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Presenters


Kaitlin Gates
Miss West Virginia 2012
AZM Chapter Alumni
Growing up in West Virginia, Kaitlin Gates became aware that our children are experiencing an obesity epidemic. Times have changed and so have our lifestyles. We have moved away from meals around dinner tables as a family, walks to and from school, and spending summer evenings outside playing. Instead, we are a nation of fast food, riding a bus to school, and spending evenings in front of a television or gaming system.  She views her year as Miss West Virginia as a great opportunity to make a difference. “My call to action is to reverse this epidemic. By reaching out to the youth of our state through my personal website, social media, appearances, and making sure my presentation is heard by as many ears as possible, I believe I can inspire others to take an interest in their health.” 
Kaitlin’s visits to more than 100 schools this year encourage young people to become aware of the need for a healthy lifestyle. Her platform, “Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures”, addresses the obesity epidemic that is so prevalent among West Virginia’s children. She hopes to increase self-esteem and decrease the incidence of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, not only in children, but also as they become young adults. She will encourage healthy eating and offer age appropriate exercise activities. This message is also the focus of her appearances before civic and community groups, emphasizing the need for participation of parents, educational leaders, and the community to help our children have a healthy childhood and a healthy future. Through her website, they will be able to access constant support, information, recipes, blog updates, useful resources, and fun activities.
Kaitlin is a graduate of Bridgeport High School and has completed her sophomore year at West Virginia University where she will use her Miss West Virginia scholarship earnings to continue her studies of Exercise Physiology. Her ambition is to obtain a Juris Doctorate and practice law, specializing in health-related matters.
The Miss West Virginia Scholarship Organization has provided scholarship opportunities to young women like Kaitlin for almost seventy years.  Please visit www.misswestvirginia.org for information about participating with the organization as a contestant or a volunteer.

John Strada
Region V Director
Delta Chapter Alumni
Initiated into Delta chapter in the Spring of 1993. Served as in various chapter officers including President, VP of Membership, SAA, Book Exchange Manager, and Head Eagle Trainer. Advisor to Alpha Zeta chapter (University of Kentucky), Alpha Zeta Kappa chapter (Eastern Kentucky University), and Pi Omega chapter (Kentucky State University). Served as Section 67 chair (2003-2007), Region V Director (2008-2010), ARIVD Program Director (2010-2012), and now again as the Region V Director. APO Leads presenter/ trainer, Membership Academy lead designer and presenter. Recipient of the 2012 Phyllis C. Tenney National Excellence in Advising Award. Professionally, teaches on the Communication Studies faculty at Eastern Kentucky University.

Jennifer Blanchard
AZM Chapter Alumni
I am a recent alumni of AZM. During my time I was in the fellowship, membership and service positions. Now I work helping teens.

Jan Dzierzak
Section 61 Vice Chair
HY Chapter Alumni
Jan served in various Chapter officer positions including Chapter President. Currently Jan serves as Chapter Advisor to Eta Upsilon Chapter as well as Section 61 Vice Chair. Outside of APO Jan is an active Scouter, having earned both his Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor, he serves as Associate Crew Advisor for Venturing Crew 762 in Barboursville, WV. Jan is currently employed as an Assistant Park Superintendent for the Panther Wildlife Management Area with the WV Division of Natural Resources.

Rhonda Jackson, LICSW
Counseling Services Shepherd University

Rhonda has practiced as a clinical social worker for the past 22 years in community mental health, private practice and has been at Shepherd for the past 5 years. It is her clinical and personal experience that the practice of mindfulness enriches our lives and enables us to meet our full potential.


Dr. Carrie Marcum
Sectional Conferences Vice Chair, Section 61
LO Chapter Alumni
Carrie Marcum pledged the Lambda Omicron chapter as a member of the Fall 1996, Thomas H. Kean pledge class. During her time in the Lambda Omicron chapter, she served as 2nd Vice President of Membership, Pledge Educator, Ambassador, Secretary, and Region V Conference co-chair. Since graduating, she and her husband, Jeff, have served as Sponsors of and are now Advisors of the Alpha Zeta Mu chapter at Shepherd University. Carrie currently lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia where she teaches 8th grade science and enjoys spending time with her 2 1/2 year old daughter, Alyson.

Jeffery A. Marcum
Section 61 Chair
LO Chapter Alumni
Pledged LO at WVU in Fall 1996. As an active, he participated in all aspects of chapter operations, serving on just about every committee at least once, serving as Service VP for two semesters, Run From Pitt co-chair, APOLLO editor, and activation co-chair. After graduating from WVU, Jeff and his wife, Dr. Carrie Marcum, moved to the Eastern Panhandle and sponsored AZM chapter at Shepherd University, where they both currently serve as advisors. Jeff has been a constant presence at Sectional, Regional, and National conferences and conventions. Additionally, Jeff currently serves as Section 61 Chair. He lives in Martinsburg, WV with his wife, Carrie and daughter, Alyson. 

Rachel Meads
Rachel is an alumnus of Shepherd who earned her M.A. from West Virginia University.  While at Shepherd, she served as a Resident Assistant, acted as Coordinator of Shepherd's first Living Learning Center, was recognized as a McMurran Scholar, and received the Ikenberry Award for Distinguished Human Service.  After completing her graduate work, Rachael returned to Shepherd—teaching courses in the Department of English and serving as the Programming Coordinator and Asst. Director of Residence Life.  Currently, she is the Assistant Director of the Student Center and Director of Student Activities and Leadership-- coordinating student leadership initiatives, advising Program Board, and directing the Performing Arts Series at Shepherd.  Rachael also teaches in Shepherd’s Appalachian Studies program.  She lives in Shepherdstown with her husband John and her daughters Flora and Lucy

Matthew Orlando
AZM Chapter Alumni/ Founders Class
Matthew help found Alpha Zeta Mu chapter in the fall of 2006. In APO, he has served as the chapter’s
first vice-president of service for 3 semesters. In the section, he served as the Section Conference
Coordinator when AZM last hosted and the Section 61 and 86 Representative to Frostburg State
University. Outside of APO, Matt is currently an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 13 and an Associate
Crew Advisor in Crew 25 both in Martinsburg WV. He has earned his Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor award.
He also serves in many positions in the district and council including Chapter Advisor for the Order of the
Arrow and member of the History, Camping, Training and Potomac District committees.

Mark Skidmore
Sectional Awards Vice Chair, Section 61
Mark Skidmore pledged APO at the WVU chapter in Fall 2000, Bob Barkhurst pledge class. He served as chapter treasurer and president while an active at Lambda O, and has continued working with the chapter as an advisor since graduation. Mark is currently the Advisory Board Char for Lambda O. In addition, Mark served as Section 61 chair from 2006 to 2008 and has been on section staff since. He currently works in the Civil Engineering Department of WVU and lives in Morgantown, WV.

Keith Worrell
AZM Chapter Advisor
Keith is an alumnus of Shepherd who earned a R.B.A. (’03) and M.A. (’09) in College Student Development & Administration. Keith was the first graduate student to pledge APO: AZM. While at Shepherd, he served as a Resident Assistant, Program Board President, One of the founding members of Alternative Spring Break, and received the Ikenberry Award for Distinguished Human Service.  Currently, he is APO: AZM advisor and the Intramurals Coordinator at Shepherd University. Keith and his wife Misty reside in Martinsburg, WV.