Expected graduation date: 2017, Masters in Pan African StudiesAyondela McDole graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Cultural Studies and Black World Studies minor. Her undergraduate thesis entitled, “Fat, Black and Ugly: The Politics of Mammy Drag” examines the implications behind the mammy stereotype performed in drag within the new millennium. Her research interests center on Black feminism, media studies, communications, performance studies, popular culture, film and Black identity. McDole’s graduate research picks up where she left off in undergad. At Syracuse University, she explores the multiple tropes of mammy in a broader sense. This is to say that she is interested in the complex representations of mammy within American folklore, American history, and popular culture in film and tv. As McDole critiques the Madea series, Big Momma’s House, Big Momma’s House 2, and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son she is mostly looking to reclaim, rename, and reshape Black women’s identities within Black families. In studying performance and film, McDole hopes to understand the political nature of media and popular culture. Alongside her graduate studies, McDole hopes to transform her theoretical understanding into praxis through activist community theater in Syracuse and elsewhere
Expected graduation date: 2017, Masters in Pan African StudiesKevin P. Morris II is a native of South Central Los Angeles. He received his BA from the University of Arkansas where he double majored in African American Studies and Philosophy. Kevin's research interests include Black cultural history, particularly in the post-war era of the United States with an emphasis on Black California. His research looks to tackle question surrounding labor history, mass incarceration, political economy, urban life, uprisings and the cultural responses to these various elements of social oppression. Following the completion of his MA at Syracuse University, Kevin plans to pursue a PhD in order to flesh out more of the questions his current research has brought forth.
Expected graduation date: 2015, Masters in Pan African StudiesSaQuota Reaves received a BA in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University in May 2013. SaQuota’s research interest includes African American Religious History, Protest, and Social Movements: Civil Rights/ Black Power Movements. She is an active member in Image Initiatives, a non-profit organization that helps empower young women of color. As a master’s student in Pan- African Studies at Syracuse University, SaQuota serves as Teaching Assistant. SaQuota wants to do her Master’s Thesis on Black Women Preachers in Upstate, NY
Expected graduation date: NA, Masters in Pan African StudiesNicole Hylton-Patterson received a BA in African American Studies and Philosophy from Mount Holyoke College in May 2009. Her Senior Thesis explored Black Feminist interventions in Africana Philosophy. Nicole’s research interests include Black Feminist Scholarship and Activism in Caribbean; LGBT Rights and Queer Diaspora Studies; Color, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in the Caribbean; and Discourses in Afro-Caribbean Culture and Histories. Nicole’s Master’s Thesis in Pan African Studies considers the role of color and class in mediating homophobia in Jamaica. The research interrogates the state’s role in maintaining homophobia and how color and class renders security for some members of the LGBT community in Jamaica.
Expected graduation date: NA, Masters in Pan African StudiesPhilip Pantaleo is from Seattle, WA where he received his B.A. in French with a minor in Global African Studies from Seattle University. His undergraduate studies focused on the French Caribbean and Negritude as his degree programs overlapped through the literature of the region. Following graduation, Philip engaged in environmental justice work in his community in Seattle working with local non-profit organizations. He volunteered at the Northwest African American Museum in the city assisting the education programs at the museum. He taught in English in two high schools in Martinique. His research interests are in Afro-Francophone literature, music and cultural production, Caribbean politics and history, Negritude, Pan-Caribbeanism, identity, political agency, music and social movements, social justice, relationships between the Caribbean and Europe and the U.S. His approach to research is interdisciplinary blending history, political