NSHSS hosted a Member Event in New York City at the prestigious Columbia University on Saturday, September 24, 2022.
This member event kicked off early Saturday morning with a networking breakfast at Alfred Lerner Hall before members gathered in the auditorium for the welcome ceremony. Members experienced a day full of workshops, a College and Career fair, an exclusive presentation about student opportunities from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and tours of the Columbia University campus. We ended the event with an NSHSS Member Recognition Ceremony where members were invited up on stage and honored for their academic achievements!
Member Event at Columbia University
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
*This agenda is subject to change. Final details will be sent closer to event date.*
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Event Check In & Badge Pick-Up
Attendees will check-in with a digital or printed copy of their tickets and members will receive name badges in the Alfred Lerner Hall foyer.
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Networking Breakfast and College & Career Fair
Attendees will have the chance to gather information from College & Career Fair exhibitors. NSHSS will provide a catered continental breakfast for all event participants.
9:00 AM – 9:35 AM: NSHSS Welcome & Columbia University Information Session
NSHSS will welcome attendees to campus, then Columbia University students/staff will guide them through an informative presentation about the university.
9:40 AM – 10:10 AM: Central Intelligence Agency Student Programs
Our partner, the Central Intelligence Agency, will present information about the special opportunities available to NSHSS members in high school, college, and even post-graduation. CIA offers multiple opportunities for college students to include scholarships and internships. CIA scholarships and internships offer competitive pay, health and life insurance benefits as well as an opportunity to work in a competitive atmosphere to gain valuable hands on experiences.
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM: SAT and ACT Success: Everything You Need to Know
Princeton University graduate and Method Learning founder Tom Ehlers will present the latest guidance for parents and students on the SAT and ACT. He will answer all of the frequently asked questions that parents and students have about the SAT, ACT, and PSAT. A few examples include:
The best times to take the SAT and ACT
What does test-optional actually mean?
Differences between the SAT and ACT
10:50 AM – 11:25 AM: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: An Essential Part of Our Future
Walton Family Foundation and NSHSS Foundation Board Member, Tanya Odom, will host a special session for our members focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. What is DEI? Why is it important? How does it connect to my life and school? Using examples, storytelling, and research, this interactive session will give participants a better idea of what DEI means and why it is important to understand for our future.
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch Break
Attendees will visit nearby eateries for lunch on their own.
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Self-Guided Campus Tours
Attendees will have free time to explore the Columbia University campus
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: College and Career Fair
Attendees will have the chance to gather information from College & Career Fair exhibitors.
1:05 PM – 1:35 PM: An Introduction to Columbia University's Pre-College Programs
Learn about Columbia University’s Pre-College Programs. Students enrolled in grades 9-12 by Fall 2022 can delve into academic interests by choosing from over 30 courses from Art to Artificial Intelligence, taught by leading experts.
1:45 PM – 2:10 PM: Army ROTC Educational Workshop
NSHSS Partner, Army ROTC, will host a special session for our members. Stay tuned for more details to be announced!
2:15 PM – 3:00 PM: Maximizing Your NSHSS Membership
NSHSS Members will hear from Morgan Vazquez, former NSHSS Fellows President and now NSHSS Fellows Trustee, about how to get the most out of your LIFETIME membership! Everything from scholarships, leadership groups, networking, and more with a live Q&A!
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Member Recognition Ceremony
Members will hear congratulatory remarks and receive their own NSHSS honor medallion.
