Welcome Our 2018-2019 Fellows Class!
University of Virginia: Global Public Health
Host Family: Dan & April Murrie
Job Host: Dr. Joseph Hart, UVA Exercise and Sport Injury Lab
Mentor: Ollya Fromal
Katie has cultivated a desire to serve others through involvement with Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Charlottesville Free Clinic. At the Free Clinic, she engaged with Spanish-speaking patients and created a more welcoming environment. Through an internship at an education and outreach organization, the Center for Christian Study, she fostered hospitality and inclusivity to unite students from diverse backgrounds. Katie’s thesis focused on respiratory illness among children in the Dominican Republic. She spent summers working as a counselor at Kanakuk Kamps, studying healthcare systems at University College Oxford, England, and conducting research in a comparative oncology lab at the University of Florida. She plans to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist.
Denison University: Economics
Host Family: David & Ellen Turner
Job Host: Anchor Health Properties
Mentor: Kase Luzar
As a student-athlete, Benjie captained the varsity lacrosse team and received the team’s Leadership Award his senior year. His summer work experience ranged from coaching travel lacrosse and working at sports camps to interning in the financial services industry. After graduating college in 2015, he moved to Asheville, NC to coach soccer and lacrosse while working as assistant director of admissions at Christ School, an all-male Episcopal boarding school. As a dorm parent and volunteer Young Life leader, Benjie discovered a passion for mentoring young men. His responsibilities grew to include serving as dorm head and as faculty advisor to the Honor Council. He also helped implement a year-long leadership program for 11th-grade students. Whatever career Benjie eventually pursues, he will always desire to mentor and coach young people.
University of Virginia: Biology; Religious Studies minor
Host Family: Greg & Ginny Sieminski
Job Host: Dr. Joseph Hart, UVA Orthopaedics: Adult Reconstruction
Mentor: Sumner Abraham
While at UVa, Ben was a member of a marine biology research team that studied coral reefs and aquatic ecosystems in tropical environments. He also conducted a semester-long research project examining the public health effects of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae in developing countries. Ben’s background in healthcare began while working at a Charlottesville summer clinic at Camp Holiday Trails, a program for children with medical disabilities. Ben held leadership positions as the head of the judiciary committee for his fraternity and as an event coordinator for Greek Intervarsity. His interest in travel and learning about other cultures has led him to spend time in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, and France. Ben enjoys literature and recently self-published a book of poetry. He plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Washington & Lee University: Mathematics; Computer Science and Music minors
Host Family: Mark & Laurie Mandichak
Job Host: Elder Research
Mentor: Bill Cassidy
At Washington & Lee University, Luke developed an appreciation for beauty in the complex problems of mathematics as well as in the expressive creativity of the arts. He served as captain of the Division III NCAA runner-up men’s golf team, led backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail for incoming first-year students, played trumpet in the jazz and wind ensembles, and volunteered on the leadership team of Reformed University Fellowship. Luke loves to travel and experience other cultures and has spent time exploring the United States and Europe, including walking the renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. This year, Luke hopes to learn more about how data can be analyzed creatively to help organizations achieve their goals.
Falls Church, VA
College of William & Mary: Chemistry; Mathematics minor
Host Family: Leonid & Vera Volodin
Job Host: 2RW Consultants
Mentor: Jon Goodall
Wade has a diverse background in health and wellness, the physical sciences, and systems engineering. While at William & Mary, he served as the supervisor of the personal training staff at the Campus Recreation Center. Through his experience working with Young Life Capernaum and Jill’s House, he developed a passion for mentoring and caring for individuals with special needs. Wade also spent time developing analytical and computational skills as an academic research assistant in an atmospheric chemistry lab. During a systems engineering internship at Raytheon, a government defense contractor, he assisted a formal proposal team by creating a prototype system tool. Wade hopes to use his analytical background to promote sustainable business innovation in an effort to combat the negative effects of climate change.
