Faculty Fellows - Cohort Three

Joseph Anthony Christina Ladam
Albert Celoza Milena Andrea Melo
Charity Clay Adelle Dora Monteblanco
Davia Downey Susan Turner Nold
Richard Ellis Wendy Scattergood
Myna German Louis Venters
Peter Gess Zachary Wood
Rebecca Kreitzer

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Joseph Anthonyprofile photgo of Joseph Anthony
Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma

Dr. Joseph Anthony is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department of Political Science at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Anthony researches elections administration, voting rights, social movements, political parties, and voting behavior. His current research project examines the relationship between local party organizations and electoral outcomes in rural communities. Dr. Anthony also explores the kinds of organizations that emerge when local parties become latent in rural areas. Additionally, Dr. Anthony collaborates with other scholars of elections administration to study ranked choice voting systems and other electoral reforms being proposed around the country. Dr. Anthony's research has been supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the MIT Election Data and Science Lab.

Dr. Anthony has a passion for understanding political engagement and participation; he worked in politics for 15 years as a community and political organizer before beginning his PhD program in 2014. Dr. Anthony was the founder and co-chair of the Help Missouri Vote Coalition, and he has served as an expert witness to the Elections Assistance Commission. He has also served on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council on Independent Living, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Hate Crimes Task Force in St. Louis. Dr. Anthony strives to give his students opportunities to learn political processes through direct experience whenever possible.

Albert Celoza
profile photo of Albert CelozaPhoenix College, Arizona

Albert Celoza is the Phoenix College residential faculty in Political Science and Religious Studies.  Every semester he hosts the Phoenix Intergenerational Model United Nations Conference held at the Arizona State Legislature. Dr. Celoza is the faculty advisor of the Phoenix College Model UN Team and the Director of the Academic Certificate Program in International Studies. He was visiting faculty at Thunderbird School of Global Management and Arizona State University. His book Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippines: The Political Economy of Authoritarianism was published by Praeger. He is a member of the United Nations Association and the Arizona Interfaith Movement. He received his doctoral degree from the Claremont Graduate University.

Charity Clay
Xavier University of Louisiana, Louisianaprofile photo of Charity Clay

Charity Clay is an assistant professor of Sociology and African American and Diaspora Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. She earned her master's and Ph.D in Sociology from Texas A&M University and completed her undergraduate work at DePaul University as a double major in Accounting and Public Policy. She is a critical race sociologist whose work focuses on understanding the impacts of Systemic Oppression on marginalized communities with specialties in the areas of Criminal Justice and education. She is currently the head of Xavier's concentration in Crime and Social Justice and is developing a program built on critical research, local community involvement, and global engagement.

Davia Downeyprofile photo of Davia Downey
Grand Valley State University, Michigan

Davia Downey is the MPA Program Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Public Administration at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in local politics, public policy and public administration at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Recent publications include "Governing without Government: Nonprofit Governance in Detroit and Flint", co-authored with Sarah Reckhow and Josh Sapotichne in Urban Affairs Review, “Sudden Versus Slow Death of Cities: New Orleans and Detroit”, co-authored with Laura A. Reese in the DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race; and “Disaster Recovery in Black and White: A Comparison of New Orleans and Gulfport” in the American Review of Public Administration; and an edited book, Cities and Disasters (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press), published in 2015. Forthcoming book, Economic Development and Disasters (tentative title) with Routledge Publishing will be published in Fall 2020.

Professor Downey holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State University (2011), a Masters of Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University (2005) and a BA in Music Performance with a concentration in Human Services from Albion College (1999). She has sat on several community boards including, the Non-Conforming Use Committee, Community Development Advisory Committee and Housing Commission for the city of East Lansing which she currently serves as chair. She currently aerves as a board member of Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots organization responsible for reforming the redistricting process in the state of Michigan in 2018.

Richard Ellis
Washburn University, Kansas

profile photo of Richard Ellis

Dr. Ellis received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in Family Studies and Human Services. The focus of his work was on the influence of family systems on women who trade sex for crack/cocaine. Since 1992, Dr. Ellis has been teaching at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He came to the university with fifteen years of experience teaching special education and an additional eight years of work in alcohol and drug abuse prevention. In addition, Dr. Ellis has been published on issues ranging from social service delivery to discrimination.

