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CLP Alumni News
Some recent news from graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2007:
Christian Amendola, University of Richmond, spent his winter break tutoring students at the King/Robinson Inter-district Magnet School; K-8 grade public school in New Haven, CT. He taught second graders at the international baccalaureate school.
Ara Freidman, Randolph College, will be interning during the spring semester with Senator Jim Webb in Washington, D.C. through the American University Capitol Semester program.
Amy Richardson has accepted a position as the Deputy Director of the Virginia Redistricting Coalition, a bipartisan effort to create a fair and balanced redistricting process in Virginia.
Marc Johnson, Director of Youth Programs at the Sorensen Institute and himself a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2003, recently earned his Master's Degree in Education from the Curry School at UVA.
Marc earned his degree in the Curry School's department of Leadership, Foundations and Policy. The degree is in Social Foundations of Education, a field that is concerned with placing education in its historical, social and cultural context in order to better understand educational goals and practices.
Marc focused his studies on education policy and civic education. He wrote his master's thesis on teacher training reform, surveying best practices in how different countries prepare and certify their teachers with the goal of determining ways to improve U.S. policy in this area.
Way to go Marc!
Congratulations to Shonda Copeland, a gradate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006. Shonda recently announced her engagement to be married to Dudley Ridley.
Shonda is currently attending the University of Michigan School of Law. Dudley is an Electrical Engineer currently earning his Master's Degree at Norfolk State University.
Click here to watch a video of Dudley's proposal.
The Virginia General Assembly's 2008 session got underway today, and representatives of the Sorensen Institute were there. In this photo from left to right is Curtis Walton, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006 and soon to be a Program Manager for our youth programs this summer; Marc Johnson, Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs and a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2003; and Keri Markiewicz, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2007.
We also saw (from left to right) Kelly Porell, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2007; Amy Richardson, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2007; and Chelsea Rock, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006 and Vice-Chair of the Sorensen Institute's Richmond Regional Board.
Jarrett Ray, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006, serves as Chairman of the College Republican Federation of Virginia. He also led the successful re-election campaign this year for Delegate Matt Lohr in the 26th House District.
Jarrett was interviewed recently for a Harrisonburg publication regarding young people, technology, and politics. Click here to read that story.
Catherine Bauman, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006, and a 2007 graduate of the University of Virginia, has recently left the country for French Guiana in South America where she will be teaching English to elementary and middle school children. Catherine plans to work in the field of international development in the future. Way to go Catherine!
THIS JUST IN: Richmond Style Weekly has just released its annual Top 40 Under 40, which recognizes "the young men and women who are transforming Richmond." As in years past, we are proud to say that Sorensen graduates have made the list.
This year's Top 40 Under 40 includes Felix Sarfo-Kantanka, Jr., a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2004. Felix is now a Special Assistant to Governor Tim Kaine. An excerpt from the Style Weekly's profile of Felix includes this:
As part of his post-college strategy for a career in government, he
attended the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the
University of Virginia, practically a prerequisite for running for
office in the state. When Henrico Delegate Jack Reid stepped down this
year, many people urged Sarfo-Kantanka to run. He decided the timing
wasnâ€™t right, but keep an eye on him. As he says, he didnâ€™t go to
Sorensen for nothing.
At 25, Cannon seems to understand the Richmond axiom â€œItâ€™s who you
know.â€ He was student body president at William & Mary concurrent
with Jim Ukropâ€™s term as alumni association president. He often wound
up sitting next to Ukropâ€™s wife, Bobbie, who was on the board of
visitors. Sure enough, the Ukrops came calling this year, inviting
Canon to direct a new program called YRichmond, designed to showcase
Richmond and help lure college interns for locally based corporate
sponsors. Jonathan Rhudy, whose PR firm has done pro bono work
for YRichmond, says of Cannon, â€œHeâ€™s exactly the kind of young,
visionary leader that Richmond needs.â€
And the Style Weekly's 2007 Top 40 Under 40 list also includes Sorensen alumnus the Reverend C. Douglas Smith, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005. Doug's profile includes this:
Since the Rev. Doug Smith became executive director of the Virginia
Interfaith Center in 2004, the budget has tripled, the staff has
quadrupled, and the center now offers a fellowship program for masterâ€™s
degree students. Smith says the mission of the center is to inspire
Virginians to work for the betterment of their community, through
education, research and â€œthe support of public policies that create
Congratulations to Felix, Brian, and Doug, and to all the Sorensen alumni who are working hard each day to demonstrate the positive leadership Virginia needs! We are very proud of you.
Here's an update from some of the graduates of the College Leaders Program Class of 2007. Congratulations!
Sarah Abubaker has joined Governor Tim Kaine's staff in Richmond as a Special Assistant in Constituent Services.
Regis McKoy was recently elected President of the Student Government Association at Radford University.
Rebekah Blackwell was recently elected Chairman of the College Republicans at the University of Mary Washington.
Here's an update from College Leaders Program Class of 2005 graduate, Toby Quaranta.
After graduating Virginia Tech in 2006, Toby interned at the Human Rights Campaignâ€”which became a full-time job. He worked as the Assistant to the National Field Director, helping HRC navigate the paperwork of the 2006 elections. He also worked in Colorado on a number of campaigns that were endorsed by the HRC and in Massachusetts helping to defeat a same-sex marriage ban. Toby was recently promoted and is now HRC's first Youth Outreach Coordinator. He'll be focusing his efforts to build a national student grassroots network. Toby writes that he's "traveling a ton, learning a lot, and using plenty of my nerd-camp skills that I learned back as Governor at CLP '05."
We have just learned that Elizabeth Hooper, a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006, has recently accepted a position as Government Fellow in the Virginia Tech Office of Government Relations. She will be working with Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors this fall and helping Tech gear up for the 2008 General Assembly Session. In January Elizabeth will be moving to Richmond to work for Virginia Tech's State Relations Department for the 2008 Session.
Amidst all this, Elizabeth just started her second year of a Master's Degree program at Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration and Policy. She plans to present her thesis this fall.
Way to go Elizabeth!