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Student Senate Candidate Profiles

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There are 24 Madison College students on the ballot for Student Senate and one candidate for Senate President. Elections will be held online beginning March 2 and running through March 7. These profiles  are edited versions of information provided by the candidates on their Senate applications. Full responses will be linked to your online ballot.

Shabnam Ahmadi

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Member of the Madison College Math Club.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator?  I do not have experience in student government but I believe I am a good candidate for the Student Senate because I have many connections to many groups of students here at Madison College. I am very good at “spreading the word” and involving a diverse group of students in an event. I also believe I am a good candidate because I am able connect with my peers regardless of age, gender, race etc.

What would you like to accomplish? I would hope that I could bring in my connections with other students as an advantage to the Student Senate. I also hope to make more connections to other students and staff at Madison College.

Yalda Ahmadi

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Volunteers at East Madison Community Center and La Follette

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator?  Hard worker, care about students, confident in public speaking, respectful, and work well in a team.

What would you like to accomplish? I’d like to view and take part of the positive changes in Madison College, along with watching the community grow.

Steven Ansorge

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Repower Madison, member of the Policy Team.
  • Solid Waste Advisory Committee for the City of Madison, citizen member.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? 1. Sense of duty for the embetterment of the community. 2. Organized and motivated 3. Active Listener. 4. Associates degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement.

What would you like to accomplish? 1. Cooperative engagement with the school radio once it is up and running. 2. Promote sustainability (renewable energy, energy efficiency, etc). 3. Increased participation from the student body.

Olivia Arndt

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? In my last two years of high school, I was Vice President of my class. I organized meetings, homecoming and prom, and graduation. Currently, I am working as an office support for the Foundation Centre at MATC. I am knowledgeable in sending and answering appropriate emails, communicating orders for supplies, taking inventory, and keeping confidentiality. Along with these work qualities, I am an active listener, I have no fear in public speaking, and I am very respectful of other peoples’ opinions.

What would you like to accomplish? Student Senate is a “voice” for students. I appreciate the fact that they will try to resolve issues and make our campus a better place. This seems like a group I would want to be a part of.

Taylor Chantes

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I earned my certificate in the Business Management Program in 2011 at Madison College, my Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies through the Madison College Program in 2015 and I am currently working towards my bachelors in Psychology through the Liberal Arts Transfer Program and then moving on to Law School.  I have experience in many areas and programs at Madison College. 

I assist with presenting at CLE (Continuing Legal Education) seminars through the State Bar of Wisconsin with the Attorney I work for.  I have great communication, listening and presenting skills. 

I am currently a full time Litigation Paralegal with Lawton & Cates, S.C. here in Madison and I am currently taking six credits this semester.

What would you like to accomplish? I would like to have a more active voice around the school and assist other students in having an active voice as well. I would like to assist with addressing student concerns and assist with creating an open, fun and enjoyable learning environment.

Diapy Diawara

Academic Program: System Administrator

  • I am a student help for custodial.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator?  I am comprehensive and calm and I have a different background since I am from Africa it can be a plus for others student to learn from me.

What would you like to accomplish? Help international students, since I actually am one.

Jesus Garza-Noriega

Academic Program: Criminal Justice.

  • Corporal in the U.S. Marine Reserves. Squad leader in boot camp and in ITB in charge of 13 Marines.
  • Member of MULTICO, a high school multicultural theater group that taught grade school students to embrace differences in ethnic, financial, sexual orientation, gender roles as well as prevention of bullying.
  • Member of Men’s Club, a social justice group promoting education against domestic violence through the teachings of healthy relationships and equality.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator?  Integrity, Honesty, Action-oriented, Commitment to and for Community. Caring for and respecting others from various backgrounds.  Ability and desire to be a voice for those who are underrepresented. Bilingual (Spanish/English).

What would you like to accomplish? I would like to provide assistance and representation for veterans and minorities, providing them with a better learning environment and academic success.

Joseph Grindrod

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Worked at McDonald’s for almost two years, helped train employees.
  • Member of Engineering Club in high school.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I am pursuing political science because it is something I enjoy and something I have excelled at. I have experience in research and presentation in politics, and felt at this point my knowledge and dedication could be beneficial to the Senate and to the school as whole.

