Biographies – The University of Baltimore
Maricruz Abarca, a native of Mexico, is a graduate student in legal studies at The University of Baltimore. She’s a four-time Featherstone Scholar. She is a mother of three and a 2021 Magna Cum Laude distinguished graduate. Maricruz co-founded the first LatinX Student Club at Baltimore City Community College, where her passion for advocacy drove her to become a member of the Board of Trustees of Baltimore City Community College. In 2018, she was an invited speaker at the Women’s March. Abarca plans to attend Law School to pursue her dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer serving the city of Baltimore.
Henry Abada is a native of Ghana, West Africa, and a graduate student at The University of Baltimore. Despite losing both his parents at the age of 3, Henry continues to make many achievements despite the obstacles. He has held several leadership positions as the vice president of Afrika United and the vice president of Sponsor4SuccessGhana. He contributed to numerous African and global conferences, including United Nations Development Program on the “human security agenda in our globalized world” and the World Youth Forum Model United Nations Human Rights Council on the “Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on our Human Rights,” an event based in Egypt. Abada holds several leadership positions in student-led organizations. Through his work, he has supported vulnerable and underserved communities throughout Ghana.
Deborah Awojobi, a native of the United Kingdom, is a junior at The University of Baltimore. She’s a transfer student from Montgomery College where she served as the chief secretary of the student council. Her goal is to earn a degree double majoring in political science and public policy. She plans to become an immigration attorney because she understands the challenges first hand coming from a family of immigrants. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa, a prestigious international honor society and a member of Renaissance scholars.
Ahmad Farhan, a native of Afghanistan, is a graduate student at The University of Baltimore focusing on public administration. He spent the first 15 years of his formative years in a refugee camp. In his home country, he walked over five miles a day, every day, to attend school. Farhan is an accomplished and certified project management professional who has significantly contributed to USAID and donor-funded, higher-education and economic growth programs. He has a strong history of developing and overseeing monitoring and evaluation systems, involving tools for data collection and overseeing monitoring activities.
Giselle Joseph, a native of Trinidad, is a graduate student at The University of Baltimore. She is a mother of three and maintains an active role in many honor societies such as the dean’s list and the honors program. She is vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa, one of the most prestigious honor societies in the nation. She’s a UBalt writing consultant and supports the Jessup Correctional Facility with writing support. Joseph was also honored in the legal studies program for her outstanding GPA.
Tyana Mackel, a native of Baltimore City, is a graduate of Western High School. At Western, she was on the honor roll and the merit roll. She’s a freshman at The University of Baltimore majoring in criminal justice. Her future goal is to become a prosecutor. During her summers, Mackel volunteers at John Booth Senior Center Mackel teaching technology to the elderly – and participates in Baltimore City YouthWorks. She is an award recipient and grantee with support through MDCAPS, the Maryland College Aid Processing System.
Elizabeth Ogun, a native of Nigeria, is an honors scholar at The University of Baltimore. She is a junior majoring in politics, policies, and international affairs. She has a passion for helping the most vulnerable people in our society. She has received numerous awards for academic excellence including the Dean’s list. She works as a data analyst at the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Child and Family Success. In addition, she currently holds the title of Miss Greater Baltimore under the Miss America Organization. With this platform, she is utilizing her year of service to advocate for equal access to resources and opportunities in Baltimore.
Tharma Philogene, a native of Haiti, is a senior in business administration at The University of Baltimore. She’s a two-time Featherstone Scholar. In 2016, Philogene moved to the United States to start her higher education journey. In 2020, she graduated from Montgomery College with an associates degree, where she was a Renaissance scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma. She co-founded a career club to provide Montgomery College students with the opportunity to learn from professionals in various fields. In addition, she was awarded the Spirit of Service Certificate by Montgomery College. Tharma aspires to become a management analyst and establish a non-profit organization that creates accessible and reliable transportation in Haiti. She aspires to innovate the Haitian transportation system by using solar buses.
Camila Rêgo, a native of Brazil, is a first-year graduate student at The University of Baltimore pursuing an MBA in management and leadership. She immigrated to the United States to enhance her knowledge and experience in business to fulfill her professional goal of becoming an entrepreneur. She received her associates degree in business administration from the Community College of Baltimore County with outstanding academic performance and on the Dean’s List every semester. She holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from the University Potiguar in Brazil. Rêgo is a member of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and an advocate for women and immigrants.
Jayla Waters, a native of Howard County, is a senior at The University of Baltimore majoring in business management. She’s a second time Featherstone Scholar. She’s received several honors, recognitions and awards for her academic achievement such as the National Choral Award. She has served as a teachers assistant at Howard Community College. Waters interns with a local CPA to bolster her understanding of accounting, tax filings, management and organizational skills. Waters is also a singer and has participated in the Howard County Teen Idol Competition. She aims to have her single recorded and released this year.
Jervonne Agard, a native of St. Lucia, is a senior pursuing his bachelor’s degree in health science at Coppin State University. He is a four-time MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Honor Student and a Maryland Public Service Scholar. Agard has been on the Dean’s list for the past two years. He’s a member of the CSU Men’s Track & Field. Agard aspires to become an entrepreneur and start a business that will focus on health research and data storage in developing countries such as those in the Caribbean. During the pandemic, he understood that research and quality information is needed to better support communities in low income countries.
