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Dena is a PhD student in the higher education program in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Research Interests: Dena studies the influence of poverty on learning outcomes for college students who identify as homeless and assesses campus resources available to students facing or experiencing food and shelter insecurity. She also utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and neurogeography in her research. She has additional scholarly interests in the perceptions of campus safety and campus climate and their influence on student retention, graduate school preparation and success, and career development pathways for international doctoral students.

Future Plans: Faculty, U.S. Department of Education, consultant for think tank

Campus Involvement: Former Vice President for Educational Leadership Graduate Student Association (ELGSA); American Educational Research Association Division G Campus Liaison; ELGSA Mentor

Awards: Higher Education Future Scholar Fellowship, Carolyn A. Dorsey Minority Fellowship Fund Award, Ridgel Fellowship, Educational Leadership and Policy Scholarship

“One of my best moments as a doctoral student at Mizzou was having the opportunity to meet and marry my best friend on campus.”