Dr. Val Beasley,  DVM, PhD, Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology; Professor Emeritus of Veterinary, Wildlife, and Ecological Toxicology; Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine gave a talk at the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring in Patuxent, MD, where Rachel Carson worked (



Dr. Merle Bowen, African-American Studies, and Dr. Ayesha Tillman, Educational Psychology,  recently published, “Developing Culturally Responsive Surveys: Lessons in Development, Implementation, and Analysis from Brazil's African Descent Communities,  Merle L. Bowen and Ayesha S. Tillman, American Journal of Evaluation published online 2 July 2014.

Dr. Jan Brooks took 12 students this summer on a three-week director guided service learning trip to Cape Town, where they also visited Johannesburg.  As well, she traveled to Bozeman Montana to attend the annual conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and accepted a teaching award.  In August, she was invited to present a provocation at The Medical Humanities in Africa 2014 Conference, entitled Medicine and the Humanities in Conversation.  Her presentation was on Attachment and the First 1000 Days: A Caregiver Instructor's Perspectives on Attachment, Infant Self-Regulation, and the Foundation for Development of the Whole Child. 


Dr. Ken Cuno, History, published an article, “Abbas Hilmi I,” in The Encyclopaedia of Islam Three and put the finishing touches on his new book, Modernizing Marriage: Family, Ideology, and Law in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Egypt, to be published by Syracuse University Press in 2015. He also gave guest lectures and participated in panels on modern Middle Eastern history, the Palestinians, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


Dr. Brian Dill, Sociology, along with Ben Crow, published “The colonial roots of inequality: access to water in urban East Africa.” It was published online: 19 Mar 2014 in Water International,




Dr. Christopher Fennell, anthropology, continues to serve as the founding editor of the Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage. Professor Fennell was also appointed a University Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2014-2017:

His publications in the past year included:

"Dexterous Creation: Material Manifestations of Instrumental Symbolism in the Americas," in Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic, edited by Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders, pp. 216-235, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2014.

"African Diaspora Archaeology" and "African Diaspora Archaeology Network," in the Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by Claire Smith, Paul Lane, et al., Springer Press (2014).

In addition, he gave nearly a dozen talks and papers over the past year. The highlights of these were the following:

"Interdisciplinary Investigations in African Diaspora Archaeology," University of Colorado, September 5, 2014, Boulder, Colorado.

"Dragons in America: Industry and Innovation in Edgefield, South Carolina," Annual Meeting of the Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference, Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

"Archaeology and Kongo Legacies in the Americas," Kongo Atlantic Dialogues: Kongo Culture in Central Africa and in the Americas, 2014 Gwendolen M. Carter Conference, Center for African Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville.


Dr. Diana S. Grigsby-Toussaint, Kinesiology and Community Health, has been promoted to Associate Professor. Professor Grigsby-Toussaint has also been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Funded Illinois Prevention Research Center, 2014-2018.



Dr. Assata Zerai, Sociology, and Associate Dean, Graduate College, has just published Hypermasculinity State Violence, and Family Well-Being In Zimbabwe: An Africana Feminist Analysis Of Maternal And Child Health (Africa World Press 2014). Zerai explores the demography of maternal and child health in Southern Africa from an Africana feminist sociological perspective. She presents a framework that considers the ways that nation, race, class, gender, sexuality, globalization, and other dimensions of oppression intersect to impact upon the experiences and agency of individuals and groups with health care and social support in Zimbabwe. For more information: