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 A Lynn M. Bennett Legacy

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  • 2008 Alumnae Biographies


    Front Row (Left to Right): Ella Trujillo, Nicki Wong, Sandra Guerrero, Marites Velasquez, Lupe Ramirez, Edith Gonzalez, Amanda Rida, Aurora Guzman-Luna, Ami Rogers
    Second Row: Darlene Countryman, Amanda Yanez, Heather-Ann Bussiere, Victoria Jackson-Dick, Melinda Guillen
    Third Row: Heather Burke, Dulce Quintero, Jennifer Hemphill, Jessica Kusak, Kelly Gurdison
    Fourth Row: Laura Nickerson, Susan Taylor, Telia Greer, Michelle Callos

    Heather Burke
    University: TMCC
    Major: Business Management/ Marketing & Dietetics
    Heather Burke single-handedly developed and is president of the Student Dietetic Technician Organization at Truckee Meadows Community College. Heather works part time in the Food Service & Nutrition Department as a food service worker and is responsible for patient menus. Her future goal is to become a registered dietician. She is interested in working for the public and community outreach, education, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals or owning a small business.

    Heather-Ann Bussiere
    University: TMCC 2008 / UNR
    Major: Secondary Education Minor in Social Studies
    Heather-Ann participated in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, where she partook in several projects including building a home with Habitat for Humanity, Cleaned the Appalachian region after devastating floods, and helped tutor inner-city children in Washington D.C. Heather-Ann volunteers for the local Crisis Call Center as an advocate for sexual assault victims. Her goal is to educate teens on the dangers of dating violence, as well as other dangers that may occur.

    Michelle Callos
    University: TMCC 2008/ UNR
    Major: Paralegal Law / International Affairs, Minor Latin Studies
    Michelle is currently working with International Student Assistance for the TMCC Admissions and Records Department, where she tutors for the English as a Second Language program. She is also the Vice President of the International club at TMCC. As a paralegal, her goals are to help immigrants find support and assistance in finding housing, jobs, and educational opportunities.

    Darlene Countryman
    University: TMCC
    Major: Business
    Darlene hopes to be an inspiration to other people and plans to one day open an Ecumenical Chamber of Commerce to answer the spiritual needs of the Reno business community. A former business owner herself, she went back to school in order to obtain a business degree to help open a new bakery, specializing in sugar-free chocolates, cakes, cookies, and candies for families with special dietary needs.

    Victoria Jackson-Dick
    University: Great Basin College
    Major: Business Administration
    Victoria Jackson-Dick attends Great Basin College and is active in the local Native American community in Elko, Nevada. She is the Native American Club President and Assistant to the Editor for the local Shoshone Spirit Newspaper. She would like to continue her involvement in the Native community serving as a bridge and liaison, in order to further improve conditions and raise awareness.

    Edith Gonzalez
    University: TMCC 2008/ UNR
    Major: Internal Affairs
    Edith Gonzalez will graduate with and Associates in Applied Science/ Associates of Arts from TMCC in 2008 at this time she will be a registered Dietetic Technician. She plans transfer to UNR continuing her education focusing on Internal Affairs and specializing in Diplomacy, Law, and Organization. Edith was the legislative intern for Speaker of the Assembly Barbara Buckley during the recent Special legislative Session. She will be returning during the general legislative session in February 2009 to be Barbara Buckley’s full-time intern.

    Telia Greer
    University: UNLV
    Major: Psychology
    Telia Greer is pursing her degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Geriatrics & Special Education. She is involved in a number of student organizations such as the Black Student Organization and the Center for Cultural Diversity. Telia had been selected as the NEW Leadership Intern for Harrah’s Entertainment in the National Diversity Relations Department.

    Sandra Guerrero
    University: UNR
    Major: Political Science
    Sandra Guerrero attends UNR, working to obtain a B.A. in political science. She currently works at the Washoe County School District Translation Office, and spends her free time doing volunteer work. She works with Planned Parenthood, and a number of groups that involve her young son.

    Melinda Guillen
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2008
    Major: Sociology/ Women’s Studies
    Melinda Guillen is actively involved in a number of departments and groups at UNLV. She is the current Rape Prevention Coordinator at the Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, and is also interning with Dr. Christine Clark, VP of Diversity and Inclusion. Her ultimate goal is to earn a PhD in Sociology or Women’s Studies and become a professor.

    Kelly Gurdison
    University: UNLV 2008
    Major: Nursing / Women’s Studies
    Kelly Gurdison is a licensed Nursing Assistant, with her passion lying in the field of midwifery. She presented her senior praxis research project, The labor of law: Negotiating the legal status of midwifery in Las Vegas, at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in June 2008. Kelly’s vision is to open the first birthing center serving the Las Vegas community and allow access to an alternative, safer, happier birth experience for mothers regardless of their age, race, or socioeconomic status.

    Jennifer Hemphill
    University: UNR 2008
    Major: Political Science / Philosophy
    While attending UNR, Jennifer was highly involved in the campus community by not only her active role in Greek life, but also by hearing and making decisions for several on-campus issues as an Associate Justice for the ASUN’s Judicial Council. She also interned full- time for Assemblyman David Parks during the 74th Session of the Nevada Legislature, and worked for the Nevada State Democratic Party during the final months of the historic Nevada Caucus. Currently, she is a Deputy Field Director of Congressional District 3 for the Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas, and oversees approximately 60 paid canvassers.

