DISI Undergraduate Fellowship

Program Purpose

The DISI Undergraduate Fellowship is sponsored by the Sanford School Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI). This fellowship provides financial support for two undergraduate students to work on their own independent DISI-related research project. Research projects should contribute to the ongoing goals of DISI, which include reducing prejudice, stereotyping, and exclusion; and supporting inclusion and social engagement, to promote the wellbeing of children, youth and families. At the culmination of their fellowship, students will share their work through a written document and oral presentation.

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  • Participate in the DISI sponsored events and workshops.
  • Participate in a research project alongside Sanford School faculty.
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend per semester for one academic year.
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Program Length

  • Fall 2019 to Spring 2020.
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  • Students with a minimum of sophomore standing.
  • Majoring in Family and Human Development or Sociology.
  • Enrolled as a full-time student during 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Able to commit to full participation in the program (10 hours per week).

How to Apply

To apply for the DISI Undergraduate Fellowship, please complete the online application. The online application will ask you the following:

  • Your career goals
  • Your interest in the program
  • How you will bring diversity to the program
  • Research statement

You will be asked to upload your Faculty Verification Form.

The application deadline is February 15.

If you have any questions or you require additional information, please contact Manuela Jimenez Herrera, Manuela.Jimenez@asu.edu.

2018-2019 Recipients

Kira Olsen-Medina Kira Olsen-Medina

Major: Sociology
Class year: Senior
Awards: Dean's List (Fall 2017, Spring 2018), Chicanos Por La Causa Tomas Espinoza Scholarship, United Nation's Academic Impact Millennium Fellowship, Lincoln Ethics Scholar, School for the Future of Innovation in Society Research Fellowship, ASU Changemaker Civic Engagement Grant, SUPER Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Council for Undergraduate Research Travel Grant, John W Hudson Memorial Award, Davidson Family Foundation Scholarship, Helen Dyar King Award, Lux Undergraduate Creative Review publication, Barrett Art Exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum
DISI Project: Engagement through Art (Examination of service learning art based interventions with underserved youth populations)
Faculty Advisor: Stacie Foster

Born in Phoenix, Kira is a first generation American and mother of two. Kira's passion for teaching evolved from her professional background in teaching chess, she is now engaged with several education/youth related research projects through ASU. Her research interests include studying inequalities broadly, youth interventions, gender, identity/community development, education, social justice, migration and immigration. Kira's academic interest in the arts has been cultivated through independent exploration of the human condition, including a series on DACA students. Kira uses photography as a form of artistic expression to convey challenging societal issues of oppression and inequality. Community volunteer work with organizations like Free Arts Arizona also helped to shape and influence her passion in using art as a tool for positive youth engagement. After graduating from ASU, Kira plans to attend graduate school for Sociology in order to pursue a career in research and academia.

Natasja Thompson Natasja Thompson

Major: Family and Human Development
Minor: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Class year: Senior
Awards: Dean's List (Fall 2015 – Spring 2018)
DISI Project: State-Level School Resource Officer Programs in the United States
Faculty Advisor: Sarah Lindstrom Johnson

Natasja's interest in the interactions between the family and outside institutions is rooted in her own upbringing by immigrant parents in a mixed-race family. Her fascination with the law and the criminal justice system lead her to inquire how institutions in this system can differentially affect various populations, namely youth from racial minority backgrounds. After graduating from ASU, Natasja hopes to work in the legal field and help to transform policy at all levels to better impact our daily lives. In her spare time, Natasja enjoys learning new languages and reading new literature depicting the experiences of diverse populations in the U.S.

2017-2018 Recipients

Eduardo Contreras

Major: Sociology
Minor: Spanish
Class Year: Sophomore
Awards: Chicanos Por La Causa Tomas Espinoza Scholarship (Arizona State University)
DISI Project: The Library Project (evaluation of parent-child school readiness program)
Faculty Advisor: Michelle Taylor

Eduardo was born and raised in West Phoenix. Although he did not grow up in the best of environments, Eduardo refused to become another statistic and let his early experiences dictate his future. To prepare for college, Eduardo worked full-time during his high school years, and Eduardo's status as an undergraduate at ASU attests to the value of that sacrifice. After graduating from ASU, Eduardo hopes to give back to his community by assisting people who experience domestic violence. Eduardo desires to be a voice for the Hispanic community, breaking the silence surrounding domestic violence and addressing its effects. In his spare time, Eduardo enjoys traveling and watching baseball.

Kandice D. Marrero

Major: Family and Human Development
Minor: Global Health
Class Year: Senior
Awards: Dean's List (Fall 2016, Spring 2017); Follett Scholarship (Rio Salado College); Ruth Everman
Memorial Scholarship (Rio Salado College)
DISI Project: Poetry within Arizona's Early Intervention Preschool Program
Faculty Advisor: Krista Puruhito

Kandice's interest in families and their functioning within social systems started with the creation of her own family. Through events in her children's development, Kandice met families who encouraged her to explore the unequal access to services experienced by those who are disadvantaged and underrepresented. While volunteering in a preschool classroom for children who have special needs, Kandice was motivated to teach diverse topics within an often-neglected educational opportunity. Her experiences and studies have inspired Kandice to advocate for change and apply her understanding of diverse populations to all aspects of her life. An aspiring Occupational Therapist, Kandice strives to address obstacles faced by underserved communities while raising awareness of the inequalities experienced by many people. When Kandice is not working to help her community, she enjoys practicing new cooking skills, learning to speak Spanish, and traveling with her spouse and children.

In the News

August 24, 2018  |  Sanford School senior named a Millennium Fellow

In April 2018, the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network launched the Millennium Fellowship. The selective fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that convenes, challenges and celebrates student leadership for U.N. goals. Over three months, students applied from 285 campuses across 57 nations. Only 11 percent of the campuses were selected to host fellows in the global pilot this fall, and Arizona State University was among them. Representing ASU's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is sociology senior and Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI) fellow Kira Olsen-Medina. Not only a first-generation college student, Olsen-Medina is also a first-generation American (her mother is an immigrant from Mexico). In addition to her course work here at ASU, she is currently working as a research assistant in two funded research projects — the Equity in Engineering Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, and the Teacher Experiences Across Subjects Project, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, among many other on-campus initiatives.

ASU sociology senior awarded Millennium Fellowship

Contact Us

If you have any questions or if you need additional information about the DISI Undergraduate Fellowship, please contact Manuela Jimenez Herrera, Manuela.Jimenez@asu.edu