Kayla Allen-Brown received a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs with certificates in Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cincinnati; she also holds an M.A. from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy-IUPUI. Kayla is currently a PhD student in American Studies. She is interested in examining how Black women create agency, shape their lived experiences, and build social capital regardless of the political and economic challenges. More broadly, her research interests include critical race theory, black feminism, minority social movements, and grassroots resistance.
Brittnie-lee Duffus hails from Jamaica, where she completed her early studies. She then moved to Mississippi where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry at Tougaloo College in 2021. During this time, she became active in campus service groups such as the Pre-Alumni Council, International Students Association and in local and international charity groups. She then joined the Indiana University School of Medicine Biomedical Gateway Program in 2021 to pursue her doctoral degree. Currently, she is a student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology where her research focuses on alcohol addiction and how it affects specific brain regions. Her passion for serving others continues to grow and as a result she serves as a mentor for students who wish to study abroad and actively seeks ways to get involved on campus and in the wider community.
Kevin Hillman is a PhD student in Urban Education Studies at IUPUI. He completed his undergraduate degree from Purdue University, majoring in Communication: Public Relations & Rhetorical Advocacy and a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. After spending a few years working professionally, Kevin went on to pursue his Master of Arts in Training and Development at Roosevelt University. Upon completing his masters, Kevin continued his educational pursuits and began his journey here at IUPUI in the Urban Education Studies PhD program.
Kevin’s interest is in Career and Technical Education (CTE), workforce development, community engagement, secondary and post-secondary education. Utilizing a critical and social justice lens, he examines and re-envisions the impact of CTE courses in urban education. More specifically, focusing on black high school students and the impact of CTE course on community and society beyond workforce alignment, to self-determine the vitality of their communities. Through this work, he hopes to challenge and transform CTE & workforce development programming and policy within and outside of educational spaces and institutions.
Alongside being a graduate student emissary, Dharshini is the Vice President of the Biology Graduate Organization (BGO), and enjoys giving back to her community as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) advisor for her collegiate Alpha Phi chapter, and as a volunteer at the local Hindu Temple
Originally from Nigeria, Aishat obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Albany State University. During her undergraduate years, she worked collaboratively with diverse groups of students and staff at the university’s international education office and led several initiatives to cultivate global thinking on campus. She is also passionate about mentoring and teaching students. This led her to create a blog that provides extensive tips needed for graduate school success, and occasionally, she communicates complex biomedical concepts to her readers. She also serves as the director of communications on the executive board of the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG). Currently, Aishat is a PhD candidate in Pharmacology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding the regulation of inflammatory pathways in pancreatic cancer. During her pastime, Aishat enjoys learning languages, hiking, cooking new dishes, and creating educational content on social media and blogs.
After completing high school in Jamaica, Isheka Orr moved to Orangeburg, SC to pursue her BSc. in Environmental Science at Claflin University. Currently, she is a PhD student in Applied Earth Science at IUPUI. Her research focuses on identifying the health risks associated with Combined Sewer Overflow events in urban waterways.
Isheka strongly believes in giving back to the community in whatever way possible and as a result volunteers as a mentor and/educator with various community programs such as School on Wheels(SOW)-Indy, Sea Scope Incorporated and Passport to College (PTC). Isheka also serves on the Executive Board of the Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization (UPnGO) at IUPUI.
Isheka enjoys cooking, trying new foods, socializing, and going on adventures. You can check out her food page (Robins Fusion).
Yue Stevenson completed her undergraduate degrees in English and East Asian Languages and Culture at Indiana University-Bloomington. While at IU Bloomington, her English concentration was on creative writing, while also focusing on studying the language and history of literature of Japan. Though her study abroad experience was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an experience that affected her greatly in how she approaches her studies and her life as a person of color.
She is currently a student in the English MA program here at IUPUI, with a particular interest in teaching literature and writing alongside her work as a consultant at the University Writing Center. Her research interests include Japanese-English translation and the effects of sociopolitical rhetoric on minority and LGBT communities.