About Us Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistants

Graduate Students connected with the Center for Race and Ethnicity.

Miya Carey is a PhD candidate in the Department of History. She received her BA with honors in History from Drew University in Madison, NJ. Miya's work bridges African American history, women's and gender history, and the history of childhood. Her dissertation, "'That charm of all girlhood': Black Girlhood and Girls in Washington, D.C., 1930-1965," analyzes the activities and missions of black girls' organizations as a way to uncover the experiences, expectations, and definitions of black girlhood from the 1930s-1960s. She argues that these organizations made a case for black girlhood by functioning simultaneously as sites of pleasure and sites of race work. Black girls were denied the privileges and protections of girlhood because of their race, but girls' organizations provided a space for them to enjoy the typical experiences of childhood. At the same time, these organizations cast black girls as representatives of the race who had the power to shape race progress. Miya is a recipient of the Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association.

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Deirdre Dougherty is a PhD candidate in Education Theory, Organization, and Policy at the Graduate School of Education. She received her BA in Latin American Studies from Smith College and her MA in Latin American Studies and Anthropology from Georgetown University. Deirdre’s research explores the historical origins of contemporary educational inequalities. Her dissertation, a historical case study, uses geography and theories of racial formation to think about how space and race were produced through desegregation policies in suburban Maryland between 1954 and 1980. Before coming to Rutgers, Deirdre taught 7th grade language arts and adult basic education in Maryland. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in El Salvador and Guatemala and her work has been published in Educational Studies, the Berkeley Review of Education, and the Mid-Atlantic Education Review. She currently serves on the graduate student committee for the History of Education society, and as Senior Graduate Student Representative for Division F (History and Historiography) of the American Educational Research Association.

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Kaisha Esty is a PhD candidate in African American and Women’s and Gender History at Rutgers University. She holds a B.A. with Distinction and Masters of Research (M.Res.) from the University of Nottingham, UK. Her dissertation, “A Crusade Against the Despoiler of Virtue: Black Women, Sexual Purity and the Gendered Politics of the Negro Problem,” traces enslaved and later free black women’s concerns with chastity. She argues that, unlike their middle-class, white counterparts whose claims to sexual purity were authorized by mainstream assumptions of true womanhood, nineteenth-century black women’s aspirations for chastity were inherently subversive and political. For enslaved women particularly, chastity allowed for sexual resistance to slavery as well as a pathway to sexual self-sovereignty. Kaisha has served as a graduate fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis and the Center for Race and Ethnicity’s ‘Universal Races Congress’ seminar. She has presented her work at the annual meetings of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). As a committee member of the Rutgers Scarlet and Black Project, she contributed the chapter, “Rutgers: A Land Grant College in Native American History” in Scarlet and Black: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History (2016).

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A NJ native, Taida is PhD candidate in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and her M.D. from Tufts Medical School in Boston, MA. She completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, and both a Fellowship in Family Planning and a Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Her dissertation project, “The Social Production of the Abortion Clinic” explores the intersections of race, space, and stratified reproduction in order to illuminate the relationships between human geography and reproductive subjectivity. She is an advocate for reproductive justice and is committed to furthering the cause for reproductive liberation through scholarship and activism. She has published her work in such journals as Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of General Internal Medicine and presented her research at the annual conferences of The North American Forum in Family Planning, The Abortion Care Network, and the American Association for Bioethics and Humanities.

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