Barnard College

Tirzah Anderson

Tirzah Anderson (she/her) is a Chickasaw and Choctaw Freedmen and senior History major with research interests in the intersections of Black and Indigenous histories in the Southern United States, histories of land manipulation and theft, and histories of slavery in the Indigenous Nations.


She is currently completing her senior thesis which examines criminality and incarceration of Freedmen of the Five Slaveholding Tribes in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) at the turn of the 20th century and the height of the Jim Crow Oklahoma Statehood period. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in History in the future to further scholarship into the histories of Freedmen of the Five Slaveholding Tribes.

Kena Chavva

Kena Chavva (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in English. Broadly speaking, she is interested in postcolonial studies, South Asia, translation, comparative literature, and cinema.


Currently, she is at work on a project about India’s first feminist film collective, the Yugantar Film Collective, in which she examines models of filmmaking collectives and the experimental/hybrid documentary genres. She has also recently developed a strong interest in the Telugu language of south India, and through further language study hopes to deepen her knowledge and research of Telugu literature and cinema more specifically.

Daniela Lebron

Daniela Lebron is a Political Science and American Studies major interested in studying the intersections of city planning, gentrification, and settler colonialism—with a specific focus on New York City. Furthermore, she is interested in studying how these relationships have and continue to alter the natural and built environment, especially as the global climate crisis worsens.

Jazmin Maco

Born and raised on Long Island, New York to a sprawling Caribbean family, Jazmin Maco is an artist and researcher with a deep interest in questions surrounding creative writing & visual art as theory, therapy and practice; archival methodolgy and storytelling; as well as Black feminist and queer theory. During Maco’s time at Barnard College, they have been able to interrogate these questions through their Africana Studies major by pursuing a thesis exploring the definition and scope of vernacular photography in Jamaica and the U.S.


Additionally, through the support of the Mellon Mays and Barnard Scholars of Distinction fellowship programs, Maco’s artwork and research have engaged topics such as the history of queer visual activism in Africa; the representation of Black queer women in hip-hop culture; as well as the human cost of foreclosure and displacement on Long Island, NY. While based in NYC, Maco continues to write, photograph, research and create visual stories that highlight voices—such as their grandmother's, their mother's, and their own—that are often left out of the historical record.

Makaria Yami

Africana Studies and Political Science Major

Sara Helena Morales

Sara Helena Morales (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Education Studies. Born and raised in the Cuban-American community of Hialeah, Sara’s research interests attempt to nuance popularized narratives she grew up hearing regarding Cuban history and politics. Fascinated by the intersections of the political with the pedagogical, her research is currently focused on Cuba’s 1961 Literacy Campaign and intends to address how revolutionary literacy campaigns both defy and reify colonial conceptions of personal and collective autonomy, freedom, and progress. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies in order to advance the call for a more pan-“American” American Studies, as well as interrogate long-standing binaries present in Cuban Studies.

Samantha Ortega

Samantha Ortega is a junior at Barnard College majoring in History with a concentration in Rights, Law, and the State. From El Paso, Texas, her interests revolve around the history of the US-Mexico border, gendered violence, and immigration. She is currently working on “Vivas Nos Queremos: A Mother’s Fight against Impunity and Femicides” which highlights the activism and legal actions rendered by mothers of femicide victims from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Sheena Rocke

Isabella Rafky, is a Cuban-American, from Miami and a junior studying Art History at Barnard. She is deeply interested in the production of contemporary Latinx and Hispanophone Caribbean art and the regional and personal histories that ground these artists’ work. Her research focuses on the notions of paradise that are so closely associated with Hispanophone Caribbean countries: Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Isabella is specifically examining how artists contend with these symptoms of assumption in their artistic practice and if they acknowledge, reflect, or subvert such notions. She is very excited to be doing my research alongside such incredible scholars.

Aditi Rao

Aditi (she/hers) is a senior in Barnard’s Classics department working primarily with the materials, theories, and receptions of Hellenistic historiography. She is interested in studying history’s genealogies, translations, and fabulations as mechanisms of empire, and concentrates on the documents and interactions of the Seleucid and Mauryan empires.


