EPOL Department - Student Spotlight

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EPOL Department - Student Spotlight

Meet our EPOL Graduate Students!

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  • Danté Studamire

    Danté R. Studamire (he/him/his)

    Dante Studamire is a scholar-activist who attributes social activism and purposeful scholarship as key motivations. Presently, a doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership (EPOL), I also serve as a mentor through the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) and a Teaching Assistant within the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    My scholarly research activity engages, troubles, and interrogates experiences in academe across a multiplicity of identities. I bring intersectional framing and a critical theoretical lens to explore the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and education. I aim to contribute counternarratives to dominant discourse and add to an emerging body of literature on African American social and educational resilience, but more largely, to provide visibility to a population that is often pathologically approached, if represented at all, in research concerning Black men in America and education scholarship.

    Advisor: Dr. Adrienne Dixson

    Anticipated Graduation: 2023

    Academic Background

    • Ph.D. Student, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

             Concentration: Social Sciences & Education Policy

    • M. A., Africana Studies, Georgia State University
    • B. A., Africana Studies, Georgia State University
  • Image of Anastasia Olga (Olnancy) Tzirides

    Anastasia Olga (Olnancy) Tzirides (she/her/hers)

    Program of Study, Research Interests, & Advisor

    Anastasia-Olga (Olnancy) Tzirides is a Ph.D. candidate in the Learning Design and Leadership Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    Her research interests include emerging digital technologies, online education, as well as language and culture learning. Her dissertation research project focuses on exploring the potential of using digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence combined with a multimodal and translanguaging approach to language learning.

    Advisor: Dr. Mary Kalantzis.

    Expected Year of Graduation: 2022

    Professional & Educational Background

    • Ph.D. Candidate, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in Learning Design and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • M.A., Multicultural and Multilingual Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece & Le Mans Université, France
    • B.A., Elementary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anastasia-olga-olnancy-tzirides

    Website: http://aotzirides.web.illinois.edu/

  • Image of Chequita Brown

    Chequita S. Brown (She/Her/Hers)

    Chequita S. Brown, a Chicago native, is doctoral student in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. Professionally, she has 10+ years’ experience working in postsecondary administration, instruction, and course and program development.

    Chequita’s research interests center on the lived experiences of minoritized populations in higher education, including college access and retention, student engagement and development, and educational equity and diversity. Equally important, she works as a research assistant for Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) and a teaching assistant for College of Liberal Arts and Science.

    Graduate Advisor: Dr. Denice Hood

    Expected Graduation Year: 2022

    Education

    • Ph.D., Student, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • M.S., English Studies, Illinois State University
    • B.S., Sociology, Illinois State University

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chequitabrown/

    Updated CV

  • Image of Nathan Tanner

    Nathan Tanner (he/him/his)

    Program of Study, Research Interests, & Advisor

    As a doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership (EPOL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign my research critically examines Whiteness in historic and contemporary educational contexts; I seek to document and illuminate its pernicious influence on educational opportunity structures, and the ways racially minoritized students navigate and resist oppressive educational configurations. A major focus of my research agenda is drawing educators and policymakers’ attention to the intersections in place, race, and religion on schools, past and present. I transitioned to doctoral studies and educational research after working as an ESL teacher in Tianjin, China and a public school social studies teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    My advisor is Dr. Christopher M. Span.

    Expected Year of Graduation: 2023

    Professional & Educational Background

    •  Ph.D. Student, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in Social Sciences & Education Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    • M.Ed., Educational Leadership & Policy, The University of Utah

    • B.A., History, Brigham Young University

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathan-tanner-a5b35439/

  • Ade's headshot

    Ade Akinrinola, Ph.D. (ABD)

    Program of Study, Research Interests, & Advisors

    My interests in and passion for international education and higher education anchor on the philosophy that one cannot aspire toward a future that one does not know is possible. Anchored on the values of equity and fairness, education can equip one with the tools to dream, actualize and become more—for oneself and others.  

    My research interests focus on the racialized experiences and Black identity formation of Black African international students in American higher education institutions. My work problematizes and unpacks the politics of (Black) identity formation at the intersection of race and international education, advancing its implications for policy, research, and praxis. 

    At the core of my career and life aspiration is the desire and commitment to inspire and support young people of color toward the fulfillment of their dreams. 

    Advisors:

                   Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Primary; GSE)

                   Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher (Secondary; Higher Education)

    Expected Year of Graduation: 2021

    Professional & Educational Background

    • Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in Global Studies in Education and Higher Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • M.A., K-12 Educational Administration, Michigan State University 
    • B.A., Educational Administration, University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ademola-akinrinola  

  • a photo of man with skyline in background

    Amari Simpson (he/him/his)

    Program of Study, Research Interests, & Advisor

    My passion for higher education and education policy stems from my personal experiences and desire to utilize resources (e.g., connections, opportunities, support, etc.) to support the development of those that I have the chance to meet during my lifetime.

    My research interests center on Black, Latino, American Indian, first-generation, women, and low-income persons’ interests and access to STEM majors and careers via pre-college programs. I intend to leverage this work to evaluate and provide insights on STEM education, equity, and inclusion to educators across the P-20 pipeline.

    My advisor is Dr. William Trent.

    Expected Year of Graduation: 2022

    Professional & Educational Background

    •  Ph.D. Student, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in Higher Education Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Ed.M., Curriculum and Teaching in Secondary Science Education, Boston University
    • B.A., Psychology, Middlebury College

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/amarisimpson  

    Current CV