BSC 2021-2022 Executive Election Platforms

Below you will find the election platforms for all BSC members who are running as executive team candidates. Voting will end Friday, April 23.

Presidential Candidate

Josh West
Picture of Josh West

My name is Josh West and I am a current Junior Computer Science major from Nashville, TN. I believe that the Black STEM Coalition fills a need on Centre’s campus for community, understanding, and support for students of color in STEM. Therefore, I want to continue to expand on what we currently do while finding new avenues to support each other. As the current website developer and podcast producer for BSC, I have enjoyed sharing stories of current members and alumni as I believe it is important to know that there are people like you going through the same thing, who are ready to support you. It has been my great privilege to work closely (and even present at a conference) with current President, Princess Allotey, throughout the formative stages of this organization. I would be honored (and a little intimidated 😉) to continue the work that she, along with the entire executive team, has done this year. As your president, I would strive to approach this position with determination to make a difference, open communication, and integrity through accountability to you all. I would be grateful to serve alongside and work with you as your President.

Vice Presidential Candidates

AJ Howell

My name is Aj Howell. I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and a rising junior at Centre College. I also take part in the New Horizons scholarship program and of course, BSC. I am pleased to inform you that I will be running for the positions of Vice President and Public Relations Officer. In these roles, I will be the person that gets the job done no matter the cost. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who takes on different challenges. I am very passionate about STEM and the opportunities that it will bring to our future Black and minority students. My goal for the Black STEM Coalition is to create a community that fosters support for Black students pursuing a career in STEM. My plan starts with building connections with the Centre alum, starting conversations with our first-year and second-year students, and creating a peer-mentoring network with the students participating in BSC. These are just a few of the ideas that I have for this community, so if this aligns with your aspirations for STEM please vote in favor of me.

Clarence Kilcrease 

Hello BSC members I am Clarence Kilcrease. I am heavily involved with the campus and its students, aside from BSC I am a Bonner Scholar, I coordinate the Centre Service Council, and work with the Centre Esports club. This year I served on the BSC executive team as secretary where I  worked closely with the Treasurer and President on various tasks for our organization. My work alongside them has given me a good perspective on the task and the difficulty of those tasks for each of these roles. Knowing such I am confident that I can fulfill those roles and do my part to continue to grow the BSC organization and carry on the organization that Princess started. 

Sharon Mega

I’m Sharon Mega and I am running for vice president of BSC. I am passionate about making a difference in my community, I love chocolate and I love people. As a member of BSC, I worked closely with current president Princess Allotey, Temi Haastrup, Dean Ellen Goldey and Professor Leonard Demoranville to make the BSC convocation with Dr Iris Wagstaff a success. In addition, I was a co-host on SySTEMic (BSC’s podcast) namely episode 4 with Kalenda Allen James. Furthermore, I enjoyed working in the BSC: CCPD subdivision which shares resources with our close community. Being involved in these activities I realized my passion for improving POC participation in STEM.

When two French doctors suggested that COVID vaccines be tested in Africa. The Director-General of the WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom said “Africa won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine” this is why we need more black people in STEM to be in the big rooms and to be a voice to an underrepresented community. This is why I want to start a peer mentorship program targeted at incoming freshman and sophomores interested in STEM. This will create a support system that will allow POC underclassmen to navigate through Centre and beyond. In addition, implementing bi-annual BSC retreats where we could all get to know one another, discuss pressing topics and share experiences that benefit the community at large.

As vice president, I would like to create a safe space where we can learn from one another and everyone feels like they matter and belong.

BECAUSE WE DO MATTER AND WE DO BELONG!

Secretary Candidates

Selam Van Voorhis 

I am a rising senior majoring in Computer Science. I am from Massachusetts; I was awarded the Posse scholarship to attend Centre. This past semester when BSC was created, I worked as the PR Officer mainly managing the social media. I think this is one of the most important clubs on campus because true diversity is absent in many stem fields, I apricate that it provides a sense of community and resources.  For this next chapter of the organization, I would like to take up the secretary role managing the calendar of events and transcribing the meetings as well as other responsibilities.

