Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship

Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship

Affiliated Faculty

Hannah M. Alarian
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hannah M. Alarian is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Previously, Dr. Alarian was a post-doctoral research associate in Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton University, she was a member of Betsy Levy Paluck’s lab. She was also a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Virginia where she was an active member of the Power, Violence, and Inequality Collective and Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Working Group as well as teaching courses on topics of Europe, political belonging, citizenship, and migration. Dr. Alarian received her PhD in political science at the University of California, Irvine where she was also an affiliate with the Center for the Study of Democracy.  

Her research examines topics of migrant integration, immigration, political identity and participation, and public policy. Her research broadly examines the processes through which immigrants are included in and excluded from their new societies.  

Two of her recent publications, Dual Citizenship Allowance and Migration Flow: An Origin Story (published in Comparative Political Studies) and Citizenship in Hard Times: Intra-EU Naturalisation and the Euro Crisis (published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies), were awarded High Quality Research Awards by the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science at UCI. Her research has been presented at multiple political science conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, Midwestern Political Science Association, and Western Political Science Association.  

In fall 2016, she began a one-month stay at the EUROLAB in Cologne, funded by the GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. In the spring of 2017, she completed a Stimulating European Research (SEO) fellowship at Maastricht University. 

Stephen K. Asare
KPMG Professor, Fisher School of Accounting, Warrington College of Business Administration

Stephen Kwaku Asare is currently the KPMG Professor at the Fisher School of Accounting, University of Florida, where he teaches Attestation, Managerial and Financial Reporting, and Forensic Accounting. Professor Asare has been a visiting professor at several universities, including GIMPA Business School (Ghana), Boston College, Sogang University (Korea), Aarhus School of Business (Denmark), Norwegian School of Business (Norway), University of International Business and Economics (Beijing, China), and University of Nyenrode (Netherlands). Professor Asare is also a legal practitioner and a member of the Florida Bar Association. His First Class Honors Bachelor degree in Accounting is from the School of Administration, University of Ghana. He subsequently obtained an MBA, a PhD and J.D. (cum laude) from Baylor University, University of Arizona, and University of Florida, respectively. He served as the Director of the Doctoral Program in Accounting at the University of Florida and the Editor of the Journal of Accounting Literature from 2007to 2019. His research has appeared in Accounting, Law, Behavioral Decision Theory, and Psychology Journals, and has been funded by the AICPA, KPMG Peat Marwick, and Center for Audit Quality.

Professor Asare is also a scholar of Ghana’s 4th Republican Constitution and has appeared as plaintiff at the Superior Court on issues ranging from dual citizens' rights, separation of powers (swearing in a Speaker when the President and Vice-President are overseas), the President’s commissioning power (whether the President can initiate a review of the Constitution) and the political question doctrine (whether Parliament can excuse an absentee MP). He was a fierce opponent of the Supreme Court's use of the Contempt Power in the recent election petition and authored several articles on the subject, including a petition to the Chief Justice and the Panel hearing the election petition. His articles on the abuse of the Contempt Power and the dangers of an executive initiated review of the Constitution have appeared in the African Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Heidi Boisvert
Assistant Professor; School of Theatre + Dance, AI and the Arts, Immersive Performance Technologies

Heidi Boisvert (PhD) is an interdisciplinary artist, experience designer, creative technologist, and academic researcher who interrogates the neurobiological and socio-cultural effects of media and technology. Simply put, she studies the role of the body, the senses, and emotion in human perception and social change. Boisvert is currently mapping the world's first media genome, while taking great care with its far-reaching ethical implications. She founded futurePerfect lab, a creative agency and think-tank that works with social justice organizations to design playful emerging media campaigns to ignite the public imagination. She also co-founded XTH, a company creating novel modes of expression through biotechnology and the human body and devises large-scale networked theatre and dance. Presently, she is working with David Byrne on Theater of the Mind, a new immersive theater piece and co-curating EdgeCut, a live performance series, which explores our complex relationship to the digital. Boisvert is Assistant Professor of AI and the Arts at the University of Florida in the College of the Arts, School of Theatre + Dance. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, a research affiliate in the Open Documentary Lab at MIT and a member of NEW INC’s Creative Science track. As part of CAME, she is developing a series of micro-performances and a living lab (along with a set of open-source machine learning tools) to transform epigenetic trauma.  

Kenneth L. Broadway
Professor, School of Music, College of the Arts

Equally at home behind timpani, steel pan, or the drumset, Kenneth Broadway has a passion for training the next generation of teachers, performers, and leaders in the field of music.  He has served as Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Florida since 1997, and served in similar capacities at the University of South Dakota and Augusta State University.  Dr. Broadway has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto Festival, and with symphonies in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, South Carolina, and South Dakota.  He has also traveled to Spain and Kenya as part of the World Music Mission, a multi-national network of musicians, writers, worship leaders, engineers and ethno-musicologists.  As a performer, composer, and presenter, Dr. Broadway has appeared at various conferences and symposiums throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Among these are the Midwest Clinic, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Symposium of the International Musicological Society, the College Music Society International Convention, the Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities, the World Saxophone Congress, The Music Educators National Conference, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Conference, and the North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference.

His compact disc with the LYNX Duo (Music for Saxophone and Percussion) is available on the Mark Custom Recording label, and he is featured on other recordings on the Mark and Capstone labels. Dr. Broadway is active in the Percussive Arts Society, the College Music Society, and NACWPI.  He is the Past President of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (2010-12), and is the Past President of the Florida Chapter (2005-08) and Past President of the South Dakota Chapter (1994-97) of the Percussive Arts Society.  He is a Performing Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, and educational endorser for Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals and Promark Mallets. Dr. Broadway received the BM, MM, and DMA degrees from the University of Georgia. 

Rachel Carrico
Assistant Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Rachel Carrico holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California–Riverside, an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU, and a teaching certificate from the Limón Institute. Her research explores the aesthetic, political, and social histories of second lining, an improvisational dance form rooted in New Orleans's African diaspora parading traditions. Her scholarship has been published in TDR: The Drama Review, TBS: The Black Scholar, and several edited volumes: Freedom’s Dance: The Second Line in New Orleans (LSU Press: 2017), The Oxford Handbook on Dance and Competition (Oxford UP: 2018), Contemporary Scholars and Artists Respond to the Baby Dolls of New Orleans (University of Mississippi Press: 2018), and The Futures of Dance Studies (University of Wisconsin Press: 2019). Dr. Carrico's research was awarded the Society of Dance History Scholars' Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for excellence in dance scholarship and supported by grants from the UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship Program, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Gulf South Research at Tulane University.

In 2008, Dr. Carrico co-founded the performance ensemble Goat in the Road Productions in New Orleans, with whom she has directed two international artist residencies and launched Play/Write, a youth playwriting festival, in New Orleans schools. Dr. Carrico is also a contributor to New Orleans's Data News Weekly and a consultant for the 2018 documentary film on New Orleans vernacular dance, Buckumping, by Lily Keber. She parades annually with the Ice Divas Social and Pleasure Club.

Before joining the faculty at UF, Dr. Carrico held faculty appointments in the Dance Department at Reed College, the Department of Theatre and Dance at Colorado College, the Dance Department, Anthropology Department, and Folklore & Public Culture Program at the University of Oregon, and the MFA program at Wilson College. In 2015-16, she was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies in/and the Humanities in the Department of Theater & Performance Studies at Stanford University.

Saidah N. Carter
Co-Founder - Bright Insights Global LLC

Saidah Nash Carter is a digital business native with a passion for value creation and the use of technology to create new opportunity for business and for humanity. She began her career with Reuters NewMedia during a period of profound digital transformation and went on to build and launch some of the first online news services for early internet sensations like Yahoo! and AOL. 

She thrives pushing the boundaries of corporate thinking and business development through emerging technology, co-creation, and a focus on sustainability. She has an eye for identifying opportunities to stretch businesses to new frontiers while remaining connected the company’s core DNA and value proposition. This strength led her to design one of the first customer co-creation programs in Thomson Reuters resulting in a new way of approaching partnership and IP ownership and creating a pathway for richer collaboration with both customer and partner ecosystems. 
As SVP- Africa Innovation, she launched Thomson Reuters data science and innovation lab in Cape Town, one of seven innovation Labs globally and the only one in an emerging market. She is particularly proud of her team’s work delivering Thomson Reuters successful Africa Startup Challenge, Africa's first Intrapreneurship Conference, and her flagship initiative to bring financial inclusion to Africa’s small scale farmers - Bankable Farmer. 
Today she leads Bright Insights Global (BIG), a boutique consultancy and expert network committed to helping companies do better business in Africa. BIG’s network expertise spans financial services, media, private equity, law, talent management, digital product and business development. BIG was formed out of a desire to design and accelerate forward thinking, purpose driven, globally competitive organizations. 
She is also passionate about Africa’s Intrapraneur ecosystem and works to identify, connect and empower these innovators inside large corporates. She works in partnership with the League of Intrapreneurs (, as a Global Fellow and Africa Catalyst. 
Most Recent Awards & Recognition: 2017 Inspiring 50 Women in Tech, United Nations 2018 Voices of African Mothers Innovation Award, League of Intrapreneurs Global Fellow – 2019 

Manoucheka Celeste
Associate Professor; Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research and African American Studies Program; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Manoucheka Celeste holds a Ph.D. in Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington. She also has an M.A. in Mass Communication, and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida. A Black Feminist Media Studies and Cultural Studies scholar, her recent work focuses on mediated belonging and citizenship narratives surrounding Blackness, Black womanhood, and transnational mobility (immigration and tourism). She authored Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the African Diaspora: Travelling Blackness (Routledge) , winner of the National Communication Association’s 2018 Diamond Anniversary Book Award and the association’s 2017 Outstanding Book Award from the African American Communication & Culture Division and Black Caucus.

Her other publications appear in journals and book chapters including Black Camera and Feminist Media Histories. She is committed to critical scholarship on representations of Blackness, including public scholarship, with her published in The Seattle Times, The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, and Spark: Elevating Scholarship on Social Issues.

Tawanda Chabikwa

Tawanda Chabikwa is an interdisciplinary artist-scholar whose work revolves around Black and Africana dance practices, practice-based research, and creative collaboration. Current research and creative practice investigates choreographic practices of transnational African artists, contemporary African theatrical dance, Africana religions/spiritualities and philosophy, decolonial pedagogies, embodied research methodologies. He holds a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic, an M.F.A. in Dance from Southern Methodist University, and works with storytelling, performance art, and visual art (most recent exhibition was at the William H. Thomas Gallery in Columbus, Ohio 2017), and creative writing (first novel Baobabs in Heaven published in 2010). Tawanda holds a doctorate in Africana Studies from the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University and is an Assistant  Professor of Dance and Africana Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. Tawanda’s interdisciplinary scholarly and creative endeavors have led to collaborative encounters, including think-tank initiatives, educational practice, performances exhibitions, and presentations in Zimbabwe, France, Mozambique, many parts of the United States and more. 

Brenda Chalfin
Director, Center for African Studies; Professor, Department of Anthropology; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Brenda Chalfin is the Director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida, and also holds appointments as a professor of anthropology and African Studies. Bringing together cultural anthropology, geography, and political economy to establish new analytic points of entry to understanding political life in contemporary African states, her research addresses the complex functioning of national boundaries and frontiers, the popular production of infrastructure and urban public goods, non-territorial and maritime sovereignty, the built environment, and the changing political valence of waste in the context of late-capitalism.

Dr. Chalfin is now working on a book tentatively titled “Vital Politics: Infrastructures of Bare Life on Ghana’s Urban Frontier.” An urban ethnography drawn from her extended research in the West African nation of Ghana, this work explores alternative infrastructures of waste management that emerge in contexts where state and municipal provisioning of public works are grossly, and deliberately, inadequate to urban realities.

Dr. Chalfin has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the University of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies and been a recipient of Fulbright, Wenner-Gren, and National Science Foundation grants. Dr. Chalfin earned her PhD in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her publications include Neoliberal Frontiers: An Ethnography of Sovereignty in West Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2010), Shea Butter Republic: State Power, Global Markets, and the Making of an Indigenous Commodity (Routledge, 2004), and journal articles in American Ethnologist, Current Anthropology, and Politique africaine. The January 2016 issue of Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, includes the article “Wastelandia: Infrastructure and the Commonwealth of Waste in Urban Ghana.”

Dionne Champion
Research Assistant Professor, Center for Arts in Medicine, College of the Arts

Dionne Champion's work has focused on the design and ethnographic study of learning environments that blend STEM and creative embodied learning activities, particularly for children who have experienced feelings of marginalization in STEM education settings (e.g. African Americans and girls).  She is interested in understanding the ways these populations draw on their everyday practices and use their bodies as resources.  She explores STEM engagement through making and embodied experience to construct broader conceptualizations of cognition that substantively intertwine STEM learning and development, attending to the affective, social and emotional while broadening STEM knowledge and understanding.  

Dr. Champion is an engineer, dancer, arts educator, and education researcher (PhD, Northwestern University). Her background and experiences give her a unique perspective for understanding issues related to STEM and children from communities of color as well as an informed perspective on the intersections of arts and sciences, informal and school settings, theory and practice. Trained primarily as a qualitative researcher, she has developed a toolkit that includes video ethnography, participant observation, video and artifact elicitation interview, clinical interview and multimodal analysis.

She is founder of DancExcel, a creative arts center in Gary, Indiana.  Her experience running that program include designing and implementing educational programming that infuses science, math, writing and history into music and dance activities.  This work has deepened her appreciation for the fact that context matters, that cognition is complex and that understandings are often demonstrated but left unspoken. It also deepened her commitment to exploring both STEM and making opportunities for children of color, thinking not only about how to broaden participation, but also about how to understand, respect, and shed light on the ways in which children already engage, and the strengths that they bring to the table.  Dr. Champion is currently developing a research program that studies ways to engage children in authentic STEM experiences and that interrogates and complicates the ways we think about sense-making, particularly within informal learning environments like Makerspaces where STEM is not just STEM, movement can be more than “just” movement, and the pathways to understanding are not linear, normative, or even always predictable.

Rujeko Dumbutshena
Assistant Professor; School of Theatre + Dance, Contemporary African and African Diasporic Dance Practices, First Year Dance Ensemble

My current research explores dance as a medium that facilitates a return to indigenous knowledge systems through African centered curriculum development, sustainable community project development and by supporting cultural arts practitioners and their institutions.   

As a professional dancer, I maintain an embodied Pan Africanist dance practice that helps me to remember, reclaim, and sustain my identity and vitality. My creative expression is inspired by historical and mythological narratives, and I interpret these stories by centering women and the feminine power of their ritual and performances and practices. My study focuses on, and is inspired by, the strategies and tools used by a lineage of contemporary Black African female choreographers to create their own agency.  

As an independent artist and community organizer, I have created cultural exchange tours to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, and have organized and hosted African music and dance camps in New Mexico. My goal is to fold these experiences into my current practice and propel my ideas forward and expand on my impact, work, and service. As such I continue to dedicate a portion of my research to exploring innovative entrepreneurial projects that help sustain, preserve and uplift the arts and cultural economy of African people. Specifically, I have been researching responsive community-based participatory practices as a starting point for a community-based project I would like to establish in Zimbabwe, and hope to support the work of master African musicians and dancers living in the U.S with the projects they have established in their homeland. In an effort to identify the strategies and tools used to build and sustain arts-based communities at home while away from home, I intend to connect and develop relationships with artists and cultural arts institutions on the continent of Africa.   

Lastly, as a 2022 Global Fellow at the University of Florida I will use the support I receive from this program to travel and conduct my research and professional development in the Gambia and Guinea West Africa in December 2022. Concurrently, I am collaborating with a professor at the University of Kisubi, Uganda on curriculum development focused on technology, dance and pedagogy. I am also looking to build a relationship with the Afrikera Dance Organization in Zimbabwe to support international dance exchanges and intend to apply to the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program and the Fulbright Specialist Program to develop partnerships with institutions like the University of Kisubi and Afrikera. This presence will simultaneously fulfil my desire to grow as an assistant professor, and allow for sustained relationships with African arts institutions in urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania and other countries in West Africa. 

Joan D. Flocks
Director, Social Policy Division, Center for Governmental Responsibility, Levin College of Law

Joan Flocks is the Director of Social Policy for the Center for Governmental Responsibility (CGR). She teaches courses and publishes in the areas of social justice lawyering, poverty law, and environmental justice. She was previously an assistant professor at the UF College of Medicine and before that worked for many years as a legal services attorney in Florida. She has worked as a project manager, consultant, and investigator on several environmental justice and community-based participatory research projects, focusing on topics including farmworker occupational and environmental health, farmworker housing, community health assessment, TANF recipient health perspectives, worker eye safety, worker reproductive health, and community vulnerability and resiliency. She has been involved both internationally and domestically in applied projects and presentations to governmental agencies on diverse topics such post-political settlement resolution, conflict resolution, substandard housing, and community environmental health. She received her M.A. in Latin American Studies and her J.D. from the University of Florida.

Joan D. Frosch
Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Joan D. Frosch is Professor of Dance in the School of Theatre and Dance, where she has taught since 1995. She was also director of UF’s Center for World Arts, a living laboratory exploring the interface of arts and society, which she co-founded with colleague Larry Crook in 1996. Dr. Frosch is affiliate faculty of the Centers for African Studies, Latin American Studies, and Digital Worlds. She is a consultant for the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, and Creative Capital, among others. Awarded the University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship (2012-2015), Dr. Frosch is a dance ethnographer, Laban Movement Analyst (CMA), filmmaker, choreographer, and author. Her research has attracted numerous honors and awards, such as the national Lilly Fellowship for innovative curriculum in Dance in World Cultures, the National Endowment for the Arts (Dance-Creativity), the Cologne Choreographers' Forum for her choreography, "China."

Dr. Frosch received the inaugural EMPAC (RPI) film commission for her film production NORA (2008) which premiered on PBS on January 17, 2011. Dr. Frosch is also the director and producer of the feature documentary on African experimental choreographers entitled Movement (R)Evolution Africa: a story of an art form in four acts (2009) currently broadcast by ZDF in Germany, Austria, and Italy.

Dr. Frosch trained at the School of Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, California Institute of the Arts, Columbia University, and the Laban Institute of Movement Studies. She has taught on the faculties of the University of Maryland, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Wesleyan University, Rotterdamse Dansacademie in the Netherlands, the International School of Beijing, and founded and directed a summer performing arts program based at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. She has also served as Advisor to the Smithsonian's Festival of American Folklife African Immigrant Project, President of the Florida Dance Association, and has served on the board of directors of the Congress on Research in Dance.

