Students of African Descent Alliance (SADA)

2006-07 Executive Officers

Tonya Plear,
MPA, 2007
Tonya is a candidate for a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Public and Non-Profit Management. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University in 1998. Tonya worked in the financial services industry as a Relationship Manager at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation for seven years.  In the summer of 2005 she completed a Study Abroad Program in South Africa which focused on Education and Social Reform in post-Apartheid South Africa.Tonya is passionate about the education and upliftment of today’s youth and spends a great amount of her personal time working with a variety of non-profit organizations that focus on the development of youth such as—Learning Leaders, the CityKids Foundation and Girl Scouts. 

VP of Administration and Alumni Outreach
 Dan Blakemore MPA, 2007
Dan Blakemore is a second-year MPA-PNP student specializing in management.  He is a proud alumnus of Howard University in Washington, DC, where he received his BA in Political Science. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dan plans to work in non-profit fundraising after graduation.  He also intends to pursue a doctoral degree in organizational leadership & behavior and a career in higher education administration.

VP of PR and Outreach
Thalia Theodore
MPA, 2007
Thalia Theodore began her career as a first grade public school teacher in the south Bronx. After teaching, she joined the staff of Teach For America in Los Angeles where she directed the budget, administration, and human resource processes for a summer institute that trained 800 new teachers for placements all over the country Thalia also coordinated volunteer and community programs at The Wonder of Reading, a Los Angeles-based literacy nonprofit. Recently, Thalia was one of 19 graduate student Education Pioneers in NYC. Through this fellowship, she spent the summer working on fundraising and operations management with a start-up K-12 public charter school in the Bronx. Thalia graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 2000 with a BA in English. She is currently a second year MPA candidate at Wagner specializing in nonprofit management and will graduate in May 2007. 

VP of Programs
 John Thomas Saunders
MUP, 2008
John Saunders graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an honors degree in Legal Studies and Sociology. As a student at the University of Massachusetts, John worked with Professor Ellen Pader in the Urban and Regional Planning Program researching the relationship between mood disorders and the physical environment. During the summers, John participated in the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, a leadership program for talented African American men. As a student in the program, he interned at the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement and at the United States Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Community Services. As a student at Wagner, John is pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a specialization in housing. He is interested in improving the housing conditions in underserved communities as well as creating an organization that helps low-income families purchase their own homes.  Besides acting as the Vice President of Programming for SADA, he is also is involved in the Urban Planning Student Association (UPSA) and is the Wagner Representative for NYU House of Delegates.

Kamilah O'Brian
MPA, 2007
Kamilah O’Brien is pursuing a Masters in Non-Profit Management with a specialization in General Finance, class of 2007. She is a graduate of Boston University where she received a B.S. from the College of Communications.  As an undergrad, she was an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.  She currently serves as the Operations Manager for Legal Outreach, Inc., a college bound organization. Ms. O’Brien began working with Legal Outreach in January 2004. 

Secretary, Webmaster
Jenny Vazquez-Akim MPA, 2008
Jenny Vazquez-Akim is a first year MPA student at Wagner emphasizing in Management. Originally from San Diego, Jenny received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Prior to starting at Wagner, Jenny served as the Program Coordinator for Veritas Prep and as an Outreach Coordinator for GEAR UP. Jenny currently works part-time as the Onward Program Coordinator at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund and is a Development Intern at the International Leadership Charter School in the Bronx.  Jenny plans to eventually return to Los Angeles to assist high school students from underserved populations navigate the college application process.