NSHSS Member Event at Columbia University

Be Honored in the Big Apple!

NSHSS hosted a Member Event in New York City at the prestigious Columbia University on Saturday, September 24, 2022. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022
Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway New York City, NY 10027

College & Career Fair exhibitors

Columbia University Pre-College Programs, CollegeAdvisor.com, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Goldey-Beacom College, Method Learning, Monash University, Saint Peter's University, Sallie Mae, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), UC Berkeley Summer Sessions & Study Abroad, International Dual Degree Programs, & Pre-College Summer Programs, U.S. Army ROTC, and Vermont State University

Columbia University Logo Transparent

Meet the Speakers

Tanya Odom

Walton Family Foundation

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

Method Learning

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

Columbia University, Pre-College Programs

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.


Central Intelligence Agency

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

NSHSS Fellows President Emeritus & Trustee

Morgan Vazquez is the Global Head of Campus Recruiting at Wells Fargo. Formerly, she was the Head of Early Career Talent Acquisition and Programs at Walmart. In her role at the world’s largest retailer, Morgan led a team of over 30 Human Resources professionals who recruited high-potential, diverse early career talent for the enterprise and developed 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, focusing 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

Fellows Executive Board President 

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.