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.

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.

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 Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and BS Environmental Science

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:
ryjdavis@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.

Dan Johnston

Ph.D. Student, Department of Geography

Email:
dantjohn@umail.iu.edu

Dan is a geographer with a background in secondary education. His research interests center on issues of race and immigration here in the United States, and on the colonial discourses perpetuated through the rhetoric of the 'immigrant nation'. His dissertation project looks at community integration among the refugee populations in Boise, ID, and their ability to access their rights to the city in this new urban situation.

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.

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.

Helen Plevka

M.A. Student, Department of Comparative Literature

Email:
heplevka@iu.edu

Helen thinks about issues of social inequality through relationships between music and literature. Her master ’s paper considers the ways imperialism is embedded within the history and structures of Western classical music then analyzes how these values can resonate through a contemporary novel. As a former secondary educator and active musician, she continues to seek opportunities to engage with the local community through her research.

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.

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.

Lei Wang

Ph.D. Student, Department of Counseling Psychology

Email:
lw55@indiana.edu

Lei's research interests involve racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., particularly international students and Asian Americans. She focuses on issues of mental health, cultural orientation, cross-national experiences, and related problems of perfectionism, shame, alcohol use, bystander intervention, and suicidal patterns. Lei has co-led a support group for Chinese international students and currently provides counseling services to Mandarin-speaking students and community members at the Center for Human Growth.

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.

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
1022 E. 3rd St., Room 209,
Bloomington, IN 47405
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Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm