Staff

Neil KodeshNeil Kodesh
Faculty Director

Email: kodesh@wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.2380

Neil Kodesh is a historian of precolonial East Africa with a particular emphasis on the Great Lakes region. His research and teaching interests center on health and healing, historical anthropology, and methodologies for writing early African history. His first book, Beyond the Royal Gaze: Clanship and Public Healing in Buganda, won the Melville Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association. Kodesh’s current project examines the history of medical pluralism in the Great Lakes region from ca. 1000-1940. His research and teaching interests center on health and healing, historical anthropology, and methodologies for writing early African history. Kodesh also serves as an editor of the UW Press book series, Africa and the Diaspora: History, Politics, Culture.

 

Aleia McCord
Associate Director
Email: aleia.mccord@wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.4461

Aleia McCord studies the relationships between energy and health in east Africa using mixed methods from the social and natural sciences. Her most recent work examined the economic, social, and environmental impacts of micro-scale anaerobic digesters in Uganda. From 2012-2016, McCord co-founded and led a renewable energy and agricultural research station in Mukono, Uganda. The center works with private-sector commercial partners and researchers from Makerere University Center for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation to develop and test innovative waste management and renewable energy technologies.  She holds a  Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

 

Meagan DollMeagan Doll
Mandela Washington Fellowship Program Coordinator

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Coordinator
Email (MWF): yali@africa.wisc.edu
Email (FLAS): fellowships@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.4460

Meagan Doll, former communications specialist at the African Studies Program, graduated from the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2016. Currently, Meagan coordinates the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) at UW-Madison and the African Studies Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship awards. Meagan is from western Wisconsin where she worked as a freelance reporter for two St. Croix River Valley publications. In her senior year at UW-Madison, she also served as an editorial intern at Mediashift and an undergraduate fellow with the university’s Center for Journalism Ethics. Outside of school and work, Meagan enjoys running, camping, photography and good conversation.

 

 

Lauren MarinoLauren Parnell Marino
Undergraduate Certificate Advisor
Outreach Project Assistant

Email: advising@africa.wisc.edu
Email: outreach@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.265.9151

Lauren is a doctoral student in Development Studies program at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on women’s participation in the labor force in East Africa, gender, empowerment, and social capital. She is currently learning Luganda. Lauren previously worked for Ashoka, Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd., and the Interfaith Youth Core. She holds an MA in Gender, Globalization, and Rights from the National University of Ireland-Galway, where she was a George J. Mitchell Scholar, and a BS in Social Policy from Northwestern University. In her free time she loves baking, gardening, and photography.

 

Will Porter
Events Project Assistant
Email: events@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.265.9151

Will Porter is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in trombone performance. His research examines the relationship between classical-music education and social development in Mozambique. Will received his undergraduate degree from the University of Leeds, and holds a Master of Music degree from the Royal Academy of Music.

 

 

KyraKyra Fox
Communications and Outreach Intern
Email: connect@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.2380

Kyra Fox is a senior undergraduate majoring in International Studies and Psychology with a certificate in African Studies. Her research focuses on conflict and atrocity perpetrators, and she recently returned from Gulu, Uganda, where she studied the complex victim/perpetrator status of former child combatants.  Kyra has found her home at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she loves exploring the bike paths, talking social issues over a pitcher at the terrace, and soaking up the people and perspectives Madison has to offer. Kyra is an interfaith scholar at the Center for Religion & Global Citizenry and spent the past summer as a Humanity in Action Fellow studying resistance movements in the Netherlands.

 

Rebecca Hanks
Administrative Intern
Email: asp@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.2380

Rebecca Hanks is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Political Science and International Studies. She is fascinated by all United States policy-making both foreign and domestic, but is especially interested in U.S. involvement in the Middle East as well as domestic voting rights and economic equity. She is an editor for The Wisconsin International Review and also has background as a legislative assistant in the offices of State Representative Carol Ammons and State Senator Lena Taylor. In her free time, Rebecca loves reading, running, and going to cafes.

 

Jeri Byrne
Financial Specialist
Email: glbyrne@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.4460

Jeri is the Senior Financial Specialist  for IRIS, and she provides services for the African Studies and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Programs. She started working for the UW Extension in 1973 and in 1992 moved to Letters and Science (L&S), from which she retired from L&S in 2007. Since her retirement, Jeri has worked part time for both L&S and the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS).  She audits all the e-reimbursements, reconciles the P-card and other financial work, and provides information and answers for the staff of these two centers, among numerous other services.
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