland area, helping in homeless shelters, educating others in healthy lifestyles, helping to keep youth out of negative or violent situations, and promoting peaceful ways within today's youth, so that they can build a better community around them." 

Mindy Dilley

Delta Upsilon, Missouri State University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Student Involvement & Fraternity/Sorority Life

 

About Mindy:

As the Associate Director of Student Involvement at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, Mindy DilleyDelta Upsilon, advises and supports student organizations and student involvement. Additionally, Mindy is an advisor and former Advisory Board Supervisor for the Kappa Alpha Chapter at Northwest Missouri State University. 

Her past work in Fraternity/Sorority Life has revitalized communities on campuses, and she has empowered students to take ownership of and accountability for their community. She brings a passion and energy for working in student affairs that breathes new life into the students and the community.  

Mindy is a highly sought-after facilitator, because she empowers and includes people in a way that is rare. “She makes those around her better and ignites a spark and passion in folks,” her application read. “From advancing important DEIA initiatives and work to dedicating herself to facilitation and empowering others, Mindy has made an incredible impact in the field of Student Affairs in Higher Education.” Mindy is a two-time winner of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity’s National Greek Advisor of the Year (2014 & 2015) and Northwest Missouri State University’s Greek Advisor of the Year (2018). 

In a letter of support, her Delta Upsilon sister wrote, “Mindy is truly the type of person that every member of Sigma Kappa should strive to be. Her professional and personal life is dedicated to service. She gives so much of herself to others and invests in people and organizations. Mindy believes in people. She empowers people. She inspires those around her.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"Mindy is the definition of what it means to live with heart. She has made an incredible impact on the campus and in the community of the University of Missouri Saint Louis (UMSL). She started at UMSL as the Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Mindy believes in the power of the sorority and fraternity experience. She invests in helping student leaders take ownership of their student organizations and she works to empowerstudents. Mindy’s is the type of Fraternity/Sorority Life Advisor that we want all of our collegiate chapters to have. She cares deeply about people and pours time and energy into mentoring, advising, and supporting folks. She inspires confidence and helps people find their potential. The work she is doing resonates and has a lifelong impact for students. When I look at Mindy’s work and volunteer commitments, I am in awe of how much she gives to others. She does all of this while bringing energy, passion, and light to everything. Those who work with Mindy are better because they had the opportunity to collaborate with someone who inspires people to be better. Mindy is someone I look up to and deeply admire. She lives our values of friendship, loyalty, personal growth and service every day. She is a woman who leaves communities and people better than when she was introduced to them. She is someone who fighting for a more inclusive and tolerant world. Mindy is the definition of what a Sigma Kappa member should be."

Molly Ellery Moore

Kappa Xi, University of Nevada, Reno
Bio
Field of Interest:

Public Relations

 

About Molly:

Over the past four years as director of public relations for communications firm Argentum Partners, Molly Ellery MooreKappa Xi, has been responsible for the success of more than 30 high-profile Nevada businesses. But her success did not come without its share of hardships. Since graduating from college in 2015, Molly has faced several trials including the passing of her father in 2016. This major event greatly changed Molly’s outlook on her future and drove her to focus on her family and career path. In three years, she went from office manager to head of the public relations department, helped secure national awards for her firm and was recently named a “Rising PR Star 30 & Under” by PR News. Furthermore, she has volunteered her time with several organizations across the state in addition to serving on the advisory board for her chapter. Mike Draper, partner at Argentum Partners, said in his letter of support, that Molly, “represents the public relations industry with the highest level of integrity and pride.”  

 

What her nominator said:

"Since graduating college and Sigma Kappa in 2015, Molly has faced several trials including the passing of her father in 2016. This major event greatly changed Molly’s outlook on her future and drove her to focus on her family and career path. In three years, she went from office manager to head of the public relations department, helped secure national awards for her firm and was recently named a ‘Rising PR Star 30 & Under’ by PR News. Furthermore, she has volunteered her time with several organizations across the state in addition to serving on the advisory board for her chapter. Molly exemplifies Sigma Kappa’s values of service, loyalty and particularly personal growth."

Dana Finley

Delta, Boston University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Fraternity and Sorority Life Industry & Higher Education

 
About Dana:

An open mind and passionate viewpoint helps Dana FinleyDelta, thrive as an experienced and adaptable higher education professional. Her meaningful experience working with a variety of fraternal stakeholder groups has further served to highlight what makes Dana stand out among her peers in the fraternity and sorority life industry. She began working in the higher education and fraternity and sorority life arena seven years ago as a Sigma Kappa leadership consultant and now as an industry professional. Dana has developed deep expertise in facilitation and continues to be tapped for opportunities to speak in the fraternity and sorority space as she is recognized as a subject authority in risk management, harm reduction, and accountability work. Dana works at Delta Tau Delta Fraternity as the accountability training coordinator, supporting chapters and Fraternity volunteers through risk management concerns and developing both proactive and restorative programming to address accountability practices in Delt chapters across the country. In Dana’s volunteer role with Sigma Kappa, she has served as a Collegiate Coordinator and serves now as Collegiate District Director for District 4. 

