Dr. Andrea Malkin Brenner (she/her/hers) serves at the Director of the American University Experience (AUx), the designer of the AUx1 curriculum, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She has been honored to have served as the Undergraduate Advisor and the Internship Director for the Department of Sociology for many years and as the Faculty Director of University College, AU's oldest and largest living-learning community. Prior to coming to AU, Dr. Brenner worked in the Office of Campus Life at Mount Vernon College (now part of George Washington University) and for the GED Testing Service of The American Council on Education, working to design curriculum for the nation's high school equivalency exam. She researches and writes about the sociology of education, teaching introductory sociology, sociology of sport, and on the life course. Dr. Brenner serves on the Editorial Board of SOC (McGraw Hill) and has recently been published in The A-Z of Death and Dying, in Sex and Society, and in Sociology Through Active Learning. Dr. Brenner holds a BA in Sociology from Brandeis University and an MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. She received her PhD in Sociology from American University, where her research focused on the complexities of white professors teaching about race and racism to students of color. She has received a number of teaching awards, including Professor of the Year from the AU Student Government in both 2003 and 2017, and the Ann S. Ferren Curriculum Design Award for her work with AUx in 2016. Dr. Brenner is also an adoption advocate and has served on the Board of Trustees of The Barker Adoption Foundation, Maryland's oldest non-profit adoption agency, since 2006. She is passionate about the rights of all student voices on campus and supporting students as they transition through their first year of college. She loves documentaries, kayaking in Maine, reading, and spending time with her husband and 2 kids, and her fabulous cat, Willow.
Izzi Rose Stern (she/her/hers) began her role as Program Coordinator for AUx in June 2016. Prior to this role, Izzi served as a Case Manager in Housing & Dining Programs at AU. As a Case Manager, her responsibilities included maintaining a caseload of residential students with conduct, socialization, transitional, academic and/or behavioral needs. In this role, Izzi was also a member of the CARE Team and maintained open office hours each week in the Office of the Dean of Students. Prior to working at American University, Izzi worked in the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities at the George Washington University for two years, serving as a Conference Officer. She received her MA in Higher Education Administration from the George Washington University and is a proud alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences at American University with a BA in Sociology. Her undergraduate thesis was entitled Full Disclosure: Selection, Support and Success for College Students with Learning Disabilities. As an undergraduate student at AU, Izzi was involved in the Residence Hall Association and the National Residence Hall Honorary. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV and movies. Izzi also loves traveling, especially to somewhere in the Caribbean, and photography.
Joy Adams (she/her/hers) is a broadly trained human geographer with research specializations in ethnic geography, tourism studies, qualitative methods, and the North American culture region (the U.S. and Canada). She holds BA and PhD degrees in geography from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Applied Geography degree from Texas State University. Joy began her academic career as a classroom instructor, most recently as Associate Professor of Geography at Humboldt State University, the northernmost campus in the California State University system. After teaching for eight years, Joy relocated to the DC metro area to serve as a senior researcher at the Association of American Geographers. There, she worked on NSF-funded projects to investigate non-academic career paths for geography graduates and to promote diversity and inclusion within the discipline. Since 2013, Joy has worked as an instructional designer, and in September 2015, she completed an online certificate program in e-learning instructional design through The University of California, Irvine. In May 2015, Joy joined the staff of AU's e-Learning Support Services office in Bender Library, where she consults with faculty and staff on course design and development, instructional technology, and online pedagogy. She also occasionally teaches undergraduate geography courses as an adjunct instructor at The University of Maryland. When she is not working on her courses, Joy can often be found binge-watching television programs in the company of her cat, eating Indian food, conducting genealogical research, performing karaoke, or exploring historic cemeteries.
Angie Chuang (she/her/hers) designed the AUx2 curriculum, drawing on her experience as a researcher of race and identity issues. She is currently an Associate Professor of Journalism in the University of Colorado College of Media, Communication, and Information. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from Stanford University. She came to academia after a 13-year career as a national and regional award-winning newspaper reporter for The Oregonian, The Hartford Courant, and the Los Angeles Times. At The Oregonian, Prof. Chuang developed one of the first regional newspaper race and ethnicity reporting beats, and traveled to Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the post-Katrina Gulf Coast to report stories. She's been challenged and inspired by bringing those experiences into the classroom, through her class Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting, created in conjunction with a Surdna Foundation grant, as well as in her research. Her scholarly articles on the news media's constructions of American and Other identity have been published in top communication journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, and won research awards. Prof. Chuang's previous reporting on post-9/11 Afghanistan and Afghan Americans also became the foundation for a literary nonfiction book, The Four Words for Home (Aquarius Press / Willow Books 2014). She's a second-generation Chinese American from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has always been a believer in the power of storytelling and words to create meaningful, open understanding about and across identities. She's an avid Iyengar yoga practitioner and a fair-weather bike commuter.
Jimmy Ellis (he/him/his) is the Director of Student Success and Assessment for the Office of Undergraduate Education. He joined AU in 2011 and leads programmatic, administrative, and curricular assessment for the department, including the living-learning communities, AUx, and academic student services. Additionally, he develops and monitors departmental activities designed to increase rates of student retention and graduation. Jimmy is also pursuing doctoral studies in AU's Department of Public Administration and Policy. Prior to his current role, Jimmy worked at public and private institutions as a recruiter, retention coordinator, and academic advisor. He has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Florida State University and a graduate degree in higher education administration from Colorado State University.
