Alumnae

Click here to check out the diverse and inspiring group of Emerge alumnae from around the country that we will soon be joining.

Shums is a graduate student at Arizona State University.  Prior to that, she taught math and science to junior high school students.  She worked on 2008 Democratic Presidential Campaign.  She was a serving board member of Muslim Student Associations.  In addition, she was a member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  She volunteered at Martin Luther King Day Services at ASU and Paz De Cristo Community Center.

Brenda has a background in community and labor organizing having worked as an organizer for Arizona Leadership Institute and SEIU Local 5. Brenda has also worked with the Refugee Resettlement Program with Catholic Charities and was an Advocacy Graduate Intern with AARP Arizona. Brenda has a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University. She currently works as the Director of Community Outreach at Children’s Action Alliance. 

Lilia earned her bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Arizona and is currently pursuing a law degree at Phoenix School of Law. Lilia brings her passion for collaboration, solidarity and social change to her work as an activist locally and internationally.  Born and raised in Southern California, Lilia moved with her family to Baja California, Mexico at fifteen and experienced the bicultural reality of a cross-border life.
For Lilia, an education is a luxury won by her parents' sacrifice.

After earning her B.S. Degree in Family Studies from the University of Arizona in 2001, Tory began her professional career with families and children in crisis as a Crisis Counselor for Our Town Family Center in Tucson.  In 2001, Tory began work for Child Protective Services in Phoenix.  Tory worked with families and children in many different roles; including a case manager, investigator, unit supervisor, and hotline specialist.  
 
Tory earned her MPA from Arizona State University in 2004.  She completed an internship with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s Office prior to graduating.

Mrs. Arenas is on the Creighton Governing Board. She was first elected to the board in 2006 at the age of 25 and is still an active member. As the daughter of public school teachers, Tiffany grew up understanding the importance of helping others and her career has since been dedicated to public service. She currently works with adults with developmental disabilities as a Support Coordinator at the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Tiffany also serves families as a founding member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Patient and Family Alumni Leadership Council (PALs).

Rolande Dianne Baker has been a "Peace Mother / Grandmother Activist" since age 16 when she attended her first political protest in Buffalo, New Yorkin 1967. As a single mother, she has raised 3 children, Nicole-age 31, David-age 30 and Joey-age 28. She, her children and now her grandchildren (7) attend peace protests, MLK marches and other first amendment peaceable assembly protests that affect individual human rights of people of all races, creeds and beliefs.

My name is Emily Barney, and I am currently a junior at Arizona State University and Barrett, the Honors College pursuing a major in Public Service and Public Policy, with a Minor in Political Science, along with a concentration in Criminology. I am also pursuing a certificate in Women and Gender Studies and Leadership and Ethics.

Alexandria Bassett is a native Phoenician and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Broadcasting from Arizona State University. Prior to 2003, Bassett interned within the media and hosted the entertainment news then entered the field of marketing and publicity. Bassett sold print and radio advertising before relocating to California where she became the Assistant to the Director of Publicity at Paramount studios. After years in Hollywood, Bassett re-focused and moved home to Phoenix in 2007. With her return to Arizona, she became actively involved in politics.

Karen Bayless Feldman is an “Activist Mother.”  Her job has included raising three children while working to help other families in Arizona.  As part of a grassroots movement with 11 other mothers, Karen worked closely with legislators and the general public to help pass legislation to make breastfeeding easier for mothers throughout our state.  Karen is also highly involved in improving our public education system.

Caitlin Beckett, a generation Y Tucsonan, received her BA in Finance from the University of Arizona. During college, she co-founded and led YOUnion Aid, a sustainability committee made up of volunteer students supported by a $30,000 grant from the University of Arizona Student Unions. Her philanthropic spirit then led her to work in non-profit development, where she has been for almost three years. Caitlin started this journey as the head of the development department at Green Fields Country Day School.

Lindsay Bell retired from full time employment in 2008 after working 30 plus years in the non profit sector. Ms. Bell’s work experience was primarily in the administration of publicly funded human service programs including employment programs, disability services and behavioral health programs. Currently, she is volunteering part time with a small non profit transportation company (Territorial Transit, Inc.) that is working with other agencies in the area to establish a regional public transit system.
Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Masters in Public Administration.

Linda grew up in Connecticut and received a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Massachusetts in 1984. She spent 20 years as a technical and management consultant to the federal government (DoD, NASA, Air Force, NRO, CIA), providing support in the areas of strategic planning, performance management, team building and group dynamics, organizational development and change management, communications, climate and culture assessments, project management, systems engineering, and satellite launch and orbit operations.

Diandra D. Benally is an Assistant General Counsel for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Fort McDowell, Arizona. Her current practice encompasses civil litigation, tribal law, Federal Indian Law, water law and environmental law. Previously, Ms. Benally worked for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, where she served as the staff attorney for the Navajo Nation Division of Health made up of more than 1,000 employees.

