Committee Bios, 2015-2016
Hi! I'm Mallory Leidinger and I'm from Ashburn, Virginia (Northern Virginia - I'm sure you've never heard of it!). I'm a second year planning on studying either Economics in the College or Finance in the Commerce School. I'm thrilled to be involved with WLDP this year on the planning committee. WLDP was such a meaningful and impactful experience for me as a participant first year, and I'm excited to see what this year's program has in store. I love exploring the Charlottesville community and finding all of the Instagram-worthy spots on grounds - there are a lot! In addition to WLDP I am involved in Second Year Council, my sorority - Delta Zeta, Homecomings, and the Cavalier Daily. My passions include avocados on just about anything, coffee, traveling, and Taylor Swift.
Maddie Devine is a third-year student from Belmont, Massachusetts. She is double majoring in Economics and Media Studies and hopes to pursue a career in management consulting or athletic media relations upon graduation. In addition to WLDP, Maddie is the Marketing Chair for the Women’s Business Forum at McIntire, a Marketing Coordinator for the Intramural Recreation Sports Department, the Vice-President of Chi Omega Fraternity, and an active member of Madison House and Virginia Ambassadors. In her spare time, Maddie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, watching Netflix, being active, and hanging out with friends. This is her second year involved with WLDP, and she is very excited to meet this year’s participants and strengthen the community of female leaders at UVA!
Samantha Merritt is a third year majoring in Leadership and Public Policy and Foreign Affairs and minoring in East Asian Studies. As the daughter of a U.S. Army officer, Samantha has lived in South Korea, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Philippines. She is a facilitator for the Women’s Asian-American Leadership Initiative (WAALI), a Language Consultant for Volunteers with International Students, Staff, and Scholars (VISAS), and an External Committee member for the Batten Undergraduate Council. Samantha studied the Korean language and political history at Korea University in Seoul this summer and politics and public policy at the University of Oxford in the summer of 2014. She plans to work in the defense or intelligence field upon graduation.
Sarah is a third year Middle Eastern Language and Literature major focusing on Arabic and Persian. In addition to being a member of WLDP's planning committee, Sarah is a cadet in Army ROTC. She is a member of the Army Color Guard, a training leader for Mosby’s Raiders, and the third year class representative on the Cadet Association. She received a Department of Defense language grant to study Arabic in Jordan. She also traveled to China to observe high school science classes and is working on a research project comparing how boys and girls perform in science classes in China and in the US. Outside of ROTC, she is the Workshops Chair for the Undergraduate Research Network Executive Board.
Taylor Lamb is a second year double majoring in English and Drama. Last year she was a WLDP participant, and this is her first year serving on the committee. Outside of WLDP, Taylor is a planning executive for Black Women's Initiative, on the publicity committee for Organization of African Students, and has performed in a few plays at the University. She is very passionate about helping women become leaders, especially women of underrepresented backgrounds, and is very excited for this year's sessions! Outside of her studies and extracurriculars Taylor shows a great interest in superheroes which is why her favorite artist is Beyoncé and she likes watching TV shows such as
The Flash, Arrow, and Scandal.
Rebecca Gorney is a second-year intended Chemistry major and Bioethics minor from Fairfax, Virginia. She was a member of WLDP her first year and is thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know and guide this year’s incoming participants as a committee member. In addition to WLDP, Rebecca plays the viola and is a member of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia. She also volunteers with Medical Services through Madison House in the Oncology department at Martha Jefferson Hospital. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys hiking, scrolling through tumblr, and attempting to learn to play the piano.
