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New Leaders Council

2011 Fellows

Katherine Womack, Development Coordinator, Teach For America

Katherine currently serves as Development Coordinator for Teach For America-Greater New Orleans. In this capacity, Katherine has developed internal operations systems which manage day-to-day fundraising activities. These systems have supported increasing fiscal goals from $8.3 million to $9.3 million, helping the region to grow from 200 to almost 500 teachers. With nearly 1,000 teachers and alumni working across 6 districts and in over 70 independently run district and charter schools, corps members and alumni currently impact 1 in every 3 students in the region. A native of Houston, Texas, Katherine began her career in education as a Greater New Orleans corps member, teaching fourth grade at George Cox Elementary in Jefferson Parish. In each of her two years in the classroom, her students each demonstrated 1.5-2 years growth in English Language Arts. At the conclusion of her 2nd year of teaching, her students were working towards making their school eco-friendly by collecting all teachers’ reusable and recyclable products. Katherine holds a B.A. from Hendrix College with a concentration in psychology. While at Hendrix, she played on the collegiate softball team earning the Carl Babcock Award for Leadership in Athletics as well as first team all-conference.

Tinicia Turner, Enrollment Advisor, University of Phoenix

Tinicia TurnerTinicia Turner is currently an enrollment advisor at the University of Phoenix, where she also serves as the University’s liaison for Pi Sigma Epsilon business fraternity. Prior to joining the University of Phoenix, she spent several years working for non-profit organizations. Formerly she was employed as a consultant for New Beginnings Community Development Corp, worked at the Louisiana Road Home and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana. Tinicia graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelors of science degree in criminal justice and a minor in political science. She recently received a master’s degree in public administration from Southern University’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She is the current vice-chair for the East Baton Rouge Young Democrats and a member of the Young Democrats of Louisiana. She is also the past president of the Southern University Masters of Public Administration Association (SUMPAA), former AmeriCorps member, a member of the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge and the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA). Tinicia is a native of Louisiana and a resident of Baton Rouge. She is a small business owner and anticipates entering law school in the Fall of 2011.

Lisa Tomkies, Education Program Director, Boys and Girls Club of Shreveport

Lisa Trenell TomkiesLisa Trenell Tomkies currently serves as the Education Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Shreveport native is a 1989 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in broadcast communication. Lisa has been employed as a reporter; a columnist; a journalism and English high school teacher; an on-air personality and producer at several radio stations; the promotions coordinator for a television station; a Public Relations director for an area college; and, most recently, she has worked in membership and education in the non-profit area. Lisa believes it is important to give back, and she volunteers with the Northwest Louisiana Susan G. Komen affiliate; the Shreveport American Cancer Society affiliate; and the Hal Sutton Children's Hospital Women's Council. She is an active member the Sigma Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority where is currently on the executive board. She is also an active member of the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church where she is a member of the media and technology ministry. Recently, Lisa has become more politically involved and worked on the local mayor's campaign for two terms; Shreveport for Obama; and other regional and statewide campaigns.

Trang Tieu, Director of Community Development, New Orleans City Council

Trang T.K. TieuTrang T.K. Tieu, a native of New Orleans, is a professional engineer who is presently the Director of Community Development for the New Orleans City Council President & Councilmember At-Large Arnie D. Fielkow. She represents the Councilmember at meetings and events throughout the city on a daily basis. She is responsible for advising and responding to the community and constituency groups in New Orleans and often facilitating regional matters. Outside of her full-time job, she is preparing to rejoin the United States Navy Reserve as a Seabee Officer. Previously as an engineer, she has worked on the design and construction of several high profile projects in the major sporting industry. Trang holds degrees in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, Business from Blinn College and is currently a student in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of New Orleans. Her professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Project Management Institute, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Planning Association, and a charter member of the National Language Service Corps.

Lauren Stuart, Research Associate, LSU Center for Energy Studies

Lauren StuartLauren Stuart is a Research & Policy Associate at the LSU Center for Energy Studies as well as the Coordinator for the Greater Baton Rouge Clean Cities Coalition. She works with policy issues related to the environment and labor specifically including greenhouse gas emissions, alternative fuels, green jobs, air quality, and transportation system optimization. Ms. Stuart discovered her interest in public administration through an internship with the Capitol Region Planning Commission while studying economics at Louisiana State University. She has since presented research through the International Energy Economics Association.As a student, Lauren founded the Environmental Conservation Organization at LSU and served as President for three years. In this role, she organized the annual campus Earth Week festivities, the Gold Bike Program, implementation of Easy Streets, and the creation of the Campus Sustainability Committee.Since graduation, Lauren has become involved with the Baton Rouge Progressive Network, Louisiana Progress, and the Youth Alliance of Louisiana Leaders. In her spare time, she coordinates a neighborhood organic garden, rides her road bike or cruiser, and peruses art galleries with friends. During holidays, she visits family in her home state of Colorado.

