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Alumni Cohort Notes

Ethnomusicology, 2007

Mike Rahfaldt is the Executive Director of Children’s Radio Foundation, where he oversees the international operations from Cape Town, South Africa. Before joining the Children’s Radio Foundation in 2006, Michal taught media and anthropology at the University of Cape Town. As a journalist, he has contributed to Public Radio International, BBC World Service, NPR, and the New York Times.

Özgen Felek at Stanford University, 2012. Photo Credit: L. A. Cicero

Department of Near Eastern Studies/Middle East Studies, 2010

Özgen Felek teaches Ottoman Turkish and Ottoman paleography at Yale University. Felek’s research is on Ottoman culture, literature, and mysticism. Her CWPS research was on dream-telling and dream-interpreting as a performance in the early modern Ottoman literature, conducted in the manuscript libraries in Turkey in the summers of 2006 and 2007.

2020 print for a portfolio for the People's Paper Coop.

Art & Design, 2008

Nicole Marroquin is an artist and teacher educator at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research looks at belonging and spatial justice in Chicago's Latinx communities, which includes research on the student uprisings in Chicago Public Schools between 1967-1980. Marroquin’s aim is to recuperate histories of youth and women’s leadership in the struggle for justice, and to work with young people to engage primary sources and problematize single-source narratives of history.


American Culture, 2012

Lani Teves is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at University of Hawaiʻi. She has written about Hawaiian hip-hop, film, and sexuality in the Pacific. She specializes in theorizing alternate forms of Kanaka Maoli gender performance and recognition politics. Her approach is informed by Indigenous feminist methodologies and ʻŌiwi epistemologies. Teves is the author of Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance (UNC Press 2018).

Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, 2013

Sara Jackson is an assistant professor of German studies at UMass, Amherst. Her first book, The Problem of the Actress in Modern German Theater and Thought (Camden House 2021), draws extensively on archival research conducted in Berlin, Germany, which she first began with support from CWPS.

Department of Jazz & Improvisation, 2009

Ingrid Racine is a freelance musician, composer and educator, and is currently the Program Coordinator for Center for World Performance Studies. Her CWPS research looked at cross-cultural encounters in improvised music, including research in Bamako, Mali and Mysore, India. Find her current work at

Bass Performance, 2011

Phillip Alejo currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arizona, where he has led the double bass studio since 2013. Some professional highlights include: joining the Bay View Music Festival (MI) as artist faculty (2016-current), completing a four-university residency in Mexico in (November 2019), and releasing a first studio album on Furious Artisans with River Town Duo (January 2021). Visit:

Kiran Bhumber

Media Arts, 2018

Kiran Bhumber is a media artist, composer, musician and educator based in Vancouver, Canada. Bhumber is currently working on a solo trans-media gallery exhibition called UNION, a speculative sci-fi narrative about two beings discovering their ancestral memories through the longing for touch and the rituals practiced in their post-apocalyptic wedding ceremony. This exhibition is co-presented by Cinevolution Media Arts Society and Richmond Art Gallery and will run at Richmond Art Gallery in British Columbia, Canada from April 23 - June 5 2021.


Alyssa Wells is currently completing her dissertation research about the ways that masculinity, militarism, and whiteness influence the responses of audiences and the behavior of marching band members. Focusing primarily on morally transgressive behaviors and activities, the first two case studies include a historical exploration of Nazi marching bands in Chicago during the 1940s and an ethnography of current and former drum corps members who participated in Drum Corps International. Her third case study will be an ethnography of street marching bands in Detroit that explores how they intentionally subvert the aforementioned behaviors.

Lenard Foust

Dance, 2019

Lenard J. Foust is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Dance at Alabama State University. Foust was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in China in 2019, where he investigated the history and globalization of street/hip hop/pop culture (African Diaspora). In addition to his hard work at ASU, Foust is pursuing the Leadership and Policy Specialization as a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Masimba Hwati at ZCCD.

Art, 2019

Masimba Hwati is a multidisciplinary artist working in the intersections of sculpture video performance and sound. Hwati explores the transformation and evolution of knowledge systems that are indigenous to his own background whilst experimenting with the symbolism and perceptions attached to cultural objects, expressed as an art movement known as "The Energy of Objects". His work has been shown in Germany, France, Canada, London, the US, Australia, and Southern Africa. In 2015, he represented Zimbabwe at the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale in Italy.

Kaleigh Wilder in Cape Coast, Ghana.

Improvisation, 2019

Kaleigh Wilder is currently the Program Assistant Director for a Detroit nonprofit called Young People Travel Global Edge, which gives Detroit youth ages 12-18 the opportunity to travel abroad. Wilder is also a freelance musician in Detroit playing free improvised music. Kaleigh’s CWPS research was on gender disparities in drumming in Ghana and how that relates to gender in jazz and improvised music, as a music of the African diaspora.