Recent CASL Faculty Kudos - September 2020

September 14, 2020

Recent faculty awards, presentations and publications.

A little more than 50 years ago, an African American humanitarian’s negotiation tactics had an important role in ending a civil war. African and African American Studies Assistant Professor Keith Dye chronicles the diplomacy of Theodore Brown and the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa (ANLCA) on its role in helping end the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War in a recently published book. Dye’s book The Diplomacy of Theodore Brown and the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War: Negotiating a Destiny was published by Peter Lang Press.

Criminal Justice Lecturer Aaron Kinzel organized a summer camp for recently released prisoners who were juvenile offenders at the time of their arrest through his nonprofit Youth Justice Fund. The Detroit Free Press covered the experience in an Aug. 15 article. "My goal is to humanize formerly incarcerated people," Kinzel said. The camp was designed to address the trauma of being imprisoned as youths. Kinzel, who was first arrested at age 15 and was released from prison in 2007, said society doesn't acknowledge that people can leave prison with emotional baggage and suffer from social anxiety, depression and sometimes suicidal ideation.

"The Detroit History Podcast" — hosted and produced by Communication Associate Professor Tim Kiska — won the 2020 State History Award for Media. "The Detroit History Podcast" examines a wide range of topics by digging deep into Detroit history to highlight unique footage and perspectives. Previous topics have included the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 1943 Detroit protests and 1919 Influenza Pandemic. The podcast has more than 75,000 downloads across 28 countries. Listen to the "Detroit History Podcast" and meet the team behind it.

The latest publication from Terri Laws, assistant professor of African and African American studies and religious studies, is a book chapter titled, "'I AM that I AM': The Religion of White Rage, Great Migration Detroit, and the Ford Motor Company," co-authored with Kimberly R. Enard. The chapter appears in the recently released The Religion of White Rage: White Workers, Religious Fervor, and the Myth of Black Racial Progress by Edinburgh University Press.

The Hill published Political Science Professor Mitchel Sollenberger’s opinion piece “A judicial win for executive privilege, not transparency” on Sept. 23. Sollenberger reviews Federal District Court Judge Reggie Walton’s decision that the FBI could withhold information regarding communications by then President-elect Donald Trump and transition-team advisers due to executive privilege. Sollenberger asks: “As executive privilege is recognized under law as an Article II-based presidential power, how is it that a president-elect and his staff are accorded this protection?”

With both political parties debating on when to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat after her Sept. 18 passing, Professor Mitchel Sollenberger proposed a compromise that both sides might find fair. Sollenberger’s opinion piece on how to prevent a high-stakes confirmation battle right before the presidential election ran in the New York Daily News on Sept. 22.

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, Psychology Associate Professor Brenda Whitehead, a gerontologist whose research focuses on stress in later life, developed a survey for people ages 60+ to hear about COVID-19-related stressors and joys immediately following significant news events during the pandemic. Whitehead had two separate articles on key findings from her research study “COVID-19 and Older Adults: Perceptions, Behavior, and Experience” published in gerontology journals this month. Go to Whitehead’s Aging Well Lab website to read about her work in The Gerontologist and The Journals of Gerontology.

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