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Faculty and Staff

Stephanie Allen

Portrait of Stephanie Allen

Instructor | History
Office: NSB 301E
Phone: (256) 372-8272
Email: stephanie.allen@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Alabama A&M University
    Masters of Education
  • University of Alabama Huntsville
    M.A. History
  • Alabama A&M University
    B.S.  Social Sciences
Research Interests

Effective Andragogical Methodologies, Strategies for Effective Online Teaching, Inclusive History Education

Areas of Teaching

World History, African American History, Geography

Biography

Stephanie N. Allen, an alumna of Alabama A&M University and recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Grant, has taught in the Department of Social Sciences since 2005. Stephanie remains committed to preparing HBCU students to "show up and show out" in the community and in the workforce.  She finds continual inspiration in the words of Marcus Garvey (as paraphrased by Bob Marley), "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."  

She thrives on the energy of the classroom and enjoys exploring history with her students. Stephanie brings her effervescent personality to each lecture and entertains her students while teaching them the historical content and study skills necessary to be successful in their major courses. She sprinkles happiness like glitter and her students leave class inspired to make a difference in the lives of others. 

 

Matthew Bowser

Picture of Matthew Bowser

Assistant Professor | History
Office: Drake Hall 006
Phone: (256) 372-7106
Email: matthew.bowser@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Northeastern University
    Ph.D. World History
  • Northeastern University
    M.A. World History
  • University of Pittsburgh
    B.Phil. History and Classics
Research Interests

Modern Imperialism, Colonialism, and Decolonization in Southeast Asia; Race and Politics; 20th Century Asia and the World; Britain and the British Empire

Biography

Dr. Bowser's research focuses on decolonization in Southeast Asia, examining the intersections of race, nationalism, capitalism, and imperialism in the process of achieving independence from colonial rule. He received his PhD in Modern World History from Northeastern University in May 2020. In summer 2022, he completed his first book, Containing Decolonization: Fascism and the Politics of Race in Late Colonial Burma, which is currently under review at Cornell University Press. He has also published several articles on his research, including “Partners in Empire? Co-Colonialism and the Rise of Anti-Indian Nationalism in Burma” in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History and “‘Buddhism Has Been Insulted, Take Immediate Steps:’ Burmese Fascism and the Origins of Burmese Islamophobia” in the Journal of Modern Asian Studies.

 

Kathryn Bruton

Assistant Professor | History
Office: Drake Hall 009
Email: kathryn.bruton@aamu.edu
 
 

Donna Burnell

Portrait of Donna Burnell

Instructor | Sociology
Office: NSB 302B
Phone: (256) 372-4414
Email: donna.burnell@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of Alabama Huntsville
    M.A. Public Affairs
  • University of Florida
    B.A. Psychology
Research Interests

Social Justice, Social Change, Social Theory, Population

Biography

I grew up in the Northeast part of the country. My parents were from New Jersey. I spent many years in Gainesville, Florida and then Dunedin, Florida. I have worked in medicine, government, teaching, a botanical garden, and as co-owner of a print shop. My personal interests are politics, anything post-apocalyptic, and futurism.

 

Tim Butzer

Portrait of Tim Butzer

Assistant Professor | Philosophy
Office: NSB 301G
Phone: (256) 372-4816
Email: timothy.butzer@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
    Ph.D. Philosophy
  • Miami University
    M.A. Philosophy
  • University of Colorado
    B.A. Double major in Philosophy and Literature
Research Interests

Epistemology, Perception, Philosophy of Mind

Biography

I am a philosopher who works primarily in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.  I am most interested in how our perceptual experiences succeed in justifying our beliefs about the world. I obtained my Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2015. I then spent six years teaching philosophy at the University of Alabama before joining Alabama A&M in 2021.  My work has appeared in the following peer-reviewed journals: Philosophical Studies, Erkenntnis, and Dialectica.

