Academic Diversity Fellows 2012-2014

Rafael E. Perez Figueroa

Rafael E. Perez Figueroa is an assistant professor and faculty fellow of public health in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Perez Figueroa holds a medical degree from the Pontifical Madre y Maestra Catholic University in the Dominican Republic and a M.P.H degree from NYU in global health leadership. His work focuses on the study of health disparities among sexual, racial, and ethnic minorities. Specifically, he studies public health issues related to HIV prevention and care, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use. Perez Figueroa undertakes theoretically driven research studies that seek to disentangle the effects of sexual identity, minority status, prejudice, and discrimination on the health outcomes of these populations. In 2011 Perez Figueroa received an NYU Global Public Health Research Challenge Fund as part of an interdisciplinary team of investigators for a study on HIV transmission and illicit drug use in the Dominican Republic. Currently, he conducts research in the Center for Health, Identity, Behaviors, and Prevention Studies under the mentorship of Dr. Perry Halkitis.

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Shirin Jalali is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Prior to that she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Mathematics of Information at California Institute of Technology. Her main research interests are in information theory and statistical signal processing. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University in 2009. She has received her B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2002 and her M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the same institution in 2004.

Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee is a postdoctoral fellow at NYU's Molecular Design Institute in the Chemistry Department. She is interested in the engineering of novel organic materials for renewable energy and clean water technologies. Her thesis work focused on establishing structure-function relationships between the morphology of organic semiconductor thin films and their electronic performance as the active layers in thin-film transistors and solar cells. Under the advisement of Professor Michael Ward at NYU, she plans to extend her research by using hydrogen-bonded frameworks to guide the self-assembly of both organic and inorganic crystals. The ability to tune the molecular packing of functional materials will in turn afford control over their optical and electronic properties, with the ultimate goal of engineering inexpensive devices for solar energy harvesting and water purification. Stephanie received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at MIT in 2007 and her PhD in Chemical Engineering and Material Science at Princeton University in 2012. She is a recipient of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

Eduardo Matos-Martín

Eduardo Matos-Martín is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Comparative Literature within the College of Arts and Science. His research focuses mainly on contemporary Spanish peninsular literatures and cinema, and his interests address a wide range of topics in political theory, biopolitics, history, the culture of memory, and fascism, particularly in the Spanish context. He received his Ph.D in Spanish from the University of Michigan in 2010. Currently, he is revising his dissertation for publication, and his manuscript, Biopolítica y franquismo. Disonancias y rupturas del pasado reciente en la narrativa de la España contemporánea, seeks to explore alternative readings of the Franco period in Spain (1936-1975) from the theoretical lens of biopolitics and his analysis of contemporary fictional works.

Hoda El Shakry

Hoda El Shakry is an Assistant Professor, Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her teaching and research interests lie in twentieth century literature, criticism and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa. Her scholarship traverses the fields of modern Arabic and Francophone North African literature, Islam and secular criticism, postcolonial studies, narrative theory and semiotics, as well as philosophy. Her current research explores the political, ethical and aesthetic dimensions of the confluence of modern Arab literature with Islamic Thought. Her dissertation and now book project examines Arabophone and Francophone literature of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. It investigates how literary engagements with Islamic discourse complicate the narratives of nationalism, modernity and postcoloniality in relation to both colonial and nationalist ideologies. Her publications include: “Apocalyptic Pasts, Orwellian Futures: Elle Flanders’ Zero Degrees of Separation” in GLQ (2010) and “Revolutionary Eschatology: Islam and the End of Time in al-Tahir Wattar’s al-Zilzal” in the Journal of Arabic Literature (2011). Hoda received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA in 2012.

crystalwilliams

Crystal Williams’ research agenda examines factors associated with mental health treatment engagement among underserved youth. She is interested in mobile technology as an innovative strategy to engage and retain youth in mental health treatment and promote positive mental health. Her other areas of interest include implementation science, quality improvement, and mixed methods research. Dr. Williams’ has provided clinical social work services to children, youth, and families from diverse backgrounds and in a variety of settings, including child welfare, residential treatment centers, psychiatric facilities, in-home, and community-based organizations. She was a pre-doctoral fellow in the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fellowship Program. Dr. Williams received her PhD from University of Maryland, Baltimore, and her MSW and BA in Business Administration/Management from Clark Atlanta University.