Jessica Smith

CRRES Administrative Assistant


Jessica maintains the CRRES office and provides administrative support for the Center’s activities. She assists with the room reservations and scheduling of CRRES events such as the Speaker Series, Coffee with Affiliates, and the Postdoctoral Scholars Program. She makes travel arrangements for CRRES and processes funding requests and reimbursements for the Center. Jessica earned her B.A. in Psychology at Indiana University and brings years of experience in customer service and administrative work to the Center. If you have questions about travel, CRRES funding or reimbursements, room reservations, scheduling, or general inquiries about the Center, please contact Jessica.

Mai Thai

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology


Mai Thai (pronounced "my tie") is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology and her research areas are in education, deviance and social control, and race/ethnicity. Her dissertation examines school-police partnerships and how they shape the experiences of youth and their communities. As the lead graduate assistant for CRRES, she manages the Undergraduate Research Program, helps coordinate programming and events, and provides outreach and marketing support. If you have questions about listservs, email communications, promoting a related event/project, or becoming a CRRES affiliate, please contact her at

Chavonté Wright

Spring 2019 CRRES Graduate Research Assistant


Chavonté is from Houston,Texas. In 2016, She received her B.A. in sociology from Rice University. Prior to graduate school, her interests in race, education, and mental health led her to classroom teaching and work in college access. Currently a first-year PhD student in Sociology, she studies race, gender, and mental health disparities within higher education institutions. In particular, she is interested in the cultural and social psychological mechanisms through which students persist. Chavonté assists with the organization of the Graduate Student Research Symposium, and coordinates CRRES Graduate Student Affiliates.

Monica Heilman

Spring 2019 CRRES Graduate Research Assistant


Monica Heilman is Ph.D. student in Sociology. She hails from Colorado, where she earned her degree in Sociology and Art at the University of Denver. After graduating, Monica taught English in South Korea, worked as a freelance digital marketing writer, and began designing enamel pins. Monica's research interests lie broadly in multiracial identity, shifting categorizations of race in the US, and race relations in South Korea. Her current work examines how multiracial individuals present their identities in the face of challenges to and expectations of an adherence to rigid racial categories. Monica assists in maintaining the CRRES website, marketing, and producing web content.

Alicia Harmon

CRRES Social Media Intern

Alicia Harmon is an IU sophomore from Columbus, Ohio and the CRRES social media undergraduate intern. She is majoring in sociology/African-American and African Diaspora studies as well as minoring in Spanish and creative writing. She is passionate about race and class issues, especially those pertaining to the criminal justice system, housing discrimination, and educational inequality. In the future, she hopes to go to law school, obtain a PhD in sociology, and write. 

Samanta Zapien

CRRES Cox Scholar

Samanta Zapien is an undergraduate student studying Apparel Merchandising and Spanish with minors in Psychology and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. She assists CRRES as a Cox Scholar working on undergraduate outreach, networking, and photography of events. She previously participated in the Undergraduate Research Program with CRRES and is excited to continue to work with the center in her senior year at Indiana University. 

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
1022 E. 3rd St., Room 209,
Bloomington, IN 47405
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm