President and CEO, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
Andrew Flagel is the Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement at The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the former Executive Director of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. At AAC&U, Dr. Flagel helps promote the mission of AAC&U by leading strategic advancement and membership growth and development. He has served in higher education for over 20 years, including a decade as Dean of Admissions at George Mason University.
Dr. Flagel also writes the most popular blog in the country on the admissions process at mycollegeoptions.org, and recently began a popular companion twitter feed, @deanflagel (and he would love for you to follow him). He has presented hundreds of seminars across the country, including the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, the National Young Leaders Conference, and the Washington Journalism and Media Conference.
Flagel has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology and a master of arts in education from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University. Dr. Flagel was previously the Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan. He also served as the Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, and as a Regional Director of Admissions at GW.
Along with his presentations and blog, Dr. Flagel provides his expertise in a variety of media, appearing as a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN’s American Morning, and on CBS Evening News, and interviewed in USA Today, US News and World Report, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, and Teen Vogue…just to name a few.
Administrative Assistant, Washington Scholars Program
Dawn Aponte is an Administrative Assistant for the Washington Scholars Program (WSP) and K-12 Partnerships Program Office, within the Office of Admissions at George Mason University. Dawn joined the team in 2012, following a career with the U.S. Dept. of Justice. She loves supporting the WSP summer programs, the students and their families, and her teammates. In her opinion, Mason is an inspirational and progressive place to learn and serve. Dawn spends her free time outdoors as much as possible and loves to read and be with her young-adult children.
Joshua Senior is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City, NY. He is an avid and cognizant global-environmentalist who has a deep interest sustaining arctic and tropical habitats for plants and animals. Alongside the role of an environmental activist, he is also a member of the school’s debate team, band ensemble, varsity basketball team, and National Honor Society. Josh truly hopes to help the WYSE delegates of 2020 synthesize eco-friendly techniques so they can take such methods back to their communities.
MacKenzie Mullis is a senior at North East High School in Maryland. She is currently a member of her school’s National Honor Society, Drama Club, and is President of her school’s chapter of the International Thespian Society. She has loved animals and the environment for as long as she can remember. She wants to pursue a career in marine biology and hopefully study sharks one day. She attended WYSE and the weekend add-on at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in 2019. It was a wonderful experience and a huge opportunity to be exposed to many forms of environmentalism and environmental science. She is super excited to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board to continue to work with WYSE and make sure the delegates at WYSE 2020 have an amazing experience.
Katie Gentry is a junior this year at Dayton High School in Dayton, Oregon. She’s participated in FFA for the last four years as a chapter officer. She wants to attend Oregon State University to possibly go into the field of agriculture or become a teacher. Her favorite part of attending WYSE 2019 was meeting people with the same passion as her for the environment. Feel free to contact her on Instagram at @katie.laree if you have any questions on what the conference was like!
Genyss Duncan is currently a senior at Los Alamitos High School in Southern California. She attended WYSE 2019, as well as the weekend add-on at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. She plans on attending a four-year college where she will study biology, ecology, and zoology in preparation for a career in zoology and wildlife conservation. She is the founder of her school’s Beach Cleanup Club, and she is a student leader in one of her two showchoirs. She is also on the board of her school’s French Club. In her spare time, she likes to doodle and hang out with her two cats. WYSE confirmed Genyss’ interest in the environmental field and widened her perspective on environmental issues and solutions. Genyss hopes that the 2020 delegates will have as amazing an experience at WYSE as she did.
Elizabeth Rybka is currently a senior at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy. Elizabeth had a wonderful experience at WYSE. It’s very refreshing to know that so many other passionate environmentalists exist. Elizabeth wants to study wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, and wildlife photography and filmography. She enjoys reading, writing, and drawing, as well as horse back riding, skiing, and sailing. Most importantly, Elizabeth loves exploring nature. She wants every future WYSE delegate to know that they are not alone in the fight to save the world.
Elizabeth is a senior at Pell City High School, in Pell City, Alabama. She attended WYSE in the summer of 2019. She has been the captain of her school’s dance line for two years and has danced her entire life. During her free time, she reads, paints, and is always trying to learn more about the environment. Elizabeth is extremely passionate about all things nature, and is planning to attend college with her major in Environmental Science, and have a minor in biology. She plans to have a job in the future where she can help the conservation of animals.
Charisse Sproha is a senior at Martin County High School in Palm City, Florida. She loves working with animals and is the vice president of her schools Green Club. She enjoys volunteering at a local wildlife sanctuary and a local oceanographic center. She attended WYSE in 2019 and was inspired by the wonderful people she met and lifechanging opportunities that arose. Charisse has used the insight that WYSE gave her to become more environmentally active and educate her community in environmental awareness. She plans to study Wildlife Ecology or Conservation Biology to help make the world a better place for everyone. Her experience at WYSE2019 was truly changed her life and she can’t wait to work with the delegates of the 2020 summit to give them the same experiences!
Emma Schmidt is a senior at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan. She is currently a ten year member of Michigan 4-H and a second year member of Countryside FFA. Emma is also involved in Band, FIRST Robotics, Key Club, Interact and National Honors Society. Emma is currently dual enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the Nebraska Now program. She hopes to attend either the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or Saint Mary’s College to study Animal Studies-Herd Management or Environmental Studies.