 
What her nominator said:

"I have had the distinct honor and privilege of working with Dana Finley for over 7 years. We first met when I served as her Collegiate Province Officer and she was serving as chapter president of Sigma Kappa for our Delta chapter. During this time, I have watched Dana grow both personally and professionally. She has continued to serve Fraternity and Sorority life in her career and as a volunteer, taking on service in all aspects of her daily life. At each transition point in Dana’s journey she has built upon that which she learned and served to further propel and empower members of each organizations that she as supported. Her open mind and passionate viewpoint as an experienced and adaptable higher education professional with meaningful experience working with a variety of fraternal stakeholder groups has further served to highlight what makes Dana stand out among her peers in the fraternity and sorority life industry."

Annie Forrest

Theta Zeta, University of Virginia
Bio
Field of Interest:

Advocate for Relationship Violence & Author

 

About Annie:

At only 28 years old, Annie ForrestTheta Zeta, is a recognized leader in her field and has a bright future ahead of her. Since her collegiate days at the University of Virginia, Annie has been a champion for ending relationship violence. At UVA, she was deeply involved in sexual and domestic violence prevention efforts on campus and in the community, working with the Sexual Assault Resource Agency and Albemarle County Police Department. She received the “2015 Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance’s Act. Honor. Hope. Award” for advocacy in the state of Virginia. Through her work at the One Love Foundation, she crafts policy around relationship violence and manages partnerships with national community-based organizations, the United States military branches, and corporate entities around relationship health programming. Annie is also a published author, sought-after speaker, and a volunteer with many organizations close to her heart, including Sigma Kappa. In her application, her nominator wrote, “if you asked the many Sigma Kappas across the nation whose lives she has touched, they would tell you it feels as if that tagline was written to describe her. Annie is the most impressive person I know, let alone the most impressive Sigma Kappa I know, and I'm confident she will one day have a bio in the ‘Significant Sigma Kappas’ section of our website.”

 

What her nominator said:

"Annie truly lives with heart and I'm confident if you asked the many Sigma Kappas across the nation whose lives she has touched, they would tell you it feels as if that tagline was written to describe her. At only 28, Annie is a recognized leader in her field and has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. As she continues to excel she remains committed to where she came from and the people she's met along the way through her work with Sigma Kappa and in Appalachia. She is a woman who balances the sides of her character effortlessly, giving her all to her work while still being an incredible friend, partner, daughter, sister, and volunteer. Annie is the most impressive person I know, let alone the most impressive Sigma Kappa I know and I'm confident she will one day have a bio in the "Significant Sigma Kappas" section of our website."

Rachel Gelman

Mu, University of Washington
Bio
Field of Interest:

Women's Health

 
About Rachel:

Dr. Rachel Gelman, DPT, Mu, is willing to broach uncomfortable conversations for the good of women’s health. As an expert in the field of pelvic floor rehabilitation, Rachel is passionate about busting taboos regarding women’s health and sexual wellness. In addition to being the owner/founder of a private physical therapy clinic, Pelvic Wellness & Physical Therapy, in San Francisco, Rachel also teaches as an adjunct instructor at Samuel Merritt University in the Department of Physical Therapy. She provides pro bono mentorship to students and healthcare professionals with an interest in women’s health. She was a recent guest instructor at the Kenya Medical Training College where she taught Kenyan physiotherapists how to treat advanced pelvic pain conditions.  

While in college together at the Mu Chapter, Maggie Morris saw Rachel serve passionately as both the Continuing Membership Chair and chapter President. “I am pleased to see those leadership skills put into action in her professional career and that she is still making a tremendous impact for women,” Maggie wrote in her recommendation letter. “She continues to serve Sigma Kappa by hosting workshops on sexual health and serving on career panels at collegiate chapters in California.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"Rachel is the most bold and talented young professional I know. She is willing to broach uncomfortable conversations for the good of women’s health and is one of the top leaders in her field. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for this honor. She truly loves Sigma Kappa and is always willing to give her time and talent to other women and deserving causes. She is a tremendous role-model, gives back to current Sigma Kappa collegians, and is just a terrific person in general. She has already come so far in her profession and I cannot wait to see where the future takes her."

Namoos Haider

Xi, The University of Kansas
Bio
Field of Interest:

Neuroscience

 
About Namoos:

Coming from Pakistan to study internationally, Namoos Haider, wants to take her education home to make her country a better place. She is a behavioral neuroscience major with plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology. Namoos then aims to take that education and knowledge back to Pakistan to advocate and create awareness for mental health. “As it is so taboo, I personally believe one's mental health should be as important as your physical well-being,” Namoos said. Her career goal is to further free mental health clinical services in the rural areas of Pakistan and has been working with a non-governmental organization in Islamabad, Ally Foundation, since 2014. Ally Foundation is a social justice organization that helps women fight for their rights by paying legal fees and providing a just and supportive legal team, something which can be difficult to obtain in Pakistan. Namoos is the diversity and inclusion co-chairwoman for Xi Chapter, president of the Pakistan Student Association, public relations coordinator for KU Alternative Breaks and community outreach coordinator for the Big Event at KU. Namoos uses her various identities to help improve her campus, her community and eventually the world.

