Leadership Team

Graduate Fellows

Graduate Fellows play a vital role in developing and enriching the overall College Prep community and are responsible for carrying out a variety of academic, social, and enrichment programming in addition to supervising program assistants and the cohorts. Read more…

Baffour Boaten Boahen-Boaten
Photo of Graduate Fellow B4 smiling outdoors in front of a brick building with a white framed window. B4 is wearing sunglasses, has short cropped black hair and short trimmed facial hair. B4 wears a short-sleeved shirt with an African geometric print in goldenrod, blue, red, green, and black with white stitched details.

Graduate Fellow Baffour (prefers to be called ‘B4’ as all his names begin with a ‘B’) is from Ghana where he graduated from the University of Cape Coast with a Bachelors (BSc) degree in Psychology, having also completed a semester study at the Grand Valley State University in Michigan as part of his undergraduate studies. He proceeded to pursue a Master of Science degree in Global Mental Health from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Prior to his current Master of Public Health (MPH-Mental & Behavioral Health specialization) studies at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, he held a lecturing position in Psychology at the health-focused Eswatini Medical Christian University in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in southern Africa. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

He worked as a Program Assistant/Consultant for the Frederik Meijer Honors College (Grand Valley State University) Summer Service-Learning program in Ghana where he participated in placement liaising and arrangement in clinical settings as well as development of student learning outcomes and placement schedules. He also mentored faculty and students to navigate the sociocultural environment in Ghana. He was also a Teaching & Research Assistant at the University of Cape Coast where he, among other things, facilitated tutorials for undergraduate students in psychology and education and in the preparation of research manuscripts.  Graduate Fellow ‘B4’ is passionate about teaching and mentoring and is thus excited to serve as a WashU College Prep Program Graduate Fellow. He considers the fellowship as an opportunity to share and exchange knowledge and experiences with the younger generation to foster their personal, social, and academic development. His interests, driven by a desire for social justice, include global health, psychosocial issues of HIV/AIDS, mental health of underserved populations such as refugees/migrants, and knowledge decolonization and indigenization. He enjoys soccer and reading in his leisure.

Lauren Drumgold

Graduate Fellow Lauren is from Harlem, New York and graduated from Bates College with a Bachelors in Biology. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health at the Brown School. Before moving to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Lauren worked with City Year New York helping middle school students in academics and facilitating after-school programming at a local public school in Harlem. She enjoys spending time with family and cooking new recipes. Graduate Fellow Lauren is looking forward to getting to know and help scholars on their journeys!

MacKenzie Gleason

Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is from Chicago, IL and received her Bachelor’s in Educational Studies and Religious Studies with a minor in French from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She recently served as a college adviser with the Washington University College Advising Corps, where she worked to provide college and career access to students at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School. Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is now working toward her Master’s degree in Social Work at the Brown School where she hopes to gain skills to address and disrupt educational inequality and inequity. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, binge-watching TV series, traveling (when there’s not a pandemic, of course), listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Graduate Fellow MacKenzie is very excited to be joining the College Prep Program as a Graduate Fellow to work with our wonderful scholars and team!

Hanna Jeong

Graduate Fellow Hanna is from Buena Park, California, and graduated from University of Southern California in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. They are currently pursuing their Masters in Social Work at the Brown School, where they are concentrating in Mental Health with a specialization in Sexual Health and Education. Before coming to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Hanna served as an AmeriCorps City Year Seattle member working with middle school students as well as a residential teaching fellow at Vassar College’s Exploring Transfer program working with community college students. Graduate Fellow Hanna enjoys traveling, making ceramics and sculpture, and seeking new and different cuisines to eat. They are eager to welcome this year’s cohort of scholars!

Melody Rachel Konadu Frempong

Melody Rachel Konadu Frempong is a Ghanaian who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with Sociology from the University of Ghana. After graduation, she worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant in the Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana. Melody has also worked as a Project Coordinator and has mentored young school children for the STL Amandi Foundation (SAF) “GOAL” project in Ghana. Before moving to St. Louis, she worked as a Human Rights Advocate for the Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization in Hungary, where she championed the rights of ethnic minorities. Her passion for social work motivates her to be concerned about factors that affect people’s life circumstances and the nexus between social work and policy. Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at WashU.  She enjoys traveling, listening to music, and reading. She is excited to work with the Scholars.

