Contributing Authors

Contributors include Colin Powell Center fellows, alumni and staff, as well as our community partners.
Salma-Asous_1Salma Asous, a 2012-2013 Partners for Change fellow, is also a student at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. Her goal is to become a physician who best serves her community by understanding the people who comprise it. Salma also has assisted with laboratory research and volunteered at Harlem Hospital.

diahann-billings-burford-nyc-service-colin-powell-center-learning-headDiahann Billings-Burford is Chief Service Officer for the City of New York, heading NYC Service, a division of the Mayor’s Office with the mission of tapping the power of the people to meet pressing challenges. Since its inception in April of 2009, NYC Service has engaged over 1.3 million New Yorkers in a wide range of volunteer activities, from beautifying  neighborhood blocks, to providing tax assistance to low-income families, to volunteering to teach fitness classes at City recreation centers, to coating rooftops with reflective white paint to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Diahann is a very proud Brooklyn native and currently lives there with her husband and their two children.

Vince BoudreauVince Boudreau is director of the Colin Powell Center. Dr. Boudreau is a professor of political science at the City College of New York and a member of the City University of New York graduate faculty. A specialist in the politics of social movements, particularly in Southeast Asia, his latest book is Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press). Dr. Boudreau’s current research investigates the relationship between civil society, social movements, and democratization processes in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Michael Busch, Colin Powell Center program coordinator for the Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Public ServiceMichael Busch is program coordinator at the Powell Center, and teaches in the departments of political science and international studies at the City University of New York. He writes about and researches international relations, though in truth most of his spare time gets lost in Yankee Stadium and random dessert shops throughout New York City.  Follow him on Twitter at @michaelkbusch.

Katherine ChoKatherine Cho is program coordinator at the Powell Center. Her work focuses on student development and civic engagement, especially within the context of service-learning and linking students’ academic learning to partner with community needs. Outside of work, she enjoys being a mural artist and eating cheap, delicious food. Recommendations are always welcomed.

ezra christopher colin powell center leadership new york lifeEzra Christopher holds a Master’s degree in public administration from City College. As a New York Life graduate fellow, she researched the impact of the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program. Ezra has interned at Public Citizen, a public interest organization. She has hopes of establishing a nonprofit organization that helps young immigrants gain access to scholarship opportunities and adjust to unfamiliar educational systems. In her native Antigua, Ezra worked as a reporter, covering parliamentary sessions and related political news.

Maura Christopher is director of publications at the Colin Powell Center. She works in partnership with CCNY communications to promote and market Center programs, events, and activities. She also oversees and produces content for the Center’s website, social media outlets, and print materials. In her spare time, she likes to swim, play tennis, and test new recipes.

alex daviesAlex Davies is the former communications coordinator at the Colin Powell Center. He is now with, where he is focused on transportation-related issues.  Alex also works as a freelance writer. Follow him on Twitter

colin powellColin Dixon is the program coordinator for student leadership at the Colin Powell Center. He develops and implements professional development workshops and career services for the Center’s undergraduate, graduate, and alumni populations.  His interests include education, communication, and technology. He is less interested in noting the similarity between his name and General Powell’s name.

Arielle_Elmaleh-SachsArielle Elmaleh-Sachs is a fourth-year student at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and a second-year Colin Powell fellow. She is passionate about social action, women’s health, and HIV education and prevention.  She hopes to emulate her heroes Kofi Annan, Paul Farmer, and Nelson Mandela.  In her free time, she is a gourmet cook and a beginner ballet dancer.

Shira Eve Epstein entered the field of education as a middle school Shira Eve Epstein584teacher in New York City and has since worked in various middle and high schools in the city supporting teachers in their work. She joined CCNY’s School of Education in the fall of 2008. She teaches graduate and undergraduate English education courses in teaching methods, curriculum design, and literacy development. In her research, she explores different forms of civic education and how teachers and students address social problems during the school day.