What would you like to accomplish? Having recently gone through my first semester and hearing about Student Senate exclusively through my political theory, I feel increased transparency and communication with the student body would improve the senate’s ability to take in input and better represent students. Though the Facebook page could be used a platform for student input, it seems awareness of the page is somewhat low. Getting word out about senate and expanding platforms of communication could improve the issue of cooperation between the student body and student government.

Keyiona Lashawn Johnson

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • In Black Student Union.
  • Was in Student Senate at my high school.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I am a very good leader and I am good at guiding people towards success.

What would you like to accomplish? To become a better leader, help plan things, and guide people in the right direction.

Derrell Jones

Academic Program: Finance

  • Participated in the Brother to Brother program.
  • Participated in the TRiO program at Arkansas State University Mid-South.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I am able to gather information and assess how a situation will turn out as well as convince others to implement my plans. I am a realist, so to speak, and require proof to convince me, not fancy talk.

What would you like to accomplish? I would like Madison College to be a fantastic environment for all students, as well as all of the faculty.

Patrick Kriese

Academic Program: IT-Web Software Development

  • United States Soccer Federation official for 14 years.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I was a kitchen manager in a deli for several years before leaving last summer to start on my new career. During my time there, I was able to work on my leadership abilities, team-working skills, as well as public speaking and organization. I was always listening for ways to improve not only as a person but also for what I could do to make things better for my team. I think these qualities would transfer well to a senate position.

What would you like to accomplish? I’m not sure yet! I don’t have any personal goals going into this, I am more interested in assisting with any and all current goals established within the senate already and finding out how we can help out our fellow students.

Alison Malek

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Programs and Activities Council, Administrative Assistant.
  • Student Activities Board Member representing PAC.
  • World Students Association, Treasurer.
  • Geology Club, Treasurer.
  • WomenLEAD, Treasurer.
  • Member Net Saturday Conference Committee.
  • Member Interclub Diversity Council.
  • Member Volunteer Center.
  • Member United Common Ground.
  • Member Student Involvement Team.
  • Member National Society of Leadership Success.
  • Peer Mentor for Cultural Connect.
  • Member NASA.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? Communication – verbal, non-verbal, and listening, accountability, creative and critical thinking, problem solving skills (including Interest Based Problem Solving (IBPS)), public speaking/debating, negotiation skills, note taking skills, organizational skills, budgeting skills, team work/building/development skills, formal meeting proceedings (Robert’s Rules), leadership/professional development, ability to empower others, activist, etc.

What would you like to accomplish? Address students’ general concerns. Help make students lives easier while they are at Madison College (e.g. lower cost such as textbooks, help make Madison College a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all students, help make students aware of the tuition included services the college has to offer, like involvement opportunities, transportation options, tutoring/counseling service, etc.).

Tina Marshalek

Candidate for Senate President

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

What would you like to accomplished, if elected Student Senate president? As Student Senate President, my ultimate goal is to continue the progress the 2016-17 Senate has made. I want to carry over the knowledge on textbook affordability to actively ensure the Student Affairs Council considers student interests when evaluating textbook uniformity and rental options. Also, I want to continue to gauge students’ concerns about student feedback on course assessments, and to stay connected with members of the Academic Council and faculty to improve on that process. I want to implement a plan of action to improve academic advising if one is not formally considered by the end of the spring semester. Regardless of the outcome of the spring semester, the Senate should continue to keep tabs on the progress of academic advising’s quality. With a strong student leader strategically organizing a plan focusing on student interests, the progress of the 2016-17 Senate will continue to grow.

What qualities do you possess, that will make you a good Student Senate President? I am a strong leader with basic knowledge of parliamentary procedure and of the Madison College shared governance system. I organize and delegate based on people’s strengths rather than their abilities, but consider the interests and concerns of members when making decisions. I make decisions based on the interests of those I represent rather than feelings or emotions and think critically before calling for action. While I am personable and easy to confide in, I ultimately prioritize assertiveness and straightforwardness.

I have the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for this position, meaning I approach legislative issues with the resolve to create viable solutions. I also have the organizational planning skills required for the Senate to continue its work advocating student success and achievement, and can use my listening skills when in a leadership role to prioritize our action items. Finally, my experience with the Senate thus far has strengthened my constituency services/outreach skills and taught me what issues resonate with students at Madison College the most.

What initiatives should the Senate devote its work to? The Student Senate’s initiatives should offer solutions to the college’s student retention rate but also be as resourceful as possible, considering the recent budget deficit. Examples of initiatives like these include awareness of resources for low-income students, improving academic advising, and prioritizing student interests to uncomfortable faculty dynamics.

