Six Named NY6 Mellon Fellows

Six faculty members in the humanities and related fields, representing each of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium institutions, have been named NY6 Mellon Academic Leadership Fellows, effective January 1, 2023. The six Fellows are Danny Barreto, Colgate University; Kira Jumet, Hamilton College; Katherine Walker, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Jessica Sierk, St. Lawrence University; Oscar Péréz-Hernandez, Skidmore College; and Jennifer Mitchell, Union College.

This two-year program, funded with a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will allow these faculty members to explore academic leadership through an immersive experience on their home campus, in which they will gain deeper knowledge and understanding of higher education administration, while working on a discrete project or portfolio that will advance important goals of their institution.

The New York Six cohort of Fellows will have opportunities to engage across the six member schools, and will have access to mentors who will be a resource for their professional and leadership development. In addition, the Fellows will participate in summer institutes with Fellows from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and the Associated Colleges of the South, and attend other higher education conferences.

“As the complexities of higher education continue to grow, it is critical that we intentionally offer opportunities for faculty members to explore academic leadership roles so that they are well prepared to assume those positions in the future,” said Amy Cronin, executive director of the New York Six. “I look forward to working with these accomplished scholars and teachers as they build on their knowledge and skills for their own professional advancement and for the benefit of their institutions.”

About the NY6 Mellon Academic Leadership Fellows:

Danny Barreto, Colgate University: Danny Barreto is associate professor of LGBTQ Studies and director of the LBGTQ Studies Program. His most recent work in the area of Galician studies engages with sexuality, gender, language, and national identity in literary and cinematic production from the late 19th through 21st centuries. Dr. Barreto has taught courses on Spanish and Latin American literature, women’s studies, translation, and language, and his current research focuses on queer cultural production and history in Galicia. Dr. Barreto received his Ph.D. in Hispanic languages and literature and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from SUNY Stony Brook in 2010.

Kira Jumet, Hamilton College: Kira Jumet is associate professor of government and director of Middle East/Islamicate Worlds Studies, and will lead Hamilton’s Washington, DC Program in spring 2023. Her research focuses on protest mobilization leading up to and during the 2011 and 2013 Egyptian uprisings, including the relationship between emotions and protest participation. Dr. Jumet previously was the director of development at the American Iranian Council and has taught at the College of Staten Island, Rutgers University, and Marymount Manhattan College. She received her bachelor’s in international relations and Middle East studies from Brown University, her master’s in Middle East studies from the American University in Cairo, and her doctorate in political science from Rutgers University.

Katherine Walker, Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Katherine Walker is associate professor of music and chair of the Music Department. Her research interests include eighteenth-century musical
aesthetics and intersections of race and popular music in the U.S. since 1920. Dr. Walker holds dual bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in musicology. She also earned a performance certificate in double bass from the François Rabbath Institute at the Nadia Boulanger Conservatoire de Paris, France, and spent 2003 studying music of the African diaspora as a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in Cape Town, South Africa.

Jessica Sierk, St. Lawrence University: Jessica Sierk is associate professor of education. In addition to teaching courses in Education, she teaches in the Gender & Sexuality Studies, Public Health, and Digital Media and Film programs. Dr. Sierk earned her Ph.D. in educational studies with an emphasis in social analysis, educational policy and reform from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her master’s in secondary education with an English as a Second Language specialization from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and her bachelor’s in secondary education with a specialization in mathematics. She is a former high school mathematics teacher who has taught in both Nebraska and Texas.

Oscar Péréz-Hernandez, Skidmore College: Oscar Péréz-Hernandez is associate professor of Spanish and director of Latin American and Latinx Studies. His teaching and research interests are representations of science and technology in Hispanic literature and film; history and rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine; ecocriticism; scientific, technical, and environmental communication; and Spanish for specific purposes. Dr. Péréz-Hernandez holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also received both an M.S. and an M.A.; his bachelor’s degree is from the Universidad de las Américas Puebla.

Jennifer Mitchell, Union College: Jennifer Mitchell is associate professor of English. Her research and teaching interests include modernist and contemporary British and Anglophone literature; gender, sexuality, and queer studies; critical theory; children’s and adolescent literature; and popular culture. She writes about gender, sexuality and modern and contemporary literature. Dr. Mitchell received a bachelor of arts degree from Union, master of arts from Washington University, and Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center.