Aditi’s current project uses the fragmented and incomplete work, Indica, by the Seleucid ambassador Megasthenes, to mediate on the textual outputs of culture contact, both in the abstract realm, via imaginations of cosmopolis, and in the realized, via Bactriana. Additional interests of hers includes the teaching of Classics in the Subaltern world, epistemicide/epistemological reparations, and the works of Jorge Luis Borges. Aditi will be joining Princeton Classics as a pre-doctoral fellow in September.

Makeen Zachary

Sociology major


Brooklyn College

Gabrielle Afable

Gabrielle Afable is a senior at Brooklyn College double-majoring in American Studies and Linguistics. Her research plays with interdisciplinary approaches to language, music, identity, and political economy. As a Mellon Mays fellow, she studied topics involving house music, queer-color undergrounds, and digital piracy. She will be pursuing a master's degree in Library Science at the Pratt Institute beginning in Fall 2021.  

Emily Batista

Emily Batista is a Sociology and Caribbean studies student at Brooklyn College. They have done several research projects focusing on urban studies and intersections of identities focused around gender and race. She hopes to pursue at PhD in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Bakari Da Breo

A third-generation Caribbean immigrant, Bakari Da Breo is a rising senior Sociology major at Brooklyn College. Bakari has been passionate about technology from a young age, and has found it blends naturally with his field of study. As he sees it, “Socio-tech is especially important, and people need to start paying attention to it. If we don’t then we can wake up one day and live in a sci-fi horror film”. His research interest is looking at algorithms and how if left unchecked they can become a catalyst for perpetuating vices of humanity like racism, sexism, classism, et cetera. His goal is to pursue a Ph.D. and contribute to an emerging field of Sociology that is only made possible by the rise of smarter technology.

Alexus Knight

Alexus Knight is a second year Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She is currently pursuing majors in Africana Studies, History and Art History. Her research interests are centered on studying and exploring the vastness of black visual culture and aesthetics. For her current  undergraduate research project, she plans to examine the structure of the family within social documentary photography both as an entity of documentation and as an artistic subject. Upon the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Alexus plans to pursue graduate degrees in archival/library sciences and Art History with the hopes of pursuing research around Black art and working in cultural institutions.

Sarah Gafur

Sarah Gafur is a senior in sociology and pursuing research focused on the intersections of gender and technology. Their primary research is focused on how tools of technology are used to reinforce gendered presentation and behavior. As an aspiring gender scholar, Sarah hopes to use their research to create open accessible educational materials for the community. Sarah also uses their artistic skills to create graphic representations for their research and believes visual elements are important if we want our research to be embraced by people outside of the academy. 

Ehime Oratokhai

Ehime Oratokhai is a junior at Brooklyn College, majoring in Art History with a minor in Anthropology. Within their Art History track, they have a special focus on African Art. This focus is what developed their research on the many intricacies that reside in the arts and visual culture of West Africa. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, she has undergone a field study in Nigeria that looked to examine the merge of artistic, religious artifacts from the Yoruba People. Upon her projected Spring 2022 graduation, she plans to embark on a graduate program that will allow for her to research Nigerian Art and their religious societies more closely.

Daniel J. Vázquez Sanabria

Daniel J. Vázquez Sanabria is an undergraduate senior double majoring in Puerto Rican and Latino Studies and Art History at CUNY-Brooklyn College. His work focuses on deaf and Black deaf activisms, transnational networks, and cultural and linguistic identity negotiations in post-María Puerto Rico. He will continue developing his work as part of his dissertation for the University of Texas at Austin’s Mexican American and Latina/o Studies PhD Program. His work is located at the intersections of Linguistic Anthropology, Puerto Rican Studies, and the arts.


City College

Ana Abreu

Ana Abreu, a native New Yorker, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Urban Studies, and an accelerated master’s degree in the Study of the Americas. Her research interests center on U.S. imperialism, migration, and gentrification. Specifically, she seeks to investigate the connections between U.S. imperialism in the Dominican Republic and the subsequent displacement of Dominican immigrants in the United States. Ana plans to enter a PhD program in sociology to become a future educator and researcher in academia.