Tanya is a global consultant, writer, coach, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, and civil rights thought leader. She has worked globally for over 20 years, in over 40 countries, as a consultant, coach, storyteller and facilitator focusing on areas including: Diversity and Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, Race/Racism, Challenging Conversations, Mindfulness, Coaching, Wellbeing, Innovation and Creativity, and Educational Equity. Tanya’s unique portfolio career has allowed her to work in the education, private sector/corporate, not-for-profit/NGO, law enforcement, and in university/college arenas. She is the co-author of "Evaluation in the Field of Education for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance.” Tanya has been a contributor to the Huffington Post, where she has written about diversity, leadership, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Tanya has also written for cnn.com. Tanya’s work and commentary has also appeared in several publications including Diversity Woman Magazine, Bloomberg News, Fortune, among others. Tanya was named by Diversity Best Practices as “A Diversity Thought Leader to Follow on Twitter.” Entrepreneur Magazine featured Tanya as one of the "3 Women Entrepreneurs Who Unleash Their Energy for the Greater Good." As a mindfulness practitioner, Tanya weaves in mindfulness research and practice in her work with individuals and groups and connects it to leadership, teams, intentional inclusion, and the mitigating of unconscious bias. Beginning in 2021, she will be guest faculty at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Often called an innovator and disrupter, Tanya is featured in a chapter in Dr. Patti Fletcher’s book “Disrupters.” Tanya was recently named one of the " 2022 Top 15 Coaches in NYC" by Influence Digest. Tanya is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She was also on the faculty of the Human Resources Management program at Georgetown University, where she taught courses in the area of innovation and creativity. She has also taught at Princeton University, in the Junior Summer Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College, where she taught graduate courses in the areas of Diversity, Leadership, and Team Development. For the last several years she has been working as a consulting and coaching partner with the United Nations as part of their gender parity by strategy. Tanya has worked with 15 UN entities in 9 different countries focusing on inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, and women in leadership. Over the last several months she has been working with several U.N. entities in their efforts to address racism and create anti-racist action plans and programs. Over the last four years, Tanya has spent a great deal of time globally facilitating sessions, and moderating panels focused on "Challenging Conversations," where she has been creating spaces for honest and courageous dialogues focused on sharing, learning and connection. Tanya is a board member of the Institute for Mindful Leadership and the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation. She is also a national volunteer with the American Heart Association and a committee member of the Presidential Advisory on Structural Racism. She is currently the Director of Equity and Inclusion at the Walton Family Foundation.
Tom Ehlers, the president and founder of Method Learning and a Princeton University graduate, has spent the last 24 years developing effective teaching methods that have helped thousands of students significantly raise their ACT and SAT test scores and achieve more academically. Method Learning’s online platform includes courses in Financial Literacy, pre-Algebra through Algebra 2, and ACT and SAT prep. The platform is currently used by over 800 schools around the world. Tom lives with his wife and two children in Long Island, New York.
Anita Weiss is the Assistant Director of Recruitment for Pre-College Programs at Columbia University. She has also served as an admissions officer for Columbia’s pre-college programs and as a mentor for prior Immersion students participating in Columbia’s Ambassadorship. She has run a private college consultation service specializing in teaching students how to write college application essays for nearly 15 years. Before joining Columbia, she was also an appellate attorney.
Nawana graduated from North Carolina A&T State University (HBCU) with a BS in Electrical Engineering. She built non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons then manufactured fiber optic amplifiers before being recruited by the Agency. Nawana spent the first 14 years of her career working in technical operations and lived overseas for 12 years straight. In 2012, Nawana returned to the Washington, DC area and turned her focus from operations to talent. A few positions Nawana has held since then are Diversity Recruiter, Student Program Manager, Intelligence Instructor, EEO Officer and now the Mid-Atlantic Regional Recruiter. Lastly, along the way, Nawana obtained a Master's in Management from Webster University and Master's in HR from Georgetown University!
Morgan Vazquez is the Head of Early Career Talent Acquisition and Programs at Walmart. In her role at the world’s largest retailer, Morgan leads a team of over 30 Human Resources professionals who recruit high-potential, diverse early career talent for the enterprise and develop robust intern and new associate programs aligned with the company’s strategic business needs. Morgan joined Walmart in August 2020 from the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) where she was in a similar role as the Global Head of Campus Recruiting and Emerging Talent Programs. In her five years at BNY Mellon, she led the redesign of their campus recruiting function with a focus on attracting, developing, and retaining a strong pipeline of future leaders. Prior to BNY Mellon, Morgan spent six years at JPMorgan Chase in a variety of Human Resources roles. Morgan is a graduate of Fordham University (Bronx, New York) where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Communications summa cum laude. Aside from being a passionate alumna at her alma mater and serving on the Fordham University Alumni Association Advisory Board, she is also the proud National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) Fellow. Furthermore, Morgan is a steadfast champion of Diversity & Inclusion and has been named to EMpower/Yahoo Finance’s list of Top 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders.
Laura Amortegui is a Colombian American who has been living in the D.C. area for the past 20 years. She currently works at Cambium Assessment Inc. in business development and finances, working on writing and developing proposals. Previously, American Institutes for Research, and at Georgetown University, at the Center for Intercultural Development and Education, to coordinate the learning exchange between international students, Georgetown professors, and businesses in the area. She earned her M.B.A and B.A of Communications at Loyola University Maryland. Laura is also the proud current President of the NSHSS Fellows Executive Board.