    Jessica Kusak
    University: Nevada State College 2009
    Major: Integrated Studies / Communications
    Minor: Psychology & Business
    Jessica Kusak serves as a Senator with Nevada State Student Alliance, creating opportunity to reach out to her campus, address concerns and seek solutions. Currently, she is working as the Communications Assistant at NSC in the Office of College Relations. She also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for The Scorpion’s Tale, NSC’s student-produced monthly publication. As far as future activities, Jessica is in the process of developing NSC’s first chapter of NOW, as well as the first Phi Kappa Phi chapter.

    Aurora Guzman-Luna
    University: CSN / UNLV
    Major: Social Work
    Aurora Guzman-Luna recently transferred from CSN to UNLV in order to complete her degree in Social Work. While at CSN, she was instrumental in creating Students4Students, a student organization designed to help high school students get acquainted with college life, as well as familiarizing non-traditional students with college resources.

    Laura Nickerson
    University: UNLV 2008
    Major: Criminal Justice Minor: Women’s Studies
    Upon graduating in 2008, Laura moved to Sacramento, California where she landed a position as an HR Specialist with a Credit Union. While living in Las Vegas, she was highly involved in a number of women’s organizations, such as the Women’s Empowerment Network, the National Organization for Women, and Shade Tree (a domestic violence shelter). Now in California, Laura’s efforts have been focused on her involvement in NOW, and also heavily campaigning against Proposition 8.

    Dulce Quintero
    University: TMCC 2008
    Major: Dental Program
    Dulce is currently working as a dental assistant through St. Mary’s Hospital and the Catholic Healthcare West outreach program. CHW is a program for low-income families, which offers dental services to different schools and visits WIC mothers in the community. Outside of her work with CHW, she volunteers at the Food Bank of N. NV, Habitat for Humanity, and the Committee to Aid Abused Women.

    Lupe Ramirez
    University: Western Nevada College 2005
    Major: Business
    Lupe Ramirez is the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Student Services and is in charge of the college’s Latino Outreach. Her interest is to continue promoting higher education to the Latino Community and volunteering in the local organizations organizing events for Latinos. Lupe is highly involved with the Latino Club at WNC, which is now the most active student organization on campus.

    Amanda Rida
    University: UNLV 2009
    Major: Women’s Studies Minor: Philosophy
    Amanda Rida is an activist in the local women’s rights and LGBTQ communities, and is also a member of UCIR (United Coalition for Im/migrant Rights). Amanda plans to pursue a law degree, and is in the process of narrowing her law emphasis on non-profit organizations, environmentalism, or advocacy.

    Ami Rogers
    University: Great Basin College 2008
    Major: Arts/Humanities Administration
    Ami Rogers currently holds the position of Grant Writer / Manager at the YWCA of Utah where she writes grants for the organization, while at the same time assists their development team. She operates a home-business called GrantWrite Business Solutions LLC, where she does grant writing and consulting work for other organizations and small businesses.

    Susan Taylor
    University: UNLV 2010
    Major: Pre-nursing, double minor in math and Spanish
    Susan graduated from UNLV in May 2010 with a BA in Spanish for the professions. She remains very active as an Alumna member of her sorority, Kappa Delta Chi, a community service based Latina organization. She is currently in nursing school at CSN where she continues to pursue her endeavors of becoming a nurse and serving the Latino population through health care. She would like to serve in the Peace Corps and work in a non profit clinic.

    Ella Trujillo
    University: Great Basin College
    Major: Education
    Ella Trujillo is pursing her Bachelors Degree in Education. She would like to become an elementary school teacher eventually, but has also gained new interests since NEW Leadership Nevada. Ella is now also interested in law and would like to further her education by attending law school.

    Marites Velasquez
    University: University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2008
    Major: Journalism / Media Studies & Business Administration in marketing
    Minor: Business Law
    Marites Velasquez has used her media and marketing background to create the marketing company, Marvel Us, and has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, such as the United Coalition for Im/migrant Rights, the Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, while at the same time representing a various local musicians. Currently, she serves at the Assistant Canvassing Director for Work for Progress, and will go onto directing and managing, while also canvassing for the Fund for Public Interest Research Group.

    Nicki Wong
    University: UNLV 2009
    Major: English
    Nicki Wong is obtaining a B.A. in English, with a focus on modern poetry and themes of philosophy and ontology in literature. She aspires to move on to graduate school and eventually teach at a university. Nicki recently received an internship with Harrah’s Entertainment in their Government Affairs Department where she is learning the intersections of business and politics at the corporate level.

    Amanda Yanez
    University: TMCC
    Major: Substance Abuse Counseling
    Amanda Yanez is a Student Ambassador and works for the Financial Aid office at Truckee Meadows Community College. She is pursing a degree as a Substance Abuse Counselor and plans to help adolescents in at-risk areas battle the continuous influences of illegal drugs and gangs.

  • 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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