Aisha Butt

Aisha Butt is a native New Yorker who calls the borough of Staten Island home. She is pursuing a major in Anthropology and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is interested in the reciprocal effects environmental protections and local populations have on one another during a temporality of crisis — the Anthropocene. The interdisciplinary nature of her research project draws knowledge from several fields of study such as anthropology, marine biology, ecology, and environmental studies. Through the comparison of an unprotected site and a protected site in Costa Rica, her research project disentangles the competing metrics of success in conservation projects. Aisha hopes to examine whether biodiversity flourishes more in protected versus unprotected areas and to explore how power relations materialize among different players (biologists, conservationists, locals, government, etc.). Aisha enjoys binge-watching Planet Earth, jamming out to reggaeton, or obsessing over the best dessert spots in NYC.

Angelina Coronado

Angelina Coronado, an undergraduate student at The City College of New York, is pursuing a major in English literature and a minor in Black Studies. She is also an Isaacs Scholar and a Kaye Scholar at the College. Her research interests pertain to the study of Caribbean and U.S. literature, history and visual studies from the 19th century to the present. After completing her fellowship thesis and her Bachelor of Arts in English at the City College of New York, Angelina plans to pursue a PhD in Comparative Literature.

Jorge Cruz

Jorge Cruz is a New York native whose interests range from understanding the dynamics and elements of a community to finding the best cuchifrito spot in the city. His research goal is to analyze disenfranchised communities and their relationship to the state and its agents. According to Jorge, “it is important to understand why there are constraints placed in communities predominantly of color, which have perpetrated a cycle of poverty.” He intends to pursue a doctoral degree in sociology and begin an academic career.

Lance Parker

Lance Parker was born in Manhattan but raised in the Bronx. He is pursuing a BA/MA degree in History at CCNY. His primary research is in the African Diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean. As Lance furthers his studies as an aspiring historian of the African Diaspora, he wishes to pursue a PhD in History. Once Lance obtains a PhD, he plans to become a professor because he is passionate about history and wants to be able to publish the findings of his research pursuits.

Shanyce Richardson

Shanyce “Shy” Richardson is a BA/MA student pursuing a degree in history at the City College of New York. She hopes to merge her background in the performance arts with her love of academic learning, applying an interdisciplinary approach to the craft of history. Her research interests are urban history and the history of citizenship in the United States. Black Lives Matter!

Myra Rosa

Myra Rosa is a junior at the City College of New York - Center for Worker Education focusing on interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in History, Politics, and Society. CCNY-CWE has had an enormously positive impact on Myra’s career, as it is at CCNY-CWE that Myra has discovered her love of anthropology and humanitarian work.

Myra is currently employed at a women’s homeless shelter and that exposure has strengthened her desire to help people in underserved communities. In August and December of 2018 and January of 2019, Myra worked with the non-profit organizations All Hands and Hearts and NECHAMA. She was in the field for five weeks rebuilding and providing relief effort to residents in Puerto Rico who were directly affected by Hurricane Maria. Myra hopes to become a professor of anthropology and a mental health advocate.

Sajina Shrestha

Sajina Shrestha was born in Lalitpur, Nepal and moved to New York City when she was 12 years old. She is pursuing a major in anthropology and a minor in journalism. Her experience of growing up in two different countries has sparked her interest in studying immigration in South Asia and the South Asian American diaspora. She is interested in exploring how one’s understanding of their identity changes with migration, and she hopes to learn how societal systems like caste, class, and gender roles transform and are recreated with immigration to a new country. In her free time, Sajina likes listening to 99 Percent Invisible and cooking new recipes.

Sophia Yip

Born in Malaysia, Sophia (Yi Nian) Yip moved to the United States at the age of 10. She is an undergraduate student who is pursuing a major in English literature at The City College of New York. She is also an Isaacs Scholar and Kaye Scholar. Her interests lie in the fields of twentieth-century world literature, literature in translation, and issues of nationalism in the era of globalization. Her current research focuses on exploring the nexus between narrative form and the construction of national identity, with a particular focus on Haruki Murakami. She aims to uncover how internationally best-selling contemporary authors grapple with the representation of national identity at the same time that their works circulate widely in intercultural contexts and across languages.

