Sara Sehhizadeh

Sara Sehhizadeh

Sara Sehhizadeh is a senior at the University of Georgia, pursuing a B. A. in International Affairs and a minor in Women’s Studies. In her extracurricular activities, she was awarded “Best Delegate” in the 2019 Southern Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) in Atlanta and was placed in the top-three during the 2022 Virtual Policy Competition hosted by the UGA chapter of Georgia State Public Administration.

Sara has previous internship experience in journalism, politics, and non-profit work. This past summer, she studied abroad in London where she also interned for a non-profit called Age UK. Sara hopes to utilize the experience gained working at the Rankin Foundation to pursue a career in non-profit work, advocating for the national and international rights of women and the institutionally undeserved.

Nathalie Nassar

Nathalie is a sophomore at the University of Georgia studying Economics and International affairs. She is a values-based, results-driven student with a passion for effectuating change for minority communities through advocation, outreach, and service. She hopes to use her experience in community service and marketing to advance Rankin Foundation’s mission and advocate for women’s pursuit of education. In her free time, Nathalie enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring new places.

Maheen Chranya

Maheen is a woman with a passion for storytelling and a sincere interest in the development of marginalized communities. With social media, podcasting, and journalistic experience, she’s eager to share the impact of the Rankin Foundation through various forms of media. Maheen is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, where she was a member of the Arch Society and an activist for reproductive rights and sexual violence prevention. She hopes to spend her career fighting for the rights and opportunities of women and queer folk, and finding innovative ways to build community along the way.

Chelsea Bellon

Chelsea is a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe but her community roots are deeply embedded in the San Poil Valley on the Colville Confederated Tribes Reservation. Chelsea lives by the saying, “do something that scares you, that’s where confidence and identity grows”. Chelsea made Missoula, Montana her home right after high school in order to attend the University of Montana. Twelve years later, after building a family, career, and community in Missoula, Chelsea returned to her studies as a non-traditional student and working mother. A recent 2023 graduate, Chelsea holds a B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of Montana. Chelsea is passionate about higher education, Indigenous-led community based programs, and health equity.

Chelsea recently started a Masters in Public Health, specializing in Indigenous Health at the University of North Dakota. Chelsea is married to Aaron and share three young daughters, Laurel, Thea and Freya.

JaShondra Flanigan

JaShondra is a woman with a heart that is set out to serve others. As a native of Athens, GA, JaShondra has a passion to pour back into the community and serve those who are underserved. JaShondra is the definition of “Determined”. JaShondra lives by the saying “Delayed but not denied.” Although there were some unexpected twists and turns on her journey, she continues to beat the odds. JaShondra has a background in Business Administration and Human Resources Management. JaShondra holds an A.S. in Business Administration from Strayer University, B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Fort Valley State University, and a Masters in HR Management from Strayer University.

JaShondra is married to LaDerren, Sr. They have two sons, Jordan (14) & LaDerren, Jr. (LJ) (4), one daughter Lailaa (11), and a 6-year-old Yorkie, Jackson.

Breezy Barcelo

Breezy Barcelo began her adventure with the Jeannette Rankin Foundation as a scholar three years in a row while completing her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health Services. She loved school so much that she moved right along into her M.S. in Occupational Therapy (OT) and proceeded to work in the field of mental health. She currently offers nature OT for children in West Michigan and teaches in the  Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness program at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When Breezy presented as the Scholar speaker at the Rankin Foundation STAR Party in 2017, she left thinking she would love to work with the Rankin Foundation.

Prior to attending college, she worked many nights and days as a birth and postpartum doula for over ten years. This led her to a deep love of caring for women and their families.

Breezy is a mother of 7 and lives with most of her kids and her silly goldendoodle in Kalamazoo.

Jane Broyles

Jane Broyles recently relocated from Corbin KY to Athens to be close to her son, daughter in law and three grandchildren.  She has an extensive background in finance with a specialization in Quickbooks.  Jane works with small businesses, nonprofits and churches  to make sure their finances are in order.  We’re grateful for her expertise and happy to have her on the team.

Beth Cogswell

Beth Cogswell has spent her career working on issues of importance to her—women’s health and human rights, the environment, child welfare and public education. Most recently, she served as Director of Development for the School of Journalism at the University of Montana where she raised money for student scholarships and helped launch Report for Montana, a program focused on promoting democracy through local reporting in underserved communities. Beth was instrumental in securing long-term funding for a program that helps rural and Indigenous high school students tell stories about their homes. These audio stories have been picked up by public radio stations throughout the state.

Previously, Beth served as Executive Director for Youth Homes, a child welfare organization that provides shelter and therapeutic group care for youth in crisis.  Youth Homes is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Montana, with over 200 employees.  While there, Beth helped steer the organization through some of the deepest state budget cuts in the organization’s history, helping Youth Homes operate in the black while continuing to serve children in need.

Beth spent 13 years as Director of Development and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Montana. She was a founding board member for Planned Parenthood of Montana’s political action committee, and she served on the steering committee for Montana Women Vote.  

Beth is a passionate advocate for women and appreciates the Rankin Foundation’s role in transforming lives through education.

Beth is married to Rick Phillips and together they have two grown sons, Finn and Sam, as well as two dogs and three cats.  Beth loves to spend time outdoors hiking, gardening or just walking the dogs through her neighborhood.  She is an avid reader and loves to cook.

LaTrena Artist

LaTrena Artist is a woman who knows that ALL things are possible to those who believe.

LaTrena was destined to link arms with Jeannette Rankin Foundation in the summer of 2011 as a Rankin Foundation Scholar. Fate would have it that she now links her passion with the Rankin Foundation as a staff member. LaTrena’s perseverance has propelled her to succeed and to help those that she crosses paths with do the same. LaTrena has a passion for people and is dedicated to excellence. She has a BA from the University of Georgia in Human Development & Family Science and a BA from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Theology. LaTrena has received a number of awards including GA Woman of the Year Scholar and UGA Amazing Student.

LaTrena is the proud parent of two boys Cameron and Jeremy Stokes.

Karen Sterk

Karen Sterk is a champion for women, a champion for education and a champion for social justice. She has served as the CEO of Jeannette Rankin Foundation since September of 2015. Since then the fund has doubled in size and impact.

Previously, Karen was the Chief Advancement Officer and Chief Program Officer for the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, responsible for both the YWCA’S program development and fundraising. She was part of the Senior Leadership Team that revitalized the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, taking the organization from a $300K deficit to break even in one year. During her time there, she created and implemented It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race.

From 2000-2010 Karen served at the YWCA of Minneapolis, leaving as the Vice President of Health and Wellness. Her drive to create and grow programs while building financial vitality for the organization was welcomed. During her tenure, her team tripled the number of members and revenues. She was part of the team that launched the YWCA’s Racial Justice Program It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race in 2002.

Karen is married to Ron Warren. They have two adult daughters, a son-in-law, two beautiful granddaughters, Zora and Zadie Jean, and a rescued greyhound.