Meet our alumni
Kiren currently works at University of Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and before that at Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute. Since graduating from the GSW Program, she has worked to apply the theoretical frameworks acquired during her undergraduate studies to her work as a research specialist. As an undergrad, Kiren paired her GSW degree with psychology to help her better understanding that no one specific facet or intersection of a person’s identity captures the whole of a lifetime. Seeing the individual’s lifespan as intersectional has informed every research project she chooses to work on. In the applied context of her work, thinking critically about the unique vulnerability of populations and barriers to participation has paid dividends for recruitment and retention; elements without which human subjects research is unsustainable. Kiren has worked on research projects ranging from the gender differences in emotional socialization of toddlers to working on a 22-site observational project studying the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases falling under the (FTLD) dementia spectrum.
Sadia is a staff attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. She works on the Unaccompanied Minors Program providing pro bono legal representation to children on their immigration cases, assisting primarily with asylum applications. Before taking her current role, Sadia volunteered for many non-profit organizations, such as Zaman International, Summer in the City and Hamtramck Odyssey Program for Excellence. Sadia is passionate about advocating and telling the stories of marginalized communities, especially those of immigrants. Her GSW training has been an essential asset in her work.
Since graduating with a double major in GSW and English, Colleen earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State. After completing her MLIS, she went on to briefly work as a Youth Services Librarian at the White Lake Library. Colleen now works as a Teen Services Librarian at the Plymouth District Library, a public library focused on serving the needs of the community. At Plymouth District Library, Colleen’s duties include programming for teens, collection development, social media, and reference assistance. She uses the analytical skills and social awareness she fostered during her GSW studies to shape her work with youth, particularly in supporting LGBTQ+ teens. She has created a book club focused on queer literature, assisted in diversity audits of all purchases for the collection, and is fostering relationships with local student organizations to better address their needs.
Mary works at the Immigrant Welcome Center in Indianapolis, whose mission is to ensure all immigrants in Indiana thrive by offering programs that range from English and citizenship classes to advocacy and resources. As the center’s development manager, Mary works with individual and corporate donors, plans fundraisers and helps write grants and reports. Prior to her work with the Immigrant Welcome Center, Mary volunteered with a sexual assault and domestic violence crisis line in Oregon and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. In May 2022, Mary graduated from the O’Neil School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University with a Master’s in Public Affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management and focus on international development. Mary loved her time in the GSW program and learned so much about herself. Ultimately, her degree helped her find her path in life.
Kajun serves as House Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois College House at the University of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for supporting the program operations, student engagement, and academic advising structures within the college house. After earning her GSW degree, Kajun traveled to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to earn an M.Ed. in Higher Education. From there, she joined Harvard University as a Program Manager with the Graduate Commons Program. She aims to continue her education, focusing on trends of advocacy and political development, inclusive campus communities, and social mobility.
Since graduating from the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program in 2015, Chloe has remained on and near WSU’s campus serving the Detroit community. Chloe immediately started utilizing her degree by working at the Detroit Planned Parenthood as a medical assistant and then as the clinic supervisor. Chloe has a passion for reproductive, racial and economic justice that led her to sign up for Doing Our Own Work, an antiracist seminar for white people that took place at Wayne State University. This training inspired her to return to WSU as an employee and she began working for Warrior Way Back, a first-of-its-kind college debt forgiveness program that seeks to remove barriers to allow students to pursue their bachelor’s degree. After a brief stint as an electrician apprentice, Chloe is back at WSU as the adult learner liaison, serving as an advocate for non-traditional students.
Destiney currently works for gener8tor, a nationally ranked investment firm. At gener8tor, she is the program manager of the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator. The 12-week accelerator program invests $100k into ten companies per year that are high-growth startups founded by black entrepreneurs. Before her current role, Destiney worked with Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association and Brilliant Detroit (Martin Park hub) on maternal-child wellness. During that time, she also became a community-based doula, lactation counselor, and a midwife assistant (homebirth) at Mosaic Midwife Collective. In undergraduate, as homage to her beloved work in GSW and African American Studies, she pioneered “cultured diaper,” her handmade cloth diaper featuring African-inspired textiles. Through the years, her diapers have been recognized in the Detroit Free Press, received The Spirit of Detroit Award, and became a “legacy of innovation” for Birthright AFRICA’s inaugural “The Black Highway” cohort (Accra, Ghana Africa).
Tobi is currently an Early Intervention Specialist at Corktown Health, providing moderate case management services for persons living with HIV. They assist clients with obtaining health insurance, securing food assistance, and helping to link them with medical care.
Tobi graduated with a double major in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. They are currently working on a Master of Social Work degree at Wayne State, with the goal of being a therapist, specializing in working with the queer and transgender communities.