National Institute on Aging

Four African American Scholars Who Have Been Hired or Promoted to New Positions

Reuben A. Buford May is the new Florian Znaniecki Professorial Scholar and professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. He had been a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University. Professor May is an expert on race and ethnicity, urban sociology, and the sociology of sports. He is the author of three books including Urban Nightlife: Entertaining Race, Class, and Culture in Public Space (Rutgers University Press, 2014).

Professor May is a graduate of Aurora University in Illinois, where he majored in criminal justice. He holds a master’s degree in sociology from DePaul University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Sidney Edwards is a new assistant professor in the department of theatre arts and director of the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She was a teaching artist for Cleveland Play House and the Karamu House Theater Cleveland. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

Edwards is a graduate of William Peace University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she majored in musical theater. She earned a master of fine arts degree in theater and performance from the Univerity of Louisville.

Franciska Coleman is a new assistant professor of law and associate director of the East Asian legal studies program at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. She was a visiting assistant professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and the University of Kansas School of Law.

Dr. Coleman is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a Ph.D. in language in education from the Univerity of Pennsylvania.

Therí Pickens was promoted to full professor at Bates Colleges in Lewiston, Maine. She is the author of Black Madness :: Mad Blackness (Duke University Press, 2019)

Dr. Pickens is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey where she majored in comparative literature. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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