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Class of 2002

Lisa Gordon-Harrison

Hometown: Miramar, FL

high school: Miramar HS

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Sociology and African American Studies

GRAD. PROGRAM: Columbia University (2007, MS)

Lisa Gordon graduated as valedictorian of her class at Miramar High School in Florida as well as held several leadership positions within the Student Government, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Science Honor Society as President, and Yearbook as Editor-in-Chief. In addition, she was active in dance and flag football. During her high school career, she was heavily involved in community service activities such as coaching Middle School Step and Dance teams and volunteering in Miami-Dade Teen Court and Memorial Manor Nursing Home, as well as creating, implementing, and pursuing projects to help others. One of her favorite experiences during high schools was participating in MITE2S, a minority engineering, entrepreneurship, and science program held at MIT.

Lisa went on to earn her Bachelors at Harvard University in Sociology and African American Studies. She continued pursuing leadership while in college through her involvement as President of the Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW) and the Xi Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. At Harvard, she discovered a passion for issues related to urban education which were reflected in her senior thesis “Academic Engagement and Instructional Methods.” She would later see her love of education issues reflected in her community service projects and academic coursework. She kept up with her love of arts by directing the Caribbean Club Dance Troupe and executive producing the annual Eleganza Fashion Show.

After graduating from Harvard, Lisa went on to pursue research and analysis positions with Achievement First and Harlem Children’s Zone which enabled her to refine her research and career interests. Lisa completed her Masters in Sociology of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focus was on policy reform and her coursework centered on using qualitative and quantitative approaches to addressing prevalent issues in urban education. Lisa also worked full time as a data analyst for The New Teacher Project, a national non-profit focused on closing the achievement gap by training and hiring quality teachers and identifying systemic barriers that keep urban schools from hiring and keeping the best teachers in the classrooms that need them the most.

Lisa’s hobbies include taking dance classes, cooking international cuisine, image consulting and brand management, writing poetry, photojournalistic photography, and her ministry. 

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Class of 2002

James French

Hometown: Mt. Vernon, NY

high school: Brunswick School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Classical Studies

Jaime, as he is affectionately known, was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, NY and was selected to represent his state in the 2001 National Young Leaders Conference. A high honor student at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut and recognized in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, he has excelled in many disciplines. The faculty, upon presenting him with the coveted Yale Alumni Award regards him as “never without a warm smile, a cherry greeting”. But they note, “there is considerable substance beneath the obvious style.”

Currently, Jaime holds three presidencies at Brunswick. He is president of the Student Body, the Key Club, and the Classics Club. He was presented with the Classics Award, fitting the profile of a young man who from his middle school years has pursued the mastery of a language whose rigors are formidable and not for the faint of heart. He has also been a three year gold medalist and a one year silver medalist on the National Latin Exam.

He flexes his muscles and his vocals, earning the title of Wrestling State Champion and participating with the Westchester Choral Society in concert performances including: Handel’s Messiah; Vivaldi’s Gloria; Pergolesi’s Magnificat. Jaime, having traveled to Italy twice to explore the culture and to understand, think, feel and love with Virgil, has spent a summer in Tanzania observing the culture and the animals in their natural and unspoiled environment, becoming 75% proficient in Swahili.

In his spare time, he is an excellent skier, and has dusted the slopes in Utah and New England. Kayaking, tennis, swimming, and golf occupy his interests in the warmer months.

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Alem Giorgis

Alem Giorgis

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

high school: Central Gwinnett HS

college: Yale University (2007, BA)

MAJOR: Anthropology

GRAD. PROGRAM: Fordham School of Education (2010, MS)

Alem is currently completing her post-graduate degree in chemistry, after which she hopes to earn her MD/PhD.  She plans to dedicate her career to addressing the needs of underserved communities here in the US and abroad. Raised by a single mother, Alem is one of eight children and a first generation college grad. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate school experiences, Alem won several fellowships and research grants (including the National Mellon Mays Research Grant, the Yale International Study Scholarship, New York City Teaching Fellowship, the United States Cultural Understanding & Language Fellowship, and the University System of Georgia Foundation Scholarship) which have allowed her to further cultivate her love for academia, medicine and public service. After having taught for over five years within underserved Title I public schools and at the college level, Alem has redirected her life to examine health determinants that affect the success and quality of life of students and their families. 

Alem strives to be a catalyst for change, and she continues to collaborate with fellow Ron Brown scholars on projects that address disparities in education and healthcare

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Class of 2002

Alvin Hough

Hometown: Washington, DC

high school: Benjamin Banneker Academic HS

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Earth and Planetary Sciences

GRAD. PROGRAM: Georgia Institute of Technology (2008, MS)

After graduating as valedictorian of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC in 2002, Alvin Ellsworth Hough, Jr. studied Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard College and graduated in 2006. Fascinated by inclement weather while growing up, his passion led him to the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his Master’s in Meteorology in 2008. Although his focus while in school was on meteorology, Alvin is blessed to have yet another passion, which happens to be music.

