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Meet the Students – Cohort 2

Vida Alimi

Vida Alimi is the founder of a Washington, D.C. based tech startup, a global web platform that brings together professionals in the beauty and fashion industry. While pursuing a B.A. in Global Affairs with a concentration in Media, Culture & Technology at George Mason University, Vida discovered her passion in the uprising of globalization in the technological realm. She has more than 12 years of experience in various fields that include retail, charitable works, defense contracting and entrepreneurship which has given her the ability to become consistently cross-trained over the years in diverse positions such as sales, management, business development, training, marketing, and events amongst others. Vida believes the many distinct set of skills she has acquired over the years have truly built her into the perfect entrepreneur and strives to improve the culture of communication in the fashion tech world.

Fayola Christie

Fayola Christie is a front-end designer with over six years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from The Art Institute of Atlanta and a second BFA in web design and interactive media from The Art Institute of Washington. During her career she has worked as a consultant and brand manager for a couple start-up companies to help provide innovative design concepts to improve their businesses visually. Currently she works as a sub contractor at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is passionate about developing her own media start-up company.

Amber Coleman-Mortley

Amber Coleman-Mortley is the co-Executive Director of the I am NATION: Athletes Competing with Purpose Campaign; whose mission is to foster volunteerism and partner student-athletes with nonprofit causes they care about. For the past nine years, Amber worked for Sidwell Friends School as head coach of the volleyball and girls track and field programs. She attended Oberlin College where she was a decorated varsity athlete in volleyball, basketball and track and field for four years. She attributes much of her passion for teaching and service through athletics to her rigorous academic experience at Oberlin. She is currently a board member of the Heisman Club- the alumni athletic association for Oberlin College. Amber believes that fostering passion within today’s youth is a key component to building a stronger tomorrow.

Rachael Daigle

Rachael Daigle

Rachael Daigle spent a decade working in in the alternative newsweekly world in Boise, Idaho, before moving to Washington, D.C., where she now works at Bloomberg BNA as an editor. She was editor-in-chief at Boise Weekly, where she transitioned the weekly newspaper into a daily, multi-media news outlet. She served on the board of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia as the Editorial Chair and continues to work with the association as a contractor. Throughout her career she's been published in Food Network Magazine, Viva Travel Guides, Idaho Arts Quarterly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Boise Weekly. In her spare time she helps friends and colleagues edit their books, rewrite their website copy, and concoct start up ideas.

Nicole Davies

Nicole Davies is the communications specialist for American University's University College program and the founder and director of Get It Called, a website working to bring the U.S. synchronized skating community together on one interface. She has developed and managed numerous digital brands in higher education, non-profit, and athletic markets. Nicole designed and teaches a summer workshop in social media for high school students as part of the Discover the World of Communication program. She received her B.A. in Public Communication and Spanish from American University.

Michelle Doyle

Michelle Doyle is Assistant Director of Admissions at American University, managing undergraduate admissions for the Kogod School of Business. Michelle has focused on advancing digital media and communications to enhance university outreach, and is interested in developing specialized applications for institutions of higher education to better meet the needs of students and families.

Tamara Grigoryeva

Tamara Grigoryeva, a native of Baku, Azerbaijan is a journalist and researcher with a focus on the Eurasia region. She has worked as a reporter for various Azerbaijani and international media outlets, with a primary focus on foreign affairs, gender equality, human rights, religious extremism and energy security. She has lived and worked in Azerbaijan, Finland and the United States. Tamara received a BA in journalism from Baku State University. For the past four years she has worked as a technical editor and researcher specializing in Central Asia and the Pak-Afghan region for one of Defense Department contractors. She is passionate about foreign politics, human rights, gender equality, women entrepreneurship, rights of the disabled and religious freedoms.

Evan Levent

Evan is an Art Director experienced in interactive development, print design, motion-based design and creative direction. A professional who has applied the creative tech-savvy skill-set of design thinking, communication and execution into a career focused on mass, personal and social interaction. Evan has worked with design and development teams in ad agencies, interactive agencies, design shops, television media departments, client-side marketing departments and web development companies. He currently works for the advertising agency MDB Communications in downtown Washington, DC.

SOC Kelsey Owens 2

Kelsey Owen

Kelsey Owen is the communications and marketing coordinator for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for more than 100 Better Business Bureaus across the U.S. and Canada. Kelsey manages BBB’s national social media presence and works strategically to meld BBB’s traditional media and social media initiatives. With a focus on content and placement, Kelsey stays on top of the latest digital trends and implements all social media and content development strategies accordingly. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Denison University in economics and communication, class of 2010, and expects to graduate with her Master’s in Media Entrepreneurship degree in May 2015.

Hillary Reed

Hillary Reed is an IT consultant for Total Resource Management, an IBM Premier Business Partner, which offers asset and service management using the software Maximo. She previously worked at the Department of State as a Maximo contractor. Reed's professional experience includes environmental litigation consulting, real estate marketing, and assisting with legislative material. She is interested in digital journalism, social media and politics. She’s an avid follower of the start-up community in DC, where she was born and raised. Reed has a B.A. from University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs, with a minor in Media Studies.

SOC MAME student Katie Sheppard

Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard is a senior reporter and the environment and energy editor at Huffington Post. She previously reported for Mother Jones, Grist, and the American Prospect. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times' Room for Debate blog, the Guardian, Foreign PolicyHigh Country News, The Center for Public Integrity, In These Times, and Bitch. She also appears regularly on MSNBC and other television and radio programs to discuss her work. Her reporting has been recognized with awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Online News Association, and Planned Parenthood.

Mayena Yonoszai

Mayena is a Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist for Siemens Government Technologies in Washington, DC, where she focuses on internal communications and content development, as well as marketing support. At Siemens, she is able to combine her passion for writing with the exciting world of emerging technologies. Prior to joining the Washington DC office, Mayena was the Country Director of Communications for Siemens in Qatar, where she spent two years leading public relations, marketing, internal communications and CSR initiatives. She also spent five years in Dubai, UAE working for the Dubai International Financial Center and Dubai Holding as the Corporate Communications Manager. Mayena began her career at America Online as a member of the National Editorial team for AOL CityGuide. Her journey has taken her from online media, to developing countries and now working within the US Federal market. Mayena received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations & Government from the George Mason University.