Mariam Allison, a native of Nigeria, is a student at Coppin State University studying biology. She plans to become a physician and pursue research in biomedical science. During her collegiate career, she has earned numerous scholarship awards, academic honors, fellowships and recognition by national leadership programs. Allison volunteers with various organizations where she advises and advocates for low-income high school student-athletes, fundraises for social justice campaigns that support food drives and prison inmates, and helps international students navigate school applications. She has contributed to the publication of two research articles with a focus on the Impact Marburg Virus amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Guinea.
Annalyse Belton, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is a junior at Coppin State University majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-medicine and a minor in chemistry. She is a member of her University’s Honors College, having maintained a consecutive 4.0 GPA. She recently completed an internship with NASA, where she developed and presented her own research project on the effect of atmospheric particles on lung cancer development. She’s received numerous awards such as the Principal’s Award, the Science Award and the Leslie Moses Award. Belton plans to become an oncologist who also researches cancer health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Dayson Brooks, a native of Baltimore City, is a junior at Coppin State University. He’s a two-time Featherstone Scholar. Brooks has maintained a 3.7 GPA, earning recognition for two years on the Dean’s List and inductions into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and The National Society for Leadership and Success. Brooks is a published author, a community activist, and a political advocate. In 2020, he published The Talk: Discussing Black America; a children’s book which seeks to explain the systematic discrimination and victimization of black people in America. In the same year, he also organized a voting campaign called #BaltimoreGoVote which encouraged Baltimoreans to vote and educated them on how to participate in the 2020 elections.
Faith Seawell-Campbell, a native of Baltimore, is a senior at Coppin State University. As a first-generation college student, she is pursuing a degree in nursing and has always had a passion to help others. Her goal is to bridge the gap in disparities that occur in the health care system due to language barriers. Upon graduation, she plans to work as a psychiatric nurse. She is a Gilman Scholar Recipient and the President of Student Nurse Association. She volunteers with the University of Maryland Safe Center which combats human trafficking. Her long term goal is to become a nurse practitioner to promote the mental well-being of youth in the United States.
Logen Love, a native of Ohio, is an honors student pursuing a bachelor of science in criminal justice and crime scene investigation at Coppin State University. Her goal is to work in criminal forensics. Since arriving on Coppin State’s campus, she has volunteered over 35 hours in community service at Coppin Academy, a high school located on campus. Love has maintained a 4.0 GPA both semesters of her freshman year and was selected to join the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is on the Dean’s Honor Roll in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Michael Michael, a native of Nigeria, is a junior at Coppin State University majoring in business management and minoring in criminal justice. He’s a two-time Featherstone Scholar. He is the youngest of 7 children. Michael is an avid tennis player and has honed his craft since he was eight years old. He now represents his country in many tennis competitions. Michael has been on the Dean’s List and honor roll during his entire undergraduate career. He was inducted into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Michael aspires to obtain a master’s degree and launch a variety of small businesses in Nigeria so that he can give back to the community.
Jayeed Norbal, a native of St. Lucia, is a senior at Coppin State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in management information Systems. Along with maintaining a cumulative 3.9 GPA, he is an active student on campus. Norbal serves as a senator at the Coppin Entrepreneurship Organization for Students. As a member of the Men’s Track and Field Team, he helped his team win the 2022 Indoor Track and Field Championship. He’s been on the Dean’s list for four consecutive years. He completed a summer internship with Penguin Random House, an unprecedented experience compared to the many summers he spent growing up on his family’s farm caring for over 4,000 tomato plants every year. Norbal plans to start a skills development club for students’ personal and professional growth.
Amari Clark, a native of Baltimore City, is a senior at Morgan State University majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester while participating in campus organizations and community service opportunities. She regularly works with the Baltimore Community Food Bank and Morgan’s food resource center. In 2022, she was awarded the academic trailblazer award, which is given to student leaders with GPAs above 3.8. She looks forward to continuing her student leladership and service this academic year as the recording secretary for the MSU section of the National Council of Negro Women and the chief of staff for Students Open to Unique Love.
Kennedy Corley, a Maryland native, is a senior at Morgan State University majoring in sociology with a minor in Spanish. Her passions are vlogging and Latin culture. She has been a student leader through organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women, Afros of MSU, the Dubois-Diggs Sociological Society, Student Government Association, and served as a resident assistant at the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Corely completed multiple internship programs to prepare for a career in research such as The Baltimore Project, The Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institute, and the Pre-PhD Summer Enrichment Program.
Desiree Lane, a native of Baltimore City, is a junior at Morgan State University pursuing a bachelor of science degree in social work. She has been inducted into the national honor society. She was one of 30 students selected in ot the MERIT Health Leadership Academy to participate in a the three-year longitudinal program for Baltimore City students interested in the health care professions. She is certified as a youth community health worker through the Morehouse School of Medicine. She presented her Alzheimer’s research at the Johns Hopkins C.A.R.E.S. Symposium and has given other research presentations. Lane is a college application mentor and a summer teaching assistant in a health disparities course supporting high school students. Lane plans to have her own social work private practice in the future.
