November  2012

Volume 1 | Issue 3


Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network

Administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Dear MMUF Fellows:

We are pleased to share the November issue of the Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network newsletter. The Network continues to grow with former Mellon Fellows sharing and connecting in our growing Facebook and LinkedIn groups.


Each section of the MMFPN newsletter will depend upon your participation and input.


December’s newsletter will focus on the Southeast region. Do you know of any employment opportunities, conferences, networking events, or scholarships specific to this area? If you live in the Southeast region and would like to be featured in the next newsletter, please hit reply and contact us now!

Have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving holiday!


Remember, once a Mellon, always a Mellon!




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Are you in the NYC area? Planning a visit? WE WANT TO MEET YOU!
You are invited to MMFPN’s 1st Regional Kickoff Event on Friday, December 7th. Come and meet other MMUF alumni in the New York City area.  Enjoy an open bar, unlimited hors d’oeuvres, and learn more about the Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network.
There are a limited number of tickets so email to RSVP today!
If you're not in the NYC-area, don't worry! An MMFPN kickoff event will be coming to your area in 2013

Featured Fellows: Ernest Gibson, Justin Emeka, Kinohi Nishikawa

Ernest Gibson profile picture
Meet Dr. Ernest Gibson

This past spring, having completed my training in the Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, I defended my dissertation, In Search of the Fraternal: Salvific Manhood and Male Intimacy in the Novels of James Baldwin and walked across the stage at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Within this moment, I witnessed how a young man, willing to dream beyond disadvantage, could take an intellectual epiphany - inspired by the late Dr. Rudolph Byrd - and transform it into a palpable reality.  And while some things demand articulation, there are others so sacred and personal that they must remain - ineffable.  

After finishing my tenure as the Thurgood Marshall Fellow of African and African American Studies at Dartmouth College, I accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at Rhodes College.  As I sit in my office, gazed upon by a wall-size photo of my literary muse, James Baldwin, inspired by the words of Ralph Ellison and W.E.B. Du Bois, I thank MMUF for its undying support and look forward to my book project on James Baldwin, being featured in a piece on Black Intellectual Dandyism in the Chronicle, the daunting pursuit of tenure, and new phases of intellectual life.





Justin Emeka photo
Justin Emeka, Assistant Professor of Theater and Africana Studies at Oberlin College.

Transforming the world of theater

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Theater and Africana Studies at Oberlin College where I direct and teach courses in acting, directing, and Capoeira Angola.   As a theater director, I am inspired by a theatrical process similar to the creative process of Jazz and work to develop “classical” theater that is told in new ways.  Some of my past productions include: Death of a Salesman featuring Avery Brooks as Willie Loman;  Macbeth, set in the American South during reconstruction just after the Civil War;   at Yale Rep, I played the role of Edgar in King Lear and served as the movement specialist using Capoeira to create a unique physical vocabulary.  This coming summer I will direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem at the Classical Theater of Harlem.  I believe we are witnessing an incredible artistic and cultural revolution in the American Theater that is providing artists and audiences new ways of understanding our collective national identity.  Through the imagination of the theatre, we remember the past, reflect the present, and create a vision that will lead us into the future.

Kinohi photo 2

Kinohi Nishikawa accepted a tenure-track position at University of Notre Dame

2012 has been a year of transitions for me. Over the summer I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. I then made the relatively short move from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, to begin a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. I’m enjoying the intellectual environment here and have been warmly welcomed in my new institutional home.
This fall I’ve had two major works published. The first is an article on America’s first black pin-up magazine, which came out in the print culture studies journal Book History. The second is a reference work on “Mass and Popular Culture” in American literary studies, hosted by the scholarly database Oxford Bibliographies Online. I’m currently sending out for review my book manuscript Reading the Street, which traces the rise of black-authored pulp fiction from its material roots in postwar men’s literature to its cultural influence on contemporary hip hop.
MMUF has been an outstanding source of support for me for many years. Recently I’ve tried to give back to the program by delivering invited talks to undergraduate Fellows at Dartmouth (my alma mater) and Grinnell, and by serving as a mentor to a Northwestern Fellow in African American Studies.

Want to know what your fellow Mellons are up to? Read about doctoral candidate Carina Baskett's commentary on the Women in STEM Conference!

Commentary on Carina Baskett
Mellon alumna Carina Baskett '10

I attended the Women in STEM conference at Michigan State University, October 22-23.

It was very interesting to me because the majority of attendees were alumni in mid-career, and I'm still a graduate student. I learned a lot about professional development for non-academic jobs, which was valuable and new to me because most professional development workshops that I've attended so far are focused on academic careers. I'm still undecided about whether I want to stay in the academy (and I have a few years to decide!), but it was great to learn about the other side of the coin, and the conference helped me think about how to have a well-rounded CV to prepare myself for any kind of job after I get my PhD.

Thank You,

Carina Baskett
Doctoral Student
Department of Plant Biology
Michigan State University
(517) 432-5285
My research in 90 seconds:












Have you attended any conferences recently? Do you have any successes or achievements to share? Click here to submit!


 Reported Achievements and Successes!

Congratulations Mellon alum Brian Johnson on receiving the 2012-2013 American Council of Education and the 2012-2013 Association of American State College and Universities Millennium Leadership Fellowships!

Brian Johnson (Professional Photo)

Mellon alum Brian Johnson '95


I envision myself following both the path and spiritual imprint left by Benjamin Mays, namesake of the Mellon Mays program, who after publishing 2 significant academic books as a scholar became an administrator for one of the nation's most enduring institutions-Morehouse College, where he truly impacted the lives of students and the African American community both domestically and abroad.

Click the link below to read the press release for the American Council of Education Fellows Program:


Congratulations Kim Warren for receiving a promotion at the University of Kansas!

Kim Warren profile photo


Kim Warren was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Kansas.  She is the author of The Quest for Citizenship:  African American and Native American Education in Kansas, 1880-1935 (University of North Carolina, 2010) and her new article, "’How Much for Kunta Kinte?!’:  Sites of Memory, Diasporan Encounters, and West African Identities," appears in African Hosts and Their Guests:  Cultural Dynamics of Tourism in Africa, edited by Wouter van Beek and Annette Schmidt (James Currey, UK, 2012).

Congratulations to the 2012 cohort of Career Enhancement 
Want to learn more about Career Enhancement?
Send an email to

Career Enhancement 2012 Cohort 3

2012 Career Enhancement recipient's during the Career Enhancement Retreat at the Princeton Marriott Forrestal.


We want to be your resource for fellowships, scholarships and conferences! We can't do this without your input!

Upcoming Conferences
Chicago International Model UN (CIMUN):

Employment Opportunities
Visiting Instructor of Mathematics at Antioch College:

Tenure-Track position in Political Economy at Antioch College:

Postdoctoral Research Associate positions at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

MALCS Summer Institute 2013 Call for Proposals:

Assistant Professor of Caribbean History, Afrikana Studies Dept., Oberlin College:

Publishing Opportunities
Tapestries: Interwoven Voices of Local and Global Identities:

PhD Fellowships in Information History:

2013 Terra Foundation Academic Awards, Fellowships and Grants in American Art:

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University: 



American Academy of Religion:


Contact Us

Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 300

Princeton, NJ 08540


Phone: 609-452-7007

Fax: 609-452-0066


Dr. Caryl McFarlane

Senior Program Officer

Mellon Mays Programs

and Pickering Fellowships



Courteney Ervin

Program Associate

Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network



Lauren Zondag

Program Assistant

Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network










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