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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Robert Richardson
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department: Community Sustainability
Affiliation: Consulting
Program: GJEC
Email: rbr(at)anr.msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Robert Richardson is an ecological economist with interests in the study of development and the environment, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services to socioeconomic well-being. His teaching, research, and outreach program focuses primarily on sustainable development, and he uses a variety of methods from the behavioral and social sciences to study decision-making about the use of natural resources and the conservation of ecosystem services. He has conducted research related to agricultural-environmental linkages, household food and energy security, and tradeoffs in decision-making about environmental management in southern and eastern Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.

Elizabeth Simmons
College: Lyman Briggs College/Natural Science
Department: Administration/Physics
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: esimmons(at)msu.edu

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Biography: Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons is Dean of Lyman Briggs College and University Distinguished Professor of Physics in the Michigan State University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Lyman Briggs is a four-year residential undergraduate college at Michigan State University that focuses on the study of science in its historical, philosophical, and sociological context. After completing her undergraduate degree at Harvard University in 1985, Simmons earned an M.Phil. in physics at Cambridge University as a Churchill Scholar. She returned to Harvard for her doctoral degree and postdoctoral fellowship, and then spent a decade as a professor at Boston University, winning the university's Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2002. In summer 2003, she joined the MSU faculty as the leader of Lyman Briggs. She was chosen as a 2004-05 CIC Academic Leadership Fellow and she won the ACE Michigan Network's Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award in 2005. Two years later, Simmons was named Dean of Lyman Briggs. She was awarded MSU's Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership in February 2013. Simmons is a particle theorist, whose research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles - particularly the W and Z bosons that transmit the weak nuclear force and the heaviest known particle, the top quark. She investigates theories in which these masses arise from new strong dynamics at energy scales accessible to experiments like those now underway at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Liz Abdnour
College: Office of Institutional Equity
Department: Office of Institutional Equity
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: abdnoure(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Liz Abdnour is a Senior Institutional Equity Investigator in the Office of Institutional Equity at Michigan State University. Previously, Liz worked as an Institutional Equity Coordinator in OIE and the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and as an attorney in Michigan and Ohio, practicing in the areas of education, family, immigration, civil rights, and consumer law. Liz earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law and her B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Susan Bitensky
College: Law
Department: Law
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: bitensky(at)law.msu.edu

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Biography:

Upon graduation from law school, Professor Bitensky served as assistant general counsel to the United Steelworkers of America for three years in Pittsburgh, followed by four years of private practice with a Manhattan labor law firm. Before joining the Law College faculty in 1988, she was associate counsel to the New York City Board of Education for six years during which time she dealt mainly with commercial law and education law matters. Professor Bitensky has published a book Corporal Punishment of Children: A Human Rights Violation (Transnational Publishers 2006); a chapter of an American Bar Association volume; a piece in an encyclopedia on childhood, issued by The University of Chicago Press; as well as a host of law review articles in leading journals such as Northwestern University Law Reviewand Notre Dame Law Review. She has also presented papers at numerous international symposia. Her scholarship focuses on children's rights under the federal Constitution and international human rights law. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Before college, Professor Bitensky was an apprentice to the Robert Joffrey Ballet Company. She teaches Evidence, Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, and International Human Rights Law.

Matthew Conn
College: Social Science
Department: History/Human Development Family Studies
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: connmatt(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Matt Conn joined GenCen's affiliated faculty in Fall 2016.

Amanda Dubey-Zerka
College: Social Science
Department: Social Work
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: dubeyama(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Amanda Dubey-Zerka is the Director of Continuing Education for the School of Social Work at Michigan State. Amanda's interests include sexual trauma, trauma treatment, domestic violence, crisis intervention, homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth, LGBTQ issues, nonprofit management, online/distance learning.

Amanda Flaim
College: James Madison
Department: James Madison
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: flaim(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Professor Flaim studies problems and paradoxes in human rights policy, including statelessness and citizenship, human trafficking, and the global expansion of rights to education and birth registration. Her current research projects explore the risk of trafficking among Cambodian and Burmese men and boys into the Thai fishing industry, and the causes and consequences of statelessness in Thailand and Nepal. Professor Flaim has consulted for several NGOs and United Nations agencies on a number of projects, including designing and leading two of the largest country-level surveys of stateless populations conducted to date. Prior to arriving at James Madison College, she was a postdoctoral associate and Human Rights Fellow at Duke University, where she taught courses on human rights, citizenship, migration, and qualitative and mixed methods research for public policy students.

Carin Graves
College: MSU Libraries
Department: MSU Libraries
Affiliation: Consulting
Program:
Email: gravesc(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Carin Graves joined GenCen's affiliated faculty in Fall 2016.

Ron E. Hall
College: Social Science
Department: Social Work
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: hallr(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Ron Hall is a professor in the School of Social Work. His interests include mental health (individual/group psychotherapy), cutaneo-chroma, intraracial racism, bleaching syndrome, black/white conflict, organizational issues, and race relations/diversity. Ron is also an expert witness for the Federal courts on the issue of skin color and an international lecturer on skin color.

Rashida Harrison
College: James Madison College
Department: James Madison College
Affiliation: Core
Program:
Email: harri516(at)msu.edu

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Biography:

Rashida Harrison joined GenCen's affiliated faculty in Fall 2016.


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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