C.O.N.E.C.T. Biographies

2013-14 C.O.N.E.C.T. MENTORS




Name: Nicholas Wright
Home town: Cadiz, Kentucky
Major: Justice Administration
Involvement: CONECT, Aviators
Advice: Work on time management skills and focus on making a positive impact when you leave and come to college.


Name:  Taaj Hill
Hometown: Radcliff, KY
Major: Exercise Science
Campus Involvement: Collegiate 100, AAMI, Black Diamond Choir
Advice: Invest in a planner! It is real easy to get off track and a planner would give you a sense of organization.



Name:  Dexter Thompson
Hometown: Atlanta, GA  
Major: Social Work
Campus Involvement: Society of Porter Scholars, Collegiate 100, Student Representative for Kent School of Social Work, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.  Alpha Pi Chapter
Advice: Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone because you never know what you might discover.


Name: Darnell Dennis
Hometown:  Lexington, KY
Major/Minor:  Sports Administration/Pan-African Studies
Involvement:  Collegiate 100, CONECT, SPAD Club, UofL Men's Soccer
Advice:  Read for class, this is not high school. Naps are essential to function in college. Be open-minded!

Ja Cory

Name:  Ja Cory Mullins
Hometown: Richmond, Ky
Major: Pre-Dental/Exercise science
Involvement: Aviator Program, C.O.N.E.C.T. Mentor Program, Sigma Phi Epsilon-KY Beta Chapter, and Pre-Dental society.
Advice: Expand yourself by getting involved! Make connections in organizations, but don't over do it. If you're doing it right, the connections will come to you.


Name:  Cheraye Durr
Hometown: Owensboro, KY
Major: Psychology
Campus involvement: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Woodford R. Porter Scholars, and CONECT
Advice: Don't limit yourself to the things you know you can do, step out of your shell and try things less expected of you.

Charles Smiley

Name: Charles Smiley
Hometown: Louisville
Major: Psychology w/ a concentration in social science minor in sociology
Advice: Don’t forget at the end of the day you’re here to get a degree.

Jordan New

Name:  Jordan New
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Major/Minor:  Political Science Major, Pan African Studies Minor
Involvement:   C.O.N.E.C.T
Advice:  Never skip class!


Name:  Kweku Martin
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Major:  Computer Information Systems
Involvemnet:  Alpha Phi Alpha, Resident Assistant, Conect Mentor
Advice: “Always try your best, and always have a plan”

Lauren “Scooby” Williams

Name:  Lauren “Scooby” Williams
Hometown: Seattle, WA to Union, KY
Major/Minor: Marketing Major, Spanish Minor
Campus Involvement: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Xi Chapter President, National Pan Hellenic Council - 2nd Vice President, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society - Social Media Chair
Advice: Remember it's ok not to have your whole life planned out right now. Just have an idea and allow the opportunities to learn about yourself and what you may want to do, to come


Name: Mercedes Samuels
Hometown: Bowling Green, KY
Major:  Dental Hygiene
Campus Involvement: CONECT, Pre-Dental Society, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
Advice: Use all the resources that are available on campus, most of them are FREE!

Fairen Harris

Name:  Fairen Harris
Hometown: Frankfort, KY
Major: Double major Pan African Studies and Psychology; and minor in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation Studies
Campus Involvement: Porter Scholar, Porter Leadership Team- Recruiting and Development, Cardinal Covenant, Inclusion and Equity Intern, CONECT Peer Mentoring, Program Student Assistant, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Xi Chapter, Brooklawn Buddy at Brooklawn Child and Family Services, Barista, Tulip Tree Cafe (Sodexo Food Services)
Advice: Find you niche, make UofL your home away from home. Grow. Learn. Develop.
Cherish each of your college moments you will never have another experience quite like it.


Name:  Step Yates
Hometown: Radcliff, KY
Major: Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy
Campus Involvement: Collegiate 100, National Honors Society, Society of Porter Scholars, Black Diamond Choir, Brooklawn Buddy, African American Male Initiative
Advice: "Become a face and a personality in the classroom. Don't be content to exist as merely a number. Your GPA will greatly appreciate it."


Ashley O’Neil

Name:  Ashley O’Neil
Hometown:  Louisville, KY
Major:  Health and human performance concentration in exercise science and public health
Campus Involvement: AKA, CONECT, Porter scholar, fitness club
Advice:  Always try new things!!!



Name:  Sydni Gordon
Hometown:  Louisville, KY
Major/Minor:  Psychology with a Pan-African Studies minor
Campus involvement is the same except: Delta Sigma Theta, African Student Union, German Club, Porter Ambassador
Advice: Buy rain boots


Name:  Emerald Dunn
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Involvements: Marching Band, CONECT mentor
Advice: College is going to be a change and a challenge for you.  But do not let the stress and the hard shapes defeat you. Always remember your fears are not walls but hurdles. Set a Goal and Reach it because you owe it to yourself to conquer your obstacles.


Name:  Michael Wright
Hometown: Akron, OH
Major: Computer Information Systems
Campus Involvement: Kappa Alpha Psi, Association of Black Students, African American Male Initiative
Advice: Ask for help when you need it, no matter what it is, whether it is for a class or extra-curricular activities.  A closed mouth never gets fed.

Jordan C.

Name:  Jordan Coleman
Hometown: Central City, KY
Major: Accounting; Minors: Finance and CIS
Campus Involvement: National Association of Black Accountants, Resident Assistant - UTA, Collegiate 100, African American Male Initiative, Woodford R. Porter Scholar
Advice: Get involved.


Name:  George Scott
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Major: Pan African Studies
Campus Involvement: Vietnamese Student Association, African Student Union, SAB - Diversity Community


Name:  Kendra Fridenstine
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Major: Elementary with a concentration in Early Childhood
Involvement: Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, Kentucky Education Association, Woodford R Porter Scholar, Minority Teacher Recruitment Project, Encouraging Sisters to Strive Everyday for New Chances at Excellence
Advice: College is the time of your lives to grow as a person. Enjoy the time that you have but remember that you are here to graduate. Find the balance between your personal time and being a student.


Name:  Shanice Brown
Hometown: Yuba City, CA
Major/Minor: Elementary Education
Involvement:  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Epsilon Chapter President; UofL NPHC President; ESSENCE Mentor; CONECT Peer Mentor Social Chair; Woodford R. Porter Scholar
Advice:  Stay true to who you are, don’t change for anybody.


Name:  Barbie Parker
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Major: Pan-African Studies
Campus Involvement: Member of ELT, Big Brothers Big Sister KY, Woodford R. Porter Recipient,  National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Advice: Be sure to check your email at least once a day. You never know what new information will be sent via email.


Name:  Kenika Quarles
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Major: Business Marketing
Involvement: CONECT, Aviators, Trio and AKA
Advice: Come to college with an open mind. This will be a time to experience and learn new things. Be open to this new stage in life, you will learn a lot about yourself that will cause you to grow into a strong individual. Don't get caught up stay focused and remember your academics come first.