Below you can read profiles highlighting the professional accomplishments of about ten percent of American Studies alumni. Alumni are invited to send their news to Prof. Theresa Runstedtler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our graduates have been appointed to the faculty of many colleges and universities, including:
California State University, Fullerton
Cayuga Community College
Empire State College
Erie County Community College
Evergreen State College
Florida International University
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Monroe Community College
Montclair State University
Rochester Institute of Technology
St. Bonaventure University
St. John Fisher College
SUNY at Albany
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY at Oswego
SUNY College at Brockport
University of California, Davis
University of Connecticut, Storrs
University of Massachusetts, Boston
University of Puerto Rico
University of Rochester
University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
University of South Dakota
University of Texas, Austin
Warner Pacific College
Recent MA graduates are pursuing doctoral or law degrees at:
Claremont Graduate University
City University of New York School of Law
Michigan State University
SUNY at Buffalo
University of California, Irvine
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Other graduates are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
Prime Minister of Somalia (Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed, M.A. 2009, was appointed Prime Minister in October 2010)
Activism and Non-profit Work (Accokeek Foundation, American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Legal Aid Society, NARAL)
Creative Arts (Film-making, Freelance Writing, Publishing, Editing, Theater)
National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian)
Primary & Secondary School Teaching
Public Service (Leadership and Education in Native Communities; governmental positions in the U.S. and abroad)
Employed at: Evergreen State College
Dr. Ackley is on the faculty at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Her research and teaching focuses on Indigenous studies, Museum studies, Native American studies, Research methods, and U.S. history.
Employed at: Rochester Institute of Technology
An Associate Professor in the School of Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Alex Bitterman received the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007. He is the editor-in-chief of Multi: The RIT Journal of Diversity and Plurality in Design.
Employed at: Trent University
Simon Brascoupé is a Lecturer in the Department of Native Studies at Trent University (Peterborough) and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University (Ottawa). Brascoupé earned his BA and MA from UB, where he is also completing his PhD. He has a strong interest in the intersection of traditional knowledge and environmental issues. Brascoupé has done considerable research on Indigenous sustainable developments, and has been a speaker, a delegate, and an organizer at a number of national and international conferences on the subject. At the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro (1992), he was an official delegate, and wrote a successful negotiation treaty between non-governmental organizations and Indigenous peoples. Since then, he has been very involved in promoting Indigenous peoples' harmonious development, the Biological Diversity Convention, and Agenda 21. In addition, international Indigenous leaders have invited him to act as a secretariat for them on matters related to the Commission on Sustainable Development. Brascoupé is also a published author of numerous books and articles and is an internationally recognized artist.
Employed at: Cattaraugus-Little Valley CSD
Now in her twenty-first year as a school library media specialist, Dr. Broughton is searching for a new way to tie her somewhat disparate interests (folklore, local history, rural women, Spain, Caribbean Studies, and music) together. Her dissertation focused on an alleged murder and subsequent trial that occurred in Cattaraugus County in 1875-1876. In addition to her day job, she has taught two courses at UB and one at Albion Correctional.
Employed at: Human Rights Watch
Corinne Carey is a researcher with the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch based in New York City. She specializes in criminal justice issues, and economic, social and cultural rights. After earning her MA in American Studies with a concentration in Women's Studies at UB, she worked for three years at Prevention Point Philadelphia, one of the country's first needle exchange programs for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and the reduction of drug related harm. She then graduated from UB's School of Law, and went on to direct the Harm Reduction Law Project (HLRP) for five years. The HRLP provided representation for people struggling with addiction in cases dealing with police harassment, child custody, denial of welfare and housing benefits, and disability discrimination. Carey has written on subjects dealing with legalizing syringes, policing pregnant drug-using women, drug testing welfare recipients, and public housing for people with criminal records.
Pamela J. Davison
Hull House, Lancaster, New York
Pamela is actively involved in the development of the Hull House (c. 1810 ) in Lancaster, New York, which is currently being restored to a working nineteenth-century family home and farmstead. Through her research and studies, she hopes to bring an accurate and authentic representation of the original peoples of the area to this historic site.
