2016-2017

  gretchenPRESIDENT Gretchen Wesche Hometown: Napoleon, OH SU College: Maxwell (International Relations) Education (Teaching & Curriculum) For as far back as I can remember, I have wanted to connect with people from all over the world.  Before I came to Syracuse for my Masters, I spent some time abroad (mainly in Europe and Morocco) and upon returning served as an AmeriCorps member in Buffalo.  For my first term, I served as a financial literacy adviser for refugees just resettling in the US and for my second term I served in a post-resettlement agency as a teacher for their after-school program for middle school students.  I believe strongly that, if anything, welcoming people from various backgrounds is what has made the US great in the past and will continue to make it great in the future.  For me, to be a part of newcomers’ journeys, particularly those who have overcome so much and continue to do so, is an honor.  I am grateful to SUPRA for providing an opportunity to continue this service in Syracuse and excited to be working with so many others who share my enthusiasm.   VICE PRESIDENT Ayala Pourat SU College: Maxwell (Public Administration)   DEVELOPMENT AnnAnn Van Hometown: Carlisle, Pennsylvania SU College: Maxwell (International Relations) Growing up, I was part of the only refugee family in town. Home to me is a house of busy adults slowly adopting a new language, children who just cannot stop sharing stories about their new environment, and a warm bowl of phở. Carlisle, PA is now home to many refugees and immigrants. Having shared good moments or even helping to reshape bad times with my neighbors is one, significant part of my identity. I am now taking my refugee experience a step further. I will work to strengthen SUPRA as an organization, so that our work continues into the far future without any hitches. I hope to add positively to the refugee experience in Syracuse through my time with SUPRA.   christieesquareCURRICULUM  Christie Gingras Hometown: Stowe, Vermont SU College: Maxwell (Public Administration/International Relations) When I graduated from Miami University of Ohio, I knew I wanted to continue my work in English education by joining the Peace Corps. Spending two years in Mongolia connecting with students and adults through English education was an incredible, life-changing experience. When I returned to the U.S. for my graduate degree program, meaningful service to my community was a top priority. SUPRA offered the perfect opportunity to apply my skills where they were needed most while getting to know members of the community outside of Syracuse University a little bit better. guanwen   FINANCE  Guanwen (Janet) Lai Hometown: Shanghai, China SU College: Whitman (Accounting) My passion growing up has always been giving back to the community where I live. In college, I was part of a program called ‘Junior Achievement’ in Shanghai, serving as a volunteer teacher. Before coming to Syracuse, I attended Johns Hopkins for my first Masters (Finance) and volunteered for Baltimore Children’s Museum. When I heard about SUPRA, I jumped at this amazing opportunity to serve the Syracuse community. I believe working with SUPRA will be an especially rewarding experience for me because of my perspective on the world and its peoples. Refugees, like everyone else on Earth, are all part of one big community whose members should be treated equally. SUPRA is close-knit family, whose members show strong commitment and sincerity in its cause, and I am overjoyed and honored to become a part of this family.   WEB TEAMJanessa Janessa Price Hometown: Syracuse, New York SU College: Maxwell/Newhouse (International Relations/Public Relations)

I’ve always believed that service on behalf of others should be an integral part of one’s life. My volunteer experiences have taken me from the public schools of West Philadelphia to orphanages in Nairobi and now back to my hometown. SUPRA allows me to work with and learn about those living in my own community and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do so.

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Mary Johnson Hometown: Dayton, OH SU College: Maxwell/Newhouse (International Relations/Public Relations)

There’s one thing my parents taught me that is what I consider to be a mantra: “It takes all kinds of people to live in this world”. I have always been attracted to people who are different from me based on my parent’s words and subsequent exposure to life abroad and volunteer work. During my undergrad years, I had the opportunity to take advantage of the diversity in Louisville, KY and all the organizations that assist immigrant and refugee populations daily. SUPRA gives me a chance to keep learning, to keep growing and to keep helping others with my own talents. For me, SUPRA doesn’t just help with the basics and necessities, it helps people survive and thrive and consistently offer support.

  dsc_0169-2EVENTS Samantha Mendoza Hometown: China Grove, Texas SU College: Newhouse (Magazine, Newspaper and Online)
As an English Writing & Rhetoric major at a small liberal arts university in Texas, I have always believed in the power of literacy, the ability of the written and spoken word to empower individuals to transcend social and economic barriers and rebel against unjust systemic oppression. As I traveled across the world studying post-conflict development, from Gulu, Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda to Capetown, South Africa, my passion for learning about different cultures strengthened, and I knew that I wanted to use my skills as a writer and leadership development coordinator to empower others. I spent the year after college as a middle-school teacher in Chennai, India, and worked with students that I will forever consider a part of my family. I look forward to doing the same with students at the North Side Learning Center and engaging the Syracuse community this year as SUPRA's Events Coordinator. 
  MONDAY TEACHER COORDINATOR Jena Dagget SU College: Maxwell/Newhouse (International Relations/Public Relations)   WEDNESDAY TEACHER COORDINATOR Hayley King Hometown: Bay Area, California SU College: Maxwell/Newhouse (International Relations/Public Relations)   FRIDAY TEACHER COORDINATOR We are currently looking for a Monday Teacher Coordinator for AY 2016-17! If you are a passionate and organized individual, who has their own car and is free on Monday nights, contact SUPRA's President, Gretchen Wenche (gmwesche@syr.edu) to see how you can become an invaluable asset to our team.