Alumna Excites Jagversity Through Multicultural Center

Khalilah Shabazz | 2000 Alumna | B.S. Psychology

As an IUPUI leader and School of Science alumna, Khalilah Shabazz is a Jaguar through and through. Now she’s dedicated to guiding students across campus as the director of the IUPUI Multicultural Center and as a School of Science Alumni Association Board member.

During college, many students are at a critical point in their lives as they are trying to understand who they are. Shabazz applies the tools she gained from her School Science undergraduate psychology degree to guide students through this important time.

“In psychology you learn about developing as a human and how all of the pieces fit together,” she said. “In my current work, I can take that knowledge and apply it directly to how students develop.”

Shabazz describes the IUPUI Multicultural Center as a “catalyst for helping the IUPUI community of students, faculty and staff to engage more in the learning and research process of understanding themselves and understanding others.”

Through three core areas of outreach—education, advocacy and research—Shabazz hopes the Multicultural Center will instill the principle of Jagversity, the concept that everyone in the IUPUI community is a Jaguar, but with different spots.

“As a mentor, I help students conceptualize how their different classes relate and how to connect this information to who they are,” says Shabazz. “There are ways that they can look at what they’re learning and transfer those skills to their interests and future career goals.”

Describing herself as “lifelong learner,” Shabazz has continued her education at IUPUI. She obtained a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs, and a Ph.D. in the same field. The curiosity and quest for knowledge that her science degree helped her to ask the right questions in her graduate school research.

Shabazz’s core research focuses are on student retention, the college experiences of Black women, and first generation students. In the process of learning ways to better support all students at IUPUI, her research has illustrated the importance of role models and mentorship to student experiences.

Shabazz plays an active role as a School of Science Alumni Association Board member, an organization that works to further the professional, educational, and social interests of the School of Science at IUPUI and its alumni. She also recently participated in JagNet, a psychology alumni event that included round-robin networking sessions between alumni and current students.

Through these alumni outreach programs Shabazz hopes to help provide more students with a college experience that positively affects their individual, social and educational growth.