Stacy Alikakos earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and is now in the Geography and Environmental Studies master’s program at NEIU. Stacy grew up in an ethnic enclave in Chicago. Both of her parents immigrated to the US as adults from different countries. As an undergraduate she wanted to understand the interactions and powerful connections people have to lands and places through an Integrative Biology major and Spanish minor. Her undergraduate experience was difficult because she received little guidance from university offices and felt she had to navigate herself. Despite the struggle she was privileged to complete a portion of her studies abroad in the Dominican Republic, Singapore, and Spain, which further fueled her initial curiosities.
After working in a biology research lab her senior year, Stacy realized she wanted to attend graduate school but that she would need to find a program that addressed her interests more directly. She found that at NEIU specifically seeking a diverse faculty and student community for a high quality education. She currently researches processes of gentrification, territorial stigma, and class power tensions in cities. Stacy also applied to work for NEIU as a STEM Success Coach to help students thrive in their university by offering them the support and good information she felt was missing from her undergraduate experience.