Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, 2003;
M.A., Washington State University, 1998;
B.A., Gonzaga University, 1996.
My primary research area is recent U.S. history with an emphasis on the African American experience. I am interested in the role that youth have played in shaping post-WWII American society. More specifically, I am fascinated with the efforts and abilities of black college students to change not only their scholastic environments but also the communities that surrounded their institutions of higher learning. Amazingly, young people, by way of protests and demands, have been able to influence college curricula as well as the policies of their schools. This interest in the protest movements of these young people has led me to study black student activism at Ivy League universities. My first book, Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s deals with black students who risked their educations (and potentially their lives) during the famous controversy that took place at Columbia University in 1968-1969. The students' activism resulted in the alteration of university policies toward the neighboring community of Harlem and a change in the university's curriculum. The efforts of these young people, and many others, undoubtedly contributed to the larger cultural and political shifts that occurred in American society after the 1960s. Recently my work on student activism at Columbia University has been featured on C-Span2 BookTV, WCHR 90.7fm (Harlem), WOR710hd radio, as well as in History News Network, and Inside Higher Ed. I am currently co-editing a book that covers the creation and impact of the nation's first black collegiate fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, which was founded at Cornell University. In addition, I am working on a manuscript tentatively titled Blackened Ivy: Civil Rights, Black Power and Ivy League Universities.
Recent Courses Taught:
- African American Youth Movements in the 20th Century
- Race and Athletics in the 20th Century
- Civil Rights in America, 1865-1965
- History of the United States since 1865
- Introduction to African American Studies
- Contemporary Black America
- Advanced Studies in American History
- Youth Activism in Recent America
"The Southern-Most Ivy: Princeton University from Jim Crow Admissions to Anti-Apartheid Protests, 1764-1969," American Studies, Volume 51, No. 3/4, Fall/Winter 2010.
"This is Harlem Heights": Black Student Power and the 1968 Columbia University Rebellion, Journal of Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, Vol. 32, No. 1, January 2008, pp 99-122.
Gym Crow: Black Student Activism at Columbia University, 1967-1968, Journal of African American History, Vol. 88, No. 2, Spring 2003, pp. 163-181.
Essays in Edited Volumes
"Progenitors of Progress: A Brief History of the Jewels of Alpha Phi Alpha," in the volume Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence (University Press of Kentucky, 2011)
"Defining the Alpha Identity," in the volume Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence (University Press of Kentucky, 2011)
"Gym Crow Must Go!: The 1968 Student Rebellion at Columbia University in the City of New York" in the volume, We Shall Independent Be: African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States, edited by Angel Nieves and Leslie Alexander (University Press of Colorado-Boulder, 2008)
"The First and the Finest: The Founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.," in the volume Black Greek-Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun, edited by Greg Parks (University Press of Kentucky, 2008).
- Black Student Law School Association Service Award, 2012
- Ernest A. Calloway, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012
- St. Louis American Salute to Excellence Young Leader Award, 2012
- Last Lecture Series Presenter, elected by the students of Saint Louis University, 2011
- Student Government Association Faculty Excellence Award, 2011
- Phillis Wheatley Book Prize, given by the North East Black Studies Association, 2010
- National Black United Federation of Charities Grant, given by the National Council of Black Studies, 2010
- "Last Lecture" Series nominee, Saint Louis University, 2010
- Mellon Summer Research Grant, Saint Louis University, 2009 and 2010