Omari Keeles, Ph.D. Candidate, Education and Psychology, Rackham Merit Fellowship
Omari has been in school a long time. After his undergraduate degree at Howard, he pursued a Master’s in Public Health at George Washington University, two Master’s degrees at Columbia, then started a Ph.D. program at Miami. His three years at Miami got him through his coursework, but it was a tough road. That all changed when U-M faculty member Laura Kohn-Wood came to the Miami campus. Omari says, “I googled her, saw on her CV that she received her undergrad from Howard, and she became my mentor from day one.”
Naomi Wilson, Ph.D. Student, Educational Studies, Vice President, Rackham Student Government
Naomi is a second year graduate student in the Educational Studies-Foundations and Policy program. She came to U-M to work with Camille Wilson and is interested in black youth activism, revolutionary thought, and critical consciousness within secondary schools. She shares, “There is this need to be an activist in secondary schools for youth of color, but it is a place that can be a site of trauma and also of liberation and hope for black students. The lack of school administration response to issues around them can be jarring for students, specifically for the ones that are targeted.
Carol O'Cleireacain, B.A. and Master’s, Economics, Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, Planning & Strategy, Detroit
Carol O’Cleireacain’s unassuming office in the Mayor’s Suite of the Coleman Young Municipal Building in downtown Detroit is adorned with a few mementos of her career in public service. “I love this picture, look at those faces,” she says as she points to the black and white images on the wall, one of a group of African American girls captivated by a speech delivered by Jesse Jackson. Others show Carol and Jesse in behind-the-scenes strategy sessions.
Lauren Johns, Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences, Predoctoral Fellowship, Rackham Pre-Candidacy Award, Conference Travel Grants, Rackham Emergency Fund
After finishing her M.P.H. degree in Epidemiology at U-M in 2011, Lauren worked as a consultant at an environmental and occupational health consulting firm where she assessed chemical exposures and health risks in the workplace. That experience motivated her to delve deeper into the environmental health field so she turned to Dr. John Meeker in the School of Public Health whose research focuses on environmental epidemiology, specifically on how environmental exposures affect reproductive health.
So Hae (Irene) Park, Ph.D. Candidate, Human Genetics, Rackham Merit Fellowship, Rackham Research Grant, Conference Travel Grant
Irene has two faculty advisors, Thomas Wilson and Thomas Glover, an atypical situation for doctoral candidates in the sciences. For her, having two advisors has been largely positive. “I get surprised every time: my faculty advisors are so different but they can work well together. They are almost like a second set of parents to me.”