 

Dana Caldemeyer

Picture of Prof. Caldemeyer

Assistant Professor | History
Office: NSB 302-C
Phone: (256) 372-4812
Email: dana.caldemeyer@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of Kentucky
    Ph.D. History
  • West Virginia University
    M.A. History
  • University of Evansville
    B.A. History
Research Interests

Labor and working-class studies, capitalism, rural industrialization, and agriculture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Biography

Dr. Dana Caldemeyer is an assistant professor of history at Alabama A&M University. Her research interests include labor and working-class history and capitalism, especially in rural industrializing areas. Her most recent book, Union Renegades: Miners, Capitalism, and Organizing in the Gilded Age (University of Illinois Press, 2021), explores the problems rural workers faced and the reasons that sometimes prevented them from joining or fully committing to unions in the late nineteenth century.

 

Yvonne Edwards

Portrait of Yvonne Edwards

Senior Secretary | Social Sciences
Office: NSB 301H
Phone: (256) 372-5330
Email: yvonne.edwards@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Athens State University
    B.S. Acquisitions and Contract Management
  • Calhoun Community Colege
    A.S. Business Administration
Biography

I worked for North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence (NACEE) for 18 years, Redstone Arsenal for 4.5 years and Alabama A&M University for the last 8 years.

 

Sean Halverson

Portrait of Sean Halverson

Assistant Professor | History
Office: Drake Hall 008
Phone: (256) 372-4285
Email: sean.halverson@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Mississippi State University
    Ph.D. American History
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    M.A. History
  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
    B.A. History
Research Interests

Early American history, the Atlantic World, military history, political history, environmental history/frontier

Biography

Dr. Halverson is an assistant professor of history at Alabama A & M University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in History, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in History, and a doctorate in U.S. History from Mississippi State University. He specializes in Early American History in the Atlantic World and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Some of his most recent articles have appeared in the journals Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Huntsville Historical Review, and Intelligence and National Security. Halverson has presented scholarly papers at a number of regional and national conferences. He has a strong passion for teaching and teaches a wide range of classes at Alabama A & M University, including undergraduate and graduate courses. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing, biking, ice skating, listening to music, reading, and spending time with his friends and family.   

 

Sheri Jenkins Keenan

Portrait of Sheri Jenkins Keenan

Associate Professor | Criminal Justice
Office:
NSB 214B
Email: sheri.jenkinskee@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of Southern Mississippi
    Ph.D. Criminal Justice
  • Jackson State University
    M.S. Criminal Justice
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
    B.S. Criminal Justice
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
    B.A. Sociology
Research Interests

Policing special populations with an emphasis on juveniles: delinquency, mental illness, school safety, school-to-prison pipeline, gangs/threat groups, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and juvenile justice program evaluation.

Biography

Sheri Jenkins Keenan is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Social Sciences at Alabama A & M University. She holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Dr. Keenan has 14 years of experience in law enforcement. Her research interests focus on policing special populations with an emphasis on juveniles: delinquency, mental illness, school safety, school-to-prison pipeline, gangs/threat groups, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and juvenile justice program evaluation. Dr. Keenan’s publications deal with such areas as K12 tracking, school violence, zero tolerance policies, school resources officers (SROs), nature and extent of mental health moving through the juvenile justice system, juvenile drug courts, transfer/waiver, bullying/cyber-bullying, gang violence, and rational choice theory. Dr. Keenan has an accomplished grant record, is a member of several state, regional, and national professional organizations, serves on numerous local advisory committees and boards, and is a state certified ACEs trainer. Dr. Keenan is a LIFETIME member of SCJA.

 

Emerald Jones

Portrait of Emerald Jones

Assistant Professor | Criminal Justice
Office: NSB 301A
Phone: (256) 372-4814
Email: emerald.jones@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Howard University
    Ph.D. Sociology and Criminology; minor in Social work
  • Fayetteville State University
    M.A. Sociology; minor Social Work
  • Fayetteville State University
    B.A. Psychology
Research Interests

Social Inequality, The Criminal Justice System, Mass Incarceration, Juvenile Delinquency, Deviant Behavior

