Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University Sawhney Leadership Program

Multicultural Education

Sawhney Leadership Program

The Sawhney Leadership Program aims to expand leadership development and corporate immersion opportunities for historically underrepresented students in higher education. Participants work collaboratively with partners across campus and in the regional business community to expose students to multiple examples of leadership and prepare them for entry into the workforce.

Meet the Sawhney Leadership Fellows

The Sawhney Leadership Program prepares our fellows for their future careers by hosting leadership development workshops, engaging with successful alumni, building relationships with faculty and staff, immersing participants in corporate settings and developing a community of supportive, goal-oriented peers.

Sample session topics include:

  • Self Inventory - Locating Yourself in the World

  • Understanding Your Leadership Style

  • Building Interpersonal Skills for Workplace Success

  • The Language and Culture of the Professional/Corporate World

Renata Abiali ’22

Hometown: Bethel, Connecticut

Renata is a nursing major at Quinnipiac. She has been a resident assistant for the last three years, helping to create inclusive communities and to serve as a resource for students. She’s also a student ambassador for the School of Nursing and participates in open houses and academic exploration days. Outside of Quinnipiac, Renata is currently working as a patient care associate on a pediatric oncology floor at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. After graduation, Renata hopes to pursue a career in pediatric nursing and to explore specialties such as oncology and critical care.

Ana Allen ’22

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Ana is a double major in political science and philosophy. She has served as vice president and event coordinator for the Latino Cultural Society, president of Quinnipiac BIPOCA Politics, a human rights and global engagement intern at the Albert Schweitzer Institute, administrative intern at the Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut, and administrative legal intern at Robinson and Cole. After she graduates, Ana wants to pursue a master’s degree to continue her work in psychological and political science research and to work as a legal and coordinating assistant to prepare for a career in law.

Kyasha Ambroise ’24, MAT ’25

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Kyasha is a psychology and education major with a minor in Spanish. At Quinnipiac, Kyasha has served as the logistics manager for the annual Black Student Union fashion show. She’s also served as treasurer of the Black Student Union Executive Board. In addition, Kyasha volunteers twice a week as a tutor at North Haven Middle School with QU's Future Teachers Organization. Kyasha also works as a peer catalyst in the Learning Commons. After completing her MAT program, she hopes to teach elementary education while pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Tinbite “Tina” Asfaw ’21, MBA ’22

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

After earning a bachelor’s degree last year, Tina will complete her MBA this year with a concentration in supply chain management. While at Quinnipiac, she has served as treasurer of the Black Student Union, a multicultural and identity senator with the Student Government Association, and a mentor with the QUEST program for incoming underrepresented students. In addition, Tina has served as a manager with the women’s basketball program and a delegate with the Model African Union. After graduation, she plans to work as a financial analyst specializing in supply chain management.

Deja Banner ’23

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Deja is a behavioral neuroscience major at Quinnipiac. She’s been active in the Black Student Union first as the Multicultural Student Leadership Council student liaison and now as the secretary. She’s also held several key positions in the Latino Cultural Society, including director of public relations, the Multicultural Student Leadership Council student liaison and treasurer. After graduation, Deja hopes to become a research assistant while she pursues her master’s/doctorate. Her professional goal is to enroll in medical school and become a neurologist.

Dagmawi Bogale ’22, MHS ’23

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dagmawi is a biomedical sciences major with minors in chemistry and microbiology & immunology. He is the director of diversity and inclusion for the International Students Association on campus. He is also a mentor with the Quinnipiac University Enriching Student Transitions (QUEST) program to help incoming underrepresented students. In addition, Dagmawi is a resident assistant at Quinnipiac and a member of the QU Advancing Diversity in Science (QUADS) program. As a student in the 4+1 BMS program, Dagmawi hopes to immerse himself in research after graduation to help others.

Toyloy Brown III ’22

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Toyloy is a journalism major with a minor in sociology. He has served in a variety of leadership roles, including secretary of the Black Student Union, vice president of the African & Caribbean Student Union and managing editor of The Quinnipiac Chronicle. Toyloy is also executive editor of “For the QUlture” magazine. He has held several key internships during his college career, including roles at the Bronx Documentary Center and Hoops Prospects. After graduation, Toyloy will participate in a week long boot camp at the Sports Journalism Institute followed by an internship at USA Today.

Gabriella Colello ’22

Hometown: Wallingford, Connecticut

Gabriella is a political science major with a minor in law in society. She has served as a human rights global engagement intern with the Albert Schweitzer Institute and a policy fellow with the Central European Institute. In addition, Gabriella has worked as a legislative intern to the Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore and participated in the Oxford Consortium on Human Rights. At present, she is president of the Indigenous Student Union. After graduation, Gabriella plans to pursue her Ph.D. in political science with an emphasis on theoretically informed international relations.

Jalil Coverdale ’22

Hometown: North Salem, New York

Jalil is a media studies major with a journalism minor. He has participated in two internships while attending Quinnipiac. One was a social media marketing role for a job recruiting firm. The other was a social media internship for a social media blogger and influencer. On campus, he is the director of public relations for the Black Student Union. After graduation, Jalil plans to study fashion or public relations in graduate school. With a master’s degree in fashion, he might work in public relations for a fashion label, or even a global conglomerate. Eventually, he would like to become a creative director.

Samuel Dorielan ’24

Hometown: Rahway, New Jersey

Samuel is a film, television and media arts major at Quinnipiac. He’s very involved in extracurricular activities, including the executive board of the Black Student Union, social media director/cast of Q30 and QUTN, and a Legacy Theatre internship. Sam is also involved in the Student Programming Board, the QU Film Society, the pep band, the National Black Journal Association and Quinnipiac’s Office of Marketing and Communications as a student photographer. After graduation, Sam plans to enroll in graduate school or start working as a FTM professional.

