The Graduate School has selected four doctoral candidates and one postdoctoral researcher for the 2020 cohort of the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society’s UW–Madison Chapter.
The Bouchet Society provides scholars with a network of peers who exemplify character, leadership, scholarship, service, and advocacy for those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. Induction into the society is both an individual honor and a welcome into this wider network of like-minded scholars.
The 2020 class of UW–Madison Bouchet scholars will be honored at an induction ceremony Monday, April 6. Read more about the 2020 UW–Madison Bouchet Society inductees, below.
Corri Hamilton is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology at UW–Madison. Her research focuses on how the environment, specifically the xylem, governs pathogenic bacterial-plant interactions, with an emphasis on bacterial metabolism and host resistance. This work elucidates the problems of food insecurity caused by bacterial wilt disease in the tropical highlands. Along with plant pathology, Corri pursues scholarship in teaching. She is passionate about being a professor leading an undergraduate-driven research lab, aligning with her dedication to improving student access to research experiences and the process of science. She has taken a scholarly approach to teaching within her field. This work includes publishing peer-reviewed course materials.
During her time at UW–Madison, Corri has welcomed the challenge of promoting diversity and inclusivity. She serves as Vice Chair of an outreach organization called “What’s Eating My Plants” which attends at least two events per month serving K-12 students. She is a mentor for the PEOPLE program, a pre-college pipeline for students of color and low-income students; BioHouse, a first-year living-learning community for biology undergraduates; and two graduate student peer mentoring programs. She is also a part-time instructor at Madison College at the south campus, which primarily serves underrepresented students. In these positions, she creates learning environments that convey that race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, nor sexual orientation limit excellence in STEM.
Jasenia Hartman is a doctoral candidate in the Neuroscience Training Program at UW–Madison. Her research interests include language processing, audiovisual integration, and cochlear implants. She received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Language and Linguistics in 2014 from Brandeis University. She works with Dr. Ruth Litovsky and Dr. Jenny Saffran examining factors that influence word learning in listeners with cochlear implants (CI). Her dissertation assesses whether learning from multiple talkers and receiving audiovisual information could improve word learning outcomes in CI listeners. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Science and Madison Graduate Research Scholarship.
At UW–Madison, Jasenia has been actively involved in the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA) and the Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars program. She continues to work to diversify the STEM field and to advocate for students of color.
Nancy Herrera is doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology program and an Education Graduate Research Scholar. As a first-generation college student, she earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Social Behavior and Chicanx/Latinx Studies from the University of California, Irvine. As an aspiring bilingual psychologist, supporting the mental health and educational success of historically minoritized communities through research and service are her personal and professional passion. She primarily utilizes the psychosociocultural (PSC) framework to conceptualize research on the educational processes and well-being of Latinx high school and college students, the effects intimate partner violence (IPV) and wellness for women of color, and the decolonization and ancestral healing of survivors of trauma. Her dissertation pays homage to Latinas who are both college students and survivors of IPV, through exploring how they thrive through personal, cultural, and historical strengths and wellness, despite their trauma. She recently submitted a clinically-focused paper on the cultural considerations for college mental health professionals to support Latina survivors of trauma, and a chapter that reconceptualizes Selenidad through a higher educational context. As a woman of Mexican decent, scholarly work is her means of advocacy and educational resistance to challenge historical and deficit notions of mental health and working against the ideology to decolonialize the educational processes of Chicanx/Latinx communities.
Nancy’s commitment to serve students manifests in her teaching and leadership roles. For two years, she supported students on academic probation as an instructor and lead for the Academic Enhancement Seminars. In her current role as the co-director of UW–Madison’s Greater University Tutoring Service, she oversees the development and success of academic, language, and study support programs for undergraduate and graduate students. In her third year as a co-director, she also supervises and mentors 16 student staff to assist them in providing quality assistance to the campus community. Finally, she has provided mental health support to underserved students and monolingual Spanish speaking Latinx families in community, college, and medical settings. For the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 academic year she will move to El Paso, Texas, to complete her predoctoral internship at the University of Texas at El Paso, primarily supporting children and college students migrating from Juarez, Mexico.
Dominic J. Ledesma
Dominic J. Ledesma is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis (ELPA). Following the completion of a BA from UW–Madison, he went on to pursue a master’s in translation and interpretation from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (Mexico). His professional identity as a scholar-administrator draws from legal and critical educational research to examine aspects of organizational behavior and culture within predominantly white institutions. His research focuses on the strategic and systemic management of multilingual communication in federally funded activities and the socio-cultural factors that contribute to language-based forms of institutional power and privilege. Dominic is a published translator and recently served as principal investigator on Project Hais Lus: Perspectives on Language Access, Cultural Barriers, and Multilingualism in Wisconsin’s Hmong communities.
Given Ledesma’s expertise on language access policies and practices, and its implications for promoting educational leadership that is equitable and inclusive, ELPA faculty have invited him to share his research and administrative experience with their students in three different courses.
Juan Pablo Ruiz Villalobos, DPhil
Juan Pablo Ruiz Villalobos is a postdoctoral researcher at UW–Madison in the Division of General Internal Medicine. He recently completed his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Oxford University, where he studied the environmental signals important for blood stem cell formation during development. Juan Pablo was trained as a peer supporter by the Oxford University counseling center and has since advocated for systemic and cultural changes to improve the mental health and training environments of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
He has served on a working group for the Next Generation Researchers Initiative at the National Institutes of Health and is currently the president of Future of Research, a nonprofit organization that advocates for, empowers, and champions early career researchers. He is currently doing his postdoctoral research training with Dr. Christine Pfund and Dr. Angela Byars-Winston to study STEM training environments with a focus on underrepresented minority PhD and postdoc training.