Mustafa Mohammed-Saed

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
  • Became a Peer Mentor for TRiO, tutoring new students.
  • Volunteered at the Goodman Center.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator?  I like learning and trying new things, Student Senate is new to me, but why not. l like to help, I work in TRiO and I enjoy helping others. My first language is Arabic and my second is English.

What would you like to accomplish? Get to help more, get more involved, meet new people, improve my communication skills, and learn new skills.

Umaima Mohammed-Saed

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Works in the TRiO office helping others by tutoring students in math and chemistry. Also serves as a peer mentor.
  • Graduated from the UW-Madison Odyssey Project with training in special education para-professional work.
  • Has volunteered at Lapham Elementary School, assisting a special education aide and tutoring math.
  • Qualified for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I left Iraq when I was 11-years-old. I went to Malaysia, and I lived there for seven years. I have been in America three years. Being in different places for a long time helped me to understand life better. My family and I lived in Malaysia for seven years as refugees where we did not have any legal status. Due to our refugee status we could not go to Malaysian school or work. I was allowed to be homeschooled and go to school only during the exams. In Malaysia I learned that nothing is impossible in this world, once we have goal we can do it no matter what.

After four years in Malaysia, I found a refugee center. Since then I started going there everyday. It is the first place that taught me the importance of helping others by seeing the hope in their eyes. This hope came from getting money to buy food for their children. It is very hard for refugees to find a job in Malaysia. In the refugee center there was a program called CINTA, which supports refugee women by offering classes and opportunities to make and sell handicrafts. I volunteered there to sell the handicrafts made by old women, so they could have some money to buy food for their children. I want continue to help others and bring hope. I have helped a lot of people working in TRiO, and I want continue doing that in Senate.

What would you like to accomplish? There are a lot of people who helped me in the past, so I want to give back as much as I can. I am going to help everyone equally with love and care. What I would like to accomplish is that I want to be more social and open to any one who wants help.

Ola Mujanni

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Former Student Ambassador at Madison College.
  • President of Muslim Youth of Madison.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I’m social and open-minded. I’m also very hardworking and focused.

What would you like to accomplish? Focusing more on connecting students to resources and information.

Hanah Nachtigall

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Serves as a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dodge County.
  • Works at the Watertown Public Library.
  • Works at Pauli Plumbing in Watertown.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I am a very organized and punctual person. I cannot stand being late, it freaks me out just thinking about it! My organizational skills go beyond my color-coded class supplies to my daily life.  I write everything down in my day planner so I am sure to not miss any important assignment or appointment. Being punctual and organized has made me become a very reliable person as well. I hate letting people down. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. Everybody is so unique and interesting to get to know. I want to meet everyone!

What would you like to accomplish? As a Madison College Student Senator I would like to meet new people and make some friends, and make Madison College more inclusive of the regional campuses. As a student who attends two regional campuses, I don’t feel very connected to the college because I am not at Truax. As a Senate member I would like to bring a piece of Truax to the regional students.

Timothy O’Grady

Academic Program: IT-Mobile Web Developer

  • Assisted League of Women Voters with events related to voter registration, candidate debates, voting locations.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? The ability to research, apply critical thinking, logic and reasoning for determining a course of action.

What would you like to accomplish? The objective is to gain experience as a member of a voting body. To research, deliberate, and determine the best course of action when it comes to implementing new policies/procedures/programs.

Jeffrey Schmidt

Academic Program: Political Science

  • Participated in Campus Election Engagement Project, helping students vote.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I was in the Army for 30 years.  I worked for the D.O.D. for 14 years.

What would you like to accomplish with the Madison College Student Senate? I would like to help the older students.

Anton Sederquist

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Participated in Honors Program at Madison College.
  • A Sound of Sun Prairie Section Leader.
  • Jazz Band Section Leader.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? Over time, I have cultivated the ability to lead and to make sound decisions through my experiences in music. I have also cultivated the ability to listen and consider arguments other than my own as intelligent and as having merit, a skill that is crucial to leadership. Also, as demonstrated by my participation in the honors program, I am no stranger to hard work and close examination of a certain topic or problem.