Cara is a second year pre-med student from Baltimore, MD. She is pursuing a double major in Economics and Global Public Health with a minor in Spanish. Currently, Cara is very involved with volunteer and advocacy groups, including Project Peanut Butter, GlobeMed, Green Grounds, Pancakes for Parkinson's, and Madison House Medservices. She also studied abroad this past summer in Valencia, Spain. In her free time, Cara enjoys cooking, exploring Charlottesville with friends, and taking naps
Meghan Grumbling is a second year from Smithfield, Virginia, intending on double majoring in American Government and Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is considering pursuing an accelerated Masters in Leadership and Public Policy through the Batten School. In addition to being a WLDP Committee Member, Meghan is a Resident Advisor in Metcalf, is a member of the International Relations Organization, Feminism Is For Everyone, is the Public Relations Chair of Pakistani-Afghan Women in Need, and is a Legal Clinic intern at the UVA Women's Center. Over winter break, Meghan studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and worked with an NGO aimed towards helping young girls there. When Meghan isn't working as a barista in Greenberry's or studying, she enjoys dance parties in her room, drinking coffee or tea, reading, and raving about feminism.
Sarah Sheffield is a second year from West Point, Virginia. She is studying English, so she spends most of her time on Grounds reading and talking about reading. She is also in the Curry School studying Secondary English Education and Special Education. In addition to WLDP, Sarah is involved in ADAPT, the Alcohol Drug Abuse and Prevention Team, on Grounds where she works to educate the University of Virginia on ways to participate in healthy drinking behaviors. When not reading or educating, Sarah loves to eat, spend time with family and friends, watch bad rom-coms, and take naps.
Tricia O'Donnell is a third year from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She is double majoring in Media Studies (Distinguished Majors Program) and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of class, she is a Senior Intern in the Body Positive program at the Women's Center, the Volunteer Corps Coordinator at the Women's Center, the President of HOPE (Hoos Open to Preventing Eating Disorders), and a UVaClubs Student Ambassador. In her free time, she likes to practice yoga, write for her blog, sing, and explore Charlottesville for the best coffee shops (C-Ville Coffee is the winner so far).
Emma Li is a second year from Chantilly, Va. She is majoring in Economics and Statistics with a minor in psychology. Emma applied to WLDP as a first year and really loved participating in sessions and getting to know people in her small group. The speakers at each session were all outstanding and relevant to the mission of WLDP. Outside of WLDP, Emma is part of PAFN (Peer Advising Family Network), SWS (Smart Women Security) and is part of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. Emma enjoys volunteering, meeting new people and watching Netflix during her spare time.
Hannah Mezzacappa is a second-year College student from Knoxville, Tennessee, hopefully majoring in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law and Women, Gender and Sexuality. She has been involved with WLDP since her first year. She is also a member of the University Guide Service, One Less and The Cavalier Daily's news staff. She is passionate about reading, friends, fall weather, leather jackets, and all things feminism.
Brianna Burnett is a third year from Charlottesville Virginia (aka a townie). She is a Sociology major and French minor. She has an internship at Darden Business Publishing and a job as an IM-Rec marketing contributor. She is also a member of Sigma Delta Tau! Outside of school, Brianna enjoys hanging out with her friends, cooking, and the occasional Netflix binge! Brianna was a participant her second year at UVA, and this year gets the honor of being a committee member! She is extremely excited to get started with this years program!
Julia Wenger is a 4th year in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Russian & East European Studies. She is excited to return to WLDP as an executive Co-Chair in her third year with the program. In addition to WLDP, she is involved in Madison House, College Council as a Department Representative, the UVA ski and snowboard team, ULink peer advising network, a staff writer for Spoon University @ UVA, and does research for Women's Health Virginia, a Charlottesville community public health organization. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in health administration, public health law, or medical ethics. When she's not attending classes or juggling meetings, she enjoys running, writing, hanging out with friends, and planning post-graduation foreign travels.
Madeline Kotoriy is a first year Master of Public Policy and fourth year Anthropology student. She has been involved in WLDP since her first year as a participant and is thrilled to serve as a Co-Chair for the 2015-2016 program. Madeline is also a Peer Health Educator, and likes to volunteer at the Haven when she can. After graduating she intends on pursuing a career consulting in health and welfare policy. She loves sunflowers, watching the Arrow, sushi, and nerding out to some computer programming.