Joancy Espinal ’22

Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts

Joancy is a biology major with a minor in chemistry. She has served on the New Student Orientation Staff as an orientation leader, and later, as an intern. Joancy is also a peer-catalyst in the Learning Commons for first-year seminar courses. In addition, she is a research volunteer in a genetics lab at Quinnipiac and an academic tutor in the City of New Haven through a nonprofit organization, New Haven Reads. She’s also a CNA and helps lead the Biology Department’s mentoring program. After graduation, Joancy plans to earn her master’s in biomedical sciences and apply to medical school.

Ja’Vielle Foy ’22

Hometown: East Orange, New Jersey

Ja’Vielle is a political science major with a minor in public relations. During her time at Quinnipiac, she has served as president of the Black Student Union for two years, an executive board member of The Big Event for two years and the Multicultural Student Leadership Council liaison for the African Caribbean Student Union. Last summer, Ja’Vielle served as a Presidential Public Service Fellow in the Town of Hamden’s Youth Services Bureau. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in social media management, and later, a master’s degree in public relations.

Leilani Girard-Isaac ’22

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Leilani is a psychology and criminal justice major at Quinnipiac. During her time at QU, she has worked as an after-school teacher and mentor at Graham Windham, a nonprofit that offers help to children and families in need. She helps children grow socially, academically and emotionally to become greater versions of themselves. After graduation, Leilani wants to be a forensic psychologist to improve how the mentally ill are seen and treated within the criminal justice system. She wants to ensure they have access to the services they need to recover from any trauma they have faced.

Glenna Gobeil ’22

Hometown: Springfield, Pennsylvania

Glenna is a double major in media studies and advertising and integrated communications with a minor in sociology. She is a member of several organizations, including the Quinnipiac University Honors Program, the Academic Integrity Board and Quinnipiac Culture Productions. She’s also the assistant editor and a contributor of Montage Literary & Arts Magazine. Outside of school, Glenna works closely with Next Generation Guatemala to spread awareness of transracial and international adoption. After graduation, she plans to complete her master’s in public relations.

Kodi Greenaway ’22

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Kodi is a finance major with a minor in entrepreneurship. She has served in a variety of leadership positions at Quinnipiac, including her role as a resident assistant with the Office of Residential Life, the finance chair with the Multicultural Student Leadership Council, and as treasurer and public relations chair with the African & Caribbean Student Union. Kodi is also the executive chair and the public relations chair at “For the QUlture” magazine, and a volunteer for Junior Achievement Day at Cheshire Middle School. After graduation, she will begin her career as a financial analyst at Citigroup.

Derek Hernandez ’22

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Derek is a marketing major at Quinnipiac. He is the president of Lambda Theta Phi fraternity and has served as a member of the executive board for the Interfraternity Council, the governing body for all fraternities on campus. Derek also has served as a resident assistant, which has allowed him to lead a community of 60 students. Additionally, he has worked on the staff at “For the QUlture” magazine, which highlights students of color at Quinnipiac. After graduation, Derek hopes to start an internship with the iHeart Media sales and marketing team.

Cecil Huang ’22, MOT 24

Hometown: Braintree, Massachusetts

Cecil is an occupational therapy major at Quinnipiac. For the past three years, Cecil has been a resident assistant for first-year students, which has enabled her to build positive and inclusive communities. Currently, Cecil is a resident assistant for the Occupational Therapy Living-Learning Community. She also serves as a member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association and the ASL Club. In addition, Cecil works with first-year students as part of the QUEST mentoring program. After graduation, she will pursue her Master of Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac.

Lydia Jones ’22

Hometown: Glenn Dale, Maryland

Lydia is a health science studies major with minors in psychology and global public health. Last summer, she interned with Columbia University's Summer Public Health Scholars Program as a research intern. She has also been an active member of the Black Student Union as both treasurer and vice president. Last fall, Lydia was inducted into Quinnipiac’s chapter of the Alpha Ata honor society along with QU’s Psi Chi international honor society. She also competed on Quinnipiac’s Division I volleyball team. After graduation, she plans to earn a doctorate in occupational therapy.

Lydia Lewis ’22

Hometown: Mansfield, Texas

Lydia is a heath science studies major at QU. She has served as a resident assistant at Mountainview with the Office of Residential Life. She has also worked as a research assistant (interviewer/qualitative coder) with the Quinnipiac XLH Study and a mentor with the Quinnipiac University Enriching Student Transitions (QUEST) program for incoming underrepresented students. After graduation, Lydia plans to earn her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy. As a future occupational therapist, she hopes to specialize in neuroscience and hand therapy and to help design new therapeutic interventions.

Petrina Robinson ’23

Hometown: Hartford, Connecticut

Petrina is an entrepreneurship major at Quinnipiac. During her time at QU, she has been president of NaturallyMe, a residential assistant for the Office of Residential Life, treasurer of the Black Student Union, secretary and treasurer of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., programming chair of the Multicultural Student Leadership Council, and an intern at Redwood Investments and Virtus Investments. Petrina is also a Bank of America student leader and an Urban League of Greater Hartford youth ambassador. After graduation, she hopes to work with children or a corporate business in a management position.

Pratibha Thippa ’22, MHS ’24

Hometown: San Ramon, California

Pratibha is enrolled in the entry-level dual-degree BS in Health Science Studies/MHS in Physician Assistant program. After serving as the programming chair of the Multicultural Student Leadership Council for two years, she became the executive chair this year. She also has served in leadership roles with the South Asian Society, Relay for Life and the Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students. She has gained healthcare experience working as a pharmacy technician, contact tracer and physical therapy aid. After graduation, Pratibha plans to work as a physician assistant in oncology or OB/GYN.

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