 

What her nominator said:

"As a Muslim, queer woman of color from a developing nation that is on the spectrum, I think that it is important for the Co-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair to embody these identities that I hold. Within the Panhellenic Community, I have faced adversity in a multitude of ways. I feel that it is my duty firstly as a student of the university of Kansas and as amember of the Xi chapter to use this platform to further our efforts to make our chapter a prime example for diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus. I hope to pave the way in this position, to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for current and future members."

Emma Kalayjian

Zeta Upsilon, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Bio
Field of Interest:

NASA UX & Tech Content Creator

 

About Emma:

Emma KalayjianZeta Upsilon, is driven to bridge gaps, whether it’s automotive and aerospace, engineering and design, or masculine and feminine. These all do well on their own, but are unstoppable forces together. Currently, Emma works for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a User Interface Designer, working on cutting edge digital applications while fostering accessibility and inclusion, and is also the UX & Tech Content Creator and Concept Programming Contributor for Auto Conduct (autoconduct.com). There, Emma ensures viewers have a proper understanding of user experience design and technical insight on the latest vehicles while still looking for creative ways to invite fringe automotive enthusiasts into the car culture experience. She was named to the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Enterprise Technology. 

“We all have the power to make an impact, but sometimes we don’t realize the power we have within ourselves,” Emma wrote. “I aim to share my story, mistakes, successes, lessons learned, trials and errors so that our sisters have the same tools for success that I’ve learned along the way.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"We all have the power to make an impact, but sometimes we don’t realize the power we have within ourselves. I aim to share my story, mistakes, successes, lessons learned, trials and errors so that our sisters have the same toolsfor success that I’ve learned along the way. I want to build a platform and share a wealth of knowledge. Empowered women empower women!"

Courtney Kloske

Theta Xi, Auburn University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Biology Mechanisms in Alzheimer's

 

About Courtney:

Not only has Courtney Kloske’sTheta Xi, commitment, service and leadership reached far and wide, but her heart and her passion guide her as well. Courtney is actively pursuing her doctorate at the University of Kentucky. She is focused on the biological mechanisms in Alzheimer's, with a goal of unlocking some of the disease's mysteries to develop potential therapies and treatments. In addition to the research she does in the lab, she has made an impact by continuing her efforts in her community and beyond. During her tenure at Auburn and with her Sigma Kappa sisters, Courtney took an active role in our charitable organization: Alzheimer's disease and the Alzheimer's Association. As a graduate student, she has continued to live this pillar of Sigma Kappa, and has devoted significant time outside of graduate school to the Alzheimer’s Association and helping the fight to end Alzheimer’s. Sigma Kappa has helped Courtney solidify her passion for finding a cure for Alzheimer's, and now she wants to work continue to work in the fight to end Alzheimer's after she graduates with her PhD. She is also a recognized leader in her research, and is a recipient of the highly competitive National Institutes of Health NSRA F31 fellowship awarded to promising pre-doctoral students. In reflecting on Sigma Kappa's definition of leadership, loyalty to one's values and enacting them in daily life, Courtney’s nominators said they cannot think of a better person than Courtney. “Her work and her passion inspire all those who interact with her, and her leadership shines through in everything that she does.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"Courtney has had the goal of pursuing Alzheimer's research since I met her our freshman year of college when she was my random roommate and then my sorority sister almost eight years ago. Not only has she accomplished this goal, but she has surpassed it. Sigma Kappa hashelped Courtney solidify her passion for finding a cure for Alzheimers and now she wants to work for the Alzheimers Association after she graduates with her PhD. She has worked so hard to help further a cause that is so close to Sigma Kappa. She is extremely intelligent and works very hard not only in her academics but also in her community."

Erica Lagos

Delta Delta, Central Michigan University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Campaign Project Management

 

About Erica:

Erica LagosDelta Deltahas a big heart and cares deeply for others. Through her professional role as the Campaign Project Manager for Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, Inc., she identifies the best ways to support members and helps raise the funds to provide more opportunities for them to be successful in their lives. Erica gives her time to ensure that students and young professionals learn and grow in the space where they are. She focuses on connections and helping individuals build community. Through her role on the Central Michigan University Alumni Association Board of Directors, she identifies ways to engage alumni to provide a larger impact with current students. Erica also volunteers with Sigma Kappa as a member of the alumnae team and frequently raises her hand to help with collegiate management projects. She wants what is best for every member and will donate her time to help them achieve their goals. During 2020, Erica helped launch a group called Community and Culture Night in Indianapolis. Through Community and Culture Night, Erica helped provide a space for young adults looking to make a connection with others in their community. A common thread through each of these examples is how Erica cares for others and strives to help them be successful, meeting them where they are and providing opportunities for them to grow.  

