Pearson Students
help build the future of higher education

Pearson Student Advisory Board

Play a vital role in improving initiatives and refining educational technology by becoming a member of the Pearson Student Advisory Board. By getting involved, you’ll be a strong student voice in the conversation that helps to shape the way students learn.

About the program

The Pearson Student Advisory Board is comprised of passionate learners and motivated undergraduate leaders seeking to implement change that impacts college classrooms across the country.

Current board members work directly with Pearson executives and product development teams to make tangible changes to products and services that affect student success.

Benefits of joining the Student Advisory Board

  • Brainstorm in person with senior Pearson executives on the challenges and opportunities in the education marketplace
  • Collaborate with your team on how to make a positive, lasting difference in the educational experience of others
  • Gain employability skills and real-world work experience prior to graduation
  • Have the opportunity to travel during your term of service
  • Expand your personal and professional network with like-minded student leaders
  • Earn a $1,000 stipend along with complimentary copies of Pearson textbooks and educational technology products such as MyMathLab

Meet the Pearson Student Advisory Board

We’re proud to introduce you to the exceptional students chosen as members of our Student Advisory Board. Collectively, the members of the Student Advisory Board represent a diverse pool of bright, rising stars with a deep desire to make a difference.

Each member brings a unique perspective to help us better understand students’ educational needs.

View the full list organized alphabetically by region. Read about their inspiring backgrounds and learn their motivation for getting involved with the PSAB.

 

15

Student Advisors

 

14

States and Provinces

Brendan Bennett - Lorain County Community College

Brendan is a highly motivated student that is constantly seeking out academic challenges to develop himself and help develop those around him. He was the first male in his family to earn a college degree (AA with honors) and he did so after completing three semesters at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH. Brendan will receive his BA AA in psychology from Cleveland State in May of 2017, and plans on attending graduate school for industrial/organizational psychology. He is heavily involved with Psi Beta, the psychology honor society on campus, and he has conducted and presented several research projects at both state and national conferences.

Brendan is a member of the Student Senate at Lorain County Community College. This past year he served as the executive secretary and he will be serving as president in the upcoming year. Brendan had the opportunity to become a Certified Student Leader, which is just one of the many valuable experiences he had with the Senate. He enjoys working with diverse teams because it encourages him to think from varying perspectives, which stimulates growth. Brendan is eager to work with the other PSAB members and looks forward to initiating academic development with his peers.

Amanda Condon - Arkansas Tech University

Amanda Condon is a junior studying emergency management at Arkansas Tech University. Her dream is to become the Executive Director of FEMA. After a successful stint at her local community college, Condon transformed herself from an unemployed single parent into an entrepreneur and motivational speaker in less than two years. By utilizing scholarship programs, Condon has used financial aid and scholarships to fund her education in full. She possesses grit and passion for the success of adult learners and coaches students of all ages about the benefits of resource management, volunteerism, scholarships, and philanthropy. Condon is the Facebook administrator for Scholarship Hot Spot, an advisory Facebook group full of valuable information, and enjoys blogging her experiences and insights on her personal website at www.amandacondon.com.

Condon’s ambitious personality resonates inside in the classroom and throughout her community. She has begun her internship and after graduation plans to accept the position as Director of Emergency Management for Miller County. She enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities with her three children such as hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, and geocaching. Condon upholds Pearson’s mission of always learning by dedicating her time teaching others lessons that have helped her achieve her life goals.

Ekeme Ekanem - Los Angeles Pierce College

Ekeme Ekanem has a passion for making a difference in the lives of others through education. She strives to achieve excellence in every area of her life — academically and professionally. Ekeme has been acting professionally since the age of eight, starring in commercials, television, and movies, while maintaining an impressive academic background. Ekeme attended high school at Arizona School for the Arts where she studied ballet, piano, and music theory. At the age of sixteen, Ekeme graduated high school, and along with her supportive parents, moved to Los Angeles, California to continue pursuing her career in acting and academics.

