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Student Spotlight

Michael Rangel 


Photo of Michael Rangel
Michael Rangel is a trained and active social worker in Chicago currently working and fighting for trans and gender non-conforming people and communities across the city. Michael’s previous work in management, community building, and program development has centered around the support and healing of marginalized people. With a history of food service and labor-intensive jobs, Michael is committed to breaking down barriers to employment for all workers, specifically brown and black workers, immigrant workers, and TGNC workers. Currently, Michael works as the TransWorks Career Specialist/Case Manager with Chicago House Social Service Agency Employment Program and TransLife Care Team, Development Board at Heartland Health Centers and is joining the team of Chicago Therapy Collective as a Community Representative. Michael is working to build a strong network of organizations and businesses committed to affirming and supporting TGNC folks and their rights to employment while simultaneously combatting the root causes of injustices and inequity that create these systemic and systematic barriers. His MA thesis, “De-Policing Queer Possibilities” creates a theoretical framework of theorizing how policing influences and extends beyond the police state and into societies social constructs and institutions that explicitly affect Queer/Trans People of Color. Michael is graduating from DePaul with an MA in Critical Ethnic Studies and a certificate in Women and Gender Studies and recently co-authored DePaul's CES Statement of Solidarity and Fight for Black Lives. 

Whitney Spencer


Whitney Spencer was awarded the 2019 Roger Ebert Fellowship at the Sundance Institute, a workshop that brings together emerging film writers, critics, and filmmakers for mentorship jointly by the Sundance Film Festival and Whitney was a 2018 TEDxDePaulUniversity featured speaker with her talk, Reimagining the Intellectual. Most recently, she served as an intern at Kartemquin Films under the accomplished documentary filmmaker, artistic director and founding member of Kartemquin, Gordon Quinn. Whitney is a visual storyteller, focused on mastering the tools of filmmaking in order to reshape the understanding of the visual, cultural and intellectual aesthetics of self-defined Blackness.

Alexis Beamon

alexis Beamon

In Winter 2019, Alexis Beamon was chosen as one of eight fellows for the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative (CGVRC) Fellowship Program. The fellowship, sponsored by the Sinai Urban Health Institute, engages an interdisciplinary team of graduate and professional students across Chicago universities in research focused on producing epidemiologic profiles and mapping youth violence prevention assets for Chicago neighborhoods highly impacted by gun violence. The CGVRC Research Fellowship Program supports future professionals who have the passion and ability to positively affect change that reduces gun violence in Chicago neighborhoods and promotes youth opportunities. Beginning Fall 2019, she will attend DePaul University College of Law.