Employed at: University at Buffalo
After earning his MA in American studies at UB, Dr. Dimitriadis completed a PhD in Speech Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1999). A prolific author and editor, Dimitriadis was tenured as an Associate Professor in UB's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in 2004. He currently edits the Routledge book series on Critical Youth Studies, and he is a member of the SUNY Press editorial board.
Yvonne Dion-Buffalo earned her PhD in American studies at UB and remained in the department, first as an Administrative Assistant, and later as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Her research focused on Cree women, and she taught courses on contemporary issues of American Indians, Indigenous women, Indigenous health, Native American history, Native American aesthetics, and American pluralism. She has been greatly missed in the department since her death from cancer in 2005.
Employed at: Warner Pacific College
Dr. Goble is currently an Assistant Professor of Humanities and History at Warner Pacific College, a small liberal arts university located in Portland, Oregon. He teaches courses in History, Philosophy, Latin American studies, and Indigenous studies. When he is not teaching, correcting papers, or spending time with his two young daughters, he is working on a book titled, "The National Unconscious: Indians and Nationalism in the Americas," among other projects.
BA, 1995; MA, 1997
After graduating from UB, Harding worked for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation, and did some work for the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations. He is now a happy stay-at-home father for his son William.
Employed at: Montclair State University
Dr. Harris is a full-time lecturer in the Writing Program at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She has taught at a number of colleges, most recently at Bard College, where she was a visiting faculty member in 2006-2007. Harris is also a published poet.
Dr. Hayes is currently Director of Education and Public Programs at the Accokeek Foundation in Maryland (www.accokeek.org), a position which engages her in a variety of American Studies-related subjects while also providing opportunities to create theater in a public history setting. In the 200 acres of Piscataway Park that it stewards, the Foundation interprets Maryland’s agricultural past through a living history museum that portrays the story of a middling tobacco planter’s family (including two slaves) in 1775 and the agricultural present and future through an organic vegetable farm where new farmers are trained. Hayes is coordinating the Foundation’s efforts in implementing the interpretation of the rich Native American presence in this area (ancestral homeland of the Piscataway) and the expanding focus on African American stories (including oral history interviews and writing and/or directing museum theater plays). She continues to highlight labor and workplace issues related to nurses through performances of her one-woman show “Nurse!” (created from oral history interviews for her MA thesis project), “Bedside Manners” (on doctor/nurse communication, created with journalist Suzanne Gordon) and the article “Nurses on Strike” in the recently published Encylopedia of Strikes in American History.
BA & MA
Barbara-Helen Hill has her own publishing business called Shadyhat books that she established to get her book, Shaking the Rattle: Healing the Trauma of Colonization, back in print. Besides writing and painting, she is now going to school for Webpage design and Quark Express for desktop publishing.
Dr. Hoang is a lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he teaches American History, Social Issues in the U.S., and Interpreting. He also teaches writing courses to gifted high school students. He encourages his students to examine the lives of marginalized groups of people like women, Native Americans, and African Americans.
Chukwunonso C. Ilogu
Chukwunonso Ilogu is a research assistant at the UB Educational Opportunity Center, working under the EOC Executive Director, Dr. Sherryl Weems. He is currently applying to PhD. Programs in the field of education.
Cael M. Keegan, Ph.D.
Dr. Keegan is currently a lecturer in the Women and Gender Studies Department at San Francisco State University, where he teaches courses in American citizenship and politics, gender studies, and queer studies. His recent work has appeared in Reconstructions: Studies in Contemporary Culture. He is also a contributor to the Trans Bodies, Trans Selves book project. Keegan sits on the editorial board of Lillibridge Press, which specializes in the publication of speculative and LGBTQ-oriented literature. He has also taught at Sonoma State University.
Louise George Kittaka
After completing her MA and moving back to Tokyo, Japan with her family, Kittaka resumed her career in publishing. She currently writes for the Eiken, a national English exam, as well as for several other publishing companies. She is also the associate editor for Tokyo Families magazine, a resource for English-speaking families in Tokyo. She recently published her first book—a guide for Japanese mothers wanting to use English with young children—and a second is coming out in 2008. She had one small son of her own when she was a student at UB, and since then she has added two daughters to her family, so it has been a productive few years in more ways than one.
