Who We Are
Alex Piper (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Alex H. Piper is a 3 rd year, first generation college student, and attends the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently double majoring in Psychology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Originating out of Sacramento, California; Alex was raised by a single mother. She is the youngest of 6 children in her family, 3 rd to graduate high school, and first to attend college.
Alex is on track to graduate UCSC with double degrees Spring of 2019. Thereafter, she intends to enroll into grad school furthering her involvement in Critical Race Psychology with interests in intersectional issues that touch upon Black women's achievement / mental health / social class.
Chinyere Okafor (City University of New York, The Graduate Center)
Chinyere Okafor is a graduate student at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in the critical social/personality psychology program. Her research interests center Black women’s issues, including well-being and mental health within academia, the use of narratives in understanding Black femme struggles, and the spaces Black women traverse, insert, exit, and carve for survival.
Darlene Laboy (City University of New York, Hunter College)
Darlene Laboy is a (hopeful) graduate of CUNY Hunter College with a BA in Anthropology. Having been at the initial event that sparked the UnGuide, she hopes to continue to see it flower and nurture all those who need it. This is a cause especially close to her heart as she aspires to be a high school College Counselor and help students from middle and low income families understand that the future is theirs and can be conquered like all the cheesy children's books promised. This UnGuide is a uniting platform where we can continue to teach and learn as much as we can about our worlds in hopes that one day it will simply be one world.
Emese Ilyes (City University of New York, The Graduate Center)
Shortly after arriving to America as a political refugee at the age of nine, Emese began to imagine a future in this new world that often felt inaccessible and alienating. Through this vantage point as an immigrant, Emese witnessed and felt the corrosive effects of not being seen, not being heard, of not being given a chance to belong. Her academic work continues to explore systems of oppression and exclusion while simultaneously lifting and celebrating spaces of radical possibilities and resistance. The UnGuide is such a space and it has been an honor to be part of the collaborative community dreaming it up.
Tyra Reed (University of Minnesota)
Tyra is expected to graduate from the University of Minnesota in May 2018 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. She plans to pursue nonprofit management and public policy in her future endeavors. With this, she aims to make systemic changes that encourage community education, engagement, and empowerment. Her work with the UnGuide began in 2016, and she is excited to see students use the platform as a tool of empowerment for themselves and other undergraduate students!
Wanqi Yang (University of Minnesota)
Wanqi (Wan Chi) is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She is an international student from China, and she got two BA - Psychology and Sociology from the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. Being the first person in her family who speaks English and navigates a foreign higher education system, she understands what does it mean to be an underrepresented student. While appreciating the uniqueness of each underrepresented student, she believes sharing our stories and finding a common “space” would empower the students and transform the system. Unguide is a “space” like this where students support and inspire each other through sharing our thoughts, feelings, perspectives and much more. By students, for students.
Kia Lor (University of Minnesota)
Kia Lor is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing with a subplan in Information Technology. Kia was born in Thailand and moved to the U.S in 2004. Kia is passionate about making positive changes in her community and what better way to make a statement than to blog for the UnGuide? Kia sees the UnGuide as the perfect space to share her stories and is hopeful that people will be able to gain something from reading her blogs and apply it to their own life.
Tai Do (University of Minnesota)
Tai Do is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. His pronouns are He/Him/His. His work centers around disparities in education, intersecting psychological and sociological antecedents to translational settings such as education. Tai immigrated to the United States from Vietnam at the age of 5. This makes him a 1.5 generation Vietnamese-American, and a first generation college student.
There are many obstacles in the way of successfully navigating higher education for students from underserved backgrounds. This is why Tai deeply believes in the UnGuide, as it stands as a platform for students to share their experiences navigating education with other students to both empower students, connect students together, and pave the way for future student success.