Dr. Frosch is the recipient of the University of Florida President's Humanitarian Award (2003), the inaugural Gwendolen M. Carter Fellowship in African Studies (2003-2004), Faculty Achievement Recognition (2007), the College of Fine Arts International Educator of the Year Award (2008), University of Florida International Educator of the Year Award (2008). She was selected for the HERS Leadership Institute (2010) and awarded the INPUT Producer’s Fellowship (2011). Dr. Frosch is co-founder of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (TACAC), a bi-continental organization of artists and arts organizations dedicated to the vigorous exchange of contemporary art making and ideas. Dr. Frosch analyzed the TACAC model of global exchange in her publication Building Enduring Partnerships (2011).

Kate Golebiowska
Senior Research Fellow and the Coordinator of the BA Honours Program (Social Sciences, Creative Arts) at the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts (CIFEA) at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Darwin, Australia.

Kate Golebiowska is a Senior Research Fellow and the Coordinator of the BA Honours Program (Social Sciences, Creative Arts) at the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts (CIFEA) at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Darwin, Australia. 

She is an international migration scholar whose research sits at the intersection of human geography, demography, entrepreneurship and workforce planning and development. She looks forward to bringing her Australian research and knowledge to generate new insights into immigrant entrepreneurship with a focus on women and imagine the next-level social impact. Her research has contributed novel insights into the impacts of international migration on regional population change and labour force growth and pioneered knowledge about the mobility motivations and workplace experiences of international migrants in regional areas of Australia, especially in the human services industries. Kate has also contributed original, comparative analyses of governance, objectives, demographic and economic outcomes of the regional migration policies in Australia and Canada. In her recent work she explored immigrant-born women entrepreneurship in sectors as diverse as the arts, early childhood education and care, food and beverage and professional services, and identified the professional needs of these women.   

Her new team project critically examines the experiences of the First Nations and international students in navigating higher education in Australia with a view to re-imagine how their experiences may be best supported in the post-COVID19 environment. She is an experienced qualitative researcher and has a practitioner and reviewer experience in human research ethics derived from serving for 10+ years at the Charles Darwin University Human Research Ethics Committee. 

Kate serves as a guest co-editor of a special issue of the Australian Geographer (2023) devoted to new research and ground-breaking conceptualisations of the settlement of humanitarian migrants in regional Australia. Her articles appeared in the Journal of International Migration and Integration, Australian Geographer, International Journal of Training Research, International Journal of Organizational Diversity, People and Place. She led and co-authored book chapters in edited volumes on international migration to regions and remote areas published by Ashgate, Routledge, Edward Elgar, ANU Press and L’Harmattan (in French).  

As a long-time member of the demographic and migration research community in Australia Kate is happy to connect interested CAME students and Faculty with researchers in these fields in Australia. She serves as the Secretary of the Australian Population Association (2021-2022).  

Kate holds a MA in Political Science and a Certificate in European Studies from the University of Warsaw (Poland) and a PhD in Public Policy from the Australian National University, Canberra (Australia). 

Dori Griffin
Assistant Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Dori Griffin received her BFA in graphic design from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her MFA in graphic design from the University of Florida, and her PhD in design with an emphasis in design history from Arizona State University. Trained as both a designer and a design historian, she occupies an interdisciplinary scholarly position which engages both studio practice and scholarly research. 

Dr. Griffin’s design history research focuses on popular print culture and the narrative construction of social and cultural identity. Through this research, she probes the evolving aesthetic and theoretical relationships between visual culture, cultural identity, and image narratives. Using transdisciplinary research strategies informed by visual communication design practice, she documents and deconstructs the graphic narratives of twentieth-century cultural landscapes, both literal and figurative. Her research takes seriously the messages both constructed by and reflected in popular, mass-produced, and ephemeral artifacts such as maps, posters, periodicals, advertisements, and commercial illustrations. Her early publications centered around popular cartographic illustration in the context of twentieth century domestic tourism. Her first book, Mapping Wonderlands: Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912-1962, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2013. In 2019, she was a keynote speaker at the Mapping Grand Canyon conference at Arizona State University, where she engaged critically with cartoon maps of the Grand Canyon.

Dr. Griffin’s recent publications expand the chronological, geographic, and conceptual scope of her research to explore how the artifacts of popular visual culture, and the practicing designers who produced them, have participated in global conversations about social issues. These visual conversations engage diverse issues such as cultural identity, cross-cultural communication, access to health care, and envisioning a more environmentally sustainable planetary future. The history of graphic design is an emergent field of research with an extensive body of unexplored practices and artifacts awaiting scholarly attention. Dr. Griffin’s research is situated at the convergence of commercial graphic design practice, the artifacts of popular print media, and their associated cultural and inter-cultural narratives. Her publications include articles in the Journal of Design HistoryDesign and Culture, the Journal of Communication DesignImago Mundi  and Literary Tourism and the British Isles: History, Imagination, and the Politics of Place. She has presented at conferences including the Design History Society conference, the College Arts Association Conference, and the Popular Culture Association Conference. In dialogue with her historical research, Dr. Griffin also presents and publishes research related to design pedagogy. This research centers around shifting the narrative of graphic design education away from aesthetics and toward a historically contextualized and critically informed praxis capable of solving important contemporary problems in a global context. Her pedagogical research has been published in Dialectic and Visible Language and presented at conferences such as the College Arts Association, the Southeast College Arts Conference, and AIGA Design Educators conferences (Decipher, 2018; Converge, 2017; Connecting Dots, 2014; Head, Heart, Hand, 2013; Blunt, 2013).

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol
Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law, Levin College of Law

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol is an internationally renowned human rights scholar who utilizes an interdisciplinary and international framework to promote human well-being around the globe. She is engaged in initiatives that seek to develop, expand and transform the human rights discourse with a focus on issues of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, language, and other vulnerabilities as well as their interconnections.

As part of a team of UF scholars immersed in engagement with Cuba and in the re-establishment of relations between the Levin College of Law and the University of Havana Law School, she has traveled to Cuba to develop associations with professors across the UH campus. The initiative has involved the planning of a joint, interdisciplinary conference that was held in Havana in the fall of 2016. That meeting established the foundation for collaborative scholarly activities for UF-UH faculty and students. She travels broadly to discuss and teach human rights. She has made presentations and offered courses in countries around the world including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, France, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and Uruguay. Professor Hernández-Truyol’s current research includes an examination of the conflict between non-discrimination laws and religious freedoms. She utilizes international, regional and foreign law to develop a policy analysis that is consistent with non-discrimination principles as well as with first amendment rights as a means to resolve the conflict. A chapter titled “Embracing Our LGBTQ Youth: A Child Rights Paradigm,” describing the human rights infringements on children and LGBTQIA families was recently published in The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Rights Law (Shani M. King and Jonathan Todres, eds.). Another chapter, concerning the impact on children and families of discrimination on the basis of sexuality, appears in a book she co-edited with Italian law professor Roberto Virzo, Orientación sexual y tutela de menores: perspectiva del derecho internacional y comparado, published in 2016. She is engaged in research and writing for a book project on democracy, provisionally titled “Democracy as Pretext: Unveiling the Tyranny of the Majority,” the thesis of which maintains that so-called democratic processes often fail the most vulnerable. She, with colleague Steve Powell –an expert in International Trade Law, developed a new paradigm that unveiled the myriad intersections of the trade and human rights regimes and, in Just Trade: A New Covenant Linking Trade and Human Rights (NYU Press 2009), elucidated how embracing the interdependence of these fields promotes human flourishing.

She received her LL.M. from New York University School of Law, a J.D. (cum laude) from Albany Law School of Union University, and a B.A. from Cornell University. She currently holds the Stephen C. O’Connell Chair in the Levin College of Law.

Aida A. Hozić
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Aida A. Hozić is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Associate Chair of the Department of Political Science. Her research is situated at the intersection of political economy, cultural studies, and international security. Her current research projects focus on crime and state in Southeastern Europe, visual representations of race in international politics, and the diffusion of global arts markets in the 21st century. 

She is the author of Hollyworld: Space, Power and Fantasy in the American Economy  (Cornell University Press, 2002) and co-editor (with Jacqui True) of Scandalous Economics: Gender and Politics of Financial Crises (Oxford University Press, 2016). She has written dozens of peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited volumes and a number of articles in journals and edited volumes. Her work has been supported by the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, IREX, Institute for Turkish Studies, Open Society Institute, University of Florida Humanities Fund, and many other fellowships.

Alana Jackson
Lecturer, Center for Arts in Medicine, College of the Arts

A songwriter, performer, and spoken word artist, Alana Jackson has performed original work in cities spanning from NYC to Belfast, Ireland. Her early experiences as a caregiver compelled her to pursue a career in medicine, but it wasn’t long into her college career before she determined that she couldn’t turn her back on the healing she had also found through music. She graduated with distinction from Duke University with a self-designed degree in the “Intersections of Public Health and the Performing Arts,” culminating her practicum with an original 20-person production focused on meditations around arts, illness, grief, and coping that continue to shape her outlook today. 

As a multi-modal artist dedicated to working at the interface of arts and health, Professor Jackson has robust experience facilitating arts engagement for patients and communities of varying ages, circumstance, and abilities, and has performed bedside in hospital units as a Shands AIM artist in residence. Professor Jackson has additionally enjoyed working with adolescents at Alachua Academy, a residential partner with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for girls at risk for substance use and abuse. As the founder and former director of a dance class series for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers piloted at Duke based off Dance for PD, she laid the groundwork for sustainability of the program in existence today. 

This passion for promoting access to the arts informs many of the large-scale public health initiatives she has overseen and contributed to in Gainesville. Over the past several years, she has had prominent roles in programs such as Night of Dance, and in content development for Theatre for Health Outreach at Alachua County Public Schools, HIV Awareness and Education, and theatre presented in Our Community Our Health, a nationally broadcasted webinar and town hall series hosted locally by UF HealthStreet.

