External Fellows

Jacoby R. Cochran

2013 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Jacoby R. Cochran received his Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and International Studies from Bradley University in May, 2013. While attending Bradley Jacoby was a member of the Bradley University Speech Team which won Five Team National Championships during his time there. Jacoby joins the African American Studies Department as an external fellow from the Communication and Rhetorical Studies Department. Jacoby's research interests are widespread and include Crisis Rhetoric, Urban Policy and Development, Urban Identity Construction, International Human Rights, Military Industrial Complex, Public Speaking, and Rhetorical Theory. As a master's candidate in Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University, Jacoby is also a member of the Rhetoric Society of America S.U. student chapter, and the Future Professoriate Program. M.A. Communication and Rhetorical Studies Syracuse University, 2015 B.S. Philosophy/International Studies Bradley University, 2013 Bradley University Speech Team

Jessica Desalu

2013 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Psychology

Jessica Desalu graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University in May 2013. During her time there she completed her senior thesis entitled Black Beauty: Social Desirability and Skin Color Satisfaction Across Genders. Her participation in numerous national research programs including the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Scholars Program has honed her skills and prepared her for graduate studies at Syracuse University. Jessica is currently a first year student in the PhD Clinical Psychology program at Syracuse working alongside Dr. Aesoon Park. Her research interest pertains to substance abuse specifically amongst the African American community. She hopes to fill in gaps in research by taking a greater look at factors that are unique to the Black community that contribute to alcohol use/misuse and alcohol related problems. She aspires to not only leave her mark in the research field but also has high hopes of diversifying clinical areas after attaining her doctoral degree

Ricardo Millhouse

2013 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Geography

Ricardo Millhouse received his BA in American Studies with a concentration in Urban Studies from Macalester College. At Macalester, Ricardo was awarded the Manning Marable Award in American Studies and the Mellon Mays Fellowship. Ricardo’s Senior Honors Thesis, entitled A Dividing City and Limited Education: An Analysis of School Segregation in Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington, advances our understanding of race, class, and citizenship. The project analyzes the residential patterns, educational policies, and economic opportunities in Chicago and Seattle. Ricardo’s research interests include the intersection of race, class, and sexuality; cultural geography; and urban geography. Ricardo is currently working on the examining the relationship between southern community formation and Black gay male community formation through oral histories.

Nyasha Boldon

2012 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Sociology

Ricardo Millhouse received his BA in American Studies with a concentration in Urban Studies from Macalester College. At Macalester, Ricardo was awarded the Manning Marable Award in American Studies and the Mellon Mays Fellowship. Ricardo’s Senior Honors Thesis, entitled A Dividing City and Limited Education: An Analysis of School Segregation in Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington, advances our understanding of race, class, and citizenship. The project analyzes the residential patterns, educational policies, and economic opportunities in Chicago and Seattle. Ricardo’s research interests include the intersection of race, class, and sexuality; cultural geography; and urban geography. Ricardo is currently working on the examining the relationship between southern community formation and Black gay male community formation through oral histories.

Alison P. Chaney

2012 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Public Relations

Nneka Eke

2012 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Political Science

Nneka Eke received Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Relations and Africana Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2010. She is currently a PhD student in the Political Science Department at Syracuse University. Her research interests include: African Politics with a focus on oil multinational corporations and indigenous rights in Nigeria; African diaspora communities; and feminism in international relations. As a 2012-2013 external fellow for the Department of African American Studies, Nneka participated in the "2013 African American Fellows Forum." Her presentation, "Gender in the Niger Delta: Exploring the Direct and Indirect Effects of Oil on Women," explored the adverse impact that oil operations in the Niger Delta (the oil-producing region of Nigeria) have on Delta women.

Adam King

2011 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Political Science

Nkechi Okeafor

2011 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Anthropology

Nkechi Okeafor received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Socio-cultural Anthropology from Michigan State University in May 2010. She was a PhD student in the Anthropology Department at Syracuse University. As a 2011-2012 external fellow in the Department of African American Studies, Nkechi participated in the 2012 African American Fellows Forum. Her presentation was on Nigerian women’s power and agency through the annual political August Meeting.

Travanti Waller

2011 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Television, Radio & Film

Travanti Waller received a B.A in Social Sciences/Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville where his studies covered a gamut of topics & relative histories. His interests were rather broad, because such is the scope of the world and the breadth of attainable knowledge--but he focused on specifics when he had to. He also performed theatre while there. From there, he lived life on the open-road--for two years--and that road led him to a Master's Degree at Syracuse University where he completed a Professional Master's in Television Radio and Film from the highly-esteemed Newhouse Communications School at Syracuse University. Produced, directed, wrote, voiced, and shot a plethora of commercial, comedic televisual, and filmic endeavors and managed to study a bit of African Dramaturgy under the tutelage of the lovely Dr. Micére Mugo during his accelerated tenure at SU.

