Active Minds is proud to announce the 2023 Emerging Scholars Fellowship cohort! This fellowship gives Black, Indigenous, and students of Color (BIPOC) students the opportunity to be mentored by national experts in the mental health field as they complete independent, funded research projects. This year, we chose these six fellows with projects focusing on various topics including the role of art and culture within the field of mental health, promoting anti-racism and health equity, and more. Active Minds is excited to empower our scholars and see how their projects facilitate change and pave the way towards a more inclusive, just society.
Maico Demi B. Aperocho
Dr. Maico Demi Aperocho is presently the Fulbright FLTA Visiting Scholar/Faculty at Gonzaga University’s Department of Modern Languages and Literature in Spokane, WA. He studies courses related to communication and education politics and holds a doctorate in applied linguistics from the University of Mindanao, Philippines. His project will be an applied linguistic study on the role of communication and language in Asians’ fight against discrimination and mental health stigmatization.
Brianna A. Baker
Brianna A. Baker is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her interest broadly includes facilitating authenticity, freedom, and emotional expression through innovation and creation pertaining to diverse Black psychological experiences. Her project, “Liberated Legacies,” will explore transgenerational hope and healing between mothers and daughters within the Black family unit through a creative video campaign.
Jadon A. Demeritte
Jadon A. Demeritte is a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a degree in medical technology and public health at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Jadon’s passions include holistic wellness and bridging the gap between different marginalized identities and mental health. Jadon’s project will explore the mental health of BIPOC individuals who are first-generation college students. Jadon strives to end the silence that surrounds mental health by examining repetitive disparities in her research.
Sandra Gomez (she/her/ella) is a proud Chicana first-generation student from Illinois and Durango, Mexico. She is a third-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Rooted in social justice efforts, collective healing, and her personal narrative, her project will investigate how culturally specific supports influence academic persistence and mental health among Latine undergraduate students. Her project hopes to re-imagine institutions’ approach to supporting Latinx students by affirming, supporting, being inclusive, and responsive to their strengths, needs, and histories.
Tracy Hill is in her final year at Mount San Jacinto Community College. Her project will provide people of color with realistic scenarios and solutions through art and research. Tracy’s hope is to showcase solutions on the stage to stimulate conversations within the African American community.
Dori Hsin-Ju Tung
Dori Hsin-Ju Tung is a third-year art therapy and counseling student at the School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC). Her project explores how East Asian and East Asian American women navigate their race and gender identities through their choice of garments in the United States. She will be developing an art-making workshop designed to prompt discussion around the interplay of race, gender, and culture from the perspectives of East Asian/American women, including the underlying origins and impact of racialized femininity of East Asian/Americans.