Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Winter 2017 Fellows

Students interested in teaching and bridging classroom instruction with community-based learning were selected to participate in the Engaged Pedagogy Initiative (EPI). Below are the members of the current cohort:

Nkemka Anyiwo

Nkemka Anyiwo is a doctoral student in the Joint Program in Social Work and Developmental Psychology at U-M. Before beginning her doctoral students, she attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned Bachelor of Art degrees in African American Studies and Psychology. During her under-graduate years, Nkemka became actively engaged in culturally-based youth programs in schools, juvenile facilities, and on campus which fostered her interests in examining the factors that promote healthy psychological development of Black adolescents. Currently, her research examines how Black adolescents receive and interpret messages about their race and gender from media, families, and schools and the implications of these messages on their psychological well being. Using her work, Nkemka seeks to work in collaboration with schools and communities to develop, implement, and evaluate programs that promote positive development and academic excellence.

Annie Bolotin

Annie Bolotin is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary poetry and the relationship between politics and aesthetics. Her dissertation examines political engagement in contemporary experimental poetry by women in order to track how formal experimentation reflects ways in which the relationship between the citizen and the American nation have shifted since the 1960s. As an EPI fellow, she is working on a curriculum for teaching contemporary poetry in a way that encourages students to engage with topical content and to see poetry as a form of political discourse.

Irene Brisson

Irene Brisson is an architectural scholar invested in the study and implementation of equitable design processes. Irene's doctoral research at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning investigates spatial discourse and tacit knowledge in Haitian architectural practices and building culture. As a founding member of FAARM (Focus on Architecture, Research & Making) Irene headed architectural design teams in southern Haiti from 2010-13, as well as consulting for urban planning firm SODADE in Port-au-Prince. This interdisciplinary work culminated the co-edited volume, AD Reader: Ground Rules for Humanitarian Design (Wiley, 2015).

Irene holds an S.B. in architecture from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of
Architecture, Preservation & Planning and taught architecture design studio
and representation courses at Parsons the New School for Design and Bowling
Green State University as well serving as a graduate student instructor and
teaching assistant at the University of Michigan, Barnard and Columbia College,
and Hollins University.

Kristen Connor

Kristen is a second-year doctoral student in the Anthropology and History program. Her research focuses on the environmental history of East Central Africa. More specifically her work examines the intertwined histories of rain-making practices and meteorology in western Uganda with attention to precolonial and colonial state projects of weather modification, the hidden labor of meteorological data production, and the politics of environmental and climatic knowledge.

Kristen earned her BA from Smith College in 2012 after which she worked as an outdoor adventure and trekking guide for two years. She came to U-M by way of San Francisco, where she spent a year in the ephemeral world of tech start-ups. As an EPI Fellow she hopes to develop a syllabus for an environmental history and justice course that centers case studies from Michigan in order to emphasize the proximity of environmental issues and their centrality to social justice in the United States.

Brittany Dowe

Brittany Dowe is a Masters of Public Health candidate in the Health Behavior and Health Education Program. She obtained a B.S. in Women’s Studies and a minor in Medical Anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include looking at the health of black women in the workplace, and examining the influence that families/guardians have on a young person’s health outcomes. In her research, Brittany is aiming to understand the ways in which people of color experience health in order to create more sustainable interventions to address common health disparities seen within these communities

Marcus Hall

Marcus Hall is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and has made his way to the Midwest. After working for four years in bilingual education in Madrid, Spain, Marcus recently returned to the U.S. to pursue a Masters degree at the Ford School of Public Policy. He sees himself in 5 five years working in international education management and policy. This can entail working with study abroad students, organizing international school exchanges for high school students, conducting research in education policy or program evaluation, developing education curriculum, and fundraising international education scholarships, through venture capital, to aid low-income university/high school in studying globally. Marcus' long-term goal is to found his own non-profit organized dedicated to providing international education and bilingual education experience to underprivileged youth, both here and abroad.

Michael Pascual

Michael Pascual is pursuing his PhD in the Department of American Culture. He is researching the historical relationship between museums, exhibitions, and Filipino Americans in the U.S. and its cultural and political significance. As an interdisciplinary scholar bringing together Museum Studies, Asian American Studies, and cultural history of American empire, his work critically engages with cultural institutions as sites of identity formation, representation, understanding national belonging and nationhood. 

Ángela Pérez-Villa

Ángela Pérez-Villa is a doctoral candidate in the joint Ph.D. Program in History and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She uses her interdisciplinary training to specialize in the history of gender, race, and the law in nineteenth-century Latin America, particularly Colombia. At Michigan, she has actively participated in programs that have expanded her interests in public scholarship and engaged pedagogy. For example, as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow, Ángela worked at the University of Michigan Museum of Art where she produced a set of teaching dossiers for the 2013 LSA theme semester, "Understanding Race." She has successfully used some of these materials with her own students, who inspire her to continue developing and integrating more engaged learning activities into her teaching practices.   

Amy Pistone

I wrote my dissertation on oracular and prophetic language in the plays of Sophocles. My dissertation, titled "When the Gods Speak: Oracular Communication and Concepts of Language in Sophocles," uses pragmatic linguistic theory to construct a theory of language underlying Sophocles' plays. This idea of how language functions, I argue, is very much a part of the broader discussions about language that were going on in late-5th century Athens, and I read Sophocles' plays within the intellectual context of that time. I served for 4 years as the Graduate Liaison for the Women's Classical Caucus. I also blog for Rackham graduate school and am a member of the Copley Latin Day committee, and have helped organize the Classics' Department's annual event for local high school Latin students.


Gerson Rosales

Gerson Rosales is a first-year History PhD student raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His immigrant, working-class background informs his research, which focuses on the history of migrations between Central America, Mexico, and the United States in the 20th century. While broadly engaged with migrations, Gerson’s research takes a transnational approach to questions surrounding race, labor, gender, and social movements. His background and research interests help foster my interest in community engagement. In the Bay Area, Gerson worked with community outreach groups that provided information to the immigrant community about their work rights and legal rights.