Dr. Gail O. Mellow has served as President of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens since 2000. A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, LaGuardia is a recognized leader among community colleges for launching programs and teaching methods that have become pilots for the nation.
Class of 2019 Representative
Kishauna Givans hails from the island of Jamaica, where she was raised in a single-parent household. Her mother believed that education would open doors of opportunity and ensured that Kishauna had everything she needed. In 2014, Kishauna became paralyzed from the neck down and physicians told her she might never walk again. Refusing to accept this fate, Kishauna traveled to the United States seeking medical attention and was soon introduced to LaGuardia Community College. Though apprehensive at first, Kishauna enrolled at LaGuardia in 2016 initially majoring in Nursing but later changing to Therapeutic Recreation, a field she first encountered as a patient. Kishauna is passionate about advocacy and believes in equal treatment for all people regardless of the limitations that life or society has placed on them. “I believe I've come a long way in my educational journey and I still have a long road ahead of me, but with determination and perseverance, the learning curve for me will never stop. I am daring to do way more; I’m daring to be great.”
Aida Akim-Escriva is a Grants Coordinator for Global Fund for Women, the organization that supports the human rights of women internationally. Aida joined Global Fund for Women in 2018. Aida grew up in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Throughout her professional career, Aida has been actively involved in the women’s empowerment movement and AIDs awareness programs. She was involved in individual projects with various non-governmental organizations in Kazakhstan and served in Senator Gillibrand’s office assisting active veterans and US military personnel when she immigrated to the US. Aida holds an Associate of Arts degree in Journalism from LaGuardia Community College, and an Architectural Studies degree from Amherst College, Massachusetts. During her studies at Amherst, she served as a consultant at the Sulaiman Too Sacred Mountain National Museum in Kyrgyzstan.