Four African American Women Scholars Taking on New Roles in Academia

Nadia Nurhussein, an associate professor of English at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has been given the added duties as associate director and director of undergraduate studies at the university’s Center for Africana Studies. Before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins this year, Dr. Nurhussein taught at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Nurhussein is the author of Rhetorics of Literacy: The Cultivation of American Dialect Poetry (The Ohio State University Press, 2013). She is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sonja S. Watson was promoted to associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. Previously, she was director of Women’s & Gender Studies and is an associate professor of Spanish at the university.

Dr. Watson is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She holds a master’s degree in Spanish and a doctoral degree in modern foreign languages with specialization in Hispanic literature/applied linguistics from the University of Tennessee.

Danielle Wood was named an assistant professor in the program in media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She currently serves as the applied sciences manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She will begin work at MIT in January.

Dr. Wood holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all from MIT.

Peggie R. Smith, the Charles F. Nagel Professor of Employment and Labor Law, was named omsbud for the Danforth campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Smith joined the faculty at the university in 2010 after teaching at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Professor Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.


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