Alvin started playing piano on Halloween when he was 5 years old. He was playfully tickling the ivories with several of his friends after school one day. When his mother came to pick him up, the teacher said that “Alvin wasn’t banging on the piano like all the other kids. He seemed to be trying to do something. Get the kid some lessons and see what happens.” He’s now been playing for over 23 years and has toured the country playing for private events and in concert halls both on his own and with accomplished singers. Alvin has even voluntarily gone into high schools and colleges with some of the singers he accompanies to offer words of advice and motivation to students who desire to pursue their dreams in the arts.

After having already been out on the road as the Associate Conductor and interim Musical Director of the DREAMGIRLS national tour in 2010 and as the Musical Director/Conductor of the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning sensation MEMPHIS in 2011-12, Alvin has established himself as a strong fixture in New York as a musical director, conductor, arranger, vocal coach and accompanist. Classically trained by a private teacher, Alvin was born and raised in DC and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Capitol and the White House, as well as for numerous regional theatres throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. From Vienna, Tokyo and Paris to New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, he has performed worldwide – in opera houses, theatres, cathedrals and everywhere in between. Now based in Manhattan, Alvin is the Assistant Conductor and Keyboard 2 player of MOTOWN the Musical, Berry Gordy’s new Broadway masterpiece at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Check out Motown the Musical for more details about the show!

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Class of 2002

Amanda Johnson

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

high school: Rufus King HS

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Biology

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Medical School and Business School (MD, MBA candidate)

Amanda graduated from Stanford University in 2006 with a BA in Human Biology and Spanish and a minor in African and African-American Studies. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to work in Information Systems for an industrial supply company before starting medical school in 2009.

At HMS, she has served as Co-President of the Harvard Medical Language Initiative, Co-Producer of FABRIC, an HIV testing counselor in East Boston, a Course Coordinator for Clinical Topics in Global Health, co-author of curriculum materials for the Global Primary Care residency at MGH, and filled various roles for the Crimson Care Collaborative, a consortium of student-faculty collaborative practices developing innovative models of primary care delivery. Amanda spent the summer after her first year of medical school working with the Ghana Health Service and the Grameen Foundation on a mobile phone-based health intervention for pregnant women, mothers of children under five, and the rural health workers who serve them.

In her clinical practice, Amanda plans to continue addressing health disparities in community-based settings. She looks forward to using the skills acquired during her time at HBS to serve patient populations and health care organizations with limited resources and is particularly interested in issues of workforce development and health IT.

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Class of 2002

Ashley Hayes

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

high school: Grady HS

college: Columbia University

MAJOR: East Asian Studies

Excellence and achievement have remained top priorities for Ashley Hayes throughout her life. She is currently a senior at Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, GA, where she is ranked 5th in her class. She has received numerous accolades for her high scholastic performance, including a Columbia University Alumni Club Book Award, a National Achievement Scholarship, induction into the National Honors Society, and the Georgia Certificate of Merit. Due to her exceptional performance two years ago on the National French Exam, she gained recognition as a Laureat du Chapitre. Last summer Ashley participated in the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, where she engaged in a concentrated study of literature and improvisational theatre for six weeks.

Through her four-year enrollment in the School of Communication Magnet Program, Ashley discovered her proclivity for journalism. She dedicates much of her time to Grady’s award-winning media publications. She is the producer of the Grady News Network, a weekly in-school newscast, and she authors a monthly column in The Southerner, Grady’s newspaper. Through her membership with an organization called “Youth Radio,” Ashley has become a familiar voice on National Public Radio affiliates nationwide. Her repertoire includes numerous commentaries, and a 30-minute dialogue she produced based on the radio documentary Let the Circle Be Unbroken, a historical review of the Civil Rights Movement. Ashley’s involvement in journalism thus exceeds the boundaries of her school. As a reporter for CNN Student Bureau, she had the honor of interviewing Secretary of Education Rod Paige live on CNN’s American Morning. Most recently, she was featured in the Great American Moments public service announcement series, produced and aired by Turner Broadcasting System (TBS).

When Ashley is not perched behind a video camera, starring in a school play, or darting about the tennis court, she indulges in her fascination for Japanese culture. She has accumulated a library of fictional and non-fictional Japanese literature and manga (Japanese comic books). She perceives her ambassadorship to Fukuoka, Japan was a highlight of her life. She spent the summer preceding her trip teaching herself to speak Japanese, so that she could more fully immerse herself in the experience. Her peers marveled at her willingness to try everything from exotic foods to public bathhouses.

In both her academic and extracurricular pursuits Ashley continues to aim high and strive to exceed her expectations. Ashley graduated from Columbia University with a BA in East Asian Studies and currently works at Google, Inc.

