Director, Peabody Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Doctoral Student, Department of Human and Organizational Development
Program: Community Research and Action
Admission Year: 2011
I am currently a 5th year PhD Student in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the program, I received a BA in Economics from Yale University, and an MBA from Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. After working in the healthcare industry for several years, I became increasingly concerned about the social justice issues that emerged within the Muslim community in the aftermath of 9/11. From both a personal and professional standpoint, I wanted to explore the various ways in which religion and community intersect.
Working with Professor Paul Dokecki, my master’s thesis focuses on the intersection of religious and sexual identity formation of Muslim American youth, while my dissertation research looks at other aspects of the religious identity development for Muslim American youth in the context of widespread negative stereotypes and Islamophobia. Other research projects I have worked on include a mixed-methods study of interfaith organizations, an ethnographic study of classroom discussion in a gender’s study course, and a qualitative study of women’s activism in Nashville. I have also recently joined HDC Professor Carol Nixon as project manager for her grants evaluating HIV/AIDS education for the Southeast AETC and evaluating substance abuse programs for TN Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Additionally, I have completed graduate certificates in Women and Gender’s Studies, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Certificate of College Teaching. I am an active member of both the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities, serving on the boards of the Islamic Center of Nashville, the League of Women Voter’s Nashville chapter, and the Nashville OIC.
After graduating, I hope to continue to research efforts that explore ways in which religious and interfaith organizations can work to alleviate social justice issues within communities, utilizing participatory methods that engage individuals within those organizations.