2016 Centennial Doctorate Degree Awardees

During the fall of 1987, the Graduate College and the Division of Campus Life established awards to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions of graduate students at the University of Arizona who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic, or educational obstacles.

Isoken Adodo - Centennial Doctoral Degree Award RecipientIsoken Adodo

Isoken Prisca Adodo was born in Edo State, Nigeria.  Her family moved to Dallas, Texas when she was three-years old.  She is the daughter of Clifford and Evelyn Adodo.  Isoken cites her relationship with God and her mother for her success and appreciates the mentorship and support of her family, faculty, and supervisors over the years.

Isoken holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Texas.  She went on to complete a Master of Education in Educational Psychology and Special Education from the University of Houston and a Master of Arts in School Psychology from the University of Arizona.  She is a College of Education Erasmus Scholar and and an Arizona College of Medicine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellow.

Isoken’s interest in minority student education started in college while visiting Stanford University, where she learned of the disparities in educational and mental health service to minority populations.  Her passion for helping minority students access the resources and supports needed to excel led her on her current academic and professional path.

Isoken will graduate with a Ph.D. in School Psychology.  Her dissertation proposal examines barriers to parental involvement and the influence of African American parent involvement on students’ school behavior.  Her work is meant to address barriers in education to promote positive parent-school interactions and increase African American student achievement.  Isoken has presented in the U.S., Europe, and Canada on minority student engagement and achievement and minority parent involvement.

Isoken currently serves as the coordinator for African American Student Affairs in the Dean of Students Office.  In her position, she works collaboratively with students, cultural center directors, the Associate Dean of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, and other departments to improve the experience of marginalized students on campus.

Upon finishing her Ph.D., Isoken plans to work as a school psychologist, in a high needs school district.  This experience will help her better collaborate with schools to bridge school-family partnerships and increase minority student academic, social, and emotional outcomes.

Felina Cordova - Centennial Doctoral Degree Award RecipientFelina Cordova

Felina Cordova grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is a member of the Hopi Tribe. She will graduate with a Doctorate Degree in Public Health.  Her dissertation research is a collaboration with the Hopi Tribe that focuses on stress and resiliency of Hopi family caregivers who provide care to elderly, disabled and chronically ill family members. 

Felina received a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Public Health from the University of Arizona.  She is currently an American Indian Research Center for Health Doctoral Fellow, an American Indian Education Fund Graduate Fellow, an American Indian Graduate Center Fellow, and recipient of the Testasecca Memorial Scholarship and Hopi Tribe Scholarship.  She has received several honors including the UA Native American Student Affairs Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Academics and the Reva T. Frankle Award.  Felina has published in journals and books and presented her scientific work at numerous conferences.

Felina has held many student leadership positions including chairing the UA Native American Research and Training Center Student Advisory Board, and holding the position of president and founding member of the UA College of Public Health American Indian and Indigenous Health Alliance Club.  Through these positions she has helped the American Indian community at the University, in Arizona and nationally.  She has gone to high schools on reservations and tabled at events to encourage American Indian high school students to aspire a post-secondary education.  Felina organized leadership workshops, an American Indian researchers and physician speaker series, a student solidarity event in support of Standing Rock and established a scholarship for American Indian students. She has organized annual Christmas present drives for needy American Indian families, an annual school supply drive and prom dress drive. Felina is a constant volunteer at Tucson Indian Center events.

Felina is currently in the UA College of Medicine’s Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway Program and will be attending the UA’s College of Medicine next fall. Felina plans to combine her degrees in public health and medicine to decrease the health disparities that American Indians currently face.