Much of her work in these arenas has focused on how theatre, dance, writing, and music can be used to advance public health priorities and improve health outcomes. During her time at UF she has additionally held roles in clinical research and strategic initiatives. These roles have drawn on her background in the medical sciences and extensive experience developing organizational vision for community engagement. She continues to leverage her performance background in hopes of empowering communities that have lost their independence, identity, or physical abilities.

Ron Janowich
Associate Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Ron Janowich (MFA, Maryland Institute College of Art) has had over 20 one-person and 60 group exhibitions internationally. His work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Tate Gallery, London, U.K.; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; and numerous private collections. His work is published in various books including History of Modern Art by Arnason H.H., The Aesthete in the City by David Carrier, Beyond Piety by Jeremy Gilbert Rolfe, and Art Speak by Robert Atkins. His work has been reviewed in magazines including Artforum, Arts, Art in America, and Tema Celeste. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships in Painting (1976, 1989).

Professor Janowich’s recent work involves investigating transciency, dislocation and fragmentation as a way to structure the unfolding of sight as it is brought to awareness. Through the interpenetration of painting and photography, he hopes to create a state of perpetual becoming yet paradoxically dissolving; an endless procession of moments held in time and space and embodied in the art object. This corresponds with an awareness that is the mutual exchange between the interior dimensions of the self and the outer world of physical phenomenon. The dimension that is held is not one without the other, but rather the simultaneous conscious awareness of both. This awareness then becomes the vehicle for the exploration of human depth; spiritual, psychological and physical.

Ashley E. Jones
Assistant Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Ashley Jones received her B.A. from Grinnell College and her Ph.D. from Yale University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the David E. Finley Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and a fellowship from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, Italy.

Dr. Jones’s research focuses on Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Her work investigates the material, iconographic, and ideological traces of Rome in the late-Classical and early Medieval and Byzantine periods. She is particularly interested in portraiture, imperial art and its reception, and questions of the body. Her current book project investigates the practice of mounting coins in jewelry in Late Antiquity, and the corresponding use of the numismatic imperial portrait as a powerful, protective, or amuletic image. The project also interrogates the relation of jewelry to the body in the Classical and Late Antique world, questioning the relationships not only between adornment and eroticism, but also between tactility and magical thinking. New work examines the representation of gemstones and jewelry in text and image in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and the material foundations of salvation and wonder.

Jamie J. Kraft
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Warrington College of Business Administration

Jamie Kraft is the Director for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at the University of Florida. Professor Kraft came to the center from Deloitte Consulting where he spent several years as a management consultant focusing on economic performance evaluation, competitive assessment, and strategic development for clients in the manufacturing and consumer products industries. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in microbiology and from the University of Florida as a Matherly Scholar with an MBA specializing in finance, operations management, and business strategy. Before starting with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, Jamie spent one year in Paris studying the French language. He has been with the Center for the past 17 years. He has served as the instructor for courses covering the topics of business planning, technology commercialization, small business consulting, customer discovery, entrepreneurial leadership and creativity, has managed, led and participated in student programs in Silicon Valley, Hungary, Ireland, Chile, Cuba, South Africa, and Haiti. Professor Kraft currently provides direction for the Center's student incubator, the Gator Hatchery.

Barbara McDade Gordon
Associate Professor Emerita, Department of Geography, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Barbara McDade Gordon is Emerita Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida.  She also serves on the African American Studies Advisory Board.  She is a founding director of the Alachua County African and African American Studies Historical Society, a member of the Alachua County African American History Task Force, Vice President of Welcoming Gainesville, and Secretary of the United Nations Association-Gainesville Chapter.

Her research and teaching areas were in Economic and Cultural Geography in Africa. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of referred articles, book chapters, and the book, African Entrepreneurship: Theory & Reality.

Dr. McDade Gordon received her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Southern University; Master’s in Community & Regional Planning, and Ph.D. in Geography and Planning from University of Texas at Austin. During 2013-2014, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Ghana in the Department of Geography and Resource Development. Her current research focus is on the Global African Diaspora.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and a founding member of the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA).

Dr. McDade Gordon has traveled throughout Africa pursuing her research and teaching interests; and she has also visited the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Kenneth Metzker
Adjunct Lecturer, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Kenneth Metzker began his musical studies in classical piano from age 4-16. He holds a bachelor's degree in Music Performance as a Percussionist from the University of Kentucky under the direction of James B. Campbell. He began his Afro-Cuban/Brazilian folkloric studies with Michael Spiro at age 15, which led him to study with many other notables in the Afro-Cuban genre around the United States. He traveled to Matanzas, Cuba to study Afro-Cuban folkloric music with the world-renowned Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. His work has taken him to Cuba, Brazil, Europe, and the Caribbean as a performer, instructor and student. He spent time in the northeast of Brazil collaborating and performing with various bands and dance companies, including Cia. Vata, Caravana Cultural, and Dona Zefinha, with whom he performed in Recife and Olinda, Pernambuco for Carnaval. He was a Percussionist-In-Residence at schools in Guaramiranga, Ceara, Brazil, Fortaleza and throughout state of Ceara, Brazil (2005). 

Professor Metzker has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater summer percussion workshop, University of Tennessee, Martin as a Guest Teaching Artist (2005), at past “Rhythm Explosion” workshops in Bozeman, Montana (2004-2010), and at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Jazz Week (2005+2013), where he collaborated and performed with Rebeca Mauleon and Jimmy Branley. He has worked as a dance accompanist in numerous settings, including the Florida Dance Festival, New World School of the Arts (2005-2018), NOVA University, Florida International University, Brazz Dance Theatre (2005-present), Young Arts national event in Miami, and Soul to Sole Tap Festival, Austin, TX, collaborating with choreographer Katherine Kramer (2004). Professor Metzker was a participant in the Third World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany (2002) and had an original Afro-Cuban composition premiered with the University of Kentucky percussion ensemble at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (2001). He has performed at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami, Florida for the “Annual Brazilian Film Festival” as part of the awards ceremony, with Shakira on the Jimmy Kimmel show and the Bank Atlantic Center in Florida and as a performer and workshop instructor at the Grassroots festivals in New York/North Carolina/Miami. He played in the official music video for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. Professor Metzker has taught in the Miami school system with Arts for Learning, Guitars Over Guns, and many other after school programs in Miami-Dade County. He has worked as a free-lance musician in Miami recording, performing, and teaching since 2005. 

Porchia Moore
Assistant Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Porchia Moore received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science and the McKissick Museum Management program. The recipient of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership Librarian fellowship, she is a museum visionary and activist-scholar who employs Critical Race Theory to interrogate museums and other cultural heritage spaces. Her research examines the intersections of race, community, technology and social media, and inclusion in museums. A Regular Contributing Writer and Project Advisor for the Incluseum, her writing and research are used as training and learning materials at museums across the country. She is the co-creator of The Visitors of Color project: a national counter-narrative project recognized by the American Alliance of Museums as a resource on DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access) which seeks to highlight and share the lived experiences, insights, and reflections on modern museums from marginalized citizens. She has served as advisor to numerous national museum projects, including MASS (Museums as Site for Social) Action with the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Museums and Race. She served as consulting curator at the Columbia Museum of Art and curated the rotating African American art gallery, “Spoken”.  

Dr. Moore has served on numerous boards, such as Friends of African American Art and Culture at the Columbia Museum of Art (where she served as the first ever Inclusion Catalyst), Museum Education Roundtable, Women and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina in addition to serving on a multitude of advisory and planning committees, including the South Carolina Federation of Museums, Museum Computer Network and more.  

Dr. Moore is a sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker and regularly presents at library and museum conferences internationally, including Museums and the Web, American Alliance of Museums, Museum Computer Network, Ontario Museums Conference, Smithsonian American History Museum, Southeastern Museums Conference, and more. She has worked with museums across the nation to help shape internal and external transformation and change with the Smithsonian American History Museum, National Gallery of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Owens-Thomas House, Historic Columbia Foundation, The Phillips Collection, and the Orlando Science Center, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh being a small handful of the museums that she has worked with. A prolific scholar, Dr. Moore has published in journals such as Curator and Exhibitionist and has contributed significant book chapters to important museum publications such as the newly released 2019 Museum Activism edited by Dr. Richard Sandell and Positioning Your Museum as a Critical Community Asset edited by Connolly and Bollwerk. Recognized as a museum thought-leader and social media influencer, Dr. Moore was invited to participate in the Pre-Opening Media Day Preview for the Smithsonian National African American History Museum in Washington, DC. She has appeared as a featured guest on varying museum podcasts, including Museum Life with Carol Bossert, The Whitest Cube, Archipelago, and others. You can review her most recent national broadcast interview on National Public Radio (NPR), You can follow her on Twitter @PorchiaMuseM. 

Vernelle A.A. Noel
Director of the Situated Computation + Design Lab

Vernelle A. A. Noel  is a design scholar, architect, artist, and Director of the Situated Computation + Design Lab. She investigates cultural design practices, traditional crafts, and computation for the development of new frameworks, expressions, and tools to explore social, cultural, and political aspects of computation and emerging technologies for new reconfigurations of practice, pedagogy, and publics. Dr. Noel’s work has been supported by the Graham Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, and ideas2innovation (i2i) among others. Her 2015 TEDx Talk is titled, “The Power of Making: Craft, Computation, and Carnival.” Dr. Noel holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University, and a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Trinidad & Tobago. She has been a researcher and educator at MIT, The Singapore University of Technology & Design, Penn State, The University of Florida, The University of Stuttgart, and has practiced as an architect in the USA, India, and Trinidad & Tobago. Dr. Noel is currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 

Richard Pellegrin
Assistant Professor, School of Music, College of the Arts

Rich Pellegrin’s research examines the significance of the Salzerian analytical tradition with respect to both the classical and jazz idioms. He has presented papers at numerous regional, national, and international conferences. His work has been published in Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy, the Journal of Schenkerian StudiesJazz Perspectives, and in volumes by Cambridge Scholars Publishing and KFU Publishing House. Dr. Pellegrin recently served as Guest Editor of a special issue of Jazz Perspectives devoted to John Coltrane. He is currently working on a book entitled Analytical Approaches to Jazz: Tonal, Modal, and Beyond.

