Maria Hamilton Abegunde, Ph.D.
Dr. Abegunde was the founding director of The Graduate Mentoring Center (The GMC) at Indiana University, Bloomington. She directed the center between August 2014 and June 2021. Her embodiment of mentoring as a contemplative practice is based on over 30 years of teaching and working with students of various ages and cultures across the US and globally, and in understanding how contexts shape our experiences and our ability to imagine, develop, and complete our research.
Her own research and creative works are grounded in contemplative practices and respectfully approach the Earth and human bodies as sites of memory, and always with the understanding that memory never dies, is subversive, and can be recovered to heal historical trauma related to the Middle Passage, genocide, and sexual violence.
Publications and performances can be found in the journals North Meridian Review, the Massachusetts Review, Obsidian, nocturnes, Tupelo Quarterly, FIRE!!!; in the books The Eternal Year of African People, Ashe: Ritual Poetics in African Diasporic Expressivity, Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue, SO WE CAN KNOW: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth, and Theorizing Folklore from the Margins: Critical and Ethical Approaches; and in the exhibitions Be/Coming, Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams, and Sister Song, for all of which she is the commissioned poet and ritualist.
Dr. Abegunde has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Sacatar, Ragdale, the NEH summer institute, and the Black Earth Institute. She was awarded the inaugural awards for Inclusive Excellence from the IU Bloomington Faculty Council and the FACET Mumford Excellence in Extraordinary Teaching. She is a faculty member in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, with affiliations in Gender Studies, the African Studies Program, and the Center for Research on Race & Ethnicity in Society.
Jennifer Jihae Park, Ph.D.
Jennifer Jihae Park earned her Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology with minors in Inquiry Methodology and Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at Indiana University. Her research focuses on mentoring, innovations in the workplace, online training and development, and instructional design. She was the graduate assistant of The Graduate Mentoring Center (The GMC) at Indiana University from 2019 to 2022, supporting graduate students’ success during their graduate journey.
During her time at The GMC, she collaborated with students, faculty, and administrators across campus, serving the university-wide mentoring committee as a mentoring training expert. To address university stakeholders’ needs and interests, she conducted research on mentoring minority graduate students in academia, developed mentoring programs, and offered mentor/mentee training sessions applying her mentoring research to practice.
Before joining IU, she completed her master’s degree in Education at McGill University, where she researched minority graduate students’ silence in classrooms. Her undergraduate degree was in Business Administration and English at Ewha Womans University. Jennifer worked in both the corporate and education sector. Early in her career, she was a business analyst and market research consultant at multinational companies and a lecturer in business communication and English.
Dr. Park is an award-winning scholar, receiving the AECT McClusky Award, Mendel Sherman Award, AVC Award, Achasa Beechler Fellowship, GPSG Award, Larson Award, and AHRD Best Paper Award. She is a faculty member in Instructional Technology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.