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Social Science Leadership Fellows

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Social Science Leadership Fellows

Social Science Leadership Fellows



Leadership Fellows
  • 2016-2019: Jacob Bradburn
  • 2019-2020: Courtney Bryant & Tatiana Bustos
  • 2020-2021: Kionna Henderson & Jaleah Rutledge
  • 2021-2022: Cordelia Martin-Ipke & Jessie Pink
  • 2021-2023: Qi Huang



Jacob Bradburn (2016-2019)
Jacob Bradburn constructed a thorough and thoughtful approach to building the Social Science graduate student community as the first Fellow for the college. He began by surveying the college’s landscape in order to gather information on departmental procedures, college structure, and identify possible intervention points in which to enhance the graduate student experience. He created an organizational chart mapping the graduate departments and degree programs and a supplementary Excel spreadsheet with information on each of the departments, programs, and graduate student organizations (GSOs). Jacob took his research further by analyzing the survey results from two specific departments, Psychology and Social Work, and presenting his findings to department leadership. Jacob also advocated for graduate student representation on the College of Social Science Dean’s Student Advisory Council, which consisted of only undergraduates at the time. He worked with GSOs to help register them with the university and to facilitate outreach through his organizational chart.

Jacob was a key author in the Leadership Institute’s 2019 grant proposal to the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives CIEG. He worked closely with then-Coordinators, Madeline Shallgren and Makena Neal, and former Coordinator, Megumi Moore, to outline the Institute’s vision, purpose, and leadership development curriculum. This document is an important reflection of the Institute’s ethos during a time of past leadership and helps us understand how the Institute has grown since. In short, Jacob was a key player that went outside the bounds of his Fellowship responsibilities to support the Institute’s development and lay a strong foundation for future Social Science Leadership Fellows.

Courtney Bryant & Tatiana Bustos (2019-2020)
Courtney Bryant and Tatiana Bustos leveraged Jacob’s leadership network to build a strong relationship with the Assistant Dean and gather connections within the College to inform their multi-tier support system for underrepresented graduate students. Their project specifically focused on diversity and inclusion within the College and utilized a needs assessment survey to help define the different tiers within the support system. Example initiatives they considered included getting a physical space in the college, creating a section on the website including diversity and inclusion resources, and implementing a program to teach multicultural mentoring to faculty. As they were faced with the time-consuming and difficult challenges brought on by graduate student life amidst the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Courtney and Tatiana were unable to see these initiatives through. However, their work brought awareness to unequal graduate student representation in the College and they built an incredible network of connections and data that will inform future graduate student diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Kionna Henderson & Jaleah Rutledge (2020-2021)
Kionna Henderson and Jaleah Rutledge’s project, All About Academic Entrepreneurship, consisted of a four-part series that introduced graduate students to academic entrepreneurship. With the understanding that graduate students possess a variety of skills and talents that can be applied to a wide range of fields, this series aimed to help graduate students turn these skills into for profit business opportunities. The series covered an introduction to academic entrepreneurship, marketing and building your brand, finding the right partners and financial resources, as well as a panel of academic entrepreneurs. Speakers included Dr. Jasmine Abrams, Dr. Paul Elam, and Christine Beamer. The panelists included Jen Fry, Dr. Tatiana Bustos, Dr. Sederick Rice, and Dr. Valencia Moses. Kionna and Jaleah worked closely with the Director of Graduate Student Life and Wellbeing, Dr. Megumi Moore, and Social Science Deans Mary Finn and Anna Maria Santiago. Their series was received extremely well by their audience, with many remarking that it exceeded their expectations and provided valuable and inspiring content.

Cordelia Martin-Ipke (2021-2022)
Cordelia began the year by looking at how to recruit more underrepresented minorities into the Geography Department. She worked to strengthen the Advancing Geography Through Diversity Program and community building among underrepresented minority groups in the geography field. She worked with her department chair as well as director, and established a network to create a recruitment pipeline from Chicago State, which does not have a Geography PhD program and is a minority serving institution. Cordelia has been exploring the sustainability of this program.

Jessie Pink (2021-2022)
Jesse’s project addressed environmental justice and racism. He used an interdisciplinary approach that tied environmental justice with health inequities. Jesse has been working to highlight the importance of activism and community engagement in solving environmental health issues in vulnerable communities.

Qi Huang (2021-2023)
Qi worked with CAL Fellow, Hima Rawal, to address international students’ use of mental health services on campus. They hope to build bridges to increase access to and decrease stigma of mental health services. They collaborated with the Office of International Students & Scholars, Counseling and Psychiatric Services, the Trauma Services Training Network, and more to learn more about how these offices support international students. They also interviewed over a dozen international students to deepen their understanding of the concerns and barriers international students have concerning mental health. Using this data and their partnerships, Qi and Hima hope to create a Wellness Ambassador program where selected international students are trained to reach out to other international students to help them learn about mental health services on campus.

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Posted by:
Megumi Moore The MSU Graduate Leadership Institute
#storytelling #graduate students #leadership