Congratulations to This Year’s Rising Stars! –  Brandi Hunter, Toya Moore, and Julie Jefferson

Lakewood, WA – The Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management (CoE-HSEM) has always been focused on student success, helping people change their lives’ trajectory positively and who have demonstrated excellence in their professional endeavors in education and public service. “Each year, it is an honor to recognize outstanding award winners with our Rising Star Award for their accomplishments and contributions to the Center. Our Award winners will be honored at the Center’s Advisory Board meeting/virtual award ceremony on December 8, 2020,” said Linda Crerar, Center Director.

This year’s Rising Stars are Brandi Hunter, Toya Moore, and Julie Jefferson. These women are emerging leaders in their respective fields whose records reflect ongoing and exceptional growth in their contribution to the profession and increasing leadership and responsibility levels. The following interviews will introduce you to this Year’s Stars, the organizations, and the people who nominated them.

Brandi Hunter – Educational & Outreach Coordinator, CoE-HSEM

At the suggestion of her father, Brandi investigated the HSEM program at Pierce College. He informed her that this field was going to be a high demand career pathway. It was not until the end of 2018 that Brandi chose to pursue a degree in HSEM. When Brandi learned about how vulnerable populations are often excluded from emergency planning, and the repercussions these communities face after a disaster occurs due to poor planning, she felt compelled to become a part of that solution within HSEM.  “My long-term career goal is to continuously help and boost the trajectory of other’s education and careers in HSEM. My goal will always be to help people achieve their own goals,” shared Brandi.

Nominated by Kellie Hale, Program Manager for the CoE-HSEM, she said, “Brandi Hunter is a standout star. Brandi is a person who acts when opportunities appear. Her enthusiasm and experience in reaching out to vulnerable communities to inform and educate people about career opportunities in the all-hazard emergency career fields were inspiring. Her insight and energy are a wonderful addition to the Center’s staff and a perfect contender to receive the Rising Star Award.”

Toya Moore – Toya Moore, M.Ed., AHI, CHT, RMA, CCMA, Director of Allied Health and CMA programs, Seattle Colleges

“Toya has done incredible work in her role as the Medical Assisting Program Director at Seattle Central College, “shared Francisco Ramos, Specialist and Outreach Coordinator for Seattle Central College. It was Francisco who nominated Toya for the Center’s Rising Star Award. He went on to say, “Not only has Toya handled all the administrative aspects of the program, but she has also developed course content… Her hard work has lifted the MA program to a higher caliber for her students, the college, and the community.”

The Medical Assisting profession chose Toya in 1994. Toya’s desire to direct correlates with her passion for students to be prepared. She is passionate about the career of Medical Assisting. According to Toya, for students to be ready, they must be enrolled in a program that is not only compliant but engaging and inspirational. “I have been blessed with awesome teachers throughout my life, from kindergarten to high school and into my higher education pursuits. I cannot give credit to just one, but Dr. Joe Fagan was my mentor for 15-years. He was the grant writer and the head of the Psychology Department for Case Western Reserve University. It was an awesome experience, and it made me want to be the best that I could be for people,” Toya expressed in an interview with Center Director Linda Crerar.

Julie Jefferson – Communications Director, Lummi Indian Business Council

In her role as the Communications Director for the Lummi Business Council, Julie is in a crucial position to ensure that members of her community receive the public information updates needed to keep them safe from covid-19 exposure. Her responsibilities as Communications Director for the Lummi Indian Business Council means that she is responsible for communications sent to the tribal council, the general council (enrolled tribal membership), the community, and the press.

Julie’s academic advisor and Program Director for the UW’s Urban Design and Planning, Wendy Freitag, nominated her to receive this year’s Rising Star Award. Wendy expressed, “Julie Jefferson exemplifies a student that has overcome many obstacles and demonstrated great determination in pursuit of her higher education degrees. Julie has continued to pursue her graduate degree. She is scheduled to graduate on track from our graduate program in August 2020. She has recently been chosen to represent our program in the UW College of Built Environment’s newly formed Student Advisory Group. We feel fortunate to have Julie as a strong leader and advocate for the emergency management community enrolled in our program.”

During her interview for the Rising Star, Julie revealed how her current position as the Communications Director for the Lummi Tribe has allowed her to develop close working relationships with the emergency management and preparedness teams. She goes on to share, ”I feel that there is so much more to be done, and I have had the opportunity in my position to bring in more emergency preparedness and go out to seek different training opportunities on my own. I look at my community; we are a nation within a nation. Our community is very reliant on our government to make sure that we are protected.”

For more information, contact:
Kellie Hale – Media/Public Relations

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