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EPOL Department - Student Spotlight
Social Science & Education Policy

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    Anna Barkley

    Anna Barkley is a doctoral student in the department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership. Her research interests include the P-16 pipeline, college access, and transitions. Currently, she is interested in student-centered development of college readiness policy.

    Advisor: Dr. Adrienne Dixson

    Anticipated Graduation: 2025

    Academic Background

    • PhD, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      • Concentration: Social Sciences & Education Policy
    • EdM, Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      • Concentration: Social Sciences & Education Policy 
    • BME, Choral Music Education, Winthrop University

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anna-barkley-77b219226/

  • 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 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/

  • Nicole M. DelMastro-Jeffery (she/her/hers)

    Nicole DelMastro-Jeffery is a doctoral student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, with a concentration in higher education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests center on undergraduate student experiences to and through math pathways amid the COVID pandemic.

    DelMastro-Jeffery's professional experience includes a decade of education equity work in higher education administration, student services, and program coordination in both the two- and four-year college sectors. Before joining OCCRL, she served as a community college research assistant, TRIO advisor, UIUC academic advisor, faculty member, and higher education administrator for students pursuing graduate degrees in the field of public health.

    Advisor: Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher

    Anticipated Graduation: 2022

    Academic Background:

    M.Ed., Higher Education Organization and Leadership at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    B.S.W., American Social Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    A.A., Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences at Long Beach Community College

  • Paapa Nkrumah-Ababio

    Paapa Nkrumah-Ababio is a doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership with a double concentration in Global Studies in Education and Social Science and Education Policy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Paapa's research interest lay in the intersections of education and national development in African countries centered around literacy, citizenship, human development, and educational funding issues using quantitative research methods. Paapa is an international student from Accra, Ghana and is driven in his doctoral journey by the desire to bring a world-class education to the doorstep of every African child.

    Advisor: Dr. Rebecca Hinze-Pifer

    Expected Graduation: 2025

    Academic Background:

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

    M.S. Ed., Higher Education and Student Affairs, Baylor University, Texas

    B.S., Petroleum Engineering, Marietta College, Ohio

    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/paapa-nkrumahababio

  • Taylor Masamitsu (he/they), Ed.M.

    Taylor is a PhD student in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership. He studies the dislocating rhetoric that affects queer Asian American students. 

     

    PhD, Social Sciences and Education Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    EdM, Diversity and Equity in Education, Unviersity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    MA, Vocal Music Education, Columbia University, Teachers College

    BFA, Vocal Performance, California Institute of the Arts

     

    Advisor: Dr. Yoon Pak

    Expected Year of Graduation: 2025

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylor-masamitsu-edm-799b6586/

    Website: taylormasamitsu.com 

    Current CV