This board contributes to the graduate student community at Illinois by providing varied perspectives that enhance the academic, professional, and social experience of graduate students at the university and collaborating with Graduate College staff on a project related to a program, initiative, or the broader goals of the college.
As we embark on a new academic year, we are excited to introduce our 2019 - 2020 SAGE board:
Ade Akinrinola is a doctoral student the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, with dual specializations in Global Studies in Education and Higher Education. His research interests include politics of education, African and African Diaspora populations in U.S. higher education, education policy, and international education. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his amazingly talented wife and beautifully adorable daughter.
Alexis Kim is a second year PhD student in the Design, Technology, Society track of the Informatics department. She is interested in working with both students and teachers to create digital environments that foster growth and show games as legitimate tools. Her current research is focused on using games, currently interactive fiction, to encourage English language acquisition. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing new games (for research, of course!), and travelling with her husband.
Ana Mitchell is a second year graduate student pursuing her PhD in Nutritional Sciences. As a former teacher, she aims to combine her experience in education and a passion for health equity in her graduate research focusing on nutrition education interventions in diverse youth populations. In her free time, Ana likes to travel, cook, and be active.
Ananya Tiwari in her second year as a doctoral student in the department of Educational Psychology. She is interested in pursuing research in measuring and designing socio emotional skills interventions, as well as culturally responsive evaluations. She loves hiking, cycling, and swimming with her husband Karthik and spending time with her dogs.
Carmen Gallegos is a fourth year graduate student pursuing a PhD in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her research focuses on 19th century to contemporary Latin American literature and visual culture. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys cooking Peruvian food, doing yoga and taking her dog, Lily, on little trips.
Brian Campbell is a sixth year PhD candidate in the History Department. His research analyzes sports pages in the black press to find alternative ways that African Americans gained knowledge and information about the African Diaspora in the early to mid-twentieth century. Outside of school and work, Brian enjoys playing basketball and hosting board game nights with friends.
Katie Frye is a fifth year graduate student pursing a PhD in the department of Microbiology. Her research focuses on the enzymes that the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus uses to defend against oxidative stress during infection. She hopes that by better understanding the mechanisms S. aureus uses to evade the host immune response, improved therapeutics can be developed. When she is not in the lab, Katie enjoys riding horses, spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors with her boyfriend, Diego, and their long-haired dachshund, Lexi.
Holly Mallinson is a second year PhD student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding how severe thunderstorms and their associated hazards will change in a future climate. In her free time, she enjoys spending time biking, hiking, and exploring CU.
Kareem Rogers is a second semester graduate student pursuing a Master of Human Resources & Industrial Relations. He hopes to use human resources to create innovative, effective methods to increase workplace productivity by reducing employee stress in the workplace. In his free time, he enjoys reading, working out, martial arts, watching anime, playing video games, and learning new ways to improve himself.
Kaylee Hahn is a third year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Nutritional Sciences. Her research focuses on the impact of early life nutrition on immune and neural development in neonatal pigs. In her free time, Kaylee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies, and spending time with friends.
Lesley Owens is a second year PhD student in English and Writing Studies. Her research interests include audience and reception studies, extracurricular literate practices, digital and multimodal rhetoric, and critical pedagogies. Originally from Kansas, she has a background in creative writing (BA, University of Kansas; MFA, Penn State) and a professional interest in equitable public university administration. In her free time, she loves riding and working on bikes, baking, reading, and gardening.
Liqian Ma is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her research focuses on investigating the mechanism by which a cholesterol metabolite, 27-hydroxycholesterol, promotes breast cancer metastasis, and she hopes that her work can help develop preventative measures targeting metastatic breast cancer. In her free time, she loves hiking and exploring plus cooking palatable food.
Monica Porteanu is an Informatics PhD candidate. Her research focuses on decision making for a regenerative society, aiming to apply data science and interactive design futures to navigate from data to impact. She hopes to shape engagements that inspire and drive progress and positive change for individual and collective members of society. In her spare time, Monica enjoys sunny mountains, is vegan, and might soon adopt a puppy.
Olnancy (Anastasia-Olga) Tzirides is a third year PhD student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. She is interested in educational technologies, online education and second/foreign language learning. Her research focuses on language learning through Artificial Intelligence techniques for refugee populations. Olnancy loves traveling to new places and exploring different languages and cultures. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, playing board games and crafting.
Preetha Sarkar is a third year PhD student in the Physics department and is a part of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC). Her research focuses on understanding the strain-modulation of electronic properties of two-dimensional materials like graphene by conducting low temperature measurements. Apart from science outreach, she is enthusiastic about promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity in the STEM fields. When she is not in the lab, she can be found singing, writing amateur poetry, dabbling in art, reading novels, traveling, or meeting new people.
Rama Paudel is a first year PhD Student in the Department of Crop Sciences. As a native of Nepal, she is passionate about improving the agricultural conditions in developing countries. Her PhD thesis project is focused on managing cover crop – herbicide interactions to improve herbicide efficacy, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Her overarching goal in life is to be a successful faculty of Agronomy in Nepal and she credits her time at Illinois with helping her to reach that goal.
Sharon Christian is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration (iMBA) and lives in the state of Michigan. Sharon is passionate about her work in the field of Higher Education. Currently, she provides leadership for learning support services programs such as tutoring, writing support, and peer-assisted learning at a community college based in MI. At UIUC, she also holds a position as a member of the iMBA Student Council. Sharon hopes to gain a stronger understanding of organizational structure, leadership, and innovative problem-solving in order to incorporate research-based strategies with her work. In her free time Sharon enjoys writing fantasy/sci-fi novels, and is known to friends and family as a coffee aficionado.
Shriyaa Mittal is a fifth year PhD candidate in Biophysics. She is a computer scientist by training but got blown away when she was first introduced to molecular biology and bioinformatics algorithms in college. Since then, her research focus is on computational biology and computational simulations of biomolecules. Apart from research, she is interested in science communication and is learning the Latin language.
Sulagna Chakraborty is a doctoral student in the program in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology (PEEC). She studies infectious diseases. Her research has aspects of vector surveillance, disease ecology, public health, epidemiology, and human behavioral changes that impact disease transmission. Sulagna is passionate about One Health research and creating multidisciplinary initiatives. She is an amateur poet and has wanderlust, a love of cooking and discovering new cuisines, movies, music, and dance. She loves meeting new people.
Tiffany Bullard is a doctoral candidate pursing a degree in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research includes designing tailored, individualized health behavior interventions for physical activity behavior change amonginactive individuals. Tiffany is passionate about improving health and quality of life through behavioral science. Tiffany also enjoys traveling, cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and meeting new people.
Widya Aulia Ramadhani is a second year PhD student in architecture. Her primary interests lay on the intersection of architecture, human behavior, health, and well-being, especially among the older adults' population. She is interested in understanding older adults' physical and cognitive ability changes and how architecture can respond to the changes. Other than student-related routines, Widya loves to spend her time cooking, indoor gardening and running.