Ekeme is the President of the Anthropology Society at her college, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, and has been awarded with the Outstanding Student in Anthropology Scholarship. She is committed to proving that one does not have to choose between their career and what they love. Ekeme has found the greatest joy and fulfillment in chasing after all of her dreams. Her plans are to earn a PhD in linguistics and succeed in a lasting career in acting.

Sanah Jivani - University of Texas, San Antonio

Sanah Jivani is an honors college student double majoring in sociology and communications at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization called the Love Your Natural Self Foundation, which focuses on empowering individuals through events, movements and hands-on sessions. She started this organization after losing all of her hair to alopecia in the seventh grade and struggling with wigs, bullying, and low self-worth. Today, her non-profit organization hosts projects in 45 schools and 28 countries worldwide, the biggest being the International Natural Day movement. She has reached more than 10,000 students through speaking engagements and raised in excess of $10,000 in fundraising.

Outside of her nonprofit work, Sanah is one of 30 We Are Family Foundation's Global Teen Leaders, a TEDx speaker, a State Farm Youth Advisory Board member, a DoSomething and College Board Youth Advisory Council member, a 2016-2017 Character Counts Person of Character, the social media intern at Gobie and an editorial intern at HelloFlo among other things. She hopes that this hard work and positive energy will someday change the world!

Oluseun Joaquim – Dillard University

As one who strives to become a global citizen, Oluseun considers herself to be a change agent — she is dedicated in transforming the global educational sector and is highly passionate about the financial industry. Born and raised in Nigeria, Olu was able to attain a scholarship to advance her education in the US and is currently a rising senior at Dillard University with a double major in accounting and finance. As a student at Dillard University, Olu serves as the president of National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), lead fellow of Dillard University’s Melton Foundation and President of Dillard University's Investment Club (DUIC).

Olu is also a member of Alpha Chi honors society and has attained several awards, scholarships and recognitions. Not only is Oluseun dedicated to her studies, but she has also attained impressive work experience as an assurance launch intern at Ernst & Young and as an intern at Mission to Rebuild. In fact, her outstanding performance during her internship at Mission to Rebuild enabled her attain the position of chief expansion advisor of the organization. Oluseun also co-founded Association of African Humanitarians and recently made a commitment to action at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University.

Kevin Lau - University of Waterloo

Kevin is passionate about improving the education system and is very excited to contribute to the evolving discussion as a student advisor to the largest education company in the world. He has both worked with and founded multiple non-profit organizations around education advocacy, outreach, and reform. The latest of which, Techyon Entrepreneurship Group, is developing technology focused, skill-based learning communities for students. Kevin also co-founded Hack the North, Techyon’s flagship event, and directed it for two years. Hack the North is Canada’s largest hackathon and attracts more than 1000 students from 6 continents every year for a weekend of technological learning, creation, and innovation.

Kevin formerly worked with the provincial and national governing bodies for engineering in Canada as a student representative on policy, lobbying, and advocacy initiatives for engineering education. He has also done multiple internships at startup companies in Silicon Valley as a software engineer and venture capitalist and remains heavily involved in the space. Kevin was formerly a competitive badminton player and is a nationally certified coach. He is also a huge Avatar (not blue people) fan, Game of Thrones addict, and makes a mean chocolate cake.

Michael Liu - Harvard College

Having enjoyed the privilege of an extraordinary education throughout his life, Michael can attest to the transformative potential of education on both personal and public dimensions. He is particularly passionate about innovative, personalized, and diverse avenues of teaching, serving as a music instructor, peer tutor, and facilitator for the largest Life Science course at Harvard. Furthermore, his direct and indirect experiences with the increasingly stressful and competitive milieu of education have prompted him to advocate for student wellbeing, positive mental health, and collaborative learning environments. On campus, Michael is a volunteer EMT, a Student Mental Health Liaison and a Health Peer Advisor.

Outside of education, Michael is excited about pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. He is currently the Research and Drug Development manager of WntRx-Pharmaceuticals and his own research at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute aims to understand how our brains wire themselves so intricately during human development. In 2015, he was designated as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 for his past research in developing novel HIV diagnostics. In his spare time, Michael enjoys cross-fitness, indie/EDM music, spoken word poetry, and too many smoothies. He loves exchanging stories with others, so feel free to reach out to him!

