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Gold Graduate College Fellow

Tiffani Hurst Headshot

Tiffani Hurst

School of Education

Tiffani Hurst is thrilled to join the Department of Education as a full-time first-year PhD student with a concentration in Special Education. She will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Kathleen Provinzano and looks forward to researching community school reform. Tiffani's first career was as a habeas attorney defending clients on death row. When the state death penalty was ruled unconstitutional, she attended Drexel's M.S. program in Special Education with the goal of learning how to help stakeholders better navigate the IEP process. Ultimately, Tiffani sees the intersection of collaborative practices, SEL, PBIS and trauma-informed teaching as a way to accomplish her long-term goal of interrupting the preschool to prison pipeline. She is currently researching concrete steps that educators can take to develop and use a culturally competent lens as they implement these practices and programs. Tiffani has a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an M.Ed. in psychology from Springfield College,  and a B.A. from Wellesley College. In her free time, Tiffani, a Trekker, enjoys hiking, swimming, movies, and Lego building with her two teenagers.

Jon Merwin HeadshotJon Merwin

Environmental Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Jon Merwin joins Drexel University as a doctoral student working with Dr. Jason Weckstein at the Academy of Natural Sciences. After receiving his BA in Environmental Biology from Columbia University in 2017, Jon worked in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Ornithology, where he studied the evolution of colorful plumage in parrots. He is interested in spatial patterns of biodiversity and the evolution of phenotypic complexity. At Drexel, Jon hopes to investigate the genomic basis of plumage variation and integrate museum- and field-based research with public outreach and education.

Jordyn Young Headshot

Jordyn Bari Young

Information Science
College of Computing and Informatics

Jordyn Young is a first-year Information Science PhD student working with Dr. Andrea Forte. She is interested in utilizing human-computer interaction and user experience research techniques to understand the impact of digital interactions and improve the platforms we use every day. Prior to joining the Drexel community, Jordyn graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a BA in psychology. Her undergraduate research included experimental manipulations of objective social media and dating application use to improve psychological well-being, particularly depression and loneliness. When she is not in the lab, Jordyn is most likely exploring Philadelphia with her dog, Bumper.

Blue Graduate College Fellows

Layla BouzoubaaLayla Bouzoubaa

Information Science
College of Computing and Informatics

Layla is a Moroccan-American professional learner. She will be joining Drexel as a first year doctoral student under the advisement of Dr. Rosina Weber. Layla spent several years in her previous role as the Lead Research Analyst at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences where she focused primarily on Substance Use Disorder and occasionally got to work on projects in cancer, urology and COVID-19. In addition to being a research analyst she also had the privilege of co-instructing BST 692: Machine Learning & Data Science for Public Health Research where she taught some of her favorite topics like version control with Git, modern R programming and developing web applications with Shiny. Layla received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering with a minor in French from Georgia Tech and Master's of Science in Public Health from the University of Miami. She is eager to be joining her new team at Drexel where she hopes to traverse the intersection of explainable AI, algorithmic fairness and filling knowledge gaps with an array of novel data sources. While she's not pursuing her academic dreams, Layla enjoys hiking, improving her green thumb and cultivating her appreciation for wines.

Marny Ehmann HeadshotMarny Ehmann

Clinical Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences

Marny Ehmann is thrilled to be joining Drexel University as a first-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student under the mentorship of Dr. Meghan Butryn at the WELL Center. Marny received her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Global French Studies from Hope College in 2019. Upon graduation, she worked as research technician at the University of Michigan in Dr. Benjamin Hampstead’s research program administering transcranial direct current stimulation and cognitive rehabilitation strategies to older adults with neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, her research interests focus on targeting lifestyle factors, such as physical activity and diet, through behavioral intervention programs to decrease disease risk and promote health behavior change. In her free time, Marny enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, exercising, and traveling.

Kati Hinman Headshot

Kati Hinman

Community Health and Prevention
Dornsife School of Public Health

Kati Hinman is excited to join Drexel as a first-year doctoral student in Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health working with Dr. Joseph Amon. Her research interests include health and human rights, humanitarian health, and community interventions to address youth violence and trauma. Much of her work experience has been with survivors of violence, from a domestic violence shelter in California to communities affected by the armed conflict in Colombia. Prior to joining Drexel, she completed her master’s in social psychology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City as a Fulbright García Robles grantee, where she studied the experiences of social reinsertion with Mexican youth who had been arrested and incarcerated for violent crimes. She is originally from the small town of Norfolk, Connecticut, and in her free time she enjoys playing soccer, cooking, hiking, and reading.

Damaris Lopez Mercado HeadshotDamaris Lopez Mercado

Health Services Research and Policy
Dornsife School of Public Health

Damaris Lopez Mercado is excited to be working towards her PhD in Health Services Research at Drexel, where she is focusing on addressing Hispanic/Latino health disparities under the mentorship of Dr. Alex Ortega. Damaris was born in Puerto Rico and is excited to begin working on Dr. Ortega's "Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders in Puerto Rico Before and After Hurricane Maria” research study. She holds an MPH for Yale School of Public Health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology where her thesis research focused on evaluating the clinical and behavioral impact of a mid-sized fruit and vegetable incentive program on children. Prior to getting her master's, Damaris received a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida and worked for three years at a small health communications consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area.

Madison Raposa Headshot

Madison Raposa

Environmental and Occupational Health
Dornsife School of Public Health

Madison Raposa is excited to join Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health to pursue her PhD in the department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She will be under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Taylor at the Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST). As the daughter of a firefighter, she is excited to begin working with members of the fire service community to understand the factors that influence injury, illness, the mental health, and the safety culture of the fire service. She graduated from Stonehill College in 2020 with her B.A. in Health and went on to complete her M.S. in Population Health Research: Epidemiology from Boston University in 2021. In her free time, Madison enjoys traveling, crafting, and exploring new restaurants.

Nishell SavoryNishell Savory

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
College of Medicine

Nishell Savory is ecstatic to join Drexel University as a first-year Neuroscience doctoral student. Nishell received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Morgan State University and, upon graduation, joined the Neuroscience department at Brown University as a post-baccalaureate scholar. Later, she went on to work as a laboratory manager at Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to joining Drexel, she worked as a research technician at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Presently, her overarching goal is to investigate potential therapeutics that will ultimately help improve the lives of those affected by traumatic injuries of the central nervous system. One of the many reasons Nishell chose Drexel was the sense of community she felt from the faculty, staff, and graduate students. When not in the lab, she enjoys hiking and exploring different restaurants.