Kris Kraus holds a BA in Theatre from Buffalo State College and an MA in American studies from UB. At UB he split his studies between ethnomusicology and Native American studies, working with John Mohawk and Oren Lyons. His MA thesis, "Inner City Griots: The Cultural Assimilation of African American Oral Traditions, Musical Visions and Revolutionary Ideals into New York City Hip-hop Culture," argued for the merits of university level hip-hop studies, while also exploring the roots of his own decade-long career in music.
After leaving UB, Kraus began his studies at the CUNY School of Law. At CUNY, Kris has founded the school's first Criminal Law Society and its monthly journal The Commentary. He has also been elected the President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Student Association and selected as the student representative on the Admissions Committee. In addition, Kraus has served as a Teaching Assistant for both Torts and Criminal Law and was awarded the Charles H. Revson Public Interest Fellowship in 2002.
Kraus currently works for the Legal Aid Society Federal Defender Division in Brooklyn assisting in representing indigent people charged with federal crimes. Previously he did the same in state court for Legal Aid's Criminal Defense Division in the Bronx. Besides finishing his studies at CUNY, Kris is also working on a project that will tell the story of how his maternal grandparents survived both the Holocaust and a Japanese Prisoner of War camp during World War II. He lives with his wife, Mia, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
A Hawai'i-born scholar, independent curator, lecturer, and cultural critic specializing in contemporary Asian American art and visual culture studies, Margo Machida is currently an associate professor of Art & Art History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Her most recent book is Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary, Duke University Press (2009). Other publications include: "Art and Social Consciousness: Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists in San Francisco 1965-1980" for Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970, eds. Gordon Chang, Mark Dean Johnson, & Paul Karlstrom (Stanford University Press, 2008), and "Reframing Asian America" for One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, exhibition catalogue, The Asia Society, New York (2006). Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art , which Dr. Machida co-edited with Elaine Kim and Sharon Mizota (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), received the 2005 Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. In 2009, Dr. Machida received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national Women’s Caucus for Art. Professor Machida's current book-in-progress is Resighting Hawai'i: Global Flows and Island Imaginaries in Asian American and Native Hawaiian Art (working title).
After completing his MA Thesis Project in American Studies, A Conversational Sociology: The Social Activist in Buffalo, NY, David Michalski moved to New York City to write a book-length documentary poem about corporate culture, called Cosmos and Damian: A World Trade Center Collage (Lowell, MA: Bootstrap Press, 2005). In NYC he also earned an MLS from Queens College, while working at the School of Visual Arts. In Fall 2001 he accepted a position as the Social and Cultural Studies Librarian at the University of California, Davis. At UC Davis Michalski earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. His dissertation is titled Taste After Taste: On the Aesthetic Invitation of Wine (2010). Dr. Michalski continues to write on culture, social theory and libraries.
Arlette Miller Smith
Employed at: St. John Fisher College
Dr. Miller Smith wears many hats at St. John Fisher College. She is the founding Dean and immediate past Associate Provost/Dean of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs, an Associate Professor of English, and the co-director of the African American studies minor.
Miller Smith’s teaching and research interests include African American literature & culture; womanism/feminism; the intersection of the racialized, gendered, classed, and artistic voices of African American women; the written production of early African American women writers; socio-political movements in African American culture, particularly the colored club women’s movement and the modern Civil Rights movement. She is interested in the impact of the exterior (public) life on the interior lives of Black women, as well as the divergence and convergence of the experiences of Black and White women.
Miller Smith also is the founder/executive director of AKOMA, Rochester’s African American Women’s Gospel Choir which is comprised of forty-five women from more than twenty churches throughout the Rochester, New York area.
