Alumni News: Political Authors & Activists, and Amazing Teachers!

Black Politics

Sharon Wright Austin (History ’87), an associate professor of political science and the director of the African American Studies program at the University of Florida, has a new book, The Caribbeanization of Black Politics: Race, Group Consciousness, and Political Participation in America recently published by the State University of New York, Albany Press.

 

Candous BrownCandous Brown (MAT ’12), a teacher at Raleigh Egypt High School, was the subject of a television report on WMC Action News 5 on January 17. Before snow closed the schools last week, her students were assigned to read the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. When her students didn’t want to wait to go back to school to move ahead in the lesson, Brown took to Facebook Live to answers questions and review the material.

Yancy Villa-Calvo (Psychology ’99) and her husband Mauricio Calvo (Business Administration ‘97) were sworn in as naturalized U.S. citizens on April 19. The couple were the focus of a Commercial Appeal article about the approximately 300 immigrants who were sworn in as citizens at the University of Memphis.

Kristen HensleyKristen Stokes Hensley (Psychology ’02) has been appointed director of operations and marketing at Bird B-Gone. In this role, Hensley is responsible for leading strategies and key business operations to sustain Bird- B- Gone’s continuing growth, while also managing and the company’s worldwide marketing program. Read more about Kristen and her work here.

 

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Tom Kolodziej (MAT) was awarded Germantown Education Commission’s Teacher of the Month for December – he teaches English and Mythology at Houston HS! Mr. Kolodziej blends humor and subject matter expertise to keep his classes engaging and demanding at the same time. He has had such an impact on his students that for the last several years the senior class has selected him to walk alongside them at graduation.

 

 

John KuykendallDr. John A. Kuykendall (MSEL ’02) has been appointed Dean of the School of Education at the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Kuykendall most recently served as a tenured associate professor of education and as the director for the School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In his administrative role at Little Rock, he oversaw 27 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in teacher education and educational leadership. Before arriving at Little Rock, he was a faculty member at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he oversaw the College of Student Affairs Program and taught graduate courses in higher education. Read more here.

Michael MacMiller (Psychology and Sustainability Studies ’15) was recently recognized as one of 10 “Emerging Sustainable Business Leaders” by the 2018 GreenBiz Conference in Phoenix, AZ. His short speech about his goal to teach low-income students sustainable waste management concepts and skills is at the end of the above YouTube video. He is currently working as Environmental Advocate for Doxicom Global Waste Stream Management Consultants, a Mid-South company working with large companies to reduce their landfill waste through green strategies.