Ohio State University: Early and Middle Childhood Education
Host Family: John & Nadine McCarthy
Job Host: Abundant Life
Mentor: Sean Greer
While at Ohio State, Cooper discovered a passion for facilitating growth opportunities for youth by incorporating creative learning strategies in his teaching, mentoring, and coaching. At the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, he developed and directed programs for an interactive video platform that educates students around the country. He also partnered with a community center to tutor and mentor Somali refugees in the Columbus area. Cooper served at Summer’s Best Two Weeks, an outdoor adventure camp, encouraging kids in character and spiritual development, personal growth, and physical fitness. Through these experiences, he built a diverse background that goes beyond the classroom. He looks forward to spending this year working with the Abundant Life tutoring program. Cooper ultimately aspires to apply these experiential education skills to build effective relationships with his own students both in the classroom and on the field.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Psychology
Host Family: Bill & Sheila Porter
Job Host: UVA Institute for Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy
Mentor: Mary Brissett
During college, Brittany researched the connection between psychology and its role in social issues. She worked as a research assistant for UMBC’s child development lab in the Baltimore City Education System. At the lab, she studied the effects of race and educational disparities among Latino children within the public school system. Related to this research study, Brittany also created a proposal for a county-wide educational intervention that addressed the correlation between social media and depression among young adults. As a project coordinator for the Clothesline Project, Brittany created community awareness of domestic violence. Additionally, she spent time in Guyana, South America working with a humanitarian aid program that provided youth mentoring, leadership development, and financial investment counseling to developing communities. Brittany is passionate about advocating for youth and helping them productively navigate their teenage years. She hopes to pursue a career in community or clinical psychology.
Washington & Lee University: Religion; Education minor
Host Family: Brian & Heather Uthlaut
Job Host: Clayborne Education and The Covenant School
Mentor: Blake Ware
Ralston has a passion for leading and serving adolescents in school and outdoor settings. As a Johnson Scholar at Washington & Lee University, he taught an 8th-grade world history class to attain his Virginia State Teaching License in Secondary Social Studies. He also served as a service-leadership coordinator at an area middle school. This work of liaising between his university and local schools taught Ralston the importance of supporting students through strategic extracurricular programs. In addition to his community outreach work, Ralston’s role as a resident advisor at W&L increased his passion for leading peers in the outdoors and building community over shared meals. He also dedicated time to mentoring high school students through Young Life, a nonprofit organization devoted to the flourishing of young adults. Ralston’s love of wild places and rich histories led him to write a senior capstone about a summer experience on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in northern Spain. He aspires to lead young people to deepen their academic, physical, and spiritual lives.
University of North Carolina: Public Policy and History
Host Family: Bobby & Dawn Jenkins
Job Host: Professor Ken Elzinga, UVA Department of Economics
Mentor: Frank Berry
While in Chapel Hill, Luke served on the student-run Honor Court and worked with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to revise UNC’s undergraduate curriculum. He was community outreach coordinator for Build the Hill, a microfinance organization that provides zero-interest loans to entrepreneurs who do not qualify for traditional loans. He played on the club tennis team and volunteered as the philanthropy chair for Chi Psi fraternity. Luke spent a summer studying European history and literature in London. He also interned for Cherokee Investment Partners, where he researched venture investment opportunities in early-stage software companies located in the Raleigh-Durham area. He spent his senior year developing strategies to improve fundraising mechanisms for the Carolina Campus Community Garden, an organization that provides fresh produce to low-income employees of the university. Luke aspires to a career in management consulting or the financial services industry.
University of Tennessee–Knoxville: Public Relations; Business Administration minor
Host Family: Jae & Tiffany Kwon
Job Host: UVA Batten School for Public Policy and Leadership
Mentor: Sharon Scott
Millie has a background in communication, public relations, and business administration. While at the University of Tennessee, she was involved in various humanitarian aid, community service, and outreach opportunities locally, nationally, and globally. Millie has traveled to China, Romania, Germany, and Vietnam. These global experiences cultivated a passion for bridging gaps between people and using strategic communication to advocate for those without a voice. She also spent time working on Capitol Hill where she conducted research for a public policy think tank. Additionally, she gained experience in communications consulting, event planning, and leveraging corporate social responsibility in the business world. Through these diverse endeavors, Millie has built a background she will carry into her work for the Batten School for Public Policy at the University of Virginia and beyond.
Auburn University: Supply Chain Management; Anthropology minor
Host Family: Ken & Jen Bilchick
Job Host: CommonWise Home Care
Mentor: Lisa Wood
Madeline has a background in business process efficiencies and ethical logistic transactions. She developed a passion for other cultures and humanitarian aid while volunteering in Uganda, Peru, and Nicaragua. Madeline spent a summer studying cross-cultural relationships and global business with native professors in Cusco, Peru. While at Auburn, she mentored middle school and college students through Young Life and Reformed University Fellowship. Madeline also volunteered with Storybook Farms, an equine therapy facility serving children with special needs. She oversaw 18 cabinet directors as the administrative vice president for the Panhellenic Executive Board. While interning for Georgia-Pacific LLC and Southwest Airlines, she negotiated cost savings, improved business processes, and enhanced procurement operations. She hopes to use her background in supply chain management and anthropology to help organizations achieve sustainable competitive advantages through ethical global business practices.
