Graduate students from underrepresented groups can participate in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Program through funding support from their academic units. The Doctoral Scholars Program provides multiple layers of support including, mentoring, career counseling, a scholars directory of current scholars and alum for networking opportunities and recruiting as well as job postings. Each year participating scholars, mentors and recruiting representatives from IUPUI convene to learn and support one another at the largest gathering of underrepresented PhD scholars in the U.S. the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. Academic units interested in supporting a SREB doctoral scholar should contact Tabitha Hardy for more information.
Meet our scholars
Dom Acri is a PhD candidate in Medical Neuroscience researching in the laboratory of Dr. Jungsu Kim. In the Kim laboratory, Dom studies how genetic screening panels can be used to better understand the mechanisms that underly the aggregation of tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease. As part of his coursework, Dom completed a PhD minor in Bioinformatics from the IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing. After his PhD, he hopes to continue pursuing how the budding field of next generation “Omic” technologies can be applied to neuroscience research. Eventually, Dom aspires to split time between his own research laboratory and an adjunct teaching position at a Tribal College/University. Dom is also the president of IU School of Medicine’s chapter of SACNAS (the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. He was a recipient of the 2018-2019 IUPUI Graduate Diversity Fellowship, the 2019-2020 Paul and Carole Stark Medical Neuroscience Fellowship, and is a member of the Southern Region Education Board’s Doctoral Scholars Program. Outside of the lab, Dom enjoys trail running, watching Major League Baseball, and reading science fiction novels.
Dolapo Adeniji is a Doctoral Candidate at the Indiana University School of Social Work. Dolapo received her Bachelor of Science degree from Obafemi Awolowo University and Master of Education from the University of Ibadan, both in Nigeria, and Master of Social Work from Indiana University on the IUPUI campus. Her research interests include social isolation and loneliness in older adults, particularly, older immigrants and ethnic minorities, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, mental health issues, and social media technology. Dolapo’s work experience includes mental health services with a focus on individual training and development to assist client in developing skills directed towards achieving the developmental milestone and reducing psychosocial barriers. Dolapo is looking forward to becoming a researcher and an educator in the near future.
Dominique Baldwin is a PhD candidate at the Indiana University School of medicine in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry. He is currently receiving his doctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Amber Mosley. The Mosley lab as a whole studies protein coding gene transcription using many Omics based approaches, namely proteomics. His thesis works focuses on the characterization of transcriptional stress and the intersectional analysis between transcriptional stress and protein folding stress. Though his doctoral training focuses on transcription, he also has a passion for diabetes related research. As such, he hopes to conduct postdoctoral research that spotlights type two diabetes pathology that will be beneficial to his future endeavors following his PhD.
Jasmine Beecham is originally from Iowa, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology at Northern Iowa. She came to Indianapolis to pursue her PhD at IUPUI in Applied Social and Organizational Psychology. She has completed her Master’s thesis on how illegal interview questions harm women more than men. She successfully defended her candidacy through the defense of a model showing how dress codes and norms create discrimination and bias, particularly towards women and people of color. She looks forward to supporting this model through studies for her PhD dissertation. In the future, she hopes to get more internship experience in HR, DEI, and policy work to see where her skills will best serve minority populations in equity work.
Tuyen Dinh is a graduate student in the Applied Social and Organizational Psychology program. Broadly, she is interested in examining issues related to diversity and discrimination in the workplace, aiming to contribute to research on creating more inclusive organizational policies and practices. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of power differentials in organizations, leadership development, and ways organizations can engage in effective allyship to support diverse populations. She obtained her master’s degree in Fall 2020 and is currently working towards becoming a PhD candidate.
Tiara Dungy is a fourth-year doctoral student at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, her research interests include philanthropy of the African Diaspora, and entrepreneurship. She graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa where she completed an M.A. in International Relations. She travels between the U.S. and South Africa establishing networks through consulting, community service, and research to promote intercultural understanding. Her research and teaching philosophies are grounded by a keen interest in elevating lesser heard narratives and community building. While working on her dissertation she is interested in finding a student affairs position where she can work directly with students to promote civic engagement, multicultural understanding and global learning.
