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Kevin Cokley, Director 210 W. 24th Street , Mailcode E3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3645


KevinKevin Cokley, PhD 

Director & Professor |

Dr. Cokley is a counseling psychologist and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology. His research and teaching can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology. His research foci have included examining (1) the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American student achievement, (2) the influence of racial and ethnic identity, and (3) correlates of mental health including perceived discrimination, religiosity and spirituality, and most recently the impostor phenomenon. Using social science research, personal anecdotes and references to popular culture, his current book project debunks the myth of Black anti-intellectualism.


Ujju Aggarwal, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow | 

Dr. Aggarwal is a cultural anthropologist whose research grows out of her work as a community organizer and educator. Her writing focuses on education policy and social change in relationship to race, class, gender, and urban space. She has taught at Hunter College, the New School, and Sarah Lawrence College on subjects ranging from urban studies to public policy. Her first book project examines how “choice,” as a key principle of reform and management in education, emerged in the post-Civil Rights era, and became central to how rights, freedom, and citizenship were imagined, structured, and constrained. Dr. Aggarwal received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Renee Hatcher, JD

Post-Doctoral Fellow | 

Ms. Hatcher is a community development and civil rights attorney. Her current research focuses on new strategies to build power and create equity for marginalized communities and the formerly incarcerated. Prior to joining IUPRA, Ms. Hatcher was a staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she served as lead counsel on community benefit agreement campaigns and matters of regional equity. Her previous work experience also includes time with the Legal Services Corporation, the ACLU's National School-Prison-Pipeline Project, and the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law.


Karen Jackson, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow |

Dr. Jackson is an educational psychologist with research interests in adolescent development and how gender, race, and ethnicity guide developmental processes.  One of her most recent projects focused on the socialization of science attitudes and occupational interests in Latina adolescents. She enjoys working with mixed methods projects and longitudinal data analysis.  Dr. Jackson received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.

LeonieLeonie Jones, BA

Community Development Specialist/Admin. Associate |

Ms. Jones provides administrative and research support for a variety of policy research projects. She also manages IUPRA’s communications, overseeing the institute’s website, newsletters, and social media. Ms. Jones received her journalism degree from California State University, Northridge.  


Victor O. Obaseki, JD

Policy Coordinator |

Mr. Obaseki is an attorney who tracks legislation that affects urban populations. His current research focuses on education policies at the state and federal levels. Prior to joining IUPRA, Mr. Obaseki was a drafting attorney at Texas Legislative Council, where he advised and wrote legislation for Texas state legislators on a nonpartisan basis. Mr. Obaseki formerly worked as a newspaper reporter for The New York Times Company and the Lone Star News Group before attending law school at The University of Texas.


Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD

Associate Director |

Dr. Vohra-Gupta’s research focuses on economic and labor policy as it relates to women and families of ethnic minority groups. She is currently conducting research on minimum wage policy and the safety net as it applies to women of color in poverty. In addition she is completing a research study on birth outcomes in low-income women of color. Dr. Vohra-Gupta manages the publication of briefs and articles within IUPRA and teaches courses in public policy, race, ethnicity, and culture.

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