Sergio Galeano is a senior pursuing a double major in political science and economics. At CCNY, Sergio is interested in furthering his knowledge of the strengths and flaws of the current political and economic climate. Ultimately, he wishes to be an active agent in finding better means and solutions for the distribution of today’s resources both domestically and internationally.

don gomez colin powell center leadership ccnyDon Gomez is a former Colin Powell Leadership fellow (2008-2010). Since graduating, he has received an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and recently commissioned in the US Army as a Second Lieutenant. He has enrolled in Ranger School, an intensive, two month combat leadership course.

Sophie Gray, Partners for Change Program CoordinatorSophie Gray is program coordinator for the Partners for Change Fellowship at the Colin Powell Center. As program coordinator of the Center’s newest fellowship, she manages the program’s numerous moving parts, including instructing the fellows’ weekly seminar and building relationships with key community partners. In her free time, Sophie enjoys reading, being outdoors, cooking, traveling, and doing pretty much anything outdoors in warm, sunny weather!

Simone Gordon, a native of Jamaica, is pursing a childhood education major with a minor in Social Studies. Simone has developed a strong interest in public service and policy, both through an internship with Jumpstart, where she helps preschoolers develop school readiness and as a senator in CCNY’s Undergraduate Student Government.

kanene_cropKanene Holder, a native of Harlem, is an award-winning educator, activist, and artist dedicated to engaging audiences in dialogue on race, class and gender. Holder, a graduate New York Life fellow at the Center (2007–2008), has presented her new initiative, the American Justice Missing in Action Project, at various venues including NYCORE, New York Mission Society, and Rebuild the Dream. Follow her on Twitter @ajmia1776 (American Justice Missing in Action).

whitley jackson ccny colin powell center partners change
Whitley Jackson
, is a psychology major and English minor at City College. She aspires to be a linchpin in society by inspiring self-growth and knowledge in others, and working on the issue of college access. Whitley is a founding member of CCNY Cares, a club whose members work to improve their communities through volunteer work. She embraces the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

mohamed jallo colin powell center sierra leone

Mohamed Jallow is a former Colin Powell fellow (2008/2009), and is currently a Program Development Specialist at IntraHealth International, an organization that empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. Until a few months ago, he was a program associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, and occasionally writes for the Africa in Transition blog on political and economic developments across Africa. Mohamed came to the United States as a refugee from Sierra Leone in 2003.

ccny colin powell center blog

Elizabeth Kelman is majoring in global health at the Macaulay Honors College at City College. She is passionate about food justice as it relates to health and environmental issues. She is president of the City Agriculture Network (which runs a community garden on 141st Street), and was co-coordinator of the CCNY Honors peer mentoring program. Elizabeth is a Jeannette K Watson Fellow, a William R. Kenan Leadership Scholar and is enrolled in the CUNY BACCALAUREATE for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies.

150x150Amanda Krupman is the Communications Coordinator for the Colin Powell Center. She manages the Neighborhoods and Nations blog and provides content and production support for the Center’s print, web, and social media.

Beau Lancaster is a second-year Colin Powell leadership fellow majoring in political science and minoring in history.  He has a passion for the humanities, politics, history and ensuring justice and equality in the world.  He hopes one day to have a career in public service.

Yoo Jin Lee graduated from The Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service and the City College of New York in 2012. In her Capstone Project, she explored public policy regarding hydraulic fracturing with three other fellows. She is an aspiring architectural designer in New York, with an interest in research and multi-disciplinary aspect of architecture.

emie lomba colin powell center fellowship ccnyEmie Lomba is a former Colin Powell Leadership fellow (2010-2012). Focusing on the disparity between urban and rural areas, and the effect that gender, culture and ethnicity have on African and Asian education, Emie hopes to impact the development and support of rural education worldwide. She plans to open a non-profit in Gabon focusing on academics, particularly for students in rural communities, and women empowerment in education.

Mary Lutz. Photo by Sirin SammanMary Lutz is a full-time lecturer with CCNY’s Center for Worker Education, who also has worked with numerous social service agencies in New York City. Her research interests focus on social welfare and health-services including child welfare, medically underserved areas, incarceration, clinical depression, substance abuse, AIDS, unemployment, immigration, and complementary medicine.

