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Academy Fellows

The following individuals have completed all the requirements of the Fellow program and have been awarded the Fellow Medallion recognizing their distinguished leadership in community engagement.


2012 Fellows


Destiny Dike
Destiny Dike
Hometown: Spring, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: Pre-business
Civic Engagement Project: Mentoring Program Development, McLennan County Juvenile Detention Center

The McLennan County Juvenile Detention Center began its mentoring program in the mid 2000s. MCJDC recruits volunteers and mentors to work with juveniles who are detained, on probation, and/or in and out of the detention facility. These volunteers meet with youth at least once a month in an effort to enhance the youth's self-esteem, encourage positive behavior and attitude and improve the youth's outlook on education. However, historically MCJDC has had difficulty connecting with and tapping into the resource that is the Baylor University community. Destiny's project aimed to reinforce the relationship between MCJDC and Baylor University entities, as well as recruit 25 new Baylor University mentors.


Allen Haas
Allen Haas
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: Management
Civic Engagement Project: Disaster Preparedness Research, McLennan County Office of Emergency Management

Through his Fellows project, Allen has begun to research two distinguishing events in emergency management at the federal level to understand the role of emergency management professionals in the community and within the agencies they work for. In doing so, he has started a case study between hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Irene (2011) and also served at the Office of Emergency Management for McLennan County, housed in Waco, TX. He has studied the multiple agencies that network with one another and also the chain-of-command that is used to respond in the event of a local, state, or national emergency. His goal is to focus on improving the coordination of services among agencies, churches, and groups assisting with disaster relief.


Caitlyn Land
Farrah Khoja
Hometown: Cedar Park, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: Neuroscience/ Pre-Med
Civic Engagement Project: Early Childhood Intervention Research, Talitha Koum Institute

Throughout high school Farrah enjoyed working with young children and from her experiences volunteering at local elementary schools, and she learned that too many children were falling behind even in the first grade. This led her to work with the early childhood development center here in Waco called Talitha Koum. This organization works to improve outcomes for at risk children and their families. For her project she was looking to answer whether or not the use of new sensory materials altered aggression levels in the class. She collected data before and after the implementation of sensory materials in each classroom and the data concluded that the use of sensory materials for at least six months showed a drastic reduction in aggressive behaviors. With this data Talitha Koum will hopefully be able to continue funding for their intervention programs.


Caitlyn Land
Caitlyn Land
Hometown: University Place, WA
Class of: 2012
Major: Biochemistry/ Pre-Med
Civic Engagement Project: Dental Care Coordination, Family Health Center/ The Smiles Foundation

Caitlyn partnered with the Family Health Center in order to develop and implement a community service project that focused on serving those individuals in need of dental care, who are unable to afford it. After witnessing how many individuals were in need of dental care, Caitlyn sought out local dentists, hygienists and other individuals who would be willing to help create a service project that would provide needy individuals with more frequent and sustainable dental care. After contacting many individuals Caitlyn partnered with a local dentist at the Family Health Center to bring this project concept into fruition.

I believe that individuals who are in need of dental care should not have to wait one year or even longer, or even forgo the oral health care they need to receive merely because the family economy is such that they are unable to afford the price of an office visit or procedure.


Ashleigh Myers
Ashleigh Myers
Hometown: Munday, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: International Studies, Environmental Studies
Civic Engagement Project: Program Development, World Hunger Farm

Through a partnership with World Hunger Relief, Inc., Ashleigh's civic engagement project was structured around the coordination and implementation of a three-tier series of improvement and outreach goals - recruitment of interns, promotion of their fair trade venue The Village Store, and increased involvement & support from Baylor University. As the project progressed, she also took on the marketing role for the first annual Ride for Relief, a cross-Texas fundraising bike ride, that has now become a mainstay for the agency.


Caitlyn Land
Jasmine Nkrumah
Hometown: Sugar Land, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: Nurtrition Sciences
Civic Engagement Project: Curriculum & Program Development, Kwame Nkrumah University Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

Jasmine's civic engagement project included assisting in the development of the Academy's global partnership, "Leadership in Ghana 2012". Jasmine, in collaboration with Dr. Fred Yaw Bio, her mentor Ramona Curtis, and 2011 Fellow, Monica Patel, established the Academy's first global partnership with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Students will be going to Ghana in the summer of 2012 and will be working at the University hospital. This trip will give the students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in health care and build connections that will last a lifetime. I am more than pleased to see my dream of civic engagement stretching across oceans.


Christin Wilkins
Christin Wilkins
Hometown: Lake Dallas, TX
Class of: 2012
Major: Health Science Studies, Pre-PA
Civic Engagement Project: Nutrition & Diabetic Education, Family Health Center

Christin volunteered at the West Waco Community Clinic where she worked with a Physician's Assistant to educate and counsel diabetic patients. Through her project, she was able to encourage patients to live healthier lives, teach them what to eat and what not to eat, and follow-up with them over the phone about how they had improved. This project further broadened her mind and heart for serving others. Leading and being engaged in one's community is more than attending meetings or events; it focuses on serving others. A person must lead by example by meeting and loving people and encouraging others toward a brighter future. I have placed even more importance in my heart on treating the people I serve with dignity, respect, and love because I receive the same from the ultimate servant, my Lord, Jesus Christ.



