About the Student Speakers

Thierno Sadou Diallo -- School of Business

A native of Ziguinchor, Senegal, Thierno Sadou Diallo came to the United States in the year 2000 to attend college at the Community College of Philadelphia.  He has had a long trek to earn his degree, which he will do at Cameron next year.

He met his wife while she was attending optometry school in Philadelphia. While she completed her degree, he stayed at home with their daughter. They moved to Lawton in 2012, at which point he immediately enrolled at Cameron to continue his studies.

Diallo is the president of Delta Sigma Pi and the vice president of Delta Mu Delta. He has received the School of Business Tuition Waiver, Reginal C. Brown Endowed Scholarship, and the James R. and Irene J. Lawrence Memorial Endowed Trust Scholarship. In his (rare) spare time, he is a volunteer coach for his daughter’s youth soccer team, the Predators.

He will receive his bachelor of business administration with a concentration in finance in December 2015.

Angelica Lopez -- School of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Born in Dallas and raised in Vernon, Texas, Angelica Lopez is the first in her family to go to college. The middle child of seven – she has three older brothers and three younger brothers – her family moved to Altus when she was a junior in high school.

After graduation from Altus High School, Lopez received her associate degree from Western Oklahoma State College in biology before enrolling at Cameron in Fall 2012.

She has been a member of the Health and Physical Education Club for the past two years, including serving one year as the organization’s Student Government Association representative. She has also received the Bill G. Shahan Family Endowed Scholarship in Health and Physical Education and the Karen J. Dowd Undergraduate Student Scholarship presented by the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

She will receive her bachelor’s degree in sport fitness management this December and plans to enroll in a physical therapy program after graduation.

Rhiannon Poolaw -- School of Liberal Arts

Rhiannon Poolaw was born in Salisbury, N.C., but moved to Lawton when she was in fifth grade and considers southwest Oklahoma her home.

A graduate of Eisenhower High School, she began her academic career at Oklahoma State University before transferring to Cameron after one semester. She has balanced her academic career while raising her three-year-old daughter.

Poolaw is a member of the Multimedia Design Club, the Multimedia Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and is a past vice president and president of Moms and Dads on Campus. She is a winner of the Leigh H. Holmes Prize for Creative Nonfiction, and a recipient of the Jessie Mae Hines Scholarship in English.

She will receive her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in multimedia design this December.

Michele Hess -- School of Science and Technology

Michele (Shelly) Hess moved to the Lawton area when she was just two years old, moved to Meers when she was 10, and has made southwest Oklahoma her home ever since.  A graduate of Cache High School, she attended Cameron directly out of high school in 1987 but was unable to finish her education.

She returned to Cameron in 2009 to pursue her dream of achieving an education, completing a promise she made to her son and mother to earn her college degree.  She has succeeded in graduating while working full-time, caring for her mother who was diagnosed with kidney cancer, her son being deployed to Iraq, and suffering from serious health issues of her own.  

Despite these challenges, she has excelled in the classroom, as she was project lead for her capstone computer information systems class project, which was a work order system for the City of Lawton.  She was also team leader for a database class project for the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.  She also made the honor roll, received a freshman writing award, and passed the ISA (Information Systems Analyst) Core exam to earn her national ICCP certification.

Hess will receive two degrees this December, an associate in information technology as well as a bachelor’s in computer information systems.

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