Portia Nartey

Graduate Fellow Portia is a second-year Master of Social Work student at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. She is the outgoing MSW Co-Chair of the Brown School Student Coordinating Council, the student governing body of the Brown School. Graduate Fellow Portia is from Ghana in West Africa, where she earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Ghana.  While at the University of Ghana, Portia was the Vice President of the GaDangme Students Association, a student ethnic association, and worked as an organizer of rural health and educational outreaches, where she recruited her fellow college students to volunteer as teachers in deprived rural communities in the southern part of Ghana. Graduate Fellow Portia worked as a foundation practicum student at ICHAD, a research center at the Brown School and currently has her concentration practicum with the International Institute of St. Louis.  Graduate Fellow Portia’s interests include leadership and advocacy, gender equity, human rights, migration, social policy, and international social and economic development.

Leah Nason

Graduate Fellow Leah is from Williamsport, Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2018 with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a B.A. in Public Health. Before moving to St. Louis, Graduate Fellow Leah served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, co-teaching middle school guidance and counseling classes. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health at the Brown School. Her passions include youth development, health equity, and data-driven storytelling and strategies. In her free time, Graduate Fellow Leah enjoys running, cooking potatoes, making new playlists on Spotify, and taking photos of friends! She is excited to welcome and work alongside this year’s cohort of scholars in the Citizenship and Freedom: From Plato to Maya course.

Peter Ogunniran

Peter Ogunniran is a PhD Candidate in German/Comparative Literature in Arts and Sciences. He also got certified in Higher Education Administration at Wash U. He is currently writing his dissertation on German colonial history in Africa. Before moving to Saint Louis, he got his M.A. in Modern Languages from the University of Mississippi and his Bachelors in European Studies from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

He worked as a project assistant at the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, where he assisted in training projects that supported young Nigerians in acquiring vocational training that placed them with companies, helped them establish themselves or acquire hands-on, technical skills before going to college. He is passionate about supporting people and helping them nurture their dreams and aspirations. In his free time, Peter enjoys photography, reading, and learning new things. He is excited to support the College Prep staff and Scholars.

Juan Manuel Ramirez-Velazquez

Graduate Fellow Juan is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at WU. He is in the Hispanic Studies section currently specializing on Colonial Literature and Cultural Studies in the Iberian Atlantic World. He received a M.A. in Hispanic Literature from the University of New Mexico, where he became passionate about teaching Spanish language and Hispanic cultures classes as a college instructor. He always strives to know his students and inspire them to engage in rich discussions, both as language learners and as residents of a globalized world. Graduate Fellow Juan is very excited about working as a WashU College Prep Program Graduate Fellow because he really loves to see students grow, both personally and professionally/academically. Besides working with the College Prep Program during the summer, Graduate Fellow Juan will be studying for his Ph.D. comprehensive exams while he takes the Mellon Dissertation Seminar about the “History of Ideas.”

Marisha Thomas

Graduate Fellow Marisha (“muh-RI-shuh”; sounds like Patricia) is from Tampa, FL. She earned her BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Soka University of America, graduating in 2021. She chose WashU’s Master of Social Work because it was one of the few universities she could find that offered programming in Sexual Health and Education; she wants to use her degree to lead her to a career in sex ed, and is also considering the path toward becoming a doula. She has previously worked with high schoolers during her time with Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, where she has, at the time of writing, mentored 3 students through the college application process. She’s happy to talk to any student about her path through education and other professional experiences, but she also loves to talk about the latest internet drama, YouTube content, and video games (ask her about her Steam/Nintendo Switch library!).

