Past Team Members

Carson Dudick (Class of 2020)

Carson graduated with majors in History and Human Rights on the Public Policy Track with minors in Law and Legal Reasoning and Women’s and Gender Studies. During her second semester, she took part in Dr. Jill Kelly’s class on Oral History, starting her work with the “Voices of SMU Oral History Project.” She continued to work for the project as an Undergraduate and Summer Research Assistant. She completed an internship with the SMU University Archives in hopes of establishing a Texas State Historical Marker to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in 1966 on SMU’s campus.

Sadiya Patel (Class of 2020)

Sadiya majored in Human Rights and International Studies (concentration in Asia) with minors in History and Political Science. A first-generation student and a proud community college graduate, she has actively participated in numerous campus and community organizations while conducting research as an undergraduate scholar. Sadiya became a Human Rights Fellow and drafted a sexual assault curriculum for faith-based institutions in DFW. She was also a McNair Scholar which provided her the opportunity to research issues in India’s society. For example, she investigated topics like India’s violence against women laws and flaws in the country’s judiciary and law enforcements systems. Moreover, the research focused on how the latter policies were enforced in rural areas.When not researching or community organizing, she enjoys traveling, protesting, scrolling on Instagram, watching cute animal videos, eating noodles, obsessing over her 7 cats and watching Asian dramas.

David Hu (Class of 2022)

David is from Vancouver, Canada and attended SMU between 2019 and 2020. He sought degrees in Computer Science and Economics with minors in History and Math. He focused on promoting equality and inclusivity on campus by working for Voices of SMU. In addition to working on this project, David was a contributor to SMU Hilltopics, the Honors Program’s student-run magazine. As an O’Neil Center Advanced Reading Group participant, he engaged in weekly discussions on democracy, public policy, and economics.

Laurence Lundy (Class of 2021)

Laurence Lundy is from Plano, TX and majored in History and Journalism. He became a part of the Voices of SMU program to help record and understand the stories of minority students on campus and make SMU a healthier community. As an undergraduate research assistant, he worked to make Voices of SMU include consistent dialogue from within the student body at large to facilitate better understanding of the disparate experiences of minority students on campus. Laurence was a resident of the SMU Service House and worked in the surrounding community. He currently works with Nia Kamau in the Champions Mentorship Program, aiming to provide underprivileged youth with a firm foundation both spiritually and intellectually. In his free time, Laurence reads, writes, and works to become a better scholar to pursue a career in either civil rights law or journalism.

Sriya Reddy (Class of 2021)

Sriya is from Plano, TX and majored in Journalism, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, and History. She joined the Voices of SMU team to learn oral history methods and to help diversify SMU’s archives. Sriya is interested in the effect of representation on the student body and how SMU can support their students of color. Aside from being an undergraduate research assistant with Voices of SMU, Sriya was also the Engagement Editor for the Daily Campus and as well as an intern at The Dallas Morning News. She also participated in the SMU-in-Oxford Program as a student and a Program Assistant. In her free time, Sriya likes to journal, listen to NPR podcasts, and volunteer at community gardens. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism where she can focus on undercovered local issues.

India Simmons (Class of 2020)

India graduated with majors in Human Rights, International Studies, Political Science, and minors in History, Arabic, and Women & Gender Studies. As a Black Latina who grew up in a Puerto Rican household, issues of race, class, and gender are incredibly important to her. She views nearly all issues through a postcolonial lens, and her next step is pursuing her Masters in International Affairs, and ultimately obtaining her PhD. Her research interests revolve around transnational linkages (based upon anti-imperial endeavors in different global contexts); Global South relations; connections between domestic minority politics and remnants of imperialism; and argues largely for transnational racial solidarity as a potential means to liberation from neocolonialism. But most importantly, India is a compassionate mother to two cats, roughly 76 indoor plants, and the pair of bunnies that like to play tag around her apartment.

Nia Kamau (Class of 2022)

Nia is from Little Elm, TX and earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Rights and International Studies with minors in Economics, Public Policy and International Affairs, and Arabic. As an undergraduate research assistant for Voices of SMU, Nia conducted interviews of and research on SMU alumni, focusing on how SMU can improve in the areas of diversity and inclusivity. At SMU, Nia was an Honors Scholar, a Student Worker for the SMU Human Rights Program, and a 2020-2021 Residential Assistant. In Dallas, Nia co-directed the Champions Mentorship Program, which mobilizes college students to empower underprivileged youth with the tools to pursue higher education.

Abby Herrera (Class of 2024)

Abby is a Freshman from Springdale, Arkansas and is majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Law and Legal Reasoning. She also intends to apply for the selective Health and Society major in the fall. As an undergraduate research assistant for Voices of SMU, Abby hopes to transform campus culture by sharing the stories of underrepresented, yet overachieving SMU alumni. She is passionate about highlighting the outstanding Latinx history of SMU to grow the Latinx population on campus in years to come. At SMU, Abby is the Mary-Hay, Peyton, Shuttles Commons Council Freshman Chair, Student Worker Lead at the newly renovated Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Rotunda Scholar, and 2020 Elect Her Conference alumni. In AK, she is a Pharmacy Clerk at the Springdale Community Pharmacy. In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with animals and reading books about America’s healthcare system.

