29Mar

Vaughn W.M. Watson, Ed.D, speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “Transforming the World: The Power of Imagination”

Vaughn W.M. Watson is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University.

Vaughn's research focuses on the interplay of literacy learning, reimagining identities, and envisioning civic imaginaries for Black youth, immigrant youth, and youth of color across socio-cultural contexts of English education, hip-hop and education, civic learning and action, and qualitative participatory research methodologies.

He is a former public high-school English teacher of 12 years in New York City.

Prior to teaching, Vaughn published numerous music reviews as former pop music writer for The Providence Journal, and freelance music reviewer for org.

He earned doctor of education from Columbia University.

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29Mar

Dr. Ann Folino White speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “Transforming the World: The Power of Imagination”

Ann Folino White is an associate professor of Theatre Studies and associate chairperson in the Department of Theatre at Michigan State University.

Her scholarship on U.S. popular performance, protest, and food culture and politics has appeared in numerous journals.

Her book “Plowed Under: Food Policy Protests and Performance in New Deal America” received the CLR James Book Award from the Working Class Studies Association.

Ann is recipient of the 2017 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award from the Michigan Association of State Universities.

She earned her doctorate from Northwestern University.

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29Mar

Jeff Wray, MFA, speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “Transforming the World: The Power of Imagination”

Jeff Wray is a professor of English and Film Studies in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University.

An independent filmmaker and screenwriter, Wray’s award winning feature films include “China,” made for PBS and broadcast nationally.

His film “The Evolution of Bert” premiered in the Chicago International Film Festival and was screened at the Pan African Los Angeles Film Festival, among others. In his career, Jeff’s films have screened in more than 100 festivals around the world.

He teaches film directing, screenwriting and capstone courses on narrative fiction film.

Jeff earned his master of fine arts from Ohio University.

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7Feb

Dr. Johanna Schuster-Craig speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: A World on the Move: Refugees, Migrants and Immigrants

Johanna Schuster-Craig is an assistant professor of German and Global Studies in the College of Arts & Letters.

  • Her research looks at German integration policies, which aim to incorporate immigrants and refugees into the nation.
  • Johanna uses fieldwork methods with social work organizations in Germany to observe how local residents negotiate these policies.
  • She earned her doctorate from Duke University.
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7Feb

Dr. Stephanie Nawyn speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: A World on the Move: Refugees, Migrants and Immigrants

Stephanie Nawyn is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement, Center for Gender in Global Context.

  • Her research and teaching areas of expertise are in gender and immigration, with a focus on forced migration, exclusion, and social inequality.
  • Since coming to Michigan State, Stephanie has conducted research on community development among immigrants and the importance of social networks and social capital to immigrant and refugee incorporation, as well as the socioeconomic advancement of African-born immigrants in the United States.
  • Through a Fulbright Fellowship in Istanbul, she studies the trafficking of migrants in Turkey, focusing on trafficking in sex and other types of labor. Currently she is working on the vulnerability of Syrian refugees to trafficking in Turkey.
  • Stephanie earned her doctorate from the University of Southern California.
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7Feb

Sophia Koufopoulou speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: A World on the Move: Refugees, Migrants and Immigrants

Sophia Koufopoulou is fixed term faculty member with the Department of Sociology at, where this semester she teaches international development and the refugee crisis, social stratification and family and society.

  • In 1989 Sophia was one of the very first Greek scholars to pursue in-depth field research in neighboring Turkey through which she explored, described, and explained how individuals and families (Greek and Turkish) forcibly relocated through the terms and conditions of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne preserved their identity through the remainder of the 20th century.
  • Since 2003, Sophia has led the MSU “Contemporary Culture, Politics, and Society in Greece and Turkey” study abroad program through which over 600 MSU undergraduates have traveled, lived and studied in Greece and Turkey.
  • Most recently she was an invited participant on the European Union/Government of Turkey sponsored project “Women on the Move: Refugees in Turkey” where she spent time in Turkey visiting refugee camps on the Turkish Syrian border.
  • She earned her master’s degree from the University of the Aegean.
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7Feb

David Thronson, JD, speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: A World on the Move: Refugees, Migrants and Immigrants

David Thronson is associate dean for experiential education and a professor in the College of Law.

  • Thronson is co-founder of the Immigration Law Clinic and also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • His research and writing seeks to develop frameworks and critical perspectives for analyzing the intersection of family and immigration, with a particular focus on children.
  • He currently serves on the national Interagency Working Group on Unaccompanied Children and his past governmental appointments include service on the Nevada Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, the Nevada Law Foundation, and the Nevada’s Governor’s Commission for National and Community Service.
  • He earned his juris doctor from Harvard Law School.
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7Feb

Dr. Anna Pegler-Gordon speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “A World on the Move: Refugees, Migrants and Immigrants”

Anna Pegler-Gordon is an associate professor of social relations and policy in the James Madison College and director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program at MSU.

  • Pegler-Gordon's teaching and research interests include: immigration, race, citizenship, visual culture and popular culture.
  • At James Madison College, she has taught courses in Asian American history, immigration policy, comparative race and ethnic relations, and U.S. racial and immigration history.
  • She has received fellowships for her teaching and research, including national awards from the Organization of American Historians, the Japanese Association for American Studies, and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. At MSU, she has received a Teacher-Scholar award, as well as an Intramural Research Grant Program grant and a Lilly Teaching Fellowship.
  • Pegler-Gordon earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan.

 

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11Nov

Dr. Trixie Smith speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: Looking at Flint: The Past, Present and Future of the City

Trixie Smith is Director of The Writing Center and a member of the faculty in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures.

  • Her teaching and research are infused with issues of gender and activism even as they revolve around writing center theory and practice, writing across the curriculum, writing pedagogy, and teacher training.
  • She is also the director of the Red Cedar Writing Project.
  • Trixie earned her doctorate from the University of South Carolina.
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11Nov

Dr. Manuel Chavez speaks at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: Looking at Flint: The Past, Present and Future of the City

Manuel Chavez is Director of the Information & Media Ph.D. program and Associate Professor in the School of Journalism.

  • His research focuses on risk and crisis communication, government relations with the news media, and international journalism.
  • He teaches courses on research methods, crisis communication, media law and ethics, courts and the media relations, and the press in the Americas.
  • Chavez earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
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