Crystal Eddins, PhD, Asst. Professor of Africana Studies, UNC-Charlotte
Project Title: “Rituals, Runaways, & the Haitian Revolution”/”The Count of Jeremie and the Grande Doko Republic”
Crystal Eddins holds a dual major PhD in African American & African Studies and Sociology from Michigan State University. Her interdisciplinary research looks at issues of consciousness, culture, and identity in micro-mobilization processes among members of the African Diaspora, especially late 18th- and early 19th-century enslaved people’s rebellions. She specifically focuses on the influence of African-inspired sacred rituals on oppositional consciousness and patterns of escape from enslavement before the Haitian Revolution. She relies heavily on archival data, including content analysis of digitally archived runaway slave advertisements. These allow her to ask questions about the role of race and ethnicity, gender, social ties, and forms of human and social capital used in runaways’ attempts to liberate themselves.
Scott Temple, MFA, Instructor of English and Humanities, Pitt Community College
Project Title: “Climate and Migrant Farmworkers”
Scott Temple has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in English from Appalachian State University. He has been awarded numerous grants including a North Carolina Humanities Large Grant, North Carolina regional artist grants, community college National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and Vermont Studio Center. He is co-founder of Quickbloom Production, LLC and co-director, principal photographer, editor, and researcher of the documentary At A Stranger’s Table, which followed the narratives of Latin American migrant farmworkers in Eastern North Carolina from summer 2017 though 2019.
Rachel Chrane, M.A., Assoc. Instructor of Spanish and English as a Second Language, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, N.C.
Project Title: “The Caravan: A Brief Glimpse at U.S. Involvement in Central America”
Rachel Chrane, earned her M.A. in Spanish with a minor in Education from the University of North Texas and has been teaching at Lees-McRae since 2000. She has developed numerous new courses for the college, as well as the “Spanish for Community Involvement” minor, and has lead study tours for undergraduate students to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Read more about Rachel Chrane…
Renée Lindsey, MA, Art History, Davidson County Community College
Project Title: “Introduction to Latin American Art”
Renée Lindsey earned her MA in Art History from the University of Kentucky and is passionate about teaching art and art history at the community college level. As part of her CERF project, she created an art history survey course that focused on Latin American Art. The class covered the earliest appearance of art in Central and South America and the Caribbean islands to contemporary art.
Shearon Roberts, PhD, Mass Communications, Xavier University, La.
Project Title: “Learning the Black Diaspora through Latin American & Caribbean Media”
Shearon Roberts teaches both Mass Communication and African American/Diaspora Studies courses at Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically black university in New Orleans. She earned her doctorate from Tulane University’s Roger Thayer Stone Center in Latin American Studies where she studied Caribbean media, specifically Haitian media. Prior to academia, she worked as a reporter covering Latin America and the Caribbean. She researches Caribbean and Latin American media, media discourse from the region, and media discourse on race and gender.
Tiffany Y. Adams, PhD, English, Central Piedmont Community College, Matthews, N.C.
Project Title: “I, Too, am America: Curriculum Revision to Include L.A.C. Studies into English General Education Courses”
Tiffany Y. Adams earned a PhD in English from the University of Georgia and has been teaching introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses in rhetoric and composition, World literature, American literature, and feminist theory for over 20 years. Her areas of teaching and research specialization are 20th and 21st century Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American literature.
Jason Doom, PhD, History, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.
Project Title: “Latin America’s Role in the Modern Human Rights Movement”
Jason Doom earned a PhD in History from Ohio University, as well as an MA in History from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and an MDIV from Southwest Theological Seminary. He created a Latin American History class at Winthrop that showed the region’s contributions to the human rights movement of the last half of the 20th century.
Shannon Hahn, M.A., Chair, Foreign Languages, Durham Technical Community College, Durham, N.C.
Project Title: “Asian-Latino History and Influence in Latin America”
Shannon Hahn earned her M.A. in Hispanic Language and Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005. Hahn is the coordinator of the Global Distinction Program at Durham Tech and works with faculty across campus to enhance global content in their courses. Her current interests focus on incorporating more diverse voices in the language curriculum.