While at Washburn, Dr. Ellis has served as Professor of Human Services, Chair of the Human Services Department, and faculty advisor for Learning in the Community (LinC). LinC was the student-directed community service organization which provided community service opportunities for all Washburn students. He currently serves as the Program Director for the LinC Scholar/Bonner Leader Program, a service learning scholarship program affiliated with The Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey. In 2006, Learning in the Community (LinC): The Center for Community and Civic Engagement became an academic unit with the addition of oversight responsibilities for the Community & Civic Engagement Transformational Experience and Dr. Ellis holds the position of Director.

Myna Germanprofile photo of Myna German
Delaware State University, Delaware

Myna German teaches journalism at Delaware State University. She chaired the department for 10 years and looks forward to placing interns and majors at the state capital working on white papers for legislators. She was an American Studies major at Brandeis University and has a PhD in Mass Communications from the University of South Africa. Her thesis was on ethnicity and newspaper reading.

Peter L. Gessprofile photo of Peter Gess
Hendrix College, Arkansas

Dr. Peter Gess is Associate Provost for Engaged Learning and Director of International Programs at Hendrix College. For the former he leads the College’s distinctive Odyssey engaged learning program and other curricular and co-curricular high-impact practices. For the latter he oversees study abroad programs, international student and scholar services, ESOL programs, and special international projects, such as the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program and the International Student Summer Institute. He is also an associate professor of politics and environmental studies and teaches courses in public administration and policy.

Before coming to Hendrix, Peter helped launch the International Center for Democratic Governance at the University of Georgia, a public service unit providing training and technical assistance to subnational governments in developing nations. In that role, he managed training programs in China for almost a decade. Peter began his international career through US Peace Corps service. In the mid-1990s, he was an environmental awareness advisor with the Polish national park system. He earned his doctorate in public administration from the University of Georgia.

Rebecca Kreitzerprofile photo of Rebecca Kreitzer
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Rebecca Kreitzer is an assistant professor of public policy and an adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in political science in 2015. Her research focuses on gender, political representation, political inequality and public policy in the U.S. states. Her work has been published in Legislative Studies Quarterly; Political Research Quarterly; Politics, Groups and Identities; State Politics & Policy Quarterly; Public Opinion Quarterly; Perspectives on Politics; PS: Political Science and Politics; The Form, as well as various edited volumes. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level classes on the politics of policy, public policy theory, gender and sexuality policy and interest groups.

Christina Ladam
University of Nevada, Nevada

profile photo of Christina Ladam

Christina Ladam is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Before joining the faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno, she received her MPA from the University of New Hampshire and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Ladam specializes in American political behavior and political methodology. Her current work uses an experimental approach to understand ways in which formal deliberative events can be structured to promote beneficial outcomes from deliberation. Other research interests include interpersonal political discussion, women and politics, state and local politics, network analysis and experiments.

Her publications include "Does Process Matter? Direct Democracy and Citizens' Perceptions of Laws" in the Journal of Experimental Politics and "Prominent Role Models: High-Profile Female Politicians and the Emergence of Women as Candidates for Public Office," with Jeffrey J. Harden and Jason H. Windett, in the American Journal of Political Science.

Milena Andrea Melo
Mississippi State University, Mississippi

profile photo of Milena Andrea Melo

Milena A. Melo is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology with a specialty in Medical Anthropology. Motivated by her own experience as a DACA recipient and undocumented immigrant, Dr. Melo is committed to conducting research that reduces barriers to healthcare, confronts social inequality, and combats the disenfranchisement faced by marginalized populations in the United States. Dr. Melo’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Anthropological Association, and the School for Advanced Research.

Dr. Melo’s research focuses on the experiences of undocumented Mexican immigrants accessing healthcare, specifically dialysis for end-stage renal disease caused by diabetes and hypertension. She has also been involved in research focusing on the experiences of mixed-status families and DACA in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. She has conducted research with the undocumented immigrant community of South Texas where she grew up. Her future plans are to conduct binational research comparing the illness experiences of undocumented Mexicans in the United States and underinsured chronically ill Mexicans living in Mexico.

Adelle Dora Monteblancoprofile photo or Adelle Dora Monteblanco
Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee

Adelle Monteblanco is an assistant professor of sociology at Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her doctoral degree from the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder and completed an NIH-funded postdoc at the University of Texas at El Paso. She teaches medical sociology, social policy, and research methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her fields of interest include solutions to the social vulnerability exacerbated by natural hazards, maternal health, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Monteblanco’s articles appear in Deviant Behavior and the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. 

