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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Sandi Smith
College: Communication Arts and Sciences
Department: Communication
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: smiths(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Sandi W. Smith is Director of the Health and Risk Communication Center and Professor in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University where she teaches courses in persuasion, communication theory, and interpersonal communication. Her research interests parallel these course topics and have been funded by private foundations and governmental agencies. In specific, she has focused her research on the impact of memorable messages received from important others on health behaviors; persuading people to carry signed and witnessed organ donor cards and to engage in family discussion about their decisions related to organ donation encouraging college students to consume alcohol moderately, if at all; and the portrayal of interpersonal relationships on television. Her research has appeared in journals such as Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, Health Communication, the Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research, among others. She is active in the International Communication Association where she served as Chair of the Interpersonal Communication Division and was a member of the Board of Directors. She has received honors for her teaching and research from student groups, professional associations, and the universities at which she has worked. In 2007, she was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award at Michigan State University, and in 2012 she was named a Fellow of the International Communication Association. Sandi received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California.

Murari Suvedi
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: Community Sustainability
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GDG
Email: suvedi(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Murari Suvedi is a professor in the department of Community, agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at Michigan State University (MSU) and works in the area of program development and evaluation. Prior to MSU, he worked as lecturer of agricultural extension at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Nepal for 11 years. He also coordinated the Pilot Extension Program for the Institute to serve the farmers of Nepal. His work has focused on staff development, program planning and evaluation. His current responsibilities include teaching courses on program development and evaluation, conducting evaluative research, and engaging in Extension and international agricultural development programs and activities. He focuses his work on evaluation capacity building by offering short courses to agricultural and rural development professionals, and conducting evaluation of extension programs and initiatives. He has developed a program evaluation training manual and made it globally available online for use by agricultural extension and advisory services professionals. He has conducted evaluations of sustainable agriculture and education programs and leadership development programs, and has conducted educational needs assessments and impact assessments of many extension programs and projects. He works internationally, focusing mainly on food security and agricultural development. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on program development and evaluation. He integrates sustainability as a key principle in his scholarly work.

Ronen Steinberg
College: Social Science
Department: History
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: ronens(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Steinberg is a historian of modern Europe. His main areas of interest are the French Revolution, transitional justice, and mass violence. He has published articles on the history of terrorism, transitional justice, trauma and history, and the aftermath of the Reign of Terror. At MSU he teaches the IAH 202: Europe and the World course, and courses on French and European history. In addition, he teaches an upper-level course on the history and theory of genocide, and senior seminars on the legacies of mass violence and on the French Revolution.

Jakana Thomas
College: Social Science
Department: Political Science
Affiliation: Core
Program: GDG
Email: thoma977(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Jakana Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. She joined the faculty in 2012 after earning her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on conflict resolution in civil war and the characteristics of violent non-state groups. Thomas current projects examine how rebel group war aims affect conflict resolution and the relationship between gender and conflict.

Terrie Taylor
College: Osteopathic Medicine
Department: Osteopathic Medical Specialties
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GDG
Email: ttmalawi(at)msu.edu

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Biography: An internationally recognized scientist and physician, Taylor spends six months of the year in the African nation of Malawi, conducting malaria research and treating patients, the vast majority of whom are children. She has written numerous papers for scientific journals on various treatments for malaria and she is a member of an Institute of Medicine panel researching anti-malaria drugs. Her most recent accomplishment: Helping to procure an MRI machine for the hospital in which she works; it’s the first MRI unit in the country and will be invaluable for treating patients and conducting research.

