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Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars | Current Students


Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program
Hughes, Room 100

Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8119
Portrait of Cassandra Fowler

Cassandra Fowler

Cassandra Fowler is a junior majoring in justice and law with a criminology focus at the School of Public Affairs. She is from Montgomery County, Maryland. Cassie hopes to go on to law school and work on judiciary reform and the rights of the accused. Cassie is currently working to develop two organizations, working towards improving education in DC schools through pre-college mentoring in one, while exposing middle school students to different world cultures in the other. 

Connect with Cassandra: linkedin

Portrait of Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks is a junior enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he is majoring in psychology. Daniel is from Conyers, Georgia. Currently, he is interested in gaining community and behavioral psychology research experience by conducting scientific research on the AU campus. Daniel also serves as Chief Marketing Officer for FotoSynthesis. The summer of 2013, he traveled to South Africa to participate in AU’s Community Based Learning Program (CBL) to advocate for prevalent race and gender related issues in post-Apartheid Cape Town. In the future, Daniel hopes to pursue a career in consumer psychology related to marketing. 

Connect with Daniel: linkedin

Portrait of David Curtiss

David Curtiss

David is a freshman in the Communications, Law, Economics, and Government (CLEG) program in the School of Public Affairs. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. David currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Building Hope Project, an international student sponsorship that serves underprivileged children in Uganda. Along with David's given interest in international development, David's passions also include restorative justice policy and international prison and policing reform. After graduating from law school, David hopes to start a fulfilling career in poverty reduction and criminal justice reform.

Connect with David: linkedin

Portrait of Diego Aleman

Diego Aleman

Diego is a freshman in the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program. Originally hailing from Utah, he intends to major in Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. After graduation, he plans to continue his education to obtain his Ph.D and work as a professor, studying issues surrounding Latino youth and higher education.

Connect with Diego: linkedin

Portrait of Eric Vignola

Eric "EJ" Vignola

Eric Vignola is a sophomore double majoring in Sociology and Computer Science. He is from Sicklerville, New Jersey. Eric is head teacher in FotoSynthesis where he helps teach elementary and middle school students about culture through social media and technology. Eric also cares about education inequality. In the future, he hopes to combine the technical skills of computer science with the lens of Sociology in order to develop social impact video games. These video games would try and address the issues of education inequality as well as foster a greater interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among the youth.

Connect with EJ: linkedin

Portrait for Isobel Araujo

Isobel Araujo

Isobel is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Communications. She intends to pursue a graduate degree in urban planning. Throughout her professional career, she hopes to explore how smart growth and creative communication strategies can mitigate climate change and foster social justice in our rapidly urbanizing world. Originally from Chicago, she hopes to one day live abroad in a Latin American city before returning home and serving her community as an urban planner.

Connect with Isobel: linkedin

Portrait of Jessica Rothman

Jessica Rothman

Jessica Rothman is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in public health and statistics. She grew up in Voorhees, New Jersey, outside of Philadelphia. Jessica serves as the Director of Operations for Fotosynthesis. In the future, she plans to pursue an MPH, and have a career in the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics.

Connect with Jessica: linkedin

Portrait of Julien Blaney

Julien Blaney

Julien Blaney is a junior majoring in history. He is from Montclair, New Jersey. Currently, Julien is the Chief Strategy Officer for FotoSynthesis and also manages community outreach for Scholars for Progress.

Connect with Julien: linkedin

Portrait of Justin Winston Morgan

Justin Winston Morgan

Justin Winston Morgan is a junior majoring in public health in the College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a certificate in translation in French and is also on the pre-med track. Justin grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland. Currently, he is doing research at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities and hopes soon to publish and present his work. In the future, Justin plans to go to medical school, as well as pursue an MPH. 

Connect with Justin: linkedin

Portrait of Mehvish Jamal

Mehvish Jamal

Mehvish Jamal is a sophomore double-majoring in International Studies and Economics. She was born and raised in Stony Brook, New York. Mehvish is currently an active member of the American University chapter of the Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development and volunteers with Green America. She hopes to have a career working towards the economically and environmentally sustainable development of underprivileged communities worldwide.

Connect with Mehvish: linkedin

Portrait of Nathnael Bulcho

Nathnael Bulcho

Nathnael Bulcho is a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business and the School of International Service. Nathnael was born in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. and raised in Damascus, Maryland. He is double majoring in International Affairs as well as Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Development.  Nati will be working at the Kogod Center of Business Communications this coming fall. He is passionate about economic empowerment, education, as well as community development. In the future he plans to pursue an MBA.

Connect with Nati: linkedin

Portrait of Nkemdilim Chukwuma

Nkemdilim Chukwuma

Nkemdilim Stacy Chukwuma is a junior in the Business, Language and Cultural Studies Program at the Kogod School of Business with a focus on the Spanish language and a minor in finance. She grew up in Valley Stream, New York. Nkem works at the Kogod Center of Business Communication. She is a peer consultant at AU, CFO of FotoSynthesis and Scholars for Progress’ Coordinator of External Relations. Nkem is passionate about such issues as youth empowerment, cross-cultural relations, and community service. In the future, she hopes to combine her background in business, her interest in learning about different cultures/languages, and her enthusiasm for helping others into a fulfilling career. 

Connect with Nkemdilim: linkedin

Portrait of Stephanie Vela

Stephanie Vela

Stephanie Vela is in the College of Arts and Sciences, where she is majoring in sociology. She grew up in Coachella Valley, California. Growing up in a predominantly Hispanic immigrant community, Stephanie is passionate about immigration reform and issues facing the Latino community. Currently, she is the CEO of FotoSynthesis, as well as special assistant to the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars office Inaugural Director. Stephanie plans to work in the area of education, hoping to make a positive impact within public schools. 

Connect with Stephanie: linkedin

Portrait of Shyheim Snead

Shyheim Snead

Shyheim is a freshman majoring in Political Science in the School of Public Affairs, while also minoring in International Studies in the School of International Service. Born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he has been exposed to some of the pressing issues impacting marginalized communities, including poverty, inadequate sources of education, and misrepresentation of the disenfranchised. Having traveled to Malawi for service, and to Rome for study, Shyheim has taken an interest in international issues and comparing communities to bring about solutions for the greater good. Shyheim is ready to embrace his experience at American University, and work towards a law degree and a career dedicated to public service.

Connect with Shyheim: linkedin

Portrait of Winter Brooks

Winter Brooks

Winter is currently a freshman in the Business Administration and Public Relations program at the Kogod School of Business and the School of Communication. As a native of Detroit, Michigan, Winter has grown up in a community where a quality education is not easily accessible for all students. She has developed a passion for improving the standard of urban education. As a freshman, she volunteers for the DC Reads program on campus and looks forward to her next four years at American University.

Connect with Winter: linkedin

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