Panelist Biographies

Monday, Oct. 16, 11:00 A.M.-12:15 P.M. | Carrying the Light: Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women’s Activism

Ashley Robertson Preston
Panelist:

Ashley Robertson Preston

Ashley Robertson Preston is an Assistant Professor of History at Howard University. Her research interests focus on the activism of Black women during the early twentieth century, particularly the work of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. She is the author of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State,which examines how the educator rose to prominence while fighting for equality at the height or racial unrest in the state. Preston’s past positions in the field of Public History include serving as director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation-National Historic Landmark at Bethune-Cookman University, while she also served as an archives technician for the National Archives for Black Women’s History at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House-National Historic Site. Educated at Howard University (PhD), Temple University (MA), and Bowie State University (BS), her research has been published in The Journal of African American HistoryJournal of Black Studies, and The Journal of Negro Education.

Nikki Brown
Panelist:

Nikki Brown

Nikki Brown is an Associate Professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Her book, Private Politics and Public Voices: Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal (Indiana University Press) won the Letitia Woods Brown Award for Best Book in African American Women’s in History in 2006. In addition to book chapters, she has also published articles on gender, race, identity, representation and politics in the Journal of African American History and The Black Scholar. A Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, she has prepared oral histories of the Afro-Turks, the African descendants of slaves in the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Brown is also a professional photographer, and has recently completed a photography project on African American men in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She is currently working on a book about Louisiana’s Civil Rights Movement. She majored in History at Oberlin College and earned a PhD in History from Yale University.

Linda Perkins
Moderator:

Linda M. Perkins

Linda M. Perkins is University Professor and Director of Applied Gender Studies at the Claremont Graduate University. Her areas of research are on the History of Black Women’s Higher Education and Black students in elite institutions of higher education. She has published widely in these areas. She has a forthcoming book – To Advance the Race: Black Women: The History of Black Women’s Higher Education from the Antebellum Era to the 1960s (forthcoming, University of Illinois Press, April 2024). Perkins is President-Elect of the History of Education Society and serves on the Board of the International Center for Research on Women, where she also serves as Chair of the Board of their Africa Center and a member of the Board of their Asia Center. Perkins is also a member of Ms. Magazine’s Scholars’ Board. She has served as vice president of Division F (History and Historiography) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and as a member of the Executive Council of AERA. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of higher education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Monday, Oct. 16, 7:00 PM  | New Deal America: Photographs by Arthur Rothstein

Brodie Hefner and Ann Rothstein-Segan
Panelists:

Ann Rothstein-Segan and Brodie Hefner

Dr. Ann Rothstein-Segan, Ph.D. and her husband Brodie Hefner manage the Arthur Rothstein Legacy Project, through which they create and present educational exhibitions, courses, and publications focused on the work and career of Ann’s father, renowned social documentary photographer Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985). As a charter member of the American Photography Archives Group, Dr. Segan promotes the preservation of significant collections of pre-digital-era photography. As a Research Associate of the Living New Deal, she educates the present generation about the continuing impact and relevance of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wide-ranging New Deal initiatives. Dr. Segan and Mr. Hefner also extend their educational work through new media initiatives, and as active participants in numerous professional organizations including the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, the Society of American Archivists, and the American Alliance of Museums.

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 12:30-1:45 P.M.  | The State and the Body: Reproductive Justice and the American Dream 

Natalie Lira
Panelist:

Natalie Lira

is an interdisciplinary scholar and Associate Professor of in the Departments of Latina/Latino Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Lira earned her Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include the politics of reproduction, histories of medicine, and the ways that struggles for racial and reproductive justice intersect. In her new book, Laboratory of Deficiency: Sterilization and Confinement in California, 1910-1950s(University of California Press, 2021), Dr. Lira combines insights and analytical frameworks from Latinx Studies, Disability Studies, and feminist scholarship on reproduction to examine Mexican-origin people’s experiences of eugenic sterilization and institutionalization in California during the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Lira is also co-director of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab (SSJL), an interdisciplinary research collaborative that studies the history of eugenic sterilization in the United States. Funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the SSJL team uses mixed methods from the social sciences, humanities, and public health to explore patterns and experiences of eugenic sterilization in California, Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan, and Utah. You can find her work in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, the American Journal of Public Health, and Latino Studies.

Qudsiyyah Shariyf
Panelist:

Qudsiyyah Shariyf

Qudsiyyah Shariyf (she/they) is an organizer, birthworker, and reproductive justice advocate currently serving as the deputy director of the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF). In 2019, Qudsiyyah joined CAF as a program coordinator, where they quickly demonstrated their commitment to reproductive autonomy and justice. Her strategic vision was instrumental in expanding CAF’s capacity to provide logistical, financial, and emotional support to every single person it reaches through its helpline seeking abortion care in Chicago, Illinois, across the Midwest, and beyond. Today, Qudsiyyah is a leading voice in the abortion access movement, working to build a world where everyone has access to the resources, care and support they need to thrive. Qudsiyyah’s unapologetically Black, queer, feminist, and anti-capitalist politic informs all aspects of her work, from the policies she advocates for to the way she shows up for the people she serves.

Deborah Tuerkheimer
Panelist:

Deborah Tuerkheimer

Deborah Tuerkheimer joined the Northwestern Law faculty in 2014 after serving as a professor at DePaul University College of Law since 2009 and the University of Maine School of Law since 2002. She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. Her book, CREDIBLE: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers, was published in October 2021. In 2014, Oxford University Press published her book, Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice. She is also a co-author of the casebook Feminist Jurisprudence: Cases and Materials and the author of numerous articles on sexual violence and domestic violence. After clerking for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz, she served for five years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she specialized in domestic violence prosecution. In 2015, Tuerkheimer was elected to the American Law Institute, an esteemed group of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars dedicated to the development of the law. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her JD from Yale. 

