Candidates' Bios and Information
Gaetan Civil is a double major in Sociology and Economics. He is the son of Haitian immigrants and the first in his family to attend college. Gaetan is Co-Director of Community Outreach and a member of the Executive Board of the Black Student Forum and is also a member of the Student Advisory Board of AHANA Student Programs. He is Coordinator of AHANA Outreach for the Student Admissions Program, participated in the Jemez Pueblo Service Exchange, and last spring led the Jamaica Magis Service Trip to Kingston. Last summer he worked as a student leader and preceptor at BC's Options through Education Program. Most important to Gaetan, however, has been his role as a Big Brother to a 12 year old young man from Boston over the past three years which has taught him a great deal about himself as well as given him the satisfaction of watching his little brother develop. Gaetan hopes to return to Jamaica to continue his work there and plans to pursue a career in public health in hospital administration.
Mohamed Diop grew up in Washington D.C. and came to Boston College as a Biology major and premedical student. He was a participant and is now a mentor in the Sankofa Leadership Program and this year serves as a Resident Assistant for the sophomores in Roncalli Hall on College Road. He believes that too many students of color are discouraged from pursuing their dreams and so works as a TA for Learning to Learn's course on Applications of Learning Theory and last fall volunteered as a Chemistry TA and tutor/mentor at a high school in Brighton. Every year since high school, Mohamed and his family have volunteered at Martha’s Table, a Washington D.C. soup kitchen where on two separate occasions he met President Obama and the first family while serving meals to homeless clients. Last summer he attended a Medical Experience Program for college students at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and will apply to medical school himself next year.
Patience Marks was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia and is in the Connell School of Nursing. She is an undergraduate scholar in the Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing (KILN) program as well as a peer advisor in Nursing. As a first year student she was a Freshman Representative in the African Student Organization and as a sophomore participated in the Multicultural Leadership Experience Program. Through the PULSE program she volunteered at Rockwell House, a home for patients dealing with drug addiction and HIV/AIDS, and this inspired her to join the Peer Health Exchange this year to teach lessons on STI and HIV prevention in Boston area high schools. She also volunteers as a teaching assistant over breaks at an elementary school in her home town of Newark, NJ. Last spring Patience led a discussion on racial disparities in health care at the Stand Up Against Racism event and this year she is a volunteer research assistant on a project examining the impact of urban literature on teenage girls.
Vanessa Omoroghomwan is a double major in Political Science and Philosophy who was born in Nigeria, but grew up here in Boston. She has been a volunteer tutor at the BC Neighborhood Center and works at the BC Bookstore, but she feels that the most transforming experience she has had here was teaching a second grade class in Kingston, Jamaica last spring with Campus Ministry's Jamaican Magis Service/Immersion trip. This convinced her that it was possible for people to connect with one another across cultures. She was impressed with the pride Jamaican children had in their culture and has been active in developing pride in Nigerian and other African cultures as the energetic captain of the "Presenting Africa to You" Dance Troupe. Also, she was introduced to the BC Brazilian Club by her roommate and now serves as the club's secretary. Last summer, Vanessa interned at a Boston law firm and she hopes to pursue a career in law after graduation. She is currently studying abroad in Madrid.
Cusaj Thomas comes to Boston College from Newark, NJ and is majoring in Economics. He credits his involvement with the Dedicated Intellectuals of the People (DIOP) discussion group and BC's all male step team with providing the encouragement and support he needed in the transition to college, and he, in turn, has tried to support and motivate younger students at the West End Boys and Girls Club by sharing the story of obstacles he himself had to overcome. He is also involved in a Community Service Research project examining the underachievement of African American males in school and has been part of the "Backgrounds" seminars on issues of difference. He was chosen to be a "point guard" for 48 Hours, participated in the Jamaica Mustard Seed service trip, and served on the Black History Month planning committee. Cusaj is also Student Manager of Events for the Alumni Association, has worked in the O'Neill Library and Office of Residential Life, and has taken up boxing for fun, fitness and discipline.