Reed Cabral, Chicago, IL, is majoring in Mechanical Science and Engineering with a minor in Biomolecular Engineering. He has been heavily involved with cultural student organizations on campus, including the Philippine Student Association and the Asian Pacific American Coalition, and is a coordinator for the annual Filipino Americans Coming Together Conference. He also serves as a board member for the Student Cultural Programming Fee. No matter where he goes, Reed hopes that his efforts will always go towards helping people, whether that be through community service, leadership development, or by being a friend. Reed is honored to have been chosen to be on Homecoming Court.
Anuj Chokshi, Bartlett, IL, is majoring in Neuroscience (IPS) and is minoring in business. He has been heavily involved with Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, serving both on the executive board and as the graduate chair. He conducts research in a Learning & Memory lab, is a Chemistry TA, volunteers with the Illini Mentor Program, and is a Stamps Scholar. Anuj has volunteered abroad in both Ecuador and Ghana and is currently applying to medical school. He is thrilled to be on court and to be a part of the institution that started the tradition of homecoming.
LaQueishia Cummins, Chicago, IL, is studying Community Health and has a passion for eliminating health disparities. On campus, she has helped plan the 2015 Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip, was a resident advisor and currently a resident director intern. She enjoys working with others and leading groups. She currently has an internship at Carle Hospital with a nurse manager. Cummins has had a past internship at Columbia University in New York, a research fellowship in Ethiopia through Harvard University, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy and public health to bring mental health services to minority communities.
Alexxis M. Franklin, Chicago, IL, is a first generation college student majoring in sports management and interned at ESPN in New York, NY. She has devoted her undergraduate years to scholarship, diversity, social justice, and volunteerism. She actively expresses passion for diversity through her campus employment with the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations. Franklin continues to raise awareness both domestically and internationally through previous service work in Fiji and upcoming service trip to Cape Town, South Africa. Currently, she is the President of the Alpha Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she continues making her mark at Illinois.
Emma Goodwin Palatine, IL, is studying political science and English with a minor in cinema studies. She has accepted an offer with Teach for America and, starting next fall, she will be teaching early childhood education in Indianapolis, aiming to dismantle education inequity. At the University, she has been involved with Alpha Omicron Pi, been a member of GLOBE, worked at The Daily Illini as the Opinions Editor and at WPGU 107.1 as a DJ and web reporter. After Teach for America, she hopes to pursue a career in political journalism, reporting on issues such as education and voter rights.
Derek Hoot Madison, WI, is studying political science honors and Arabic studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. On campus, he has been involved in various teams and organizations, including the Fighting Illini Men’s wheelchair basketball team and FBI Students’ Academy. Hoot is applying to law school, where he hopes to study human rights law. He feels honored to be part of the Homecoming Court this year.
Osazomon Imarenezor, Chicago, IL, is humbled to participate in Homecoming Court. As a first generation Nigerian-American, she focuses her interdisciplinary research in both chemistry, bioengineering and sociology on damaging effects of conventional beauty alterations, and the Chicago Black Mothers’ Project, respectively. As a past president of the African Cultural Association, TRiO McNair Scholar, Student Senator and other organizations, she wishes to fuse her experiences here at the university towards a doctorate of philosophy in biomedical sciences to create cosmetic products for women of color. Currently she works on her tech startup that maximizes the experience for African-American clients and professionals in cosmetics.
Marley Jackson, Joliet, IL, is a part of the College of Applied Health Sciences with a major in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism (RST). She is currently a resident advisor at Hopkins Hall. She prides herself on being an advocate for social justice, community service, and being a leader in the black community on campus. Marley is this year’s Vice President of Women of Color, a student organization that educates, uplifts, and unites minority women. Additionally, she has been active in other organizations including Women4Outreach for community service, EmpowerME for the black community, and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) for academic excellence.
Isabel Rose “Bella” Kadiri, Niles, IL, is studying community health with a double concentration in health education/promotion and health planning/administration. As the Illini Union Board Vice President of Programs, 100 STRONG Retention Program co-intern through the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American-Cultural Center, ACE IT facilitator and undergraduate advisor for the African Cultural Association, she is dedicated to turning her passion for service and minority affairs into action. Her experiences and educational background at Illinois have prompted her desire to pursue a career in global health and epidemiology. She is honored to serve on Homecoming Court and will be proud to call Illinois her Alma Mater.
Evan Keller, West Frankfort, IL, has promoted student electoral and legislative engagement throughout his time on campus while studying Political Science, Communication, and Spanish. He has interned for Representative Carol Ammons, Senator Scott Bennett, and Congresswoman Duckworth and also serves as president of the Illini Democrats. He has helped lead lobby days for MAP grant funding and increased access to higher education for undocumented students, and has also registered hundreds of students to vote. He recognizes the transformative power of the University of Illinois and is truly honored to participate in this year's Homecoming Court.
