Angie Vredeveld

Director & Board Member

Dr. Angie Vredeveld is a clinical psychologist and founder of Immigration Psychology Services, Inc.  She has worked extensively with trauma survivors and has traveled as a psychologist to South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda. She began working with acid attack survivors in 2014, after meeting an acid attack survivor in Uganda whom she later helped get to the US for a series of reconstructive surgeries.

Ellen Galloway

Board Member

Ellen Galloway works as a science writer-editor for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ellen has done healthcare-related work in Sierra Leone and Rwanda.  She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Cincinnati.

Will Wagner

Board Member

Will Wagner is a professional musician in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He has a master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Cincinnati.  Will first got involved with RISE when the organization was looking for bands to play for its fundraiser.  Since then, he has continued to perform music for the cause, as well as help spread awareness through social media, fundraisers, and online petitioning.

Heike Roberson

Board Member

Heike Roberson, originally from Germany, is an Acid Attack Survivor herself. In 1998, she became a victim and suffered 4th degree facial burn and 3rd degree burns to chest, arm and hands. Meanwhile, a new woman has emerged. She is a Christian – an advocate for domestic violence, burn injuries, rape and losing a child- and is a national motivational keynote speaker. She is fluent in English, German and French.

George Vredeveld

Treasurer & Fund Programming Coordinator

Dr. George Vredeveld is the founder and director emeritus of the Economics Center for Education and Research and Professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University.  Dr. Vredeveld is currently a research associate at Varna Free University (Bulgaria) and an advisory board member of the European Leadership University.

Divya Vinod

Health Program Coordinator

Divya Vinod is a Medical Sciences Major at the University of Cincinnati and in the 8-year guaranteed medical program. Passionate about growing the community in unique ways, she has pursued many medically-related volunteer experiences, taught public speaking classes, and is excited to be a part of RISE. In her free time, she loves to play the violin, dance, and (whenever possible) travel.

Meghna Chandorkar

Awareness & Advocacy Program Coordinator

Meghna Chandorkar is a Medical Sciences Major at the University of Cincinnati. She enjoys helping the community in various ways, including volunteering in the hospital and food pantry. She has also taught young children (ages 4-7) early reading and mathematical skills. Her interests include playing the viola, reading science fiction novels, and playing badminton.

Shivani Tumukuntala

Artisan Program Coordinator

Shivani is an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati pursuing a major in Medical Sciences and looking to utilizing service and education to become a physician, and continue her research in pediatrics. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering to promote multicultural equality and health literacy. Through RISE, she utilizes her passion for leadership and service to make an impact locally and globally.

Hannah Barker

Professional Writer

Hannah Barker works as a technical communicator at Medpace in Cincinnati.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Xavier University and her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Cincinnati (UC). While at UC, she worked with international services and programs, which fueled her interest in global affairs.

Azalea Laverde

Artisan Program Intern

Azalea Laverde is a second year International Affairs Major at the University of Cincinnati with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to pursue International Law and have a career in humanitarian work. She is passionate in improving the quality and access to equal education, resources, and fair treatment in her community. Her interests include reading, creative writing, and staying up to date with the latest idea and issues in our world today.

Zoha Mian

Health Program Intern

Zoha Mian is a Medical Sciences major and Political Science minor at the University of Cincinnati.  She is currently volunteering at the Crossroad Health Center working with the impoverished population in Over the Rhine to diminish health disparities in the city of Cincinnati. In addition, she is involved with Global Public Health Brigades, Free the Slaves, Books not Bombs, and Midwest Dhamaka, a Bollywood fusion dance competition at UC.


Venkat Suru

Health Program Intern

Venkat Suru is a Medical Sciences Major at the University of Cincinnati. He is immensely passionate about serving the underprivileged as he is a volunteer intern at the Crossroad Medical Center. He also likes to take part in organizations that elicit change, which is why he is excited to be a part of RISE. Furthermore, he fancies playing basketball, managing an organization he founded on campus, and playing the violin.

Vighnesh Ramesh

Health Program Intern

Vighnesh Ramesh is a Medical Sciences Major at the University of Cincinnati, hoping to pursue a career as a physician. He enjoys giving back to his community in many  ways, including volunteering at the hospital and tutoring young children. He is passionate about global health equity and helping to make advances in human rights issues.  In his free time, he likes spending time with friends and family, teaching public speaking and communication, and listening to music.

Umar Durrani

Fundraising Intern

Umar Durrani is a third year Medical Sciences Major and Astrophysics Minor who hopes to go to Medical School after he graduates in 2019. He wants to work in Global Health and International Medicine, due to his love for discovering new cultures and learning about the unique history of every place on the Earth. He also interns with Refugee Connect, an organization that seeks to help refugee families around the Cincinnati area adjust to their new life.

Nene Ndome

Awareness Program

Nene Ndome has a bachelor in Political Science and an International Human Rights Certificate from the University of Cincinnati. As the daughter of immigrants, Nene is passionate about helping immigrants and refugees obtain a better life and hopes to open her own nonprofit organization. She volunteers at Catholic Charities immigration legal service and was an intern for City Councilwoman, Tamaya Dennard.

Hannah Devich

Awareness & Advocacy Education Intern

Hannah Devich is a Communication major with a Public Relations certificate at the University of Cincinnati. She has a passion for travel and has studied abroad in Ireland studying Children’s Media Around the World. She recently started a Women and Activism class which has sparked her interest in not only activism in general, but a focus on women’s rights. She is also very involved with animals, as she is a manager at a pet facility.