International Studies & Programs

Faculty Directory

The Center for Gender in Global Context currently has more than 275 affiliated faculty members from throughout MSU's campus, across 17 colleges and more than 65 departments and offices.

The GenCen Faculty Directory can be sorted by Name, College, Department, and GenCen Affiliation. Affiliates can be Core, Consulting, GJEC, or GDG Faculty (some members may be both GJEC/GDG and Core or Consulting). Click here to jump to a short description of our Faculty Affiliations.

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Esther Onaga

College: Social Science
Department: Human Development and Family Studies
Affiliation: Consulting
Email: onaga(at)

Esther Onaga is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. After receiving her doctoral degree she became a project manager for a series of national experiments on social change of mental hospitals and universities funded by National Institutes of Mental Health. Her research focused moved from innovation diffusion to implementation. Her multi-year project on Supported Employment for the State of Michigan resulted in a disseminiation of on-going training for staff providing employment supports for people with disabilities. With funding from the Flinn Foundation she began a multi-year study of Michigan psychosocial clubhouses. In her teaching assignments she provided faculty support on the use service learning with their courses on diversity. In the summer she is the faculty for the Hawaii Study Away and Internship program where service learning plays a central role in educating students about the enthnic diversity in Hawaii. In 2008 she received the All University Excellence in Diversity Award from Michigan State University and the College of Social Science Curricular Service-learning and Civic Engagement Award. She has a number of current outreach and research endeavors. She directs the Family Impact Seminars, one of 22 network sites, for state policymakers. With funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health, she is working on fidelity and implementation of clubhouses in Michigan and initiating the use of a longitudinal data gathering of all 44 clubhouses as a tool to promote program quality across the state. She is also co-PI on Youth Education and Support Plus funded by the Gerstacker Rollin Foundation. She is PI on a 3 year project on the Family Impact Seminar funded by the Kellogg Foundation through the Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. She is on the editorial review board for Excellence and Equity in Education. She is a reviewer for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Her most recent focus is in the creation of inclusive healthy communities with a focus on people with disabilities.

What do our Faculty Affiliations Mean?

Core Faculty have a strong continuing professional focus on issues of women and gender in domestic, international, or global contexts, as demonstrated through research and teaching or other achievements. The Core Faculty supports the activities of GenCen and assists in developing and implementing its programs and activities, and are also eligible to serve on the GenCen Advisory Committee.

Consulting Faculty, while having a professional interest in issues of women and gender in domestic, international, or global contexts and activities of the GenCen, usually do not have these interests as the main focus of their research. 

GDG (Gender, Development and Globalization) Faculty will also be either Core or Consulting Faculty and have specific expertise and interest in gender and international development.

GJEC (Gender, Justice and Environmental Change) Faculty may also be either Core or Consulting Faculty, though that is not a requirement. GJEC Faculty are dedicated to teaching and scholarship related to intersections of gender, environmental change, and social and environmental justice; examining these issues from both local and global perspectives.

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