Lin Dan Zheng

Lin Dan Zheng was born in China and immigrated to the United States when she was five years old. She is currently pursuing a BA in art with a concentration in Art History. She is interested in researching female artists during the 19th to 20th century and the organizations and networks female artists have formed to support their creativity within a male-dominated art world. Lin Dan aspires to obtain a PhD in Art History with the intention to become an art museum curator.


Columbia College

Yosan Alemu

Yosan Alemu is a senior at Columbia University studying comparative literature with a focus on Black Studies. Her research interests include Black feminist thought, Black Marxisms, and 20th century African and African diasporic literature.

Jaala Alston

Jaala Alston is a junior at Columbia University double majoring in Economics and Ethnic Studies. She does interdisciplinary research within economic history, political economy, and ethnic studies, and her interests include racial capitalism, intersectionality, geographies of oppression and structural preservation of economic injustices. She believes storytelling and the experiences of others are essential to her insight as a scholar and hopes to marry her experiences as a multi-talented artist with her scholarly work in the future.

Diogene Artiles

Diogene Artiles is a Brooklyn-born language-learner at heart. He is interested in the intersections of language, race and sexuality with contemporary music in Latin America. He is particularly interested in contemporary Portuguese and Spanish music and the evolution of colonial and national ideologies and tropes to sources of empowerment for queer and trans people of color. Outside of research, Diogene enjoys making playlists, creative writing, and bouldering. 

Tyler Campbell

Tyler Campbell is a writer, media maker, and organizer hailing from the city of Philadelphia. He is currently a Junior at Columbia University double majoring in Creative Writing and African- American Studies. Through his work as a poet and movement worker Tyler uses his voice to offer analytical insights that aim to elevate the stories of those that often go unseen and unheard. Tyler’s interests include Black cultural politics, urbanity, popular culture, hip-hop, education, and literature. He is also an educator whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. At the heart of all Tyler’s projects is a commitment to unpacking the nuances of Black life in America as portrayed through art and cultural production while also engaging questions about human intentionality, identities and cultural history.

Cameron Flood

Raised in Virginia but now residing in North Carolina, Cameron Flood is a Junior at Columbia University pursuing a double major in Political Science and Anthropology. Cameron seeks to find resonances between his two fields of interest, exploring how anthropology can serve as a looking glass through which political phenomenon might take shape. The interdisciplinary flexibility of the two fields allows for a fruitful and constantly-evolving dialogue between various points of interest. Cameron seeks to take advantage of this versatility in engaging with literature, political legislation, and popular Black and Queer theory through an interdisciplinary means.  In the future, Cameron hopes to continue his academic pursuits via a PhD in Anthropology with the intention of becoming a professor.

Cassidy Gabriel

Cassidy Gabriel (she/her) is a senior at Columbia University studying Political Theory, Gender Studies, and Computer Science. Her current research focuses on the intersection of sport, gender, race, and power, and she is broadly interested in studying mechanisms of social control, postcolonial technologies, the politics of sport, the construction of categories of difference, theories of the body, and critiques of nationalism and the modern state. She is passionate about interdisciplinary work and hopes to continue pursuing research that draws on critical, literary, and Black feminist theory while bridging her wide array of interests and centering possibilities for liberation.

Abby Hickman

Abby Hickman is a racially White citizen of the Cherokee Nation raised in Norman, Oklahoma. They are currently a senior at Columbia University studying anthropology and a rising Mitchell Scholar at the University of Limerick seeking a Master’s diploma in English. They are interested in considering the nature of the real and the unreal as it relates to settler societies. Namely, how can the Cherokee people, reconstitute their nationhood, which lies in tatters following Removal and the Dawes Act? How can we imagine the epistemologically unimaginable and that which no longer exists?