Quentin Thomas

Graduate Fellow Quentin is from the DC, Maryland, Virginia area and graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Public Policy, specializing in Education. Quentin is currently pursuing his Master of Social Work at the Brown School in Domestic Social and Economic Development with a specialization in Policy. In his undergraduate career, Quentin spent a lot of time working on gender equity from a masculinity perspective, facilitating dialogues and workshops on topics such as gender socialization, empathy, and male privilege. Graduate Fellow Quentin’s other hobbies and interests include writing, making playlists, and any and everything French-related. He looks forward to working with and supporting both the Scholars and the College Prep staff.

Program Assistants

Undergraduate Program Assistants create opportunities for scholars to learn about themselves and are responsible for facilitating the general safety and well-being of the College Prep community by attending classes, sessions, meals, and off-campus events with students. Read more…

Christian Alexander

Christian is a junior from the Los Angeles area, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is involved with the National Society of Black Engineers, Engineering Without Borders, and Black Anthology. After obtaining his degree, he plans on working on engineering projects that can benefit underserved communities and uplift those who need it the most. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys video making, playing chess, and living a healthy, active lifestyle. He is excited to support each of the scholars as they wrestle with the dense and complex college application process.

Micah Benning-Shorb

Micah is a sophomore at WashU studying Philosophy and Political Science. She is from Grinnell, Iowa and is always looking for opportunities to get to know the St. Louis community better. When she has the chance, Micah loves exploring the outdoors, running and biking, finding new music, and reading. She is excited to be involved with College Prep and to work with the wonderful Scholars.

Jayla Coleman

Jayla is a sophomore at WashU, planning on double majoring in American Culture Studies and Film and Media Studies. Jayla spends her free time roller skating, watching movies, reading, finding new music, and playing Rock Band. Jayla is excited to be to be back on campus with the College Prep Program and some of her fellow members of Cohort 4. She hopes to make this summer as fun and memorable for current scholars as her time in the program was!

Brianna Chandler

Brianna Chandler is a sophomore at WashU, and a proud College-Prep Program alum. She is double-majoring in American Culture Studies and Drama. Brianna cares deeply about her community and is always looking for ways to get involved. She looks forward to having a fun and enlightening summer with the scholars.

Kara Fisher

Kara Fisher is a rising sophomore at Columbia College and an Alumni of the College Prep Program. She is double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with plans to work on political campaigns after graduation. Kara is a First Year Mentor and Student Ambassador at Columbia, and she is also involved in the Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association, Homecoming Committee, and COVID Vaccination Awareness Committee. Some of her hobbies include reading, listening to music, rewatching the movie Lady Bird more times than she can count, and hanging out with friends and family. As a member of College Prep’s Cohort 4, Kara is ecstatic to be back at Washington University and working with scholars. Some of her favorite memories are from her years at WUCPP, and she hopes to make the program as memorable for new scholars as it was for her!

Natalie Fisher

Natalie is a sophomore at WashU studying Mechanical Engineering and Economics. She is from south Texas and has been loving exploring St. Louis as much as possible. When she has the chance, she loves hiking and being outdoors as well as playing piano. She is very excited to get to know the scholars this summer!

Hannah Grimes

Hannah is a rising junior studying political science and philosophy. She manages publicity for WU-Slam, edits for the Review of Philosophy, and does undergraduate research in political philosophy and German as a Kling Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading, and playing music. She is excited to work with this year’s scholars to make the summer meaningful and fun! 

Porscha Hayes

Porscha is a senior at WashU studying Classics and minoring in Writing. She is a member of the Eta Sigma Phi Classics honorary and the social chair of the Black Seniors Association. When she’s not at school, she spends her time knitting, crafting, and watching movies. 

Khadijah Kareem

Khadijah Kareem is a rising junior from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She studies Anthropology: Global Health and the Environment. Khadijah’s favorite snack is popcorn and she loves finding new places to eat in St. Louis. Khadijah is excited to meet the students in the College Prep Program and introduce them to WashU! 

