Our foundation was established based on our founders common vision of producing a united and flourishing community stemming from accomplished individuals with integrity. Our founders’ mission for the foundation is to help build prosperous and peaceful communities through educational reform and social initiatives in the world.
is an Associate Professor of Art History at Westfield State University and the Department chair for the Department of Art and Art History. She is an Affiliated Faculty member of Ethnic and Gender studies as well. She is the co-founder and Chair of Sankofa : Westfield States Organization of diverse faculty and Staff. She serves on the University’s diversity advisory council. She has served for four years as the Chair of the Equal Opportunity- Affirmative Action board for the Massachusetts State College and University Union. She holds a degree in European Studies from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. A Masters degree in Education from Saint Joseph’s University. She received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford. Her research and personal passion centers on the navigation of racial identity in Higher Education. Dr. Swaidan began her career in education as a Latin language and Social Studies teacher. She worked in Secondary education for over 10 years before pursuing her career in Higher Education. She has presented nationally and has conducted several intensive workshops for doctoral students and early career professionals at the NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education). Her article, “Demystifying the Doctoral Process: Straight talk for Students of Color” was published in Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Her book A Peculiar Sensation: Double Consciousness and the Lived Experiences of African American Art Historian is forthcoming from PeterLang Publishing company. She resides in Windsor, CT with her husband and sons Faris and Ilyas
a Turkish-born physician, was raised in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Istanbul. Halil excelled in elementary and middle school, and his family, despite their limited education, recognized his talent and promised to support him to their best ability. Halil was enrolled in Kabatas Erkek Lisesi , a prestigious high school in Turkey. He scored in the top 1% on the university admission test and began medical school in Konya, Turkey. While practicing in Emergency Medicine, he passed the United States Medical licensing and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Massachusetts-affiliated Berkshire Medical Center. He has been practicing as a Hospitalist for the past 10 years, and is currently working at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Halil is deeply involved in philanthropy. Given his background, he believes in the power of education. He serves on various local and national foundations and organizations in many capacities; most notably he is the founding president of Turken Foundation, Inc. Halil’s vision and mission was noticed among the community, and he was asked to lead the Foundation of Creativity and Excellence. He is married to his wife Lynn, and they have a seven-year old son, Mustafa. Halil appreciates the simple things in life.
was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976. Her mother, now retired, was a beloved elementary school teacher and reading specialist; she spent thirty years teaching to an underserved community with joy and passion as she transformed children from broken homes to solid readers. Her father is a retired high school teacher specializing in history and computer technology who was also a dedicated high school cross country and track & field coach for twenty-five years, accruing many championships during his tenure. Lynn was raised in Berkshire County, Massachusetts and attended undergraduate school at Wheaton College. Aspiring to work in the medical field, she attended a Nuclear Medicine program at UMASS Medical Center in Worcester, MA, and attained her Bachelor’s of Science and CMNT/RT(N) license. Lynn went on to complete her Master’s of Science and Physician Assistant (PA) certification at Springfield College in 2005. Currently, she is practicing in Cardiology with an Electrophysiology specialty at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. She serves on the Anticoagulation board and oversees the Atrial Fibrillation Clinic and Device Clinic. Lynn assists many local high school students, organizing shadowing opportunities in the PA profession and mentoring PA students from Springfield College and Bay Path College. With a passion for education, Lynn served four years on the board of the Hampden Charter School of Science. She also served on the advisory board to the International Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, which is owned by the prestigious Turken Foundation in Manhattan, NYC. This Foundation’s mission is to foster Turkish youth to gain international experience and education in a diverse setting. In this role, she assisted youth from 73 different countries to perform music together. On a higher level, she united people with diverse backgrounds to celebrate their joint talents at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. Lynn is married to her husband, Halil, and lives in Windsor, CT with their seven-year-old son, Mustafa. The family enjoys reading, swimming, biking, traveling to foreign countries to study history, and supporting Turkish Community Centers.
received her bachelor of science in Education with a concentration in secondary math education from Auburn University. Noha started her teaching career as a high school math teacher in Memphis, TN where she taught for 4 years before becoming a math coach and an instructional facilitator. Noha completed her master degree at the University of Memphis in Curriculum and Instruction and a second Master degree from the University of Arkansas in Educational Leadership. In 2012, Noha joined New Leaders, Inc as a member of cohort 12 of their aspiring principal training program. Noha then became the principal of a private school in the state of Conneticut for 3 years. Noha is currently a curriculum specialist with Hartford Public Schools in Hartford, CT. Noha is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Hartford. Noha has had years of experience in turning around schools, getting schools accredited, developing currilum, and training teachers and administrators. Noha resides in South Windsor, CT with her son Yousuf.
is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada. She has over 11 years of experience in the Refining and Nuclear industries as a design engineer. A certified Professional Engineer with a background in design and process engineering including process simulation and modeling, equipment specification, debottlenecking and process optimization. From a young age she has worked with a variety of charities with a focus on community and youth outreach programs. Maha resides in Suffield, CT with her husband and three young children.
is a dual fellowship trained practicing neurosurgeon in the USA.
He has practiced neurosurgery in 6 different states including serving Veterans in Iowa. He has received awards for providing exceptional medical service. He has held different leadership positions in the medical field, participated in cutting edge research in neurosurgery, and enjoys mentoring medical students and junior colleagues.
He grew up traveling around the world with his father who was a diplomat. In the process he studied the syllabuses of two different high school systems simultaneously, British and Egyptian, which inspired him to pay attention to different contexts and appreciate opposing perceptions.
He also developed a special relationship with the Qur’an and reflecting on its meanings founded in understanding of its concepts in light of the reality of a continuously changing world.
He is a speaker at multiple interfaith events, a well-recognized volunteer teacher of Qur’anic and Life studies for American Muslim teens and volunteer Khateeb at Jum’aa prayers in multiple states.
Mohamad resides in Connecticut with his wife and three children.
is a Project management executive. Experienced in launching highly effective PMOs, creating and implementing strategic roadmaps for managing award winning PMOs, managing multiple IT, Business, Financial and Strategic projects with a multimillion dollar portfolio.
Mobashar is a proven professional with an extensive background in core disciplines of IT with 15+ years of experience in managing complex projects with measurable ROIs, executive governance / oversight, risk & control management, communication across all levels of an organization, and effective people management. Mobashar resides in Glastonbury, CT with his daughter Maria.
Holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and Computer Information Technology.
Serves as an Information Technology specialist for the State of Connecticut for nearly 20 years.