GEDI Interns come from a variety of disciplines including public health, education, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, social work, and the natural sciences. Their commonality is a strong background in research skills, an interest in extending their capacities to the field of evaluation, and a commitment to thinking deeply about culturally responsive evaluation practice. Meet the 2023-2024 GEDI Cohort!
Cassandra Horg-Aaron (she/her/hers) identifies as a hapa (biracial) first-generation college student from Fresno, California. She is a third-year PhD student in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas emphasizing in Research, Measurement, and Statistics. She received her master's in Postsecondary Educational Leadership and Student Affairs from San Diego State University. Her research interests currently center on designing and utilizing innovative methodological approaches to examine learning and evaluation in higher education settings.
Christopher Coleman is a mixed-methods Social Psychology researcher with 7+ years of experience conducting research within academic institutions and non-profit organizations. His research revolves around placing individuals traditionally excluded from psychological research at the forefront, particularly those who identify as BIPOC. Extant research on racially marginalized populations often perpetuates a colorblind racial ideology by emphasizing sameness between under-represented groups. He operates in opposition to this assumption of homogeneity by examining the distinctive psychological experiences of different racial groups and factors that enable a shared sense of identity and solidarity across those experiences.
Leiny Yesenia Garcia (She/Her/Hers) is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine, specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). With an engineering degree from Tufts University, her early career focused on providing equitable learning opportunities in STEM and Computer Science for historically marginalized youth in her hometown of Los Angeles. During her master's at Stanford in the Learning, Design, and Technology program, she developed an interest in utilizing research-based approaches to enhance learning environments. As a doctorate, Leiny's research centers on the convergence of research-practice partnerships, design-based research, and culturally relevant evaluation to optimize educational impact.
Aaron Golson (He/Him/His) is a 3rd year doctoral student at The University of Georgia in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication from Dekalb County, Georgia. His research interests focus on equitable-based practices within the land grant university system. Aaron is passionate about communicating evidence-based agricultural and environmental science research with marginalized communities to enhance future societal sustainability efforts. In addition to his scholarly works, Aaron enjoys reading non-fiction books, sports, and spending time with family.
Millicent Esi Gyan (She/Her/Hers) is a second year graduate student in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at East Tennessee State University, pursuing an MA in Sociology with an Applied Sociology concentration. She earned her undergraduate degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. She has over 2 years working experience in Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of Media, Arts and Communication (UniMAC), formerly known as the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Her research interests are in Social Problems, Education, Child Welfare and Gender inequality. Millicent loves to bake in her free time and enjoys long-distance treks.
Joseph Jean (He/Him) is a Ph.D. student in Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research aims to address social injustices and improve community health for Indigenous and Queer communities with whom he identifies. He holds an M.P.H. from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he specialized in social and behavioral health and biological sciences. He has held various positions, including lecturer, teaching assistant, program assistant, and research assistant for numerous University-affiliated centers, institutes, and laboratories. His experiences include designing, collecting, and reporting on qualitative and quantitative research methods. His academic and professional interests include public health, evaluation, Indigenous frameworks, and health behavior theories.
Yessy Medina (she/ella) is Oxnard born and Chicago grown. She is a first-generation scholar and proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. She spent more than ten years teaching in elementary bilingual inclusive settings, serving and advocating for students who were growing up bilingual and neurodivergent, like herself. She is currently a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences at the University of Oregon with a focus on mixed-methods research and program evaluation. Her research interests include culturally and linguistically affirming practices, teacher preparation, and policy for multilingual students with disabilities.
My name is Daniel Monge. I am a first generation Mexican American and am currently a student pursuing my second masters, in Sustainable Leadership. My first masters is in physics. I was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and am a formerly incarcerated person. My incarcerations, which amount to over 8 years of my life, have hugely impacted me. I enjoy art, museums, reading, and physical activities, although I haven't been able to find much time to read in my recent daily life. My favorite authors include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Steinbeck, and Charles Dickens. I have goals to climb Denali and found a summer STEM camp for at-risk youth.
Alfred J. Rodriguez (they/them) is a third-year doctoral student in Community and Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. With a Biology degree and experience in public health and higher education. Working with the CAMBIAR Collective under the leadership of Dr. Josefina Bañales, they study youth identity and critical consciousness, focusing on racialized youth. Exploring intersectional youth identity and cross-group solidarity, they're interested in Queer/Trans/Feminist and abolitionist methods and principles. Their goal is to understand youth liberation and community needs through a range of participatory research methods. Alfred loves trying new food places, cooking, and parenting their cat, Nano.
Maria Belinda (MB) is a dedicated graduate student in the Ph.D. Program in Human Development and Family Science at The University of Arizona. Guided by a genuine passion for community involvement and personal connections with families and children, MB is committed to unlocking the potential of families of color. Her rich bi-cultural background, coupled with her educational background, fuels her desire to fortify children's resilience in challenging circumstances. An additional facet of MB's academic pursuit is her dedication to program evaluation, a testament to her desire for a holistic and impactful approach. With fluency in Spanish, MB is poised to delve into the intricacies of immigrant family dynamics. Her research journey encompasses the profound interplay of immigration journey, sociocultural resilience, and parenting.