Teaching Team

[The image in the header is "What Does YES Look Like?" by Favianna Rodriguez (2016). The artist says "the installation depicts four characters in dialogue and interdependence, each character representing a different set of emotions," which felt to me like a wonderful analogy for our teaching team.]

Erick R. Aguinaldo is from Los Angeles, California and graduated from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Women & Gender Studies. He is currently a 3rd year PhD student in Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies. Broadly, Erick is interested in gender norms, stereotypes, and socialization. His emerging work with Dr. Monique Ward focuses specifically on masculinity and the influences of the social media in constructing boys' and young men's perceptions of what it means to be a man. In his free time, Erick writes poetry, tags on walls, and loves spending time with his girlfriend, daughter, and sisters. Erick's pronouns are he / him / his.

Professor Allison Alexy is a cultural anthropologist working on gender, intimacy, and family in contemporary Japan. She holds a BA in anthropology and sociology from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Anthropology from Yale University. Her newest book, Intimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan, is available free through open access. Reflecting her broad interests in what can be done with popular culture, she edits Asia Pop!, a book series focused on pop culture in and beyond Asia. Professor Alexy enjoys hanging out with people, baking, and knitting, often while watching television. She is particularly excited to watch Reservation Dogs and the newest season of What We Do In the Shadows. Professor Alexy's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Mari Alvarez
Mari Alvarez is an unapologetically radical queer and trans latinx femme. They are a third year Masters in Public Health / Masters in Social Work dual degree graduate student. A UMich Women’s Studies alum, Mari received their Bachelor’s in Gender and Health. Mari wrote their undergraduate honors thesis on cisnormativity in patient-provider interactions, earning high honors. They are passionate about inclusive and compassionate healthcare and the elimination of health disparities that impact marginalized communities. Mari is an interning therapist at Connally Counseling and is certified in trauma-informed care and seeks to decolonize psychotherapy in their practice. Mari's pronouns are they / them / their.

Areli Ariana
Areli Ariana Balderrama is a second-year dual degree Public Health and Urban Planning student. They have a profound curiosity and commitment to create spaces that highlight strengths in BIPOC communities to ensure a safer and healthier future for the next generation. They enjoy puzzling, propagating plants, backpacking and cycling (even in 40+ degree weather!). Areli Ariana's pronouns are they / them / their.

Victoria Bell is a proud graduate of the Women's & Gender Studies department at U of M. After several years as an advocate/case manager at a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter, she returned to the University for grad school and is currently working on both her JD (law degree) and Master of Public Policy. Victoria's academic and advocacy interests focus on intersectional dynamics of gender, power and violence. When she's not at work or school, you'll find Victoria drinking tea, listening to true crime podcasts and hand writing letters to her British grandparents. Victoria's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Paulina Fraser is a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at the School of Education. Originally from California, she received her M.A.Ed in Equity and Social Justice from San Francisco State University. As a first-generation Filipina American, Paulina's interests include representation, (counter)storytelling, and colonial histories. She engages in arts-based research to make space for poetry, photography, and music in her work. Her PhD dissertation focuses on community based partnerships in developing ethnic studies curricula and pedagogy, specifically around Filipina/o/x American studies. Paulina also works as a Graduate Academic Liaison for the Ginsberg Center. In her free time, Paulina enjoys deep belly laughing, soaking up the sun and being near the water, cooking, NPR Tiny Desk concerts, face masks, and dancing. Paulina's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Patricia Jewell is originally from a small town in New Hampshire and has interests in ecofeminism and embodiment studies, especially how contemporary feminist theory and literature are writing about the ways that bodies situated at various sites of vulnerability experience the permeability between the environment and the body differently. Some of her secondary or developing research interests include affect theory and landscape/spatial studies. She loves to run, hike, and just generally be outdoors in her free time. Patricia's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Irene Mora is a 4th year student in the joint History and Women's & Gender Studies Ph.D. program. Her research focuses on Latina activism in the Midwest. During her free time she likes to hike nature trials, run, spend time with family, and go out with friends. Irene's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Thao Nguyen is a 1.5 generation Vietnamese transman and first-generation Ph.D. student in the Women’s & Gender Studies and History joint program. He is also the Research & Development Coordinator for the non-profit Cia Siab, Inc. in La Crosse, Wisconsin. As the R&D Coordinator, he co-manages the in-progress Anti-Hmoob Violence Report and provides support and consultation for grants, personnel, and programming development. He also supports local organizing efforts in Madison, WI, to defund the police through his involvement in the Southeast Asian Safety Squad. Lastly, he prides himself as an interdisciplinary scholar who works to create and sustain accessible knowledge production for the Asian American community. Thao's pronouns are he / him / his.

LaVelle Ridley
LaVelle Ridley is a queer black transsexual woman and PhD candidate in the English and Women's & Gender Studies program. Her research and teaching interests include black literary studies, life writing, black feminist theory, queer and trans of color critique, and prison abolition studies. She's currently working on a dissertation that articulates how black trans women's life writing harnesses imagination as a critical tool in black feminist freedom/world-making. LaVelle is also coediting an anthology titled Paradise on the Margins: Lessons and Dreams from Trans Women of Color, and is the associate editor of book reviews for TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. LaVelle's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Rachel Smith is a queer Black woman scholar from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a second year PhD student in the English and Women's & Gender Studies program. Rachel is always excited to talk about Black music videos, new albums, and movies. Her research focuses specifically on music videos from Black femmes since the 1990s. She received her bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and her master's degree in English from Purdue University. Rachel's pronouns are she / her / hers.

Emilia Truluck is a third-year student at Michigan Law. She was born and raised in Rincon, Georgia, and she got her BA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Middle East Studies from Emory University. After undergrad, she went to Jordan on a Fulbright, where she researched street harassment, volunteered at an UNRWA school, and supported the work of a local LGBT organization. She then went to the UK on a Marshall Scholarship, where she earned an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and an MA in Gender Studies and Law from SOAS, University of London. On her off time, you can find her perusing the well-stocked stacks of the AADL, listening to Dolly Parton, and convincing people to visit Atlanta and Amman (in no particular order). Emilia's pronouns are she / her / hers.