2011 Fellows


Prince Adotama Prince Adotama
Hometown: Houston, TX
Class of:2011
Major: Biology/Pre-Med/Pre-Health Care
Community Partner: J.H. Hines Elementary School



Kristin Boxleitner Kristin Boxleitner
Hometown: Fulshear, TX
Class of:2011
Major: Spanish Education
Community Partner: J.H. Hines Elementary School



Steven Diedrich Steven Diedrich
Hometown: Lorena, TX
Class of:2011
Major: University Scholars
Community Partner: Mountainview Elementary School

"I know that working hard and being ambitious is good, but I also believe that it is valuable as a means of living, not a meaning to life. I believe that I should pour into people, not organizations or jobs. Everyone I meet needs to be seen as a person, a living person created and loved by the Living God. I believe that is what I am called to do as well, love people."

Clayton Dorsa Clayton Dorsa
Hometown: Spring, TX
Class of:2011
Major: Biochemistry
Community Partner: Hillcrest Medical Center



Sam Han Sam Han
Hometown: Carollton, TX
Class of:2011
Major: Biology
Community Partner: Brazos Health Education Clinic

"As a Korean American, I believe I have been called to live as a living sacrifice.... God's mercy and grace has been ever present in my own life. It challenges me to live for a greater purpose beyond myself and look to the needs of other people and communities."

Monica Patel Monica Patel
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Class of:2011
Major: Neuroscience
Community Partner: Global Missions

"I am forever moved by the poverty I saw and the suffering of the homeless in my very own country [India]. Since my journey, I look back and realize how fortunate I am to have all the things I have. I truly believe in cherishing every moment of life, taking advantage of every opportunity given, and most importantly giving back to those who are less fortunate than I am."

Evan Weppler Saralyn Salisbury
Hometown: Cypress, TX
Class of:2011
Major: International Studies/Pre-Law
Community Partner: Urban Missions



Brandon Wold Brandon Wold
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Class of:2011
Major: Neuroscience
Community Partner: J.H. Hines Elementary School

"Since so many people have given so much to me, I decided to dedicate my life to serving others. I have been involved in several mentoring and service projects throughout high school and college. As I embark on my new career, I look forward to using medicine to serve the world."

2010 Fellows


Patricia Martinez
Patricia Martinez
Hometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico
Class of: 2010
Major: Biology, Pre-Medical
Community Partner: J.H. Hines Elementary School




Martha Ayewah
Martha Ayewah
Hometown: Shell, Nigeria
Class of: 2010
Major: Biology
Community Partner:




2009 Fellows


Ben Collins
Ben Collins
Hometown: Yukon, Oklahoma
Class of: 2009
Major: Pre-Medicine
Community Partner: Family Health Center of Waco
"My mission is to show God's love through actively engaging others in service."



Yazmin Mancilla
Yazmin Mancilla
Hometown: Tyler, Texas
Class of: 2009
Major: Political Science
Community Partner: Community Race Relations Coalition
"Through hard work and perserverance, there are no limits in what one can do and accomplish. I believe that if you put your mind to anything in life, one can reach for the stars."



Matt Pierce
Matthew Pierce
Hometown:The Woodlands, Texas
Class of: 2009
Major: Finance
Community Partner: Doris Miller YMCA
"It has become my mission in life to impact others with Christ-like living and charity, providing an example of good morals and true virtue. I choose to work through my Career, Faith, Family and my Friendships to provide maximum inspiration to my community and the impact to change the world."



2008 Fellows


Nekpen Osuan
Nekpen Osuan
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Class of: 2008
Major: University Scholar/Pre-Law
Community Partner:City of Waco Homelessness Initiative
Nekpen in the News
"My personal mission is to continue to live a life that exemplifies the change I wish to see in the world as the great Mahatma Gandhi challenges all to do. In saying this, I have asked myself: What are the changes I wish to see in the world? To this, I answer that I want others to be more compassionate and less self-serving as Christ willingly was. Also I ask myself: What is it that I stand for? To this, I say an unapologetic Christian tradition which expresses compassion and calls each to a life of servitude in some capacity. Another question I ask myself daily is: What can I do today that can promote the Lord's promise of blessings for all? To this question, I wake up each day with a chance to do more. So far in my life, I only know two things that point to the answer and the first is that there is a big difference between being intelligent and being smart. I believe that the Lord asks that we be intelligent and then seek knowledge because intelligent people are motivators. I want to motivate others throughout my lifetime of learning. Second, I have come to know with great certainty that the Holy Spirit is the most awesome gift from God. The Holy Spirit has led me to places others have often told me were unreachable and for this I always remember to do good to give God thanks and praise and testify of his promises fulfilled."



Parker Short
Parker Short
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Class of: 2009
Major: International Business/ Entrepreneurship
Community Partner: Waco Habitat for Humanity
"My mission is to exemplify god in all that I do and to experience God any way that I can; whether it be helping those less fortunate, reading something profound, watching an inspiring movie, or taking a moment to consider how amazing God's creation is."