Biography

Dr. Emerald Jones, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, is a Howard University graduate focusing on the areas of criminology and social inequality. She received her master's degree in sociology from Fayetteville State University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Fayetteville State University. Her research - which focuses on mass incarceration, social inequality, racial discrimination, and occupational inequality - explores how race and gender play a major role in the judicial system. Her dissertation was entitled "Investigating the Differences in The Use of Stop, Question, & Frisk for Black and White Women." Dr. Jones looked at data from New York City and the likelihood of Black women being stopped in relation to White women. The research findings indicated that young Black and older women were stopped, questioned, and frisked more than White women. She was also inducted into Yale's Bouchet Honor Society for outstanding scholarly achievement. At Alabama A & M, she serves as the criminal justice program coordinator, a recent graduate from the FBI's Citizens Academy. Lastly, she is a current fellow for Texas Southern University's Center for Justice Research. 

 

Svetlana Jovanov

Adjunct | History
Email: svetlana.jovanov@aamu.edu
 
 

Doris Krakrafaa-Bestman

Picture of Prof. Krakrafaa-Bestman
Assistant Professor | Criminal Justice
Office: NSB 301-F
Phone: (256) 372-7107
Email: doris.krakrafaab@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Texas Southern University
    Ph.D. Administration of Justice
  • University of Phoenix
    M.A.
Research Interests

Indigenous Research Methods, Counter Terrorism and Ethical Criminal Justice Management Practices.

Biography

Doris Krakrafaa-Bestman is an assistant professor of criminal Justice. I am fascinated about how time progression, culture and different spaces affects criminological explanations. Consequently, I am passionate about the integration of cultural appropriate methods in criminal justice management and practice. I obtained my Ph.D. in Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University, Houston, TX in 2018. I taught several causes in the department of criminal justice at Texas southern University for five years before joining Alabama A&M in 2022. 

 

Mary Laska

Portrait of Mary Laska

Assistant Professor | Sociology
Office: NSB 311A
Phone: (256) 372-5485
Email: mary.laska@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
    Ph.D. Medical Sociology
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
    M.A. Sociology
  • University of Alabama, Huntsville
    B.A. Sociology
Research Interests

Higher Education Pedagogy, Disability, Social Movements

Biography

Dr. Laska has broad research interests ranging from mental illness to the use of technology in the classroom and plagiarism. She began her career furthering research on mental health and focusing on the health of families dealing with the crisis of child sexual abuse at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. She also was involved in a project providing intervention services to schools to reduce the impact of poverty on school achievement. After teaching classes online, Dr. Laska became interested in the pedagogy of online teaching and began to see her classroom as an experiment in creating the best classroom environment for student success, including technology, curriculum choice and teacher-student interaction. 

Dr. Laska lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband and two children. She also has two children who are college students: a junior majoring in exercise science at Middle Tennessee State University, and grad student studying data science at South Dakota State University. When not being a sociologist, Mary loves to find time to sew and be creative. 

 

Earnest Limbo

Portrait of Ernest Limbo

Adjunct | History
Office: Drake Hall 009
Email: ernest.limbo@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of Mississippi
    Ph.D.
  • University of Chicago
    Master of Divinity
  • DePauw Iniversity
    B.A. Double major in religion and history
Research Interests

American History, History of Religion in America, Civil Rights Movement, African American history, Slavery in the New World

 

Gregg Nozum

Portrait of Gregg Nozum

Adjunct | Criminal Justice
Email: gregg.nozum@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Duquesne University School of Law
    J.D. Law
  • West Virginia University
    M.P.A. Public Administration
  • West Virginia University
    B.A. Political Science
Research Interests

Criminal Law, Evidence, Criminology, Criminal Justice Administration and Organizations, Drug Laws and Enforcement, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Biography

Served as an officer in the US Navy JAG Corps from 1984-1988 with experience defending and prosecuting service members under the UCMJ; Served as a Special Agent with the US Drug Enforcement Administration from 1988-2012 with extensive enforcement experience domestically and overseas to include three deployments to Afghanistan 2005-2007, Retired in 2012; Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University, LEJA Program, 2012-2016; Moved to Huntsville area in 2016.