Cris Sullivan
College: Social Science
Department: Psychology
Affiliation: Core
Program: GDG
Email: sulliv22(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Sullivan is Professor of Ecological/Community Psychology and Director of the Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence at Michigan State University (MSU). She is also a Senior Fellow of MSU's Office on Outreach and Engagement. In addition to her MSU appointments, Dr. Sullivan is the Chair of the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, and Senior Research Advisor to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Dr. Sullivan's areas of research expertise include conducting longitudinal, experimental evaluations of community interventions for abused women and their children, improving the community response to gender-based violence, and evaluating victim service programs. Her research has been continually funded since her career began in 1989 (including grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Justice), and her work has impacted research, policy and practice. In addition to consulting for local, state, federal and international organizations and initiatives, Dr. Sullivan also conducts workshops on effectively advocating in the community for women with abusive partners, and their children; understanding the effects of domestic abuse on women and children over time; improving system responses to the problem of gender-based violence; and evaluating victim service agencies.

Estrella Torrez
College: Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Department: Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: torrezjs(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Estrella Torrez is an Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Her research centers on language politics and the importance of community-based knowledge, particularly among rural Latino families and urban Indigenous youth. Dr. Torrez is a Gates Millennium Scholar, being awarded the prestigious award during its inaugural year. Torrez has degrees from The University of New Mexico (PhD, Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies, concentration in Bilingual Education; MA, dual concentrations in Early Childhood Multicultural Education and Bilingual Education) and Western Michigan University (BS, Elementary Education). She has also studied at The University of Detroit-Mercy and Universidad Nahuatl in Mexico. As a child, Torrez attended schools for migrant children until, at the age of twelve, she began working alongside her family in the fields. Later, she taught within the migrant educational system, eventually working briefly for the Office of Migrant Education in Washington, DC. In 2009, Torrez co-founded the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program (IYEP), a program serving urban Native youth and families in Michigan. She presently serves as IYEP’s co-director and facilitates an afterschool program for youth in Kindergarten through twelfth grades, as well as organizes a summer cultural camp for 65 urban Indigenous youth.

Helen Veit
College: Social Science
Department: History
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: hveit(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Helen Zoe Veit specializes in American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on the history of food and nutrition. She received her Ph.D. in 2008 from Yale University. Her first book, Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2013) explores food and nutrition in the Progressive Era. Modern Food, Moral Food was a finalist for the 2014 James Beard Award in Reference and Scholarship. Her next book, Small Appetites: A History of Childrens Food, examines the history of childrens eating during the last two hundred years.

Le Anne Silvey
College: Social Science
Department: Human Development and Family Studies
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: silveyle(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Le Anne E. Silvey, Ph.D., ACSW, LMSW earned a docorate in Family Studies from Michigan State University in 1997, with a cognate in Sociology. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and is a Licensed Masters Social Worker, Micro and Macro practice. Dr. Silvey is Waganakising Odawa, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and is a first generation college graduate. Dr. Silvey joined the faculty of HDFS in August, 1999, after holding an Assistant Professor position in the graduate School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University for three years. Since 2001, she has been an Affiliate Faculty member of the American Indian Studies Program at MSU and is a Core Faculty Member of the Women in International Development Program. Clinically, Dr. Silvey has over a decade of practice in Indian Child Welfare on a statewide basis and has served on the State Native American Task Force and Native American Implementation Team for Michigan.

Lee Starnes
College: Law
Department: Law
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: starnesc(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Professor Starnes unique line of scholarship lies at the intersection of family law, partnership law, and feminist theory. Her critiques of current law and reform proposals have provoked widespread commentary. Professor Starnes has presented her scholarship in both international and national fora, and has worked with grass roots community groups dedicated to law reform. Her publications include articles in the University of Chicago Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Iowa Law Review, and Indiana Law Journal. Professor Starnes has taught family law to students abroad, and commercial law to judges at the National Judicial College. A long-term member of the MSU Law faculty, she co-chairs the Child and Family Advocacy certificate program, is co-advisor of the Family Law focus area, and serves as faculty advisor to the Family Law Society. Professor Starnes was named an MSU Outreach and Engagement Senior Fellow for her scholarly work toward community change, and was appointed in 2006 as one of six Computer Assisted Legal Instruction Fellows in Family Law.


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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