Ronald Lewis, Westchester, IL, is a senior majoring in finance with a minor in technology and management. On campus, Ronald serves the community by working in admissions for the College of Business, teaching Business 101 to Freshman and Sophomores, and serving as the Student Body President for the University of Illinois. In addition, he also is a member of Business Council and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Tau Chapter. After graduation, he plans on doing Teach for America and later pursing a MBA degree. Ronald attributes all of his accomplishments to the people that never gave up on him and believed in him throughout his journey.
Abby Marten, Effingham, IL, is studying agricultural leadership education. A recipient of the College of ACES Robert M. Harrison Leadership Award, Abby serves as the co-director for the Explore ACES Steering Committee, and has held leadership positions as part of 4-H House Cooperative Sorority and the Agricultural Education Club. She enjoys cheering on the Illini as an Illini Pride member and has studied abroad to both Italy and Brazil. Abby works for ACES Academic Programs and is a Leadership Paraprofessional at the Illinois Leadership Center. She is honored to represent the University as part of Homecoming Court.
Caitlin McClure, Lawrenceville, IL, is studying agricultural communications with a focus in broadcast journalism. During her tenure at the university, McClure has been actively involved in Student Alumni Ambassadors, Student Advancement Committee, the Illini Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, and the National Agri-Marketing Association, as well as interning for the Agricultural Communications Program. She has also interned with Neuhoff Media. After graduation, McClure hopes to pursue a career of public service through journalism. She feels passionately about creating a better, more sustainable community. She is honored to have been selected for the 2016 Illinois Homecoming Court.
Nikou Pishevaresfahani, Carol Stream, IL, is studying agricultural and biological engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology and a minor in chemistry. On campus, a few of her leadership positions include being actively involved as the President of Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity as well as a Volunteer Student Leader at Carle Foundation Hospital. She is passionate about teaching on campus as an Engineering Learning Assistant and Organic Chemistry I Supplemental Instructor. She aspires to become a physician one day with the incredible educational background and leadership opportunities that the University of Illinois has provided her.
Madison Ross-Ryan, Tinley Park, IL, is studying graphic design in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. She dedicates most of her time fostering Illini spirit as the Vice President of Communications for the Student Alumni Ambassadors, and is also Historian of Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity. In addition to her studies as a Chancellor’s Scholar, Ross-Ryan is a graphic designer for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and loves cheering on Illinois’ sports teams. She is unbelievably happy to share her love for Illinois as a member of Homecoming Court, and is honored to represent this university for years to come.
Hannah Schlacter, Riverwoods, IL, is studying marketing and management in the College of Business, where she is a Petullo Scholar and part of the Business Honors Program. Passionate about social entrepreneurship, she has started four organizations that have scaled from a campus-to-global level during her undergraduate career. Hannah looks forward to serving on the Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board and continuing to mentor and sponsor younger students her senior year. She will start her career in consulting in San Francisco, serving as a launching pad for her long-term goal of achieving a global positive impact.
Collin T. Schumock, Geneva, IL, studies economics and political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He serves as the Student Trustee for the Urbana campus on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Schumock is the former president of Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honors society) and is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Political Science Student Advisory Board. He has worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the economics department and as a Student Development Representative for the University of Illinois Foundation. Schumock intends to pursue a PhD in economics after graduating.
Rikka Skillrud, Bloomington, IL, is studying interdisciplinary health in the College of Applied Health Sciences. On campus, she is an active Chancellor’s Scholar and Student Alumni Ambassador, where she has served as Co-Director of Membership Recruitment. Additionally, Skillrud works as a supervisor at Spurlock Museum and as a therapeutic recreation instructor at Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation. Skillrud is applying to graduate schools for occupational therapy, where she hopes to fulfill her lifelong dream of working with the special needs community. She is honored to be a member of the 2016 Homecoming Court and will forever call this university home.
Riannon Szofer, Carol Stream, IL, is studying special education and obtaining her bachelor of science as a Learning and Behavior Specialist. She has demonstrated her leadership experience as Vice President of Homecoming for Student Alumni Ambassadors and Co-President of Best Buddies. Szofer worked for University Housing as a resident advisor for two years. She has served as the College of Education representative through the Illinois Student Senate and has built strong relationships with the community due to her teaching experience. Szofer is appreciative for this opportunity on Homecoming Court and the immeasurable experiences that Illinois has offered during her time on campus.
Emmanuel Valtierra, Chicago, IL, a first-generation college student, is studying finance in the College of Business and is a member of the Business Honors Program. On campus he is currently the President of Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity and previously served as Vice President for Global Business Brigades. This past summer he interned at JP Morgan and also participated in the Summer Venture in Management Program at Harvard Business School. Emmanuel recently joined the Equal Opportunity Committee where he hopes to positively impact the Illinois experience for all students. Wherever he goes, he is proud to be an Illini.