Student Spotlight

The Anti-Racism and Equity Institute is pleased to recognize the excellent, innovative, and important research conducted by the faculty and students at Kent State University.

Three young women smiling standing together in front of brick wall

Left to right: Kristen DiCresce, Naidi Valverde-Romero, Jacqueline Johnson

In summer 2022, three undergraduate students at Kent State took on major projects alongside faculty members, seeking to identify real solutions to real problems faced by marginalized populations across the country and across the globe. Here are their experiences!

  • Kristen DiCresce is a senior Public Health student assisting Dr. Bethany Lanese with her work evaluating the THRIVE program, a Stark County initiative through Canton City Public Health aimed at reducing the disparity of infant mortality between Black and white babies through the assignment of Community Health Workers. Kristen has gotten the opportunity to assist with the creation of two literature reviews, as well as deciphering and coding interview-data on care quality and the efficacy of CHW intervention. An anti-racist perspective of research pairs nicely with the Public Health idea of p

  • Naidi Valverde-Romero is a senior at Kent State majoring in International Relations and minoring in Chinese. She is currently working with Dr. Sara Koopman through the SURE program on a project archiving blogs that document international protective accompaniment in Colombia. Naidi is also a member of the first cohort of SURE students supported by the Anti-Racism and Equity Institute. The Institute is a research collaborative that advances racial justice through research and scholarship. The research Naidi assisted with over the summer was working to understand the ways in which race, gender

  • Jacqueline Johnson is a second-year aeronautics student working under the guidance of Dr. Stephanie Fussell. This summer, Jacqueline was tasked with learning how to code in order to create virtual backgrounds for virtual reality (VR). Jacqueline's research is on how to better implement VR and simulation into accredited flight training, which could make becoming a pilot/etc/ more attainable for students of color and/or of lower socioeconomic status, in place of traditional instruction. This would also be a good step toward ridding the aviation community of bias and negative perceptions of PO