Destiny King

Destiny King is a rising sophomore from St. Louis, MO. She’s double majoring in Urban Studies with concentrations in Urban Design and Public Health and Psychology with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is currently enjoying the college experience however, in the future she plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health as well as a PhD in Epidemiology. Some of her interests include throwing pottery, drawing, singing, and watching movies. As a College Prep alumni scholar, Destiny is excited to be involved with the program again and looks forward to having an amazing summer!

Philip Lawal

Philip Lawal is a Cohort 4 College Prep Program alum. He is currently a rising sophomore at The Ohio State University and is a part of their Morrill Scholar Program. Philip is majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Video Gaming Studies, and plans to become a Computer Hardware Engineer. During his extra time, Philip likes to play video games, watch movies, and play board/card games with his friends.  As a CPP alum, Philip is excited to work with the next generation of College Prep scholars.

Christian Monzon

Raised in Schaumburg, Illinois, Christian comes to the College Prep Program enthusiastic to help prepare future college students for the rest of their academic careers. He intends to double major in Political Science and International/Area Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, and enjoys learning about current events around the world. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and watching pro sports.  

Jharna Rai

Jharna Rai is a rising junior at WashU and plans to major in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is also a College prep alumni scholar from St. Louis, MO. Some of her interests include art, poetry and chess. Jharna is excited to be part of the program and getting to know the scholars!

Sofi Robayo-Camargo

Originally from Colombia, Sofi is a College Prep Alumni living in St. Louis. She is a rising junior on the Pre-Dental track, double majoring in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. On campus Sofi loves getting involved with dance groups, productions such as Carnaval, and is additionally passionate about the LatinX community and the youth.

Erick Saucedo

Erick is a rising sophomore from Chicago, majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He is involved with Carnaval and Niños Cambios Puertas, and is a member of Alpha Psi Lambda. Erick hopes to stay in academia and pursue a PhD in Economics with the end goal of becoming a professor. Apart from school, he enjoys learning more about the world around him and how it works, so you can frequently catch him watching documentaries. He is excited to meet all the new scholars and learn what they are passionate about!

Carlos Tyse

Carlos Tyse is currently a rising sophomore at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. He is majoring in Pre-Nursing and plans to be a nurse practitioner in the future. When there is extra time, Carlos enjoys music producing, watching movies, and playing chess with friends. As a College-Prep program alum, Carlos is thrilled to work with the scholars this summer.

Maxwell Vivian

Maxwell Vivian is a rising junior at St. Louis Community college, and a College-Prep program alum. He is majoring in Computer Network Engineering with a minor in Culinary Studies. Max enjoys playing sports and enjoys learning different things in hopes to be a jack of all trades. Max has many interests such as photography, video games, watching movies and documentaries, but most importantly, traveling.

Matthew Wagner
2021.04.13 — Deneb STARS Headshot days

Matthew is a rising sophomore at WashU, and he is planning to study Mathematics and Physics with a possible minor in Economics.  He is from northern Illinois and attended high school at Wayland Academy in Wisconsin.  Matthew is a member of the WashU eSports and Gaming Hearthstone team, and he enjoys practicing with the team and playing electric guitar in his free time.  He is excited to be involved with the program and to get to know the scholars this summer.

Sparkle Whitaker

Sparkle, a rising senior from Chicago, is a B.A. candidate in Fashion Design with a second major in Sociology. She enjoys writing, baking vegan banana bread, and is obsessed with the color gray. Sparkle is excited to meet this year’s scholars and work with them over the summer.

Madison Williamson

I am a rising junior from Jackson, Tennesse who is majoring in Sociology at Washington University. I am a small business owner who creates luxury vegan lip gloss for an affordable price. In my free time, I love connecting with new people and traveling the world with my friends for new adventures!

Sandy Wongsirisakul

Sandy is a rising sophomore and a WUCPP alum from St. Charles, MO. She plans on double-majoring in Biology and International Area Studies as a part of the Pre-Med track. On campus, she’s involved in Habitat for Humanity, club tennis, and Thai Students Association. College Prep has made many of her past summers enjoyable, so Sandy hopes she can help do the same for the current scholars!