Meet the 2017 NABS Board

President Kathryn Webster

I am exceptionally humbled and honored to serve as President of the National Association of Blind Students, a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind. This past May, I graduated college from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Analytics, with minors in Statistics and Computer Science. This fall, I will begin my full time job in Washington DC working for Deloitte Consulting as a strategy business analyst. I plan on attaining a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Statistics in the near future. Outside of mentoring blind students, volunteering in the community, and advocating at the local and national level, I enjoy traveling around the world, reading biographies and nonfiction novels, and spending time on the beach with family and friends. As we embark on the 50th year of NABS, I am eager to transform the dreams of blind students into pure reality. With the support and ambition from the NABS Board, we are ready to take on new initiatives and programs that ensure success for our fellow students. Moreover, we aim to reach out to more students in order that our message is heard and spread widely. We need you as much as you need NABS, so come learn about us and grab hold of a project we are working on. I very much look forward to learning from you all and working together with love, hope, and determination!

1st Vice President Michael Ausbun

Hello, fellow Federationists! I am a proud alumnus of the Louisiana Center for the Blind! I am currently attending Louisiana Tech University to receive my Masters in Counseling and Guidance with an emphasis in orientation and Mobility with a certification in Rehabilitation teaching for the Blind. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, reading and writing legislative briefs, and advocating for or against legislation. One quote that defines my path in life is, “to whom much is given, much is required.” Without the opportunities, I have been granted by our organization and the mentorship I have received, none of what I have accomplished would have been possible. I look forward to working with all of you, as together we are changing what it means to be blind. Let us go and build, the National Federation of the Blind, as we live the lives we want!

2nd Vice President Syed Rizvi

Hey Nesters, I am super stoked for this opportunity to work with you. I’m from Massachusetts, a proud graduate of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, and go to school at the University of Texas at Austin. I am majoring in Government, with aspirations of one day practicing law. When I’m not busy building the federation or studying in the library, I lift for my university’s power lifting team. I love the outdoors, exploring new places, and cooking Pakistani food. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help or advice.

Treasurer Cody Beardslee

Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Minnesota. I am proud to serve as the president of the Minnesota Association of Blind Students and on the board of directors for the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. I am a proud graduate of BLIND Inc., one of our incredible NFB training centers. In college, I am pursuing a major in special education. I hope to one day become a teacher of blind students. When I'm not working at BLIND Inc., I love watching the Minnesota Twins games. I am excited to build the National Federation of the Blind student division alongside all of you!

Secretary Chelsea Peahl

Hi! I'm a junior at Utah Valley University studying Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Family studies, with the ultimate goal to work with marginalized youth. I serve as the President of the Utah Association of Blind Students and am so excited to be able to serve as the Secretary of the National Association of Blind Students. The NFB is something I love with every fiber of my being and am excited to be able to do my part in changing how people think of blind people. On top of school and work, I'm an auntie to the most beautiful little girls who push me to be the best I can be. In my spare time, I love reading, writing, art, and spending time with friends. I am excited for the year ahead! Please reach out with any questions you may have!

Board Member 1 Shannon Cantan

Aloha! I am a senior at Argosy University, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am completing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, while simultaneously starting my Masters in Business Administration. I serve as the Hawaii Affiliate’s Legislative Director, as well as a board member of our Hawaii student division. In my free time, I train in Mixed Martial Arts, specifically Brazilian Jujitsu, where I am a purple belt. I am honored to serve as a Board Member for the National Association of Blind Students, and hope to work alongside all of you to build this incredible division even more. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Mahalo.

Board Member 2 Tarik Williams

Hi NABS! I am 24 years old. I graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania with an English Writing degree and a minor in professional secondary education. I am an easy person to talk to. I enjoy sports and working hard in every aspect of my life. I am attending Louisiana Tech for my masters in counseling and guidance. At this program, I am receiving certifications in Rehab Teaching and orientation & mobility (NOMC.) During my down time, I am either watching Law and Order SVU or wiring music. I look forward to working with you!

Board Member 3 Luke Schwinck

Howdy! I am currently living in Wichita, Kansas. I have been married to my gorgeous wife Jamie for 7 years. My wife and I have the privilege of parenting an adorably clever son named Jerico. I have earned a degree in Exercise Physiology from Wichita State University, and am currently furthering my education in the Masters of Sport Management program, also at Wichita State University. My short term goals are to earn a PhD in Sport Management and then begin a career in athletic event and tournament management in collegiate athletics. My long term goal is to be the first blind athletic director at a Division I university. I have been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since I was a state scholarship winner in 2015. In addition to serving on the board of the National Association of Blind students, I serve as the President of the Kansas Association of Blind Students. I am excited and humbled to work with so many other young, intelligent, and passionate blind students to continue raising the expectations of blind people across our nation.

Board Member 4 Bryan Duarte

I was born and raised in Arizona and continue to reside in the Phoenix metro area. I recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Software Engineering focused on embedded systems and network security. As a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science I applied for a National Science Foundation fellowship which awards 30,000 dollars a year to students conducting research and development in the STEM fields. I was selected and awarded the Alliance for Person-centered Accessible Technology fellowship program. In 2015, I was fortunate enough to be a national scholarship winner. I currently am the president of the Arizona Student Division. During the 2016 National Convention, I was elected to serve as a Board Member of NABS and am excited to continue serving blind students across America. Thank you for supporting me as I support all of you, as we break down barriers on the path to living the lives we want!