University of Mississippi: Integrated Marketing Communications; Business Administration minor
Host Family: Graham & Rebecca Scharf
Job Host: Darden School of Business, Mayo Center for Asset Management
Mentor: Dottie Guthrie
Natalie has a background in integrated marketing communications and business administration. During her time at the University of Mississippi, Natalie served as vice president of finance for her sorority, participated in philanthropic fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and was a Provost Scholar. While interning for FedEx, she worked with the brand marketing team to expedite the naming of products, processes, and services within FedEx’s domestic and global markets. Natalie spent time in New York City and Atlanta working for Lifeguard Press, a company that specializes in licensing and private labeling for Kate Spade New York, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vera Bradley. Natalie’s love for mentoring younger women led her to spend two summers serving at Camp Greystone, a girls’ summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina.
Wake Forest University: Economics and Spanish; Psychology minor
Host Family: Louis & Kristine Nelson
Job Host: Resilience Education
Mentor: Jackie Goodrum
At Wake Forest University, Allie grew in her capacity for service, mentorship, and leadership by strengthening the unity of various organizations on campus. She served as scouting chair in Alpha Phi Omega (a service organization), as an executive board member on the women’s club volleyball team, and as student chaplain in Episcopal Student Fellowship. She was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society for Leadership and was a Fulbright Scholarship finalist. Allie demonstrated her passion for teaching and mentoring by peer-tutoring Spanish classes as well as volunteering at an after-school tutoring program for Latino students. She further developed leadership and problem-solving skills during her summers as a counselor and high ropes instructor at Camp Willow Run. Allie’s background in economics, Spanish, and psychology creates a unique foundation from which she plans to pursue a career in bilingual speech pathology. Her recent shadowing experience at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital supports her ambition to pursue graduate studies upon completing the Fellows Program.
Gordon College: Biblical Studies & Sociology
Host Family: David & Carole Phillips
Job Host: Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation
Mentor: Carlton Dixon
Benjami has a background in communications, teaching, marketing, and leading individuals and teams. At Gordon College, he spoke at various events, such as Q Commons, a nationally recognized conference that engages culture and faith. His educational background provides a foundation that aids in his goal of reaching diverse groups of people. As the lead producer and marketer of an online platform for educational and inspirational videos, Benjami manages a team that creates marketing strategies and promotional content to reach viewers globally. He also applied his marketing and leadership skills to develop strategic branding at OneLife, an organization that mentors students from across North Carolina through weekly meetings and an annual conference with nationally recognized speakers. Benjami hopes to combine his public speaking and marketing skills in a career that encompasses his love of telling stories and communicating truth.
Christopher Newport University: Business Administration & Philosophy
Host Family: Andy & Carrie Macfarlan
Job Host: Trinity Presbyterian Church and Porter’s Gate Music
Mentor: Beth Dixon
While studying business and philosophy at Christopher Newport University, Shannon cultivated a passion for working with students through coaching lacrosse at a local high school. Additionally, she dedicated her spare time to volunteering for Young Life, an international nonprofit committed to enriching the lives of adolescents. Upon graduation from college in 2016, Shannon continued her involvement with Young Life as a full-time staff associate in Northern Virginia. Through her investment in middle and high school students, she saw firsthand the benefit of diversity and cross-cultural relationships in her community. Shannon brings her passion for diversity to the worship arts program at Trinity Presbyterian Church. She hopes to contribute to the church’s ongoing effort to understand music as a powerful means of fostering an inviting and hospitable environment. Shannon aspires to a career in counseling where she will continue to cultivate welcoming and relational communities.
Furman University: Psychology
Host Family: Ken & Terry Elzinga
Job Host: Trinity Presbyterian Church and New City Counseling
Mentor: Mary Wilson
Elle has a background in psychology and health and wellness. During her time at Furman University, she conducted research to develop a body image promotion program for girls and women. She also interned for a nonprofit counseling center for individuals who struggle with eating disorders. Elle cultivated community among high school students through Young Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring young adults. She spent her summers as a counselor and director of the high ropes program at Camp Greystone, a camp for girls in western North Carolina. These experiences fostered a deep desire to serve others in a clinical mental health setting. Elle is interested in pursuing a career in counseling.