As a jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader, he has released three albums on Origin Records’ OA2 label. His most recent record was reviewed in Downbeat Magazine, which described "moments of absolute bliss" and wrote, "Pellegrin does as the great pianists do, supplying encouragement and graceful touches in the background, before diving forward to take solos that are by turns florid and cracked, balletic and modern." He is currently working on a multi-volume solo project, the first disc of which will be released in 2021.

In 2014, Dr. Pellegrin produced the Mizzou Improvisation Project, an interdisciplinary festival which brought together a diverse range of scholars, performers, educators, improvisers, and composers. The festival included a collaborative recording session with Pellegrin’s Seattle-based band and the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, material from which was released on his recent album, Down. Before joining the UF faculty in 2017, Dr. Pellegrin previously taught music history, theory, jazz, and improvisation at the University of Missouri and at the University of Washington, where he completed his PhD in 2013. Dr. Pellegrin holds degrees from Oberlin College, Kent State University, and the University of Washington, and has also worked extensively as a church organist and choirmaster.

Sarah Politz
Assistant Professor, School of Music, College of the Arts

Sarah Politz’s work focuses on creative practice in African and Afro-diasporic music, particularly in the context of popular music and new African diasporas in Europe and North America. She is currently working on a book project about sound, spirituality, and migration in the lives of brass band and jazz musicians from Republic of Benin, West Africa, where she has been conducting fieldwork since 2007.

Her publications have explored a wide range of topics, from phenomenology, semiotics, and history in music analysis, to culturally grounded definitions of musical genre and style, the aesthetics of jazz, and Afro-modernism. Dr. Politz’s most recent writing is focused on issues of protest and indirection in African brass band music in Europe. Her second research project in development examines the role of health and well-being in the transmission of African spiritual and musical practices.

Dr. Politz completed a PhD in ethnomusicology at Harvard University in 2017. She also holds an MA in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (2011), and a BM in jazz studies and a BA in English from Oberlin College and Conservatory (2007). Before coming to UF, she previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Williams College. She performs actively as a jazz trombonist in several groups, including the Theodicy Jazz Collective.

Heidi C. Powell
Director of Graduate Studies in Art Education Online, Associate Professor of Art Education, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Heidi Powell is UF's Director of Graduate Studies for the Art Education Program Online and is Affiliate Faculty for the Center for Latin American Studies. Dr. Powell’s research currently explores global initiatives in arts practice and pedagogy. On the international front she conducts the majority of her research in Guatemala. She has recently served as a Jewish National Fund Fellow to Israel. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Iceland Academy for the Arts-Listáhaskóli Íslands, an exchange scholar to Beijing Foreign Studies University, an NAEA delegate to Cuba, an invited artist-scholar to the Freies Atelierhaus Schaumbad, has participated in a faculty exchange at Uni-Graz (Karl-Franzens Universität Graz) in Graz, Austria, (for her video click here), and as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow to Alaska and British Columbia. She exhibits nationally and internationally (Vancouver, B.C., Austria, Iceland, Croatia, Guatemala, Wyoming, and Florida). Her sculpture, Voices of Our Ancestors, is on permanent loan to the Depot Museum in Morrilton, Arkansas, and tells the story of her ancestor Diodema born on the Trail of Tears.

She is an artist and scholar of Native American (Lenni Lenape) and Norwegian descent. Her more recent scholarly research emphasizes Narrative Inquiry and Experienced-Based research methods, addressing pedagogy in arts education, medicine and arts integration, indigenous identities, art cultures, and art-based research, exploring the theoretical and practical ideas of how the arts reframe pre-conceived notions in learning environments. These methodologies are by nature interdisciplinary and re-exam claims of plurality, viability, and canon as a form of cultural positioning in the arts and arts pedagogy and practice. Her most recent publication is titled The Alfombras: Creative Acts of Cultural Memory, (Powell, H. C., 2018, International Journal of Education Through Art, 14:3, pp. 385–92, doi: 10.1386/eta.14.3.385_1), and a book chapter Becoming a Curator of Memories: Memorializing Memory as Place in Art Making for Art Education in Revitalizing History (Vernon Press).

Her creative work focuses on indigenous and isolated histories and their relationship to contemporary society as landscape. Foundational to her creative work is the notion of “story” which re-emphasizes the conflictual and the consensual in society, constructing and de-constructing daily identity where the personal, collective, and cultural converge.   

She was recently nominated for the UF Diversity Champion award and she received Art Educator of the year in Higher Education for TAEA. Dr. Powell received her undergraduate degree in Music Performance and Music Education, her M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (Art Education), and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Art Education).  She has held positions and has also taught Art Education at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Eastern Washington University, and served as Special Appointed Faculty and Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researching and teaching in Arts and Medicine.

María Rogal
Director of Graduate Studies, Design & Visual Communications; Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

María Rogal’s trans-cultural background and perspective influence her work, in which she explores the potential of design and visual communication to positively shape the human experience. She founded Design for Development (D4D) to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs in rural Mexico and subject matter experts on grassroots economic development projects. By co-designing with clients as partners, she finds it is possible to develop products and strategies relevant to the context and constituents. Her intent, to this end, is to orient the design discipline toward methods and socially conscious outcomes that are sustainable and responsible. Most recently, she co-founded Codesigning Equitable Futures with Dori Griffin and Laura Gonzales.

With Raúl Sánchez, Professor Rogal co-authored the chapter “CoDesigning for Development” in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design, edited by RB Egenhoffer, London: Routledge Press (2018). She is the recipient of several grants, including a Sappi “Ideas That Matter” grant (with Gaby Hernández), the inaugural American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Research Grant, and three Fulbright grants. She shares her work on design methods and pedagogy at conferences, including the AIGA H3 Biennial Conference, the AIGA New Contexts/New Practices Social Economies thread, GLIDE ‘10: Global Interaction in Design—where she was awarded best paper—and at MX Design Conference: Social Impact of Design (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City). Her article “Identity and Representation: (Yucatec) Maya in the Visual Culture of Tourism” was published in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal, and she was one of 24 international educators to contribute to the  Icograda Design Education Manifesto Update.

Professor Rogal’s creative design work has appeared in national and international juried exhibitions in the UK, Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and the US. In the past, she has worked as a senior designer for Sapient (Atlanta) on the design of large-scale websites for international clients, including the Dutch bank ING, and worked at other design agencies as well as with the US Government. She served on design juries, including Design Incubation’s Communication Design Educators Awards program from 2016–2020, chairing the program in 2018 and 2019. 

In addition to her roles with the School of Art + Art History and CAME, Professor Rogal is affiliate faculty with the Center for Latin American Studies. She received her MFA in Design/Visual Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to that, she studied Political Science at Villanova University where she received her BA. She later studied design at the University of Maryland as a post-bac student to begin her career in design. 

Kishau Rogers
Entrepreneur, Systems Thinker, Computer Scientist

Kishau Rogers is an award-winning technology entrepreneur on a mission to amplify human capability and solve the world's increasingly complex problems with computer science, systems thinking, and creative intelligence. She is the Founder & CEO of Time Study Inc. and owner of the innovation agency bigThinking and its lab Websmith Studio. Her work is featured in many leading publications, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNN Business, and Black Enterprise. She holds a Computer Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and has over 25 years of technology and entrepreneurial experience.  

As the CEO of Time Study, Kishau is the first Black woman in Virginia to raise millions in venture capital to scale her tech startup. Time Study serves many of the top health organizations in the US, empowering leaders with intelligent tools to build a better future for work by optimizing how time is spent and creating more value for the enterprise's greatest resource, people. 

Kishau is completing a book project which provides a transformative framework for navigating complexity and solving wicked problems through the intersection of systems thinking principles, human creativity, and artificial intelligence. Her research reveals how arts & culture must inspire and inform engineering best practices. Her latest project explores integrating tech entrepreneurship and embodiment practices to guide discovery & ideation, to scale impact, and navigate pivots. As humanity becomes increasingly more dependent on technologies that are narrowly guided by economic impact, the goal is to offer a human-centered innovation toolkit that elevates human creativity, integrates extraordinary human practices, and that (ultimately) expands the universe of people solving the world's most challenging problems. 

Kishau is the recipient of numerous awards, including Virginia Commonwealth University's Distinguished Alumni in Computer Science, NAWBO Wells Fargo STEM award, Lyn McDermid Community Impact Award, and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by Microsoft.  

In her commitment to diversity in entrepreneurship and STEM, she advises organizations like Level Up Ventures, AI for Afrika, Embodiology, and VCU's Department of Computer Science. In addition, she served as an advisor for the first U.S. White House Hackathon for Foster Care (Think Of Us) and is a co-founder of SheHacks Africa, WAAW Foundation's software engineering program for women & girls in over three African nations.  

