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Diversity and Inclusion Graduate Fellows

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Antiracism (IDEA) Graduate Fellows at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health lead and support efforts at the School to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism. These fellowships were created by the School on the advice of students as part of our ongoing Action Plan to Enhance Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Anti-Racism.

IDEA Graduate Fellows are current master’s and doctoral students who share an interest in diversity and social justice programming and education, as well as a desire to encourage dialogue among Dornsife and Drexel University community members.

Fellows work closely with an assistant dean, associate dean, or faculty member to develop, implement, or evaluate Dornsife initiatives based on their chosen area of emphasis. Fellows receive a stipend 10 or 20 hours of work per week for the position, which runs from October 1 to June 30.

Read a related story about the IDEA fellowship on the Dornsife Life blog.

Selection of the IDEA Graduate Fellows 

The 2020-21 academic year is Dornsife's first year piloting the IDEA Graduate Fellows program.

Candidates were asked to submit a completed application and participate in an interview for the open positions at the beginning of fall term. A total of four graduate fellows were selected as our first cohort of IDEA fellows.

If you are interested learning more about how to apply for an IDEA fellowship, contact Phi Nguyen, Assistant Dean of Student & Alumni Affairs.

2020 IDEA Graduate Fellows

Demi Adefarati headshot

Demi Adefarati

Pronoun(s): she/her/hers
Hometown: Collegeville, PA
Program: MPH, Health Management and Policy

Why I chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife due to its location within Philadelphia. Growing up in Southeastern PA, I have a vested interest in the health outcomes of individuals living within Philadelphia, and its surrounding communities.

Focus as an IDEA fellow: My areas of focus are centered on increasing institutional support measures for Black students and other students of color within Dornsife. Some of these measures include career building resources & tools, strengthening interpersonal connections through different initiatives, leadership engagement opportunities, and highlighting different research & project efforts conducted by students of color.

Patrice Farquharson headshot

Patrice Farquharson

Pronoun(s): she/her/hers
Hometown: Moorestown, NJ
Program: MPH, Community Health and Prevention

Why I chose Dornsife: While looking at public health programs in the Philadelphia area, it was Dornsife’s reputation that initially caught my attention. I wanted to attend a school that would allow me to learn more about what impacts health outcomes and fuels health disparities. After meeting with the previous director of admissions, I realized Dornsife would be a good place for me to get my degree compared to other programs in the area. Working with faculty, students and staff has only solidified this after I started the program and in recently completing it.

Focus as an IDEA fellow: I am learning that I have a passion for evidence-based research. Entering into this fellowship I was on a team that crafted and disseminated the climate survey at Dornsife. Currently, I am working on the planning and development of the Center on Racism and Health. Also, I am working with the other fellows on the departmental and school-wide efforts around IDEA initiatives.

Maya Stallings headshot

Maya Stallings

Pronoun(s): she/her
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Program: MPH, Epidemiology

Why I chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because I wanted to stay in Philadelphia and remain connected to the work I started in AmeriCorps, where I have had the opportunity to build partnerships with many community leaders who have done amazing work in the lives of the students and families in Philadelphia. Dornsife has the unique position of training the next generation of public health leaders while having deep roots in the community.

Focus as an IDEA fellow: My focus during this fellowship will be on course restructuring and curriculum and on the hiring processes of faculty.

Laneisha Sullivan headshot

Laneisha (Laney) Sullivan

Pronoun(s): she/her/hers
Hometown: Paterson, NJ
Program: MPH, Health Management and Policy (Management concentration)

Why I chose Dornsife: As a Drexel alumna, I’m well aware of the opportunities and networking connections this university has to offer. I chose to continue my graduate studies at Drexel with the Dornsife School of Public Health because the program holds national weight. Faculty members are comprised of some of Philadelphia’s most influential professionals with solid backgrounds in my areas of interest such as clinical health, policy, and health management. Furthermore, faculty and administration actively listen and dedicate time and resources to meet the needs of students, hence my position on this IDEA team. For me, it was important for me to choose a program where I felt my voice would be heard as well as my academic needs met.

Focus as an IDEA fellow: For my fellowship, I will focus my efforts on the hiring processes of faculty and providing faculty support/resources. Working alongside my dedicated team, we strive to support its 2020 anti-racism action plan. Our efforts will further expand our school’s endeavors in promoting a strong sense of culture, diversity, inclusion, and equity in all current and future academic/extra-curricular activities.