NEOS Author Biographies

Shaima Amatullah, MSc, PhD Student
National Institute of Advanced Studies

Shaima Amatullah is a Ph.D research scholar with experience in qualitative research. In her doctoral thesis, she uses an interdisciplinary approach (psychology, sociology and childhood and youth studies) to explore questions of the ways in which social representations and dominant discourses around Islam/Muslims influence identities of students from the Muslim community.

David W. Barillas Chón, PhD
Western University

I am a Maya in the diaspora. My migration journeys and Indigenous remembrance shapes my research focus, educational, and political commitments. I investigate issues concerning indigeneity, Latinxs, migration, colonialisms, and race in the contexts of schooling and education

Jasmine L. Blanks Jones, MPP, PhD
Johns Hopkins University

Jasmine L. Blanks Jones is a dynamic theatre nonprofit leader, award-winning educator, and holds a dual PhD in Education and Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research on theatrical performance as a civic engagement praxis illuminates global race-based inequities in education and health, lifting the potential of knowledge co-creation through the arts and digital cultural production.

Chelsea Cutright, PhD
Centre College

Chelsea Cutright (she/her) is currently a visiting assistant professor of international studies at Centre College. She has a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Kentucky. Her teaching and research interests include gender, sports for development, youth studies, and contemporary Africa.

Seran Demiral, PhD
Boğaziçi University

Demiral studied children’s subjectivities through interaction with digital technologies for her PhD in Sociology, considering the changing childhood experiences within online environments. She teaches digital childhoods and children’s literature at Boğaziçi University, as well as creative writing and methods in sociology at Işık University as a part-time lecturer. She is also a writer from Turkey and P4C (Philosophy for Children) trainer. In addition to her books for children and young adults, she has written science-fiction novels and stories and a non-fiction book about Ursula K. Le Guin’s literary works published in Turkish.

Shalini Dixit, PhD
National Institute of Advanced Studies

 Shalini Dixit is a faculty member at NIAS. She acquired her MPhil-PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her broad area of research is social psychology of marginalised communities.

María Claudia Duque-Páramo, PhD
Writer, Researcher, and Consultant

María Claudia Duque-Páramo is a Colombian writer, researcher and consultant. She is a specialist in pediatric nursing with a master’s in community psychology and PhD in anthropology. She has extensive experience as a teacher in health and social science disciplines with university students, diverse communities, and officials. She has carried out, advised, and participated in universities in Colombia, the United States, and the Netherlands in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research on childhood issues, particularly childhood and migration and punishment. She has national and international publications on these issues and participates in events, academic networks, and radio and television programs.

el-Sayed el-Aswad, PhD

Professor el-Sayed el-Aswad received his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has taught at Wayne State University (USA), Tanta University (Egypt), Bahrain University and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). He achieved the CHSS-UAEU Award for excellence in scientific research publication for the 2013-2014 academic year. He served as Chairperson of the Sociology Departments at both the UAEU and Tanta University as well as the Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Horizons in Humanities and Social Sciences: An International Refereed Journal (UAEU). He has published widely in both Arabic and English.

Débora Gerbaudo Suarez, PhD Candidate
National University of San Martin, Interdisciplinary School of Higher Social Studies (IDAES-UNSAM) National Council for Scientific and Technical Research

Débora Gerbaudo Suarez explores the links between age, gender and space to visualize urban and environmental inequalities among young migrants in the Participatory Action Research project “Migrantas en Reconquista”.

Stacie Hatfield, PhD
Andrews University

Stacie Hatfield is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Andrews University. Her research examines intersections of race, gender, spirituality, and everyday activism in the United States.

Velicia Hawkins-Moore, PhD Candidate
Prairie View A&M University

Velicia Hawkins-Moore is a first-generation college graduate. She attended the University of Maryland International Branch campus in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. Velicia has taught and worked in Abu Dhabi, Ghana, West Africa, Xi’an, China and Houston, Texas.  She has presented her research at Columbia University, The University of Las Vegas at Nevada. She has a published chapter “Ubuntu Epistemology, Sankofa Scale, Africana Woman’s, and African American Male Theory” in the book African American Leadership and Mentoring Through Purpose, Preparation, and Preceptors (2021).

Manya Kagan, PhD Candidate
Ben Gurion University in the Negev

Manya Kagan is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Education and Tamar Golan Centre for African Studies at Ben Gurion University in the Negev. Kagan is interested in the intersection of migration and education, particularly in East Africa and participatory and visual qualitative methods.

Ambika Kapoor, Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Sheffield

Ambika is currently a post doc researcher at the University of Sheffield, UK on a project focusing on children’s voices in reimagining treescapes. She recently completed her PhD from the University of Leeds. Her research explores children’s experiences with agency in an Indigenous community in Chhattisgarh, India. Her areas of interest include ethnography, childhood geographies and issues of social justice.

Rashmi Kumari, PhD Candidate
Rutgers University-Camden

Rashmi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers – Camden. Her dissertation research seeks to explore the ways in which the figure of the indigenous child in India emerges in the discursive convergence of violence and development. Focusing on the political and social constructions of indigenous childhoods and youth living amidst political violence in Central India, Rashmi is interested in locating the ways in which indigenous children make meaning of violence and developmental interventions. Rashmi conducted her multimodal ethnographic fieldwork in the South Bastar region of Central India. Some of her work can be found at

Adriana Lacombe Coiro, LL.M. Candidate
Harvard Law School

Adriana Lacombe Coiro is an LL.M. Candidate at Harvard Law School, where she contributed as a student attorney to the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. Holds a bachelor of laws from FGV Direito Rio, in Brazil. Previously worked as a volunteer at Fòs Feminista, as a law clerk at Rio de Janeiro’s State Court, and as a researcher at FGV Direito Rio.

Mariana Lima Becker, MA, PhD Candidate
Boston College

Mariana Lima Becker is a doctoral candidate at Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development. She has taught English as a foreign language in Brazil and is a licensed English as a Second Language teacher in Massachusetts. Her research interests involve bilingual education and immigrant children’s educational lives and literacy practices.

Parul Malik, PhD
Independent Scholar

Parul Malik has received her Ph.D. from Delhi University’s Department of Education. Her research was about Critical Sexuality Education with children in and out of school contexts, using peer education and participatory methods.

Gabrielle Oliveira, PhD
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Gabrielle Oliveira is associate professor of Education and Brazil Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research centers on immigrant families, how they care for their children, and their trajectories in the education systems in the United States and in Brazil. As an anthropologist of education, Gabrielle has done extensive ethnographic research with Latin American communities in the United States.

Joshi Ratala Dinesh Prasad, MA, PhD Candidate
University of Tokyo

Born in Nepal, Joshi Dinesh came to Japan for further studies. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and graduate degree from United Nations University. He is currently pursuing his PhD in ‘Human Security Program’ at the University of Tokyo while undertaking a full-time job in an educational industry based in Tokyo. His research explores the educational rights of migrant children in Japan.

Arjun Shah
Dokkyo University

Arjun is an undergraduate student at Dokkyo University. He was born and brought up in India by the age of 15 and moved to Japan in 2015. He has worked as an intern with NPO kuriya and NPO Katariba.

Krystal Strong, PhD