17 military-connected women students accepted into Focus Forward Fellowship mentoring program

Seventeen women student veterans and service members from around the United States have been accepted into the Military Family Research Institute’s 2022 Focus Forward Fellowship. The Fellowship is a national mentoring program that helps military-connected women hone academic and career skills and build a community of support for success.

2022 cohort members are:

  • Melissa Blevins (veteran, U.S. Navy), sophomore, College of Charleston
  • Tawanay Bryant (veteran, U.S. Army), sophomore, Grand Canyon University
  • Kayla Ciccotto (veteran, U.S. Army), senior, Joyce University
  • Sarah Evans (veteran, U.S. Army), graduate student, Purdue University Global
  • Lovii Hicks (veteran, U.S. Navy), graduate student, Youngstown State University
  • Alexendra Klosterman (veteran, U.S. Navy), sophomore, College of Dupage
  • Janelle Kroupa (active duty, U.S. Navy), sophomore, California State University at Fullerton
  • Amanda Lalonde (veteran, U.S. Navy), junior, Syracuse University
  • Yanzhi Liu (veteran and reserve, U.S. Marine Corps), sophomore, University of California, Irvine
  • Bianca Markovich (veteran, U.S. Marine Corps), senior, Georgetown University
  • Malika Moretti (active duty, U.S. Air Force), graduate student, Florida State University
  • Keriki Purkiss (active duty, U.S. Navy), graduate student, Florida State University
  • Marina Rabinek (veteran, U.S. Navy), graduate student, Texas A&M
  • LaTieya Richard (Army National Guard), graduate student, Youngstown State University
  • Deborah Ryan (active duty, Air Force Reserves), graduate student, Liberty University
  • Amanda Valentine (veteran, U.S. Air Force), graduate student, West Virginia University
  • Andrea Wooten (active duty, U.S. Army), senior, Purdue University Global

Fellows are chosen through a competitive process and attend the program on scholarship, thanks to funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc., and corporate sponsors.

The residential portion of the Fellowship will take place July 20-24 on the Purdue University campus. Fellows will attend sessions taught by leading professionals — many of whom have military connections — on strengths-based leadership, communication styles, professional networking, personal branding and emotional intelligence. They will also meet one-on-one with career mentors and participate in group coaching led by women veterans.

Fellows will then participate in an online community throughout the upcoming academic year. The community will allow them to provide each other with ongoing support and continue building on the learning which occurred during the residential portion of the Fellowship.

For more information on the Focus Forward Fellowship, visit https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/focus-forward-fellowship/.