Aliann Santos ‘25

Aliann Santos ‘25 Peake Fellow

Aliann Santos brings to the Peake Fellowship a passion and creativity in coaching small businesses and their ecosystems for cybersecure growth. Aliann is a military spouse and served herself as a Training Instructor for the Department of Defense at Fort Liberty, the world’s largest Army base, which is adjacent to Fayetteville State University (FSU) and near Aliann’s hometown of Cameron, North Carolina. Aliann also expanded her outreach and engagement skills as a cast member at Walt Disney World.

Born in Puerto Rico, Aliann grew up bilingually learning from her mother who still runs a small business and her father who served in the U.S. Army. As a college senior, Aliann was chosen to be a Peake Fellowship Community Navigator, working directly on cybersecure growth with minority-owned businesses and Defense Industrial Base members. This Fayetteville State University’s Higher ed Enterprise Leadership Program (i-HELP) named Aliann a Senior Navigator based on her success in supporting small businesses in the readiness for the 110 cyber controls defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Aliann earned her BA from Fayetteville State University in December 2023, double majoring in English with concentrations in Creative and Professional Writing and Music. In addition to her academic work, Aliann performed on the alto sax with the Fayetteville Symphonic Band, edited the FSU newspaper, and publicly presented her poetry on campus. The skills learned from her majors gave her a strong foundation for the multitasking and discipline needed to support the range of small businesses in both English and Spanish.

Excerpt from Aliann’s nomination to the Mary S. Peake Fellowship Selection Committee:

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of nomination, on behalf of Ms. Aliann Santos, with the support of the Chancellor.
Aliann founded the FSU chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, which grew to over 400 members on campus. Aliann was also recognized as “Student of the Year” at the department and college levels.

Dr. Amanda Virelles
Associate Professor
Performing and Fine Arts
Fayetteville State University