Marjorie Jolles
Moderator

Marjorie Jolles

Marjorie Jolles is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Assessment, and Honors at Roosevelt University. Her research and teaching are in the areas of Continental and feminist philosophy and cultural studies, with a focus on embodiment, ethics, theories of style, and the cultural life of feminism. She has published numerous articles and chapters in the fields of feminist philosophy, sexual politics, and cultural studies, and is co-editor of Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (SUNY Press).

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 7:00 P.M. CDT  | Curriculum Wars: The Battle to Control our Schools 

Anthony S. Chen
Panelist:

Anthony S. Chen

Anthony S. Chen is a political and historical sociologist. He is interested in the development of public policy in the United States from the New Deal to today with a focus on civil rights, social policy, and business-government relations. He is the author of The Fifth Freedom (Princeton), which offers a new account of how and why affirmative action emerged in employment. In collaboration with Lisa M. Stulberg, he is completing a book on the origins and development of affirmative action in college admissions. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Journal of American History, and Studies in American Political Development (SAPD). Chen recently stepped down as co-editor of SAPD. Along with Stephanie L. Mudge, he is series co-editor of Cambridge Studies in Historical Sociology, a new book series based at Cambridge University Press. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern, Chen was on the faculty for eight years at the University of Michigan. Chen received his BA from Rice University and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Soros Fellow and later a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research.

Emily Knox
Panelist:

Emily Knox

Emily Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her book, Book Banning in 21st Century America is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. She also recently edited Trigger Warnings: History, Theory Context and co-edited Foundations of Information Ethics (ALA Neal-Schuman). Her most recent book is Foundations of Intellectual Freedom. Knox’s articles have been published in the Library Quarterly, Library and Information Science Research, Open Information Science, and the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy and her views cited in news outlets such as NPR, The Washington Post, Time and Slate. Knox serves on the board of National Coalition Against Censorship and is the editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. She received her BA from Smith College, an MA in library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a PhD from Rutgers University. She also holds a degree in religious studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Jonathan Zimmerman
Panelist:

Jonathan Zimmerman

Jonathan Zimmerman is Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education and Professor of History of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Peace Corps volunteer and public school social studies teacher, Zimmerman has become one of the nation’s foremost experts in educational history, practice, and policy. The author of nine scholarly books and articles in various journals, such as the Journal of American History, the Teachers College Record, and History of Education Quarterly, his work has focused broadly on the ways that different peoples have imagined and debated education across time and space. He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and other popular newspapers and magazines. He came to Penn GSE after 20 years at New York University, where he received NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award, its highest recognition for teaching. Zimmerman has received book and article prizes from the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and the History of Education Society, where he served as president in 2009–2010. He is co-editor of the Histories of American Education book series at Cornell University Press and also of the History and Philosophy of Education series at the University of Chicago Press. Zimmerman holds a BA from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University.

Margaret Policastro
Moderator:

Margaret Policastro

Margaret Policastro is Chair of the Department of Education and a professor of language and literacy at Roosevelt University where she directs the Literacy Leadership MA program and is the founding director of the Summer Reading Clinic for children. Margaret has 4 decades of experience teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy at RU. She has over 15 years of working on grant funded projects in the Chicago Public Schools and districts throughout the state. She is currently working on the Metropolitan Chicago Tutor Corps (MCTC) project. Margaret has written 3 books, many articles and presented at the national and regional level. Margaret’s primary interest is promoting love, joy and passion for reading while getting justice driven, culturally relevant and globally diverse books into the hands of teachers, librarians and most of all, students.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 12:30 P.M. CDT  | Our Bodies, Our Performance.

David Kjar
Moderator:

David Kjar

Performance-studies and professional development scholar David Kjar is Associate Professor of Core Studies and Music History at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. He has performed with early music ensembles in Europe and South and North America. He holds a master’s degree in historical performance (Natural Trumpet) from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and a Ph.D. in musicology from Boston University. His research grounds theories and philosophies on early music in specific performance experiences (performers and listeners), reframing the early music movement as a sonically constructed and heard Other Performance. He presents internationally and has published on Wanda Landowska, the early music movement, and authenticity in 21st-century contexts. He is committed to better understanding what constitutes a 21st-century artist, especially within conservatory training, and has published on chamber music training. The Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research from the Eastman Institute for Music Leadership (Eastman School of Music) recognized this commitment with an innovation grant. He is also the Director of Interdisciplinary Music Studies and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Arts, Innovation, and Leadership at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, helping emerging professionals cultivate socially proactive, artistically, and financially sustainable and diverse career paths.

Thursday, Oct. 19, TBD  | Veterans and the College Experience: Opportunities, Challenges, and Life Lessons

Rachel Sachs
Panelist:

Rachel Sachs

Major: International Studies (junior)
U.S. Navy: Served from July 2015 to March 2022, when she was medically retired.

Anthony Flaherty
Panelist:

Anthony Flaherty

Major: Paralegal Studies/Minor: Criminal Justice (senior)
Currently serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserves – 10 years

Alejandro Pina
Panelist:

Alejandro Pina

Major: Biology (freshman)
U.S. Navy Corpsman. Served from 2017 to 2023. Currently serving in the U.S. Navy Reseves

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