Change Maker of the Month

Change Makers are active participants in society accountable to and responsible for the common good. Their willingness to act and ability to lead transforms visions into reality. In doing so, they are able to negotiate diverse views and adapt behaviors to work with others as agents of positive and ethical change.
OLCE’s Change Maker of the Month:
  1. Lives out our definition of what it means to be a Change Maker.
  2. Exhibits 1 or more of our 8 competencies of a UNCG leader.
  3. Is nominated by an OLCE staff member.
  4. Has at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  5. Is involved with at least one or more OLCE program.

April 2021: Joshua Burns

Major: History and Secondary Education

Year: Junior

Involvement: Josh is involved with the following:

  • UNCG Guarantee Scholar and Cohort Captain
  • UNCG Teaching Fellows
  • UNCG McNair Program Scholar and Student Ambassador
  • Gold Leadership Challenge Participant with SHIELD Mentoring
  • NASPA Certfied Peer Educator (CPE)

Why Joshua is a Change Maker

Joshua is currently a Gold student, working with SHIELD Mentoring.  He is using his major of education to help craft curriculum to keep students virtually engaged.  He also represented UNCG at the UNC System Conference and learned about sustained dialogue and how to create change on campus.  Post the conference, Joshua met with some attendees who are now crafting a plan to bring back what they learned to UNCG.  Joshua is also a CPE student and went through training in NASPA on how to be a peer facilitator and will continue his work with OLCE next year.  He is also in UNCG Guarantee and serves as a Cohort Captain in the Guarantee program.  He continues to try new things, seeking ways to grow in his leadership and learn new skills.

March 2021: Christelle Barakat

Major: M.A. in  Peace and Conflict Studies with a concentration in International Peace Development

Year: Graduate Student

Involvement: Christelle is a member of and volunteers for the following:

            • Circle K Global Leadership Program
            • ACE
            • C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance
            • GSA
            • Center for New North Carolinians
            • International Ambassadors


Why Christelle is a Change Maker

Christelle creates positive change through community engagement. She practices this leadership competency by leading volunteers for the UNCG MLK Day of Service and promoting access and integration for local immigrants and refugees through the Center for New North Carolinians.

Christelle increases her Intercultural Knowledge and that of the students she supports as an International Ambassador and a member of the C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance. As a Global Leadership Program facilitator, she helps build the leadership skills of international students.

February 2021: Maitlyn Calhoun

Major: Communications,  Sport Coaching minor

Year: Sophomore

Involvement: Maitlyn is currently a student leader working in the OLCE office, and is also a member of UNCGs Women’s Rugby Team! In the past, she has been a part of the Spartans in Dialogue program, served with the MLK Day of Service, UNCG Day of Service, and has been a Peer Academic Leader.

Why Maitlyn is a Change Maker

Maitlyn shows two of our major leadership competencies in the way she leads on campus: self awareness and relationship development. She is starting to recognize her power and potential in the way she connects with and works with others to ignite positive change. In previous semesters she has coordinated efforts around service with her FYE class as a PAL, learning that it can take just one person to inspire many. We are so excited to see what she does with OLCE and across campus during her journey as a leader here at UNCG.

November 2020: Jocelyn Marencik

Major: Computer Science,  New Media and Design minor

Year: Sophomore

Involvement: Jocelyn is the founder and Initiative Manager of Got Tec, a community initiative which donates and funds needed technology equipment to underserved and underfunded schools. Also, she is the Founder and Initiative Manager of Top of the Rawk Awards. She’s completed her Bronze and Silver leadership challenges for our office and is currently working on the Gold leadership challenge. She is also a member of ACE, the SPEAR club, as well as a founder of UNCG’s Circle K International!

Why Jocelyn is a Change Maker

She has a strong commitment to several of our core leadership competencies: Community Engagement, Intercultural Competence, and Creative Visioning. Jocelyn started her own non-profit, Got Tec, which helps underfunded/served K-12 schools get access to the latest technology to use in their classrooms. For Gold, she is partnering with her non-profit and American Reading Company to continue to offer resources to schools around NC and VA. Jocelyn saw a need in her community and found a way to address it. It’s incredibly inspiring to see such a young person making a huge impact already. She stays committed to her academics while participating in co-curricular programs and running her own non-profit; pretty impressive!

September 2020: Cameron Farrar

Major: Sociology and Political Science 

Year: Junior

Involvement: Cameron is a Residential Advisor, Democracy Fellow, and Student Coordinator of Peer Education (SCOPE). 


Why Cameron is a Change Maker

Cameron has lived out our definition of Change Maker by being an active student leader both in the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and on campus as an RA. He has spent this year as a Democracy Fellow for our office, teaching students and classes about voting while helping to get our campus ready for the November Election. UNCG is a better place with Cameron’s active leadership! 

November 2019: Belle Downing

Major: Recreation and Parks Management with a Concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology

Year: Junior

Involvement: Belle is a Peer Leadship Educator for OLCE, works for OARS, works as a Spartan Guide for Undergraduate Admissions, and works as the Information Desk Manager in the EUC. She is also an active Chancellor’s Ambassador and on the TEDxUNCGreensboro committee. She is also currently doing the Gold Leadership Challenge.

