University YMCA Bailey Scholars are empathetic, thoughtful, and action-oriented citizens leaders who contribute positively to our local and global communities. Bailey Scholars engage in critical dialogue about social justice, environmental issues, faith, and the international community and seek out new and innovative ways to approach real problems facing our world.
Caleb Brandmeyer’s (Junior) passion is working for the betterment of the future by promoting science and education in youth, and encouraging action on the part of those who can take it today. As a co-president of Beyond Coal, Caleb worked to keep both the University of Illinois and the surrounding community accountable for reducing their carbon footprint. Aside from this, he tutored at local schools in science subjects, and developed lesson plans as part of the REACT program to advocate careful scientific thought and stress the importance of science, technology, and conservation in young minds.
Dylan Harmon (Junior) intends to address the global concerns of climate change and sustainability by making his community into an example. He facilitated the groundwork for local projects by volunteering, recruiting, and promoting his ideas and those of others with Students for Environmental Concerns and BikeFace. These efforts provide the community a voice with which to express their concerns. He also actively pursued change by working for the Public Works Department of Urbana and set in motion a plan for the installation of wind energy systems on residential and commercial properties in the community.
Rachel Jacoby (Senior) is passionate about creating a sustainable future and improving economic opportunities for those in need. While serving as President of ActGreen, she grew the organization in size and scope, and the sustainability projects she led had a tangible impact in the community. Rachel used her business skills to better the lives of others by promoting economic development. Throughout her time at UIUC, Rachel traveled to Panama and Honduras to teach financial literacy topics, consult for entrepreneurs, and establish business plans to improve their economic prospects.
Eduardo Martínez (Senior) has an unwavering conviction to create equal opportunity amongst people. Eduardo is Golden Apple Scholar, committed to teaching in an underprivileged school of need, a Co-Founder of The Lion Review Foundation, which ran the “Let’s Talk” initiative for civic engagement, and a member of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan), organizing countless events for minority students on campus. In addition to this, Eduardo is on the board that organizes the Black and Latino Male Summit at The University of Illinois.
Asura Osborne (Junior) advocates for justice, peace, and understanding within the communities she belongs to. From her start as a volunteer with humanitarian and animal programs that ignited her passion for social justice, she has graduated to initiating her own circles to help others - mentoring young women about feminism, organizing homeless relief projects, and creating spaces where people of different backgrounds and beliefs can share opinions and learn from each other.
Abby Pakeltis’ (Junior) passion is engineering and working to increase the percentage of women in engineering. Therefore, the Society of Women Engineers is where she focused on becoming a leader. As a member of SWE, she actively participated in both the Team Tech and Outreach committees. On these committees, she worked to give female engineers the opportunity to work on a real world project and volunteer to teach young girls about engineering. Over her past two years at the University, she held a chair position, been a sub-team leader, volunteered at events as well as held an officer position.
Ana Rodas (Senior) is passionate about social justice and interpersonal relationships. She is learning to use her design skills and implement them in social justice to fulfill the need of helping others. She is involved in I-CAUSE (Illinois-Coalition Assisting Undocumented Students' Education) and lobbying for the Student ACCESS Bill (SB 2196). She is implementing her own endeavor #projectFEAR (Forget Everything And Run or Forget Everything And Rise) based on acknowledging where one stands in moments of political divisiveness. She has skills in problem solving, maintain a strong work ethic, communicating and initiating ideas.
Omar Taha (Sophomore) believes in the importance of interfaith work because we, as humanity, live on this earth together and no matter what beliefs we adopt, we must work together as one community. He organized events on campus and in the Champaign-Urbana Community pertaining to interfaith and Islam awareness. He helped organize the annual Ramadan Interfaith Dinner at the local Muslim American Society Community Center. This year we were blessed to have over 300 individuals from the community attend, including people of all faiths. He is excited to continue working in a more productive interfaith community.
Monika Zmudzki (Junior) has a passion for exploring different cultures and enabling those around her to pursue the opportunities around them. She has led and worked in organizations to educate students embarking on international service trips, consult with on-campus nonprofits, and create awareness of working towards goals by being involved in multiple organizations on campus. Primarily, she works within Global Business Brigades as a speaker and creator of educational events focusing on having a global perspective as well as working to help students finance service trips.
Bailey Graduate and Professional Fellows
Special Recognition - Bailey Graduate Scholars
Kadeem Fuller is a community activist and PhD student in educational policy studies. Kadeem's activism and scholarship is tied directly into challenging systems that marginalize and alienate people within society. Kadeem has several ties with social justice organizations in the area. He works with Black Lives Matter Champaign Urbana, Education Justice Project as well as a facilitator in Men Movie Critic, a movie group in the local jail. His efforts in collective community struggles led to an implementation of a racial justice task force as well as stopped jail construction in the county.
Jim Sosnowski has worked with a higher education in-prison program since 2010 and has focused on developing an English as a second language (ESL) program, serving language-minoritized incarcerated men. Through his work, he has trained incarcerated men to be ESL teachers, some of whom have become ESL teachers after release, developed a teacher-training curriculum, and has published and presented with the incarcerated teachers, as a way of breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions about incarcerated individuals. He continues to strive to create more socially just educational practices.
Ian Traniello is committed to using science outreach to create communities that put education before incarceration. In 2014, he independently established a science course for incarcerated teenagers at a local Juvenile Detention Center with the intention of helping students learn to apply fact-based knowledge, engage intellectual discussion, and trust the scientific method of reasoning and decision-making. Since then, he has coordinated the involvement of five more graduate students, helped build a Science Library at the jail, and published and presented his work to the scientific community.