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Meet The Scholars

2023 Cohort

Ana Arjona is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University, co-editor-in-chief of the journal Perspectives on Politics, and the founding director of the Network of Studies on Drugs in Latin America (REDESDAL). She obtained her PhD in political science from Yale University (with distinction), and has been a fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She was the director of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs at Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia (2018-2019), where she was a visiting professor at the School of Economics. Her research investigates the dynamics and legacies of institutional change, violence, and individual behavior in contexts of civil war and organized crime, as well as local governance, state building, and the foundations of political order.  She is the author of the award-winning book Rebelocracy: Social Order in the Colombian Civil War (2016), co-editor of Rebel Governance in Civil War (2015), and author of several articles and book chapters. Her work has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the SSRC, the United States Institute of Peace, Yale University, Columbia University, and Northwestern University in the U.S.; the International Development Research Centre in Canada; the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden; and the Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Global Challenges Research Fund in the U.K.



Jeffrey K. Coleman is an associate professor of Iberian Studies in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at Northwestern University. He specializes in Contemporary Iberian Spanish and Catalan theatre & popular culture. His first book, The Necropolitical Theater: Race and Immigration on the Contemporary Spanish Stage (Northwestern University Press, 2020), explores how the intersections of race and immigration manifest in Spanish theatre from 1991-2016. He is currently working on two book projects: España Negra: The Consumption & Rejection of Blackness in Contemporary Spain, which explores the ways in which Spanish media, popular culture, and literature have portrayed and appropriated Blackness from the early 20th century to the present, leading to the creation of a Black Spain; and Liquid Identities: Bottling the Nation, which explores wine as an avenue through which to understand the complexities of Spanish history and culture. In addition, He is the co-founder of TRECE (Taller de Raza, Etnicidad y Ciudadanía en España), a research group that actively theorizes and conceptualizes race in contemporary Spain. In 2015 he was awarded the Duke University SITPA (Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement) Fellowship and in 2017 was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. He is also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA, 2008) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 2014).



Kennetta Hammond Perry, PhD

Kennetta Hammond Perry, PhD(she/her)

Associate Professor in the Department of Black Studies

Kennetta Hammond Perry is an associate professor of Black Studies and History at Northwestern University.  She received her PhD in Comparative Black History at Michigan State University and previously served as founding director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.  Professor Perry’s primary research examines Black diasporic communities and political formations shaped by and within the imperial bordering of Britain.   She also has research and teaching interests that include Black Europe, transnational race politics, Black women’s histories and archival practice.  Professor Perry is the author of London Is The Place For Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford, 2016).   She is also completing a second book, Living and Dying in David Oluwale’s Britain (under contract with Cambridge University Press) examining the life, death and legacy of David Oluwale, a Nigerian-born homeless man thought to have been murdered by police in Leeds, England in 1969. Professor Perry has held fellowships with the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia and the American Council of Learned Societies.  Currently, she is an international co-investigator on two Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) grants examining the regional valences of Black Power in the UK and James Baldwin’s influence in Britain.



Kiarri N Kershaw, PhD, MPH

Kiarri N Kershaw, PhD, MPH(she/her)

Associate Professor of Preventative Medicine

Kiarri Kershaw is a social epidemiologist whose research focuses on understanding structural and social drivers of health and health inequities. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in this area. Dr. Kershaw has extensive experience in the application of advanced geospatial and statistical methodologies using several large maternal and cardiovascular health cohort studies. She also has multiple NIH-funded studies that involve primary data collection using ecological momentary assessments to examine associations of the places people go, who they spend time with, and everyday stressful experiences with various health behaviors and outcomes. 



Russ Joseph, PhD

Russ Joseph, PhD

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Russ Joseph’s research is in computer architecture which explores the design and optimization of novel power and reliability aware computing systems. Russ is excited by the possibilities of technology and the ways that it can shape our future. He is driven by a deep desire to share the joy of discovery and make science and technology more accessible to future generations of Black youth.  



Heather Pinkett, PhD

Heather Pinkett, PhD (she/her)

Irving M Klotz Research Professor; Associate Professor in the department of Molecular Biosciences 

Heather Pinkett is the Irving M. Klotz Research Professor and an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University. Dr. Pinkett’s primary research program centers around the structure and function of a specific class of membrane proteins called ABC transporters with a fundamental interest in multiple drug resistance.  A major focus of Dr. Pinkett’s research is to understand how bacterial and fungal systems evolve and become resistant to the human immune response in the hopes of developing new and innovative therapies to combat pathogens. Dr. Pinkett is a Pew Biomedical Scholar, a Hartwell Biomedical Investigator and currently serves as director of the NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Program at NU and on the Editorial Board of Journal of Molecular Biology. She graduated from Connecticut college and the University of Pennsylvania before completing her postdoctoral work at California Institute of Technology.