 

What her nominator said: 

"Erica's heart for others and providing the opportunity for people to connect in creative ways makes her the perfect candidate for the 35 under 35. Through her professional role, she identifies the best ways to support the members of Alpha Chi Omega. Her end goal is to raise the funds to provide more opportunities for their members to be successful in their lives. Through her CMU Alumni Association Board of Directors role, she advocates for student's best interests and identifies ways to engage alumni to provide a larger impact with current students. Through Community and Culture Night, Erica helped provide a space for individuals looking to make a connection with others. A common thread through each of these examples is how Erica cares for others and strives to help them be successful. She helps meet people where they are and provides opportunities for them to grow. Erica is a model member and giving her this honor would allow more members to look up to her as a role model and follow in her footsteps"

Ella Lewis

Beta Tau, University of Florida
Bio
Field of Interest:

Child Development & Non-Profit Management

 

About Ella:

Ella Lewis serves as Vice President of Advancement for Girls Inc. of Sarasota County, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold as they navigate economic, social and gender barriers and become independent women. She uses her skills in child development and program leadership, along with her passion for non-profit work, to coordinate fundraising strategies and ensure supporters have a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and impact. Friends describe Ella as a lifelong learner, dedicated to making a lasting impact in her work and community while also serving in the key roles of wife, and mother of three girls, a 6-year-old and 2-year-old twins. She has held many leadership roles in the Sarasota Junior League, currently serving as President-Elect, has completed the Leadership Sarasota Program, volunteered in the recent presidential election, and served on the scholarship committee of a local foundation that provides hardworking students with support for secondary education. A co-worker says, “Ella Lewis is a woman of many talents, but more importantly she is a genuine, authentic, person and friend who builds up women around her. She is not driven by ego or accomplishment, but by the true desire to see and make the world around her a sustainably better place. Ella challenges not only herself, but everyone around her to do more and do better with the knowledge that she will support you every step of the way.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"Ella inspires me every single day. She is a wife with 3 daughters (2 are twins!). She is so passionate about helping others, especially in her community, as evidenced by her hard work at her employment and through her volunteer efforts. Through this all,she remains an amazing, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend."

Nicholle Miller

Upsilon, Oregon State University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Marine Officer

 
About Nicholle:

Nicholle Miller started defying the odds at an early age. Diagnosed with a learning disability, she was told she would never attend college. Not one to accept limits, in high school she excelled in both athletics and academics, graduating with a 3.8 GPA and receiving a full NROTC scholarship to Oregon State University. She continued to excel in college where she was President of the OSU Rifle team Club and became the #1 female shooter in her age group in the State of California and Oregon and on the OSU Varsity Rifle Team. Commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in 2013, she then attended The Basic School in Quantico where, out of a class of 204, she was one of 24 Second Lieutenants. She became the first female Marine Officer in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion ground combat unit, and her performance as an Intelligence Officer has brought her numerous awards, including special recognition by the Commanding General of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. During this time Nicholle earned her Master’s degree from Boston University, graduating with a 3.87 GPA. Her Commanding Officer says she has not only held her own in a male-dominated field, but consistently earns the respect of peers. 

Major Kevin Mooney, who has known Nicholle since she was a child, says of her, “Throughout my life, there have been few people I have known who stand out from the crowd; Nicholle Miller is one of those people. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay to Nicholle, as a combat Marine, is if I should be called upon to defend this country once again, I would fight alongside Nicholle without hesitation.”  

 

What her nominator said:

"Nicholle has given her heart and soul to the Marines in her charge. She consistently puts her Marines before herself. She strives to set her Marines up for success. She is the person who will help you overcome obstacles, help you meet deadlines, or any help when needed. I recall a time when several Marines were having a difficult time getting through security clearances. If a Marine does not get the approved clearance, their career in the Marines must come to an end. I have seen Nicholle chip away at whatever the issues are until she is finally able to get her Marine cleared. Nicholle has earned the respect of her fellow Marines. She has been asked to personally pin or promote Marines for advancement. These may seem like small things to a civilian, but to a Marine it is an honor. Nicholle has given freely of her time to our Veterans. She has participated in several 21 Gun Solutes, presided over Marine memorial services and volunteered to help veterans during her time in college. Nicholle was written up in the USMC Globe for making Marine Corps history as the first female officer ever in the 2nd LAR Battalion. When they called to interview her, she didn’t want to be known as the first female, she wanted to be known as a Marine. Nicholle doesn’t look for recognition. In fact, she turned several reporters away. It was her commander who finally asked her to do the interview."

Eva O'Brien

Delta, Boston University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Medicine & Public Health

 

About Eva:

In the Fall of 2021, Eva O’Brien will enter medical school to pursue an MD/MPH and her dream of becoming an emergency room physician. Unlike many of her peers who have followed a traditional classroom path, Eva will bring a vast array of experiences in the public health field gained both in the United States during many years lived in Haiti. Eva graduated in 2013 from Boston University where she was awarded a federal fellowship for Zulu language study and was a Peer Health Educator in Boston public schools, graduating she worked for one year working as a Population Health Manager in Brigham and Women’s Hospital community health centers, the moved to Haiti in 2014 where she began as the Oncology Research Liaison for Partners in Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Mirebalais, Haiti. Then over the next six years Eva worked in a variety of hospitals in Haiti for both Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante and Health Equity International where her responsibilities included program management, facilitating research, supporting rollout of new clinical services, analyzing clinic design and procedures, implementing vaccination programs and organizing a post hurricane disaster team. Facilitating communication with various stakeholders and world health agencies has been a key component of her work and is, enhanced by her fluency in Haitian Creole and proficiency in French, Spanish, and Zulu. As a future physician she hopes to promote bidirectional learning opportunities between the US and experts in resource-constrained countries, so is currently a member of the Haitian Surgical Care consortium, where she works to help Haitian colleagues start a 501c3 nonprofit focused on research equity and is a co-authored published on articles about healthcare in Haiti. In May of 2019 Eva returned to the US to begin a pre-medical program at Bryn Mawr College, and since September 2020 has worked with Partners in Health as the University and College Liaison for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Response. 

