Emerging Scholars Fellowship

Meet the 2019 scholars!

About the Emerging Scholars Fellowship

The Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship, generously supported by the Scattergood Foundation, provides mentorship and funding to select students to complete mental health projects in collaboration with a cohort of peers and national experts in the field.

Select students receive $1,000 to complete projects related to the increase of help-seeking and accessibility of mental health services among any of the following unique student populations: first-generation students, Greek life members, or student athletes.

During the six-month fellowship, scholars will complete their projects, build a peer network, connect professionally with a national mentor, and gain experience distributing their content to the public.

Ryan Flinn
New Mexico State University

Ryan’s research project “Aggies Talk” is examining the impact of stigma and attitudes on peer-to-peer helping behaviors among first-generation students. As a mentee of Dr. Michael Kalkbrenner, Ryan contributed to the dissemination of a new scale which measures the way undergraduate students respond to a college student peer experiencing mental distress on campus. His study will extend this research by examining the influence of stigma and personal attitudes toward mental health help-seeking on responses to peers in distress. Ryan is a PhD student in counseling psychology (anticipated graduation in 2021). His career in research, beginning in his master’s program, has allowed him to work with numerous principal investigators at the University of Michigan, the University of Detroit Mercy, and New Mexico State University.

Rebecca Houston
Utah State University

Rebecca is developing a book called “Begin with Pieces” on creative coping mechanisms based on research and creative writing sessions for first-generation students and student-athletes. Her work has provided her opportunities to train medical and nursing students at Mayo Clinic to integrate creativity into patient care. She recently received the Microsoft Women in Computing Award due to her passion with helping others share their voice. Rebecca is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders and deaf education (anticipated graduation in May 2019). She is currently applying to fine arts graduate programs and hope to continue creative writing therapy and holistic healing with individuals living with mental illness.

Gary Kwok
Adelphi University

Gary’s “A Letter to Future Me” is a digital portal where first-generation students majoring in social work can engage in expressive writing to explore their personal stories based on therapeutic techniques. Gary has had the opportunity to work with many social work and/or first-generation college students in both clinical and academic settings. With his advisor, he conducted a small scale study assessing a new approach to teaching statistics to social work students (called quantitative literacy). They adopted a pragmatic teaching method to explain statistics in order to increase interest/engagement, applicability, and to reduce the fear/anxiety of numbers. As an aspiring faculty and educator whose identities are also first-generation college student and social work/mental health researcher, his goal is to help students to achieve their untapped potentials. Gary is a PhD candidate in social work (anticipated graduation in June 2020).

Mariella Marfori
University of Florida

Mariella is creating a dance performance in efforts to share a personal account on how help-seeking and availability of resources has positively impacted her life. Through the art of choreographic language, she hopes to emotionally connect with first-generation students in order to destigmatize mental illnesses within various cultures. With a B.A in Dance, involvement with the Filipino Student Association, her executive board position in NAMI: A Helping Hand, and her pursuit of become a nursing professional, Mariella’s passions and interests of her undergraduate career at the University of Florida (anticipated graduation in May 2019) have all helped pave the way for her journey of becoming a mental health advocate.

Hannah Levy
Washington State University

Hannah is developing “Unguarded,” a documentary dance inspired by interviews with student athletes on help-seeking and accessibility barriers to mental health services. She studied psychology with a minor in dance and performance studies as an undergraduate at Stanford University. She served as committee head of Cardinal Resilence, Health, and Emotional Development (RHED) of student-athletes and created and produces GameFACES, an event featuring student-athlete speakers across Stanford’s 36 varsity sports and their mental health stories. For her work, she received the 2018 Spirit of Stanford Award, 2018 Louis Sudler Prize in the Performing and Creative Arts, 2018 Award of Excellence, and 2017 Cardinal Award. Hannah is a doctoral student in clinical psychology (anticipated graduation in 2024) with the hopes of pursuing clinical work with student athletes.

Justine Kim
Northwestern University

2019 Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholar

Justine seeks to develop a campus-based policy proposal regarding the accessibility of mental health services and the role of faculty in supporting first-generation and/or Asian American students. Justine’s student experience has been steeped in Northwestern University culture due to her leadership in student government and among cultural organizations on campus. Her academic background in social policy and Asian American studies has also provided her with qualitative and quantitative research knowledge regarding some of the existing problems her communities face. Through this project, Justine hopes to create a comprehensive report regarding the well-being of first-generation Asian American students on campus. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in learning and organizational change and Asian American studies (anticipated graduation in 2019).