I am a Jamaican-American applied anthropologist and educator with over 15 years of local and international experience working on issues of equity, student success, social marketing, and culture and development in educational institutions, museums, and government organizations. I have lived in Jamaica, Mali, and Senegal. I use culture as a lens for both examining inequities that exists in communities, as well as a tool for creating sustainable change on the local level.I received my B.A. in International Studies from Florida State University, M.S. in Library and Information Science, and M.A./Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My research interests and training experience are centered on cultural competency, socio-cultural factors of student success, culture and community development.
Professional Background: I have been working at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) for eleven years. I am a tenured faculty member and serve as the Instructional Chair of the Social Science department. I have extensive experience teaching college courses, developing college curricula, and leading college diversity trainings at MATC and other institutions. I have developed and coordinated the Student Success course. I have conducted numerous faculty trainings on student success. Additionally, I have taught courses at Alverno College and Carroll University.
In 2011, I founded Yawd Kids, a company that produces media content to teach children indigenous folk traditions from around the world. The Healthy Kids DVD was the first educational film produced. The short film was a teaching demonstration of Jamaican Rice and Peas, its cultural origins, and its health benefits. I also share Caribbean and West African folk and culinary traditions through storytelling presentations in Milwaukee. Prior to working at MATC, I lived in Mali and Senegal for many years working with Malian villages and organizations in the area of grassroots community development. I have worked in various capacities that include a cultural broker, researcher, Fulbright Scholar, and a Peace Corps volunteer.
Most recently, I co-developed and co-facilitated an adult education series at Lake Park Lutheran Church that examined white privilege and racial inequalities in Milwaukee and Lake Park Lutheran Church. The workshop has led to the creation of an Ethnic Diversity Task Force that collectively examines how the church can become more ethnically diverse and develop an action plan to implement this initiative.
Areas of consulting expertise: Diversity Training; Culturally Responsive Teaching and Competency; Student Success, Culture and Development, Curriculum Development, Qualitative Research, Ethnographic Research, and Social Marketing.
Publications, awards, and accomplishments
2016 Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)
2014 Wisconsin State Grant to conduct research in Barbados
2009 Association of Applied Anthropology Conference “The Culture of College Success”
2007 Council of the African Studies Association Conference “The Globalized Ciwara in Mali”
2006 Arts Information Ethics Conference at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee “The State of Decentralized Education in Mali”
2005 American Anthropological Association Poster Presentation, “ The Translocality of the Ciwara Headdress in Rural and Urban Mali”
2003 African Studies Association. “Acquiring Malian Cultural Capital: A Critical Look of Malian Youth in this Process”
2002 West African Research Association “Decentralized Education in Mali: An Anthropological Inquiry”
2001 Fulbright Scholar in Mali and Senegal (worked collaboratively with host institutions such as the National Museum of Mali and IFAN National Museum of African Arts
2000 Smithsonian Museum Fellow