Joseph Feldman, LCSW is a doctoral candidate in Urban Education Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He holds an MS in Social Work and a BA in Psychology from the University of Louisville. He has over a decade of experience in the social services field, including work in residential treatment, service coordination, and school based therapy. His research interests lie at the intersection of Social Work and Education. Joseph is interested in trauma and the effects that is has on students’ education, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. In particular, he is interested in better understanding the ways that urban schools can be sites of trauma for students. He is committed to engaging in conversations that expand the current conceptualization of trauma—moving away from a definition that focuses primarily on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & toward a definition that includes more systemic and historical traumas. Additionally, he advocates for the implementation of trauma-informed and restorative practices within schools to advance equity and interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Joseph is an adoptive father who has both personal and professional experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma.
Maribel Hernández 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 with the college application process and transition. Maribel joined Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2017 as a Post Baccalaureate Fellow (IPREP) working in the Addictions Neuroscience department under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Boehm and Dr. Nicholas Grahame. Currently she is a third-year graduate student in the IUPUI Addictions Neuroscience department where she is interested in investigating the behavioral genetics of alcohol use disorder as well as how early-life chronic low-level lead exposure produces altered responses to drugs of abuse in adulthood. She has since obtained her Master of Science and is working toward her PhD. Her long-term goal is to remain in academia, with the ultimate hope of both teaching and conducting research, while simultaneously advocating and working towards improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Neuroscience field.
Daenique Jengelley is a fourth year Ph.D. Candidate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department in Dr. Teresa Zimmers laboratory. Her research focuses on the inflammatory cytokine, Oncostatin M, and its involvement in pancreatic cancer tumor progression and cardiac cachexia. On campus, she serves as the president of the Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization, a Graduate Emissary for Student Diversity, and co-organizer for the #BiochemChat Diversity Seminar Series. She is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion for graduate and professional students on campus and also serves in her local alumni club to support prospective and current students at her alma mater, Tuskegee University. Her next step is to complete a post-doctoral research fellowship in cancer biology.
Shirin Khazvand, MS is a 3rd year doctoral student in the PRISM lab at IUPUI. Her research interests include investigating maladaptive coping and factors that contribute to engaging in risk behaviors among adolescents. She is interested in examining and improving prevention and intervention programs and tailoring them to better serve underrepresented populations.
Nicole Y. Oglesby
Nicole Y. Oglesby, MA currently serves as Director of P-20 Education Alliances with Family, School and Neighborhood Engagement, a unit of the Office of Community Engagement at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). This is a shared position with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her current work includes co-leading the IU Student Success Corps, a pipeline program for 6-12th grade students and their families where IU college student provide virtual tutoring, mentoring, and post-secondary readiness workshops. Additionally, she is a member of the advisory committee for the Community Engagement Research Group (CERG) and oversees the FSNE scholars who in partnership with community organizations around the city. Nicole has over two decades of experience working in higher education in areas such as community engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, student affairs, and pre-college programs.
As a doctoral student in the Urban Education Studies Program at the IU School of Education, Indianapolis, she has co-instructed several high school, undergraduate, and graduate courses. In addition, Nicole serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Her current research interest includes Black and Brown mothers pursuing post-secondary degrees, Community Based Participatory Research, and High school to college transitions for minoritzed groups in the urban context.
