NEW Leadership Nevada 2016 Application Now Available
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The Eleanor Kagi Foundation, 
 A Lynn M. Bennett Legacy

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  • 2004 Alumnae Biographies


    1st Row (left to right): Jennifer Lopez, Amber Sessions, Patty Jones, Karoline Khamis, Natalie Adelaja, Sepi Sayedna, Beth Naccarrato (FIR)
    2nd Row: Miley Hendrix-Pluard, Melody Nelson, Alzina Cua, Misty Kinser, Julie Smith (FIR)
    3rd Row: Michelle Hammond-Urain, Jacqueline Alvarado, Isar King, Janel Potucek (FIR)
    4th Row: Margo Teague, Bori Kovacs, Gwen Dally, Marcia Robinson (FIR)
    5th Row: Ewa Rush, Angela Gerken, Jue Wang, Tina Santana, Annika Post

    Natalie Adelaja
    University: University of Nevada, Reno
    Major: Women’s Studies
    Minor: Journalism
    Natalie Adelaja attended the University of Nevada, Reno with a major in women’s studies and minor in journalism. She worked at the UNR Women’s Resource Center where she wrote the Center’s weekly column in the campus newspaper The Sagebrush. She also co-directed the production of “The Vagina Monologues.” In the fall of 2002 Natalie became the president and founder of the UNR Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. Natalie was also a member of the UNR intercollegiate Forensics Team and in May 2004, she received the Robert S. Griffin Outstanding Forensics Speaker Award.

    Jackie Alvarado
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Major: Criminal Justice/Communications
    Jackie Alvarado attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a dual major in criminal justice and communications. When she graduates she plans to continue her education, whether that is by attending graduate school or law school. Jackie believes that getting her hands on experience is the best way possible for her to see what she would enjoy doing for the rest of her life.

    Alzina Cua
    University: University of Nevada, Reno 2003
    Major: Accounting/Computer Information System
    Alzina Cua was born in the Philippines where her parents and two brothers currently live. She came to the United States in 1999 pursuing her education and swimming career. She was able to get a swimming scholarship at Indian River Community college in Fort Pierce, Florida. In Alzina’s last semester at the community college, she was recruited by five Universities for swimming and chose the University of Nevada, Reno. Soon after her 2003 graduation, Alzina started working with Tamarack Junction Casino as a Business System Analyst.

    Gwenavere Dally
    University: University of Nevada Reno
    Major: Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
    Gwenavere graduated from UNR with Honors in 2005, and had her first child in 2007. She works fulltime for the Department of Aging Services, State of Nevada, in Accounting. While always looking for opportunities to teach her daughter good morals and empathy for others Gwenavere, together with her daughter get involved with the community regularly – volunteering their time as bible teachers, helping others find hope for the future.

    Angela Gerken
    University: Nevada State College
    Major: Mathematics/Secondary Education
    Originally from Hawaii, Angela was very competitive in the local Hawaiian sport leagues and received an athletic scholarship to run cross-country at Coker College in South Carolina. Unfortunately after her second race she tore ligaments in her knee and needed surgery. Since she was no longer eligible to run for Coker, she transferred to Nevada State College. While at Nevada State College, Angela plans to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Secondary Education.

    Michelle Hammond-Urain
    University: University of Nevada Reno
    Major: Resource Management
    Michelle Hammond-Urain attended Great Basin College for four years, all of which she was involved with Student Government. She has obtained both her Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree. In spring 2004, she graduated with her BAIPS in Resource Management and plans to complete her second concentration area of Social Science. Michelle transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue her graduate degree. Michelle’s long-term education goals include a law degree and/or her PHD.

    Miley Hendrix-Pluard
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Major: Business Management
    Minor: Communication
    Miley Hendrix-Pluard attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a major in business and a minor in communication. Miley was nominated for the Roosevelt Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership and received the 2004 award from UNLV Alliance of Professionals of African Heritage. After completing her education, Miley plans to start her own business designed to help at risk youth in the community.

    Patricia (Patty) Jones
    University: Great Basin College
    Major: Integrative Professional Studies
    Patty McCann Jones moved to the tri-city area of Washington State and works as a Planned Giving Outreach Specialist at Columbia Basin College Foundation. She attended NEW Leadership Nevada while enrolled in the Bachelors of Arts in Integrative Professional Studies offered by Great Basin College. Patty was elected to the Elko County School Board of Trustees in 2007 and credits NEW Leadership with giving her the skills and confidence to run.

    Ewa Karczmarczuk-Rush
    University: University of Nevada,Reno
    Major: Arts
    Ewa Karczmarczuk-Rush grew up in Poland and later came to the U.S.A as a “long term” (one year) exchange student with Rotary International. After her exchange she decided to stay in the United States on her own. She attended Truckee Meadows Community College and received her Associate of Arts Degree in 2004. She is trying to carefully choose her career opportunities, most of all she is open minded and full of motivation.

    Karoline Khamis
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Major: Women’s Studies
    Karoline Khamis not only went through NEW Leadership in 2004 she assisted as a Faculty in Residence. Karoline teaches for the Clark County School District and volunteers to make feminism a daily reality. She also plays violin in music videos! See: at around :50-:54 sec.

