Meet our Research Team

Photo of Dr. Sharon L. Bethea

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.

Photo of Dr. Chielozona Eze

Dr. Chielozona Eze

Dr. Chielozona Eze is a professor of English at Northeastern Illinois University and 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. 

He 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).

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

Dr. Jermaine McCalpin

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. 

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Dr. Manar Mohaisen

Dr. Manar Mohaisen is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Northeastern Illinios University. Research interests include system security, wireless communication and network analysis. 

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Dr. Cris E. Toffolo

Dr. Chris E. Toffelo is the Interim Director of International Programs at Northeastern Illinois University. She served as chair of NEIU's Justice Studies Department for 10 years. A scholar of political theory, human rights and peace education, Toffelo 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. Toffelo’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). 

Photo of Dr. Isidore A. Udoh

Dr. Isidore A. Udoh

Dr. Isidore A. Udoh is an Associate Professor of Health Sciences and Physical Education at Northeastern Illinois University. Research interests include health disparities, disease prevention, natural resources extraction, conflicts and health, ecological determinants of health, international education and international virtual learning exchange. Udoh has co-designed and taught collaborative classes with colleagues in Nigeria, Liberia and Egypt. He is developing a new virtual exchange curriculum with colleagues in Morocco.

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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.

Patrick Hajayandi

Patrick Hajayandi

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.