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One Story

One Story

Where compassion meets empathy. Where creativity meets tranquility. Where education meets mastery. Where advocacy meets hope.

We present to you, One Story, a new video series featuring some of our amazing graduate students. These stories demonstrate the compassion that joins us together and the core of the spirit that drives us, each one singularly compelling as it reveals the many dimensions of the Illinois experience. We are proud of each and everyone of our 16,000+ graduate students and look forward to sharing some of your stories.


A Civil Engineering PhD student from Puerto Rico, Jose Rivera-Perez has wanted to help people and build better buildings for as long as he can remember.  His research gives him the opportunity to go back home and protect the island and the family he loves.


Kelly Searsmith. A PhD in English who is now working on getting her Master’s in Education at the University of Illinois.  Although she has been diagnosed with autism, her strength and quest for knowledge has never wavered and will continue to strive for a better and more educated world.

Jaylen De Angelo Clay is a Master’s Student in Dance at the University, he has loved expressing himself through this artform for many years. His research aims to connect how we interact with space and the how the human body wishes to express itself and hopes to break new ground in the area of Fine Arts and Dance.


Jaya Kolisetty is a PMBA student at the University of Illinois, she advocates for local non-profits using her business background as a guide. When she is not advocating non-profit, she is at the Women’s Resource Center offering confidential advising and crisis intervention for survivors of sexual violence.


For more videos please visit the Graduate College YouTube Page