A group of 13 outstanding faculty have been selected to virtually attend the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) Faculty Success Program (FSP) event this summer.
This 12-week online program, the most popular of NCFDD, helps tenure-track and tenured faculty with the skills necessary to increase research and writing productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
The Office of the Provost and each participant’s college or school are co-sponsoring the selected faculty members; the FSP runs from May 15 through Aug. 6.
Learn more about the selected faculty members below. Photos and biographies will appear as you scroll down the screen.
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Dr. Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Georgia State University and the Pre-PhD Faculty Associate for the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA). Her research interests include Hip Hop culture, popular culture, political behavior, political attitudes, African-American politics, Black women and Politics, political psychology and public opinion.
Her current research examines the relationship between Black popular culture and social justice in a forthcoming co-edited volume (with Jonathan Gayles) entitled Black Popular Culture and Social Justice: Beyond the Culture (Routledge Press). Additionally, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey’s is also examining the relationship between political rap music and racial attitudes in a book tentatively titled, What’s on Your Radio: Political Rap Music and Racial Attitudes.
She recently published a co-edited volume (with Adolphus Belk Jr) entitled For the Culture: Hip-Hop and Social Justice (University of Michigan Press, 2022) examining the relationships between Hip-Hop culture and social justice. Additionally, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey published (2015) a book with the University of Pennsylvania Press entitled, Pulse of the People: Rap Music and Black Political Attitudes.
Dr. Bonnette-Bailey has written numerous articles including articles published in Ethnic Studies Review, New Political Science, Du Bois Review and book chapters in Contemporary Public Policy and Social Development in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Through the Prism of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream and Oxford’s Handbook on Protest Music (forthcoming).
In 2017, she hosted the first political Hip Hop conference at Georgia State University entitled, Behind the Music: Hip Hop and Social Justice, which examined the ways in which social justice is addressed and expressed within Hip Hop culture. In 2018, she was a Nasir Jones/ W. E. B. Du Bois Hip-Hop fellow with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Later that year she completed two talks in in Ingelheim and Kaiserslautern, Germany discussing the relevance and importance of rap music, activism and social justice and she received her certificate in psychoanalysis from Emory University’s Psychoanalytic Institute.
In 2019, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey presented at TedX talk entitled “The Political Impact of Rap Music” and in 2020, she hosted Beyond the Culture: Black Popular Culture and Social Justice at Georgia State University. In 2021, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey founded the podcast The Intersection: Where Black Popular Culture Meets Social Justice, which can be found on all of your podcasts servers. Finally, in 2021 Dr. Bonnette-Bailey appeared in the Bounce Network original documentary Protect or Neglect, where she discussed the history of policing and the disparities within the Black community. Dr. Bonnette-Bailey has been interviewed by numerous news outlets including VOX, the AJC, CBS 46, Washington Post, W.A.B.E., BBC, Atlanta Magazine, ABC News, 11 Alive News, TheGrio and numerous other news outlets.
Marva Griffin Carter
Associate Professor of Music History, Popular and World Musics
Marva Griffin Carter is an Associate Professor of Music History, Popular and World Musics in the School of Music and has joint affiliation in the Department of Africana Studies at Georgia State University. Carter is a graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee (B.M.) and of New England Conservatory of Music (M.M.) in piano performance. She also has degrees in musicology from Boston University (M.A.) and the University of Illinois at Urbana (Ph.D.). Dr. Carter is the author of the Black Broadway pioneer composer’s biography Swing Along: The Musical Life of Will Marion Cook (Oxford University Press). Currently, she is completing a book for the University of Illinois Press which examines the sacred musical tradition of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where she was organist for a decade. Marva Carter received the Society for American Music’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.
Assistant Professor of History and Assistant Chair, Department of History and Political Science
Rhiannon Evangelista is an Assistant Professor of History at Perimeter College who teaches World history and U.S. history. Her research specialties include the history of regime change, dictatorial legacies, and twentieth-century Italy. Her current book project, entitled Fascists after Fascism: Mussolini’s Ministers in Democratic Italy, 1945-1970, explores how former politicians continued to reap benefits from having once held political power, even after a regime change. Dr. Evangelista is the author of the award-winning article “The particular kindness of friends: ex-Fascists, clientage and the transition to democracy in Italy, 1945–1960” (Modern Italy 20 , Nov 2015, 411-425). She received her PhD from Emory University, a Masters of Arts from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick Saint John (Canada).
Associate Professor of Political Science
Mario Feit is Associate Professor of Political Science. His research areas are in modern and democratic political theory. Dr. Feit is working on a book manuscript that defends impatience as a democratic temporality by engaging Sara Ahmed, the Book of Job, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Portions of this project have been published in Contemporary Political Theory, Political Theology, as well as Theory & Event. Dr. Feit won the award for best article published in Contemporary Political Theory for “Democratic Impatience: Martin Luther King, Jr. on Democratic Temporality.” Additional publications include his book Democratic Anxieties: Same-Sex Marriage, Death, and Citizenship, as well as essays on democratic theorists Thomas Paine and Sheldon Wolin.
