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Shannon Marslender graduated from Academy of Tucson as Valedictorian in 2010. She went to the University of Arizona and majored in Physiology, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2014. Currently, Shannon works for a mission’s organization called Overland Missions and has worked in Zambia, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, and Thailand, leading volunteer trips, working in the clinics, and teaching in schools. She is currently in the process of applying to medical schools and hopes to be able to work as a physician in underserved areas both locally, as well as overseas.
Karissa graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 2007. During her high school years, she was actively involved in leadership roles within Student Council, National Honor Society, and athletics. She received a full scholarship to the University of Arizona, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology, with a Business minor in 2011. During her undergraduate studies, Karissa served on the Student Health Advisory Committee and Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honorary Society. She worked as a lab assistant for the University and volunteer for the VA hospital. She was also involved with several campus organizations in which she was able to travel and provide relief work to underserved communities in Mexico and Thailand.
Following graduation, she continued her education through graduate coursework while pursuing her passion for medicine and the outdoors. She became a Wilderness First Responder and Outdoor Emergency Care provider for the Southern Arizona Search & Rescue team and the Mt. Lemmon Ski Patrol. She also worked for a non-profit organization in which she surgically recovered cadaveric tissue for medical research and education. Karissa is currently a student at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a physician. In addition to her medical endeavours, Karissa is a Black Belt and certified instructor in Krav Maga, as well as a licensed skydiver and scuba diver. She believes that the sky is not the limit; the mind is the limit. You must believe and envision your dreams, and make them your reality.
During his high school years, Sam participated in several leadership activities including the World Affairs Seminar in Whitewater, WI. Sam graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Creative Writing and English. During his bachelor’s work, Sam studied Shakespeare and journalism in Italy, was on the Dean’s list several semesters and was a student member of the National Society of collegiate Scholars. Sam then returned to his alma mater to teach middle school Language Arts for a year.
With the desire to become a lawyer , his determination led him to receiving his Juris Doctor in 2012 from California Western School of Law in San Diego. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2012, licensed to and did practice law in the state of California. However, in 2013 his yearning for Tucson resulted in volunteering hundreds of hours with The Law Offices of the Pima County Public Defender. In October, 2013, Sam was admitted to the Arizona Bar. This has led to his current employment as a Criminal Defense Lawyer with The Maricopa county Public Defender’s Office in Phoenix, AZ.
Ambition and perseverance has made it possible for Sam to realize his dream which began many years ago.
The Academy of Tucson salutes your successes, Sam!