 

What her nominator said:

" I can't think of another woman who so deeply personifies our value of service and has so outwardly demonstrated our value of friendship to others. From the day I met Eva when I was a new member of Sigma Kappa, she has been passionate about public health and helping others. Her resume would be impressive for any public health practitioner, but she has managed to accomplish so much since graduating from Boston University in 2013, even before pursuing her MD. I am incredibly proud to call her my Sigma Kappa sister."

Monica Pechous

Theta Eta, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Bio
Field of Interest:

Law

 
About Monica:

Losing her father to cancer at a young age inspired Monica Pechous to follow in his footsteps in the field of law. She completed the three-year program at Chicago Kent College of Law in just two years, while also writing for the Law Review Journal and participating in the Moot Court Honor Society. While in law school Monica won five writing competitions, served as a mentor to younger students and worked in the criminal defense clinic. She is currently working on her MBA while studying for the bar exam with her goal being to serve in a managerial role in her law firm. Monica was a leader in her collegiate Sigma Kappa chapter, and despite a demanding career she continues to give back to the organization, serving as vice president for philanthropy for the St. Louis Alumnae chapter, and as the vice president for finance advisor for the Theta Eta Chapter.   

 

What her nominator said:

"Monica deserves this honor because she is the most driven, loyal, genuine, and loving person I know. Monica's success will be known by all one day. She is a young woman who lost her father to an aggressive form of cancer. Yet, through this tragic experience, and many other moments of adversity, Monica came out on top. She aims to make the most out of any bad situation and is always thinking of others before herself. She embodies all of the values of a Sigma Kappa and she is a role model to every one around her. Monica deserves this recognition more than anyone else."

Kristina Ridgen

Zeta Upsilon, Cal Poly Pomona
Bio
Field of Interest:

Engineering & Mentorship

 
About Kristina:

Described as a “champion for engineering education,” Dr. Kristina Rigden has made a significant impact on the Women in Engineering Program at her alma mater, Cal Poly Pomona. As Director of Outreach she created programming to encourage K-12 females to pursue STEM careers, and secured more than 135,000 in grant funding, much of it dedicated to implementing hands- on programs for females in economically disadvantaged communities. Under her leadership the Femineers (Female Engineers) program grew from 20 schools in 2017 to 120 schools in 2020, and the percentage of Engineering degrees awarded to women increased from 15.8 percent in 2017 to 21.8 percent in 2019. Dr. Rigden is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and has presented at several educator conferences. She was a leader in her collegiate Sigma Kappa chapter, and has continued to volunteer for Sigma Kappa as an alumna, as an advisor and active member of the Riverside County Alumnae Chapter.  

 

What her nominator said:

"Dr. Rigden has been an outstanding member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She has been a dues paying alumnae member for many years and always donates to the Sigma Kappa Foundation. Her passion for women succeeding in life has transitioned into her employment to empower women to major and have a career in a STEM field. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Rigden sees the power in acquiring a college degree and shows other first-generation and underrepresented minorities that college is possible. She is a role model for women and embodies Sigma Kappa’s values of personal growth, friendship, service and loyalty."

Kareen Shatikian

Zeta Upsilon, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Bio
Field of Interest:

Law & Advocacy

 
About Kareen:

Kareen Shatikian believes in the importance of women supporting one another as they strive to achieve career and personal goals, and she credits her Sigma Kappa sisters for supporting her as she works toward her goal of becoming an attorney. While in law school she was a law clerk for the Los Angeles District Attorney Sex Crimes Division, and has participated in the Community Lawyering Clinic where she provides legal guidance on criminal, housing and immigration issues for students. She was also part of the Removal Defense Clinic at Southwestern Law School, where she assisted low-income immigrants in immigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration. She also externed for the Honorable Amy M. Pellman of the Los Angeles Superior Court, where she drafted case summaries and worked on presentations, and currently a law clerk at Schweitzer Law Partners, a family law firm, where she prepares declarations and conducts research for the attorneys. Kareen values her heritage, and for many years has been very active with the Armenian Youth Federation. She volunteered with the AYF Youth Corps program in Armenia and Artsakh which led day camps in underserved areas, teaching children English along with Armenian history, songs and culture.  

 

What her nominator said:

"It's important for other Sigma Kappa women to see that we are all successful in our careers. As woman we all have professional goals that we would want to meet, and with the support of one another, we can accomplish anything we put our minds to. If it wasn't for my Sigma Kappa sisters being so accommodating and understanding when I was studying for the LSAT, I would not be in law school right now. This honor isn't a reflection on one individual, but rather the group of woman that supported that individual to get where she is now."