Darren Meredith, a native of Baltimore City is a junior at Morgan State University, majoring in electrical engineering with a concentration in Computer Engineering. In addition to being on the Dean’s List, Meredith is also a PowerLIVE awardee, a member of Morgan M.I.L.E. and a member of the National Society of College Scholars. Meredith hopes to one day work for a corporation working as a hardware engineer and mentor to African American boys.
Jesscarly Ramos, a native Venezuela, is a junior at Morgan State University majoring in architecture who has overcome many odds to pursue her studies. Ramos moved to the United States just before her 16th birthday due to the socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela. In one year, she learned English and was accepted into five universities. She is a two-time Featherstone Scholar. She has received a certificate of merit and championship awards for swimming and tennis. She is also involved in the Jonathan Ogden club, where she held charity events for children and adults in need. She also volunteered in the Peer Group Connection program, mentoring younger students. Ramos aspires to become an architect and inspire people with her designs and creations.
Kayla Boney, a native of Baltimore, is a graduate of a Baltimore City Public School system. As a senior, she was accepted into more than 15 universities. She was on the President’s list for the past four years and has received several awards in photography and an award for the Baltimore Urban Lacrosse League. Boney is a freshman at Hood College pursuing a career in nursing. She aspires to become an advocate and listener for African Americans within the healthcare system, especially mothers, babies and vulnerable populations. She aspires to uplift and create opportunities for inner-city kids and to restructure systems for women and underrepresented communities.
Nayev Pumphrey, a Baltimore native and graduate of Baltimore City Public Schools, is a freshman at St. Mary’s College of Maryland pursuing a degree in marine science and environmental science. She has a strong passion for environmental protection and marine life. She was inducted into Baltimore City College National Honors Society and has placed in several Regional Maryland Science Olympiad Competitions. As a participant in the National Aquarium’s Henry Hall program, Pumphrey began hands-on marine conservation activities at age 13. She was a girl scout and the first Baltimore City Forestry Board youth member. She has fostered a lifetime love of the woods with over dozens of camping adventures. She is also a lover of all things aquatic. She’s a lifeguard and volunteers for waterway clean-up events.
Kadiatou Sidibe, a native of Baltimore City, is a graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She is a freshman at Towson University pursuing a nursing degree. While at Dunbar, she has been recognized for her academic achievements. She is a recipient of a Princeton Book Award and has also been on the Honor Roll and Principal’s List. She’s a tour guide for the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and completed an internship at the Department of Public Works. She aspires to become a clinic or travel nurse and is passionate about providing personalized care for her patients.
Jessica Hernandez is a senior at Stevenson University majoring in graphic design after transferring from Carroll Community College. Her family, originally from Florencia de Benito Juárez, Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. for economic opportunities. Hernandez has been inducted into the National Arts Honors Society, where she created original art pieces that raised money for her school and first hand artistic experience. She is certified in print production from the Carroll County Careers and Technology Center. After graduation, she aspires to pursue a career as a graphic designer in motion graphics.
Karina Aquiahuatl Villagrán, a native of Iztapalapa, México, is a second-year graduate student in the master of science occupational therapy program at Towson University. She has received several awards, accolades and held leadership positions that include the Rookie Mentor of the Year, UMBC’s Outstanding Capstone Project Presentation Award, and she’s a co-leader for occupational therapy peer-mentoring. She challenges herself to explore how this rehabilitative health service can be accessible and responsive to uninsured and underserved communities in need of occupational therapy. As a graduate assistant for civic engagement and social responsibility, she creates mutually beneficial and stimulating community engagement and service-learning experiences. Since graduating from the UMBC, she has connected her passion for health equity by engaging with community partners that serve undocumented communities.
José A. Dominguez Cortez, a native of Puebla, Mexico, is a graduate student at Morgan State University pursuing a masters degree in electrical engineering. He is a two-time Featherstone Scholar. He’s an award winning student inducted into the National Dean’s List. He is the recipient of the Clara I. Adams Honors Scholarship Award, the MAEC Education Equity Award, the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Award, and received the 2015 Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award as an emerging leader. Through the Maryland Dream Act, he obtained an associates’ degree in computer information systems. In 2021, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State in engineering. As a second-year master’s student, José has gained experience in chip design and is currently working on a Hardware security project. He is eager to continue to expand his skills and knowledge as an engineer.
Kesharra Meadows is a Graduate student at the University of Maryland Baltimore, pursuing a master’s in social work with a clinical and health track focus. She will graduate in May 2023. She is a Morgan State University alumni and received her bachelor of Science in social work as magna cum laude and the top of her social work class. She is an honors student, community servant, and student researcher. She served in various organizations at both Morgan State University and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She’s a three time Featherstone Scholar. She is working on creating a non-profit business. She enjoys dedicating her time to her studies and helping out her peers with education and mentorship. Kesharra is an advocate for children and families, mental health, women’s issues, financial and health literacy.