2012-2013 Spirit of Service Scholars 


Jaro Arero

Jaro Arero is a fourth year PhD candidate in Organic Chemistry and his research work involves synthesis of organic molecules which can potentially be used to produce clean and affordable fuel from the Sun. After completing his Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicinal Chemistry at Loughborough University, UK, he taught Chemistry at Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya and also worked as the Head of Quality Control laboratories at Universal Pharmaceuticals, Nairobi, Kenya.  Jaro is originally from Moyale, Kenya. Jaro is extensively involved in mentoring, environmental activities and education accessibility initiatives and volunteer teaching. Jaro is passionate about applying his science training in the areas of energy, environmental and climate change mitigation policies; these areas are pillars of sustainable development.  After completion of his PhD studies, Jaro is looking forward to take up a role of science policy advisor in international organizations or governmental bodies.

Kristin D'Souza

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Kristin D’Souza is a senior honors undergraduate student studying gender studies and justice studies at ASU, with a certificate in religion and conflict studies after her fellowship with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict in Fall 2011. Kristin was awarded Fulbright Canada’s Killam Fellowship in Spring 2011 and travelled to Toronto, Ontario to study health, politics and gender at the University of Toronto. At ASU, Kristin has previously served as the facilitator of the Womyn’s Coalition and is passionate about activism in the fields of domestic violence, prison, and sex trafficking. She has been active in non-profit work in Perryville prison with  GINA’s Team, and research on sex trafficking and women in prison with ASU’s School of Social Work.  She hopes to apply her undergraduate degrees towards graduate education in public policy and law, and continue her focus on policymaking and political activism pertaining to gender issues and the role of the state in the creation of solutions.

Candace French

Candace French is a second year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. Originally from Anadarko, Oklahoma she is an enrolled member of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and is of Navajo, Comanche and Blackfeet ancestry. Candace has dedicated her life to serving tribal communities and is currently employed with the Gila River Indian Community as a Victim Advocate. Candace is a member of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. and Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She has served on the ASU American Indian Council, AZCADV Women of Color Committee and was appointed as a student representative for ASU Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. She plans to continue her education and earn a Ph.D in American Indian Studies or Political Science. Candace aspires to return to Caddo County, Oklahoma and create services for victims of violent crimes, to work on the national level for the protection of American Indian women and to serve as president for the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

Shela Hidalgo

Shela Hidalgo is a senior undergraduate student studying Nonprofit Management and Leadership in the College of Public Programs. She is also an honors student at Barrett, the Honors College and is completing a certificate program in Nonprofit youth and human services through American Humanics. Shela is an Arizona native who was born and raised in the foster care system. She is currently completing her thesis which is a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, developing an assessment tool that will assess the impact homeownership has on low income families and the community. After graduation she plans on completing a joint Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Administration degree. She hopes to serve as an advocate, addressing quality education for low income students.

Christina Martin

Christina Martin is a senior studying economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business. She is from Phoenix, Arizona. She currently works at an Urgent Care in central Phoenix. Christina has been involved in Job’s Daughters International, an organization for young women that promotes friendship and leadership, since 2005.  She is also involved in the Student Economic Association and the Alumni Association Senior Year Experience Council. Upon graduation she is interested in applying business process to local government programs to increase productivity.

Michael Thrall

Michael Thrall is in his second year at Sandra Day O’Connor College of law at ASU.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona.  He is from Phoenix, Arizona and has traveled throughout Latin America and the Middle East learning about global human rights and poverty issues.  Michael has worked in the Middle East with peace-making organizations, served the disenfranchised of downtown Phoenix, and done community-organizing and voter registration work in South Phoenix.  Michael desires to work as an immigration and human rights attorney upon completing his J.D.

Tania Cohen

Tania is a sophomore at the Barrett Honors College studying political science and Italian. She is planning a career as either a special education teacher or lawyer, serving as a compassionate ally for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was inspired to become involved in special education while working as a teacher’s aide in her high school’s special education classes. She also spent two years with her school’s chapter of Best Buddies International, including one year as president, and has continued her involvement with the organization at ASU. This summer, she is working as both an intern for the Phoenix Convention Center and as an employee of a medical office. Next year, in addition to a full course load and her commitments to the scholarship cohort, Tania will work as a private tutor and as the fiction editor for the Lux Undergraduate Creative Review at ASU. Her hobbies include reading, playing the violin, cooking, photography, and running. She also loves to travel and has been abroad twice, but one day hopes to visit all seven continents, including Antarctica.

Kim Davidson

Kim Davidson is in her first year of her dual degree program for her Masters of Social Work and Public Administration.  She graduated in May Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Social Work, 23 years after graduating high school.  She grew up in Chandler, and even though has moved out of state twice, has always returned to the valley, now living in East Mesa.  Her inspiration for going to college after having a family was two-fold.  First, she wanted to be an inspiration for her two daughters, her oldest whom is now in college herself.  “I cannot expect more of my children than I do of myself.”  Second, as someone who has rebuilt her life after making incorrect choices in the past, she wants to help others as other helped her, as well as advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.  She hopes to apply her degrees in opening her own social service agency in the future in order to facilitate these services for others.  She is currently in her second term as the President of the Social Work Student Organization, representing all undergrad and graduate students in the School of Social Work.   She will be again an Online Writing Tutor this year through the Downtown Campus Writing Center.

