Cécile Accilien, Associate Professor of African & African-American Studies and Director of the Institute of Haitian Studies, is the language coordinator for Haitian Creole and spent a year as a Fulbright Lecturer and Researcher at the Université de Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Her research, investigating French-speaking Caribbean and African communities, takes an interdisciplinary approach to women and gender studies, as well as cultural studies.
Glenn Adams, Associate Professor of Psychology and former Associate Director of the Kansas African Studies Center, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone and conducted two years of field research in Ghana. His current work investigates the coloniality of knowledge in psychological science. It articulates models of human development and ways of living that promote sustainable well-being for broader humanity.
Hannah Britton, Associate Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, directs the Center for the Study of Injustice and coordinates the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative. Her scholarship focuses on gender and African politics, the prevention of gender-based violence, and human trafficking. She also coordinates a working group of faculty and graduate students using qualitative research methods in their teaching and scholarship.
Abel Chikanda, Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies and Geography, is originally from Zimbabwe and conducts research on migration and development, refugee movement, food security, and the informal sector in Africa. Before coming to KU, he held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University and was a project coordinator at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.
John Cormier, an undergraduate student, is seeking a dual degree in Geography and African and African-American Studies. He is a military veteran who traveled to South Africa and Lesotho while on duty and became interested in cultural cartography and African languages. He is currently in his first year of Kiswahili and works as a student assistant in the Physical Geography lab.
Mariah Crystal, a Ph.D. student in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, is completing a graduate certificate in African Studies. Mariah’s doctoral research involves a comparative study of gender-based violence in Tanzania and Namibia. She is also working on an oral history project documenting the stories of women who fought during the Namibian liberation movement to explore the links between these narratives, the context of war and conflict, and gender-based violence today.
Samantha Dawson, first year MA student in the Department of Anthropology, is planning to pursue fieldwork in Tanzania. Her research project will focus on the ways in which health communication and conceptualization is used to construct, maintain, or deconstruct social barriers potentially leading to medical/moral panics surrounding women’s bodies.
Paeten Denning, a second-year student in the Law School, studied Social Welfare with a minor in African Studies as an undergraduate at KU. She has studied Kiswahili for almost four years. In 2013 she received a Fulbright Hays GPA Scholarship to study Kiswahili in Tanzania, and she also received a FLAS award in 2014 to continue her language courses. In the Summer of 2017, she interned at a legal NGO focusing on women and children’s rights.
Elizabeth MacGonagle, Associate Professor of History and African & African-American Studies, is the Director of the Kansas African Studies Center and co-Director of the LAB. She has extensive experience facilitating collaboration across units on campus as the Director of the Kansas African Studies Center (KASC). Her research examines issues of culture, identity, and memory in African settings, and her scholarly expertise and fieldwork experiences in East and Southern Africa will enhance the research process of the LAB.
Peter Ojiambo, Associate Professor of African & African-American Studies, is the Associate Director of Kansas African Studies Center and co-Director of the LAB. He is originally from Kenya and directs the Kiswahili language program at KU. He has served as the coordinator for the African languages program for seven years. His research focuses on issues of education and development in Kenya, as well as the creation of appropriate cultural and linguistic pedagogies in the classroom.
Musa Wakhungu Olaka, Librarian for African, Global & International Studies, is originally from Kenya and previously worked as the Assistant Library Director and Head of Information Services at Southeast Missouri State University. He also worked as a librarian and as a teacher in Kenya and in Rwanda for more than six years. His research interests include Information Policy, Human Information Behavior, Library and Information Science Education, and Genocide Studies.
Emily Riley, Emily Riley, Assistant Director of the Kansas African Studies Center, has more than a decade of experience researching Africa, engaging with African Studies and African languages, and working on university partnerships in Africa. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on political anthropology and gender in Senegal and West Africa. Her research and teaching interests include women and politics, identity politics, social media and social change, national identity formations, and hospitality.
Kathryn Rhine, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is co-Director of the LAB and a medical anthropologist with over 14 years of fieldwork experience in Nigeria. Her research focuses on global health, biomedicine, gender and HIV/AIDS, particularly within the context of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. She was recently awarded an NEH Humanities Connections grant for a curriculum development project entitled “Global Medical Humanities: Bridging Digital Divides in Healthcare.”
Macie Rouse, an undergraduate student, is a junior majoring in Anthropology. Her academic interests include cultural health care practices, health disparities, community development, and disease distribution and prevention in East Africa.
Eric Splavec, a transfer student from Illinois, is pursuing a major in Political Science, a minor in Middle East Studies, and certificates in the Global Awareness Program and Entrepreneurship. His academic interests lie in the politics of nationalist movements, social entrepreneurship, Kiswahili, and the relationship between Islam and politics.
Sierra Upton, a Master’s student in epidemiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), studied biomedical sciences at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB). She graduated from KU as an undergraduate with degrees in global studies, journalism, and human biology. She studied Kiswahili for four years, including through the Fulbright-Hays GPA Program in Arusha, Tanzania. She is currently involved in Dr. Sarah Kessler’s research at KUMC into HIV-provider communications regarding reproductive counseling in East Africa and an intervention to improve early infant diagnosis services for HIV-exposed newborns. She is interested in working in global health and medicine as a field epidemiologist in East Africa in the future.