Lyndsey Eadler Siara

Beta Tau, University of Florida
Bio
Field of Interest:

Philanthropy & Law

 
About Lyndsey:

Recently named the 13th Judicial Circuit’s Outstanding Staff Attorney, Lyndsey is a servant leader in her career and personal life. Her professional accomplishments include serving on the local bar association’s Young Lawyers Division Board, and as a Fellow in the W.M. Reece Smith Jr. Leadership Academy. A member of The Junior League of Tampa, for the past three years she worked to create a diaper bank that distributes disposable diapers and other items to babies in need. Under her leadership nearly 1 million diapers have been distributed. She received the COVID-19 Heroes of Tampa Bay award for helping ensure that diapers were available during the pandemic shortages. As a former Vice President of Philanthropy for the local Sigma Kappa alumnae chapter, Lyndsey started a program of exam goodie bags to benefit college chapters across Florida. A friend explains, “Lyndsey doesn’t just occupy leadership roles, she makes lasting positive change for the groups and people with whom she interacts.” 

 

What her nominator said:

"Lyndsey embodies all of Sigma Kappa’s long-held values. Lyndsey is a community change agent, making a positive impact on countless families in our community through her service to the diaper bank. She has demonstrated our value of service both professionally and in her communities. In all of this, Lyndsey lives a purposeful life for herself, her daughters, and her community. Lyndsey is a model of personal growth. We have had many conversations about our personal development and growth, and we lean on each other as we strive to live purposeful lives. (Mainly on our bridge walks and life chats when we can sneak away for some self care.) Most important to me as it relates to Lyndsey are the values of friendship and loyalty. Lyndsey and I have been friends since I joined the Beta Tau chapter at the University of Florida in 2005. We had the great fortune of both moving to Tampa, Florida almost ten years ago, and our friendship has continued to blossom in the years since. I will forever be grateful to Sigma Kappa for having brought us together and provided a foundation for our life-long friendship. Significantly, Lyndsey models the values of Sigma Kappa to her two young daughters, nurturing the next generation of panhellenic sisters."

Emily Smith

Beta Tau, University of Florida
Bio
Field of Interest:

Nonprofit Management & Community Development

 

About Emily:

Emily Smith values giving back to the community that supported her growing up, so she works and volunteers in her native Volusia County, Florida. Passionate about non-profits, she works for Halifax Health Hospice as a fund development specialist, overseeing fundraising and donor relations. Her projects have included managing a 5K that raised more than $200,000 over a three-year period, and supporting the BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center which provides free grief counseling for children in the community. Emily has a personal connection to this program which she used herself 20 years ago when her grandparents passed away. Prior to her current position Emily worked for the local American Cancer Society as a Community Development Manager where she was successful in raising more than $180,000 in the 2017 fundraising year. For Emily, support of her community doesn’t stop when the clock strikes 5. She has been an active leader in Women United, the Daytona Beach Gator Club, and is president-elect of the Volusia Young Professionals Group. As part of Women United, Emily is the co-chair of the Chicks for Kicks committee which collects gently used shoes and donates them back out in the community non-profits and local schools. She is a graduate of Leadership Daytona and the Goodwill CORE Management Program, and has served as an advisor for the Beta Tau and Lambda Kappa chapters of Sigma Kappa. In her personal life Emily is a cat mom and new aunt, and keeps herself healthy by competing in local 5Ks and half marathons along with attending OrangeTheory Fitness. Daytona Beach News - Journal has recognized her success by honoring her as a 40 Under 40 nominee in 2018 and 2020. 

 

What her nominator said:

"I think Emily deserves this honor because she lives to give. She is rocking the fundraising and development world to help others in her professional role day to day while giving back to various community organizations in her spare time. All the while, she continues to work on her professional development and raises up our sisters. She is not someone who asks what she can get from others or how she can get to the top. Her work is motivated by how she can use her skillsets and passions to help others and enjoy her work at the same time. She is a pillar of her community and our Sorority."

Kaitlin Soracco

Epsilon Lambda, California State University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Optometry & Healthcare Advocate

 

About Kaitlin:

Kaitlin Soracco’s passion is creating access to affordable eyecare for communities in need. She is currently employed as an optometrist in low-income healthcare clinics across Northern California, and did clinical rotations at the Veteran’s Association in Tucson and the Santa Fe Indian Hospital in New Mexico. As a volunteer for non-profit optometric organizations she has provided free access to residents of communities in El Salvador and Tijuana that have no insurance or healthcare access, and was recognized for providing eyecare and free glasses to the residents of Paradise, Calif., during the devasting fires there. As a member of the California Optometric Society Association she has lobbied in Washington, D.C. and at the state capital for improvements in access to eyecare for all. Kaitlin also gives back to Sigma Kappa. She has served as an advisor for several chapters in California, and is currently recruitment supervisor for Epsilon Lambda. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Kaitlin is living with heart by giving back to those in need both in and outside of her community. Through both her career and volunteer work, she has continued to provide and advocate for eye care for all. She has boldly gone outside of her comfort zone, pursuing career opportunities in underserved communities that not many are willing to selflessly serve. She has found a greater purpose in serving her community through the eye care profession and will be a driving force in advocating for health care change in the future."

Brigitte Spence

Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Bio
Field of Interest:

Epidemiology

 

About Brigitte:

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged all of us in different ways. For Brigitte, her challenge was to help bring an end to the pandemic and allow us all to return to normalcy. Brigitte, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente, worked on the research and clinical trials for the Pzifer & BioNTech vaccine. Prior to this, she interned at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She is passionate about educating others on infectious diseases and separating myths from facts. She also serves as the ABS for the Epsilon Tau Chapter and played a pivotal role in supporting the collegiate chapter through the challenges of the pandemic, leading her to be named the university’s Chapter Advisor of the Year in 2020. When not protecting us from infectious disease and being a role model to Sigma Kappas, she also spends her time fostering kittens and guide dog puppies, and helping them find their forever homes.  