To learn more about her work, visit

Andrew S. Rosenberg
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Andrew Rosenberg studies international relations and political methodology with substantive research interests in race in international politics, human security, and the economic effects of international migration. Much of Dr. Rosenberg’s work uses quantitative techniques to study the illicit and socially undesirable aspects of international politics and political economy. His book manuscript under review unmasks and explains the persistence of racial inequality in international migration. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science,Political Analysis and International Studies Quarterly.

His methodological interests include Bayesian statistics, causal inference, and computational modeling. In addition, Dr. Rosenberg has an article in Political Analysis (co-authored with Austin J. Knuppe and Bear F. Braumoeller) that develops a unified framework for studying asymmetric hypotheses.

Dr. Rosenberg received a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, an M.Sc. (Research) from the London School of Economics in International Relations, and a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University in International Studies and Political Science.

Colleen Rua
Assistant Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Colleen Rua is Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies/Performance Studies with the School of Theatre and Dance. Her recent directing credits include: Gypsy, Conference of the Birds, AssassinsPilgrims of the Night and the immersive experiences An Awfully Big Adventure, Alice in Wonderland and The Skin of Our Teeth, as well as staged readings of Nosotras que los queremos tanto by Hugo Salcedo, Lomas de poleo by Edeberto Galindo, and Red Bike and In the Time of the Butterflies by Caridad Svich. As a director, she is particularly excited about creating devised and immersive performances in collaboration with performer-playwrights that reconsider space and actor-audience relationships.

Dr. Rua was the Artistic Director of Arlington Children's Theatre and Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of SouthCity Theatre, in residence at Boston's Factory Theatre. In 2014, Dr. Rua co-founded and directed Bridgewater State University's Acting for Justice theatre troupe which addressed issues of equity and inclusion on college campuses. She has taught courses at MIT, Northwestern University, Tufts University, and UMASS Lowell and has delivered guest lectures at Duke University and Suffolk University. Dr. Rua’s research interests include Latinx Theatre, Immersive Theatre, the American Musical, and Theatre for Youth. Her book project, Coming Home: Latinx Representations on Broadway, focuses on three Broadway musicals (West Side Story, The Capeman, and In the Heights) to explore the place and significance of the Latinx character and culture about the search for and construction of “home.”  Through a thorough investigation of these musicals and their original Broadway productions, she examines the ways in which theatre artists have represented Latinx identity, language, memory and space, and the impact of these representations on both Latinx and non-Latinx audiences. Dr. Rua’s conference presentations have included, “Gender, Environmentalism, and Secularization in Sor Juana’s el divino narciso,” and “Translation and Adaptation Challenges in Ana Caro’s valor, agravio y una mujer,” at the American Society for Theatre Research and “Serving Los Estados Unidos: Identity, War and Memory in Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue” at Northwestern University. Other recent publications include the forthcoming “Navigating Neverland and Wonderland: Audience as Spect-Character,” in Theatre History Studies Journal and “Pop Operas, or, Broadway sells T-shirts!" In American Literature in Translation 1980-1990 published by Cambridge University Press. She has presented and led workshops at national and regional conferences including the American Society for Theatre Research, Association for Theatre in Higher Education and Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild. She is the recipient of Bridgewater State University’s 2019 Presidential Award for Distinguished Teaching and was the 2015 recipient the New England Theatre Conference's Leonidas Nikole Award for Theatre Educator of the Year. Dr. Rua holds a PhD in Drama from Tufts University and an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.

José Valentino Ruiz-Resto
Assistant Professor, Head of Music Business & Entrepreneurship, School of Music, College of the Arts

An expert in music, television, and commercial music education industries, José Valentino Ruiz is a multi-hyphenate who holds the distinction of being an EMMY® Award Winning composer-producer-audio engineer-musician, a GRAMMY® Award Winning composer and musician, GRAMMY® Award Winning album audio engineer and flutist, a Multi-GRAMMY® Award Nominated artist-producer-mastering engineer, a 52-time DOWNBEAT® Music Award Winner (record holder), a Sony Music recording artist and composer, and an internationally-acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and educator known for his passionate performances, versatility, and fluid expression on the flute, saxophone, bass, piano, and Latin percussion. To date, Dr. Ruiz has performed in 1300+ concerts.

Leadership and artistic positions in the creative arts and music enterprises that Dr. Ruiz currently holds are: (I) CEO of Production & Entertainment for JV Music Enterprises; (II) the Director of Global Arts Entrepreneurship Initiatives for the renowned music outreach organization, Diaz Music Institute 501C3; (III) the Strategic Communications Director for TJ Flutes & Saxophones UK Co.; (IV) Resident Composer for MVProds & for Hayden 5 Media; and (V.a) Head of Music Business & Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida, and (V.b.) Affiliate Faculty Member for the Center of Arts, Migration, & Entrepreneurship and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.

Some accolades and awards for his works include: the 2020 Latin GRAMMY® Award Winner for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, the 2018 EMMY® Award Winner for Best Cultural Documentary, 2019 Latin GRAMMY® Award for Best Christian Album in Spanish Language (as participating recording engineer and featured artist), 2015 & 2016 Latin GRAMMY® Award Nominations for 2015 Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album & 2016 Best Instrumental Album, the 2017 Parents' Choice® Award - Gold Medal, 52 DOWNBEAT® Student Music Awards between 2006 - 2019 (record holder in jazz soloist & group, blues/pop/rock soloist and group, Latin group, engineered studio and live engineered recording, and Classical soloist categories), the 2018 GLOBAL MUSIC® Award - Gold Medal (i.e., Best New Age Music Album), the 2019 Big Easy Entertainment Award (i.e., Best Latin Jazz/World Music album), and 5-time UK Music Industry® Award Winner. Dr. Ruiz is a voting member and also serves on committees for The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and The Gospel Music Association, where he advises on the quality of submitted albums' music production and audio engineering.

As a prolific recording artist and producer with 70 albums to his credit and former post-show music producer for American Idol and X-Factor, Dr. Ruiz has produced 16 solo albums through his indie label that are available on all media streaming platforms and online stores within the a variety of musical styles. Currently, Dr. Ruiz is working on an innovative album, "The Global Funk" which features his unique musicianship on multiple instruments and compositions that infuse powerful lyrics sung by José in Mandarin, Swahili, Spanish, Hindi, and Zulu.

Working as Film/Media Composer and Post-Production Engineer, Dr. Ruiz has produced music for numerous nationally televised documentaries, films, and commercials that have received numerous awards. For nearly two decades, Dr. Ruiz has enjoyed an exhilarating performance itinerary delivering high-energy performances around the world in the styles of jazz, Latin jazz, funk/fusion, pop, R&B, world music, and singer-songwriter. Dr. Ruiz has performed with his band or as a featured artist in concert halls and festivals in Canada, U.S.A., Spain, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, Liberia, Greece, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico.

Academically, José Valentino Ruiz holds four degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Musical Studies (emphasis in Music Theory); Master of Music (M.M.) in Instrumental Performance (emphases in Classical Flute & Studio Music/Jazz); Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Global Outreach (emphases in Missiology & Ethnodoxology); and, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music, concentration in Music Education (cognates in Music Production, Performance, Applied-Lesson Pedagogy).

For more information and to view multi-media content, visit and

Emrah E. Sahin
Senior Lecturer, Center for European Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Emrah Sahin is a specialist in state formations, international operations, and ethno-religious interactions with a particular interest in modern encounters in the Global South. He received his Ph.D. from McGill University and is the recipient of an SSHRC Award in Canada (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), an SHF International Research Award in Turkey (Sabanci Humanities Foundation), and the Teacher of the Year Award at the University of Florida.  

Emrah's first book Faithful Encounters is an archive-driven narrative of the Muslim-male-centralist responses to Christian-family-evangelical enterprises in Ottoman lands from Greece to Syria -- and is critically acclaimed in scholarly venues such as Humanities Network and Journal of World Christianity. He also edited volumes on cultural exchanges, language pedagogies, and a non-fiction graphic novel, and published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Journal of Historical Sociology (“Myth of the Eternal State”). While on a Global Fellowship at the University of Florida, he embarked on a second major research project simultaneously tracing Muslim travelers, Kurdish massacres, and the morality dialectics that gained currency in post-1870 periodicals housed in Istanbul, Cairo, and Asfahan. His projects funded by the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) include an interview-powered study of mixed-race patterns and practices at the University of Florida and a localized look at local water wells established by foreign entrepreneurs in specific parts of Africa.  

Emrah Sahin is currently an Associate Instructional Professor in the Center for European Studies, an advisory board member in the Center for Global Islamic Studies, an affiliate faculty member in the Department of History as well as the CAME, a college-wide student advisor, and the coordinator of Department of Defense-funded Global Officer Program in Swahili and Turkish. Dr Sahin offers classic, novel, and transdisciplinary area-studies courses and honors reading seminars such as Modern Middle East, A History of God, Global Cities, and Soccer Culture.

