Adebiyi Jelili Adegboyega, otherwise known as ‘Gana’ is a final year system dynamicist dual degree doctoral student in Community Sustainability and Environmental Science Policy (ESPP), with a broad specialization focus on international development, sustainable agri-food systems, decision-science, gender, and the environment. Gana is also enrolled in three different doctoral certification specialization programs, to help acquire advanced cross-disciplinary tools and deepen his capability to undertake and lead sustainability-informed applied research, policies, and development efforts. These are Ecological Foods and Farming Systems (EFFS); Gender, Justice and Environmental Change (GJCEN); International Development. Gana’s current research is on the adoption and livelihoods impacts of organic farming on smallholder farmers in Ibadan Oyo State Nigeria.
Gana won the Maiden edition of MSU Outstanding Doctoral Mentor award in 2017 and has been involved in development research work in different African countries, including, Mali, Malawi, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. He also collaborated with the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), and some stakeholders in Africa organics, to do a research, which culminated into a policy paper, which mapped issues on financing organic agriculture in Africa. He was selected and inducted as of the eleven 2017-2018 AIARD Future Leaders in International Agriculture (FLF) and Rural Development. Fellow FLFers elected Gana to sit on the Board of Directors of the AIARD, an international agricultural association now headed by Dr. Gretchen of MSU’s Center for Global Connection.
Christian's research focuses on lignin based foam with an emphasis on industry applications. The success of this research will lead to safer work environents, more environmentally friendly products, and cheaper raw materials for producer and end products for consumers. Lignin is a byproduct of the pulp, paper, and bioethanol industries and is present in all woody plants. Polyurethane foams are used in automotive, construction and furniture applications and are currently sourced from toxic raw materials. The objective of my research is to formulate polyurethane foams that replace 100% of these toxic raw materials with bio-based lignin while creating a cost effective product for industry application.
As a Latina in STEM, I strongly believe that being an active and involved leader in the MSU community is crucial to my own professional development. As a graduate student in the Geocognition Research Laboratory (GRL), my research focuses on finding effective ways in which to increase diversity in STEM. My career goal upon completion of my degree is to become a director of an academic or scientific outreach program for underrepresented minority students such as the federal governments Upward Bound or McNair Scholars programs, or similar programs within the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
I have begun taking steps toward these goals by becoming involved in several leadership positions on campus. Since Fall 2016, I have been a part of the executive board for the MSU Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American Students in Science (SACNAS), a national organization “ aimed at fostering the success of underrepresented minorities in STEM”. During this time, I have also served as a volunteer mentor for the MSU Upward Bound program, a national college-prep program, which provides low-income, minority, or first-generation high school students from the Lansing school district, with the resources to graduate high school and attend college
Throughout veterinary and graduate school, I have focused on leveraging my knowledge of science, veterinary medicine, and agriculture to influence policy and legislation. In working with several organizations, I have traveled to Washington, DC to speak with over thirty congressional offices about legislation ranging from reducing student debt to protecting the country against bioterrorism. I find the problem solving associated with legislative affairs fascinating and work with the Michigan and American Veterinary Medical Associations to educate students and veterinarians on the issues impacting our industry. As I graduate from veterinary school in May, I will be continuing my graduate education studying the physiology of endothelial cell growth in cattle. Through this research, I hope to better understand what regulates the regrowth of blood vessels after infection and reveal interventions that can help reduce the severity of disease.
As a dual degree student, I am working towards a PhD in Chemistry as well as a Master of Science in Forensic Science with the ultimate goal of becoming an educator at the college level. While a student at MSU, I have become involved in numerous outreach organizations and events in hopes of inspiring young students to find a passion in science. For the past two summers, I have helped organize and run youth summer camps through the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) office. I will be continuing this work by serving as co-organizer of the CSI camp in summer of 2018, a week-long program for 7th-9th grade students. I am also co-President of the Younger Chemist Committee which provides school science demonstrations and participates in local science events. Our two biggest events are Science Day at Impression Five Science Center which occurs in the fall and Battle of the Chemistry Clubs, a science competition for undergraduate students at universities across the state.
Samuel Luke Tunstall is a PhD candidate in MSU's Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME). He is actively involved in the development of the University's new quantitative literacy courses, MTH 101 and MTH 102, and is passionate about improving the experiences of students in general education mathematics courses. His research centers on numeracy in relation to practices of quantification, specifically as the two come together in contemporary discourses of mathematics for "daily life." Luke is a Board Member of the National Numeracy Network and Chair-Elect of the Mathematical Association of America's Special Interest Group in Quantitative Literacy (SIGMAA QL). His work has been published in outlets such as Numeracy, The Journal of General Education, For the Learning of Mathematics, and Teaching Statistics.
Trina Van Schyndel
Trina Van Schyndel, a doctoral student in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, currently serves in several leadership roles with the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE), an international non-profit organization devoted to promoting research and discussion about service-learning and community engagement. She is a current Board Member, as well as Co-Chair of the Recognitions and Awards Committee and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. She is also the current Chair of the IARSLCE Graduate Student Network (GradSN), which is a growing affiliate community of the association. In 2017, she served as Chair of the GradSN Conference Planning Committee, which provides programming designed for graduate students as part of the annual conference, and she is serving again in this capacity in 2018. The IARSLCE association and annual conference have provided many professional development opportunities for Van Schyndel, and she is honored to now be working to provide similar opportunities for fellow graduate students who come to service-learning and community engagement work from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, professional contexts, and personal and cultural identities.