 

What her nominator said:

"Brigitte Spence not only upholds our values in her everyday life but encourages others to as well. As an alumnae, she continues to epitomize what it means to be a Sigma Kappa woman. She inspires all that meet her and makes me proud to not only know her but to call her a fellow Sigma Kappa."

Cady Ruth Stoever

Epsilon Delta, Susquehanna University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Childhood Literacy & Nonprofit Organizations

 

About Cady:

A passion for personal growth, leadership and learning makes Cady a role model in her chapter, on her campus and in her community. Cady is a Public Relations major with Leadership & Psychology minors at Susquehanna University and serves the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) as the vice president and director of special events. In addition, she has served as the president and vice president of membership of her Sigma Kappa chapter, and was crowned National American Miss 2020. In this role, she advocates for childhood literacy and works with local organizations including Little Free Libraries and Worth More Nation, an organization that empowers young women in foster care. Cady also volunteers as a Board member for Free Books for Kids Town, is a former state ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and is a coach for Girls on the Run. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Cady is an absolutely beautiful person inside and out and she exemplifies what it means to be a Sigma Kappa. She is a positive role model for young women and inspires me to be a better person. Cady continues to wear many hats in the sorority and in her community and she does so with grace. She is wise beyond her years. Her passion for positivity and leadership make her an excellent candidate for Sigma Kappas 35 under 35."

Kathleen Sturgeon

Kappa Tau, University of West Georgia
Bio
Field of Interest:

Journalism

 

About Kathleen:

Kathleen Sturgeon, Kappa Tau, University of West Georgia, uses her work as a journalist as a way to tell the stories of people who otherwise would go unheard. As an editor at Patch Media, she covers stories on local elected officials, crime, breaking news, current events, and investigative pieces. She has been honored with both national and local awards for her writing about homelessness, animal rescues and about a breast cancer survivor. She was named a Thriving Under 30 nominee by the University of West Georgia, which is given to alumni who have made a significant impact in their career. Kathleen has also served Sigma Kappa as a features editor since 2015, as an advisor for multiple chapters, and as president of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter

 

What her nominator said:

"Kathleen is a great collaborator and supports her co-workers, teaching new Patch editors the ropes when the team manager is busy. She offers great advice on projects and is always willing to give more time and share best practices to help colleagues. She is generous at work, and through her volunteer efforts with the sorority, the Alzheimers Walk and the Atlanta Humane Society. Kathleen approaches work and her personal life looking for ways to be of service to the community. There can be no better representation of your organization"

Samantha Tiller-Schenck

Beta Upsilon, Ohio University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Women's Health Awareness

 
About Samantha:

Many women who suffer through personal or family health concerns choose to do so in silence because of shame or stigma. For Samantha, her decision to be open and honest about her health journey has helped countless other women feel confident in their own choices. In May 2020, Samantha shared with the world her decision to begin the process of undergoing a preventative double mastectomy. Samantha’s family history of early-onset breast cancer left her with a 49 percent risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. She completed her last surgery in October 2020, and continues to post about her story on social media in hopes of helping other women make informed decisions related to breast cancer and their own risks and family history. Many women, including Sigma Kappa members, have reached out to her with questions and concerns, and Samantha is more than willing to share her story and her experiences to help others feel empowered about their own health. Through what has been a scary and uncertain time to undergo surgical procedures, Samantha has leveraged her own voice, vulnerability and strength to amplify the importance of women advocating for themselves in their own healthcare journeys. Samantha also recently founded Her Voice Collective, an Instagram account that strives to educate, empower and elevate the voices of women (@hervoicecollective). In addition, she also finds time to serve as advisory board supervisor for Alpha Tau, Michigan State University, a role she took on just a few months before the birth of her first child in 2017. She is an inspiration to both the chapter members and women worldwide. 

 

What her nominator said:

"Samantha embodies our values of friendship and service. She continues to give back to Sigma Kappa at a time when many of our alumnae choose to take a step back--in their early 30s. I continue to be moved by Samantha's vulnerability in sharing her story with her mastectomy. She has taken something that has been incredibly painful and used it as an opportunity to help others feel empowered about their own health."

Jimi-Lee Tomboc

Zeta Upsilon, California State Polytechnic University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Nonprofit Work & Community Outreach

 

About Jimi-Lee:

Jimi-Lee Tomboc, Zeta Upsilon, California State Polytechnic University, is an example of Sigma Kappa’s value of service in action. Beginning when she was young and was able to attend a YMCA camp with financial aid provided by community donations, she developed a love for service that has sustained her throughout life. Jimi-Lee later became a camp counselor and a camp director, hoping to have the same impact on young people as her camp experience had on her. She is also highly involved in California YMCA’s Youth and Government, a program she took part in in high school, later becoming an intern and intern manager, and is an advisor for the LA Teens & Government virtual program. As a childhood cancer survivor, she has volunteered with organizations such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the American Cancer Society and City of Hope. Jimi-Lee has also leveraged her love of working with young people into her career, teaching PE at an elementary school and working as School-Based Programs Coordinator for the YMCA. Currently, she works with a social-distance learning program for elementary and middle school students. Throughout the pandemic, she has continued to remain active in non-profit work and community outreach, working directly with LA’s unhoused population to provide food, clothing and personal hygiene products with help from donations from Sigma Kappa sisters. She finds time to give back to Sigma Kappa by serving as vice president of membership for the Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter and running the chapter’s Instagram account, as well as advising Zeta Upsilon’s vice president of new member education.

