With an early interest in art, Dawn Gabbitas Abell, MEd, first earned a Bachelor of Arts in art education from Eastern Michigan University in 1969 and embarked on her career as a teacher at the First Grade Learning Improvement Center with Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Public Schools that same year, where she remained until 1979. During this time, she furthered her studies and obtained certification in elementary education at Eastern Michigan University while working in interior design as the owner of La Maison Magnifique from 1975 to 1979. Moving to South Carolina, Ms. Abell became a teacher of art, remedial reading and writing in the Clover School District from 1979 to 1984 and was certified as an educator in the state
Peggy R. Henry-Watkins, MS, BS, was inspired early on to a career in education due to having family members who were accomplished educators and scientists. Further encouraged by a number of great teachers and professors, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bennett College in 1968. She began her career as a biology teacher at Western High School in North Carolina that same year, also serving as the teacher adviser for Future Teachers of America from 1968 to 1970. In 1970, Ms. Henry-Watkins joined Sedgefield Middle School as a teacher and chair of the science department, roles she held until 1989. During this time, Ms. Henry-Watkins sought to further her own education and obtained a Master of Science
Sheena Alaiasa embarked on her professional journey by earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. In 2004, she became the principal of Heeia Elementary School in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and later held the same role at Governor Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School from 2008 to 2014. During this time, she pursued further studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, graduating with a Master of Science in educational leadership and administration in 2012. Ms. Alaiasa went on to serve as the principal of James B. Castle High School from 2014 to 2015 and of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama in Honolulu from 2015 to 2018. In 2018, Ms. Alaisa moved from Hawaii to Utah and now contributes
Carol Michelle Hulsizer is a broker with Spot Realty, where she has specialized in commercial transactions and industrial land sales since 1997. Born into a family with a strong tradition of working in building trades, Ms. Hulsizer was inspired by her father, a real estate developer, to pursue a career in realty. She studied at the State University of New York Brockport, graduating magna cum laude in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree, and went on to earn a certificate in commercial real estate from the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors, Inc. Ms. Hulsizer has spent more than 25 years of her career as a broker for Spot Realty, a family-owned, Rochester-based business offering brokerage and property management services.
Svetlana Shur is an entrepreneur and the owner of three companies, including Loving Neighbor Home Care, a non-medical home care and assistance company serving clients throughout the Spokane Valley area. Loving Neighbor Home Care was established in 2019 to offer clients a full spectrum of community-based in-home care and companionship services, ranging from nutrition management and social support to post-operative, perinatal, and respite care. As director of operations for Loving Neighbor Home Care, Ms. Shur is active in all aspects of business, including scheduling for more than 20 certified caregivers, maintaining individual client calendars, and remaining involved in monitoring client and family satisfaction and ongoing needs. Ms. Shur strives to provide exceptional care and connection, with the goal of having
Jennifer Nam, MBA, is a business leadership expert currently serving as the interim chief financial officer of the Philadelphia Parking Authority. She has been with the Philadelphia Parking Authority since 2022 and brings with her more than 25 years of experience in accounting and business management. In her current role, Ms. Nam’s work is varied and includes overseeing all financial functions and office personnel for the organization responsible for all on-street, off-street, and airport parking within the city of Philadelphia, in addition to red-light camera enforcement and other safety and quality of life measures. Historically, she has preferred to work with nonprofit organizations and describes her motivation as a desire to help others and improve the world rather than focus
Born in India, Henal Patel embarked on her professional path by earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Mumbai and obtained a diploma in hair cosmetology from the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy. She began her career working at a Toni & Guy salon in India for two and a half years before coming to the United States in 2003. First operating a hair salon out of her home, today, Ms. Patel is the owner and head stylist at the Zbrio Salon and Spa, where she proffers her expertise in permanent hair straightening and relaxing, haircuts, and hair coloring. She also offers such services as chemical treatments, nails, micro-needling, waxing, chemical peels, and facials, for which she
With a longstanding interest in art, Nasreen Haroon had an opportunity early on to take oil painting classes as part of an after-school program at her Catholic convent school, an endeavor she was encouraged in by her father. Coupling her love of art with a desire to make a difference in the lives of others and help to promote acceptance, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, philosophy and history at Saint Joseph’s College for Women in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1972 before coming to the United States in 1980. Ms. Haroon began her career in the United States as a design consultant for the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California, a position she held until 1994.
Doris Brevoort, PhD, was first inspired to the fields of counseling and education after meeting Paulo Freire, an educator and the author of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” in 1971. Subsequently joining SUNY Empire State College, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in the sociology of childhood, folklore and the performing arts in education in 1974. She followed this with licensure in massage therapy and began her career as a massage therapist with New Seattle Massage in 1981, a position she held until 2018. During this time, she continued her studies and received her teacher certification from Evergreen State College, followed by a Master of Arts in education in school counseling and family counseling from the University of Washington in 1991
Dr. Nirmaljit K. Rathee is a professor of education and director of graduate programs at Delaware State University, where she has been a member of faculty since 2009. During her time with Delaware State University, Dr. Rathee has helped grow graduate enrollment from fewer than 75 students to more than 300, with professional graduate-level offerings tailored to current educators, school administrators, and district-level professionals. Throughout her career, she has advised more than 50 students in completing their graduate or doctoral research, including overseeing an internationally recognized education scholar visiting from the University of Almeria. Dr. Rathee’s interest in a career in education was born from a desire to help strengthen communities and ensure that all students had access to quality