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 anaerobic digestion in Uganda. McCord uses methods from the social and natural sciences to assess the performance of existing anaerobic digesters in Uganda in order to describe and quantify the actual development impacts of this technology. Aleia came to live in Madison after residing in Texas, Iowa, Ghana, and Philadelphia. She loves living in such an active city with outdoor opportunities suitable for every season. When she’s not on campus, you can find her gardening, cycling, or cross-country skiing.

 

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.

 

Dave Bresnahan
Outreach Project Assistant
Email:  outreach@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.265.5191

Dave Bresnahan is a PhD candidate in African History at UW-Madison. His research focuses on coastal East Africa’s entanglements with the Indian Ocean world social and economic networks since the first millennium CE. Dave conducted extensive dissertation field research on the coast of Kenya, in addition to archival research in Tanzania and England. Dave holds an M.A. in African History from Ohio University and a B.A. in History from Elizabethtown College. In his spare time, Dave enjoys trail and mountain running, playing music, and taking pictures of his dog.

 

Lauren MarinoLauren Parnell Marino
Undergraduate Certificate Advisor
Email: advising@africa.wisc.edu

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.

 

 

Kirsten Jacobson
Communications and Events Project Assistant
Email: events@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.265.5191

 

 

 

Mary Larson
Administrative Intern
Email: asp@africa.wisc.edu
Telephone: 608.262.2380

Mary Larson is a senior majoring in International Studies with certificates in Middle East Studies, French, and African Studies. She has studied Arabic for three years at UW-Madison, including participating in the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Language Immersion Institute and studying Arabic language and culture in Fes, Morocco for a semester. She spent the past summer interning with Voice of America in Washington, D.C., and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. As a member of the WUD Alternative Breaks Committee, Mary has volunteered in Peru and Morocco and has planned service-learning trips for other students. She is currently a staff writer for Souvenirs magazine, a student travel publication. In her spare time, Mary enjoys traveling, running, and cooking.

 

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

Kyra Fox is a junior undergraduate student majoring in International Studies and Psychology with a certificate in African Studies at UW-Madison. She has focused her academic studies on conflict prevention in sub-Saharan Africa, and recently spent a semester in Gulu, Uganda, where she studied former Lord’s Resistance Army child soldiers.  A Milwaukee native, Kyra has found her home at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she loves running the Lakeshore and Commuter Paths, discovering new coffee shops, and enjoying the Terrace when it’s not ten below zero. Kyra has interned for the Colombia Support Network, a local NGO dedicated to peace and justice in the Colombian conflict, and will spend this summer as a Humanity in Action Fellow studying histories of discrimination and resistance in Europe.

 

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

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