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  • 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


    • 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

  • 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. 


                   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