Graduate Affiliates

Ani Abrahamyan

Ph.D. Student, Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures

Email:
aniabrah@iu.edu

Ani’s work centers on representations of imperial minorities in nineteenth-century Russian literature. Treating fictional ethnography as a narrative technique, she explores the aesthetic, ethical, and political implications of granting a voice to gendered, religious, and ethnic Others. Her current research examines the narrative miscommunications and exclusions that result from the use of dialects and foreign languages in Russian fiction.

Muna Adem

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
munaadem@iu.edu

Muna Adem is a graduate student in the Sociology program. She earned her MS in Applied Statistic in 2019. Her interests include race and ethnicity, immigration and quantitative methods using a cross-national framework. Her current research examines how immigration continues to (re)shape group boundaries in the U.S. (e.g. what makes someone a fellow citizen in contemporary society) and the consequences of social integration and "diverse" settings for ethnic and racial minorities in Europe.

Ting-Han Chang

Ph.D. Student, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Email:
tc25@indiana.edu

Ting-Han's research interests focus on equity-based research in higher education, including race and racism in higher education, organizational change and institutional equity, and college student leadership for social justice. Her dissertation utilizes the critical qualitative methodology to examine the ways undergraduate student leaders of color conceptualize racial justice leadership.

Ryan Comfort

Doctoral Student, The Media School

Email:
rcomfort@indiana.edu

Ryan's research examines the production roles, media frames, and audience effects created when Native Americans participate in visual media creation and dissemination. As a Native American (KBIC Ojibwe) producer of short-form documentary narratives himself, Ryan is deeply invested in conducting applied research in Native American communities. He is currently working on a documentary production project with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma on the revitalization of the traditional game of Stickball.

Giselle Cunanan

Ph.D. Student, Department of American Studies

Email:
gcunanan@indiana.edu

Giselle situates her work in the overlapping fields of Critical Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies to study how colonial histories and narrations of identity shape the material realities of Filipinos’ everyday lives. She is particularly interested in the larger paradoxes of racialization, identification, and resistance as they exist for Filipinos who occupy a vexed position to the U.S. state. Pursuing her questions via ethnography and in-depth interviews, Giselle studies the ways that Filipinos work with and against underlying conditions of subjectivity that structurally positon Filipinos in close relation to non-Filipino groups.

Jessica David

Ph.D. Student, Department of Counseling Psychology

Email:
jldavid@indiana.edu

Jessica's research interests include racial identity, stress and coping, and student-athlete health and holistic development. She is also a graduate assistant for the Groups Scholars Program, an initiative created to address low attendance rates of marginalized populations and first-generation college students. As a member of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Diversity Outreach Team, she works to raise mental health awareness in traditionally underserved populations on IU's campus.

Ryan J. Davis

Ph.D. Student, Higher Education (School of Education)

Email:
ryjdavis@indiana.edu

Ryan's research interests focus on understanding pedagogies that influence learning and success in STEM disciplines, particularly among underrepresented students of color. He coauthored the monograph Racial and Ethnic Minorities Students’ Success in STEM Education (Jossey-Bass) and he has coauthored 10 peer reviewed journal articles about the role of race in the experiences and outcomes of college students.

Jasmine L. Davis-Randolph

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
jld8@iu.edu

Jasmine is a McNair Scholar and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient. Her research interests are racial and ethnic identity, mental health, and social psychology. Jasmine’s research focuses on the impact of discrimination, trauma, and stigma on the well-being of marginalized communities. Additionally, she is interested in how race and ethnicity shape social interactions and its impact on the production and dissemination of policies. In previous research, she explored the impact of Black ethnic identity on self-esteem across time for both native-born Blacks and Black immigrants from the Caribbean.  

Carrie Fudickar

Ph.D. Student, Department of History

Email:
cfudicka@umail.iu.edu

Carrie's research interests include the intersections of African American and Native American history, Black autonomy in the American West, and Race and Colonialism. Her dissertation topic covers Afro-Creek resistance movements from the Civil War through the Tulsa Race Riot.

Teeka Gray

Ph.D. Student, Department of Anthropology

Email:
grayle@indiana.edu

Teeka’s research focuses on African Americans in Japan and the ways they navigate transnational subjecthood, old and new minority statuses, and racisms derived from the United States and Japan. Her current research connects to her broader interests in AfroAsian interactions and history. Her dissertation research uses ethnographic methods and social network analysis, as well as drawing upon multimedia resources. Teeka has been the recipient of an NSF-East Asian and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. 

Kirk A. Harris

Ph.D. Student, Department of Political Science

Email:
kirkharr@indiana.edu

Kirk studies democracy and development in Sub-Saharan Africa – a research focus that brings together work on the politics of development, ethnicity, and democratic accountability. Kirk’s dissertation examines how variation in the political salience of ethnicity in Kenya mediates the provision of local public goods like schools, clinics, and roads by Kenya’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Monica Heilman

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
mlheilma@iu.edu

Monica's research interests include multiracial identity, racial categorization, and racial and ethnic relations in South Korea. Her current work examines the strategies multiracial individuals employ when presenting their identities to others in the face of challenges ranging from interpersonal to structural levels. After teaching in South Korea for two years, Monica has also become interested in exploring the social dynamics and tensions that have emerged with Korea's growing multiracial population.