 

What her nominator said:

"I believe that I am a excellent candidate for Sigma Kappa’s 35 under 35 because I not only live the values of friendship, loyalty, personal growth and service, but am constantly encouraging others to do the same. Sigma Kappa Sorority is an organization of women who empower women, and through Sigma Kappa, I am able to do so everyday. Not only do I strive to do good in my day to day and in my community, but shine the light on people who deserve the recognition for all the good that they do as well. I am a friend to all, and love to remind others of how amazing they are. I am loyal to the people, organizations and causes that have helped me to become who I am today. I have shown personal growth by becoming a leader in programs in which I was once led. I have true passion for service with everything I do for the community and the people around me. Most of all, with everything I know, I constantly do all that I can to live with heart"

Samantha Vazquez

Delta Psi, Radford University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Events Production

 

About Samantha:

Efficiency, communication, budget planning and strategy are values important to Samantha in her career as an events producer and the values around which she founded her company, SV Productions. SV Productions specializes in experiential events to elevate a brand, designer or individual. Due to COVID-19, which halted the live events industry, the company shifted from experiential marketing events to virtual programming and pre-recording projects. Samantha’s success in creating events ranging from runway shows to luxury dinners, galas, conferences, mobile pop-up activations, and more has landed her on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Marketing & Advertising. Samantha is a first-generation college graduate who makes it a point to work with local nonprofits such as North Star Fund, Housing Works, Lambda Legal and Malaria No More, offering deep discounts for events. Personally, Samantha volunteers with organizations that provide food and Christmas gifts to families in need, proving business acumen and a heart for service can exist side-by-side. 

 

What her nominator said:

"I believe Samantha deserves this honor because she is a dedicated and passionate about her work. She has recently been named on Forbes 30 under 30 listfor these very reasons. Working with Samantha I have seen her leadership skills, her passion, and her drive. She is hard working in both her event planning business she has started and in her personally life. I hope you consider Samantha for this honor."

Corina Lau Wiles

Kappa Beta, Grand Valley State University
Bio
Field of Interest:

Business Marketing

 

About Corina:

Corina Lau Wiles, Kappa Beta, Grand Valley State University, knows the importance of relationships on business success. As a Director at Merkle, Inc., she has been supporting Fortune 500 companies in measuring the success of their marketing for nine years, and recently began a new initiative in which she consults with clients and helps them achieve unified measurements across departments. Since taking over this project two years ago, she has grown it from a one-off service to a project considered vital by her colleagues. Not only has she improved her clients’ efficiency, she has also ensured her success helps other women in business. She grew and promoted a mentorship program for the women at her company and has mentored eight different women over the last three years, helping them grow their careers, navigate the company culture, and develop a healthy work-life balance.   

 

What her nominator said:

" I've worked hard to not just climb the corporate ladder but bring younger women along with me. I've been able to carve out a specific offering for my company that no one else in our Analytics department does. I've been supporting and uplifting women around me so they can grow in their career and their lives. I also do all of this while fostering an inclusive community within my office."

Caren Yap

Theta Eta, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Bio
Field of Interest:

Women's Leadership in Government & Politics

 
About Caren:

Fewer than one in four elected officials are women, and Caren seeks to change that. Caren is a junior double majoring in International Business and Business Marketing with a double minor in Global Entrepreneurship and Brookings Public Policy. Through her work in public policy and local politics, Caren has educated and encouraged women to pursue their own political aspirations. Caren co-founded a registered student organization at UNLV called iGNiTE, which empowers women to take leadership positions in politics. Her chapter was the first iGNiTE chapter in Nevada and is now one of the leading iGNiTE chapters on the West Coast. Through this, she has also formed connections with local representatives. In Spring 2020, Caren became the youngest intern in her cohort for Senator Cortez-Masto, which has inspired her involvement in policy change. Caren was elected a Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada (CSUN) Student Government Senator for her college and was appointed as Senate President Pro Tempore. She has grown the Student Government internship program by triple while overseeing the entire internship program. Caren has also helped kickstart a marketing campaign called Amplify, which highlights multicultural organizations at UNLV. She has also served as the first-ever University Initiatives Committee Chair where she was responsible for tackling health and safety issues that impact all of UNLV, including COVID-19.

 

What her nominator said:

"Caren deserves this honor for her dedication to service and her leadership involvement. Aside from what was previously mentioned, Caren was Vice President of Academic Excellence for Sigma Kappa as a new initiate. She created monthly academic newsletters and oversaw an increased chapter GPA by 0.3 during a pandemic. She was also recently elected Panhellenic Executive Vice President and named UNLV 2019-2020 Sophomore of the Year while balancing 21 credits a semester."