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Faith Dukes is currently a PhD candidate in Chemistry at Tufts University. Her research involves understanding the mechanisms of titanium dioxide(TiO2) in liquid water and improving its for waste water remediation. She received her bachelors degree in Chemistry from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Faith has been a regular participant with MEGA by helping with online communications, recruitment of graduate students, and working with summer research students.

I’ve enjoyed being a part of MEGA because it has given me an outlet to become an active citizen on campus community. MEGA has benefited me because I’ve gotten to meet students from various fields and schools and we have shared our experiences as friends and peers.

Outside of networking, MEGA has allowed me to share my advice and experience with other students who are considering graduate school.  I’m excited to see students on campus every year from Leadership Alliance and McNair programs. MEGA allows me the opportunity to let incoming students know that I am here, I’ve had a good experience in graduate school and I have advice to share on navigating a road most people never travel.


Sarah Gaither is a third year Social Psychology PhD student in the Psychology Department here at Tufts University working primarily with Dr. Samuel Sommers. Her main research interests are: interracial relations and perceptions of ingroup and outgroup members; what affects various types of racial perceptions and the use of stereotypes and prejudice amongst children and young adults; and the perceptions and experiences of mixed race or racially ambiguous individuals from both the perceiver’s and target’s perspective.

Why did you choose Tufts?:

I chose to attend Tufts because there were a number of faculty in the Psychology department who studied issues directly linked to my own research interests, making it a great environment for study collaborations and for me to receive assistance with my own research during my time here. Additionally, the work my adviser was doing related to improving intergroup relations also really attracted me.

What does MEGA mean to you?:

I view MEGA as a student group whose goal is to foster relations between graduate students of all different backgrounds including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, and of course academic interest. It is one of the stepping stones our university is starting to utilize to help create a positive environment in which its graduate students can thrive through bridging the gaps seen between departments and research disciplines. A lot of graduate students rarely get a chance to meet other graduate students from other areas and MEGA gives students an opportunity to make that happen.


Simon Howard received his B.A. in behavioral science and psychology from San Jose State University. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology at Tufts University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Samuel Sommers, Simon is examining the cognitive processes underlying a phenomenon called the cross-race effect, as well as investigating ways to improve eyewitness identification performance in cross race situations. His other broad research interests fall under the domains of stereotyping, prejudice, gender race, and social class with a particular focus on African Americans. After graduate school, Simon aspires to diversify the American professorate by becoming a professor at a research institution, be a research and career mentor for underrepresented students and devise strategies to offset the detrimental effects of the White supremacist power structure on the Black psyche.

Simon has been involved with the Multi-Ethnic Graduate Alliance (MEGA) for the past two years. During the academic year he attends and assists with the social events put on through MEGA. During the summer, he assists with doctorial bound undergraduates who come to Tufts to gain research experience through various programs. He discovered these opportunities to help/mentor these undergraduate students through MEGA.


Zara-Marie Spooner is a fifth year doctoral student in Applied Child Development at Tufts University. Her research interests include racial/ethnic identity development and its connections to resilient-functioning among adolescents of color. She is also interested in research-practice integration and how racial and ethnic identity development research can be utilized in developing interventions that promote positive developmental outcomes for children and families. Zara-Marie’s participation in MEGA includes assisting with recruitment initiatives for Prospective Graduate Student Day and providing mentoring and support to undergraduate scholars from the Leadership Alliance program.