IUPUI Graduate Emissaries for Student Diversity

Michael Ainbinder completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sport Management from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2013. After graduation, he had the opportunity to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida to work with the University Athletics Association (UAA) and obtain a Master of Science in Sport Management. Michael returned to Indiana to start his career with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, where he served as the Senior Director of Wellness and Sports at two different YMCA locations around Indy. In 2018, Michael took his management, sports training and wellness experiences and began his journey to becoming a Physical Therapist. 

Along his journey from the YMCA to becoming a doctoral candidate, Michael acts as a personal trainer at the Irsay Family YMCA. In addition, he holds the position of International Programs Coordinator within the Office of International Affairs here at IUPUI. Interacting with, supporting and mentoring current, future and past international students is part of Michael’s day to day tasks. Michael is beginning the Doctor of Physical Therapy program here at IUPUI in May of 2020.

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.

After completing high school in Hong Kong, Aisyah Ashrafswandi moved to the United States to pursue her Bachelor's degree in Economics at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Upon finishing her undergraduate education in 2020, she went on to pursue a master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) with a concentration in Policy Analysis at the O'Neill School in IUPUI. Summer 2021, she worked as a research assistant for an environmental policy project by Dr. Nathan Cook. Currently, she serves as a graduate assistant for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Office at O'Neill. Her research interests span broadly from topics such as inequality, immigration, labor and welfare economics, and social justice. After graduating with her MPA, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Public Affairs which she will use to continue building on her research experience.

Jasmine Beecham completed her undergraduate psychology degree at the University of Northern Iowa. In 2017, she began her graduate career as a PhD candidate studying Applied Social and Organizational Psychology at IUPUI. Jasmine was awarded the Presidential Diversity Fellowship and is currently a third-year graduate student researching discrimination and bias in the workforce. She also does work looking at effective role models for minority women in STEM. Outside of studies, Jasmine works to promote inclusion and student engagement as the president of the Undergraduate Professional and Graduate Student Organization (UPnGO).

Yone Edegbele is a graduate student pursuing her masters in Health Informatics at IUPUI. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Theater from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She chose to complete her program at IUPUI because of the program’s acceptance of people from different career backgrounds and the faculty’s dedication to the field of Health Informatics. Along with being a graduate emissary, she is also the secretary of IUPUI’s Underrepresented Professional and Graduate student Organization (UPnGO). During her free time in graduate school, she enjoys volunteering with local organizations such as Washington Township School District and Exodus Refugee.

Maribel Hernandez received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and worked as a college access coach helping first generation and/or low-income high school students get into a university. Maribel joined Indiana University-Purdue University in 2017 as a Post Bachelorette Fellow (IPREP) working in the Addictions Neuroscience department under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Boehm and Dr. Nicholas Grahame. Currently she is a graduate student in the IUPUI Addictions Neuroscience department where she is interested in investigating the behavioral genetics of alcoholism as well as how early-life chronic low-level lead exposure produces altered responses to drugs of abuse in adulthood. Maribel was also awarded the Presidential Diversity Fellowship to help with her research training.

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.

Daenique Jengelley obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Tuskegee University. She joined the Indiana University School of Medicine Biomedical Gateway Program in 2017 and was awarded the Adam W. Herbert Fellowship. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Cancer Biology and a trainee of the IU Simon Cancer Center's Cancer Biology Training Program. Her research studies focus on the inflammatory mediators in pancreatic cancer associated cachexia. Daenique is a Southern Regional Educational Board Doctoral Scholar and on campus, she serves on the executive board for the Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization. Daenique is committed to strengthening the community of underrepresented professional and graduate students on campus. She aspires to become a research faculty member and mentor students interested in careers in the biomedical sciences. 

Desmond L. Kemp is an American Studies Ph.D. candidate at IUPUI, as well as a writer, activist, and accomplished educator. As a civics, college and job readiness instructor in Chicago, Desmond managed to collectively guide his students in achieving over $8 million dollars in scholarships. He is a proud alumnus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Prior to attending graduate school, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA. He completed his masters at DePaul University in the Master Applied Professional Studies with minor studies in Educating Adults. He currently serves as the first Emerging Africana Scholar for the Center of Africana Studies and Culture at IUPUI. In 2015, he released the first book of the teen fiction series, Uncommonly Common. He is also a contributing author for the HBCU Experience: North Carolina A&T Second Edition and lead author for the HBCU Experience: HBCU Band Alumni Edition. Desmond is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Desmond’s research interests are public sector policies, social media and popular culture, youth development and workforce practices.

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.