Ricardo Lujan Valerio - Southern Oregon University

Ricardo Lujan Valerio was born in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico. He came to the United States at the age of nine and settled in Southern California. During the middle of his sophomore year in high school, he moved to southern Oregon and attended Ashland High School, where he graduated in 2012. Because of his immigration status, Ricardo was not able to easily pursue a higher education. Soon after graduating from high school, Ricardo became an avid activist for social justice within the state of Oregon. This opened multiple doors, allowing him to become a paralegal at a local law firm at the age of 18, a state and local board member for a statewide social justice organization, and eventually made higher education a reality. After graduating with an Associate of Science degree from Rogue Community College, Ricardo transferred to Southern Oregon University pursuing a business degree. He continues to be involved with his community and his studies in hopes of eventually pursuing law degree after his time at Southern Oregon University.

Juliet Mwirigi - University of Texas, Dallas

Juliet hails from Nairobi, Kenya and has been in the United States since October 2013. She has been attending Tarrant County College (TCC) in Hurst, TX and will be transferring to the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX in the fall of 2016 as a junior to major in biological sciences. She intends to go to medical school to study cardiology.

In her time at TCC, Juliet has worked as a lab assistant in the biology department. She was also a 2015 summer research fellow with the University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), affiliated with the Evolutionary Genetics Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. At TCC, she was awarded various scholarships, and was recently recognized as one of Who’s Who among American Universities and Colleges.

Juliet likes to visit places, and would love to visit Western Europe and South Africa. She also loves watching movies set in medieval times – where she feels she belongs. In her spare time, she obsesses with hair – making it, reading about it, and finding ways to nurture it. One of her dreams is starting a charitable medical foundation/hospital in her native country of Kenya.

Arisleidy Nunez - Rutgers University

Arisleidy Nunez is an incoming senior at Rutgers University, double-majoring in public and nonprofit administration and political science. Arisleidy is very passionate about philanthropy, service, and political engagement, and a proud Eagleton Institute of Politics Undergraduate Associate, a Jumpstart Corps members, and Braven alumni fellow. She is committed to social justice issues, and has participated in various service-learning initiatives in Tanzania, Mexico, and most recently, in New Orleans.

As a Dominican-American, she is very thrilled to be interning and working in the Dominican Republic to exercise her passion for activism, education advocacy, and social change. Upon graduation, she will pursue an MPP/JD to further blend her love of and commitment to social justice issues, and hopes to start her own nonprofit in the Dominican Republic to enable youth to further their education. She is very excited and humbled to be working with social change agents and be a part of this powerful movement to help build the future of higher education.

Luke Oaks - Texas A&M University

Luke, son of Todd and Michele Oaks, is an empathetic civic leader and strong proponent of empowering youth through education. For three years, he directed an afterschool service initiative that provides underprivileged children of Troy, Ohio with character mentorship and the opportunity to play tennis alongside friends. Technically, Luke’s previous advisory board experience includes counselling student leaders who have accepted responsibility for this program in his absence.

At Texas A&M, Luke is an ambassador for prospective National Merit students, editor for the university’s undergraduate journal, resident advisor for the Startup Living Learning Community, and an active member of the POSSE Scholar community. In light of his passion for inspiring others, Luke received the university’s sole Freshman Class Star Award for Leadership and was later named a University Scholar.

Luke is also an inspired researcher – and accordingly, one of six Beckman Scholars in Texas A&M history. Motivated by the untimely death of his grandfather due to Stage 4 lung cancer, he has already initiated an independent project to develop a technology for improved lung cancer detection. As a PSAB member, Luke is excited to focus his research mindset and sociological imagination towards improving educational technologies and opportunities for visual learning.

Nishwa Shah - McMaster University

Nishwa is a hardworking individual passionate about extending her interest in education to others. She is the founder of Financial Acceleration for Canadian Students (FACT), which aims to provide high school students with appropriate resources to enhance their financial literacy. Nishwa has also travelled across borders to make a difference, as she worked with visually impaired girls in India and helped teach English. She is constantly on the lookout for new things to learn, and is eager to meet new individuals. In her spare time, Nishwa enjoys playing badminton, watching TedTalks, and conducting scientific research. She is an aspiring physician, and hopes to merge her interests in healthcare, education, and leadership.

