Meet the 2016 Kansas Participants!

We are so thrilled to welcome our third class of Kansas participants to the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute! This stellar group will work right alongside our international participants this summer for a transformative six weeks. Learn more about each of them below.

Alor, JulianaJuliana Alor

University of Kansas
Double major in Psychology and Sociology
Lawrence, KS

My name is Juliana Alor and I am a senior at the University of Kansas studying psychology and sociology. I was born in Mexico but my family and I moved to Lawrence in 2002, and have called Lawrence my home for almost 14 years. At KU, I am involved with HALO (Hispanic American Leadership Organization), and the Center for Community Outreach’s Project Bridge as a volunteer. Project Bridge is an ESL program that helps bridge the gap for English language learners. I have a semester left to graduate and will be graduating this December. I will be the first one in my family to complete education in the United States. After graduation, I want to apply to graduate school to a social work program. Later in life, I would like to work with immigrant families and would especially love to focus on immigrant students who want to enter higher education. I wanted to participate in KWLI because I want to work on my leadership skills. I also wanted to get to know about myself as a student, as a leader, and as a woman.  I believe that along with the other participants, I will be able to form a community that is supportive and holds each other accountable in order to reach our goals, in a loving and compassionate way. I love learning and I am constantly expanding my beliefs. I want others to have similar and even better opportunities than I have had so they can develop a sense of curiosity and challenge the status quo. I believe the KWLI can help me achieve this by helping me become more driven and action oriented, so that I can more effectively serve the communities I care about most. 

Bannister, SydneySydney Bannister

University of Kansas
Double Majoring in Public Administration with Law and Society. Minoring in Spanish and Leadership Studies
Manhattan, Kansas

I am from the beautiful community of Manhattan, Kansas also known as Man-happiness. My senior year of high school I decided to attend the University of Kansas and have been here since Fall 2015. Next semester I will be a sophomore and continuing my pursuit of a duel major in Public Administration and Law and Society. Since starting at the University of Kansas, I have been given many opportunities to grow as a community member and student. I served on the freshman leadership council, which explored all of the rich identities that KU students hold as well as current events on our campus. I was also given the chance to attend the LeaderShape Institute in January of 2016 where I met some of KU’s most empowering student and faculty leaders. After attending Leader Shape, I ran for and was elected as House Manager of my sorority, Sigma Kappa. I was recently accepted into the Leadership Studies Minor and I have already grown so much from the one class I have taken through this department. My passions consist of, but are not limited to: Public Administration and policy, legislature, Islamic studies, educational improvements, and LQBTQ+ identity protection. My goals for the future are simply to become a better person who is able to advocate on the behalf of those who cannot. I am ecstatic that I have been given this amazing opportunity to attend the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute. I hope to learn from my KWLI family about the identities they hold and the traditions they practice. I want to become a better community member as well as a more active KU student.

Lohrman, KaileyKailey Lohrman

Hutchinson Community College
Majoring Media Communication and Production
Wichita, KS

Hello, my name is Kailey Lohrman. I’m a sincere storyteller with scattered roots. Growing up in Wichita, I understand the energy of city life but having spent my early educational years in the small town of Norwich, KS, I also appreciate the rich traditional aspects of a close knit community. Currently I attend Hutchinson Community College, major in Media Communication and Production and am a media work-study. I am also an active member in the Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society, Honors Student Council (Vice Chair of Public Affairs), Presidential Leadership program, and Audio-Video club (Events Coordinator/club creator). My long-term goals include developing myself as a filmmaker, activist and author. I want to tell stories with greater depth to guide the entertainment age into encouragement while supporting much needed causes. In my spare time I also enjoy learning about Japanese culture.

Recently the short film “Return to Sender,” which I co-edited and acted in, was accepted into the BisonBison Film Festival. The short film focuses on whether fate or coincidence are at bat until karma pitches in. My photography work has been published as a 2016 Student Finalist within the Photographer’s Forum. I have publicly spoken out about my bullying experiences through Podstock, the ESSDACK educational conference, for two consecutive years while managing an anti-bullying account on twitter (@WeAreSteppingUp). In addition I am also in the process of writing my autobiography.

Overall I am beyond ecstatic to be given this opportunity to concentrate on my vision, to bring awareness through purpose driven production and other communicative channels, while making lifelong connections with other women. Therefore, the KWLI experience will not only equip me with the tools necessary but will also give me the self-assurance that women share a crucial position in the development of the future.

Schifman, HannahHannah Schifman

University of Kansas
Double major in Art History and Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies
Topeka, Kansas

Hello! My name is Hannah Schifman. I am originally from San Antonio, TX, but spent the second half of my life in Great Bend, KS and Topeka, KS. Currently, I am a sophomore at the University at Kansas double majoring in art history and psychology with a minor in leadership studies. Had you even asked me in high school if I would be interested with interpersonal communication and behavior, let alone participating in leadership roles, I would have not believed you! My end goal is still open-ended, but I would love to go to graduate school for either of my areas of study, however my dream career would to be a curator in an art museum. The genre of people that stroll through art museums are eccentric yet chock-full of random but useful knowledge. I believe that the most influential aspect of KWLI will be the immersive aspect of exchanges and befriending of women that are representing their respective countries during the program. I have always striven to be an advocate for human rights, social justice, and equity. On campus, I am primarily involved with KU Hillel and our student union activities board. Past experiences include LeaderShape and an Alternative Spring Break. I sincerely cannot wait for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, thank you KWLI!

Tilley, WhitneyWhitney Tilley

Fort Hays State University
Major in Business Management, minor in Organizational Leadership
Pratt, KS

My name is Whitney Tilley. I am from Pratt, Kansas. I am currently studying business management and organizational leadership at Fort Hays State University. At FHSU, I helped create the Organization Step It Up For A Cure into a local nonprofit that raises awareness for Type 1 diabetes. Step It Up For A Cure ended up raising over $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation. I also participated in the Tigers In Service 2015 Alternative Winter Break where we fed the homeless at the Faith City Mission church in Amarillo TX, and volunteered at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

My long term goals consist of owning or managing my own business, and starting a nonprofit organization to help my community. I want to participate in the KWLI program because I think it will be a learning experience that I will be able to translate into my work  and personal life. Meeting new people, and gaining knowledge of both leadership and women’s issues is something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

Villagrana, MichelleMichelle Villagrana

Kansas State University
Major in Management Information Systems, Minors in Leadership Studies and Computer Science
Topeka, KS

Hello! I’m Michelle Villagrana. I attend Kansas State University and study Management Information Systems, Leadership Studies and Computer Science. I am currently involved in the Multicultural Business Student Association, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Circle K, Management Information Systems, Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority, Kansas State University Marching Band. I am hoping to graduate from KSU with at least a 3.5 and a Bachelor’s Degree. After college, I would like to travel to Spain and other European countries. I’m excited for the KWLI and look forward to meeting other women who can help me learn and grow as a leader.

Leave a Reply