Payton Johnson

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Payton Johnson is an undergraduate student at Columbia University pursuing a degree in Sociology. His research interests center on urban political economy, gentrification, Hip Hop culture, and Black knowledge production in urban communities. After completing his Bachelor of Arts, Payton plans on attaining a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Ariana Orozco

Ariana Orozco is from El Paso, Texas and a junior at Columbia University majoring in Ethnic Studies and Medicine, Literature, and Society. Her current research project focuses on how incarceration affects peoples’ attitudes towards health, life, and bodily autonomy.

Isabel Sepúlveda

Isabel Sepúlveda is a senior at Columbia University majoring in English and Comparative Ethnic Studies. Their research interests are broadly centered on time/time travel, speculative fiction and the engagement of these genres with issues of racial and ethnic identity, gender, sexuality, and queerness. Their current projects include using the character of Horatio to explore queer temporality and survival in Hamlet and reading Octavia Butler’s time travel novel Kindred through disability and queer theory to examine how science fiction might offer writers of color a chance to rebuild a lost archive. Isabel hopes to continue engaging with these themes in their research, ultimately focusing on how literature might serve as a vehicle through which marginalized people can represent themselves and imagine for their communities a more just future.

Hunter College


Adriana Chavez

Adriana Chavez is a junior at Hunter College majoring in English literature and criticism with a concentrated focus in Italian. In addition to being a Mellon Mays fellow, she is also a Mellon Public Humanities scholar.

Her research interests include U.S. literature, women and gender studies, African American literature, ethnic studies and food studies. Her current research explores the role of food and hunger in the novels of Toni Morrison, with a particular eye to their connection to power and emotional nourishment.

A freelance writer, she has written for the Women's Media Center, Girls Who Code, Day of the Girl-US, and Xandr.

Joselyn Garcia

Joselyn Garcia is a junior at Hunter College and is an art history and classical studies major with a minor in theatre. She is a Bluhm and Athena Honor scholar in addition to being a Mellon Mays fellow. Joselyn has won the Latin Excelsior Prize and is a member of Eta Sigma Phi. Joselyn also has a keen interest in the theatre community, having participated in departmental productions as an actress, assistant stage manager and costume designer; she also enjoys singing as a tenor with the Hunter College Choir.

Joselyn does research exploring classical reception in the Italian Renaissance. She hopes to further understand why classics has survived as long as it has and how its iconography has managed to remain as prevalent as it is.

She is currently conducting research on how Cosimo Il Vecchio used classical imagery and thought to rise to power in Florence and establish a dynasty.

Sheena Rocke

Sheena Rocke is a junior at Hunter College triple majoring in English, Africana studies, and cultural anthropology. Not only is she a Mellon Mays fellow, but she is also the secretary of Hunter’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter and The Olivetree Review’s poetry editor.

She often finds herself most interested in topics such as slavery, racial identity and popular culture. Sheena is currently conducting research on the origins and progression of respectability politics. She endeavors both to analyze the role of respectability politics as a site of negotiation in different historical Black movements and conversations, and then to better understand the legacies of those negotiations on present movements and conversations.

After college, her goal is to blend her love of creative writing with her passion for research in Africana studies.

Mona Reed

Mona Reed is a senior at Hunter College, where she is majoring in English literature with a minor in political science. When she is not researching nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century British literature with MMUF, she is completing her other project with the Mellon Public Humanities Grant Program on the influence of nineteenth-century Christian anarchist and socialist thought on Martin Luther King Jr.’s later rhetoric and activism.

She previously was a research intern for an NYU law professor specializing in the First Amendment and global religious freedom laws, and a legislative intern at Council Member Diana Ayala’s office. Mona’s current research revolves around the early anarchist leanings and later fascist embrace of the niece of Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti, Olivia Rossetti Agresti. This project is especially important for Mona, as she is a passionate anti-fascist and anarchist sympathizer who wants to understand how some people become “radical leftists” while others spiral into far-right fascism.

After she graduates, Mona plans to take a gap year to travel and work before applying to doctoral programs in English literature.