Wenona Benally is from Kayenta, Arizona and is a member of the Navajo Nation. She is currently enrolled as a candidate in the Indigenous Policy and Law Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson, AZ. She previously worked as a law associate at the law firm of Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker in Portland, Oregon.

Susan is a second generation Arizona native. She has worked as an R.N. at the community hospital level as well as at a major teaching hospital in Texas. After working as a nurse for several years, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Government, Summa Cum Laude from The University of Houston, Clear Lake. She then attended law school at South Texas College of Law. Susan graduated from Law School in 1987 and began litigating medical malpractice lawsuits.In 1993 Susan returned to Arizona and served as Dean of Paralegal Studies for two years at a private school in downtown Phoenix.

Tessa Bergman is new to Arizona, although she graduated from the University of Arizona, magna cum laude, phi beta kappa with a B.A. in History. Tessa is an experienced tax attorney, having graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D.) and Georgetown University Law Center (L.L.M.) and who has spent most of her career in the Federal Government working on the Congressional tax-writing committees and in the Executive Branch.

I moved to Arizona 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois with my two children who are now 18 (son) and daughter (30). I have recently became a proud grandmother of twin granddaughters who are 7 weeks old. I am currently enrolled at the University of Phoenix obtaining my BS Degree in Human Services Management and my expected graduation is July, 2010.

Randella Bluehouse is a life long Arizonan and a member of the Navajo (Diné) Nation. Her maternal clan is the Black Streak through the Woods People and paternal clan is of the Red House People. She was born and raised on the Navajo Nation and now lives in Mesa, Arizona.
Ms. Bluehouse is employed with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. – Area Agency on Aging Region 8, a non-profit consortium of 21 tribes in Arizona. Ms.

Former DNC Delegate

Bree Boehlke currently serves as a coordinator with the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority. She has previously served as Continuing Legal Education Coordinator for the Maricopa County Bar Association, Industry and Government Relations Account Executive for Torres Consulting and Law Group, LLC, and as Executive Director of Emerge Arizona. Her public service has also included her tenure as Deputy Director of Constituent Services in the Office of Governor Napolitano and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 where she also acted as delegation whip.

Former District Chair, LD 4

I have served on the YWCA Maricopa County board of directors and as a community outreach coordinator for the state of Arizona.  I struck out on my own at an early age and worked hard to finish school. I married Robert Boehlke in 1980 and we have a daughter, Bree (now attending Arizona State University). I worked in a variety of customer service jobs. In time, I became involved with community issues in Illinois and was elected to two four-year terms as Park Commissioner, serving part of my tenure in office as President.

April Bojorquez is currently a Ph.D. student of Social Cultural Anthropology  at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.She is a third generation Arizonan and feels very much at home in the Sonoran desert. Professionally, April's experiences include participation in the Smithsonian's Latino Museum Studies Program and the U.S. Embassy's Cultural Affairs Museum Internship Program in Lima, Peru. She currently serves on the Board of Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center and has volunteered for organization such as Mi Familia Vota.

Allie Bones is the Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV – formerly the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence). The mission of the organization is to lead, to advocate, to educate, to prevent and end sexual and domestic violence in Arizona.

I was raised in Colorado, received a BA degree at the University of Southern Colorado and Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Denver. My career employment was in the field of child protection, where I worked my way up to serve as Child Welfare Division Director at the Colorado State Dept. of Human Services. I was involved in drafting legislation and working closely with and testifying before the Colo.

Caitlin Brady has Arizona's democratic politics in her blood. She is a fifth-generation Arizonan and her great-great grandfather, Peter R. Brady, served in the Territorial Legislature, was Pima County's first elected sheriff, and helped found the Democratic Party in Arizona. Caitlin's first interest in politics came while researching her great-great grandfather for a school project. Since then, she has worked to learn as much as possible about politics, from participating in Girls State in high school to, most recently, working for the Democratic Party 2010 Coordinated Campaign.

Former Party Pos.

April Brannon is an associate professor and the coordinator of the English Education program at California State University, Fullerton and taught middle and high school prior to coming to the university.  She earned her Ph.D.

Former District Chair, LD 11

Nancy Brehm is a writer, former educator, and past district chair for Arizona legislative district 11. 

Flagstaff City Councilmember

In my former life, I was a teacher. I have taught elementary age students and community college students.  In the Glendale Elementary District, I taught K-8 physical education, coached all the girls’ sports and taught 6th grade classroom. I was the athletic director for the last 2 years that the district funded an after school program.  At Glendale community College, I was adjunct faculty for 12 years, teaching physical education, health and recreation lecture classes. I have a BA and MA in Education.
At John C.

Put Yourself On The Ballot

Learn about the Emerge program, how to apply and get connected to our Council of Allies

Support Our Work

Emerge Arizona needs your help to expand our training.