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.
Priyadharshini Manikandan completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana State University in Terre Haute with a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry Minor. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Biology focusing her studies on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder research using zebrafish embryos as a model organism, to explore the effect of alcohol on the developing genome.
Outside of the lab, Dharshini enjoys travelling, trying new recipes, and spending time with her friends and dog. Alongside being a graduate student emissary, she is a laboratory Teaching Assistant for undergraduate biology labs, the President of the Biology Graduate Organization (BGO), a school of science representative on the Graduate Professional Student Government (GPSG), and likes giving back to her community as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 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).