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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Naoko Wake
College: Social Science/Lyman Briggs
Department: History/Lyman Briggs
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: wake(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Wake joined the faculty of Lyman Briggs College in 2005 after completing her graduate degrees at Kyoto University, Japan (MA) and Indiana University, Bloomington (Ph.D.). She has written on the history of the medical and social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century with a focus on interdisciplinary scientific approaches to sexual diversity. Her current work is a historical inquiry into Japanese-American and Korean-American memories of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. By focusing on this particular group of survivors residing in the United States, and by comparing their experiences to those of Japanese and Korean survivors from 1945 to present, she illuminates a history of the Bomb that complicates the better-known story of colonial and post-colonial rivalries and brings to light womens and patients activism in trans-Pacific contexts.

Zhenmei Zhang
College: Social Science
Department: Sociology
Affiliation: Core
Program: GDG
Email: zhangz12(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Zhenmei Zhang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Zhang's areas of expertise include aging and the life course, family and health, racial/ethnic disparities in health, and elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Specifically, her research has focused on the effects of social relationships (parental and marital history) on both physical and mental health in later life and the role of gender in moderating the impact of social relationships on health. Another line of her research has examined racial/ethnic differentials in a variety of health outcomes, including chronic health problems, functioning problems, and active life expectancy. Most recent projects include an examination of early life influences on cognitive impairment and dementia in China and the United States. Presently, she is investigating patterns and determinants of intergenerational transfers in contemporary China. Dr. Zhang's research has appeared in Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Research on Aging, The Gerontologist, and Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect.

Scott Witter
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: School of Planning, Design, and Construction
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GDG
Email: witter(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Research Interests: International and domestic watershed, natural resource management issues and projects. Dr. Witter has over 25 years of experience conducting research, outreach, consulting, and teaching activities related to international and domestic watershed and natural resource management issues and projects. He has 20 years of college and unit-level administrative experience in MSUs Institute of International Agriculture, as Chairperson of the Department of Resource Development; as Chairperson of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies; and currently as Director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction. Dr. Witter's research has focused on watershed and natural resource management in the rural urban interface. He has been principal investigator and co-investigator on $3.4 million in funded projects funded externally and internally at MSU. Under his leadership the units he has served have increased their endowments by over $8 million.

Jane White
College: Social Science
Department: Criminal Justice
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: jane.white(at)ssc.msu.edu

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Biography: Jane P. White is the Director and Founder of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, a non-profit organization through MSUs School of Criminal Justice including over 90 agencies and organizations whose purpose is to foster collaboration in identification, prosecution, and rescuing of victims of human trafficking. As the former Associate Director of the National Center for Community Policing through the University, she has served internationally and nationally as an active consultant to criminal justice organizations, including police departments, juvenile courts, and in the field of corrections. She has served in many roles, including as former President of Boys and Girls Club of Lansing, Trustee to the Capital Area Community Foundation and the Greater Lansing Foundation. She also served an appointment by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to the recently-created Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking. She started her career as a police officer with the Lansing Police Department and then became Director of the Criminal Justice and Law Center at Lansing Community College, Mid-Michigan Police Academy, where she developed and implemented the largest law enforcement training center in the state. She was the first female in the nation heading a police academy. She is a nationally recognized developer and trainer of programs that include community policing, leadership, ethics and human trafficking issues.

Felicia Wu
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: Food Science and Human Nutrition
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: fwu(at)msu.edu

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Biography: 2013-current, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI My research interests lie at the intersection of global public health, agriculture, and trade. How do agricultural systems affect health in different parts of the world? How do food safety regulations affect global trade of food, and ultimately food quality, particularly in low-income nations? What is the global burden of disease caused by food contaminants, and how cost-effective and feasible are interventions to reduce these risks?

Lorraine Weatherspoon
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: Food Science and Human Nutrition
Affiliation: Core
Program: GDG
Email: weathe43(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Lorraine Weatherspoon is an Associate Professor and Didactics Program in Dietetics Director. Her interests are in the role of dietary, lifestyle and ecological factors in the risk, prevention and management of diet-related health disparities and chronic diseases. She also has a special Interest in Type 2 diabetes, maternal and child nutrition, and nutrition in HIV/AIDS.

Julie Winkler
College: Social Science
Department: Geography
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GDG
Email: winkler(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Julie Winkler is a professor of Geography at Michigan State University. She is interested in many aspects of geography and climatology including synoptic and applied climatology, regional climate change, and climate scenario development and evaluation. Current and past research topics include heavy precipitation, nocturnal thunderstorms, low-level wind maxima, airflow within midlatitude cyclones, wildland fire risk, and the possible impacts of potential future climate change particularly on agriculture. Much of Professor Winkler's research has focused on the Central Plains and Great Lakes region of the United States.

Elaine Yakura
College: Social Science
Department: Human Resources and Labor Relations
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GDG
Email: yakura(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Professor Yakura is currently serving at the MSU FRIB (Facility for Rare Isotope Beams). Elaine teaches at the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at MSU. Her research interests include the study of difference and power in organizations using long-term research methods. With her colleagues from Cal Poly, Louise Soe and Ruth Guthrie, she is currently conducting research on the effect of organizational culture on women and men working in information technology organizations in the U.S. Abstracts for conference papers such as Support Structures for Women in Information Technology Careers and Does Culture Matter? A Study of Cultural Influences on the Success of Women in IT) can be found in the AIS Electronic library. Her fieldwork includes studies of information technology consultants in the U.S. and nuclear power plants in Japan and the U.S. Her articles include Billables: The meaning of time in consulting in the American Behavioral Scientist (2001), and Charting time: Timelines as temporal boundary objects, in the Academy of Management Journal (2002). She has a PhD in Organization Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a JD from UC Berkeley.

Bethany Wilinski
College: Education
Department: Teacher Education
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: Bethany.wilinski(at)gmail.com

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Biography: Bethany Wilinski joins the faculty at MSU in January 2015. She is interested in domestic and international early childhood education policy. Her research focuses on how teachers make sense of and implement early childhood policies and how policy shapes families’ access to early childhood programs. Her international work is based in Tanzania, where she is involved in research, curriculum development, and teacher training projects for Michigan State University’s Tanzania Partnership Program.

Wynne Wright
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: Community Sustainability
Affiliation: Core
Program: GJEC
Email: wrigh325(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Wynne Wright received her Ph.D. in sociology in 1999 from the University of Kentucky. Before joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 2006 she was employed by the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Minnesota. Her research, teaching and public outreach activities broadly examine social change in the agri-food system. She is particularly interested in examining the restructuring of agriculture and food systems and its impact on farm families and rural communities. In the domestic context, she has conducted social impact assessments of confined animal feeding operations in Minnesota, investigated the transformation of the tobacco system in Kentucky, and studied the social construction of BSE (mad cow disease). Most recently her work was turned toward the study of food system localization. Currently, Dr Wright is exploring the contradictions in local food system initiatives and their capacity for invigorating local communities and inspiring a ‘civic agriculture’. Dr. Wright is also interested in examining the condition of east–central European farmers in the post-Soviet agrarian transition. In this work, she has been following the impact of European Unification on agriculture and rural communities. In the Spring of 2006, Dr. Wright held a Fulbright Scholarship where she taught environmental sociology at the Institute for Environmental and Landscape Management at Szent István University in Gödöllo, Hungary. This was the latest endeavor in an on-going relationship with Szent István University.


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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