The Kalamazoo Promise Scholars Program provides direct support to students who are recipients of the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship and are attending, or planning to attend, Western Michigan University. We do this by offering guidance to students to navigate the academic and personal challenges of college life, connecting students with campus and community resources and providing knowledge, awareness and skills for students to succeed in college, careers, and the community. 

Meet the staff

Ronald Dillard (Program Manager) 

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan 
Program of study: Ph.D. in Sociology and Special Education
Degree(s) earned: B.A. in Secondary Education/English and M.A. in Organizational Communication 
Interests: Family, friends, and music
My passion: As a teacher, I am passionate about helping students connect to their future selves. I like to see them develop like a picture.
Career goals: I would like to work with high school and college students. I believe that the gap that exists between secondary and higher education is unnecessary. I want to build bridges between the two.
Quote: "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Lauren Carney (Program Manager)

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Program of study: Ph.D. in Educational Leadership: Organizational Analysis
Degree(s) earned: B.A. in English/Spanish, M.A. in Organizational Learning and Performance, M.A. in Educational Technology
Interests: Spending time with family, nature, traveling, technology and reading novels, poetry and webcomics.
My passion: My greatest joy in life comes from providing a space for students to grow and develop into the very best versions of themselves. 
Career goals: I am most interested in working to bridge the gap from college to career (or graduate school) through the targeted preparation and provision of professional development opportunities to undergraduate students.
Quote: “The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." - Neil Gaiman

Cheruba Daniel (Doctoral Graduate Assistant)

Hometown: Nagpur, India
Program of study: Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
Degree(s) earned: B.A. in Psychology, M.B.A. in Human Resources and M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Interests: I love spending time with my family. Reading, meditation, and prayer help me to balance my life.
My passion: I am passionate about being a counselor educator because I firmly believe it is one of the few professions that aids in making a difference in people's lives. I enjoy that it is challenging and dynamic. My role requires constant adaptation and learning so that I can prepare future counselors to be multiculturally mindful in developing culturally responsive interventions.
Career goals: My long-term career goal is to stay in academia and pursue my scholarly work on racial and ethnic minority groups.
Quote: “No vision, and you perish; No Ideal, and you’re lost; Your heart must ever cherish, Some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, Some rainbow in the sky, Some melody to sing to, Some service that is high.” ― Harriet Du Autermont

Rachael Holbert (Intern)

Hometown: Benton Harbor, Michigan
Program of study: B.S.W in Social Work/Interdisciplinary Health
Interests: Spending time with family is my favorite place to be. I enjoy hiking, camping, swimming and just being surrounded by nature. Some of my hobbies include painting and reading.
My passion: I am passionate about the field of social work. As I prepare to become a social worker, I am driven by my desire to help others reach their life goals. Working to advocate, empathize and problem-solve are what propel me to achieve my goals.
Career goals: I will be continuing my education in graduate school, aiming to achieve my Master of Social Work (M.S.W) degree. Long-term I would like to either be working with a non-profit group, or in a hospital setting.
Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Mahatma Gandhi