Nishwa is thrilled to be a part of the Pearson Student Advisory Board, and looks forward to translating her experiences as a student and teacher to help enhance education across the nation.

Carolina Sosa - Georgetown University

Carolina is an advocate, social justice activist, and first-generation college student from Centreville, Virginia. At 15 years old she founded her own mentoring program for minority and low-income students in her community. She has also worked on issues regarding drug abuse, education inequality, diversity, and civic engagement. Her service has earned her recognition, inlcuding the 2015 PTA Youth Advocate of the Year, 2015 Fairfax County Youth Service Award, 2014 Centreville Citizen of the Year, and most recently a 2016 YP4 National Fellow.

At Georgetown University, Carolina is a student in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is majoring in international affairs with a concentration in culture and politics. When she’s not walking backward as a campus tour guide, Carolina can be found either mentoring youth, watching stand-up comedy, or exploring DC with friends.

Carolina is thrilled to join the Pearson Student Advisory Board and looks forward to developing professional skills, work on exciting projects, and getting to know her fellow board members.

Brennan Wong - Western University

Brennan Wong is a social activist, innovator, and avid ultimate frisbee player. Since he was introduced to an international charity called Free The Children at the age of eight, Brennan has raised nearly $100,000 to support community projects at home and abroad. In 2013, he founded Pledges for Change, an online platform that encourages students to unleash their potential to take action and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of youth to deliver innovative social change.

School has played a very significant role in Brennan’s life. From academic instruction to extracurricular activities, school has taught Brennan the importance of balance and drive. He will bring these core values to serve on the Pearson Student Advisory Board this year, eager to contribute towards projects that will impact higher education across North America.

Brennan has been recognized both on the national and international stage. In 2014 he was selected as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20; in 2016 he has been invited to attend conferences as a Global Teen Leader in New York City and a Global Changemaker in Geneva. Brennan serves as a mentor to incoming freshmen at Western University where he is also on the Board of Directors of the University Students' Council.

Carmel Wright - UCLA

Optimistic, determined, and driven to transform society, Carmel exudes a passion for excellence which encompasses her academic and extracurricular activities. Facing and overcoming hardships as a child instilled in Carmel thankfulness and determination, and now she approaches academics with both.

Her drive to become a stateswoman who reforms the education system is the product of working with children for many years, and this passion grew as Carmel spent two years researching and living in Sacramento’s most under-serviced neighborhood while attaining her associate’s degrees at Sacramento City College. Recovering from losing mobility in her leg for a year, Carmel began to play tennis as a freshman and soon joined the Intercollegiate Tennis Team. She simultaneously embraced a leadership role as vice president of her Phi Theta Kappa chapter, where she piloted a mentorship program.

Carmel received the Outstanding Woman Leadership Award and was recognized as a top scholar/athlete on her campus. Her heart to serve opened the door for her to speak at a national honor convention where she also received awards for her academic leadership. Now beginning study at UCLA, Carmel intends to continue her work with children and to study the education system she longs to improve.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Pearson Student Advisory Board (PSAB)?

The program brings together exceptional students in the U.S. and Canada to work with Pearson executives and product development teams to shape the way the world learns. As Student Advisory Board members, students are given the unique opportunity to impact Pearson’s global, digital product development efforts.

Current board members work directly with Pearson executives to make tangible changes to their learning materials on such issues as the use of mobile devices in the classroom, the integration of social media in learning materials, and the evolution of games as learning tools.

What is the extent of the travel required for the PSAB?

How long does each PSAB work with Pearson?

Are the PSAB members paid?

How does the Board keep in touch throughout the year?

Are there guidelines that my professor or employer should follow in writing my recommendations?

My professor or employer wants to send in the letter of recommendation her/himself. How should s/he do this?

I’ve submitted my application materials. Now what do I do?