2020 LEAD Senior Celebration

On May 1, the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan celebrated our 2020 LEAD seniors. Although we could not meet in person, that didn’t mean we couldn’t cheer on our scholars, share laughs, and reflect on years of memories. Behind every scholar are friends, family, supporters, and champions coaching them forward as they enter the next phase of their life.

If you could not join us or would like to rewatch the memories, click here for the full virtual ceremony.

To view our LEAD Seniors, click here.

2020 Year in Review

LEAD Graduation Photos

A Message from a LEAD Scholar Alumna

LEAD Scholars are part of a growing network, connecting graduates across the world. Alumna Asia Harris-Martin, ’17, tells us about her experience.

A Message from Our Alumni Community

We pay tribute to all graduating seniors across the University. While recognizing our LEAD seniors, we also celebrate all graduating Wolverines from all of our schools, colleges, and campuses.

The U-M 2020 Commencement page features special congratulatory messages, and celebrations across campus.

Our LEAD Scholar 2020 Graduates

Adrienna Martinez

Adrienna Martinez

2016 Cohort
| Saginaw, MI
UM-Flint
Anthropology, Spanish, Linguistics, TESOL Certification

President of Anthropology Club (2 years), Volunteered with the English Language Program in Flint.

After graduation, Adrienna will be pursuing a career as a Bilingual ESL Specialist with future plans to pursue anthropological film making.

Alanah Cardenas O Toole

Alanah Cardenas-O’Toole

2016 Cohort
| Farmington Hills, MI
Engineering
Space Sciences and Engineering, Minor in Physics and Astronomy

Destino, Latinidad, WISE RP

Alanah will be attending graduate school post-graduation with future plans of getting a PhD.

Alexandra Murray

2016 Cohort
| Chicago, IL
Kinesiology
Health and Fitness

Michigan Muscle Club (President), Wolverine Fit Crossfit Club (President)

Andy plans to go on a vacation post-graduation and plans to rescue a bunch of shelter dogs.

Alicia Lenci

Alicia Lenci

2016 Cohort
| Austin, TX
Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Out of the Darkness, Michigan Triathlon, MPowered Entrepreneurship, Women in Science and Engineering

Alicia will be taking a gap year to travel and then will be pursuing a career at Capital One in Washington, D.C. as a finance rotation program associate.

Alyson Grigsby

Alyson Grigsby

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
LSA
Political Science, Minor in Asian Language and Culture

Peer Information Consultants Program (UM Library), Inclusive Campus Corps, Lloyd Hall Scholars for Writing and the Arts

After graduation, Alyson intends to matriculate to the Transcultural Studies Program under Rackham Graduate School with long-term plans to find a career in nonprofit work, public service, or diplomacy.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

2017, 2016 Cohort
| Ann Arbor, MI
LSA
Sociology- Law, Justice, and Social Change

Development Summer Internship Program and was elected by class to speak at the final Summer Symposium

Anthony will work as a Secondary English Teacher in Detroit (facilitated through Teach for America) with future plans of attending law school and eventually pursuing a career in policy advocacy and politics.

Anthony Salmeron

2017, 2016 Cohort
| Columbus, OH
Engineering
Biomedical Engineering

Project MESA, SHPE, Beta Mu Epsilon

Anthony will be pursuing a full-time position at Johnson and Johnson with future plans to give back to the LEAD Scholar Program as an alumni.

Corey Townsend

Corey Townsend Jr.

2016 Cohort
| Grand Blanc, MI
LSA
Psychology, Minor in Entrepreneurship

HEADS, Men’s Club Basketball Team (Vice President), EnspiRED Fashion Show, Bronze Elegance Fashion Show

Corey will be pursuing a mortgage banking job at Quicken Loans with future plans to own a business.

Daija White

Daija White

2016 Cohort
| Redford, MI
LSA
Statistics Minor in French and the Environment

Worked every summer throughout their time at the University of Michigan

Daija is unsure of their plans after graduation.

