New Hires

Diaspora Studies
Nadine Naber : Associate Professor

Nadine Naber

Associate Professor

At UIC since fall 2013, Nadine Naber is associate professor gender and women's studies and Asian American studies.

Her research and teaching in Arab American studies incorporate the methods and theories of women of color, transnational and post-colonial feminist studies. She is also a frequent collaborator with organizations addressing issues of gender and immigration among Arab American communities.

Prior to joining the Cluster Initiative, Naber was at the University of Michigan where she co-founded Arab American Studies, an ethnic studies unit within the program in American culture.

Naber is author of "Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism" (NYU Press, 2012). She co-edited "Race and Arab Americans" (Syracuse University Press, 2008) and "Arab and Arab American Feminisms Perspectives" (Syracuse University Press, 2010), which was named the non-fiction winner of the Arab American National Museum's 2012 Arab American Book Award.

Her work has recently appeared in the collection “At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror” (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and the journal Cultural Dynamics (March 2014).

Naber is an editorial board member of the Middle East Research and Information Project, an advisory board member of the Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality book series with the University of Nebraska Press, and a member of the Arab Families Working Group.

She is co-founder of the Arab Women's Solidarity Association, North America, Arab Movement of Women Arising for Justice and Arab Women's Activist Network, as well as a former board member for several women's advocacy groups.

During her career, Naber has been selected for the Open Society Foundation's Academic Fellowship Program, UIC's Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement's Public Discourse award and the Human Rights Faculty Fellowship within the University of Michigan's Center for International and Comparative Studies.

Naber received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of California-Davis.

Global Urban Immigration
Andreas Feldmann : Associate Professor

Andreas Feldmann

Associate Professor

Andreas Feldmann joined the UIC departments of Latin American and Latino studies and political science as an associate professor in fall 2014.

He was previously associate professor of political science at the Catholic University of Chile, where he specialized in international relations research with a focus on political violence and terrorism, population uprooting and human rights, and international cooperation. His work has appeared in Latin American Politics and Society, Terrorism and Political Violence, Beyond Law, Revista de Ciencia Política, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development Migración y Desarrollo.

With Juan Pablo Luna and Rodrigo Mardones, he was awarded a four-year grant by the Chilean National Research Council to study Stateness in Latin America. He also participates in a Nucleus Millennium Research Project for the study of Stateness and Democracy in Latin America.

Feldmann has worked as a consultant of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Development Research Centre and served as assistant in Inter-American Commission on Human Rights' Rapporteurship on Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and worked as a post-doctoral fellow researcher/instructor in the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago.

Patrisia Macías-Rojas : Assistant Professor

Patrisia Macías-Rojas

Assistant Professor

Patrisia Macías-Rojas joined UIC in January 2015 with joint appointments as assistant professor in the departments of sociology and Latin American and Latino studies. As a member of the sociology faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, her research interests have focused on issues involving race, migration and the law.

Macías-Rojas is currently writing her first book, "Making Crime and Criminals: Race, Rights, and Security on the US-Mexico Border," which follows migrants through the criminal immigration system on the Arizona–Sonora border in order to shed light on the rising rates of Latino incarceration and deportation.

She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Andrew Mellon Program in Latin American Sociology, Social Science Research Council and the Center for Latino Policy Research at the University of California-Berkeley.

Prior to earning her doctorate in sociology at the University of California-Berkeley, she was trained as a community organizer at the Center for Third World Organizing in Oakland, California. She is a native of Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Health Promotion for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Older Adults
Dr. June Ma : Professor and co-director of the Center for Research on Health and Aging

Dr. June Ma

Professor and co-director of the Center for Research on Health and Aging

Dr. Jun Ma is a professor of health policy and administration in the UIC School of Public Health, and co-director of the Center for Research on Health and Aging in the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy.

With expertise in preventive medicine, nutrition science and biometry, Ma works to advance lifestyle medicine and translate it into clinical and public health practice to improve population health and health equality.

She is principal investigator of a three-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study brain function to see how behavioral therapies affect patients’ ability to follow prescribed drug regimens and lifestyle recommendations. The study is the first phase of a two-phase, five-year project funded through the NIH Common Fund’s Science of Behavior Change roadmap initiative.

Before coming to UIC in August 2015, Ma was a senior scientist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute and a consulting associate professor in Stanford University's Department of Medicine.

