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Forty-six Graduate Students Recognized for Excellence

Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Excellence in research, teaching or service

The Graduate College at Illinois hosted its annual, “Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Excellence” reception on Monday, March 4. This campuswide ceremony recognizes graduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate education (African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Latina/Latino) for excellence in research, teaching or service.

Students were selected by their academic programs. Summer Predoctoral Institute (SPI) fellows who have completed their graduate degrees were also recognized. The reception takes place during of the Community of Scholar (COS) spring campus visit program, which welcomes prospective underrepresented minority graduate students to campus.

The forty-six students recognized are:

Patrese Anderson (Agricultural & Consumer Economics)
Andres Arango (Molecular & Cellular Biology)
Aaron Barnes (Business Administration)
Carolina Bieri (Atmospheric Sciences)
Shaneen Braswell (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
James Carpenter (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
Jarai Carter (Informatics)
Jamie Clark (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
LaKisha David (Human Development & Family Studies)
Luis Miguel De Jesús Astacio (Physics)
Sarah Dendy (Geology)
Zoë Dinger (Speech & Hearing Science)
Brittany Frieson (Curriculum & Instruction)
Shirdon Gorse (Computer Science)
Christopher Green (History)
Aida Guhlincozzi (Geography & Geographic Information Science)
Lauren Hagler (Chemistry)
Danielle Harrier (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering)
Michael Highman (Physics)
Mihary Ito (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
Alisa King (Microbiology)
Nathan Madden (Materials Science & Engineering)
Charles Maybee (Dance)
Tabitha Miller (Chemistry)
Juan Mora (History)
Joseph Murray (Agricultural & Consumer Economics)
Cassandra Osei (History)
Zully Perez-Sierra (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering)
Ruqayyah Perkins-Williams (Education Policy, Organization & Leadership)
Malachi Phillips (Computer Science)
Gabriel Piqué (Music)
Arrianna Marie Planey (Geography & Geographic Information Science)
Kadeem Richardson (Animal Sciences)
Kristina Rios (Special Education)
Susana Roque-Malo (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Maya Scott (Pathobiology)
Brandi Smith (Informatics)
Jaclyn Theisen (Human Development & Family Studies)
Andrew Turner (Music)
Francena Turner (Education Policy, Organization & Leadership)
Kayla Uribe (Theatre)
Gabriela Vargas (Curriculum & Instruction)
Angel Velez (Education Policy, Organization & Leadership)
Ashley Warfield Oyirifi (Food Science & Human Nutrition)
Kristopher Weeks (Communication)
Lillie Williamson (Communication)

For more information about Graduate College diversity programs, see