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Student Spotlight: Omari Keeles

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.”

Student Spotlight: Ryan Wade

Ryan already went to grad school. He earned his Master’s in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health from the School of Social Work and became a clinical social worker. He loved it and found work helping individuals to be rewarding. But he needed more. He says, “It was evident to me that the things I was interested in required a more macro approach. More research in terms of the structural disparities was necessary for the populations I was interested in. Clinical work on a micro level was fulfilling but it has its shortcomings as well. Half way through my social work career, I decided to go back to school to do research.”

Student Spotlight: Babe Kawaii-Bogue

It took Babe three tries to get into Michigan. Along the way, she went to Columbia for her Master’s degree to raise her GPA and obtain further research experience. Babe received other Ph.D. program offers during the years she applied to graduate schools, but says she “really wanted to come here; the psychology department is so well known. I came to U-M because apart from the unbeatable financial package, I wanted to be amongst a larger student body of African Americans, and the psych program at U-M has the largest number black Ph.D. students next to Howard. I went to UC Berkeley for my undergraduate studies, and my entire time there, didn’t really get to know African American students. As an African American I really need that as a part of my education.”

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