What would you like to accomplish? I want to focus on building bridges and mending wounds first and foremost. These last two years have been pretty rough on this country for obvious reasons, and it doesn’t seem as if the country has begun healing yet. For the country to survive, healing has to begin right now, and I seek to make Madison College a place that sets an example for the rest of the country on the how and why to do it, and Student Senate will provide me a platform upon which I can do that. Other than that, I wish to provide a voice for my fellow students, work on promoting all-around diversity, and help provide more ease for commuting students.

Mintesinote Urban

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Active member of the Black Student Union.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I’m a people person.  I enjoy all kinds of people. I want to know more about them, how they grew up, who influenced them, what they like, what they don’t like, what they believe in, and what motivates them every day. All my jobs have had to do with serving others. I was a baby sitter for Blackhawk Church for a few years (age 14-15). I then got a part-time job at the local nursing home here in Mt. Horeb, which is called Ingleside. I have been a Dietary Assistant there for about two and a half years now. I love it!

I am a compassionate guy; I understand peoples’ struggle better because I myself have gone through tough times in my life. I was adopted 10 years ago from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia so I’ve been around.

I’m a good listener. I also am open minded about other viewpoints and I don’t try to shove my view point down someone’s throat. I look to do better for others before myself (yes, I don’t do it all the time, but I try).

I can talk for days, but I know how to control how much I speak. I participate in any engagement that may be at hand. I’m willing to go above and beyond.

Don’t worry last paragraph… This is my first year going to any public school in America (I was previously homeschooled) and I was able to figure out how things go and I got a 4.0 in my first semester of taking 12 credits. Also I’m willing to try anything new!

What would you like to accomplish with the Madison College Student Senate? I would like to be able bring together all of the Student Unions of Madison College once every month for a big gathering of fun and to also talk about the issues that surround each group. The way I see it, if we don’t eventually come together as One Union, everything is going to stay the same.

I would advocate for all the One Cards to have a 20 percent discount rather then 10 percent. Not many students use their One Card and having a 20 percent discount will give them the incentive to use it and they can get points toward free stuff.

I would push for a “free food day” once every school year or once every semester for all Madison College students. I’m talking about the food they make in the cafeteria!

I think they should have a jukebox in the “Wolf Den” and people can play any music they want while they chill and play games.

Claire Urtes

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Volunteered at the food pantry and Bethel Lutheran Church.
  • In a Pre-Med Latino health organization called PALMA, serving as Director of Outreach.
  • Received the Service Learning Academy award from Madison College.
  • This semester I have been tutoring children.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? I take everyone in to consideration. I truly believe that I am able to create betterment for all. It’s important to look at Madison College as a community. I am able to lead and voice my opinion. I’m not scared to be wrong, critiqued, or challenged.

What would you like to accomplish? There are a few things that I think are important to accomplish while in the Student Senate. I will like to meet new people and be able to feel like I can make a change. I also think that this is a great way to showcase my leadership skills and strengthen them. I also want to be able to work together with other senate members and share our ideas and opinions.

Katrina Willis

Academic Program: Medical Administrative Specialist

  • Was a Student Senator in 2008-2009.
  • Was an officer on the Executive Leadership Team 2008-2009.
  • Student Representative on the Madison College Academic Appeals Board 2009.
  • Current member of Business Professionals of America, Vice President (2008) and President (2009).
  • Member of Phi Theta Kappa and worked on the Honors in Action Committee Research Project 2016.
  • Member of the Volunteer Center and the Program Activities Council.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? Passionate about advocating for others. Driven and dedicated to resolving issues that impact all Madison College. Experience working with the Madison College Student Senate. Administrative and office management skills.  Great listener. Collaborator.

What would you like to accomplish? I would like to see the Madison College Student Senate continue to to seek options to reduce the cost of textbooks; find alternative resources for students experiencing financial challenges that may cause the student to quit school; and review options to expand shuttle service after 6:00 pm during the week.

Deborah Zongo

Academic Program: Liberal Arts Transfer

  • Part of her high school student council.
  • Was on a high school committee that helped organize activities.

What qualities and skills do you possess that will make you a good Student Senator? Having been part of such organizations at my high school where the main goal was to make sure that students’ voices were heard, and changes taken into consideration; I believe that I do possess the skills that would make me fit to be a Madison College Student Senator.

What would you like to accomplish? As a Madison College Student Senator, I would like to make Madison College meet its students’ expectations on every level.

 


A special thanks to Student Senator Eric Simle, who compiled this information.

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Student Senate Candidate Profiles