The Daily Record recognized five Towson University alumni as part of the news outlet’s 2016 “20 in Their Twenties” movers and shakers list.
The Daily Record recognized Towson University alumni Andrew Baker ’10, Min Kim ’13, Phylicia Rae Louise Porter ’10, Heather Rustici ’12, and Francesca Genevieve Weaks ’12 as part of the news outlet’s “20 in Their Twenties” event held last night (Wednesday, June 22) at Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
“20 in Their Twenties” honors Maryland’s up-and-comers who are in their 20s. Selected by a panel of previous award winners, honorees are chosen on the basis of professional accomplishment, civic involvement and impact of achievement. The program celebrates the best and brightest under 30 who may have not earned their first million but whose creativity and spirit are already contributing to a new energy in Maryland.
Baker has put his bachelor’s degree in business management to use as the vigneron at his family’s winery. At Old Westminster Winery–just two months after graduating from TU—he planted the first 7,600 grape vines on the family farm and travels the world, learning business practices he can implement at home. He also helps his family business provide basic needs to citizens around the world; Old Westminster Winery pledges $1 from each bottle sold to help individuals gain access to clean water and education. (Baker is pictured center, with fellow honorees Marie M. Anderson and Ericka L. Gray Wylie)Full Daily Record bio
Kim, a program coordinator at the Family League of Baltimore, has been instrumental in launching a program to help Baltimore mothers and families cope with grief after the death of an infant or unborn baby. The HOPE Project (Healing Ourselves through Peer Empowerment) is a peer-based home visiting program offering free grief and bereavement services to low-income families. (Kim is pictured center, with fellow honorees Christopher Dawkins and Kultar S. Bindra.)Full Daily Record bio
Porter was the first in her family to graduate college, receiving dual bachelor’s degrees in molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics (MB3) and biology before founding Optimal Public Health Solutions in 2013. She mentors young public health professionals, advocates against tobacco use and participates in voter education and turnout drives. She is also vice-chair of the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences (MATHS), a charter school for grades six through 12, and is coordinating a STEM-enabled drone camp this summer with Global Air Media and Kids Safe Zone.Full Daily Record bio
Rustici earned her master’s in psychology and presently works for Jeffrey Brown Contracting, LLC as a client relations manager. She plays an extensive role in the local community, serving on The Children’s Guild golf tournament committee, as a committee co-chair for the Junior League of Baltimore, and as a volunteer with Volunteering Untapped, a local organization that focuses on improving Baltimore through increasing volunteerism by young professionals. (Rustici is pictured left, with fellow honoree Christine Osazuwa.)Full Daily Record bio
After earning her dual master’s degrees in health science and health care management, Weaks became a lecturer at TU before opening her own business. She earned her doctorate in public health from Morgan State and presently serves as the director for Bowie State’s Health Research Institute for Diverse Populations. The first member of her family to earn an undergraduate degree as a traditional student, she now focuses on eliminating health disparities in all communities.Full Daily Record bio