You’re Going to Be Hearing about These Fearless Campus Leaders

November 02, 2017
The 2017–18 AAUW National Student Advisory Council

Members of the 2017-2018 AAUW Student Advisory Council

Help us support even more women and girls

Every year AAUW selects 10 college student leaders committed to gender equity to serve on the national Student Advisory Council (SAC). This year’s SAC members are LGBT rights leaders, engineers, student government presidents, first-generation college students, and more.

These students advise AAUW on the needs of college students, take on campus activism projects and community outreach to AAUW student organizations, and gain valuable résumé-building experience. Participants also serve as peer mentors for other aspiring student leaders during AAUW’s annual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). Most important, members form lifelong connections to their team and hundreds of SAC alumnae. Former SAC members have gone on to achieve amazing feats, from working on Capitol Hill to founding their own nonprofits.

Learn more about AAUW’s robust leadership programs and campus initiatives.

Meet the 2017–18 SAC!

1. The Future Financier: Abigail L. Johnson

This accounting major’s proudest accomplishment was interning with the finance department of Planned Parenthood’s national office. A senior at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Johnson is originally from central Minnesota. She is double minoring in economics and women, gender, and sexuality studies and is passionate about bringing gender equity to business leadership. On campus Johnson is a member of her school’s College Feminists and works as a student assistant to the director of the women, gender, and sexuality studies program. She says her biggest motivator is her mother. In her free time Johnson can be found practicing yoga, reading, and watching documentaries.

Follow her online!


2. The Passionate Pioneer: Madeline Wiles

Wiles, a junior at Northern Michigan University, is studying communications with a double minor in gender and sexuality studies and Spanish. She strives as a trans woman to be a leader for the LGBTQ community. Her motivation and drive to help others stems from her unique personal experiences, which she is thrilled to add to as a Student Advisory Council member. In her free time she enjoys painting and hiking.

Follow her online!


3. The Activist Educator: Elsie Cree

Cree, a senior at Washington State University, is Yakama from the Tidnapum band and Nez Perce from the Lookingglass band. She is studying elementary education with a focus on science and pursuing a minor in women studies. As the current chair for the Coalition for Women Students at Washington State, Cree is passionate about feminism and indigenous activism. She loves spending time with her family and is most proud of her children.

Follow her online!


4. The Trailblazing Techie: Kavya Ramamoorthy

Kavya Ramamoorthy
As an undergraduate computer science student at the University of Texas, Austin, Ramamoorthy founded AAUW at UT Austin, an AAUW student organization, to give women on campus the skills and knowledge they need to combat inequity. She has plans for a curriculum that empowers other girls to use technology to create social change. In her free time Ramamoorthy loves to travel, drink tea, and tell cheesy jokes.

Follow her online!


5. The Groundbreaking Golfer: Shaina Marie Hilsey

An avid athlete, Hilsey is a member of California University of Pennsylvania’s Division II women’s golf team. She majors in sport management with a concentration in professional golf management and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and her university’s Professional Golf Management Student Society. Through her work with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, to which she was nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA), Hilsey advocates for education on behalf of 100,000 students. She is passionate about gender equity and recently founded her university’s AAUW student organization.

6. The Daring Defender: Evangelina Jude Rodriguez

Hailing from Whittier, California, Rodriguez is a senior at Boise State University. She draws motivation from her Chicana culture and the resilient spirit of her grandmother and mother. She is also driven by the accomplishments of fellow first-generation students. A political science major with a minor in Latin American studies, Rodriguez loves Marvel superhero movies, crafting, and working with her sorority, Alpha Pi Sigma, toward the empowerment of Latina university women.

Follow her online!


7. The Empowered Engineer: Kaitlin Rizk

Rizk has already started empowering women as a student at Georgia Institute of Technology. She cofounded a nonprofit called Stempower that works with Girl Scouts in Atlanta as well as Uganda and Kenya to build girls’ confidence and teach them about robotics and aerospace and electrical engineering. One day she hopes to work for UN Women and empower girls around the world to be confident in everything they do.

8. The Ambitious Artistic: Maria Andrea Lucio

Lucio is a full-time student at Glendale Community College pursuing an associate in arts degree, majoring in secondary education with a focus in English. As associated student government president she uses her platform to advocate for student engagement and success. She loves arts and crafts but has a true passion for singing. A self-described ambitious leader, Lucio hopes to someday become a member of the U.S. Department of Education.

9. The Compassionate Champion: Rhiannon Tomtishen

Tomtishen has been a dedicated advocate since age 11, when she cofounded a national environmental campaign. This experience sparked her passion for empowering other women to make their voices heard and create change in their communities. Now a senior at Stanford studying international relations, Tomtishen is active in Stanford Women in Business, a group for which she plans large-scale events to promote women’s leadership. She looks forward to developing her leadership skills through the SAC, particularly as she prepares for a career in business after graduation.

Follow her online!


10. The Women’s Health Warrior: Chioma Egekeze

Egekeze is a senior at Rutgers University’s Douglass Residential College majoring in public health and political science with a minor in economics. She  advocates for women’s reproductive rights and maternal health on campus. Her passion for empowering women grew during her internship experiences with the United Nations Population Fund and the African Women’s Development Fund. She plans to attend law school and pursue a career in human rights law. In her spare time Egekeze enjoys painting and photography.

This blog was written by AAUW Campus Initiatives and Educational Events Intern Brittany Evans.

Take Action

University of Pittsburgh Student Organization Involvement Fair. Tabling AAUW collateral and registering new members.

5 Ways to Crush the Patriarchy on Campus

Student voices are needed now more than ever in our fight for women’s rights on campus and in our communities.

The 2017–18 AAUW National Student Advisory Council

AAUW National Student Advisory Council

Why be the leader of tomorrow when you can lead today? Join AAUW’s Student Advisory Council.

Tag a trailblazer on campus to attend #NCCWSL17 (shareable)

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders

Nearly 800 college and university women and campus professionals join AAUW for this annual leadership conference.

By:   |   November 02, 2017


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