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School of Education students receive DFI Fellowship


We are pleased to announce that Sharnequa Hunter and Janese Nolan received the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship (DFI Fellowship)! The Illinois Board of Higher Education developed this fellowship to increase the number of racially minoritized, underrepresented faculty and staff in Illinois colleges and universities. Sharnequa Hunter is a 3rd year doctoral student in the School Psychology program, and Janese Nolan is a dissertator in the Cultural and Educational Policy Studies program. As students in the School of Education, they have both excelled in their studies, served as research assistants, and presented at national conferences. Beyond this, Janese was a co-founder of the the Black Graduate Student Alliance and Sharnequa was an executive board member of this student organization that was created to advance and support the needs of Black graduate students at Loyola. Sharnequa and Janese demonstrate not only a committment to their own academic excellence, but also a deep care for their peers and the larger community. The School of Education community is very proud of Janese and Sharnequa for this significant accomplishment. Congratulations Sharenqua and Janese!

Sharnequa "Nikki" Hunter

"Greetings, my name is Sharnequa "Nikki" Hunter and I'm a doctoral student in the School Psychology program. One of my long-term professional goals is to become a clinical professor in my field with the intention of preparing future school psychologists to be social justice advocates and change agents for all students. Some of my educational and research passions include mental health awareness, equity, social justice, and multicultural competency; as a future clinical professor in school psychology, I hope to teach courses and conduct research within these areas. Receiving the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship award impels my commitment to pursue my career goals. This fellowship award is truly a blessing and I'm beyond grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to the mentorship and support I will receive, the knowledge I will gain, and the connections I will make in this fellowship program." 

Janese Nolan

" Receiving the DFI fellowship has been a game changer for me. The financial support the DFI provides has taken away the pressure of securing funding and allowing me to focus on my publishing and research goals. DFI’s network allows me to build professional relationships that will propel me into future research and faculty life. After completing my PhD, I plan to become faculty in Teacher Education program, while continuing my research on the experiences of Black Female Teachers in K-12 schools.  DFI’s commitment to diversifying faculty at Illinois colleges and Universities aligns with my personal social justice goals and positions me to be able to do that work right here at home."