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 2020-2021 GEDI Cohort!
Kevalyn (They/She) is a growing advocate for disenfranchised communities, especially those of racial, sexual, and gender minorities.
Kevalyn is currently a Master of Public Health candidate at Columbia University where they are further developing their skills as a researcher and provider to center the rights of transgender/gender non-conforming communities of Color in public health. Their goals are to bring intersectional and decolonial perspectives in developing sustainable community health networks that support Black, Latinx, and Indigenous resilience. They aim to use their privileges to interrogate and address white supremacy in our communities and health systems.
Erica (She/Her) is Mexicana Americana and proud daughter of farmworkers. She studied biology and public health at the University of Washington (UW), then worked as a patient navigator at a community health center before pursuing her MPH at Columbia University. Erica is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health at UW, where she focuses on occupational health disparities, structural barriers to resources for holistic wellbeing, and access to health care services. She strives to use her research to create equitable and just policy changes for healthier communities in Washington State.
Kristine Jan C. Espinoza (She/Her) is a Ph.D. student studying Higher Education and completing a graduate certificate in Program Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her research interests include race-conscious higher education law and policies, currently focusing on Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs; i.e., Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)) and race and ethnicity data disaggregation. Previously, she was the Student Affairs Officer in the UCLA Asian American Studies Department. She attended Long Beach City College and transferred to the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa where she earned her B.A. in Biology and Anthropology and M.Ed. in Educational Administration.
Marilyn Garcia (She/Her) is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests lie at the intersection of education and organizations. Marilyn’s current work is situated in a critical race theory lens and explores the role that Latinx students, faculty and staff play in advancing an organizational culture that is centered on serving at Hispanic Serving Institutions. As a GEDI scholar, she seeks to expand her research repertoire to translate her academic interests into impactful policies. Marilyn will be working alongside Child360 and the GEDI community to accomplish this goal.
Alexis Grant (She/Her) is a fourth year PhD candidate in Community Health Sciences at the UIC School of Public Health who specializes in cross-sector collaboration for community health interventions. She is excited to be a GEDI intern with WestEd this year and apply some of her skills to a different setting and grow more as an evaluator. Alexis holds a master’s degree in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences from Brown University and bachelors degrees in English and Psychology from Howard University. In her free time, she enjoys walking along Lake Michigan with her dog, trying new food, and beading.
Candace (She/Her) is a third year doctoral student in the Curriculum & Instruction program at Loyola University Chicago. She obtained a B.S. in Economics from Northern Illinois University and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her current research interests include how racial diversity and equity are taught and practiced in urban faith-based educational spaces. Candace currently resides in Chicago where she was born and raised.
Elena Luna (She/Her) holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She is a current Candidate for the degree of Doctor of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health – Austin. Her dissertation research is focusing on understanding barriers and assets to leisure-time physical activity among Latinos in Travis County, Texas. In her free time, Elena likes to upcycle home goods from thrift stores and do DIY projects.
Michelle Miller (She/Her) is a third year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut with an area of concentration in diversity and culture from the Bronx, NY. She wants to take part in work that changes policies and injustices that continue to keep marginalized groups at risk for various disparities in health resources, education. More specifically, she is interested in research on immigrant children and families. For fun, Michelle likes to spend time with family, cook, and recently has learned how to crochet.
Kyle Nisbeth (She/Her) is a 5th year PhD Student in the department of Health Behavior and Health Education, within the School of Public Health, at the University of Michigan. Previously, she obtained an MPH from the department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina in 2017 and a BA from the International Studies department at Spelman College in 2015. Her dissertation examines the intersection of Black motherhood, chronic stress, race-related worry, and physiological measures of stress. In her free time, Kyle enjoys painting pottery and lifting weights.
Darnesha Tabor (She/Her), originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is currently pursuing a Master's in Development Practice at Emory University, concentrating in Sustainable Environments and Livelihoods and Monitoring and Evaluation. She also serves as the Vice President of the Global Development Student Council. Her passion lies in systematically improving development practices that disproportionately impact the livelihoods of communities of color. Darnesha is currently supporting the ongoing development and execution of culturally responsive evaluation frameworks for food and nutrition security programming in underserved communities. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing, discovering new music, and visiting museums in each new place that she travels.
Moses (He/Him) is a PhD student in Agriculture Education and Studies at Iowa State University, pursuing a specialization in Extension. He holds a MS in International Agriculture Development and a MS in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California Davis. His doctoral research focuses on the intersections of local food systems, food security, and nutrition both nationally and internationally. Specifically, he examines how intracommunal networks among East African refugees in the Midwest constitute sites of community learning around food access. He has extensive experience in rural change and agricultural transformation in East Africa and currently works with a university extension program in the U.S. that connects master gardener volunteers with community food pantries.
Ashleigh S. Williams (She/Her) is a 5th year PhD student studying industrial/organizational psychology at Texas A&M University. Her research interests center around selection assessment and technology, training, educational experiences and equity, and community health broadly. She is passionate about education and serves as an instructor of introductory psychology at Texas A&M.
Post graduate school, Ashleigh hopes to use research methods to determine and evaluate solutions to community-based issues. Germaine to her career goals, Ashleigh has served as a data analyst for the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, collaborating to address the needs of government and community-based organizations.