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Out for Undergrad Announces Portfolio Expansion, 2024 O4U Digital and O4U Engineering + Life Sciences Leadership

Photo of Joey Saad

Joey Saad, O4U Engineering+Life Sciences Lead

Photo of Francine Marie Reyes Vega

Francine Marie Reyes Vega, O4U Engineering + LIfe Sciences Director of Mosaic and Transform

Photo of Kevin Tran

Kevin Tran, 2024 Co-Lead O4U Digital

Photo of Garrett Tan

Garrett Tan, Co-Lead 2024 O4U Digital

Photo of Jessika Sessoms

Jessika Sessoms, 2024 Director O4U Digital Mosaic and Transform

We are so excited and grateful for these high impact leaders and their willingness to serve our students. They are all very gifted individuals who will pay it forward with such great results.”
— Dr. CIndi Love, O4U Executive DIrector
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, November 8, 2023 / -- Out for Undergrad (O4U), the nation's leading not for profit helping high-achieving LGBTQ2+ undergraduates achieve their full potential, has announced its 2024 Conference leadership and further expansion of its portfolio of service for students, including a 2024 pilot of Life Sciences at its annual Engineering Conference. In 2023, O4U merged its Tech and Marketing Conference into O4U Digital (O4UD) in response to emerging and disruptive technology, one of the top risks to O4U sponsors' organizational growth but also one of the best opportunities for new types of jobs for students. The 2024 volunteer leaders for O4UD and the combined O4U Engineering + Life Sciences Conference (O4UEL+LS) are professionals in the respective industries as well as seasoned O4U volunteers.

Joey Saad will lead O4U Engineering + Life Sciences. Joey holds the Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas and is a Sr. Associate, Corporate Strategy at Capital One. Joey has attended 8 O4U conferences since 2017 in a variety of roles from student, to sponsor, to his most recent endeavor as the 2022 Programming Lead for O4U Engineering and Sponsorship for O4U Digital.

Joey said: "I am so stoked to not only lead the Engineering Conference that has been my home since I was a sophomore in college, but help usher in our endeavor into Life Sciences! O4U has invested so much into growing me and my career, and I am beyond grateful to be a part of that journey for other future leaders."

Francine Marie Reyes Vega will direct the O4UE+LS MOSAIC and TRANSFORM programs for Black, LatinX, Native/Indigenous and Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Non-Binary students (TGNCNB). Francine is a Mechanical Engineer at Logistic Services International (LSI). Francine graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and attended the 2017 and 2018 O4U Engineering Conferences as a student. From 2020 to 2023 Francine has served as a volunteer and lead for O4U Engineering. while also participating in the Society of Women Engineers and serving as Co-Lead for the SWE LGBTQ+ and Allies Affinity Group.

Francine said, "I've seen the beginnings and development of MOSAIC and TRANSFORM in the last two years. I have grown with these programs and know that creating spaces for these communities has pushed O4U's mission to a new level, impacting more students. I hope my experience will play an important role to help expand MOSAIC and TRANSFORM programming and student support."

Kevin Tran and Garrett Tan will co-lead the 2024 O4U DIgital Conference. Jessika Sessoms will direct the O4UD Mosaic and Transform programs. Kevin is a recently appointed Senior Product Manager at Intuit. For the past six years Kevin has served as a Product Manager at Workday, focusing on building the mobile application. Prior to Workday, Kevin graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a B.S. in Computer Science where he helped organize small to large-scaled events for various groups on campus, ranging from social justice programs for first-year students to the university's bi-annual music festivals. Kevin served on the O4U Tech conference team in 2022 and the merged O4U Digital Team in 2023.

Kevin said, "I'm thrilled to work with Garrett and our conference team to plan the second O4U Digital conference! Following the success of the first O4U Digital conference, which brought together our most diverse group of students and sponsors, I know there are still many opportunities to craft innovative conference experiences for all attendees. I'm excited to continue bringing life-changing experiences to our growing community as we celebrate O4U's 20th anniversary!"

Garrett is a Software Engineer at Meta working on giving Instagram users more control over their privacy. Since 2017 Garrett has worked at Facebook and Instagram with end-to-end encryption and cross-app messaging in Instagram DMs. Garrett graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Garrett previously attended O4U Tech as a student and has volunteered as a Director for both the Tech and Marketing Conferences.

Garrett said, "I’m very excited to co-lead the second O4U Digital Conference with Kevin. O4U has made a huge positive impact on both my professional and personal lives, and I can’t wait to build an incredible conference that will welcome another talented cohort of students, sponsors, and volunteers to the O4U community."

Jessika Sessoms is an Associate on the Global Corporate Partnerships team at Global Citizen and is based in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to Global Citizen, Jessika was Customer Success Associate at Wunderkind running ran onsite and email strategies for retail e-commerce clients. Jessika graduated from the University of North Florida in 2022 with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Digital Marketing and Analytics. While there, Jessika held several marketing internships, primarily at start-ups with BIPOC and/or women founders. They attended O4U four times as a student and served as a Programming Director for the 2022 Marketing Conference and 2023 O4U Digital.

Jessika said "Out For Undergrad has been such a vital part of my journey and has played a significant role in where I am and who I am today. As a Black, queer, and trans individual, I am honored to be leading MOSAIC and TRANSFORM for the 2024 Digital Conference. My hope is that students have an unforgettable experience and walk away feeling as empowered as I did when I attended as a student."

Dr. Cindi Love, O4U Executive Director said, “We are so fortunate to have each of these very gifted and committed individuals willing to lead at this moment in O4U history. 2024 is our 20th anniversary and we will celebrate it by opening up even more opportunities for our uniquely qualified students to thrive.
These leaders have successfully participated in O4U's Leadership Development Program which emphasizes the power of informal apprenticeship in building leaders’ capabilities. They have gained access to veterans who know what they’re doing, have done the work of developing and hosting conferences and know what to look for. Most important, they have experienced the connection and support of the O4U Community in their own lives and now they want to pay that forward in the lives of our students and their colleagues. O4U sets a very high bar for its leaders, evidenced by our 20 year history of helping high achieving LGBTQ2+ undergraduates land great internships and jobs in the leading corporations in the world. Each of these leaders carries a bit of O4U magic with them--living their lives with the understanding that they can function authentically and powerfully wherever they are. To be chosen as an O4U leader is testament to an individual's empathy, capacity for bridging differences, ability to communicate, ambition and capacity to inspire. We look forward to what each of these 2024 leaders will bring to students, to one another, to our sponsors and the world. Over 90% of O4U attendees believe O4U positively contributed to their success in securing a job or interview. Sponsors tell us that our student cohorts are the among the highest calibre if not the highest calibre they meet in all of their recruiting efforts. We are committed to that standard and believe the most recent enhancements in our service portfolio will help us respond even better to both student and sponsor needs."

Sponsors who want additional information about O4U Conferences and recruiting or who have interesting in hosting a conference can contact Dr. Love.

Dr. Cindi Love
Out for Undergrad
+1 956-589-0623
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