Meet our Research Team
Dr. Sharon L. Bethea
Dr. Sharon L. Bethea has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She is Professor in the departments of Counselor Education, African/African American Studies and Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Bethea is the president-elect of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), past president of the Chicago Chapter of ABPsi, co-founding member of the Genocide and Human Rights Research in Africa and the Diaspora Center (GHRAD), and member of the International Civil Society/Working Group for the United Nations Permanent Forum of People of African Descent (ICSWG). Dr. Bethea has published numerous articles in professional journals and books and recently co-edited "Black Women’s Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation and Healing Within and Beyond the Academy." Dr Bethea has won several teaching awards, including the Student Choice Faculty Award, NEIU Black Heritage Outstanding Faculty Award and Research and Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Bethea’s current scholarship centers on the theoretical and practical dimensions of African-centered pedagogy, Sawubona healing circles, African traditional healing systems, human rights and genocide, civic engagement amongst African American and Tanzanian adolescents and Oakland Freedom Schools. Dr. Bethea facilitates study abroad programs with students and colleagues to Brazil, Egypt, Ghana and Tanzania.
Dr. Chielozona Eze
Dr. Chielozona Eze is a professor and Director of Africana Studies at Carleton College. He is also a Professor Extraordinaire in the English Department at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Research interests include narrative theory, globalization, cultures, and feminism in global contexts.
Dr. Eze has written extensively on such topics as cosmopolitanism, empathy, human rights, and social justice. He is the author of numerous journal articles and five books: “Justice and Human Rights in the African Imagination: We, Too, Are Humans” (Routledge, 2021), “Race, Decolonization, and Global Citizenship in South Africa” (Rochester, New York: The University of Rochester Press, 2018); “Ethics and Human Rights in Anglophone African Women's Literature - Feminist Empathy” (2016); “Postcolonial Imagination and Moral Representations in African Literature and Culture” (2011); and “The Dilemma of Ethnic Identity: Alain Locke’s Vision of Transcultural Societies” (2005).
Dr. Eze is also the recipient of fellowship awards from the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (2015), the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (2016), and Extraordinary Professor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (2019-2021). Eze was also the recipient of Northeastern Illinois University's 2020 Bernard J. Brommel Distinguished Research Professor award.
Patrick Hajayandi is an Expert in Peacebuilding processes, a Researcher, a Policy Analyst, and a Trainer with 12 years of work experience in various fields that include Transitional Justice, Governance, Elections, Political transitions, Memorialization, Demobilization, and Reintegration. He largely contributes to peacebuilding and transitional justice through research, knowledge generation, capacity building and the creation of spaces for dialogue with the use of media tools for peace consolidation. Currently Patrick Hajayandi works as a Senior Project Leader for the Peacebuilding Intervention Programme of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) based in Cape Town, South Africa. Patrick Hajayandi has offered technical expertise to delegations from Burundi, Rwanda, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia on how to establish transitional justice mechanisms. He participated in the peace process for Burundi held in Arusha (Tanzania) in 2015 and provided President Mkapa’s mediation team with policy briefs and recommendations. He has published a number of edited books, book chapters and several Op-eds on peace processes, memory, and African politics. He holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Political Science from the Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Jermaine McCalpin
Dr. Jermaine McCalpin is an academic thought leader, internationally recognized expert and consultant on transitional justice, genocides, reparations, and truth commissions. He has travelled to South Africa, Cambodia, and Armenia and across the U.S. and Canada presenting on the Armenian genocide, reparations for slavery and Native American genocides. He is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the African and African American Studies Program at New Jersey City University. Dr. McCalpin was previously Associate Director of the Centre for Caribbean Thought and Lecturer of Transitional Justice in the Department of Government, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona (2007-2016). He received his B.Sc. in Political Science and International Relations (First Class Honours) in 1999 and M.Sc. (2002) from The University of the West Indies, Mona. He was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Graduate Fellowship between 2000-2002. Dr. McCalpin later earned his M.A. (2002) and Ph.D. in Political Science in 2006 from the Brown University.
Dr. McCalpin is one of the authors of the landmark Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group’s Report entitled “Resolution with Justice”, he was lead author of Part 7 of the Report. He focuses on and examines the ethical and moral dimensions and desirability of reparations for genocides. His publications include book chapter on memory and genocides “Remembering the Past” in A History of Genocide, Vol. 4: The Long Nineteenth Century (2021. He also co-edited Caribbean Reasonings: Rupert Lewis and the Black Intellectual Tradition (2018) and the Thought of Gordon K. Lewis (with Brian Meeks) 2015, The Grenadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Journal of Social and Economic Studies September 2013, Reparations, and the Politics of Avoidance in America in “The Armenian Review’, Spring 2013 and on the Haitian Truth Commission in The Global South, Spring 2012.
