Below you will find a listing of the faculty and staff for the Africana Education Program. If you are unsure of who to contact with your questions, please call the main program office at 509.359.2205.
Dr. Jeffries is Director and Assistant professor in the Africana Studies program at Eastern Washington University.
She earned a PhD in African American and African Studies from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in African American and African Studies from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood at Temple University.
She previously worked as assistant professor at California State University, Northridge in the Pan African Studies department and has held positions of Assistant Professor and Assistant Director at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Along with teaching, mentoring and advising students, she's also developed and taught courses around her research of a historical approach to the African American experience in such classes asAfrican American History, Contemporary Black Women's Issues and the History of Black Nationalism in the U.S. Her works have appeared in such publications asEncyclopedia of African Religions, and Africalogical Perspectives. Her research concerns African American Social Movements, Black Nationalism , African American women's experiences, 20th century African American history, African American expressions of self-determination and activism. Prior to coming to academia, Dr. Jeffries worked as the Coordinator of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs in Arlington county Public Schools, Assistant Director of the An-Bryce Foundation Programs and Academic Counselor of Upward Bound at the University of Pennsylvania.
A film enthusiast, Professor Schwendiman attended US Santa Barbara and completed her first two degrees in Film Studies. She later worked for four years at a local NBC affliliate in Spokane before returning to school at Eastern Washington Universityto complete her post baccalarauette in Electronic Media and Film. During her studies as a graduate student, she discovered her interest and developed a love for African American Cinema, the Black Film Historiography, as well as Third World Cinema and the expression of the Empowerment Theory film. Her Master's Thesis focused on "Resolving the Problem of the 'Twoness' and the Struggle for Identity in Independent African American Films.
Professor Schwendiman began her career as an adjunct faculty for the Spokane Community Colleges teaching Film Communications. She subsequently joines Eastern Washington Universityas a producer and host at KEWU for the radio program prospective while also working as an adjunct professor in Africana Studies teaching African American Cinema. Professor Schwendimn joined Eastern Washington University as a full time falculty member in 2009 and holds the position of lecturer in Africana Studies. Currently, she teaches course in Introduction to African Culture, African American Family, African American Cinema, Black Aesthetics, various Independent study courses, and is introducing a new class in Winter 2014, African American Social and Intellectual Thought: From Booker T. Washington to cornel west. She continues to research and present lectures on topics concerning the formation, defining, and redefining of blackness, culture, identity, and gender in film. She has been happily married to Bryce Schwendiman for nearly 25 years and is the mother of nine wonderful children.
Dr. LaToya Brackett recieved her doctorate degree in African American and African Studies from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2011. Her dissertation is entitled "The Evalution of a Retention Program: An analysis of efforts to retain underrepresented students on the campus of a public predominately white mid-western university from 1995-2006." Her dissertation research produced four major concepts relating to the retention of African American students at MSU with an overarching theme of Social Capital. With this research she has continued to assist high school aged youth with gaining the knowledge and assistance necessary to succeed in higher education when working with a non-profit in Charlottesville, VA call City of Pomise.
Dr. Brackett worked as the Community Connections Coordinator at the City of Promise with the purpose of getting resources to the served community. Dr. Brackett also recieved her Masters in Couseling from MSU in 2011. Her primary focus was on multicultural community counseling. She recieved awards for professionalism and diversity in the counseling program each year she was enrolled. As a doctoral student Dr. Brackett taught for four semesters at MSU primarily in the Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures department. Dr. Brackett is currently awaiting the publications of her book chapter entitled "African American Experience: Income, Occupations, Savings, Investments, and Social Security Trends since 2000" in the edited book race Still Matters: African American Lived Experiences in the Twenty-First Century to be published late 2014.
She has been a apart fo the Africana community since her undergraduate career at Cornell University where she recieved her Bachelors in Africana Studies in 2006. Dr. Brackett continues to strive to make a difference in the Black community using her learned knowledge and knowledge from experience.
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