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Meet Our Editorial Board

Maija Brown

Maija Brown, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director of Transition and Retention in the Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO). In that capacity, she has the privilege of leading the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) and the Summer Institute, both signature programs of the GSDO that center the experiences of DOVE Fellows, Native graduate students and students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). She is proud to work alongside the SPARK Editorial Board, SPARK contributors, and Graduate School staff who are committed to bringing to life the mission of SPARK by amplifying the research, experiences, and voices of COSP Scholars. 

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John Dieck

John Dieck is from sunny South Florida. He has a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Stetson University. At UMN, he is a Ph.D. candidate in History, with a focus on modern North Africa. Before entering the doctoral program, he worked as a language teacher both in the U.S. and abroad. His dissertation research has taken him to France, Spain, and Morocco. One of his professional goals is to increase BIPOC college students’ access to international education opportunities. He is excited to help the UMN’s BIPOC community in an innovative way through working with SPARK

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Sean Cameron Golden

Sean Cameron Golden is a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum and Instruction where he studies fugitive literacies and the radical tradition of Black teaching. He is passionate about creating liberatory classroom spaces that focus on humanizing marginalized beings through (re)story and storytelling methods using various modalities. Sean is a 2023-2024 winner of the university’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and a recipient of the COSP Diversity Predoctoral Teaching Fellowship. Along with Black forms of storywork, Sean is also interested in Children’s and Young Adult literature and texts, and how these stories feature queer kids and holistic beings. Currently, his favorite cartoon is Craig of the Creek (but before that it was Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts…his favorite cartoons are always subject to change). 

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Sunga Kufeyani

Sunga Kufeyani is a program design and learning professional passionate about human rights, plants, community centered design, and engagement in education, especially in marginalized (rural) communities experiencing poverty. She is a co-founder of a non-profit called Loving Arms, which works in education development in central Malawi. Sunga is from Malawi (Southern Africa) and doing a Ph.D. in Comparative International Development Education. 

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Teresa Mccarrell

Teresa Mccarrell is a first-generation doctoral student in her third year in the Plant and Microbial Department at the University of Minnesota, as well as a recipient of the NSF-GRFP fellowship. She previously obtained her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Cell and Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University. She is fascinated by microbes living in extreme environments, and the potential for life on other planets (astrobiology). Teresa hopes to inform and inspire both the general public and future scientists with science communication and art.

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Antavia Paredes-Beaulieu

Antavia Paredes-Beaulieu descends from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and grew up in South Minneapolis. She earned her associates degree at Minneapolis College as a Power of You scholar. She continued her studies in chemistry at Metro State University as an Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers Fellow, as well as abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico as a Gilman International Scholar. Antavia is a Ph.D. student in chemistry at the University of Minnesota where she has helped teach undergraduate analytical chemistry labs and spent time researching and synthesizing porous nanoparticles for PFAS phytoremediation as a 3M Science and Technology Fellow. Antavia is the Lead Green Tech STEM instructor at MIGIZI in South Minneapolis.

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