Listee Features — February 2022

Aron Jones


Aron Jones, MA, grew up a deep, abiding passion for animals, even though she was not allowed to have pets growing up. As she began her career as an associate professor at Red Rocks Community College in 2006, and through her time as a technology teacher at Eagle Ridge Academy from 2013 to 2017, she volunteered with and helped to organize a number of civic groups helping children, elderly persons and dogs. This, combined with her fostering of a pregnant cattle dog-mix named Kady, led Ms. Jones to establish the Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue for Pregnant and Nursing Dogs, also known as MAMCO Rescue, in 2017, the same year that she earned her Master of Arts in philosophy and

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Jeanette Passty


Inspired early on by her high school teachers, Dr. Jeanette N. Passty first earned an Associate of Arts from Los Angeles Valley College in 1966 before joining the University of California Los Angeles, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and was encouraged by Dr. Florence Ridley to enter the field of language and literature. She went on study at the University of Southern California where she also served as a teaching assistant, lecturer and associate director for the freshman English program from 1971 to 1978. In 1974, she achieved her Master of Arts, which was followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in 1982. Dr. Passty went on to teach at a variety of Texas universities between 1982

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Lena Valavani


Born in Greece, Lena Valavani, PhD, came to the United States to study physics at Columbia University’s Barnard College. Inspired early on by the works of Bertrand Russell, she was further encouraged by her mentors at Barnard, including her adviser Richard Friedberg and Chien-Shiung Wu, the renowned “First Lady of Physics.” Graduating from Barnard with a Bachelor of Science in physics, she went on to join Yale University, where she earned both a Master of Science and a Master of Philosophy before concluding her formal studies with a Doctor of Philosophy in engineering and applied science in 1978. Embarking on her career in a postdoctoral position at Yale, Dr. Valavani then accepted a position at MIT’s Laboratory for Information and

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Cheryl Caskey


Holding considerable expertise in laboratory compliance and regulation, Cheryl R. Caskey began her career as a medical laboratory scientist in 1969. From there, she found herself transitioning into more managerial roles fairly quickly and in 1978, she obtained her Master of Arts in management supervision from Central Michigan University. For over a decade now, Ms. Caskey has excelled as a compliance officer for Delta Pathology, Omega Diagnostics Group PLC and the Pathology Resource Network, where she provides technical consulting services, reviews records, performs random site visits, and does audits for HIPAA and OIG compliance. Furthermore, her responsibilities also include monitoring regulation changes and updating the staff about new compliance requirements. Ms. Caskey attributes much of her success to her parents,

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Char Barrie


Growing up surrounded by women who did a lot of cooking and baking, including her mother, grandmother and an aunt, Char Barrie was inspired to pursue her own career path in cooking. It started from a request by one of her daughters, who was looking for gifts to give during the holidays, and quickly grew from there as she began selling jams at craft fairs, including the one run by the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. As Char’s Kitchen was first beginning, while Ms. Barrie was still packaging her jams and jellies in baby food jars, her daughter helped her to create special labels and decorations for all of her products, so she no longer had to

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Robyn Ebisui


With a longstanding passion for art, Robyn Yee Ebisui, DArch, NCIDQ, settled on architecture as a career, because she wanted to do something tangible with art and interior design has a direct impact on people’s lives and how they experience spaces. She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology before achieving a Doctor of Architecture from the University of Hawaii in 2011 and attaining certification from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification in 2017. She is also LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. She began her professional career in 2006, starting at Garduque Architects, LLC, then Clifford Planning & Architecture LLC, as a project designer. In 2014, Dr. Ebisui joined Bowers + Kubota, where she now

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Cindy Gregory


Cindy L. Gregory was inspired to her career field by her grandparents, who ran a successful furniture business. Growing up in that environment, it only felt natural for her to choose that career path for herself as well. After completing the relevant coursework, she joined The RoomStore in 1994, where she excelled as a manager until 2009. During this time, she was fortunate enough to work with a boss who was willing to share his expertise in the industry, which greatly benefited her professional growth. In 2010, Ms. Gregory took a leap of faith and started her own store, Mattress Experts & More, where she continues to excel as a partner. With Mattress Experts & More, Ms. Gregory is responsible

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Sonjia Howard


Holding considerable expertise in clinical social work for military service members and their families, Sonjia A. Howard earned a bachelor’s degree at Hawaii Pacific University and served in the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1998 before obtaining her master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 2001. During her time in graduate school, she was inspired by one of her professors, who told her that the goal of social work was to help people so effectively that you “work yourself out of a job,” as well as her own desire to make a change in the world however she could. A licensed clinical social worker and a board certified diplomate in clinical social work, Ms. Howard began her career

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Born in Tokyo to parents Allan and Aiko George, Catherine George Adler was exposed to a range of fine arts and culture from a young age through both her parents’ interests and the opportunities she had to travel. Her father notably corresponded with Ernest Hemingway and collected Hemingway first editions, and it was him who truly instilled in her a passion for the arts. First earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Boston University in 1973, Ms. Adler spent many years only involved in Broadway as a silent investor. It wasn’t until she was encouraged by a friend, Sigourney Weaver, that she first put thought to producing shows herself. Establishing Catherine Adler Productions in 2013, Ms. Adler’s first

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Caroline Bitterwolf


Living her whole life by the philosophy of doing her best in whatever she did, following her interests, continuing to learn and giving back to others, Carolina Means Bitterwolf knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, to a family of educators, she was raised in an environment where great importance was placed on teaching and learning. Her father, Duane Everett Means, was a professor of mathematics at the University of Iowa, and her mother, Elizabeth Alice Keyser, taught nursing, and her grandmothers on both sides had spent time in education as well. Ms. Bitterwolf is also incredibly grateful for the outstanding teachers she had in her early education from preschool

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