Christina Floriza (she/her/hers) is a two-time alumna of American University, holding both a BA and MA in Philosophy, with concentrations in critical race theory and feminist theory. She currently works as the Technology Coordinator for the Division of Research, Teaching, and Learning at Bender Library, where she creates instructional tutorials to teach users how to use library services and resources. She also provides research support at the Research Assistance Desk and serves on several library committees, such as the library's Internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Christina's other professional life is that of a trained actor. Since 2013, Christina has appeared on Veep, House of Cards, several DC area commercials, and an NBC commercial that aired during the Super Bowl in 2015 - the commercial that earned her membership into SAG-AFTRA. She has trained at Washington Improv Theater and Studio Theatre in Washington, DC, and also at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Christina still performs improv when she can, and has performed at the NYC Improv Festival, the Capital Fringe Festival, and Washington Improv Theater's Improvapalooza, to name a few. In 2016, Christina appeared in Rendezvous, an award-winning short film that screened at film festivals throughout the US and Canada. It was for this film that Christina also earned her first acting nomination for Best Lead Actress at the 2016 IndieCapitol Awards in Washington, DC. Christina is also a classically-trained soprano, speaks multiple languages, and knows more than any one person probably needs to know about Conan O'Brien. When she is not working, you can find Christina binge-watching Netflix, teaching her cat new tricks, or in line for coffee.
Dr. Bev-freda Jackson holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English with a minor in African American studies from Gettysburg College. She is an alumnus of American University's Department of Government holding a Masters in Political Science and doctorate in Political Science from Howard University's Department of Political Science with concentrations in Black Politics, American Government and Public Administration. Dr. Jackson's dissertation work focused on issues of social justice and patterns of school desegregation in the post Brown era. Her dissertation examined the massive resistance movement as a strategy to defy and delay Brown v. Board of Education's implementation. She is currently on faculty in the School of Public Affairs Department of Justice, Law and Criminology where she teaches courses on Race Issues in Justice, Race and Justice in America as well as Justice and Public Policy. For AUx2, Dr. Jackson completed a video talk on the March on Washington, Emmett Till and Black Lives Matter. Dr. Jackson's expertise includes an examination of racial disparities, racial isolation, segregation in the public education system, outcomes for children of color, disproportionality and disparate treatment of persons of color across systems. Additionally, Dr. Jackson's areas of expertise include the school to prison pipeline and the dialogue on microaggressions serving on numerous panels, speaking engagements for federal government agencies on the topic. Dr. Jackson's research experience includes contribution to the publication Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities, as well as work at the Brookings Institution on racial health disparities in communities of color in Baltimore City, Maryland. Additionally, Bev-Freda has partnered with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and the NAACP Young Adult Committee in addressing issues of social justice and education reform. She is a Program Manager for District of Columbia Government's Child and Family Service's Agency in the Office of Planning, Policy and Program Support. Dr. Jackson also serves on Board of Counseling for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Advisory Board for AUx and the Human Services Advisory Board for the City of Chesapeake, Virginia.
Jacqueline Lantsman (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Public Health in the College of Arts and Science, and minoring in Education Studies and Justice. A low income, first generation college student, raised in Brooklyn, New York, she witnessed the disparity in education and health care between low-income and upper income households. Since then she has been advocating for equity and self-care education within K-12 schools, tools to neighborhood empowerment and community engagement. Her previous experience includes interning with NextGenVest, an education literacy tech startup in NYC, working for American University Experience (AUx), Interning with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and conducting research with two of her professors on topics of educational inequity and the death row community in the United States. This upcoming year in addition to interning with American University Experience (AUx) she will be a Peer-Mentor for Complex Problems, Envisioning and Inclusive Future, and Co-Leader for New Orleans Alternative Break. She is thrilled to continue to contribute to the AUx team.
Angelica Vega (she/her/hers) is a sophomore, double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. Angelica grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Over the summer, she was the art coordinator for the Pop-Up Library in her hometown to promote active reading for students. She is involved in various activities around AU campus, such as being a 2nd year class representative for the CAS Lead program and being a co-leader for Youth Empowerment: Honduras in the Alternative Break Program. She is passionate about advocating for equal education opportunity for all students, and she hopes one day she will run for Congress. When she is not busy doing homework, you can find her playing Overwatch, hanging out with friends, and traveling across DC for the best restaurants.
Meng Wang (she, her, hers) graduated from the master's program in film and video at American University. As a filmmaker who studied and practiced video production for nine years, she made several films including documentaries and fictions. In these video production practices, she played various roles such as editor, director, producer and graphic designer. Meng currently works as an Instructional Multimedia Designer at American University library. Her responsibilities includes creating multimedia especially video content in the university's learning management system and other web-based instructional software. Utilizing proven instructional design principles and techniques, she designs, develops, and bridges effective communications between faculty and online learners. Meng loves watching films and reading in her free time.
Serina Williams (she/her/hers) is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also strongly passionate about working in education, specifically with low-income families. Serina is a tutor for American University's DC Reads Program. She assists children in grades 2 through 5 in reading and executes individual lesson plans for the students. Her ultimate goal within DC Reads is to individually help students achieve their goals while aiding them in Spanish, math and writing. Serina loves getting involved and helping out in small low-income communities. Being a part of AUx and Complex Problems LLC her freshman year has allowed Serina to take interest in contributing to the AUx team.