Where They Are Now

Since 1995, high school students eager for an enriched intellectual experience, enhanced by programs in the humanities and leadership development, have attended Lamar University’s Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities. LU is proud to feature a few of the hundreds of TALH graduates.

ALUMNI UPDATE INFORMATION

 

Major Shari Wilson
Student Testimonials

Beyond the college courses, the administrators instilled in us the importance of compassion and altruism, character traits we desperately need in future leaders.

Major Shari Wilson

U.S. Air Force Academy Graduate

I graduated from the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities in 2005. Upon graduation, I entered into the United States Air Force Academy with the class of 2009. I studied history at USAFA while teaching other cadets to fly gliders as a soaring instructor pilot. After USAFA, I attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Vance Air Force Base and became a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. Flying out of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, I flew missions all over the world. My second and current assignment is at Columbus Air Force Base as a T-38 Talon instructor pilot for UPT. While at Columbus, I completed a Master’s of Art in Military History through Norwich University.

There is no doubt in my mind that TALH was critical to my success. I come from a very small town in deep East Texas with limited opportunities, but TALH gave me the chance to develop both my character and academic skills. I learned to thrive at a collegiate level, developing my time management and study skills. Beyond the college courses, the administrators instilled in us the importance of compassion and altruism, character traits we desperately need in future leaders. Ultimately, without my TALH experience, the leap from my small town to the Air Force Academy would have been insurmountable. I look back fondly on my time at TALH as one of the most enjoyable times of my life and highly recommend it to the driven student who wants to set themselves up for success.

Avril Falgout
Student Testimonials

The TALH program was the unparalleled, stimulating experience of a wide range of professors excited to teach their subject.

Avril Falgout

Здравствуйте! ( Hello from Russia)
 
I chose to go into TALH in order to receive a more challenging education and have not regretted it since.

What I got out of the TALH program was the unparalleled, stimulating experience of a wide range of professors excited to teach their subjects. The TALH program provided me with a large variety of classes that I would not have had available to me at my traditional high school. For some of these classes, I was genuinely excited to not only learn the material, but to also gain experience. In fact, I am studying some of these classes to this day. The personal growth I went through in adjusting to college life and living away from home has been advantageous for me, especially as I went further afield into my studies after TALH.

I am now a student at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland working towards a degree in both art history and Russian. As a requirement for my degree, I am currently spending my third year in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I am working to improve on my Russian and completing an internship at the Hermitage Museum…as well as getting to experience walking across the frozen Neva River!

Harold Booker
Student Testimonials

Because of the credits I earned at Lamar University through TALH, I was able to graduate from Morehouse, an out-of-state, private college, in three years.

Harold Booker, Jr.

Project Manager, E-Builder

TALH was an interesting experience for me. I was a local student so I got the opportunity to live away from home but not very far from home. I was met with a rigorous curriculum and cohort of students who were just as serious about their education as I. I have no doubt that TALH helped to better prepare me for Morehouse College and assisted me in saving 40k. Because of the credits I earned at Lamar University through TALH, I was able to graduate from Morehouse, an out-of-state, private college, in three years. I am forever grateful to TALH, not just for the experience and cost savings, but also for the bond I share with the staff and former students.

Since graduating from TALH in 2010 (I’m in denial that it has been almost a decade.) I have graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts in Internal Studies and a minor in Business. After Morehouse, I started my career in the technical field in New York City working as a consultant in banking software for Wall Street banks. Three years ago, I joined a small construction software company based in Florida as Business Analyst. Currently, I work remotely from the DC area and travel across the US and Canada managing IT projects for large construction capital program.

Zachary Hawari
Student Testimonials

TALH helped me start my path two years ahead of my peers, which gave me the flexibility to wait for the right opportunities, rather than the first.

Zachary Hawari

Young Lawyer

I graduated from the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities in 2012 and transferred to George Washington University in Washington, DC to study international affairs.

After graduating summa cum laude from GW, I attended William and Mary Law School where I completed full-time internships with a Virginia Supreme Court justice, an open data NGO in Cambodia, and the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps in Washington Navy Yard. I graduated cum laude as the youngest member of my class. I’m a member of the New York State bar.

I just completed a session-only position with Senator Zaffirini in the Texas state legislature and plan to return to DC to work in technology policy.

TALH helped me start my path two years ahead of my peers, which gave me the flexibility to wait for the right opportunities, rather than the first. What’s more, some of my closest friendships today were made in TALH.

Dammy Busari
Student Testimonials

TALH cultivated a collegial culture of intellectualism that inspired me to think more meaningfully about the world around me.

Dammy Busari

On the Road to a Doctorate

I graduated from the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities in 2012 and continued my education at the University of Texas at Dallas where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. I am currently pursuing my doctorate in materials science and engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

My decision to go to TALH was transformative in every way from becoming a more independent person to increasing my sociability and educational horizons. My TALH-specific courses, including humanities, exposed me to fascinating and thought-provoking works that I was not aware of at the time. TALH also cultivated a collegial culture of intellectualism that inspired me to think more meaningfully about the world around me. And most importantly, some of the closest friends I have till this day were made at my time in TALH.

Kassandra Reyes
Student Testimonials

I gained the closest and most important friendships of my life during my time at TALH with people who value curiosity and learning as much as I do.

Kassandra Reyes

Studying Neurology  

Since graduating from The Texas Academy of Leadership In the Humanities, I went on to receive my Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas. I am currently a medical student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Class of 2021. I plan to pursue a residency in neurology once I obtain my medical degree.

My experience at TALH was immeasurably vital to becoming the person I am today. TALH exposed me to a new world of intellectualism, culture, academic rigor and gave me the confidence to participate in that world fearlessly. My mentors from TALH taught me the value of ideas and critical thought and encouraged me to cultivate a sense of curiosity about the world. In addition to more practical academic skills, I gained the closest and most important friendships of my life during my time at TALH with people who value curiosity and learning as much as I do. Despite my accomplishments since 2012, I have yet to return to an environment as welcoming, inspiring and intellectually stimulating as TALH.

Emmie Knobloch
Student Testimonials

TALH broadened my horizons... Without the strong foundation I built there, I am certain I would not have ended up where I am today.

Emmie Knobloch

Pursuing a Doctorate

Since graduating from TALH, I've come a long way from where I grew up in a small town Texas. I finished my undergraduate degree with honors in biochemistry, spent a year doing research at the National Cancer Institute, and I’m currently a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University studying synthetic biology and bioengineering. TALH broadened my horizons in an incredibly meaningful way, both academically and personally. Without the strong foundation I built there, I am certain I would not have ended up where I am today.

Carol Abousaab
Student Testimonials

I was exposed to so many opportunities to learn and experience life, jumpstarting my personal and professional growth early on.

Carol Abousaab

Internal Medicine

Since graduating from TALH, I obtained a BSA in biochemistry from the University of Texas and am now about to begin my final year of medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with plans to enter an internal medicine residency. The first step in this journey was enrolling in TALH, a program that nourished my love of learning, service and the humanities. I was exposed to so many opportunities to learn and experience life, jumpstarting my personal and professional growth early on. My time in Beaumont gave me beautiful lifelong friendships and the skills to start building a life in which I get to do what I love and believe in every day.