Announcing 2016-2017 Fellows and Courses

We are delighted to welcome one new graduate fellow, a peer mentoring liaison, nine faculty fellows, and five team-taught graduate courses to our program for the year ahead.

Humanities Alliance Post-Doctoral Fellow

Kitana AnandaPhoto of Kitana Ananda

As part of the new Humanities Alliance, Dr. Kitana Ananda will help to manage the development and support of an online publishing platform to facilitate communication and collaboration among all partners in the Humanities Alliance. Dr. Ananda will effectively be the project’s ethnographer, working to understand the communities served by the project and build tools and communications channels that meet those needs.

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 the public university, and has a deep interest in digital communications for scholarship, collaborative learning, and public engagement. She has served as a Contributing Editor for the open-access website of the 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.

Futures Initiative Graduate Fellows

Michelle MoralesPhoto of Michelle Morales

Michelle Morales is a doctoral candidate in computational linguistics and a former Magnet Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also a speech processing researcher at the Queens College Speech lab, where she focuses on computing and mental health. Michelle’s research investigates how to use language as an objective marker in the diagnosis and monitoring of mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. As part of her dissertation, she is currently building a computational system that uses speech to automatically identify the presence of mental health disorders. Given the severe shortage of clinicians and the ever increasing number of individuals in need, Michelle’s research aims to improve the current state of mental healthcare by providing a scalable technological solution.

Jessica MurrayPhoto of Jessica Murray

Jessica Murray is a doctoral student in Human Development at The Graduate Center, CUNY and a Futures Initiative Fellow. Her interests include mobilities, transportation, technology, disability studies, accessibility, and disability rights. She earned a BFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and worked as a graphic designer in a variety of media before coming to The Graduate Center in 2012. She completed an MA in Liberal Studies, on the Psychology of Work and Family track in 2014. Her thesis topic was Work-Life Experiences for People with Mobility Disabilities Living in New York City, which examined the myriad issues that impact the daily lives of adults with physical disabilities.

Peer Mentoring LiaisonPhoto of Thomas DeAngelis

Thomas DeAngelis

Thomas DeAngelis is a first-year doctoral student in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Thomas recently earned a B.A. in Sociology from CUNY Brooklyn College where he was both a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and a CUNY Pipeline Fellow. He is interested in the displacement of black people by urban renewal in New York City and Salvador, Brazil and how people organized against urban renewal. Drawing on Stuart Hall’s method of conjunctural analysis, Thomas hopes to develop a broader understanding of the political, economic, geographic, and ideological forces that allowed for urban renewal to displace black people from housing in both Salvador and New York City. More broadly, Thomas holds interests in black geographies, black radical thought, and Afro-Pessimism.

Faculty Fellows and Upcoming Courses

In the 2016-2017 academic year, we will offer five new team-taught courses in a number of different disciplines, reaching as many as 90 graduate students and 1,800 undergraduates. The courses will be taught by CUNY faculty based at the Graduate Center as well as Brooklyn College, City College, John Jay College, the School of Public Health, the College of Staten Island, and Queens College. The focus across all of the courses will be Diversity, Access, and Equity Across the Curriculum. We are delighted that the faculty members listed below will be joining the program as Faculty Fellows.

Full details, including course descriptions, are available in this Google Doc.

Spring 2017

  • Diana Romero (School of Public Health; Community, Society, and Health Program) and Ananya Mukherjea (College of Staten Island; Sociology/Anthropology) – “Social Inequality & Health Disparities: Sex, Gender and Reproduction”
  • Setha Low (Graduate Center; Environmental Psychology, Anthropology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Women’s Studies) and Amy Chazkel (Graduate Center and Queens College; History) – “The Public and Publics”
  • Martin Ruck (Graduate Center; Psychology) and Erika Niwa (Graduate Center and Brooklyn College; Psychology) – “The Social Construction of Childhood: Perspectives on Self, Others, Society and Human Rights”
  • Patricia Brooks (Graduate Center and College of Staten Island; Psychology) and Jill Grose-Fifer (Graduate Center and John Jay College, Psychology) – “Seminar and Practicum on the Teaching of Psychology”
  • Cathy N. Davidson (Graduate Center; Futures Initiative and English) and Michael B. Gillespie (City College; Black Studies and Film Studies),  “Race and Gender Theory in the Undergraduate Humanities Classroom ”


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309