David Olan, Principal Investigator
David Olan is the Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Graduate Center where he is a member of the music composition faculty. He was Executive Officer of the Ph.D./DMA Programs in Music from 2001-2013 and has served as a co-director of the CUNY Humanities Alliance since its inception in 2016. Among his awards are Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, CAPS, and New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and a commission from the Serge Koussevitsky Foundation in the Library of Congress.
Bret Eynon is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at LaGuardia Community College. He is a historian who directs the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which oversees a wide range of faculty programs aimed at enhancing pedagogy and practice. Dr. Eynon is also the founding director of the Making Connections National Resource Center on Inquiry, Reflection and Integrative Education. Over the past three years, FIPSE funding has enabled Making Connections to provide sustained guidance and support to 32 New York City metropolitan-area colleges as they develop ePortfolio initiatives designed to help students achieve success and rethink their identities as learners. Recently announced grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $4.4 million will allow Making Connections to engage campuses nationwide.
Kaysi L. Holman
Kaysi L. Holman is the Director of Programs and Administration of the CUNY Humanities Alliance. She brings over 15 years of experience working with nonprofits and educational organizations dedicated to equity and social justice, both within higher education and achieved through access to higher education. Holman served as a political advocate and community organizer for education and welfare reform in California and at the Alameda County Bar Association in Oakland, CA, before moving to Duke University where she directed programming and administration for HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) and the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge in the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. She holds a law degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Holman brings a wide array of skills, all of which she will be drawing upon as Deputy Director of the Humanities Alliance: higher education administrator, community organizer and advocate, web developer, social networker, financial manager, and mentor of doctoral students.
Humanities Alliance Staff
Dr. Sujung Kim is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research addresses the critical pedagogy of higher education and community colleges for the public good and educating students as critical public intellectuals. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of class, race, citizenship, power, and subjectivity, and how these intersecting conditions affect vulnerable college students’ sense of institutional and social belonging. She also focuses on access to postsecondary education, retention, and outcomes and how these factors impact students’ further educational, career, and life trajectories. Her current book project examines the interrelations among neoliberal community college policies and politics, the globalization of community colleges, and the restructuring of racial and class relationships among diverse student populations. In addition, her work considers the complex mechanisms through which lower middle- and working-class Korean international students are created as (potential) transnational, adrift, cheap laborers. Dr. Kim earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Luis J. Henao Uribe
Luis J. Henao Uribe is the Humanities Scholar for the CUNY Humanities Alliance and the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center. In this role, he provides support for the teaching fellows, and helps pivot the lessons of the Humanities Alliance to broader audiences through a variety of programs and projects at the TLC. Henao Uribe is a graduate of the Ph.D. program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His recent research explores the role of novels in the establishment of national imaginaries and the legitimization of the state in Mexico and Colombia. He also writes about how Latin American cultural objects circulate in the United States. He is a Colombian writer based in New York since 2005 and has published the short-stories collection Diarios del limbo in 2006 and he collaborates with literary magazines such as Los bárbaros and Vecindad.
Eric Hofmann is Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. He leads the coordination of the Humanities Alliance’s pedagogy seminars at LaGuardia. In 2000, Eric helped launch the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University, where he served as Assistant Director for Planning and Development, working across disciplines and leading campus-based and national professional development programs focused on inquiry pedagogy, curricular transformation, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Immediately prior to joining LaGuardia, Eric was the University Director of CUNY Collaborative Programs, where he guided large-scale programs focused on strengthening college preparation (dual enrollment and developmental ed), first year transition, advisement, and partnerships among campuses, high schools and community-based organizations. Eric has a strong commitment to innovation and education for social justice.
Professor Jacqueline Jones
Jacqueline Jones is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She earned her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in African American Studies in 2010. Her research interests include 20th and 21st-century African American literature and media studies, Black Women’s Literature, and Literature of the Civil Rights Era. Publications include “It Still Matters: The Cosby Show and Sociopolitical Representation on Television (The 25 Sitcoms that Change Television, ABC-CLIO 2018), and “We ‘the People:’ Freedom, Civics, and the Neo-Slave Narrative Tradition in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean” (Modern Language Studies, Summer 2016).
Demetri Kapetanakos is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College. He serves as a program liaison between departments and faculty mentors at LaGuardia and the CUNY Graduate Center, in addition to serving as a faculty mentor to two fellows, and he looks forward to continuing his work with the Humanities Alliance in the upcoming year. His full Humanities Alliance bio is available here.
Michele Piso is Associate Director for Scholarship and Publications at LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She serves as editor of In Transit, The LaGuardia Journal of Teaching and Learning, the forthcoming issue of which will publish papers on justice-in-education for LaGuardia’s formerly incarcerated students. Dr. Piso co-facilitates several CTL-housed campus projects, among them the Humanities Alliance, the Carnegie Seminar on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Gender and Diversity seminar. She received her doctorate in film studies from the University of Oregon, where additional studies included Latin, Milton, and art history of the French Revolution. Current research interests include public housing, stigma, and incarceration. At LaGuardia, Dr. Piso regularly serves as adjunct professor of critical thinking within the Humanities Department’s philosophy program.