Hope Williams

Hope Williams is a senior at Hunter College majoring in art history and Chinese language and literature. As a Mellon Mays fellow, she has researched artists and art collectives active in China after the Cultural Revolution, focusing on the birth of Chinese modernity and Eastern art trends.

In addition to being a Mellon Mays fellow, she is also a member of the Hunter College Chinese Flagship Program, a program tailored towards helping students achieve professional fluency in Mandarin Chinese. She has also worked with the Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department as an intern, experiencing the process of auctioning Chinese artworks first-hand.

Her current research focuses on avant-garde artists active from 1980 to 1989, and the impact of the avant-garde art movement in reference to the development of China’s contemporary presence in the art world.

Marina Samuel

Marina Samuel is a junior at Hunter College majoring in political science and minoring in political theory with a concentration in English literature. In addition to being a Mellon Mays fellow, Samuel is a Mellon Public Humanities scholar and a Thomas Hunter Honors scholar.

Her research focuses on global Marxism, anticolonialism and anti-imperialism. She is committed to understanding the ways in which people of the Global South mobilize against capitalism and form their own political systems. In particular, she focuses on Latin American and African contributions to Marxist theory.

Presently, she is interested in how the political philosophy of Neozapatismo in Mexico offers a decolonial perspective of Marxist forms of resistance and government.

Kristie Sanchez

Kristie M. Sanchez is a junior at Hunter College majoring in political science and economics and minoring in French literature. In addition to being a Mellon Mays fellow, Kristie is also a Thomas Hunter Honors scholar, JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt scholar and a Roosevelt scholar.

Recently, Kristie was a participant in the Grove Mississippi Service trip and a summer intern at the office of New York State Senator Michael Gianaris. Kristie’s interest in the ways politics and economics shape the economic trajectory of different countries as well as in Latin American development has shaped her academic research and her future career path.


Presently, she is researching the role of different economic development theories on regional integration efforts in Latin America.

Kendra Gimblet

Kendra Gimblet is a senior majoring in anthropology at Hunter College. During her time as a Mellon Mays fellow, Kendra has focused on immaterial spaces of citizenship, the sociology of sovereignty and human migration within the Middle East. She has investigated questions related to the Syrian migration to neighboring countries, more specifically Turkey.

Her academic interests include the construction of migrant identities in the Middle East and how imagined communities can be mapped across fixed boundaries. She also enjoys studying languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Japanese, which has allowed her to volunteer her time as an English teacher at the Arab American Association during the summer in Brooklyn.

Over her two years as a Mellon Mays fellow, Kendra has developed an interest in spaces that nourish or shun the identities of Syrian migrants in Turkey. In particular, she is interested in how spaces can affect behavior, mental health and interaction within communities. Kendra is currently conducting cultural anthropological research that utilizes social media and documentaries to write an ethnography of safe spaces in Istanbul as seen by Syrian migrant youth.

Shakila Khan

Shakila Khan is a senior at Hunter College majoring in political science and double minoring in Asian American studies and women and gender studies. Her primary academic interests are in areas around political aesthetics, visuality of violence and post-conflict archives. She is interested in how memories of people experiencing violence are preserved through photography and oral history.

She has been awarded several research fellowships including the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Mellon Public Humanities Grant for her research on the documentation of violence, specifically the Abu Ghraib torture photographs. At Hunter, she is also currently building the Asian American Studies Oral History Archive with other students.


Her previous roles have related to other forms of audio storytelling including being a research and production intern at the Museum of the City of New York for a podcast about coming-of-age in New York City and a research assistant at the Chicago History Museum for their oral history exhibit, American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago.

Tiffany Zorrilla

Tiffany Zorrilla is a senior at Hunter College majoring in English literature and sociology with a minor in music. Tiffany’s Mellon Mays research focuses on the implications of the privatization of NYCHA Public Housing and addressing the lack of community engagement in the city/government redevelopment process. Along with being a MMUF fellow, Tiffany co-founded The Catcalling Project, which centralizes women's safety and inclusion in the city-planning process.


