Emerging Scholars Fellowship

About the Emerging Scholars Fellowship

The Active Minds’ 2020 Emerging Scholars Fellowship is generously supported by the Scattergood Foundation. From January to June 2020, the fellows will conduct research on behalf of Active Minds on the topic of mental health programming/resources in high schools through a literature review, key informant interviews, and surveys/focus groups.

In addition to mentorship from Active Minds, the scholars receive stipends ($1,500 each); two fully-sponsored trips to Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA, over the course of the fellowship; and an additional $250 in reimbursement for research-related expenses.

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.


meet our 2020 scholars

Joey Sheppard

Joey grew up as nomad, and he enjoys creating a home wherever he goes. He loves Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, late-night book reads and long runs at sunset, and hates cold weather, the Zika virus, and dirty dishes. He currently lives in the quaint town of Provo, Utah where he majors in Family Studies and minors in Global Women’s Studies at Brigham Young University. If you are wondering what he plans to do with that degree, don’t worry, he does too. He is considering therapy, education, law, or the Peace Corps, and plans on using his degree to serve others while continuing to travel the world.

Lydia Rankin

Lydia Rankin is an energetic and optimistic person who loves to dance, make people smile and learn new things in her free time. Inspired by her own mental health challenges that began in childhood, she made a commitment to empower and support the holistic development of today’s youth and emerging adults. Towards this end, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Sociology and minor in Communication Studies at Biola University in 2015. After her undergraduate studies, she received her certification as a Mental Health Peer Support Specialist for Transition Age Youth through Loyola Marymount University. Currently, she is working towards her Masters in Student Affairs through Post University. Ultimately, Lydia desires to make a difference in the mental health journeys of students through research, program development and motivational speaking.

MacKenzie Dallenbach

MacKenzie Dallenbach, also known as Mac, is currently in her senior year at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) where she is double majoring in psychology and social work. Her academic research interests include mental health stigma, self-harm across all ages, and suicide. In addition to being an Emerging Scholars Fellow, she is writing her psychology undergraduate thesis and has recently begun her semester-long social work internship. When she is not working at her internship or on research, she spends much of her time with her fiancé (Evan), family and friends, and her cat (Maslow). Her outside academic interests include movies, cats, games with friends, and traveling . . . and a lot of coffee. If anyone is wondering, Maslow was named after Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs.

Brittany Nguyen

Brittany Nguyen (she/hers) is currently a 1st year graduate student pursuing her Master’s of Public Health at San Francisco State University. She identifies as a first generation college student, Vietnamese American, a daughter of refugees, an aspiring public health practitioner, and a mental health advocate. She started to invest in her own mental health during her undergraduate student career when she interned at a prevention and early intervention mental health and wellness program. This experience led Brittany to become very passionate about mental health and the well being of others. Since then, she has served in many capacities to help combat against the stigma on mental health, such as the establishment of a student led and organized inaugural mental health conference at her undergraduate campus, directed and premiered a short film about depression raising mental health awareness at a Vietnamese film festival, and sharing mental health resources with her community. She is very passionate about advancing health equity and hopes to empower and elevate her community to take action on their own health and well being.