Saman Golestan

Saman Golestan is a second year law student at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. He was born in Ohio, but has spent most of his life in Arizona. As an undergraduate Saman was President of ASU4Food, a student run club dedicated to raising awareness and actively fighting the serious hunger problems facing many Arizonans. In addition to fighting hunger, Saman has been an active advocate on issues of international relations and human rights. He hopes to use his JD to do work in the area of public international law by working within the government to help form policy on international relations.

Ashlee Hoffmann

Ashlee Hoffmann is currently pursuing her J.D. at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She has dedicated herself to serving others since Junior High School through peer mentoring programs, tutoring programs, and community service organizations. She received her undergraduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, where she majored in Political Science and Psychology. After graduating in 2009, Ashlee deferred her admission to law school in order to devote two years to the Teach For America program. During this time, she received her M.Ed. in early childhood education. In the future, Ashlee hopes to use her legal education to continue serving her community.

Nivedita Rengarajan

Nivedita Rengarajan is a 2nd year MS student from School of Sustainability and is currently focusing on sustainable waste management. Nivedita is of Indian origin but grew up in Vienna, Austria. Nivedita speaks many languages including English, German, Kannada and Tamil. She received her bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from Nottingham University (UK), after which she was accepted as an intern and subsequently as a consultant at the United Nations. There she worked on energy data, solar technologies and energy efficiency for small island states. In 2010 fall she spent a year working for an NGO in India, where she experienced the bottom up issues concerning poverty and education. She hope to help shape a sustainable India someday.

Thera Wolven

Thera Wolven is in her final year of the Masters of Social Work/Masters of Public Administration programs and works part-time as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, and as an Intern for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN). Most recently, Thera completed an Internship with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, where she remains an active volunteer in humanitarian immigration reform. In her free time, she is a mentor with the YMCA Building Futures Mentor Program and serves as the PAC representative for the Social Work Student Organization. After receiving her Masters, Thera plans to pursue law school and a PhD in Social Justice.

Carolina Coronel

Carolina Coronel is in her senior year at Arizona State University and she is pursing two different majors and will be graduating in May 2013.  One is a bachelor of interdisciplinary studies concentrating in nonprofit administration and family and human development studies from the Schools of Letters and Sciences.  The second major is in communication from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  She is also pursuing three certificate degrees from the College of Public Programs: public administration and public management, leadership and ethics, and special events management.  Before retuning back to school, Carolina worked for an inner-city school district for over 14 years serving and providing educational and non-educational supplemental services to unprivileged students and families.   This gave her a different perspective on how she could help her community and began volunteering for different   nonprofit organizations around the Phoenix Area working mostly with families and youth.  She has volunteered for the ASU-American Dream Academy, Stand for Children-Phoenix, Valley of the Sun United Way, Phoenix Youth At Risk, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and St. Mary’s Food Bank.  She is the Committee Chair - Special Events of the ASU-MPI Student Organization, Secretary of the ASU-Sun Devil Adults Student Organization, a Valley of the Sun United Way - Steering Committee Loan Executive Alumni Member, and she is a Co-founder/Officer for the Angelita’s Foundation.  Carolina wants to become the CEO of her nonprofit organization which will work mainly with families and youth in her community.

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald is a sophomore in the Barrett Honors College double majoring in Global Studies and Nonprofit Leadership and Management while minoring in Arabic.  Three years ago, Kaitlyn developed an English as a Second Language Program for the Arizona Lost Boys Center. She spent the next three years working as the English as a Second Language Program Coordinator. Kaitlyn has been involved in many other community service projects including working as a volunteer in Kwamoso, Ghana. At ASU, Kaitlyn founded the Coalition for Global Awareness and will be the Student Director of Changemaker Central for the 2012-2013 school year. Kaitlyn is passionate about education, and aspires to one day pursue a career in economic development with a focus on education to improve the lives of people in developing nations.

Michael Rome Hall

Rome is a senior at the School of Public Affairs at ASU, majoring in Public Service and Public Policy. An Arizona native and former United States Marine Corp Sergeant, Rome served overseas on three separate occasions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and participated in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. In addition to being a highly active advocate for sustainable energy, education reform, and social justice, Rome is a Mission Continues Fellow and the lead research intern for the Pat Tillman Foundation on the Clinton Global Initiative commitment of conducting a nationally-scaled student veteran success research project.  He aspires to continue his public service while working towards inducing sustainable environments that produce prosperity, education, health, and equity out of self-interest.

Julia Koestner

Julia Koestner is a second-year law student at the Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law. After earning undergraduate degrees in Religious Studies and Spanish from the University of Arizona, Julia spent a year doing volunteer work in Mexico followed by a year working as a bailiff in Maricopa County. She has volunteered locally as an English teacher and as a mentor for at-risk youth. This past summer Julia interned at the Florence Project, providing free legal services to undocumented minors facing deportation. After earning her law degree, Julia hopes to work as a legal advisor to local law enforcement, focusing on policy as it relates to immigration law in Arizona.

Madeline Sands

Madeline Sands is a senior studying anthropology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Madeline is involved in a variety of academic activities ranging from teaching to conducting her own research. She also engages in numerous volunteer and mentorship activities within her community. Madeline is interested in children’s health in developing countries- most specifically the effectiveness of health interventions in reducing childhood diarrhea. She continues to conduct fieldwork in rural Guatemala in addition to working in the lab with fellow ASU engineering students to develop affordable technology to detect contaminated water sources. Madeline plans to combine her rigorous academic training and research experiences to become a doctor who works with communities, policymakers, and non-governmental health organizations to create a positive and impactful change in the world.