Why Belle is a Change Maker

Belle lives out the definition of Change Maker daily, demonstrating all of our core competencies. She recognizes that real leadership is a process and is continually looking for ways to expand her personal growth. She facilitates a “Be the Change” workshop series for two different residential colleges in an effort to help them recognize their potential as individuals, their strength as a group, and their community responsibility to be the change we need to see in the world. Further, Belle started what she calls “The Better Humans Project” where she asks students to record their answers to the question: How can someone be a better human? She has been compiling and recording the advice, sayings, and ideas students have shared and is planning to share them with our campus.

October 2019: Killion Webster

Major: Nutrition and Dietetics

Year: Senior

Involvement: Killion is actively involved in the Gold Leadership Challenge, where she is partnered with A Simple Gesture. She is also an officer in the Food Recovery Network, with the role of secretary. She also volunteers with Recipe for Success through the Anthropology department.

Why Killion is a Change Maker

Killion has lived out our definition of Change Maker by demonstrating skills in both task management and community engagement. According to her community partner, Julia Osborne at A Simple Gesture, Killion jumped into her project and never looked back. She is incredibly organized and is very committed to raising awareness around food insecurity. She has great energy, passion, and exemplifies what is means to be a Gold student.

September 2019: Jamie Cannady

Major: Dance Studies Major, Minor in Interdisciplinary Art and Social Change

Year: Senior

Involvement: Jamie is actively involved in the UNCG Guarantee program, has completed the Bronze Leadership Challenge and is currently working towards Silver while being a Bronze Leadership Challenge facilitator in the Dance Department.

Why Jamie is a Change Maker

Jamie has lived out our definition of Change Maker by being an active student leader both in the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and around campus. This year she thought outside of the box and took the initiative to get her fellow dance majors involved in the Bronze Leadership Challenge by bringing it directly to them. She is determined to leave UNCG a better place than she found it and is an inspiration to those around her.

March 2019: Lex Lee

Major: Social Work Major / Psychology Minor

Year: Junior

Involvement: Peer Academic Leader (PAL) Captain, Peer Leadership Educator (PLE), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Emcee, and UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean’s Office Receptionist

Why Lex is a Change Maker

Lex lives out our definition of citizen leadership by constantly looking for ways to help others, whether it be with an assignment or through the struggles of life. Throughout her various on and off campus roles, she is always advocating for diversity and its importance. Her experience with diverse populations and cultures has opened her eyes to the differences between various groups, and how, as a community, we all can appreciate our differences to reach a common goal.

February 2019: Akecicia Steward & Calyssa Ponder

Major: Akecicia– Media Studies Major/ Theatre, African American Diaspora Studies Minors; Calyssa– Psychology/Sociology

Year: Akecicia– Senior; Calyssa– Junior

Involvement: Akecicia– Catalyst, Vietnamese Student Association, Advocacy for Access, Residence and Housing Association, SID Ambassador, SpartanLink, G.L.O.W dance team and Gold Leadership Challenge – Reading Connections; Calyssa– Catalyst, NBS/NBS Gospel Choir, Peer Academic Leader, TeamQuest, Blair Wisco PTSD Lab, Girls Reaching Out

Why Akecicia & Calyssa are Change Makers

Akecicia and Calyssa are February’s Citizen Leaders of the Month because, together, they strive to be a catalyst for change. These students serve as OLCE’s Catalyst Leaders for the office’s new Catalyst program. Together, these students live out their values by serving community partners, leading with integrity, and working toward making the difference they hope to see in their communities.

January 2019: Oluwatamilore (Tammy) Ogunkale

Major: Computer Science, Pre-Med

Year: Junior

Involvements: Gold Leadership Challenge- Big Brother Big Sister of the Central PiedmontAfrican Student Union, & Articulate Poetry Club

Why Oluwatamilore is a Change Maker

Oluwatamilore is January’s Citizen Leader of the month because she involves herself in numerous volunteer opportunities in the community. She believes in leadership through service, so she tries to give back to the community as much as she can. By going through all three levels of the Leadership Challenge, she says she has been able to grow her leadership skills, which in turn makes her a better citizen leader. By being informed, she is able to answer questions that people have regarding civic duties, or she refers them to the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement. Additionally, she is always open to work with anyone to achieve a common goal.

October 2019: Savanna Thomas

Major: Community and Therapeutic Recreation

Minor: American Sign Language

Year: Junior

Involvements: Director/Founder of Camp Kesem, Past Student Reflection Leader for Honors Colloquium, Undergraduate Assistant for Community Engagement, Honors student , & Out of School Time Coordinator for the city of Greensboro

Why Savanna is a Change Maker

Savanna is October’s Citizen Leader of the month because of her dedication to serving her community. Through Camp Kesem, she is able to work with a team of individuals who address needs in the Greensboro community by spending several hours each week supporting children through and beyond their parent/guardian’s experience with cancer.

Through our Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement, she assisted with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of service trips, and days of service. Currently, she serves as the Out of School Time Coordinator for the city of Greensboro, which has allowed her to create effective change in the greater community by serving Greensboro’s youth on a broader scale.