John C. Mohawk
(April 11, 1945 - December 10, 2006)
Dr. John C. Mohawk was one of the foremost Iroquois scholars and activists of his generation. He earned his PhD in American studies at UB and went on to become an Associate Professor and Chair of the department. Founder of the Iroquois White Corn Project, Dr. Mohawk was the author of Utopian Legacies: A History of Conquest and Oppression in the Western World and Iroquois Creation Story: John Arthur Gibson and J.N.B. Hewitt's Myth of the Earth Grasper. He also was a co-editor of Exiled in the Land of the Free and a contributing editor for Basic Call to Consciousness. He served as an editor of Akwesasne Notes and Daybreak Magazine and wrote a column for Indian Country Today. He received regional, national, and international honors and awards. On two occasions the Native American Journalists Association presented him with an award for Best Article on Historical Perspective, and his work on American Indian education issues in New York State earned him an honorary doctorate from Hartwick College. His teaching and research focused on contemporary Iroquois issues, the life and influences of the Seneca prophet Handsome Lake, and contemporary revitalization movements worldwide. He was widely loved and is much missed.
Employed at: Michael Morgulis Studio / New Buffalo Graphics
Morgulis is a self-employed print maker and graphic designer of posters, logos and t-shirt art. Known mainly for "The Buffalo Series" of images and products, he has created logos and posters for many local and national cultural institutions.
He was one of the first six graduate students in the American Studies program, directed by Larry Chisolm, in 1968. The two years he spent in American Studies had a profound influence on the direction of his life, and the time spent remains among his fondest memories.
MA, 1996; PhD, 2003
Employed at: Augsburg College
Dr. Nathanson is an Assistant Professor of Women's studies and the Director of the Women's Studies Program and Women's Resource Center at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Her co-edited book (Mother Knows Best: Talking Back to the 'Experts') was published in 2008 by Demeter Press. She is currently at work on a feminist theory primer.
Employed at: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Focusing on nineteenth-century women writers and the history of labor, Dr. Navarre is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the English Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Mark Anthony Neal
Employed at: Duke University
Dr. Neal is the author of four books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003) and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). He is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004). His essays have been anthologized in more than half-a-dozen books, including the 2004 edition of the acclaimed series Da Capo Best Music Writing, edited by Mickey Hart. Dr. Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies and Director of the Institute for Critical U.S. Studies (ICUSS) at Duke University. He previously held tenured associate professor positions at The University of Texas, Austin and the State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Neal also taught as an assistant professor at Xavier University, a historically black institution in New Orleans. He is a native of the place affectionately known as the "boogie-down" Bronx, New York.
The Washington Post (June 25, 2003) praised Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation for creating "a dense, sensuous space for a critical cultured black perspective," adding that Neal "may be the first writer capable of developing groundbreaking ideas in the academy and getting a new sticker on his "ghetto pass" in one stroke." Neal's previous book Soul Babies: Contemporary Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic was voted as one of the Top-Ten Books of 2002 by Africana.com. In Soul Babies, Neal grapples with the complexities and contradictions of black life and culture after the end of the Civil Rights era. Exploring a range of contemporary black cultural expressions from Good Times to Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Neal traces the emergence of a "Post-Soul Aesthetic" that marks a profound transformation of African American thought and experience. Neal's first book, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture, is described by Michael Eric Dyson as "one of the most brilliant analyses of the last 50 years of black popular music." What the Music Said is a book about communities under siege, but also communities engaged in various forms of resistance, institution-building, and everyday pleasures. Beginning with the Be-Bop era, Neal reads the story of "black communities" through the black tradition in popular music. Neal is a columnist for Africana.com and is a regular contributor to SeeingBlack.com and Popmatters.com.
BA & MA, 1972 & 1974
After completing her MA in American Studies, Phillips-Palo went to California where she was hired by Francis Ford Coppola who was looking for a "Secretary with a Masters Degree." From there she used her acting/teaching background to secure a position in the Casting Department of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios. Since then she has cast many feature films including The Rainmaker with Matt Damon, The Virgin Suicides for which she won the Artios Award (the highest award for casting directors), Heaven's Prisoners, The Secret Garden, Jack, Shetan, The Young Black Stallion, Jeepers Creepers 2, and others. She credits her time in American studies with being the foundation of the career she has today.
After completing her MA in American studies, Price was admitted into the CUNY School of Law in New York City. Her research focuses on public interest law.
