The Diversity Fellows program under the Access, Diversity and Inclusion team at the Graduate School has gone through much evolution over the years. Throughout it all, the most consistent fixtures are the graduate students who are dedicated to enhancing a supportive community for grad students alike. In collaboration with campus partners, Diversity Fellows have gone beyond supporting others, emerging as leaders within their departments and among their peers.
Over the past two years, the ADI team has worked closely with Diversity Fellows from all disciplines, including History, Astrophysics, EEB, MolBio, Psychology, and Sociology. Many of the Diversity Fellows have also taken on roles as student organization leaders, heading up affinity groups such as LGSA, IQI, BGC, and GWCC. Some fellows have even spearheaded programs in nearby Philadelphia and New York City in order to maintain the Princeton community connectedness.
For the 20-21 academic year, the ADI team will welcome back three fellows; Chris Tokita and Erin Flowers, both for their 3rd year with the team, and Chelsey Clark, who will serve for a second year.
Chris Tokita, a G4 in EEB, who has served as our GSP Fellow and organized programs such as the signature Sip and See Museum Tour, will be taking on the role of Head Diversity Fellow this coming academic year. Chris’s profound creativity and dedication to his peers makes him a valuable asset as a leader among the Diversity Fellows.
Erin Flowers, a G3 in Astrophysics, who relocated to New York city over the past semester, will continue to support students on campus through recruitment, the Prison Teaching Initiative, and as President of Intersecting Queer Identities. In her Diversity Fellow role, Erin looks forward to maintaining a remote community for other Princeton grads residing in or near New York City.
Returning for a second year with the Diversity Fellows, Chelsey Clark, a G2 in Psychology, has been dedicated to creating an empowering space for women of color in their academic, professional, and personal development roles. Chelsey’s signature event, a Yoga Retreat in the Catskill Mountains, was sadly postponed this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this minor setback, Chelsey is looking forward to maintaining a positive and healthy environment through her novel self-care focused programs.
This academic year, the ADI team will welcome five new diverse and creative fellows.
Our first fellow brings her seasoned dynamic leadership experience to the team. Annabel Lemma, a fourth-year in CBE, has already served in several leadership roles over the years, including her most recent work as a Professional Development Associate with the Grad FUTURES team. Annabel brings a passion for teaching and mentoring, and looks forward to applying her skills in order to foster an inclusive teaching environment here at Princeton. And with a number of administrative partnerships under her belt, Annabel looks forward to continuing to find ways to partner with programs such as SIFP, the McGraw Center, and GradFUTURES in order to further develop programs for underrepresented populations.
Mélena Laudig, a G1 from the department of Religion, is a GSP alum who brings a dynamic background to the Fellow's team. With community being a key contributing factor to her own success, Mélena is dedicated to creating a space in which students can feel at home while at Princeton. Through her own experiences, Mélena has an appreciation for the value of being engaged with her peers, and looks forward to collaboratively fostering a space where other grads can feel empowered to know that their perspectives, backgrounds, and voices matter.
Also joining the Diversity Fellows from the Music department is fourth-year graduate student, Mumbua Kioko. Mumbua brings a uniquely creative perspective to developing and fostering community on campus. A personal goal of Mumbua’s is to help facilitate the spirit of diversity and inclusion through active engagement, and she hopes to “foster a synergistic approach to cultural awareness through showcasing the beauty of pluralism.” As a Diversity Fellow, Mumbua looks forward to partnering with campus centers such as the LGBT Center and CPS/UHS in order to promote inclusion and awareness among various populations.
Another addition to the Diversity Fellows team for the 20-21 academic year is Philmon Haile, a second year in Woodrow Wilson’s MPA program. While Philmon’s research has led him to focus on international studies, he possesses an overall passion for service that stems from his dynamic upbringing. Bringing precision, clarity, and tenacity to the Diversity Fellows team, Philmon looks forward to developing strategic programs to enhance the holistic experience of historically underrepresented graduate students. A former Fulbright Fellow, Philmon also brings experience working with the SIFP program, and he currently serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Representative for the Woodrow Wilson’s graduate student government.
This year the ADI Team has also created a signature GSP Fellow position to engage with the first-year community and those who’ve participated in the GSP program in the past two years. Courtney DelPo, a G2 in the department of Chemistry, a member of the inaugural GSP 2018-19 cohort and current GSP Peer Mentor will serve as the first GSP Fellow. Courtney has been engaged with the ADI team since arriving to campus in 2018, and has been dedicated to recruitment and diversifying the academic climate within her department. Courtney’s experiences as a part of the first Grad Scholars program cohort, and as serving as a mentor to the incoming cohort, gives her a profound insight into how to bet support first year graduate students. Courtney is looking forward to further developing the GSP community and promoting an overall inclusive and supportive environment among her peers.
As invaluable members to the ADI team, the Diversity Fellows continue to develop supportive and creative programs that maintain a community among graduate students. Associate Dean Renita Miller states, “The Diversity Fellows are amazing graduate students who want to serve the graduate student community in such incredible ways. Working with them is one of the best parts of my job. This year’s cohort will bring a diverse group of graduate students from various backgrounds but they also bring such warmth, compassion, and innovative ideas…I am looking forward to working with them!”