Ma is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, where she serves on the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention and the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health.

She earned her doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and her medical degree from West China University of Medical Sciences in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, with an emphasis in preventive medicine.

Integrative Neuroscience
Chieh Chang : Associate Professor

Chieh Chang

Associate Professor

Chieh Chang joined UIC in fall 2014 as an associate professor in biological sciences research interests that examine how neurons connect with each other to form functional neural circuits, how neurons regenerate and repair themselves after injury, and how age influences the intrinsic axon growth ability.

For nearly two decades, Chang has studied signaling mechanisms that control gene expression, organogenesis, nerve pathfinding and nerve regeneration in C. elegans. His lab recently identified several timing mechanisms regulating orderly neuronal connectivity and regeneration change.

Chang was formerly at the University of Cincinnati, where he was associate professor and headed the Laboratory of Assembly and Regeneration for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation.

He received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.

Kamal Sharma : Associate Professor

Kamal Sharma

Associate Professor

The nervous system controls how and when an animal walks, runs, breathes, lies down to rest and falls asleep. Kamal Sharma, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, examines how a neural network controls these motor behaviors in mammals. His lab aims to understand how these neural networks develop in the embryo and neonates, map the location of its constituent neurons and to determine how changes in these neural networks correlate with diseases such as Parkinson's and sleep apnea.

Sharma, who joined UIC in July 2013 via the Cluster Initiative, was previously based in the University of Chicago's department of neurobiology.

Social Justice and Human Rights
The Racialized Body
Akemi Nishida : Assistant Professor

Akemi Nishida

Assistant Professor

Prior to joining UIC in August 2015 as an assistant professor in gender and women's studies (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and disability and human development (College of Applied Health Sciences), Nishida earned her Ph.D. in critical social psychology from the City University of New York.

Nishida's research and teaching interests combine disability studies, critical race theories, transnational feminist studies and immigration studies, among others. She uses frameworks of social justice studies and critical disability studies to examine the politicization of disabled people and community building in relation to intersecting oppression and privilege. Her work has investigated these issues using cases from the U.S. public health care system, higher education and the activist community.

Her research has been supported by funding from organizations such as the American Association of University Women and The Linda Powell Pruitt Dissertation Scholarship. Her work has been published in Multicultural Perspectives, Disability Studies Quarterly and Occupy! n+1.

Nishida's commitment to disability and other social justice efforts goes beyond the university as a member of The Disability Justice Collective.

Roderick Ferguson : Professor

Roderick Ferguson


Roderick Ferguson came to UIC in fall 2014 as a professor with appointments in the departments of African American studies and gender and women's studies. His research interests include African American literature and history, queer theory, sociology of race and classical and contemporary social theory. Ferguson was formerly in the University of Minnesota's department of American studies, where he was professor of race and critical theory and previously served as department chair.

In fall 2013, he was the Old Dominion Visiting Faculty for the Council of the Humanities and the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

In 2004, he was Scholar in Residence for the "Queer Locations" Seminar at the University of California's Humanities Research Institute in Irvine, California. From 2007 to 2010, he was associate editor of the American Studies Association's flagship journal American Quarterly.

Ferguson was awarded the Modern Language Association's 2000 Crompton-Noll Award for Best Essay in Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Studies in the Modern Languages/Literatures for his essay "The Parvenu Baldwin and the Other Side of Redemption: Modernity, Race, Sexuality, and the Cold War."

He is the co-editor of the University of Minnesota Press book series "Difference Incorporated" and co-editor of the anthology "Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (2011). In addition to numerous articles, he is the author of "The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference" (2012) and "Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique" (2004).

J. Lorenzo Perillo : Assistant Professor

J. Lorenzo Perillo

Assistant Professor

UIC's Asian American studies program welcomed J. Lorenzo Perillo as an assistant professor in August 2015.

Perillo was formerly the Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral fellow in the department of performing and media arts at Cornell University, where he was affiliated with the Asian American studies and American studies programs.

His areas of research include global Hip-hop studies, dance and performance studies, Asian American studies, cultural studies and critical race theory.

Perillo's current book project uses ethnography and choreographic analysis to explore the role of Hip-hop aesthetic practices in Filipino communities—Berkeley, California, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, and Manila, Philippines—in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Perillo earned his doctorate in culture and performance, with a concentration in Asian American studies, from the University of California-Los Angeles.