    R. Isar King
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2004
    Major: Cultural Anthropology
    Surrounded by a remarkable family and community, Isar King’s early years were exposed to diversity and traditions of her American heritage. It was these lessons, experiences and interests that lead Isar to pursue her interest into the field of Anthropology. She was the co-founder of a charter school and in 1994 she graduated with her Associates Degree from CSN. Isar started a small ethnic clothing business and was awarded “Small Business of the Year, 2000.” In May 2004 she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Cultural Anthropology.

    Misty Kinser
    University: Truckee Meadow Community College 2004
    Major: Music
    Originally from Reno, Misty Kinser spent last year of high school in Nashville, Tennessee doing correspondence at a non-denominational women’s ministry. She took a year off after graduating before starting school through the Millennium Scholarship at TMCC. Misty graduated with an Associates of Arts in music.

    Borbala (Bori) Kovacs
    University: Truckee Meadows Community College & University of Oxford
    Major: Masters & PhD, Political Science
    Bori is in her second year as a visiting assistant professor in the political science department at Budapest’s Central European University. She is also a senior social policy analyst for the Bucharest-based think tank, Median Research Centre, where she monitors political parties’ policy positions and actions. In addition, she publishes a family policy analysis, organizes world cafes with people ‘from the street’ to discuss policy alternatives, and works on social policy issues relative to urban planning and adequate housing.

    Jennifer Lopez
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2004
    Major: Communications– emphasis in Public Relations
    Minor: Political Science
    Jennifer Lopez worked for the Nevada Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto, as the Public Information Officer. Prior to that she was Nevada Deputy Political Director and Deputy Press Secretary for the Obama Campaign. She interned in Capitol Hill, where she worked for Senator Harry Reid in his office of Communications. While in college, Jennifer was the Vice President of the Public Relations Student Society of America, a member of the Latino Youth Leadership Alumni, a McNair Scholar, a NEW Leadership graduate, and “Latinas Learning to Lead Fellow”.

    Melody Paige Nelson
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Major: Women’s Studies
    Minor: Arts
    Melody Nelson earned a BA from UNLV in Women’s Studies and music. For two years prior, she served as a Volunteer Coordinator for the International New Music Festival. Melody is the founder of the Pleasure Education Resource for the Vegas Valley (PERVV), an organization that focuses efforts on sex-positive, pleasure education work. Past projects have included a community forum about reproductive justice, workshops at festivals and a Pleasure party. She recently was awarded the Commitment to Leadership Award from Choice USA.

    Annika Post
    University: University of Nevada, Reno
    Major: Medical
    Annika Post a Native of Nevada graduated early from Truckee Meadow Community College High School. Annika intends to be accepted to medical school, working in the medical profession she hopes to continue being active in our government either attending conventions or possibly running for a position.

    Christina Santana
    University: Truckee Meadows Community College
    No biography available.

    Sepideh Sayedna
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Major: Law
    Sepideh (Sepi) Sayedna graduated from Boyd School of Law and currently works with UNLV’s office of the General Counsel. After completing the NEW Leadership Nevada program, she joined the NEW Leadership Advisory Council in order to continue her involvement with the program and WRIN. She received an externship at Snell & Wilmer law firm during law school as part of the Diversity Fellowship Program. Her family came to America when she was 2 years old to escape the war in Iran.

    Amber Sessions
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2005
    Major: Women’s Studies
    A Nevada native, Amber Sessions joined the Peer Mediator’s Program (developed by the County Neighborhood Foundation) and received a Proclamation City Council for winning an artwork contest. Amber received her Associates Degree from the College of Southern Nevada in 1999 and Graduated from UNLV in 2005 with a Bachelor Degree in Women’s Studies.

    Margo Teague
    University: Great Basin College 2003
    Major: Integrated Studies
    Margo Teague owns her own business, Impact Evaluation and Assessment Services, which assists clients in gathering and analyzing data that aids them in strategic planning and decision making. She primarily works with non-profit agencies such as the 4th Judicial District Court, Head Start of Northeastern Nevada, and Elko County. She completed her B.A. at Great Basin College in Integrated Studies in December 2003. Shortly thereafter she accepted a position with the P.A.C.E. Coalition as their state Incentive Grant coordinator. P.A.C.E. is a non-profit substance abuse prevention organization.

    Jue Teresa Wang
    University: Wellesley College 2004
    Major: Biochemistry/Art History
    Jue Teresa Wang was born in Beijing, China her family moved to the United States when her mother was accepted into a graduate program at the University of Hawaii. With the help of her mother in one year Jue went from not knowing a single word of English to being fluent in the English language. She left to the East coast to attend college and upon graduating she and her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Jue also received a summer internship working in the emergency room of UMC.

  • Improving the Lives of Women through Research and Education

  • NEW Leadership Nevada 2017 Keynote Dinner

    Featuring Restaurateur and Philanthropist Jenna Morton
    Blasco Event Wing, UNLV Foundation
    4505 S. Maryland Parkway
    Thursday, June 8, 2017
    Reception at 5:00pm
    Dinner and Program at 6:00pm

  • Meet women who have played an integral role in shaping Nevada's history.

    Flolliott LeCoque

    Flolliott LeCoque is the First Lady of Las Vegas Entertainment who ...
    Learn More
    Women's Research Institute of Nevada
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455083
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5083

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