Daniela Garcia

Daniela Garcia

2017, 2016 Cohort
| Orange County, CA
LSA
Psychology, Minor in American Culture

Michigan Pops Orchestra, LSA Comprehensive Studies Program/BRIDGE Scholar, Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (Freshman year)

After graduation, Daniela will be exploring opportunities related to social work and education with future plans to pursue a masters in social work.

Diante Hill

Diante Hill

2016 Cohort
| Romulus, MI
Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

NSBE, M-STEM, ASB-C Chicago, NACME

Diante will be pursuing a career in the energy industry.

Dominique Cornitcher

Dominique L. Cornitcher

2016 Cohort
| Atlanta, GA
Art & Design
International Studies, Minor in Art & Design

CAPS Student Advisory Board, Prison Creative Arts Project, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Nu Chapter

Dominique will be looking for jobs within Corporate Citizenship/Corporate Philanthropy with future plans to pursue work in the Corporate Foundation Sector that engages in community and social impact work.

Edward Cobian

Edward Cobian

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
Engineering
Computer Science

Edward plans to get more experience in his field with a future goal of finding a career in a place where he is comfortable.

Gabrielle Brathwaite

Gabrielle Brathwaite

2016 Cohort
| Westbury, NY
Engineering
Industrial & Operations Engineering

NSBE, MSTEM, LEAD, Bindx

Gabrielle have plans to visit Japan with her friends this summer with future plans to get a full-time job and start working.

Grace Gonzalez

Grace Gonzalez

2016 Cohort
| Scarsdale, NY
Art & Design
Art and Design, Stephen M Ross Cappo Sales Track

Vice President of Speakers on the Michigan Fashion Media Summit planning team

Grace plans to move back home to New York with future plans to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Hannah Perez

Hannah Perez

2016 Cohort
| Chicago, IL
Kinesiology
Sport Management

Head Intern for Fan Experience as part of the Michigan Athletic Department, Building Crew for Yost Hockey Arena

Hannah is unsure of her future plans.

Harrison Watson

Harrison Watson

2016, 2015 Cohort
| Flint, MI
LSA
Biochemistry and Asian Studies

Able to complete degrees in two very different areas of passion without sacrificing the quality of engagement in either discipline.

Harrison will be taking a gap year before attending graduate school to study Japanese culture, language, and society.

James Wich

James Wich

2016 Cohort
| Lighthouse Point, FL
Engineering
Aerospace Engineering

Human Powered Submarine Team member, College of Engineering Peer Mentor Program, Engineering Student Government. Aerospace Honor Society (SGT)

James will be attending graduate school through SUGS with future plans to work in California for Northrop Gruman.

Jared Evans

2016 Cohort
| Coloma, MI
LSA
Cognitive Science, Minor in Computer Science

Volunteer at the Michigan Theater, Local Community Gardens, the Arboretum, United 2 Heal in Detroit

Jared plans to work immediately after graduating with plans to return to obtain a Master’s degree.

Jazzaray James

Jazzaray James

2016 Cohort
| West Des Moines, IA
LSA
English and Creative Writing, Minor in Art & Design

Research Assistant, Gallery Assistant, Library Clerk

Jazzaray plans to pursue teaching abroad in South Korea with future plans to apply to graduate school.

Jean Pierre Vasquez

Jean-Pierre Vasquez

2016 Cohort
| New York City, NY
Business
BBA, Finance

Students Empowering Education, ALPFA, APEX Trading

After graduating, Jean-Pierre will be pursuing a career at Citigroup (S&T) in San Francisco.

Jordan Graves

Jordan Graves

2016 Cohort
| Jackson, MI
LSA
Computer Science

As a graduate of Western High School, Jordan was involved in Key Club, STEMakers, and the student council.

