Colter Ray is a two-time graduate of Texas State University (BA Public Relations, 2011; MA Communication Studies, 2014) and is currently completing a doctorate of communication at Arizona State University. His journey toward a career in education began in part with the help of several key mentors he encountered while involved in student organizations at Texas State. The wisdom these mentors instilled has guided Colter both personally and professionally since his time in San Marcos. Particularly, one mentor’s insistence on building a life based on the foundation of helping others has inspired Colter to research how people support each other through tough life transitions and personal health crises such as a cancer diagnosis.
Olivia O’Hare is a movement educator who combines her extensive knowledge of improvisational dance, physical theatre, fitness, and somatics to create an unparalleled experience in each class she teaches. She currently acts as the project coordinator for Body Shift, a mixed-ability dance project based in Austin, TX, whose goal is to offer classes and workshops that empower people of all abilities to embrace dancing in their own unique way. Olivia completed coursework toward the Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas at Austin where she focused on movement theory and analysis of DanceAbility. She also holds a BFA and MA in Theatre Directing from Texas State University and has performed and worked with numerous Austin-based groups such as the Improvisational Movement Project and Actual Lives Austin. In addition to teaching acting, dance improvisation and pilates at the university level, she has worked as a fitness instructor doing athletic and post-rehab training for the past twenty years.
Mark Trahan, PhD, LCSW, is an assistant professor of Social Work at Texas State University. Dr. Trahan has spent the last fifteen years working with individuals, families, and couples as a therapist, researcher, and teacher. His areas of research interest include the role of fathering confidence in father engagement and the use of technology, specifically virtual reality, to assist in creating more confidence in men and fathers. Dr. Trahan is currently working on research projects with incarcerated men and returning combat soldiers, with future plans to use virtual reality for parenting and communication skills training. Dr. Trahan enjoys teaching and is passionately engaged in educating social work students. He loves spending time with his family, mountain biking, fly-fishing, and watching college football.
Rodney E. Rohde
Whether he’s chasing down viruses like rabies or documenting antibiotic resistant pathogens such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Dr. Rodney E. Rohde is passionate about the field of microbiology and medical laboratory science. As Professor and Chair of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program in the College of Health Professions at Texas State University, Dr. Rohde brings his career experiences as a public and clinical microbiologist and infectious disease expert from CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services Bureau of Laboratories and Zoonosis Control to the classroom. Dr. Rohde is a champion and role model for his students, fellow faculty, professional colleagues and alumni. One of Dr. Rohde’s passions is sharing his love for the medical laboratory; another is helping increase the visibility of the medical laboratory profession at the university and beyond. He weaves these values together through advocacy and mentoring. He has been recognized with multiple research and teaching awards of excellence, including being named one of the Top 20 Professors of Clinical Laboratory Science You Should Know and the #urEssential Award from Cardinal Health.
Yasmin Diallo Turk
Yasmin Diallo Turk is the CPS & Family Violence Safety Policy Analyst for SafePlace, an Austin, TX-based nonprofit agency serving domestic/sexual violence survivors, where she has worked for over 15 years. She also serves as Project Director for HOPE for Senegal (a project of the H.O.P.E. Campaign), and teaches as an adjunct instructor in the Huston-Tillotson University’s Adult Degree Program. In addition to her volunteer roles in Austin’s Muslim community, Ms. Turk is a member of the Citizen Review Team for the Department of Family and Protective Services, the KLRU Community Advisory Board, and the Sisterhood of Salam Shalom. Ms. Turk holds a BA from Huston-Tillotson University, a Master’s of Global Policy from The University of Texas at Austin, and plans to finish her Ph.D. in Environmental Geography at Texas State University by 2017. She is married with three children ages 14, 9, and 2.
Daisy Jaimez is an International Studies major with an Economics minor at Texas State University’s Honors College. Female empowerment, immigration, human rights, and economic opportunity are the foundation of the research she conducts. Currently, she is Head Delegate of Model Arab League (MAL); an organization that gives her the chance to guide Texas State students in creating resolutions to challenges faced in the Middle East. She is also a Supplemental Instruction Leader for the History Department. The direction of her career is continuously influenced by her background as the daughter of parents who left their home country in search for the American Dream. Daisy’s career goals revolve around her love for international development, and upon graduation she plans to work at a nonprofit dedicated to promoting economic sustainability in least developed countries.
Born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa. Adam graduated with honors with a Bachelors in International relations from Texas State University. As an alum from Semester at Sea (Fall 2014) and an aspiring Foreign Service Officer, he is a patron of that arts- music, visual art, theatre, and dance. However, he has a passion for helping others find their voice and putting them in places to succeed. For him, with the proper education, he believes that everybody has a chance at a brighter future. He is a feminist and a believer in empowering women and girls through the use of education. As a winner of the Social Innovation Challenge, he has launched a fashion line that will contribute some of its profits to help provide scholarships and grants to boys and girls in developing countries to help them attain an education. His life vision is to help provide education for the future generation. Lastly, as an artist with an eye for beautiful things and ideas, you can see him making and or collecting art for his priceless collection, all the while looking for the next big thing in investment, innovation, design, and technology.