2023 FAIT Fellows
Mohinur Abdullaeva was born in Uzbekistan and immigrated to the United States. As a FAIT Fellow, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems at Bernard M. Baruch College in the City University of New York. She enjoys initiating cultural events, maintaining cultural heritage, creating community participation, and honoring diversity. She also communicates in Uzbek, Russian, and English.
Iyouel Endashaw, a first-generation Ethiopian American, is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity at George Mason University. He has two associate degrees from Northern Virginia Community College, where he was elected to the Student Government Association as the treasurer. Endashaw is currently learning Amharic and Spanish. He is a devout Orthodox Christian and loves soccer, poetry, and volunteering in his community.
Karol Planadeball Fernandez
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Texas, Karol Planadeball Fernandez is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering with a concentration in Cybersecurity at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott, where she received the university’s Women of Excellence Award. She is fluent in Spanish and wishes to continue learning different languages and exploring cultures as a part of her technical career.
Kacey Grafing, born in Rock Rapids, Iowa, is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems at Central Michigan University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Penn State University and a Master of Arts from New England College in International Relations. He is a U.S. Army veteran, serving as a Green Beret. Grafing has a passion for public service and looks forward to the possibility of living in many other nations.
Born and raised in Thailand and Cambodia, Lisa Guagliano holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Computer Science, and a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University. She is fluent in Thai and English and proficient in Khmer. As a FAIT Fellow, Guagliano is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Risk Management at Georgetown University.
Justin D. Hayes
Justin D. Hayes is a first-generation college student with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington. Passionate about increasing empowerment within minority men, he led organizations such as “Brother’s Keeper” and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He traveled as an international consultant before relocating to Hawaii. Hayes is pursuing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance at Western Governors University.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Othello Herbert is a first-generation college student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, concentration in Intelligent Systems, at Columbia University. He enjoys participating in national hacking and writing competitions which allow him to combine his love of creative writing with his technical problem-solving skills. Devoted to social equity and community development, he has volunteered with buildOn and Road Less Traveled.
Born in New York, Levi Kottut spent his childhood in Kenya, Switzerland, and Sweden. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Computer and Electrical Engineering at the University of San Francisco. He is vice president and a founder of the Organization of Engineering Students and USF chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He speaks English, Swahili, and French.
Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Alicia Moran is a Mexican American and first-generation college student with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Pace University. She is a former Gilman International Scholar and has studied abroad in Spain and South Korea. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied French and Korean. As a FAIT Fellow, Alicia is pursuing a Master of Science in Management of Technology at New York University.
Having grown up in a Foreign Service family, Mason Perry has lived in countries ranging from Peru to Kuwait. While abroad, he developed an affinity for languages and speaks Spanish, Arabic, and Mongolian and used his skills volunteering as an English language teacher and tutor for two years in Mongolia. He is pursuing a Master of Information Systems Management at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management.
Born in New York City and raised in Queens, Maisha Rauzat is an Asian American and first-generation college student. As a FAIT Fellow, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Pace University, where she is in the Pforzheimer Honors College. Rauzat is fluent in Bengali and is studying American Sign Language. She enjoys reading, walking, and exploring new places in the city.
Born and raised in Texas, Delphina Rivas is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Computing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. At SMU, she participated in the Hilltop Scholars Program, and is now a Provost Scholar. Rivas developed an appreciation for different cultures while working in SMU’s International Student and Scholar Services Program. She enjoys ceramics, theatre and quilting.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Alabama, Brandon Sanders is a first-generation college student with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems from the University of North Alabama. He studied abroad in China and Japan for two years and worked in South Korea for one year on a Fulbright grant. As a FAIT Fellow, he is pursuing a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama.
Swechchha Shrestha is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds an associate degree in information sciences and systems from Montgomery College, where she served as the Student Council chair and as a Montgomery College Foundation student board member. Shrestha is passionate about service and technology, and she enjoys volunteering, drawing, speed walking, and meeting new people.
Courtney Souter holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech and a Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University. She found her passion for technology working for a healthcare software company. Souter is pursuing a Master of Information Technology Management at Georgetown University. She enjoys hiking and skiing in the mountains of her home state of Colorado and traveling.