Yannik Matthews

2010 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Architecture

Yannick Malik Matthews is a Pacific Northwest native. Born and raised in Seattle Washington, he completed his undergraduate education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Yannick graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Mathematics in 2010. During his four years at Morehouse Yannick conducted research in a number of scientific labs. He researched Physics (Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics) at the University of Washington, Mathematical Graph Theory at Morehouse College, and Material Science Engineering (irradiated iron defect propagation) at Washington State University. After receiving his Masters in Architecture, Yannick would like to study for an advanced degree in sustainable design and eventually open his own Architectural firm in Seattle. Yannick has two hopes for his career: to influence the community to live life more sustainably, and to inspire younger generations to study towards advanced degrees in Math and Science.

LaToya L. Sawyer

2010 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Composition & Cultural Rhetoric

LaToya L. Sawyer is from Queens, NY and is a writer, educator and community activist. She has a BA in English from Hartwick College and a MA in Online Media, Magazine and Newspaper Journalism from Syracuse University¿s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Over the last 10 years she has lived in Syracuse and taught in numerous community-based and educational settings within the African American community including CFAC. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric with an emphasis on Pan African language, rhetorics and literacies.

Charlie Tuthill

2010 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Political Science

Charlie Tuthill is from Bolton, Connecticut and is currently earning an MA in Political Science. He majored in Political Science and French at Union College, where he earned a B.A. in 2002. His research interests include civil society, democratization, and development in central and southern Africa. After completing his M.A., Charles hopes to earn a Ph.D in either Political Science or African Studies, and to teach at the university level. Also served as an external fellow, 2009. 

Yannik Matthews

2009 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Broadcast Journalism

Ashley Moss is pursuing a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. Originally from Herndon, Virginia, Ashley graduated with a degree in Women's Studies from Spelman College in May 2007. She concentrated on images of women in the media and in business and completed her senior thesis on the success rates for women of color interning on Wall Street. After working in consulting for two years, Ashley is pursuing broadcast journalism because of a passion for storytelling. She also believes journalism provides a unique opportunity to affect change in the community and desires to become a source of positive imagery for women and communities of color on television. Following graduation in the summer of 2010 she hopes to return to the DC Metro area and will pursue a career as an Anchor and Reporter.

Ralanda Winborn

2009 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Political Science

Ralanda Winborn is from Belleville, Michigan. In 2009, she graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan, earning a B.A. with a major in Political Science and a minor in French. The summer of her junior year, Ralanda did study abroad and attended the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France. As a Ph. D. student in the Maxwell School, Ralanda is an external fellow of the African-American Studies Department. She will be earning a degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics and plans to study the cultures and political institutions of francophone departments and nations in relation to France. She believes that having the opportunity to study in the AAS Department will further her understanding of underrepresented populations and ideologies that exist in French-speaking countries. Upon completion of her studies, Ralanda hopes to work for the United Nations in either New York or Paris.

Khalil Raja Howard

2008 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Structural Biology, Biochemistry & Biophysics(SB3) Program

Ralanda Winborn is from Belleville, Michigan. In 2009, she graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan, earning a B.A. with a major in Political Science and a minor in French. The summer of her junior year, Ralanda did study abroad and attended the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France. As a Ph. D. student in the Maxwell School, Ralanda is an external fellow of the African-American Studies Department. She will be earning a degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics and plans to study the cultures and political institutions of francophone departments and nations in relation to France. She believes that having the opportunity to study in the AAS Department will further her understanding of underrepresented populations and ideologies that exist in French-speaking countries. Upon completion of her studies, Ralanda hopes to work for the United Nations in either New York or Paris.

Griselda Rodriguez

2008 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Sociology

Griselda Rodriguez is a child of the African Diaspora, via The Dominican Republic and the United States. As a child of immigrant parents, she was fortunate to come into being in a familial context where traditional Afro-Indigenous cultural traditions were preserved in a U.S. context. Griselda attended New York City public schools all of her pre-college life and attained a Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies (LACAS) from SUNY Binghamton. Her experiences within the New York City public school systems created a need to delve deeper into the foundations of such an unjust system, and she thus pursued and attained two masters at Syracuse University, one in The Cultural Foundations of Education and another one in Sociology. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate of Sociology at Syracuse University. Griselda has dedicated much of her scholarly endeavors to unraveling the particular ways in which global capitalism, in its many manifestations, affect the lives of women of color all over the globe, with particular emphasis placed on Afro-Dominican women in The Dominican Republic.

Linita Shanon

2008 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Media Studies Program

Linita Shannon is from Florida, New York. She did her undergraduate work at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. She majored in Television, Radio & Film and Sociology and graduated with Renee Crown Honors and distinction in May 2008. Her research interests include black coming-of-age film and cultural studies. She is currently a graduate student in the Media Studies program.