Assistant Professor of Art History
Grace Harpster is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She received her doctorate in 2018 from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently at work on a book project that examines archbishop Carlo Borromeo’s (1538-84) interventions with images in the name of Catholic reform in Italy. Her most recent publication is a 2021 article in the Oxford Art Journal titled “Figino’s Efficacy: Portraits, Votives, and their Makers after Trent,” which examines how Borromeo’s posthumous likenesses were caught between a discourse of portraiture and the new legal processes of achieving sainthood. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University, the Getty Scholar’s Program, and the Fulbright Foundation, among other institutions.
Marie Sumner Lott
Associate Professor of Music History
Marie Sumner Lott is an Associate Professor of music history at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is the author of The Social Worlds of Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music: Composers, Consumers, Communities (University of Illinois Press, 2015), and she has published articles and book chapters on the music of Joseph Joachim, Louise Farrenc, Robert and Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Her current project, Imagining the Middle Ages in Nineteenth-Century Music, focuses on Romantic Medievalism in the works of Brahms and his contemporaries.
Karen E. Nielsen
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
Dr. Karen Nielsen is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the department of Population Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Dr. Nielsen has expertise in multilevel modeling and techniques for modeling time-intensive longitudinal data, including data resulting from physiological sensors and wearable technology. Her research interests include the development and application of new statistical techniques for modern data challenges, such as integrating and interpreting multiple data sources with differing timescales, and adapting existing techniques to new use cases. In addition to her methodological development work, Dr. Nielsen enjoys interdisciplinary collaborations across a variety of disciplines including psychology, gerontology, communication, kinesiology, and public health.
Ashli A. Owen-Smith
Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences
Ashli Owen-Smith is a behavioral scientist with research interests in health disparities, mental health (specifically serious mental illness, trauma and suicide), chronic pain, and complementary and alternative approaches for complex conditions with both mental and physical causes and manifestations.
Dr. Owen-Smith’s research aims to identify questions that are relevant and important to patients, and to prioritize the translation of research findings into clinical practice. Accordingly, she is interested in conducting patient-centered research and utilizing patient-reported outcomes. She works closely with patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders and is interested in employing qualitative and mixed methods.
Lia C. Scott
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences
Dr. Lia Scott is an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences for the School of Public Health. Her general research interests include identifying the various individual, policy, social and physical environmental factors that drive social and structural inequities by combining spatial analysis, advanced statistical modeling and epidemiologic methods. She aims to quantify the effect these factors have on cancer outcomes in cancers that disproportionately impact Black women, emphasizing triple-negative breast cancer. Her research focuses on the intersection of race and structural racism using population-based data to evaluate disparities in incidence, mortality, survival and other outcomes.
Susan Navarro Smelcer
Assistant Professor of Law
Susan Navarro Smelcer, assistant professor of law, focuses her research at the intersection of data analytics and legal decision-making. Professor Smelcer uses quantitative methods and text analytics techniques to better understand how litigants, courts, and agencies assess risk, liability, and damages. She is also interested in building data-driven applications to increase access to justice and social safety net programs. Professor Smelcer’s work has been published in the Cornell Law Review, N.Y.U. Law Review, Kentucky Law Review, Judicature, Political Research Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Studies in American Political Development, among others.
Professor Smelcer is also affiliated with the Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative (LAII) at the College of Law. Through the LAII, Professor Smelcer teaches courses on empirical research design and quantitative methodology to J.D. and L.L.M. students pursuing a concentration in Legal Analytics.
Before joining the faculty at the Georgia State University College of Law, Professor Smelcer practiced antitrust law in Washington, DC, where she focused on antitrust class action litigation. Prior to law school, Professor Smelcer was an Analyst on the Federal Judiciary at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the Library of Congress. During her tenure at CRS, Professor Smelcer was detailed to the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee to assist with and advise on a judicial impeachment trial.
Professor Smelcer received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding service to the law school, the Betty Bock Prize in Competition Policy, and the Law and Economics Prize. In law school, she served as the Senior Online Editor of the N.Y.U. Law Review. Professor Smelcer also earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Emory University, where she focused on American political institutions, public policy processes, game theory, and quantitative methodology. Professor Smelcer holds a B.A., with distinction and highest honors, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in political science.
Rodney R. Yates Smith
Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems
Dr. Rodney R. Yates Smith is an Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at Perimeter College. He is an accomplished Information Technology and Academic Professional that has been teaching at Georgia State University Perimeter College since 2016. Dr. Smith is a respected, hands-on Director/Senior Manager of Information Technology with a distinguished 25-year IT career, which has combined the information technology field with academia. He brings a wealth of “real world” knowledge and expertise to an academic environment and is adept in developing an interesting and productive active-learning classroom environment.
Ashley Marie Stewart
Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology
Ashley Marie Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Learning Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the race-related experiences of Black adolescents in both online and offline settings, as well as implications for learning and development. Additionally, she examines teachers’ racial attitudes and practices with racially minoritized students and the roles that teachers can play in helping students cope and make sense of their negative race-related experiences.
Xieyi (Abby) Zhang
Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Xieyi (Abby) Zhang is an Assistant Professor in Music Theory specializing in nineteenth-century musical form and the music of Antonín Dvořák. This Chinese-born Canadian completed his Ph.D. at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and previously received a B.Mus. with a specialization in music theory from the University of Toronto. As a pianist, Zhang has performed at venues in both New York and Toronto.
Biographies courtesy of faculty and the Office of Faculty Affairs