Oladele Oyedele (Del)
Oladele Oyedele (Del) is a student at the IU School of Nursing (IUSON). He is from Nigeria, and his passion for oncology research began with his past experiences witnessing the lack of proper medical care of patients with cancer in Nigeria. He witnessed many patients who suffered and died without adequate support for their physical and emotional distress. After gaining admission to IUSON, he began working as a research assistant and Honors student with Dr. Haase in 2013. Dr. Haase’s research focuses on developing and testing interventions designed to foster resilience among adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. She developed the Resilience in Illness Model (RIM) for AYA with cancer. While working with Dr. Haase, Oyedele became interested in the concept of the spiritual perspectives of AYA, which is the key protective factor that promotes resilience in the RIM. His research experience with Dr. Haase inspired him to apply to the BSN to the Ph.D. nursing program. And he also enrolled in the MSN to gain more advanced clinical experience in caring for children and AYA with cancer and their families. His future goal is to obtain an F31 grant to continue his post-doctoral fellowship training before starting his research career.
Alia Rowe, MS is a 5th year doctoral student in the PRISM lab. Alia’s research interests concern substance use among underrepresented and understudied populations. Specifically, she is interested in examining how interventions and prevention programming can be tailored to better serve individuals of various racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. She aims to address gaps in the literature concerning the treatment and prevention of substance use and dependence among vulnerable young adult minority and veteran populations. Alia recently matched at the Atlanta VA Medical Center for clinical internship year beginning August 2021.
Ebony Shah-Williams is a PhD candidate in the dept. of Medical & Molecular genetics. Her thesis research is focused on identifying genetic biomarkers of a serious drug toxicity, Taxane Induced Peripheral Neuropathy, in African-American breast cancer patients and understanding racial/ethnic differences in clinical trial enrollment and drug disposition.
Xavier Taylor is a fourth-year PhD candidate at the IU School of Medicine pursuing a PhD in Medical Neuroscience with a minor in therapeutic development and translational science. Xavier began his scientific career at IU Bloomington receiving a Bachelors of Science Degree in Neuroscience studying Endocannabinoids in chemotactic migration and ocular wound healing. Xavier then completed a Biotechnology Masters of Science internship at IU, deducing macromolecular protein structures of interest using X-ray crystallography. Xavier is currently working in the lab of Dr. Cristian Lasagna-Reeves dissecting the mechanisms by which cerebral amyloid angiopathy leads to neuroinflammation, abnormal tau accumulation, and neurodegeneration. In the past 3 years Xavier has already published four papers including one as a first author and is currently preparing a second manuscript as a first author and participating as a co-author in two other manuscripts to be submitted during the next couple of months. Xavier’s hardwork and commitment to science is reflected in his numerous achievements including the Stark Neurosciences Scholarship, a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research from the NIA the President’s Diversity Fellowship and the Southern Regional Education Board Scholarship. Xavier’s commitment to science hasn’t only been in the lab doing experiments and writing papers, he has been extremely active in promoting diversity at the School of Medicine. Xavier is an active member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness committee at the Stark Neuroscience Research Institute and previously participated in the Student Diversity Advisory board and the Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization at the School of Medicine. Xavier is planning on graduating this summer and continuing developing his scientific career in pharma pursuing scientific roles in neuroimmunology and drug discovery.
Jared Thomas, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at IUPUI, working with Randall Roper, Ph.D., a biology professor who specializes in Down syndrome research at the School of Science at IUPUI. The lab focuses research on bone density abnormalities that cause individuals with Down syndrome (DS) to have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis or bone fractures. Our research focuses on sexual dimorphism in skeletal abnormalities in DS, and identifying disrupted molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to bone deficiencies seen in DS. Long-term goal is to elucidate prospective molecular targets that can lead to therapeutic treatments to improve skeletal phenotypes seen in individuals with DS.
Alan Tyson is a PHD student in Music Technology at IUPUI. He is also the CEO and founder of MuSciQTM. His primary interest is exploring how music applications can be used as a tool to teach STEM related concepts. As his research topic, Alan is seeking to explore how a musical curriculum for math may have an impact on math related variables such as math anxiety, math self-efficacy, math motivation and ultimately math achievement. Alan currently works remotely with elementary school students across the nation. In the future he plans to make MuSciQTM more broadly accessible to students, especially those in under-serviced communities.