Sharika Crawford, PhD, History, United States Naval Academy
Project Title: “History Lab: Modern Latin America”
Sharika Crawford is an Associate Professor of Latin American history at the United States Naval Academy. Her research focuses on the circum-Caribbean and the experience of Latin Americans of African descent. She enjoys outreach efforts to bridge the gap between K-12 and higher education educators. This has led to opportunities to serve in various positions with the AP College Board. Dr. Crawford is also the recipient of several prestigious national awards and fellowships including a Fulbright U.S Scholarship, a NEW Summer Stipend, and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. She has published in the New West Indian Guide, The Global South, International Journal of Maritime History, and World History Connected. Her current book project, The Last Turtlemen: Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Crossing in the Maritime Caribbean, is a social history of Caribbean mariners involved in the turtle trade.
Lisandra Estevez, PhD, Art History, Winston-Salem State University
Project Title: “Art and Visual Culture of the African Diaspora”
Lisandra Estevez is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art + Visual Studies at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). She earned a PhD in Art History from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her areas of research and scholarship include Latin American and Spanish art (1500-to the present), transatlantic cultural exchanges in pre-modern and modern art history, the history of the print, the history of collecting, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
At WSSU, Dr. Estevez teaches various courses that include Intro to Art, Art History I and II, and a specialized course on Latin American women artists (1900 to the present). She was awarded a 2017 College Teachers Research Fellowship to develop a new course on the art and visual culture of the African diaspora, with a special focus on Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latin American, and Afro-Latinx artists.
Baron Tymas, Music, North Carolina Central University
Project Title: “Latin American and Caribbean Music vis à vis Jazz and Guitar Studies”
Baron Tymas is an Associate Professor of Music at North Carolina Central University, where he has taught since 2001. At NCCU, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in jazz arranging, jazz composition, multimedia applications and guitar. His NCCU jazz combos have earned national recognition in the U.S, both through live performances and recordings. A former music department chair, he continues to perform and teach around the world. Before coming to NCCU, he taught at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. He earned masters and bachelors degrees from Howard University and is a native of Washington, D.C.
Baron performs music regularly with his own groups and those of others. He is privileged to have performed with many outstanding artists and ensembles, including Branford Marsalis, René Marie, Black Sheep, F.R.E.N.S., the John Brown Jazz Orchestra, the NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the NC Symphony Orchestra.
He released three CDs as a leader. His 2017 CD release, Montréal, is a collection of original compositions dedicated to life in that beautiful city, where he spent a large part of 2015 as a Fulbright Research Fellow at Concordia University. Baron’s two previous CDs are Insight at Midnight (2009) and Blues for the Tribe (2007). Both these CDs also rely heavily on Baron’s original compositions. Baron has also composed music for television, including the Emmy-winning Bill Moyers Journal. He won a North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Award in 2008.
Kelly McEnany, Sociology, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Project Title: “The Changing Yucatec Maya Family”
Kelly McEnany has been a Sociology instructor at A-B Tech Community College for 16 years. She focuses on a global perspective in her courses and promotes a global understanding on campus. She has networked with Asheville Sister Cities to create a low-cost internship program in Valladolid, Mexico, with a personalized project-based approach for meaningful learning. She has also brought students to study culture and history in Scotland, and to explore economics and business in Ireland. She also utilizes technologies such as wikis for students to connect and interact with students in Japan. She presents at conferences about globalization and immigration, utilizing technology to connect students to the world, and networking with colleagues to reach students from all backgrounds and abilities. She teaches Introduction to Sociology, and loves to open up the discipline of Sociology to students from every major, as a way to better understand our place in the world.
Kelly has lived in Asheville since 1996, and enjoys the local performing arts, long walks, and good friends.