Tiffany is a founding member of Perfect City, an arts and activism project fighting the displacement of communities of color. Recent Catcalling events include workshopping at a local women's domestic violence shelter for the betterment of services. She is also a community researcher for the Confident Futures study at NYU, researching community resiliency and social change.


Her work is published in Urban Omnibus and Arts Everywhere. After her undergraduate studies, she will pursue a master’s degree in art therapy.

Queens College


Jess Alexander

Jess Alexander is a first year senior at Queens College with a double major in English and Classics and a minor in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. Jess was adopted from China and raised in New York. She intends to pursue a PhD in Classical Studies and to expand and diversify the field. Her interests are in Classical reception in different mediums throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. She developed this interest due to her own childhood. Being introduced to Classics in different children's media sparked an everlasting love of the discipline. Jessica wants to introduce and expand on new theories being analyzed within the Classical field such as race theory, queer theory, and feminist theory. 

Sajah Archer

Sajah Archer is a Cultural Anthropology major with Honors and in the Social Sciences minor at Queens College. A Yoga Teacher and Reiki Healer from New York, Sajah's studies in India prior to her freshman year energized her interest in indigenous healing systems and herbology. Sajah’s drive to advocate for the cultural preservation of her Caribbean heritage has concentrated her research on the traditional plant practices used by the Garifuna people from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Sajah hopes to attend a leading research institution to attain her PhD in Cultural Anthropology, thereby progressing her career of becoming a professor who inspires personal relationships with ancestral medicines as a means of mental and physical disease prevention. 

Christine Flores

Christine Flores is a second year junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Language and Literature at Queens College. Christine’s MMUF research project explores women’s literary contributions in Colonial Latin America and Early Modern Spain, focusing on the ways in which they navigated within male-dominated intellectual spheres. She plans to enter a PhD program in Spanish to become a researcher in academia. Christine is a Peruvian-American scholar from New York. As an alumna of Our Lady of Mercy Academy, she values women’s education and the advancement of female thought.

Kishauna Givans

Kishauna Givans is a second  year junior majoring in Sociology and Urban Studies at Queens College. Kishauna’s MMUF research project will be looking at access to health care services for Caribbean Immigrants vs native-born African Americans in New York City. She became interested in this topic because of her own personal experience with accessing health care services when she was ill. As a result, she became very interested in trying to understand the health care system and how it works not just for the majority, but also for the minorities who are always at a disadvantage, and she wanted to understand why.


Kishauna plans to enter a PhD program in Sociology to broaden her research on inaccessibility to health care services for Caribbean Immigrants vs native-born African Americans. At the end of her studies, she hopes to become an educator and a researcher who will be able to share insights on the topic of inaccessibility. Kishauna currently lives in Jamaica, Queens, NYC. Her family origin is Caribbean. She attended Immaculate Conception High School and LaGuardia Community College. 

Dyaan Malik

Dyaan Malik is a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology as well as a minor track known as Honors in the Social Sciences at Queens College. He is an undergraduate Mellon Mays Fellow who aspires to attend graduate school to obtain a PhD in Sociology. Dyaan’s research interests focus on mental health issues in minority groups through a sociological perspective. Specifically, he is interested in examining how traditional gender roles and societal expectations impact the mental health of South Asian women. His interest for this focus stems from the fact that he grew up as a South Asian male and witnessed the gender indifferences present among the South Asian community and wants to conduct research to help break the stigmas that are present within the community regarding gender. 

Emily Ram

Emily Ram is a graduating senior at Queens College pursuing an English and Secondary Education major at Queens College. Inspired by experiences with student teaching and reading young adult novels for years, her research interests center on 20th to 21st Century Young Adult Literature. She investigates linguistic expression of self-mutilative behaviors across multiple novels using feminist and trauma theory. Using aspects of language, mind and body, her research project hopes to draw attention to problematic features evident in how these behaviors are expressed. Her project takes these aspects and draws connections to female adolescents using the act of cutting to take agency of their bodies. Emily aspires to become a professor in academia and an advocate for mental health. Emily was raised in Queens, New York.