Professor Brock is a writer, educator, researcher, strategist and purveyor of culture, is Assistant Professor of Composition at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). He formerly served as a Dr. W. Burghardt Turner Fellow at Stony Brook University, where he is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies & Africana Studies. Professor Brock received a B.A. in American Literature and Culture from UCLA with a minor in Political Science and a Master of Communication Management with a focus on Media and Entertainment Management from the University of Southern California (USC).
Cynthia (Cindy) Yuan Gao is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at New York University and holds a B.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University and a M.Phil in Social and Cultural Analysis from NYU. Fluent in Mandarin, she has experience teaching in Asian American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Critical Ethnic Studies. At NYU, Professor Gao was the instructor of record for her department’s “Approaches to Gender and Sexuality” course as well as one of her own designs, “Revolutionary Voices,” which focused on social justice movements in the U.S.
Professor Calvin Walds is a writer, educator, and image-maker. He has taught throughout the United States and abroad, in Durban, South Africa, Hargeisa, Somaliland, and Ramallahi n the Occupied West Bank. A Ph.D. candidate in Geography at Rutgers-New Brunswick, Professor Walds earned an M.F.A. in Cross-Genre Writing and master’s degrees in Pan-African Studies and General and Special Education, and a B.A. in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from UCSD. His current writing project continues his investigation of fugitivity as an artistic practice and practice of resistance.
A member of Chapin's Class of 1999, Dr. Kahdeidra Monét Martin earned. her Ph.D. in Urban Education: Language, Context and Culture at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She holds a Master of Philosophy in Urban Education, a Master’s of Education, Teaching Urban Adolescents with Disabilities from Long Island University; and a Bachelor’s degree in African & African American Studies with a minor in Linguistics from Stanford University. She has taught classes at Hunter College School of Education and LaGuardia Community College-CUNY including “Building Foundations of Literacy,” “Teaching Reading to Students with Learning Disabilities,” and “Black Lives Matter: Tracing the Literary Roots of Rage & Resistance.” She has worked in a K-12 environment as a Special Education teacher, Dean of Students, After School Site Coordinator, Test Prep Instructor and Spanish Instructor. Dr. Martin has accepted numerous fellowships, grants and awards including the Dean K. Harrison Dissertation Fellowship, Doctoral Student Council Grant, Mellon Humanities Alliance Teaching Fellowship, Segal AmeriCorps Education Award and Stanford University Women’s Community Center Award. In 2020, she was awarded the Teaching Award from The Graduate Center, CUNY for her excellence in teaching CUNY students. She served on the Citywide Council on English Language Learners with the NYC Department of Education and has been an active committee member for several Chapin events. Her language competence includes African American language, Kreyòl Ayisyen and Español.
Dr. Naomi Extra received her doctorate in American Studies at Rutgers University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies with a minor in French from the University of Rochester; a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from CUNY Hunter College; and a Master’s in Afro American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Extra has been granted many fellowships and awards including, most recently, the Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship in History Education, a year-long fellowship at the Museum of the City of New York for doctoral candidates who have an interest in teaching and public scholarship. Dr. Extra has vast experience in education, from teaching Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies to undergrad students at Rutgers to co-curating the “Jazz in the Era of Black Lives Matter Series,” located at the National Jazz Museum of Harlem.
Dr. Westenley Alcenat graduated cum laude from Macalester College with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science & History. He received a Master’s in American History, a Master of Philosophy in American History, and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Dr. Alcenat works as an Assistant Professor of History and Affiliated Assistant Professor of Urban Studies & American Studies at Fordham University. Since 2015, he has served as an Academic Director in the Great Books Summer Reading Program at Amherst College. Dr. Alcenat’s accolades are extensive – he is a past recipient of Richard Hofstadter Fellowship from Columbia University, he has been awarded fellowships from The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID); Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; the Massachusetts Historical Society; and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Dr. Alcenat’s work has been featured through papers and presentations at conferences across the United States as well as Canada, London, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Alcenat has written or provided commentary to be published in The Nation, African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), Black Perspectives Blog and The Root. He has spoken on CNN, CBS News and TRT World. Dr. Alcenat is competent in reading, writing and conversational French with fluency in Haitian/French Creole with average reading and writing competency. His manuscript in revision, “Children of Africa, Shall Be Haytians:” Prince Saunders and the Foundations of Black Emigration to Haiti, 1815-1865 is a study of the radicalism and ideologies of African-American settlers who emigrated to Haiti in the nineteenth century.