 

Michael Orok

Portrait of Michael Orok
Interim Chair | Professor | Political Science
Office: NSB 301D
Phone: (256) 372-5482
Email: michael.orok@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Atlanta University ( now Clark Atlanta)
    Ph.D. Political Science
  • Central Michigan University
    M.A. Management and Supervision (Public Administration)
  • Central State University
    B.A. Political Science
Research Interests

Public Policy and Analysis, Global Politics, Entrepreneurship, Community and Economic Development, Strategic Planning & Organizational Development

Teaching Areas

Graduate Courses in Public Administration, International Relations, Comparative Government, U.S. Foreign Policy, African/ African American & Diaspora Politics, American Government, Urban Politics

Biography

Michael E. Orok, serves as the Interim Chair of the Department of Social Sciences. Orok previously served as a tenured professor of Political Science and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He also previously served as the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Tennessee State University. Additionally, he served for six years as the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies at Alabama A &M University (AAMU). He is a seasoned public administration practitioner, academician and higher education administrator with more than 28 years of experience in the field. Dr. Orok served for several years as a tenured professor and Chairperson of the Department of History and Political Science at Albany State University in Albany, GA., and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs on Accreditation matters. Moreover, he has served as an accreditation liaison for over ten years and periodically served as an accreditation off-site visit reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS/ COC). He is a former Vice President of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (CHBGS), and a 2005 graduate of the Millennium Leadership Institute of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He is also a graduate of the Center for Strategic Leadership.

Dr. Orok is a seasoned scholar and academician who has been involved in numerous public service and professional activities and developed academic curriculum in Public Administration and served as MPA program accreditation site visitor. He served for three years on the Commission for Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), which is the accrediting agency for all MPA programs in the United States. He is the founding President of the Southwest Georgia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, admitted into the Hall of Champions of the American Society for Public Administration in 2000 and is listed as a life member of the Cambridge “Who is Who” registry of Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs. He is a past President of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA). He served briefly as the treasurer of the Tennessee Council of Graduate Schools and on the executive committee of the conference of Southern graduate Schools. He also holds membership in the American Society for Public Administration and the American Political Science Association. He has been the co-founder and co-principal investigator for the Flint River Water Resources Management and Policy Center in Southwest Georgia. Michael Orok, holds a Master’s degree in Management and Supervision with Public Administration concentration and a Ph.D. in Political Science with Public Administration as a cognate area.

 

Nicholas Smith

Picture of Nicholas Smith
Assistant Professor | Philosophy
Office: NSB 213A
Phone: (256) 372-5064
Email: nicholas.smith1@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • University of California, Irvine
    Ph.D. Philosophy
  • Ohio University
    M.A. Philosophy
  • Brandeis University
    B.A. Philosophy and Religious Studies
Biography

Dr. Smith got his Ph.D. in philosophy from University of California, Irvine in 2020 and taught there for two years before coming to AAMU. His current research is focused on the rationality of religious belief, the nature of inquiry, and the ethics of artificial intelligence. When he's not doing philosophy, he enjoys Brazillian jiu jitsu and hunting down the best local beer and BBQ. 

 

Kenyatta Walker

Portrait for Kenyatta Walker
Adjunct | History
Email: kenyatta.walker@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Alabama State University
    M.A. History
  • Alabama State University
    B.A. History
  • Georgia Southwester State University
    B.A. Political Science with a minor in Sociology
Research Interests

African American History, African Diaspora, Civil Rights, Rennaissance and Reformation

Biography
Walker comes to Huntsville after spending the past two years at Prairie View A&M, where she served as the primary athletics academic advisor for the Panthers' Football, Men's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball and men's track and field programs. During her tenure at Prairie View, Walker was instrumental in coordinating the Panthers' first Athletic Summer Bridge Program.

Before joining the Prairie View A&M athletics staff, Walker spent two years at West Virginia University, serving as the academic coordinator for the Mountaineers' football, wrestling and tennis programs.  Prior to her tenure at West Virginia, Walker began her career as an athletic academic advisor and tutor coordinator at Alabama State, working primarily with the Hornets' football, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's golf, women's golf and softball programs.

