Meet the 2022-2023 C+V Graduate Fellows

Marji Karish headshot

Marji Karish is a doctoral student and Adjunct Professor within the Department of Communication Studies. She currently teaches courses for undergraduates interested in creating projects within an inclusive environment. (Learn more here: Langar@DU) With 30+ years of experience in leadership, business ownership, product development, and marketing, Marji is inspired to offer unifying structures within a society where division and divide seem to dominate the public discourse. During her spare time, Marji enjoys travel with her family, discovering new adventures, and supporting others along their path. 

Students are invited to register in Spring quarter 2023 for COMN 2040: Inclusive Community! Course will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00 - 2:00 pm.

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Kadijha Kuanda headshot

Kadijha Kuanda recently graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA and is looking forward to moving to Denver and earning a Master’s in International Human Rights at DU. Prior to DU, she has been involved with a variety of cultural and minority groups on campus to build a safe, supporting, equitable, and just community for all, which is why she is especially excited to join the C+V Initiative and Team. Besides that, and as an International student from Germany, she is thrilled to finally ski again.  

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Hibah Ahmad headshot

Lindsey Mandolini is completing her MA in International Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, specializing in International Human Rights and Disability Studies. Lindsey grew up in West Michigan, where she taught special education for 10 years and served as the program director for a grassroots organization that works with people with developmental disabilities. Lindsey is dedicated to advancing accessibility and inclusion in international relations. Lindsey enjoys listening to podcasts, playing pickleball, and planning adventures with her wife and daughter. She is grateful for the opportunity to engage in rich conversations and promote a sense of belonging for everyone at DU through the C+V Initiative. 

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Vanessa McWhirt headshot

Vanessa McWhirt (she/her/they) was born and raised in Colorado and hasn't left. She has been in higher education since 2013 in student-facing roles. Vanessa is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Higher Education, and her dissertation research is on staff retention and engagement. Vanessa has a huge passion for staff engagement and wants staff voices to be heard, valued, and respected. She is beyond thrilled to be a part of the Community + Values team! When she is not studying, you can find her taking photos throughout Colorado. She even won the Red Rocks Amphitheater photography contest and her winning photo hangs up in the Visitor’s Center.   

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Kim-Chi Pham headshot

Kim-Chi Pham is currently a doctoral candidate working towards her PhD in Developmental Psychology. Before moving to Denver, she lived in Phoenix where she earned her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies (emphasis on Religion and Conflict) at Arizona State University. Kim-Chi’s research interests center on how macrosystems affect individual development; specifically, how structural disparities across race and socioeconomic status influence individual outcomes. As a graduate student, she aspires to collaborate with legislators to inform policy and affect systemic change. Outside of work, Kim-Chi enjoys cooking, dancing, traveling, and karaoke with friends. 

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