Uchenna P. Vasser, PhD, Spanish, Winston-Salem State University
Project Title: “Black Female Representation and Ecological (Dis)Eases in Afro-Romances of Latin America and the Caribbean”
Uchenna P. Vasser is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Winston-Salem State University. Her areas of research and scholarship include Afro-Colombian and Afro-Cuban literatures focusing on such themes as transculturation, cultural hybridity, women and the environment, and identity construction. Among her recent publications are “Visions from the Margins: Miguel Barnet’s Biografía de un cimarrón and Ivor Miller’s Voice of the Leopard” (2015), “Africanidad and the Representation of the Female Character in Three Novels by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2014), and “The Double Bind: Women and the Environment in Chambacú, Black Slum and A Saint is Born in Chimá by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2013).
Dr. Vasser earned the Doctorate degree in Romance Languages with a concentration in Portuguese from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from the Ohio State University, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Spanish from Schiller International University. She is the recipient of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governor’s Faculty Doctoral Study Assignment Program Award, 1998 to 1999, the 2016 UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ College Educators Research Fellowship award, the 2016 China Studies Institute (CSI) Zhi-Xing China Academic Impact Fellowship Program award, and numerous other distinguished awards.
Dr. Vasser is the current Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Brad Bilsky, Accounting and Economics, Pamlico Community College and Southwestern Community College
Project Title: “Globalizing ECO-252 with a Latin American Focus”
Brad Bilsky currently serves as the Accounting Program Coordinator at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, N.C. In addition to his administrative duties in this role, he has the pleasure of teaching courses in Accounting and Economics. He has held prior teaching positions in Economics and Business at Pamlico Community College and Tennessee Wesleyan College, and continues to serve as an adjunct instructor at both institutions. He is nearing completion of his DBA coursework at Wilmington University and holds an MA in Economics from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Duquesne University. His undergraduate work in Economics was completed at the University of Pittsburgh.
DeOnna Gray, Healthcare Interpreting, Davidson County Community College
Project Title: “How do you feel? Me duele el estómago: The Cultural Health Habits of the Hispanic/Latino Patient.”
DeOnna Lavette Gray, M.A. works as an adjunct instructor of healthcare interpreting at Davidson County Community College (DCCC) where she has been charged with the responsibility of developing and teaching the courses in both the Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Interpreting program, as well as the Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting continuing education program. A graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, she earned a Master of Arts in Spanish: Translating and Translation Studies from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and has completed graduate courses in applied interpreting studies and methodology of teaching interpreting at Wake Forest University.
Ms. Gray has presented on topics such as “Strategies for Medical Interpreting”; “The Professional Healthcare Interpreter”; “Using Vocabulary Digital Stories to Enhance Literacy in the Foreign Language Classroom”; and “Interpreting Pedagogy” at recent conferences held by the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC) and the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI). In 2013, she was awarded a FLANC mini-grant to for the “DCCC Healthcare Interpreting” project, which funded observational internships for healthcare interpreting students enrolled at DCCC.
Oscar de la Torre, History, UNC-Charlotte
Project Title: “Environment, State, and Society in the Caribbean and Latin America”
Oscar de la Torre is an Assistant Professor of Africana and Latin American Studies at UNC Charlotte. A specialist in Latin American History with a special focus on Brazil and the African Diaspora, he investigates the history and current political movements of black peasants in Amazonia and throughout the Americas, and has recently co-edited a special issue of Spain’s Boletín Americanista on post-emancipation societies, and another one at Ofo: Journal of Transatlantic Studies, on Community Engagement and Citizen Empowerment in Africa and the African Diaspora. He is currently writing a book manuscript based on his dissertation and tentatively titled Leaving Behind the Big Snake: A History of Black Amazonia, 1850-1950. Engaged in a permanent dialogue and exchange of ideas with scholars from the U.S., Europe, and Brazil, Dr. De la Torre is also interested in the study of comparative race and racism across the Diaspora, and in the broader fields of Atlantic and Environmental History. Beyond scholarship, Dr. De la Torre likes to watch Peppa Pig and to play board games with his kids and his wife.