Katina Rogers is Director of Administration and Programs at the Futures Initiative, a program at CUNY Graduate Center dedicated to advancing equity and innovation in higher education. Her work focuses on many aspects of higher education reform, including scholarly communication practices, professionalization and career development, public scholarship, and advocacy for fair labor policies. She is the editor of #Alt-Academy, a digital publication dedicated to exploring the career paths of humanities scholars in and around the academy, and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Rogers has contributed to the Humanities Alliance since the program’s earliest stages, and helps connect the Humanities Alliance and the Futures Initiative through the development of joint programming focusing on equity, innovation, and the reinvestment in higher education as a public good.
Stefanie Sertich is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Theatre at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, and the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars Coordinator for the Humanities Alliance. She is also the Co-Chair of the Kennedy Center’s American Collegiate Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region I. She directs new works, musicals and creates devised theatre pieces for social change.
At LaGuardia, Prof. Sertich has directed several plays, including “Passing Strange” and “In The Heights.” She has also developed a series of devised works with students on contemporary social justice issues, entitled, “Unpacking American Identity” with Steven Hitt, Artistic Director of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Her current projects include the show, Intersections (on tour Spring 2017), a collaboration with The Women’s Bridge Initiative on Alyson Mead’s The Flora and Fauna (in cross-country readings), and her film, Raisin/Rosedale, which premiered at the Queens World Film Festival, and will be shown in the CUNY Film Festival in April 2017. Prof. Sertich has a BA in Acting from Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Portland. She recently won the Innovative Teaching Award from KCACTF and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and is the University of Portland’s 2017 Contemporary Alumni Winner.
Priscilla Stadler is the LaGuardia Professional Development Seminar Co-Lead.
Luke Waltzer is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he supports GC students in their teaching across the CUNY system and beyond, and works on a variety of pedagogy and digital projects. He previously was the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch College. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the CUNY Graduate Center, serves as Director of Community Projects on the CUNY Academic Commons, and is on the faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program. He is on the editorial collective of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and has contributed essays to Matthew K. Gold’s Debates in the Digital Humanities and, with Thomas Harbison, to Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki’s Writing History in the Digital Age. Dr. Waltzer contributed to the development of the Humanities Alliance in its early stages, and helps connect the program with the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center.
Dr. Joy Connolly, Former Principal Investigator
Dr. Joy Connolly is the Provost and Senior Vice President at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s principal academic officer, she ensures the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs. Before joining the Graduate Center in August 2016, Connolly was the Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Classics at New York University, where she was responsible for about 400 faculty in close to 30 departments, programs, centers, and institutes. Previously, as the Director of NYU’s College Core Curriculum, she put in place a post-doctoral program that featured workshops for graduate students on pedagogy and practical preparation for the job market. Connolly’s research focuses on Roman ideas about aesthetics, communication, and political action, particularly as they relate to the contemporary world. Her book, The Life of Roman Republicanism (Princeton, 2014) analyzed key themes in Roman thought: freedom, recognition, antagonism, self-knowledge, irony, and imagination. Connolly is also the author of Going on the Market (NYU, updated 2014), a handbook that helps students navigate graduate school as well as the job-application and post-doctoral fellowship processes.
Cathy N. Davidson, Former Director
Cathy N. Davidson is director of the Futures Initiative and a distinguished professor in the Ph.D. Program in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a renowned scholar of cultural history and technology, including the history of the book, the history of industrialism and postindustrialism, digital humanities, and the impact of new technologies on culture, cognition, learning, and the workplace. Her forthcoming book is The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, September 2017).
Elizabeth Alsop, Former Humanities Scholar
Elizabeth Alsop was the Humanities Scholar for the CUNY Humanities Alliance and the Assistant Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of English and Film at Western Kentucky University. She received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Graduate Center, where she also earned a certificate in Film Studies.
Dr. Alsop’s current book project, Making Conversation: The Poetics of Talk in Modernist Fiction, examines the evolving function of character dialogue in the Anglo-American modernist novel. In addition to her academic work, she has written about books, film, and TV for publications including The Atlantic, The LA Review of Books, The TLS, Salon, and The New York Times Magazine. She also serves as the managing editor of Visible Pedagogy, a digital platform for discussions about teaching and learning at CUNY.
Kitana Ananda, Former Postdoctoral Fellow
Kitana Ananda was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for the CUNY Humanities Alliance, and based in the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center. In this role, she conducted qualitative research to understand the communities served by the Humanities Alliance and contributes to program development. She also co-managed the development of the program’s digital platform, cunyhumanitiesalliance.org, and collaborates with program staff to develop tools and strategies for communications and public engagement.
Dr. Ananda’s scholarship and teaching examines the culture and politics of war, migration, and diaspora in North America and South Asia, with a focus on Tamil refugees and immigrants from Sri Lanka. She believes strongly in the mission of public colleges and universities, and has a deep interest in digital communications for scholarship, collaborative learning, and public engagement. She has served as a Contributing Editor for the website of the open-access journal, Cultural Anthropology, and as a Communications Associate intern with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. She earned a Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and an honors B.A. in History and Anthropology with a minor in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto.
Past Affiliated Staff
Jade Davis, Former Digital Program Staff
Jade E. Davis was the Associate Director of Digital Learning Projects in the Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She has a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Communication Studies with a focus on media, technology, and culture. Her research looks at how digital media affects how society makes, understands, and accepts knowledge and culture. More specifically she is interested in spaces that make digital information into knowledge and culture and the ethics and ownership of the data traces that are left behind. She is a former member of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke University, Program Coordinator for the Digital Media and Learning Competition at HASTAC, and PhD Intern with Microsoft Research New England’s Social Media Collective. You can find some of her work on her website and you can follow her on twitter @jadedid.