Founder & 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 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 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, 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.
Interim Director & Treasurer
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 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 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 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 hopes to utilize her passion for leadership and service to make an impact locally and globally.
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.
Kara Johnson is a third-year biology student at the University of Cincinnati passionate about promoting global health and literacy. She spends her free time reading or volunteering and is currently a member of Global Public Health Brigades and Alpha Lambda Delta. She enjoys working with children and volunteers with MYCincinnati tutoring elementary and middle school students in Price Hill.
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.
Robert Banger is a painter and sculptor in Spokane Valley, Washington. He began his professional artistic life illustrating fossils in Chicago. To fulfill a lifelong ambition of becoming a Renaissance Man he has been a sailor on tug boats, archaeologist, computer systems specialist, Information Designer, and Principal of his own video production company for Technical and Medical presentations. He paints RISE portraits with the classic technology of the Old Flemish Maters.
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.
Awareness Program Intern
Navya Koppusetty is a junior at Mason High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. She loves to read and go outside. She participates in several high school clubs, including Student Government. She dances with Satrangi School of Dance and will be teaching children’s dance at her school. She heard of RISE through a Diwali Event that she participated in. She is excited to work with people like you.