Joshua Moses

2007 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:History and Public Administration

Joshua Moses was born in the Bronx, NY and grew up across the Hudson River in Teaneck, NJ. He completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University in 2006 having earned Bachelors of the Arts degrees in History and Psychology. Josh's research interests include the Jews of the Jazz Era in New York City, American Society and Culture in the Late 1800's, Twentieth Century American Diplomatic History, United States Foreign Policy with the Middle East and the experience of Black Hebrew Israelites and Ethiopian Jews and their integration into Israeli society. Josh's short term aspiration after completing his Graduate degrees in History and Public Administration is to work as a Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State or in one of the U.S. government agencies involved in national security. After Syracuse he intends on moving to Washington where he hopes to secure a position that will allow him to work in the Middle East. In the long term Josh would like to teach United States history and International Relations at the collegiate level. Karla Powell Karla Powell graduated from San Jose State University where she received both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Sociology (minoring in African American Studies) with an emphasis in Social Change. Karla is currently a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in the sociology department at Syracuse University. In 2005 she was the first place winner of the Graduate Student Paper Competition from the Association of Black Sociologists for her Master's Thesis work. Her areas of research and teaching interests are Black Studies, specifically Black Identities, Black Popular Culture, and Black Radical Traditions.

Divinity Pittman

2007 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:

Divinity Pittman grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. Upon graduating from the local high school she commenced her academic career at SUNY Geneseo and continued her educational endeavors at Syracuse University where she majored in sociology and minored in African American studies. In May of 2007 Ms. Pittman graduated from Syracuse with honors. Pursuant to her work with the New York State Standing Committee on Children and Families, her research interests now include the role of race in the adjudication of sexually exploited children as prostitutes. Currently, Ms. Pittman is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She hopes to utilize her concentration in Public and Non Profit Management to spearhead a Christian organization which facilitates healing for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Karla Powell

2007 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Sociology

Karla Powell graduated from San Jose State University where she received both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Sociology (minoring in African American Studies) with an emphasis in Social Change. Karla is currently a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in the sociology department at Syracuse University. In 2005 she was the first place winner of the Graduate Student Paper Competition from the Association of Black Sociologists for her Master's Thesis work. Her areas of research and teaching interests are Black Studies, specifically Black Identities, Black Popular Culture, and Black Radical Traditions

Cassandra Dent

2006 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Public Relations

Cassandra Dent received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver in March 2006. Her majors were finance and marketing with a minor in economics. During her time of study, she was a provost scholar and a member of the DU dance team. Dent chose to pursue a public relations degree at Syracuse because the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is one of the most highly regarded institutions for communications studies. She hopes to use her public relations degree to start a career in media relations for an entertainment company or a fashion magazine. Rosanne N. Howell Rosanne N. Howell received her B.S. in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2002. She stayed on for an additional 2 years as a professional staff member (RHD) before deciding to attend Syracuse University College of Law as a 1L. During her time as Stony Brook she worked as a freshman RA before becoming the Assistant Coordinator for the First Year Residential Experience where she was in charge of two campus wide programs (Welcome Wagon and the BRIDGE program), and then later became the Student Development Assistant and then a GA. In terms of research interests, Rosanne is interested in issues pertaining to women of color, on a professional level and in relation to their representation in big law firms; and personally in the Rastafarian movement which will be the focus of her seminar paper with Professor West. Upon graduation from SUCOL, Rosanne will work as an associate at Thacher, Proffitt & Wood LLP, in NYC.

Rosanne Howell

2006 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Law

Rosanne N. Howell received her B.S. in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2002. She stayed on for an additional 2 years as a professional staff member (RHD) before deciding to attend Syracuse University College of Law as a 1L. During her time as Stony Brook she worked as a freshman RA before becoming the Assistant Coordinator for the First Year Residential Experience where she was in charge of two campus wide programs (Welcome Wagon and the BRIDGE program), and then later became the Student Development Assistant and then a GA. In terms of research interests, Rosanne is interested in issues pertaining to women of color, on a professional level and in relation to their representation in big law firms; and personally in the Rastafarian movement which will be the focus of her seminar paper with Professor West. Upon graduation from SUCOL, Rosanne will work as an associate at Thacher, Proffitt & Wood LLP, in NYC.

Nickolas Jordan

2006 External Fellow, AAS
Home Department:Marriage and Family Therapy

Nickolas Jordan attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) for undergraduate degrees in Psychology (B.S.) and Interdisciplinary Studies (B.A.) with a concentration in Black Studies. His current research interests include African American Men in sports; connections between success and sports for African Americans; connections between team structure and family of origin structure; Race its affects of power dynamics within the team structure. He is also interested in gambling addiction among people of color and the relational components that create and maintain the addictions. It is his goal to achieve a tenured position at a large academic institution and to teach Marriage and Family Therapy while consulting with professional sports organizations to create a Sports Couples and Family Therapy Model.

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