Changemakers: Student Profiles in Excellence

Changemaker student in lab

Changemakers: Student Profiles in Excellence

Meet the Howard graduate students that are changing the world for the better. In every discipline and industry, you will find a Bison who is a leading scholar in their field and who is harnessing the power of collaboration, research, and visionary leadership to create enduring change on a local and global scale. Read below to learn what motivates some of our talented graduate students and what inspires their pathbreaking research and work. 


Ashleigh Brown-Grier


Ashleigh Brown-Grier
Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies

Black Enterprise, NewsOne, Diverse Magazine, and Hot 97 recently featured Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. candidate Ashleigh Brown-Grier, who landed the 2022 Fulbright U.S Student Award. For the 2022-2023 academic year, Brown-Grier will spend nine months in South Africa as a Fulbright Student studying Black higher ed institutions and looking at apartheid-era inequities and impacts faced during COVID-19. Brown-Grier is no stranger to the Fulbright; this is her second award. In 2017, she spent ten months in Malaysia as a Fulbright English teaching assistant. Brown-Grier was named a 2022 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader for her notable engagement with the Fulbright Program. She is the founder and director of iHBCUx, which raises awareness among HBCU students of government-funded international exchange opportunities. She is a former Ernest E. Just-Percy L. Julian Scholar.

Jennifer Early


Jennifer Early
MPH/MSW candidate 

MPH/MSW joint degree candidate Jennifer Early has been selected as a 2022 Minerva Scholar. The Minerva Scholarship program was established by Women in California Leadership to support the advancement of women. She has also been named a 2022 Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow. The Harris Fellowship, named in honor of Howard alumna Patricia R. Harris and administered through the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, is a one-year program designed to provide students interested in public affairs careers the unique opportunity to gain mentorship from an accomplished public affairs professional. A California native, Early earned her BA  in Africana studies from San Francisco State University and shortly after served as an Americorps VISTA fellow in Oakland public schools, supporting youth through mentorship, colleague readiness, and truancy reduction in the Bay Area. Early is entering her second year of the dual degree master’s program in public health and social work, with a concentration in community, administration, and policy. 

Christine Kindler, Ph.D. Candidate


Christine Kindler
Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology 

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. candidate Christine Kindler is already on her way to a distinguished career committed to helping interrupt the intergenerational transmission of trauma in conflict and post-conflict settings through community-based interventions. She has been named a Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellow by the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) for her dissertation “Peace Conversation Circles: Promoting Agonistic Historical Dialogue in Post-Genocide Rwanda.” The project focuses on the development and efficacy of locally led, semi-structured dialogues between older adults who experienced the genocide and subsequent generations of Rwandan youth.  Before heading to Howard, Kindler completed her MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University and earned her BA in History from the University of Kentucky. 

Felipe Juan


Felipe Juan 
Ph.D. candidate in Economics 

Labor Economics Ph.D. candidate Felipe Juan has been named one of two inaugural Kilolo Kijakazi Fellows by the National Academy of Social Insurance. The Kijakazi Fellowship, established in 2022 in honor of Kilolo Kijakazi, the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, seeks to continue that legacy and cultivate the careers of emerging policy scholars whose work addresses racial and gender wealth gaps. Juan's research focuses on racial disparities in the U.S. unemployment insurance system. He also studies the effects of student loan deferment on housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the relationship between wealth building, economic mobility, and student debt among first-generation college graduates. He received his MA in International Political Economy from The University of Texas at Dallas and his BA in Economics from St. John's University. Juan is also a former Ernest E. Just-Percy L. Julian Fellow. 

Dana McCalla


Dana J. McCalla
Ph.D. candidate in Sociology 

Sociology Ph.D. candidate Dana J. McCalla was one of seven Ph.D. students selected to present her research entitled, "Changing Course: Black Immigrant Career Pathways and their Implications" at the 18th Annual Yale Bouchet Conference. She was also accepted to the American Institute of Research's pilot ENGAGE mentoring program for the 2021-2022 academic year and named a Howard Graduate School Just Julian Scholar for 2022-2023. McCalla's research examines the social, political, and health pathways of black immigrants and their children in the U.S. McCalla serves on the executive board of the Organization of Graduate Sociologists. She is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Social Sciences and a member of Alpha Kappa Delta. She holds an MA in Sociology from Howard and BA in Cultural Anthropology from Ithaca College.