Committee Members Biographies

 

Name:  Lobna Ahmed

Lobna joins the START Committee this year as a freshman at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Management Information Systems and Security and Risk Analysis with an option in Cybersecurity. Aside from the START Committee, Lobna is also part of the Penn State Management Information Systems Association, as well as a peer-mentoring organization called BLUEprint.

 

 

 

Ashley joins the START Committee this year as a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing and minoring in Digital Media Trends and Analytics. Aside from START Committee, Ashley is involved in Penn State Prime, Sapphire Leadership Academic Program, and Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority. She also works in the Smeal Diversity Enhancement Office as a Social Media Assistant. Last summer, she was a Program Assistant for the Business Opportunities Summer Session

 

 

Name: Bako Ekoko

Bako Ekoko is a junior at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business double-majoring in Labor and Employment Relations and African American Studies. With this combination, Bako intends to pursue a career as a diversity manager at a Fortune 500 company. While at Penn State, Bako has held numerous positions including, committee member of the START conference, Student Team co-chair for the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CORED), Director for programs for Multicultural Women’s Forum, and Secretary for Youth Empowerment Program.

 

 Name: Ayanna Harmon

Ayanna is currently a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business. She intends to major in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as Art History with the aim of starting up her own interior design firm. Ayanna is the treasurer of Multicultural Women's Forum, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Silent Praise Mime Ministry. She is also a mentor in the Youth Empowerment Program, and is returning to the START Committee for the second consecutive year.

 

 

Name: Shane Harris

Shane Harris is a Senior at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a two-piece sequence in Management Information Systems. He is pursuing opportunities within the business consulting industry. 

 

 

 Name: Ariel Jimenez

Ariel Jimenez is a junior at The Pennsylvania State University in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in Energy, Business and Finance, as well as a minor in Statistics. Ariel is an active brother of Phi Beta Lambda Professional Business Fraternity and an analyst for the Penn State Asset Management group. Looking forward, Ariel is seeking a summer internship in the energy sector which will allow him to further develop his skill-set.

 

 

 

Name: Amir Thorpe

Amir Thorpe joins the START Committee this year as a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Security and Risk Analysis with a minor in African American Studies. Amir is a part of the treasurer and fundraising chair for the Black Male Leadership Symposium (BMLS), as well as a mentor for Bunton-Waller scholars within the Division of Undergraduate Studies.

 

 Name: Shamieka Stone 

Shamieka is currently a senior at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Business Management with a minor in the Legal Environment of Business. With a wealth of knowledge around management and marketing, Shamieka is excited to return to the START Committee for the third consecutive year. Looking ahead to the fall of 2018, Shamieka will be joining the People Advisory Services department of EY in a full-time role.

 

 

 

 Name: Darius Volertas

Darius joins the START Committee this year as a freshman at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Finance. As a Lithuanian, he takes great pride in his heritage and language. Additionally, Darius has a passion for rugby and is a member of the Penn State Men’s Rugby team.

 

 

 

Name: Kevin Zheng

Kevin Zheng is a junior at The Pennsylvania State University in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Supply Chain Management. With a variety of experience, Kevin returns to the START Committee for the second consecutive year. Looking ahead to this summer, Kevin will be joining forces with Eli Lilly and Co. working in a Pharmaceutical Sales internship position.

 

 

 

Name: Dan Ruiz

Dan Ruiz is originally from Chatham, NJ he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Colby College in Maine, and his J.D. from Ohio Northern University. Dan is a first-year MBA at the Smeal College of Business.  Prior to joining Smeal, Dan was a practicing attorney for six years and is licensed in the State of NJ. Dan previously worked as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Criminal Division and as an Assistant Prosecutor in Morris County, NJ. He also worked in private practice. Dan is a state certified mediator for the Superior Court and has prosecuted a variety of cases including matters involving financial crimes. He is concentrating in Supply Chain Management, Strategic Leadership and Finance. This summer Dan will be interning at Intel in Global Supply Chain Management.