Listee Features — November 2021

Diane Dudzinski


Inspired and encouraged by her high school science teachers and college professors, Diane Marie Dudzinski, PhD, excelled in her advanced placement classes during her high school years and began her postsecondary studies at Villa Maria College, now part of Gannon University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1968. Going on to join Fordham University in New York City, she worked as a lab assistant from 1969 to 1972 and a teaching fellow from 1972 to 1974 while she worked toward a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy, which she obtained in 1970 and 1974, respectively. During this time, she also worked as an instructor at Ladycliff College from 1970 to 1971 and at Pace University from 1972

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Encouraged to enter the medical field by her father, Ibtihaj Awadelkariem, MLS, first earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1989. She subsequently began her career, working with numerous hospital and research laboratories before founding Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories in Virginia, where she has excelled as the chief executive officer for the past 20 years. During this time, she furthered her studies at California State University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in biological science in 2003 and has been additionally certified by the American Association of Bioanalysts. Her decades of experience in the field have resulted in considerable expertise in hematology, microbiology and chemistry. Attributing much of her success to her hard work and determination, Ms.

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Kisa Powell


Attributing much of her success to her passion, her willingness to do hands-on classes and the support of her father, Kisa Powell is an accomplished entrepreneur, cosmetologist and hair colorist and has excelled as the owner of C.O.D.A. Curls since 2020, where she provides treatments for textured and curly hair. Becoming a licensed hair colorist at Forever Curls under the tutelage of Leysa Carrillo, she is also Rëzo certified and obtained her cosmetology license in 2009. Prior to founding her own business, she spent seven years working at Supercuts and, from 2010 to 2015, served in the U.S. National Guard, where, during her deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, from 2012 to 2103, she provided free haircuts to the soldiers in her

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Graduating from Ocean Springs High School, Tina M. Vital began her professional journey by earning a bachelor’s degree in interior design at Mississippi State University in 2007. Throughout the years, she has also been greatly impacted by the works of Lillian August and Dorothy Draper, whose use of color and patterns inspired her own creative gifts. Embarking on her career in the employ of a designer who designed and sold furniture directly to clients out of his showroom, she found herself interested in that same sort of work because she saw how it enabled her employer to provide furniture to design and direct clients at a lower cost. After seven years, Ms. Vital opened Abode Beach Interiors in 2015, where

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Pamela Kelly


Holding considerable expertise in infection control and procedural nursing, Pamela M. Kelly attributes much of her success to her decades of hard work and her innate passion for what she does. Since 2020, she has excelled as a school nurse with Saint Viator High School. Initially coming on as a consultant for the COVID-19 pandemic, she transitioned into the role of full-time nurse, becoming the school’s first dedicated school nurse. Her day-to-day duties include immunizations, vision and dental care, and general health care for faculty, staff and students. Prior to this, she served as the digital communications director for the athletic board of the St. James School from 2019 to 2020, a substitute school nurse for Township High School District

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Debbie Sheme


Driven by her long-standing love of dancing, Debbie W. Sheme was also inspired by her passion for alternative holistic approaches to wellness through physical fitness and proper nutrition. She discovered her love of dance at just 4 years old while taking classes at the Carousel Performing Arts Center and, by the time she was 8, had her first solo ballet performance at Immaculata University. Her studies continued with the Brandywine Ballet Company, the Joffrey Ballet, the Philadelphia Ballet and the Harrisburg Ballet Theater, during which time she was not only a professional ballet and modern dancer, but taught and choreographed dance for all ages and levels across Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida. She then took courses in Pilates and modern dance

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Born to father Raymond Edwin Kusler and mother LaVerne Mayer, Diane Laverne Kusler Larson always felt that she wanted to serve others and help children learn and grow. As she embarked on her studies, she made education her focus from the very beginning, earning her teacher certification in the state of Minnesota followed a Bachelor of Science from Valley City State University in 1964. She began her career as an elementary teacher with Cokato Elementary School in 1962 and held the same role with Lakeview Elementary School from 1964 to 1966. Subsequently, she spent a year as a vocal teacher with Wheaton High School from 1966 to 1967 before joining Owatonna Public Schools, where she taught for over two decades.

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Taryn Amberson


Having always enjoyed connecting with people and helping others, Taryn L. Amberson, RN, knew that she wanted to be a nurse from an early age. First earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Grand Canyon University in 2013, she embarked on her career as an emergency nurse that same year. She went on to obtain a Master of Science in nursing from Grand Canyon University in 2019, during which time she was also employed as a nurse with Scripps Health in San Diego. In 2020, following a move to Hawaii with her husband, a diver in the U.S. Navy, she joined the Pali Momi Medical Center as an emergency nurse, where her duties include triage and assessing and checking

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Sharon Hodnett


Born to father Billie Joe Autrey and mother Mary Autrey, Sharon Hodnett was exposed to the field of real estate from an early age due to her mother’s career as a real estate broker. A stay-at-home mother for her five children, Chad, Joshua, Heather, Heidi and Cory, until they were old enough to go to school, she then decided she wanted a career for herself and real estate seemed the perfect option. Approaching her mother about entering the field, she began her career as a realtor in her mother’s firm for five years. Ms. Hodnett considers her mother to be among her greatest mentors, citing her mother’s advice to “work at least eight hours and the work will come to

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