Ronald Rodgers, Corporate Education Liaison, University of Phoenix

Ronald RodgersAs a strong Christian, Ronald believes that the foundation of Christianity is serving people; therefore, service is not what he does, but it's who he is. Ronald is a Corporate Education Liaison at the University of Phoenix in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he works with various organizations in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas by aiding with strategic planning and human capital development. Ronald is a huge proponent of personal empowerment through the power of higher education, both traditional and non-traditional. He received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Management and a MBA from the University of Phoenix. He also received a Masters of Public Administration from Louisiana State University with a double concentration in Human Resources Management and Economic Analysis. As a graduate student at LSU, he served as the President of the Public Administration Institute Student Association. He was also honored in recognition of his outstanding leadership while serving as President of that organization. Ronald is a native of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and currently serves on the Baton Rouge Area Chamber Education Issue Council, volunteers at Istrouma High School helping students with college preparation and strategic planning, and ministers at Jetson Correctional Center for the Youth.

Eva Kemp-Melder, Literacy Coach, Jackson Elementary, East Feliciana Parish School District.

Eva Kemp-Elder Eva is a native of Hammond, Louisiana. She attended Louisiana State University, attaining a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in Political Science. Throughout her time at LSU, Eva served on the executive board of Pi Beta Phi, the Greek Board of Directors and as a Teach for America Campus Campaign Manager. She also interned in Washington, D.C. for Senator Mary Landrieu. After graduating from LSU, she became a Teach For America Corps Member in Baton Rouge where she taught fourth grade at North Highlands Elementary and Scotlandville Elementary. Currently, she works as the Literacy Coach at Jackson Elementary in East Feliciana Parish and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at LSU. Recently, Eva was a candidate for the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. She is a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church. Eva is also fortunate enough to give some of her time back to Baton Rouge through organizations such as the Mid City Dance Project, Race for the Cure, Yelp!BR, and Teach For America. She and her husband Josh Melder live in Perkins Rowe.

Jerry Jones, Project Coordinator, The Central Louisiana Business Incubator

Jerry currently serves as the Project Coordinator for the Central Louisiana Business Incubator. In this role, he assists clients with building stronger, more resilient local businesses to create more jobs and build a better regional economy. The 27-year old resides in Alexandria, LA, and is a recent graduate of Southern University and A&M College at Baton Rouge. While at Southern, Jerry received the Pelican Award from the 2008 Student Government Association for unwavering dedication to the university. He worked tirelessly as an advocate for not only Southern but higher education in general across the State of Louisiana. Jerry believes in using innovation to address past issues and prepare for the future. As a progressive Democrat, he looks forward to a career in politics, he remembers the words of Albert Einstein: "The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.

Joshua Harris, Louisiana State Director, Organizing for America

Joshua HarrisCurrently, Joshua is the Louisiana State Director with Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee. His work with Organizing for America includes managing field staff, developing and training volunteer leaders, building relationships with organizations and political leaders, and educating the community on issues. He began with Organizing for America as an intern in early 2009. In 2010, Joshua worked on campaigns to pass health reform, student loan reform, Wall Street reform, Cedric Richmond for Congress, and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," to name a few. Joshua previously worked for the Department of Justice as an administrative clerk assisting Assistant United States Attorneys. Joshua graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Originally from Houston, Texas, Joshua moved to New Orleans in 2006 where he married his college sweetheart and recently saw the birth of their first son. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys reading and practicing Krav Maga, an Israeli hand-to-hand combat system. He hopes to earn his black belt in the next couple of years.

Jared Evans, Land Acquisitions Law Clerk, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Jared currently works as a land acquisitions law clerk for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and is dedicated primarily to the Land Acquisitions and Conservation Program. Jared has clerked for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in both Baton Rouge and Washington, DC. He is also a former assistant to the Chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, Louisiana State Representative Rick Gallot. He is a cum laude graduate of Grambling State University where he served as Senior Class President for the Class of 2009 and completed his degree in three years. A native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Jared is currently a second-year law student at Southern University Law Center, where he serves as an editor of the Journal of Race, Gender, and Poverty, co-chair of the recruitment committee, and as a class representative in the Student Bar Association.
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