Kelley Sams
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Center for Arts in Medicine, College of the Arts; and Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Research for Development and Laboratoire Population Environnement Developpement (LPED), Marseille, France

Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine; Affiliated Researcher, Institute of Research for Development, Marseille, France 

Kelley Sams, M.P.H., Ph.D., is a critical medical anthropologist, writer, and photographer whose work examines infectious disease initiatives and visual health communication. She was previously a Peace Corps volunteer and a Fulbright-Hays fellow in Niger. She currently splits her time between Gainesville, FL and Marseille, France. Kelley’s most current publications may be found on Academia and Researchgate

Tanya Saunders
Associate Professor, Center for Latin American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Tanya L. Saunders is a sociologist interested in the ways in which the African Diaspora throughout the Americas uses the arts as a tool for social change. As a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholar to Brazil, Dr. Saunders began work on their current project about Black Queer Artivism in Brazil. This is a continuation of their research on race, gender, sexuality and arts-based social movements in Cuba. In 2016 Dr. Saunders and their colleagues at the State University of Santa Caterina (UDESC) and the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo (PUC-SP) were awarded the Abdias do Nascimento Award for Academic Development, funded by CAPES, Brazil. The grant funded faculty, researcher and student exchanges and collaborations between the University of Florida, UDESC and PUC-SP from 2017-2019. They were also the UF LGBTQ Affairs Faculty Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Dr. Saunders holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of International Development Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Dr. Saunders’ book on Cuban Underground Hip Hop can be found here, as well as a recently published chapter in No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies found here. For those of you who read/speak Portuguese, check out their essay Epistemologia negra sapatão como vetor de uma práxis humana libertária. Her video project on Afro-Cuban Feminism in Havana can be found here:

Rachel Silveri
Assistant Professor, School of Art and Art History, College of the Arts

Rachel Silveri is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art + Art History. She specializes in the history of modern art in Europe and North America, with a particular emphasis in early twentieth-century French modernism. Her research interests include theories and historiographies of the avant-gardes; theories of the everyday; feminist thought and queer theory.  

Dr. Silveri’s current book project, The Art of Living in the Historical Avant-Garde, reexamines the avant-garde ambition to unify art and everyday life through a set of experimental life practices established by artists across Dada, Simultanism, and Surrealism. Focusing on Tristan Tzara’s performances of identity, Sonia Delaunay’s fashions and self-branding, and the collective endeavor to work the Surrealist Research Bureau, her research proposes a broader envisioning of avant-garde material culture to examine the ways in which artists creatively produced an “art of living” relative to the normative types of “lifestyle” produced contemporaneously in France during the years 1910-1930. By elaborating these practices, her book expands current definitions of avant-garde politics to include an ethics of self-making.

Dr. Silveri is in the preliminary stages of a second project, tentatively titled "It Was Yesterday, Dada": Women's Histories of the Avant-Garde, which considers how various women artists, models, and muses contributed to the avant-garde and challenged its dominant narratives through forms of memoir-writing and autobiography. 

Educated at the University of Michigan (B.A. History of Art and Women’s Studies, with Highest Honors in History of Art, 2008) and Columbia University (Ph.D. Art History and Archaeology, 2017), Dr. Silveri is the recipient of grants from The Getty Foundation, The Alliance Program, The Starr Foundation, The Stillman-Lack Foundation, and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. From 2014–2015, she was a Mellon-funded Museum Research Consortium Fellow at The Museum of Modern Art where she worked on a retrospective of the artist Francis Picabia. She joined the Art History program at the University of Florida in 2018. In addition to her affiliation with CAME, she is affiliate faculty in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research. 

Augusto Soledade
Associate Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Augusto Soledade, a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, is the Founder Artistic Director and resident choreographer for Augusto Soledade Brazzdance in Miami. In the fall of 2018, Professor Soledade was nominated for the USA Artist Fellowship. In 2016, he was awarded for the seventh time the Miami Dade Choreographer’s Fellowship from the Miami Dade Cultural Affairs. In 2012 Professor Soledade was awarded the prestigious Knight Arts Challenge Grant in support of the Miami Dance Mecca Project, an initiative implemented by Augusto Soledade Brazzdance to boost Miami’s reputation as an emerging center for contemporary dance. Also in 2012, he was awarded, for the second consecutive time, the 2012 Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

In August 2011, Professor Soledade was nominated for the Zelda Fichandler Fellowship, and he received the Creation Fund Grant and the Forth Fund from the National Performance Network (NPN). In 2010, he was awarded for the third time the Dance Miami Choreographer’s Fellowship; he received this important Fellowship the second time in September of 2008. Also in 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography.

Professor Soledade has been awarded the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Artist Access Grant, the Artist Enhancement Grant and the International Cultural Exchange Grant from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. In 2005 he received the Miami Dade Choreographer’s Fellowship for the first time, the Creative Capital Workshop Grant and the Community Grant from Miami Dade Cultural Affairs. He has also been awarded multiple grant funds from the Northampton Arts Council and Smith College to develop choreographic as well as research projects.

He received his M.F.A in Dance from SUNY Brockport in 1998. Also in 1998, he received the Pylyshenko-Strasser Graduate Dance Award and was the finalist in the dance category for the 1998 Thayer Fellowship. A native of Bahia, Brazil, Professor Soledade started his dance training at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil in a program with strong modern dance emphasis, and has trained with Garth Fagan and Clyde Morgan. He also holds a degree in journalism from the Federal University of Bahia.

Anita Spring
Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Anita Spring is Professor Emerita of Anthropology and former Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She also served as President of the Retired Faculty of the University of Florida. In addition to affiliate status with CAME, Dr. Spring is Affiliate Professor with the Center for African Studies.

Currently, as an Affiliate Professor in CAME, she and Dr. Barbara McDade are working with faculty members to produce a book on the arts (music, dance, art, etc.) and entrepreneurship in Africa and the Diaspora. Previously, she served as Chief of Women in Agricultural and Rural Production at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. She conducted research and led projects on ritual and health care in Zambia (3 years), gender and agricultural development in Malawi (2 years), and anti-famine crops in Ethiopia (2 years), as well as working in seventeen other African countries -- ten countries on entrepreneurship (from micro to global). She has also directed R&D in Jamaica (environment) and St. Lucia (agriculture). Dr. Spring’s field work in the US focused on Native Americans (kinship) and archaeology (Native American and European settlement). She has written ten books and 66 articles. She was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow in 2020.  She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s in anthropology from San Francisco State and Cornell University, and a PhD in anthropology from Cornell University.   

Welson Tremura
Professor; School of Music, College of the Arts; Center for Latin American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Welson Tremura (musicologist – guitarist – singer) is a Ph.D. in musicology-ethnomusicology from Florida State University and currently serves as a Professor in the School of Music and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. Dr. Tremura’s main research focuses on music and religion as expressed in folk Catholicism traditions of folia de reis or the Three Kings celebration in Brazil. Additional research areas include the usage of digital technology in performance and global technology and the inclusion of world music as a core discipline and collaborative method for teaching and collaboration. Combining his classical guitar and his voice, Dr. Tremura’s triumphant performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in Notre Dame, Indiana. Internationally Dr. Tremura maintains an active performance and academic schedule and he has performed and given lectures in Brazil, China, Mexico, Guatemala, United States, India, Spain, Italy, Germany, and New Zealand. Dr. Tremura has been consistently praised by music critics and audiences for his interpretation of the most acclaimed bossa nova songs and his guitar compositions.

Combining performance and research, Dr. Tremura’s academic assignments includes a series of projects to expand music and performance scholarship to create opportunities for students, faculty, and artists to collaborate nationally and internationally. His academic career has been building collaborative relationships between various units at the University of Florida to create new and unique programs to facilitate interdisciplinary projects, such as composing music to foster creativity and innovation Dr. Tremura’s Brazilian Music Institute (BMI) is the result of a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and supported by the UF School of Music, Broward College, UF Center for Latin American Studies, UF Center for World Arts, Art Serve, U.S. Department of Education Title VI Program, and Visit Gainesville. Since 2001 the Institute in the month of May features daily rehearsals and group lessons in Brazilian instrumental and vocal music, as well as two concluding concerts with international outstanding Brazilian artists. Dr. Tremura maintains an updated video channel available on Youtube ( and Vimeo (

Dr. Tremura teaches various courses in ethnomusicology, guitar, applied fieldwork, music and identity, Latin American music, and world music. Furthermore, he teaches Brazilian guitar and vocal repertoires and directs the World Music Ensembles. He is also the director of the instrumental ensemble Jacaré Choro dedicated to the performance of Brazilian traditional instrumental music. He is the co-director for the University’s Brazilian music ensemble Jacaré Brazil. Most recently Dr. Tremura has expanded his professional activities by founding the Alachua Guitar Quartet,, a classical guitar ensemble devoted to the highest level of expression and artistic commitment to perform Latin American classical guitar repertoires.

Dr. Tremura’s academic and artistic work has been applying music in a collaborative mode focused on research and performance excellence. The various units at the University of Florida, including the School of Music, School of Theatre and Dance, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, and Academic Technology, aided by international institutions, such as Chengdu University in China, Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, Tampa University in the USA, and New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, have allowed his work to develop and expand the Latin American arts linkages in local, state, national and international arenas and key to successful endeavors and service to profession. 

Fatimah Tuggar
Associate Professor; School of Art + Art History/AI, Animation, Drawing, Digital Media, Extended Realities, Interactive Media, Performance Art, Photography, Sculpture, Sound, Video, Methodologies of Critical Cultural Studies & Social Art Histories

Interdisciplinary artist Fatimah Tuggar was born in Nigeria and raised there and in the United Kingdom. Tuggar uses dialogue and discovery among disciplines and cultures as central approaches of artmaking. She interrogates the impact of technologies. Her strategy is to be imaginative, adaptive, provocative, a culture jammer and resistor if necessary. Challenging the segregated borders of aesthetics and cultural perceptions and facilitating diverse ways of knowing, making, and contributing is critical to her approach.  

Her work uses technology as both medium and subject to serve as metaphors for power dynamics. She combines objects, images, and sounds from diverse cultures, geographies, and histories to comment on how media and technology diversely impact local and global realities. Her work has been widely exhibited at international venues in over twenty-five countries. Tuggar’s art education covers three continents and a broader range of disciplines, traditions, processes, and materials. She has been a recipient of several fellowships including a W. A. Mellon Research Fellowship from Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, the Civitella Ranieri, Umbertide, Umbria, Italy, and a Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellowship.