Jovany Dorsaainvil

Jovany Dorsainvil

2016 Cohort
| Douglasville, GA
LSA
Romance Languages and Literature, Minor in History of Law and Policy, Certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities

Studied law at the Paris Institute of Political Studies

Jovany will be interning at an immigration rights law firm during the summer and plans to either get a Master’s of Public Policy or Juris Doctor

Karina Forsythe

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
School of Education
Education: Mathematics

Founder of Curl Talk at the University of Michigan, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Beta Eta chapter, Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society

Kathleen Ortiz Tenesaca

Kathleen Ortiz-Tenesaca

2016 Cohort
| Chicago, IL
LSA
Communication and Media Studies, Minor in Business

Dance 2xS Michigan, LEAD Scholars

After graduation, Kathleen plans to travel and see the world, spend time with family, relax, and learn an instrument with future plans to work full-time at Accenture in Detroit.

Kaylee Picard

Kaylee Picard

2016 Cohort
| Whitehall, MI
LSA
Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity & Program in the Environment with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology

Biological Technician at USGS Great Lakes Science Center (2 years)

Kaylee will be moving to Seattle, Washington, with long-term goals to attend graduate school and have a career in aquatic ecology research.

Kendil Johnston Tinsley

2017, 2016 Cohort
| Ypsilanti, MI
LSA
Sociology- Law, Justice, and Social Change

CSP, LEAD Scholar

Kendil will be pursuing a law degree after graduation with long term goals of working as a business attorney.

Daija White

Lauren Rainey

2017, 2016 Cohort
| Belleville, MI
LSA
Sociology: Law, Justice, and Social Change Minor in Arab and Muslem American Studies

Ginsberg Community Leadership Fellowship Program, Young Life College, fneUM Nicaragua, LEAD Scholars Advisory Board Vice President

Lauren will be pursuing a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with future plans of working in nonprofit management.

Lauryn Hobbs

Lauryn Hobbs

2016 Cohort
| Shaker Heights, OH
Music, Theatre & Dance
Musical Theatre

Musket, Basement Arts, Runyonland productions

Having her first full length fully produced this year, Lauryn plans to move to New York and begin auditioning there with a long term goal of performing on Broadway or national tours.

Leonard Rowe

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
LSA
Biology, Health, and Society

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Black Undergraduate Medical Association

Leonard plans to take a gap year during which he will study for the DAT and shadow a dentist back home with long term plans of studying dentistry at the University of Detroit.

Maximillian Garcia

Maximillian C. Garcia, III

2016 Cohort
| Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Business, LSA
Finance, Minor in Performing Arts Management

University of Michigan Fencing Team- Saber Fencer, Studied abroad in Italy, Kwiker Scholar, Carson Scholar- Went to Washington D.C. to speak with representatives, Worked on a consulting project in Chile, Preparation Initiative

Maximillian will be pursuing a wealth management job at JP Morgan with plans to attend Law School.

Maya Alwan

Maya Alwan

2016 Cohort
| Atlanta, GA
Music, Theatre & Dance
Musical Theatre

Choreographer for Musket’s Legally Blonde (March 2019) and The Wiz (March 2020), Director/Choreographer for Pioneer Theatre Guild’s Fame, Co-Producer/Director/Choreographer for the Department of Musical Theatre’s 2020 Color Cabaret, Student Representative on the Musical Theatre Student Advisory Committee

Maya will be moving to New York City to pursue a career as a Broadway actor/singer/dancer, and have future plans of directing and choreographing across the country and eventually teaching at a performing arts high school or college program.

Michael Forrest

Michael J. Forrest

2016 Cohort
| Ann Arbor, MI
LSA
Psychology, Minor in Business

University of Michigan Unions Student Marketing Committee, University Christian Outreach

Michael will be pursuing marketing research at Gongos, Inc., with future plans to build a career in consumer research and make the world a better place.

Mikayla Pratt

2016 Cohort
| Byron Center, MI
LSA
Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

Dance Marathon, American Medical Student Association, Golden Apple Committee

After graduating, Mikayla will be doing temporary work before attending medical school with long-term plans to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist.

Mitchell Keefer

Mitchell Keefer

2016 Cohort
| Canton, MI
Nursing
Minor in Population Health in a Global Context

Health Science Scholars Program, Student Nurses’ Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing, Motley Crew, Nursing Student Voices, Nursing Peer Mentor

Mitchell plans to pass the NCLEX and start a career in the PICU with a future goal to get his Doctor of Nursing Practice and become an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (ACPNP).