Susan Turner Noldprofile photo of Susan Turner Nold
University of Texas at Austin, Texas

Susan Turner Nold serves as Director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. AT UT, Susan also serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies where she teaches a class on Communicating to Government.

Before joining the Strauss Institute, Susan was General Counsel to Texas Senator Kirk Watson and a Staff Attorney for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Prior to working in the Texas Capitol, Susan practiced law as a Litigation Associate at Bracewell & Giuliani, volunteered as a Congressional Affairs Liaison for a presidential campaign, and worked in development for a political committee in Washington D.C.  

Susan earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in 1999 and her law degree from the University Of Texas School Of Law in 2004, where she participated in moot-court and co-founded the UT chapter of Street Law.

Wendy Scattergoodprofile photo of Wendy Scattergood
St. Norbert College, Wisconsin 

Wendy Scattergood is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and an analyst for the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. She writes, analyzes, and publishes research based on the Wisconsin Survey, which has been published by most major national news outlets. She has been interviewed on PBS Newshour, has blogged for the London School of Economics, as well as is a frequent guest on local and state news programs. Her research has focused on Wisconsin Politics, but covers a wide variety of topics, from elections to public policy issues facing the state and nation, to climate change, to conspiracy theories. Dr. Scattergood teaches courses in state and local politics, policy analysis, public administration, environmental politics, political extremism and polarization. Dr. Scattergood received her MA and PhD in Political Science – International Relations from Purdue University and a BA in Economics from Washington State University. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Scattergood worked for several years as an economist and research analyst for the State of Washington. In addition, she is a professional cellist and participates in local sporting and animal shelter events in the community.

Louis Venterssmith
Francis Marion University, South Carolina

Louis Venters is an Associate Professor of History at Francis Marion University and a consultant in the fields of historic preservation and cultural resource management. His work inside and outside the academy focuses on histories of race, religion, and social change in the United States; issues of equity and sustainability in rural and urban planning; heritage tourism, historical memory, and cultural and environmental stewardship; and the empowerment of young people and historically disadvantaged communities.

Dr. Venters teaches courses in African and African diaspora history, southern U.S. history, and public history and an interdisciplinary Introduction to African & African American Studies. He is the author of two monographs, No Jim Crow Church: The Origins of South Carolina’s Bahá’í Community (University Press of Florida, 2015) and A History of the Bahá’í Faith in South Carolina (History Press, 2019), and the author or co-author of site studies, public history reports, and exhibits, including the multiple-award-winning mobile travel guide to African American historic sites, The Green Book of South Carolina (greenbookofsc.com). He is a member of the board of directors of Preservation South Carolina, an ex officio member of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, and a past member of the South Carolina State Board of Review of the National Register of Historic Places. He writes on issues related to race, religion, history, and culture at louisventers.com.

Zachary D. Woodprofile photo of Zachary Wood
Seattle University, Washington State

Zachary D. Wood is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University, primarily assigned to the undergraduate Public Affairs program. He holds a PhD in Public Affairs from Rutgers University, with a specialization in Community Development. Wood’s primary research foci center on issues of urban poverty and social change through civic engagement and political advocacy. Much of his recent research explores the role of non-profits as advocates for social change, and how the traditional non-profit service delivery model has often engaged in system-conforming behavior as opposed to system-transformation behavior, with significant and potentially problematic effects for their constituents. Wood’s research has been published in Urban Affairs Review, Community Development and Public Administration Theory: Promoting Democratic Principles to Improve Communities (Routledge),  Shared Prosperity in America’s Communities (UPenn Press), and Journal of Emergency Management. Wood commonly presents his work at annual conferences, including the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and Urban Affairs Association (UAA), and has recently given keynote addresses at the annual conferences of DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, Youth Collaboratory, and Valley Youth House.

Wood is a tireless advocate for social change and marginalized populations. He has a passion for analyzing social issues and finding new solutions, which has contributed to his constant quest for a deeper knowledge about the complexities of our most challenging social crises. Wood has extensive professional experience in various roles with nonprofits, and is uniquely tailored to couple that experience with a deep academic pursuit, with an aim to truly bridge the chasm between theory and praxis.

Previously, Wood has held leadership roles in the non-profit sector, most recently as the Director of Development and the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for Covenant House Pennsylvania, a shelter and service provider for homeless and marginalized youth in the Philadelphia area. He has also served as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity on the Crow Creek Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.