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt
Associate University Librarian, Special and Area Studies Collections Department, George A. Smathers Libraries

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt has been the Latin American and Caribbean Special Collections Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries of the University of Florida since 2011. After obtaining a B.A. in Hispanic Literature and Language from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she received a fellowship from Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) to pursue graduate school at Tulane University. There she obtained a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies.

At the University of Florida, Dr. Vargas-Betancourt is in charge of processing Latin American manuscripts and of serving as liaison and reference to faculty and students. She uses her background on colonialism, ethnohistory, and diversity to identify and highlight the hidden voices in archival collections and to serve and empower Latino students at the University of Florida. One of her latest publications is “Contesting Colonial Library Practices of Accessibility and Representation” in the book Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation. In 2020, she was nominated for exceptional impact on career development and student success at the University of Florida by the UF Career Connections Center. Dr. Vargas-Betancourt also was awarded a 2020-2022 Rare Book School-Mellon Cultural Heritage fellowship in February 2020.

Melissa White

Melissa Mae White (PhD) is an Instructional Assistant Professor for Engineering Innovation Institute with the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida. Dr. White develops and instructs course curriculum in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students. She works with faculty and students to build creativity, develop an innovative mindset, promote innovation, and support entrepreneurial endeavors across campus and the local community. Dr. White has served four years on the Board of Directors for startGNV, a local 501c3 supporting the innovative ecosystem in the Greater Gainesville area. She has orchestrated several events inspiring entrepreneurship and innovation across the local higher education institutions and the community.   

Dr. White received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Miami and her Master of Science degree in Engineering, Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her doctorate in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Certificate Health Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining UF, Dr. White helped co-found the non-profit the Medical Innovators Collaborative (MEDIC) aimed at creating an environment where students across the universities in the Research Triangle could collaborate with clinicians and industry partners to foster medical innovations. 

Trent D. Williams, Jr.
Associate Professor, School of Theatre and Dance, College of the Arts

Trent D. Williams, Jr. is an Associate  Professor of Modern Dance + Choreography in the School of Theatre and Dance. He is an affiliate faculty member of the Centers for Arts in Medicine, Arts, Migration and Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida where he has taught since 2014. Mr. Williams has also served as a faculty member at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Trinidad & Tobago, Howard Community College, Howard University Division of Fine Arts and Johns Hopkins Estellle Dennis/ Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys. Additionally, he is a consultant for the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, and MAP Fund. Recently awarded the UF 2020 Superior Accomplishment, 2019-2022 UF Provost’s Term Professorship, 2018 UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, and 2018 International Educator. In addition, Williams was selected as one of “40 under 40” by The Gainesville Sun.

Mr. Williams was a founding member of Urban Souls Dance Company in Houston, Texas and he has been a guest artist with Tallahassee Ballet in Tallahassee, FL, EDGEWORKS Dance Theatre in Washington, DC.  Additionally, Mr. Williams has performed alongside Destiny’s Child, 112, and Janelle Monae among others. In 2007, Mr. Williams was invited to dance with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) in world-renowned works by Talley Beatty, The Stack Up (1992) and Eleo Pomare, Las Desenamoradas (1987), Donald Byrd, Rodney A. Brown, William B. McClellan, Jr., Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Shonna Hickman-Matlock and Bill T. Jones.

His creative research focused on the African diaspora, inclusive of Latinx traditions, Caribbean traditions and African-American traditions. Inspired by literature, history, cinema, and current events, he seek material that reveals the universality of the human condition, including social inequalities and how they impact our changing world. His current dance film, Black Stains, in collaboration with filmmaker, Tiffany Rhynard, will help people to better understand the complex issues that intersect in the lives of black men in America. This dance film has been recognized nationally at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Boulder, Colorado and internationally at the London International Screendance Festival, just to name a few. His choreography has been performed by The Tallahassee Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Second Company, Texas Tech University, Towson University, University of Trinidad & Tobago, Coker College Dance Company, Urban Souls Dance Company, and has been showcased at The American Dance Festival, The American College Dance Festival, The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, The Dance Gallery in Huntsville, Texas, and Kennedy Center: Millennium Stage.

Williams a native Houstonian recieved his MFA in Dance Peformance & Choreography from Florida State University and BA in Psychology from Morehouse College.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin
Associate Professor of AI and the Arts; Digital Worlds Institute/Digital Arts and Sciences, Banks Preeminence Chair

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist who innovates with artificial intelligence in ways that make a positive impact on our community and the environment. She is a Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Arts, at the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida.  She is the founder of the UF AI Climate Justice Lab and the Talk To Me About Water Collective.  She founded Wampum.Codes which is both an award-winning podcast and an ethical framework for software development based on indigenous values of co-creation. was awarded a Mozilla Fellowship embedded at the MIT Co-Creation Studio from 2019-2020 and was featured at the 2021 imagineNative festival. She continued her research in 2021 at Stanford University as their artist and technologist in residence made possible by the Stanford Visiting Artist Fund in Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning (VAF) .  

In 2022 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Award as part of the Sundance AOP Fellowship cohort for her project CLOUD WORLD / SKYWORLD which will be part of the Whitney’s Sunrise/Sunset series in late fall 2022.

In 2019 she was a delegate at the Summit on Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion for His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama,  at his World  Headquarters in Dharmsala India.The non-profit she founded IDEA New Rochelle, in partnership with the New Rochelle Mayor’s Office, won the 2018 $1 Million Dollar Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge for their VR/AR Citizen toolkit to help the community co-design their city.  In 2018 she was awarded the 100k Alternative Realities Prize for her Virtual Reality Project: Your Hands Are Feet from Engadget and Verizon Media.

Amelia is Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan on her mother’s side and her late father was Jewish/Baha’i

S. Ama Wray
Professor at the University of California, Irvine, Co-principal investigator of the Africana Institute for Creativity, Recognition and Elevation in the School of the Arts and Humanities

Dr S. Ama Wray is a TEDx Speaker and Professor at the University of California, Irvine, serving in both the School of the Arts and Humanities, where she is also the co-principal investigator of the Africana Institute for Creativity, Recognition and Elevation, alongside Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard.  She is also allied with the Center for Integrative Movement Science in the School of Biological Science. She received her Ph.D. in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey in the UK. As a National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts Fellow her exploration into performance and technology led to the creation of Texterritory – an interactive cell-phone performance platform. Innovations continue through AI 4 Afrika, an initiative she co-founded with choreographers, data scientists, scholars, and entrepreneurs in 2020.

An award-winning artist, working Wray has collaborated with artists including: Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Mojisola Adebayo and Nicole Mitchell. A guest artist at many institutions including: United Nations, Geneva, Princeton, Harvard, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Temple, University of Ghana, Legon and UC Berkeley. Wray’s examinations of West African cultures led to the creation of Embodiology® - a transformational methodology based on West African principles of human communications. Embodiology's distinctive concepts, profiled at the Center for Neurobiology for Learning and Memory, have shown efficacy in elevating vitality, wellbeing resilience and creativity. Stemming from this - Joy in Motion created at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic supports everyday people transform their indoor isolation into spaces of 'co-liberation'. As a necessary part of the development of this work Wray gives back to the Kopeyia Village community in Ghana. The Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute also includes Wray’s Vitality in Motion program within their Wellness Services and have awarded a pilot grant to study its affects. She has given keynotes for Dance USA, World Dance Alliance and the California Black Health Network. She has written chapters entitled, Embodiology® - A Hybrid Neo-African Improvisation-as-Performance Practice distinguished by Dynamic Rhythm, in the Oxford Handbook of Dance Improvisation (2019) and Just after the Pulse, Rhythm Takes All: The Inside Habitat of Improvisation, in, Black Routes (2016). Her subject monograph is to be published by Routledge, London.  

Ying Xiao
Associate professor of global Chinese studies and film and media studies at the University of Florida

Dr. Ying Xiao is an associate professor of global Chinese studies and film and media studies at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D. from Cinema Studies at New York University. Her teaching and research interests primarily concentrate on Chinese-language films (mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Chinese and Asians in the global context, Classical Hollywood cinema in the sound era, popular music, youth culture, sound studies, theories of globalization and transnationalism, Buddhism and film, and the discourse of gender and sexuality. She is the book author of China in the Mix: Cinema, Sound, and Popular Culture in the Age of Globalization (University Press of Mississippi, 2017) and has published many articles on neoliberalism and Chinese film industry, hip hop culture, Chinese rock ‘n’ roll film, documentary and transcultural media production. Before joining the University of Florida, she was involved in a series of TV and documentary productions.

She has participated in the curatorship of Reel China Documentary Film Festival since 2004 and co/organized “DV China and Social Change” film series and workshop in 2011, “Sound of China: Folklore, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Chinese Hip Hop” symposium in 2013, “Shanghai in a Global Context: Cinema, Media, and the Crossing of Imaginations” workshop in 2017, and “Gender, Disability, and the Chinese Muslim’s Encounters with Cultural Traditions and a Modernized World” colloquium and film series in 2019, and “Labor, Love, and Homecoming: Towards a Trans-Asian and Global-Cultural Sisterhood” symposium and screening in 2022. Dr. Xiao holds various visiting professorships and fellowships in Fudan University, Yangzhou University, Xiamen University, Zhejiang University, and so on. She sits on a variety of editorial boards and serves as a reviewer for important academic journals, presses, grants, and awards. She has actively partaken in and facilitated a number of international film festivals and also been extensively interviewed and featured at many national and international news and media outlets. 

Connect with the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship

Keep up with the latest news about faculty, alumni, friends and current students.