Paola Martinez

Paola Martinez is pursuing a major in political science at City College. Her concentration is law and public policy. Her interests are education, community development, and international relations. In addition to being a fellow at the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Public Service, she is currently a legislative and public policy intern for City Council Representative Gale Brewer.

Jamiela McDonnough, the youngest child of Jamaican immigrants, is a senior majoring in Biology with a minor in Studio Art. She has long had a passion for serving others and knew since age 6 that she wanted to become a physician. Her leadership skills and commitment to service have led her to participate community service initiatives and to travel to Huancayo, Peru, to work with an under-served clinic and with economically disadvantaged children. Through her time as a Health Justice fellow with the Partners for Change program, Jamiela has cultivated a passion for health equity and plans to pursue the field by molding a career that incorporates both advocacy and medicine.

Wanda-Mercado, administrative director, Colin-Powell-Center. Photo by Juliana Thomas.Wanda Mercado, administrative director of the Center, began her career by working in broadcast, first as a junior assistant and eventually as one of the top sales account executives for one of New York’s premier radio stations. She made the transition from broadcast to academia in 2004. At the Colin Powell Center, Mercado oversees administrative activities and events, and works closely with her colleagues on management issues.

Dee Dee Mozeleski, Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service, Director of DevelopmentDee Dee Mozeleski is the Director of Development for the Colin Powell Center and came to the Center with 20 years of fundraising experience, managing fundraising campaigns for some of the largest nonprofits in New York City. A native San Diegan, she still considers anything below 75 degrees “chilly” but does manage to run at least three days a week, even in the middle of winter. In her free time she enjoys training for triathlons, writing, and texting with her daughter who is away at college in Pennsylvania.

michelle-muita colin powell center ccnyMichelle Muita is a former New York Life undergraduate scholar (2009-2011). Born in Kenya, she has lived in the Sudan, the Netherlands, Israel, and Tanzania. Michelle has interned for the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Mercy Corps, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in international affairs and policy studies from City College. She currently lives and works in the Horn of Africa.

rebecca-moore-ccny-colin-powell-center partners change fellowRebecca Moore is a senior in the Honors Program at City College, pursuing majors in biology and history. A Partners for Change fellow, Rebecca has worked in a kidney genetics and development laboratory at Columbia University and this summer is participating in a Research Experience for an Undergraduate at Montana State University studying molecular biology and biochemistry.  She hopes to attain a Ph.D. and eventually run her own research laboratory. Rebecca’s goal is to expose and address health issues in under-represented communities with the aid of community and governmental action.

ratnershotfinalBefore joining the CCNY School of Education in 2004, Andrew Ratner taught English and civics, supervised teachers, designed curriculum, and managed school-wide assessment and reporting of academic performance at public schools in New York, New Orleans, and Newark. He currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in reading and writing instruction, educational research, and supervises teaching candidates during their student-teaching semester. His research agenda focuses on literacy instruction across the content areas and reform in teacher preparation for urban schools.

Genéa Stewart is the Center's Director of Service Learning.Genéa Stewart is director of service-learning and civic engagement at the Colin Powell Center. She serves as the chair of the New York Metro Area Partnership for Service-Learning and assists faculty at City College with developing sustainable community-campus partnerships. She enjoys completing interior design projects in her Brooklyn apartment and has a snuggly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy named Meeko who carries out his civic duties by bringing a little sunshine to her neighborhood with each shake of his tail.

Nisha Tabassum is a native of Bangladesh who is pursuing a major in international studies with a concentration in development. She has developed a strong interest in youth advocacy issues, primarily concerning inner city youth through volunteering extensively with the All Stars Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring enriching after school programs to inner city youth. Nisha is also very active in campus student life; she works as a college assistant for the Office of Student Life and Leadership Development and is involved in several student committees, such as SLAPC, Lavender Week Committee, and the International Studies club.