Current Scholars

Current Holmes Scholars

Loukisha Anderson

Loukisha Anderson is a doctoral student studying Higher Education & Student Affairs at Indiana University – Bloomington. She received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development from Ball State University. Loukisha is an alumna of Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), having earned bachelor degrees in both Psychology and Sociology. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Loukisha served as Assistant Director of Student Development (IUPUI), Assistant Director of Student Success and Retention (Ivy Tech Community College), and Instructor for First Year Experience courses. She is currently an Associate Instructor, supporting the student development and retention of Hudson & Holland Scholars. Loukisha’s research interests include traditionally underrepresented students’ retention, persistence, and success, mentoring experiences of Black women in higher education, and wellness experiences of Black women pursuing higher education at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Loukisha’s career goals include conducting education research and becoming a professor.


Chelsea Brinda

Chelsea Brinda is a doctoral student at Indiana University, Bloomington in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies. In addition to her role as a student, she serves as an Associate Instructor for the undergraduate course “Teaching in a Pluralistic Society.” Before attending IU, Chelsea taught middle/high school choir and music theory in Northwest Indiana. During her tenure, she aimed to expand her students’ cultural competency through the study and performance of folk music from around the world.

Additionally, Chelsea obtained master’s degrees in Music Theory and Music Education from IU. Her masters thesis focused on high school choral teachers’ perceptions of how teacher evaluation is implemented and applied in their classrooms. It is because of this research and her own experience teaching that she wishes to continue studying teacher evaluation and its drawbacks as an accountability measure. Chelsea is originally from Orlando, Florida and obtained bachelor's degrees in Music Theory and Music Education from the University of Florida.


Aaminah Long

Aaminah Long (she/her) is a current Ph.D. student studying Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University – Bloomington. She received her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. Her primary research interests center on the relationship between diversity efforts at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and functions of antiBlackness. With her formal studies, Aaminah hopes to critically evaluate the higher education sector and its role in regulating social stratification and more. Much of her work is informed by her experiences witnessing the impact of the opportunity gap while growing up in a predominantly Black and working-class neighborhood in Chicago. Ultimately, one of Aaminah’s career goals is to become a director of a research center on campus that investigates access, race, and inclusion issues.


Brandi Loving

Brandi Loving (she/her/hers/they/them) is a Black, queer femme currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Indiana University - Bloomington in the History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education Ph.D. program. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Brandi is doing her best to adjust to grad school life during the COVID-19 pandemic and what many have referred to as the "racial pandemic." Brandi is in her first year in the program and hopes to move into a professoriate position or a nonprofit position after graduation. Her primary focus is to find a career where she can stay true to her values and aid in dismantling systemic oppression.

Brandi graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Mary's University, where she received her B.A. in English and Psychology, researching Hispanic Serving Institutions, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Thought, and racism and language. She hopes to continue exploring similar topics throughout her time at Indiana University - Bloomington. Alongside faculty, she hopes to continue looking at intersectional oppression in education and other related ideas. As a McNair scholar, Brandi is excited to immerse herself in the doctoral experience.


Courtney Orr

Courtney Orr is a doctoral student at Indiana University- Bloomington studying Special Education with a minor in brain science. Her research interest includes combining intellectual disabilities, neuroscience, and technology to increase learning out comes for students. She is a part of the Holmes Scholar Cohort group at Indiana University for the 20-21 school year. Currently she is collaborating with Dr. O’Neal’s research for assistive technology in inclusive settings and her research with racial justices. She also works with Dr. Hurwitz on her research on students with Autism. Formally, she was a teacher for students with intellectual disabilities in North Carolina, department chair and social emotional learning co-chair. Courtney’s career goals include continuing research and becoming a professor. Though her focus is currently on completing her PhD, she makes sure to make time to visit her former students when possible as they serve as her motivation and passion to continue in the special education field.


Jessica Staten

Jessica Staten (she/her) is a Ph.D. student at Indiana University studying Higher Education. She received her MA in Organizational Communication and BFA in Performing Arts from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Jessica has worked in higher education for 15 years to assist marginalized populations to degree completion. Her research interests include academic advising; supplemental instruction and education; retention, persistence, and attrition; and enrollment management. Currently, Jessica serves Indiana University in the full-time role of Director of Advising for Students in Transition and Advisor Professional Development. Upon completing this degree, Jessica hopes to obtain an executive-level administrative position.

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