Daija White

Naomi Nichols

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
Nursing
Nursing

Doctors of Tomorrow, Student Nurses Association, Supporting Incoming Black Students, Dean’s List (x2)

Naomi has future plans to travel to Europe, continuing to work at Mott as a patient care tech, and studying for the NCLEX post-graduation with future plans of working as an RN at Mott.

Nicole Duran

Nikki Duran

2016 Cohort
| Princeton, NJ
Business
Business Administration, B.S. in Computer Science

Alpha Phi Sorority, VP Internal Relations of Michigan FinTech, MHacks

Nikki will be pursuing a career as a product designer at Facebook with goals of integrating her knowledge of design, technology, and business to create social impact.

Daija White

Paula Rodriguez

2016, 2015 Cohort
| Weston, FL
Kinesiology
Movement Science

Movement Science, Minor in Biochemistry, Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Program, MHEAL, Kinesiology Student Ambassador

Paula plans to work in the neuromonitoring field and study for the MCAT with goals to attend medical school.

Ravynne Jenkins

Ravynne Jenkins

2016, 2015 Cohort
| Chicago, IL
Engineering
Computer Engineering, Minor in Entrepreneurship

National Society of Black Engineers, Alternative Spring Break-Chicago, Black Student Union, INvent

Ravynne is unsure of future plans.

Shane Pausits

2016 Cohort
| Alpena, MI
Business
Finance & Strategy

Ross Preparation Initiative, LeadrX, First Generation College Students

After graduation, Shane has plans to go white water rafting in West Virginia and future plans to travel Southeast Asia with friends from college. Shane’s long term plans a career in investment banking at CitiBank in Manhattan.

Sofia Ramirez

2016 Cohort
| Berrien Springs, MI
Nursing

Michigan is My Home (Freshman year), Student Nurses Association, LEAD Advisory Board, Communications Co-Chair (previous Communications Committee member)

Tyler Jackson

Tyler Jackson

2016 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
School of Information
Information Science, User Experience Design, Minor in Creative Writing

Kappa Theta Pi Professional Technology Fraternity, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, Support for Incoming Black Students

Tyler plans to relax at home before working at PwC New York as a management consultant.

Valentina Tafurt

Valentina Tafurt

2016 Cohort
| Miami, FL
Engineering
Industrial and Operations Engineering, Minor in Entrepreneurship

Delta Delta Delta Sorority, MISS

Valentia will be traveling during the summer with plans to pursue working for a consulting firm.

Espinosa Zoe

Zoe Espinosa

2016 Cohort
| Ann Arbor, MI
Engineering
College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Space Engineering

First Alumni and Mentors network at Michigan, Engineering Honors and Engagement Programs, LEAD Advisory Board, MSTEM Academies

Zoe plans to possibly travel post-graduation and is unsure about her future plans.

Zumaya Otaduy Ramirez

Zumaya M. Otaduy-Ramirez

2016 Cohort
| Oak Ridge, TN
Nursing
Nursing, Minor in Population Health in a Global Context

Volunteer Spanish Medical Interpreter at the University of Michigan Student-Run Free Clinic, Dial-a-Doula, Study experiences in Brazil

Post-graduation, Zumaya plans to go on vacation and pass the NCLEX with the ultimate goal to make her parents proud.

Senior Celebration Ceremony​

Senior Ceremony Run of Show

Start- Program Begins, Phyllis Taylor, Lead Assistant Director, Alumni Student Recruitment & LEAD Scholars

08:17- Welcome from Ayanna McConnell, Senior Director, University/Student Engagement

12:31- Importance of LEAD, Joseph Giles, ’96, JD’01, MBA’01 LEAD Supporter

14:31- LEAD 2020 Year in Review

16:36- Introduction of LEAD Speakers

18:30- Senior Reflection – Jovany Dorsainvil, ‘20

20:55- Life After LEAD – Christina Cartwright, ‘18

24:05- Introduction and Presentation of the Graduates

33:49- Closing Remarks

36:07– Sing the Victors! and Conclusion