Pamela Hong

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
pamhong@iu.edu

Pam is a Graduate Scholars Fellow at IU. She researches topics on race/immigration, social psychology, and social movements/networks. Her current research utilizes racialization theory to explore how Asian and Latino immigrants are criminalized in the media. She also has work on how intergroup contact can influence participation and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Her other research involves online racism and how digital spaces are used to perpetuate these ideologies, attitudes, and racist behavior.

J'Mauri Jackson

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
jmajack@iu.edu

J’Mauri received a B.S. in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2019 and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and a Graduate Scholars Fellow. Her current research interests lie in mental health, medical sociology, and social psychology. In particular, she seeks to implement an intersectional approach to explore mental health outcomes for marginalized populations, as well as examine the implications of misogynoir and colorism on the Self.

Mihee Kim-Kort

Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies

Email:
rkimkort@iu.edu

Mihee's subarea in Religious Studies is Religion in the Americas with a minor in Critical Race and Post-Colonial Studies. Her primary research interests are in American Protestantism in relationship to categories of immigration, indigeneity, and diasporic identity in the 20th century to the present. Using ethnographic and textual methods, she explores the racialization of particular bodies through theological discourses of purity along with the phenomenon of American exceptionalism and evangelical Christianity's reification of a (white) U.S. American national identity.

Samuel H. Kye

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
skye@indiana.edu

Sam’s current research examines middle-class ethnic neighborhoods known as ethnoburbs: ethnic yet suburban neighborhoods of affluence, representing the outcome of unprecedented levels of minority population growth over the past quarter century and the continued movement of minority groups into the American “mainstream.” He is formulating quantitative analysis strategies to add to this growing research field at the nexus of sociology, political science, and American studies.

Paul Levy

MPH Student, Environmental Health

Email:
paullevy@iu.edu

Paul’s research interests include exploring systems level thinking to understand health disparities. He is particularly focused on the intersection of structural bias, systemic racism and environmental justice, and how to empower effected communities to drive meaningful and culturally competent policy change. His current work examines air quality in low-middle income Hispanic households in the US, Mexico, and Ecuador, and its association with negative health outcomes.

Jordan Lynton

Ph.D. Student, Anthropology

Email:
jylynton@indiana.edu

Jordan's research interests include transnationalism, hyphenated identities, immigrant networks, and cultural associations, principally concerning the Chinese Diaspora in the Caribbean. She has spent extensive time in Jamaica conducting fieldwork on Chinese communities and cultural organizations in Kingston. Her dissertation project utilizes ethnographic methodology with geographic spatial analysis in order to consider identity formation and citizenship negotiation in Chinese-Jamaican communities.

Anne Mahady

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Email:
amahady@iu.edu

Anne Mahady is a PhD candidate in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. In her research, she examines questions of the role of the folk within 20th-century discourses on American national identity and racial representation. Her dissertation, entitled Envisioning the American Folk in the Art of Palmer C. Hayden, investigates the ways in which African American modernist Palmer Hayden addressed, replied to and re-framed discourses about "the folk" and folklore in his mid-career works. Her research interests include: 20th-century African American art, folklore and laborlore, American modernisms and curatorial ethics. Her dissertation research on Palmer Hayden was funded by a Travel Grant from the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) at Indiana University and by the Indiana University Graduate School.

Michael C. Montesano

Ph.D. Student, Department of Comparative Literature

Email:
mmontesa@iu.edu

Michael studies literary representations of systemic inequalities in West Africa and the Americas. He is most interested in creative practices that subvert and defy the violence of racial regimes in today’s capitalist societies. His dissertation focuses on literatures of Nigeria, Peru, and the United States. The study investigates the common tropes that authors use to critique injustice at the same time that it showcases the life-affirming visions and alternative futures that some artists make possible in their works.

Stephanie Nguyen

Ph.D. Student, Higher Education (School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policies)

Email:
stenguye@indiana.edu

Stephanie is interested in the intersection between organizational theory, sociology of education, history of education, as well as race and ethnicity. Her current research topic focuses on understanding how social movements and campus activism can lead to organizational change to make higher education systems more equitable and relevant to college students of color. Through archival methods and oral histories, her dissertation will examine the organizational history of how Asian American Studies programs are created and established at Midwest research institutions.

Christen Priddie

Ph.D. Student, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Email:
cpriddie@iu.edu

Christen’s research interests include how diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts appear in undergraduate and graduate student Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) contexts for Black students. She also specifically examines the intersectional experiences of Black women undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in higher education. Her dissertation aims to examine culturally relevant collaborative learning experiences of Black students.

Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez

Ph.D. Student, Health Behavior (School of Public Health)

Email:
yrosens@iu.edu

Yael’s focuses on diversity and inclusivity in work centered around consent, desire, pleasure, embodiment, and partnering styles. Her current research focuses on Latinas of different perceived racial identities and their experiences of fetishization and sexual desire. She seeks to influence interventions that prevent sexual violence and promote healthy sexuality as well as adding to knowledge around pleasure, body & group acceptance, and positive sexual experiences in marginalized populations. Yael's preferred epistemology is participatory action research and she prioritizes projects that center knowledge translation of research results back to communities.

Daniel Runnels

Ph.D. Student, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Email:
runnelsd@indiana.edu

Daniel’s research interests include literature, political thought, and indigeneity in Latin America, with a special focus on Bolivia and the Andes Mountain region. His interests are interdisciplinary, having primarily studied 20th-21st century literary and cultural production related to the nation and indigenous inclusion, and he is currently developing a new interest in architecture, space, and race.

Anna E. Acosta Russian

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
aerussia@iu.edu

Anna's research lies at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race. Using the case study of former college athletes transitioning to adulthood, her dissertation critically interrogates how race permits some respondents (e.g. white women) and not others to transgress gender and sexuality norms once they leave the context of college athletics. Another strand of research focuses on understanding stereotypes surrounding Asians and Asian-Americans in the United States through experimental methods.

Meaghan Rysdale

Ph.D. Student, Department of Political Science

Email:
meamorre@iu.edu

Meaghan is interested in racial and ethnic politics and the role of inequality in political agendas and class systems. Her previous research has looked at how class in the US compares to that of the UK while her current research explores the relationship between police budgets and police related fatal encounters. As a former McNair scholar, her hope is to bring attention to the growing inequality gap in the United States and the need to revisit policy initiatives to address issues of inequality.

Jazma Sutton

Ph.D. Student, Department of History

Email:
jazmsutt@iu.edu

Jazma earned a B.A. in Africana Studies and History at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a M.A. in U.S. History at Indiana University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in U.S. History with a minor in Gender Studies at IUB. Her dissertation explores the origins and development of Indiana’s rural free black communities, the gendered experiences of freedom, and free and self-liberated black women’s roles in the Underground Railroad. Jazma recently led a CRRES sponsored History Harvest involving descendants of the Greenville community she studies in Randolph County, Indiana and Darke County, Ohio and is working to transform their historical artifacts and oral histories into a digital archive.

Mai Thai

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology

Email:
maithai@iu.edu

Mai's research areas are in education, deviance and social control, and race/ethnicity. Her dissertation examines school-police partnerships and how they shape the experiences of youth and their communities.

Nilzimar Vieira

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Email:
nhauskre@indiana.edu

Nilzimar’s research interests involve African diaspora in literature, cinema, and politics in Brazil, Portugal, and Germany. She is interested in the discussion on race and citizenship through literature and cinema in African diaspora societies. Nilzimar’s research focuses on the development of Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Portuguese literature and cinema. Her primary corpus includes 20th and 21st-century novels and more specifically short-films in Brazil and Portugal. Nilzimar’s dissertation investigates public policies and digital platforms in the development of cinematic productions by women of afro descendent in Brazil and Portugal. Nilzimar has co-taught a course and a study abroad program on race and ethnicity in Rio de Janeiro, and has received numerous teaching awards, research and travel grants. 

James Watkins

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
watkinjt@iu.edu

James earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 before beginning his graduate work at IU. His research focuses on how immigrants and refugees adapt to new cultural contexts through social structures, as well as the generational conflicts found within immigrant families caused by the influx of unfamiliar social customs. His current projects also concern the social construction of anti-immigrant attitudes, and the utilization of these attitudes by political figures.

Donovan A. Watts

Ph.D. Student, Department of Political Science

Email:
donwatts@iu.edu

Donovan A. Watts is a PhD student in the IU Department of Political Science. Watts’ research interests involve racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, and political participation in the United States. At present, he is studying how cases of police violence toward African Americans impact political behavior and political participation among African American millennials. In addition, Watts is the recipient to numerous awards and fellowships highlighted by his 2017 APSA Minority Fellow selection.

Chavonté Wright

Ph.D. Student, Department of Sociology

Email:
chwrig@iu.edu

Chavonté studies racial identity, mental health, and education. She is interested in the social psychological and educational experiences of individuals who persist at the intersections of racial, economic, and gendered social structures. In particular, she examines mechanisms of resistance and agency among black students and organizations at predominantly white institutions.

Nelson O. O. Zounlome

Ph.D. Student, Department of Counseling Psychology

Email:
nzounlom@indiana.edu

Nelson O. O. Zounlome, M.S.Ed., is a McNair Scholar, Ford Predoctoral Fellow, and Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Indiana University. His program of research focuses on studying the impact of intersectional oppression on groups with marginalized identities. Within this framework, he studies academic persistence, mental wellness, and sexual violence prevention to promote holistic healing among People of Color and Indigenous Peoples (POCI). Nelson’s dissertation experimentally examines the impact of an intersectionally informed social-psychological intervention on Black university student’s academic, mental health, and intersectional identities-related outcomes.

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