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Class of 2002

Danielle Andrews-Lovell

Hometown: Miami, FL

high school: Miami Norland Senior HS

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biochemistry

GRAD. PROGRAM: Georgetown University School of Law (2011, JD)

Danielle Lovell Jones, a proud mommy of 2 awesome little humans, is an organizational strategist with Black Fox Philanthropy, a social impact consulting firm. She advises nonprofits and social enterprises on the matters of strategic outreach, messaging development, partner alignment, and engagement. She has always had an intense personal drive to fight for the world to be a more inclusive and equitable place. However, she never knew that becoming a mother would give that work a bolt of creativity, directionality, and purpose.

A polymath at her core, she also wears the title of entrepreneur and content creator. As an entrepreneur, she launched Eat Sleep Play Go to encourage families to get out and explore the world together. As a content creator with Go ‘Head Mama (relaunching soon), she encourages parents to continue to explore their most authentic self while guiding the next generation. She holds a BA in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and a JD from Georgetown Law.

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Class of 2002

Ghideon Ezaz

Hometown: Piney Woods, MS

high school: Jackson Preparatory School

college: Washington University-St. Louis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Medical School (2010, MD)

Ghideon Ezaz was born in Asmara, Eritrea, the son of Zere and Mebrat Ezaz. He received his elementary education up to the fifth grade at Michelangelo Buonarotti, an Italian school. Attending such a school made Ghideon bilingual at an early age, in addition to allowing him to discover an affinity for linguistics which enabled him to speak, read, and write fluently in three different languages by the sixth grade. After Ghideon finished his fifth grade year, his family moved to the United States to join their father who had preceded them.

After emigrating, the family settled in Piney Woods, Mississippi, and Ghideon attended McLaurin Attendance Center, a nearby public school. There he dazzled his teachers and fellow students with his quick adjustment and mastery of the English language. For his ninth-grade year, Ghideon transferred to rigorous Jackson Preparatory School an institution known for its high-achieving students and academic environment. There, Ghideon enrolled in the honors program in both science and mathematics. In his junior and senior years he enrolled in AP classes in history, government, science, and math while maintaining a GPA of 4.4 and ranking in the top ten percent of his class of 140. Ghideon is a National Merit and National Achievement scholar in addition to being a member of the Cum Laude Society.

In high school, Ghideon was involved in the Biomedical Club, Mu Alpha Theta and Quiz Bowl. He ran cross-country. In his senior year he was the vice-president of JETS and was one of the organizers of the Physics Olympics. Ghideon also served as the online co-editor for his school newspaper, The Sentry, and helped expand the newspaper to the World Wide Web.

Ghideon’s commitment to the community can be seen in the service projects that he does through the National Honor Society and his church. In addition, as a senior Ghideon was chosen along with nine other people to represent his school in a dialogue on race relations in Jackson with a nearby public school. By conversing with people from various backgrounds he learned and tried to affect different opinions on issues of race in the community.

During the summer of his sophomore year, Ghideon attended a rigorous summer enrichment program at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He spent the summer of his junior year at Iowa State University, where he participated in research on cardiac arrest. That inspired him to study biomedical engineering in college, and then attend medical school in order to go back to his country of origin and provide much-needed medical services.

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Immanuel Foster

Immanuel Foster

Hometown: Berkeley, CA

high school: Berkeley HS

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: History

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Law School (2014, JD)

Originally from Berkeley, CA, Immanuel Foster received a bachelor’s degree in History from Harvard in 2008. He worked at Goodwin Procter, LLP in the Case Assistant Program, an employment program for recent college graduates to explore the legal profession before deciding to attend law school. Immanuel graduated with a JD from Harvard Law School in 2014. While at Harvard Law he served as a Student Attorney for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Immanuel joined the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates in 2014. He is a Litigation Associate in the firm’s Boston office.

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Jade Craig

Jade Craig

Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS

high school: Hattiesburg HS

college: University of Virginia

MAJOR: Political and Social Thought

GRAD. PROGRAM: Columbia Law School (2012, JD)

Jade A. Craig is an Associate in the Tampa office of Gordon & Rees and is a member of the Employment Law practice group. His practice focused on representing individual and corporate clients in commercial litigation and handling issues related to labor and employment law. He has represented clients in labor and employment disputes in both state and federal courts, including preparing and arguing dispositive motions that have resulted in settlement or dismissal before trial. He has also represented employers in administrative proceedings, including responding to charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Craig also has experience in intellectual property. He has represented clients in filing trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, handled trademark infringement lawsuits, and advised clients on copyright issues, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Mr. Craig graduated from the University of Virginia and continued his education at Columbia Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Race & Law. Mr. Craig served as a law clerk to the late Hon. Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit and the Hon. Carlton W. Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson. He also served in the Obama Administration as Special Policy Advisor for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the leadership of former Secretary Julián Castro.

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