Treasurer Candidates

Muchiri Kahwai 

I am Muchiri Kahwai, a freshman and an international student from Mombasa, Kenya intending to pursue a major in Computer Science. On campus, I am involved with the Lincoln Scholars Program and a member of the Centre College Investment Society and the Centre College Japanese Club. Off campus, I am a student leader in ColorStack which is an organization whose mission is to increase the entrance, retention and success of Black, Latinx, and Native American college students in computing. My participation in trying to make the STEM field more diverse made me receive an invitation to the Explore Nomura Freshman and Sophomore Diversity Program. I was one of the 38 students nationwide to receive the invitation. I was also accepted into the Bank of America Career Launchpad Forum- Data Science and Fintech – Global Technology which is part of Bank of America’s strategies to ensure diversity in the workplace. I was also invited to spend an immersive day with the Jefferies Network of Black and Latino Employees (J-NOBLE) which is an organization of diverse employees at Jefferies Bank. 

I am a firm believer that diversity is being invited to a party but inclusion is being asked to choose the music. As a minority member in the STEM field, I have battled with the “I am the only one in class that looks like me” syndrome and through BSC’s treasurer position I would like to be able to change that. Having prior experience working with other minorities in STEM off campus, I would initiate more connections between BSC and national organizations such as The National Society of Black Engineers, Modern Guild, ColorStack and Elivade. I also plan to strike more career related relationships with hiring companies in the Kentucky region so that they can provide BSC exclusive internship and research opportunities. These connections would help members of the BSC build more meaningful connections with recruiters and gain a better understanding of the workplace which is in dire need of more diversity and inclusion. Having prior banking experience, I look forward to scaling up the financial docket of BSC by raising more resources and hopefully by next year introduce our very own BSC scholarship kitty. With all these actions in place, I know we will be in a better position to choose the music in this party. 

Clarence Kilcrease 

Hello BSC members I am Clarence Kilcrease. I am heavily involved with the campus and its students, aside from BSC I am a Bonner Scholar, I coordinate the Centre Service Council, and work with the Centre Esports club. This year I served on the BSC executive team as secretary where I  worked closely with the Treasurer and President on various tasks for our organization. My work alongside them has given me a good perspective on the task and the difficulty of those tasks for each of these roles. Knowing such I am confident that I can fulfill those roles and do my part to continue to grow the BSC organization and carry on the organization that Princess started.

Public Relations Officer (PRO)

Temi Haastrup 

I am a first year student at Centre who was born in NYC, New York, but has lived a majority of my life in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I plan to self-design my major to combine chemistry and environmental sciences. I have been interested in science since I was young and am beyond grateful to feed my curiosity here at Centre College. While I have been surrounded by strong black women in STEM for most of my young adult life, I look back now and realize how much I needed a role model or even a mere example in the fields I wanted to pursue as a child. Being a part of Black Stem Coalition has enabled me to be the person I needed when I was younger. Without any current title, I have helped the President in planning, executing, and hosting “Supporting Researchers in STEM,” co-hosted an episode of SySTEMic, and have been a vocal advocate for this organization among classmates and professors. While I would still be an active member of the group without a definite title, I would love the opportunity to do more as a Public Relations Officer.

AJ Howell

My name is Aj Howell. I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and a rising junior at Centre College. I also take part in the New Horizons scholarship program and of course, BSC. I am pleased to inform you that I will be running for the positions of Vice President and Public Relations Officer. In these roles, I will be the person that gets the job done no matter the cost. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who takes on different challenges. I am very passionate about STEM and the opportunities that it will bring to our future Black and minority students. My goal for the Black STEM Coalition is to create a community that fosters support for Black students pursuing a career in STEM. My plan starts with building connections with the Centre alum, starting conversations with our first-year and second-year students, and creating a peer-mentoring network with the students participating in BSC. These are just a few of the ideas that I have for this community, so if this aligns with your aspirations for STEM please vote in favor of me.

Sharon Mega

Through the Public Relations Officer position of BSC, I would love to serve the BSC community by making sure that we are appropriately represented in Centre college and beyond. I would also like to collaboratively work along with each and every talented Executive and member towards creating a safe space where we can learn from one another and where everyone feels like they matter and belong.

BECAUSE WE DO MATTER AND WE DO BELONG! VOTE SHARON MEGA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s