While earning a master's degree, Walker worked as a graduate assistant at Alabama State, where her responsibilities focused on athletic academic support, assisting with advising and counseling student-athletes, monitoring student-athlete progress and assisting with the Life Skills program. She was later promoted to the position of athletic academic advisor where she worked with the sports of football and baseball.  

Walker also served as a part-time instructor, teaching Life Skills at Alabama State, and she was an Upward Bound instructor in Physical Education at Georgia Southwestern State.  She is an active member of the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development (N4A), Women's Leaders in College Sports (WLC) and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). 
 
 

Michael Walker

Adjunct | Criminal Justice
Office: NSB 302A
Phone: (256) 372-5349
Email: michael.walker@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Birmingham School of Law
    J.D.
  • Auburn University at Montgomery
    M.A. Justice and Public Safety
  • Alabama A&M University
    B.A. Political Science
Teaching Areas

Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Rules of Evidence in Criminal Cases, Police Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Criminology

Biography

Michael is a retired Certified Law Enforcement Executive with over thirty years law enforcement experience. He served with the Huntsville Police Department as a Recruiter, Polygraph Examiner, Community Relations Officer and Shift Supervisor. Michael is a former Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police at Alabama A&M University and former Chief of Police for The Town of Triana Police Department. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and has been practicing law since 2002; he concentrates his law practice in the areas of; Criminal, Family and Probate Law. Michael joined the faculty of Alabama A&M University in August 2015.

 

John White

Portrait of John White

Adjunct | Criminal Justice
Phone: (931) 363-5081
Email: johnny.white@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Tennessee State University
    Ph. D. Public Administration
  • Middle Tennessee University/Tennessee State University
    Masters of Criminal Justice
  • University of North Alabama
    B.S. in Law Enforcement
Teaching Areas

Public Administration and Criminal Justice

Biography

Reserve Police Officer, Vallejo, Ca. 1969 – 1972

Police Officer, Pulaski Police Dept., Pulaski, TN.  Patrolman, detective, and Assistant Chief, 1972-2000

Adjunct Professor, Cumberland University, 1985 – 1997, taught Criminal Justice and Masters level Public Administration

Associate Professor, Program Coordinator for Criminal Justice and Division Chair for Social Sciences Martin Methodist College, 1997 – 2016

Co-founder of Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Officer Association, 1981 – 1998 (past Sectary Treasurer and President (1983 – 1984)

Elected Representative (Dist. 7) Giles County Commission, Tennessee, 1998 - 2002 (Chairman of the Commission 1999 - 2002)

Commissioner for Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission of Tennessee (4 year appointment).

 

Kenneth Whitman

Portrait of Kenneth Whitman

Adjunct | Criminal Justice
Drake Hall 006
Phone: (256) 372-4143
Email: kenneth.whitman@aamu.edu
 
Degrees Earned
  • Walden University
    Ph.D. Public Policy and Administration
  • Cal State University, Sacremento
    M.S. Criminal Justice
  • Cal State University, Hayward
    M.P.A.
  • Cal State University, Hayward
    B.A., Political Science
  • Los Medanos College
    A.S. Biological Science
  • Laney College
    A.A. Social Science
Research Interests

Penal systems, Recidivism, Rehabilitation programs, Public Policy and Law, Corrections

Biography

Dr. Whitman began his military career in 1974, serving in the United States Navy. He served as an Aviation Electronics Technician, Air Crewman, and Aviation Maintenance Officer. He served 22 years in the Naval Reserve until transferring to the Air Force where he served as an Intelligence Officer and Squadron Commander. Dr. Whitman joined the Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California, in 1982. During his tenure with the Oakland Police Department, he served as a Field Training Officer (F.T.O), Detective Sergeant, In-Service-Training Sergeant, Communications Sergeant, Hazardous Material Investigator, Arson Investigator, Watch Commander, Robbery and Felony Assault Commander and Jail Commander. He received specialized training in Hazardous Material, Electronic Surveillance from the Department of Justice, Arson Investigation, and FBI Post Blast Investigation.