Ruth Demissie (Class of 2022)
Ruth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Psychology with a minor in Health Science. As an undergraduate research assistant, Ruth helped students of color who are having challenges finding their place on campus. Ruth observes differences between transfer students and incoming freshmen and how this shapes a student’s experience for the remainder of their SMU career. She is also interested in seeing how the university can meet students where they are at. Ruth worked with Residence Life and Student Housing as an ambassador and sat on the Young Ethiopian Ambassadors Committee that serves under the Mutual Assistance Association for Ethiopian Community. In her free time, she loves to read, paint, and attempts to learn Italian every now and then.
Tia Taylor (Class of 2024)

Tia Taylor is a rising sophomore from Dallas, Texas and is majoring in Biological Sciences and Health & Society with a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate research assistant for Voices of SMU, Tia hopes to give a voice to SMU members from underrepresented groups as well as to share their experiences as a means of inspiration and mentorship for the SMU community. In addition to working on this project, Tia also is involved with the ADAPT research lab, Mustang Heroes, SMU ambassadors, and Presidents Scholars. After undergraduate, Tia plans to attend medical school seeking to serve underprivileged areas and address medical inequalities in her community. In her free time, Tia enjoys working out, listening to both crime podcast and music, and hanging out with friends.

Keeana Esmaeeli (Class of 2022)

Keeana is from Carrollton, TX and earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology. As an undergraduate research assistant for Voices of SMU, Keeana was able to connect with alums from decades past to the most recent graduates, which allowed her to highlight the experiences and perspectives of students of color at SMU across decades for a broader audience to see. Additionally, she expanded the range of students who contributed to the project by starting a new branch for the series, specifically for Middle Eastern alums from SMU. At SMU, Keeana was an active member of Student Foundation, as well as a member of the Middle Eastern Student Association and the Detente Collective. In her free time, Keeana enjoys hanging out with her friends in the city, taking her dog on hikes, playing sand volleyball, and reading up on interesting events in the histories of the Middle East, U.S., and Latin America.

Hannah Hall (Class of 2022)

Hannah earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Rights and French studies and minors in Environmental Anthropology and History. As an undergraduate research assistant for Voices of SMU and SMU Pride, Hannah conducted interviews and research on LGBTQIA+ identifying alums of SMU to give their stories of a more diverse SMU a voice on campus. At SMU, Hannah was an honors student, the Communications Director for the SMU Human Rights Council, the Vice President of the SMU Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Chapter, and the Service and Social Media Student Coordinator for the Hilltop Scholars Program. She was a Summer 2020 Maguire Public Service Fellow, a Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center Scholar, and a 2021-2022 Engaged Learning, Caswell, Mayer, and Tower Center Fellow at SMU for her independent social justice research.

Bradley Kucera (Class of 2022)

Bradley earned his Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Rights and History with a minor in African/African-American Studies. He prepared videos for presentations and social media sharing the experiences of students and alumni of color to facilitate a much-needed discussion on campus for the archives and Voices of SMU. Bradley worked as a Research Assistant in SMU’s Sociology Department and taught in the summer for the DeBusk Enrichment Center for Academically Talented Students in Dallas, TX. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, exploring new places, learning history, reading, and writing screenplays.

Valeria Reynosa (Class of 2022)

Valeria earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Law and Legal Reasoning. As a research assistant, Valeria strove to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups in the SMU Community while documenting their individual experiences and interests. In addition to working on this project, Valeria was involved within the SMU History Department, serving as a History Ambassador and a history intern at the Bywaters Special Collections. She was also the secretary of the Philosophy Club, a features editor for The Daily Campus, and a Student Facilitator for a first-year course. In her free time, Valeria enjoys hiking, running, and listening to history podcasts.

Dr. Camille Davis (Class of 2022)

Dr. Davis earned her doctorate in U.S. History. She focuses on the visual and intellectual history of the American Revolution and the Early Republic. Her area of specialization centers the role of portraiture in shaping ideas of American identity and legitimacy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and a master’s degree in history from the University of North Texas, Denton.  Additionally, she is an alum of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. In December 2019, Camille became Senior Editor of the SMU graduate history blog — The Future of the Past — where she writes about the effects of images and pop culture on history and politics. Her hobbies include yoga, home decor projects, and reading Vogue and Architectural Digest magazines.

Brett Fearer, M.A. (Class of 2023)

Brett Hearer earned his Masters in U.S. History at SMU and received his B.A. with a double major in History and French from Wichita State University. His research interests center broadly around popular music in the United States, particularly rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal, as well as a particular interest in human rights. Outside of school, Brett enjoys running, watching movies, and listening to music. He is also a big sports fan and likes to watch hockey, football, and baseball. Brett joined the “Voices of SMU” oral history project as an Oral History Project Manager in October 2021.

Ruchi Ranganathan (Class of 2023)

Ruchi earned her Bachelor’s in Statistical Science with a History minor on the Pre-Law track. As an undergraduate research assistant, Ruchi showcased the value of representing minority experiences, especially at a PWI, where these stories and experiences are historically underrepresented. She demonstrated the importance of diversity in our understanding of history by documenting underrepresented alumni voices in the SMU archives. Ruchi served as the logistics chair for Asian Council and the Statistical Science representative for the Dedman College Student Advisory Board. She enjoys running, knitting, reading, and learning languages in her free time.

Sarah Khoja (Class of 2025)

Sarah is a freshman from Carrollton, Texas double-majoring in Human Rights and Data Science on the Pre-Law track. As a research assistant for the Voices of SMU project, Sarah hopes to connect with SMU alumni from underrepresented groups and learn more about the student experience on and off-campus. Sarah is specifically interested in the Asian American Pacific Islander alumni stories and hopes to expand the university’s resources for the AAPI student community. Sarah is also the Human Development Chair for the Indian Student Association and on the marketing committee for The Big Event. Sarah loves to bake, spend time with her dog Simba, and explore coffee shops around Dallas in her free time.