Employed at: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Dr. Roure is a first generation college student and the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants. She graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Spanish. She is a former United States Supreme Court intern. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Western New England College School of Law in Massachusetts. She also studied International Human Rights Law Protection in San Jose, Costa Rica at the University of Costa Rica Law School. In Costa Rica, she lived among the Bri Bri Indigenous tribe. She received her Ph.D. at UB in American studies with a major in Intercultural studies and International Human Rights and was an Arturo A. Schomburg Fellow. She has conducted extensive research in the area of human rights including violence against women in Brasil, Puerto Rico and the United States. Her doctoral dissertation is titled International Human Rights Law as a Resource in Combating Domestic Violence: Transcending Legal, Social and Cultural Obstacles in Brasil and the United States. Roure is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. She teaches in the areas of domestic violence/gender rights, criminal justice, international human rights, international criminal justice, race, class and ethnicity in the United States, and Latina/o studies. She is also the John Jay Director of the Ronald H. Brown Summer Pre-Law Program.
Employed at: Cayuga Community College
Dr. Rowley is an Associate Professor of English at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York.
Employed at: University of Puerto Rico
Dr. Santiago is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico. Her research interests are in the areas of Gender studies, Oral history, Caribbean Women Writers, and Hispanic and Latino/a Literature and Popular Culture. She has published several articles, including work in Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia (2006).
Employed at: Florida International University
Dr. Stephens is an Assistant Professor at Florida International University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology and African Diaspora Studies Program. Her research examines socio- historical factors shaping minority populations sexual health processes, with emphasis on gender and ethnic/ racial identity development. This work is conducted through the Heath Disparities and Cultural Identities Lab. Her current research examines the sexual script development's influence on sexual risk outcomes (including STI acquisition, intimate violence and HPV vaccination uptake), across racial/ ethnic groups. Through tracking of sexual life trajectories, Dr. Stephens' goal is to identify developmental factors promoting resilience and buffering negative sexual health outcomes.
Employed at: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Dr. Tang holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor in the American Studies and Asian American Studies Programs at University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her teaching/research/service interests are: comparative race, ethnicity, and culture; Southeast Asian American community studies; critical ethnography; transnational feminism; and activist art. She has rich experience in youth and community development in immigrant and refugee communities in Massachusetts, having directly participated as a frontline organizer in the Cambodian American community in Revere, MA, and led collaborative public health research projects in both the Vietnamese American community in Dorchester, MA as well as the Cambodian American community in Lowell, MA. She has completed "Community Development as Public Health/Public Health as Community Development: A Report on the HIV/AIDS Needs Assessment in Lowell, MA" (Boston: Massachusetts Asian AIDS Prevention Project, 2001), and recently selected to be the co-writer for the first national report on HIV/AIDS risks among Asian and Pacific Islander women. She is currently completing a manuscript on the development of the Cambodian American community in Revere, MA, focusing on the voices, experiences, and visions of street-involved young women.
Yi-Chya Ting currently resides with her husband in Long Island. Since graduating from American Studies, she has been working as a reporter for World Journal, a Chinese Newspaper in New York City. She is also working at a shipping company in Long Island. In May 2009, she obtained a Chinese teaching certificate from the pretigious Teacher's College at Columbia University.
Employed at: University of South Dakota
Dr. Valandra is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the American Indian Studies Department at the University of South Dakota. Valandra is Sicangu Lakota, born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation. He previously taught at UC Davis and Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His book, Not Without Our Consent: Lakota Resistance to Termination, 1950-1959, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2006. Dr. Valandra’s current research focuses on the national revitalization of the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (People of Seven Fires), and he is working on a follow-up book titled, "The 1964 Plebiscite: A Nation Is Coming." He is also a member of the Native Research and Advocacy Collaborative.
Employed at: SUNY Oswego
Dr. White is an Assistant Professor of Native American and American studies at SUNY at Oswego. His many duties include advising the Native American Heritage Association, a student organization that promotes awareness of Native issues and provides a friendly atmosphere for Native students to assemble.
Dr. Zinni is an independent filmmaker and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, SUNY at Brockport. Her book chapter was recently published in Oral History, Oral Culture, and Italian Americans, edited by Luisa Del Giudice. She was also awarded a grant through the Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center to produce a documentary about economic justice issues and a living wage in Buffalo.