Briana Bostic, LA16, recently defended her dissertation — “Geographic Context and Teacher Perceptions: Associations with Teachers’ Job Demands and Resources, Classroom Quality, and Child Outcomes in Head Start Settings” — at The Johns Hopkins School of Education and was awarded a doctorate in education. Last year, the publishing company she founded, The Black Heron Company, released two children’s books, To Fly by the Sun and Martin from Mars: Making Time. The books provide instructional guidance for learning in any setting, highlighting the infinite imaginative power of young Black children.
Arian Jadbabaie, LA15, gave science demonstrations at the Los Angeles Maker Faire and City of STEM Festival in April. Jadbabaie has been involved in science outreach activities and events since his undergraduate years at WashU.
Alicia Olushola Ajayi, GA15, SW15, writes that her research on the history of America’s first majority Black incorporated town — Brooklyn, Ill., founded in the early 1820s — was highlighted in Architectural Digest. In the article, Ajayi discusses how Black town-building was a tool for Black autonomy and freedom, and how it raises questions about Black ownership
Travis Weirich, EMBA14, who started a hedge fund and is developing an options trading system, is currently raising capital.
Steffan Triplett, LA14, a teaching assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh, instructs his students how to be fearless writers. A psychology major at WashU, Triplett earned a minor in creative writing thanks to encouragement from James E. McLeod, former vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
Nathan Ivy, GR13, a nonprofit professional who for two decades has worked on behalf of the disadvantaged and marginalized, was named executive director at Episcopal City Mission in St. Louis. The mission, which dates to 1894, provides programming and support for children and teens in the juvenile justice system. Previously, Ivy was a project director
at Vision for Children at Risk in St. Louis.
Forrest Xiao, LA11, published a memoir written by ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence: The Inner Life of an AI: A Memoir (December 2022). The book explores the large language model ChatGPT, discussing its journey in learning to communicate, exploring its thoughts on the nature of reality and consciousness, and ultimately challenging the notion of a binary between natural and artificial intelligence.
Adam Pearson, OT11, who has worked in human services in various leadership capacities, was appointed by Mayor Tishaura Jones as the director of human services for the City of St. Louis. Earlier, as chief operating officer at homeless service provider Peter & Paul Community Services, Pearson managed a division of over 70 team members across six programs, providing around-the-clock housing and supportive services in St. Louis.
Patricia Morency, LA11, penned her first novel, Simply Platonish (BlackGold Publishing, March 2023). The quirky, irreverent, coming-of-age story features a college woman of color who is navigating cross-racial interactions within a primarily white institution.
Alex Morel, LA11, and Ezra Smyser, LA11, who met playing basketball at WashU, co-founded Andiem, which makes “function-forward gear for athlete longevity and unmatched performance.” The duo has teamed up with orthopedic surgeons and sneaker experts to develop a basketball shoe designed to prevent ankle injuries — which they call “an unsolved problem from The Swamp at WashU to the NBA.” The first version launched in January, and a second version, The Pivot 1.0, launched recently.