UMD student sitting on step reading

Talent Search Staff

Ms. Brandon aims to E.E.I.M! To Educate, Elevate, Inspire and Motivate is her mantra! For roughly 10 years, Ms. Brandon’s work has been in service to students seeking to enroll in, and complete, a higher education degree. Throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia (the DMV) she has collaborated with academic, business, educational and non-profit professionals to impact the numbers, particularly, of students of color and their high school graduation and college completion rates.

Ms. Brandon has served in roles such as Center Director, Project Director, College Counselor, and Student Success Specialist primarily at the high school and community college levels. Today, however, she continues in similar work and service to students in a four-year higher education institution as Director for a federal TRiO program in the University of Maryland's Academic Achievement Programs (AAP). Ms. Brandon serves under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Lewis, and states that her professional purpose and passion have finally converged.

Ms. Brandon received her BA and MA degrees from The American University and Howard University, respectively. She is a native of Syracuse, NY, well-traveled, fluent in Spanish and is also a certified Project Management instructor with a local community college. Ms. Brandon resides in Washington, DC.

Carla E. Partlow, SPHR serves as the Director for Talent Search Central of the Academic Achievement Programs at the University of Maryland, College Park. She brings over 27 years of experience to the role. Prior to transitioning to college and career planning on a full-time basis in 2006, Ms. Partlow worked in Organization Development & Training for organizations such as Honeywell, Watson Wyatt and Conservation International. Since that time, her work in college and career planning has included elementary-age students through working professionals. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. She also earned a BS in Commerce with concentrations in Marketing and Management and a major in Spanish from the University of Virginia. Additionally, she earned a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension.

Ms. Partlow is very passionate about helping young people to recognize their strengths and gifts and then helping them to begin their career journeys by matriculating to and graduating from a right-fit college where they can grow and begin to discover their true potential. Ms. Partlow also feels led to share with students the need to have a global perspective in today’s society and strongly encourages international learning experiences. It is important to Ms. Partlow to share with young people the importance and necessity of giving back. As one of her mentors put it, “We are here to serve.” and she lives by that mantra. In her spare time, she consults through Partlow Educational Consulting. Also, she has enjoyed serving as a Girl Scout leader since 2004, is very active in her church and loves to travel any chance she gets.

Lynn Truong, an Educational Specialist with Educational Talent Search Program (ETS) North, is a University of Maryland alumnae. Lynn is dedicated to the enrichment of young minds to move forth with obtaining higher education.

Shakenna Jones is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She holds a BA in Sociology and will earn a MA degree from Stevenson University in Community Based Leadership in Education, May 2020.

Shakenna is based in Fairmont Heights and Central High Schools in Prince George’s County. Shakenna was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and loves traveling, playing volleyball and spending time with family. Her motto is “a dream is only a dream until you make it a reality”.

Sanada Spellman received a BS degree in Child Development/Family relations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and later received her Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Student Development in Higher Education from Trinity Washington University.

Sanada is based in Largo and Potomac High Schools and enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and trying new restaurants. Sanada is very excited about the opportunity to help students achieve the goal of college attendance.

Mandana Marishi is a proud alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park. Her master's degree is in Higher Education Policy, Research, & Administration. She has been in school for as long as she can remember exploring & taking classes in several different fields to discover her true passion. She enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and engaging with inspiring minds who aim to make the world a better place. Lastly, She is a lifelong learner trying her hardest to be a better version of herself every day.