Dr. Veraline Minang
Dr. Veraline Nchang Nchotu Epouse Minang has a Ph.D. in law. She is a senior lecturer in international law, international human rights law, and introduction to genocide law. Dr. Minang is a scholar of the June 2022 Summer Institute for the Study and Prevention of Atrocity Crimes at Keene State College; New Hampshire. The program aimed at developing skills to promote the study, research, and teaching in the growing field of genocide studies. She is a scholar of the Adama Dieng African Genocide Scholars Studies Forum on mainstreaming Genocide and other Atrocity Crimes studies. Dr. Minang is a scholar in the effective teaching of international law, African Union Law and institutions, international human rights law, African Human Rights Law, and International Humanitarian Law at the African Institute of International Law. Her research interests include international law, international human rights law, humanitarian law, conflict resolution, women’s rights, minority rights, and genocide studies. She has published a number of scientific works including; Minorité linguistique, crise dite « anglophone » et flux des déplacés internes vers les Grassfields francophones camerounais in Linguistic Minority and Society, No. 19,2022, Canadian Institute for Research in Linguistic Minorities, pp137-169. Between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon; A Marriage in Good and Due Form or a Live-in Partnership in International Law, International Journal of Minority and Group Rights, BRILL NIJHOFF, (2022) 1-43. Constructing an Illiberal Democracy through Liberty Law: The Cameroon Experience- Liberty Laws in Want of Liberty Content? (2020), Published in GIMPA Law Review vol. 5, Faculty of Law Ghana Institute of La and Public Administration pp. 94-111. Prosecuting Rape as a Crime Against Humanity in the Cameroon Criminal Justice System: A Mélange of International Procedural Legal Rules with Substantive National Law in the People of Cameroon v Mbita Arthur, Judgement no. 103/2019, the Military Tribunal of Bamenda, (2020) African Journal of Law and Politics, FLPS, Issue1, No 2, pp. 52-72.
Dr. Minang is a consultant of the Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa (RHEDAC) where she has designed and implemented the use of organic tools for conflict resolution, healing, peace-building, and atrocity prevention in several parts of Cameroon. Consultant of the Foundation of Environment and Development (FEDEV). She is an active civil society actor. She is a member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Cameroon.
Dr. Manar Mohaisen
Dr. Manar Mohaisen is an associate professor of Computer Science at Northeastern Illinois University. Research interests include system and internet security, wireless communication, network analysis, and applications of AI to security.
Dr. Lisa M. Simeone
Lisa Simeone holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, "Making Do in the Promised Land: Ethics of Ambivalence among Chicago’s New Africans", investigates the legal, economic and political dimensions of migration between francophone Africa and the United States, with a focus on collective strategies for addressing hardship in the wake of the 2008 Recession. Her current research investigates the impact of global finance, material infrastructure, and the politics of systemic crisis on human mobility and exclusion.
Since the 1990s, Dr. Simeone has been an educator, organizer and policy specialist in the fields of migration, racial justice, and human rights. She got her start as a civil rights advocate in Virginia, worked with a domestic violence shelter as an undergraduate in Chicago, and participated in anti-NAFTA activism as a university instructor in Guanajuato, Mexico. In the late 1990s, Dr. Simeone directed legislative campaigns at state and federal levels with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights; later, she would head the Region V Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has served as a consultant for the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, contributing to projects on workplace discrimination in Europe and migration governance in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, she has represented civil society with the United Nations and advised philanthropists supporting community-based activism on global issues.
Dr. Simeone’s research and advocacy have taken her to West and Central Africa, Latin America, and Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. She has taught widely in the fields of anthropology and human rights, social theory and philosophy, international studies, and public policy. Collaborating across disciplines, institutions, and lines of sociocultural difference, Dr. Simeone’s scholarship promotes inclusion under conditions of dramatic social and environmental change.
Dr. Cris E. Toffolo
Dr. Cris E. Toffolo is the Interim Director of International Programs at Northeastern Illinois University. She served as chair of Northeastern's Justice Studies Department for 10 years. A scholar of political theory, human rights and peace education, Toffolo has studied and taught in various countries in the Global South, an opportunity which began by being selected as Alma College’s African Fellow in 1981 to teach at Mayflower School in Nigeria. She has conducted research in Rwanda and South Africa. In 2016, she delivered a conference keynote in Sierra Leone on how education can help to stabilize peace processes. In 2017, her former students asked her to keynote an international meeting of Mayflower alumni. Toffolo’s community work includes serving Amnesty International in various capacities and helping to found the Truth-Telling Project for Ferguson and Beyond. Her most recent publication is "Handbook of Research on Promoting Peace through Practice, Academia, and the Arts," which was co-edited with Mohamed Walid Lotfy" (IGI Global, 2019). Other publications include "The Arab League" (Chelsea House, 2007). She also edited the book "Emancipating Cultural Pluralism" (SUNY Press, 2003).
Dr. Isidore A. Udoh
Dr. Isidore A. Udoh is an Associate Professor in the department of Health Sciences and Physical Education at Northeastern Illinois University. Research interests include health disparities and the social ecological determinants of health; impacts of conflicts, natural resources extraction, and climate change on health, and the intersection of virtual learning exchange and sustainable development. Dr. Udoh has co-designed and taught collaborative classes with colleagues in Nigeria, Liberia and Egypt. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Germina Nadège Veldwachter
Dr. Germina Nadège Veldwachter is an associate professor of Francophone Literatures and Cultures at Purdue University. Veldwachter’s research interests include literary sociology, globalization, translation, postcolonial historiography and genocide studies. Her articles have been published in scientific journals such as Cahiers d’études africaines, Literary Studies, Research in African Literatures, and Modern Language Notes. She is the author of "Literature francophone et mondialisation" (Karthala, 2012). Her current research examines the Second World War and the Holocaust from a Caribbean perspective.