Shepard Hall with a slow fade to black

Executive Committee

Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés

Headshot of Vanessa K. Valdés- she is looking into the camera smiling

Phone: 212-650-6279


Office: NAC 6/109 or NAC 6/331D

Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés is the director of the Black Studies Program at The City College of New York-CUNY. A graduate of Yale and Vanderbilt Universities, and a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, her research interests focus on the cultural production of peoples of African descent throughout the Americas: the United States and Latin America, including the Caribbean and Brazil.

Professor Michael B. Gillespie

Michael B. Gillespie is looking at the camera, he is in the forest.


Phone: 212-650-8117


Office: Shepard 467

Michael B. Gillespie is an Associate Professor of Film in the Department of Media and Communication Arts and the Black Studies Program at The City College of New York. He received his MA and Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University. His teaching and research focuses on black visual and expressive culture, visual historiography, film theory, film adaptation, and genre theory.

Professor A. Samad-Matias


Phone: 212-650-8657


Office: NAC 7/112

B.A., Hunter College, M.A.; M.A., New York Univ.

Professor Boukary Sawadogo

Dr. Boukary Sawadogo head-shot is looking into the Camera.

Phone: 212-650-8117


Office: Shepard 476

His research and teaching interests are focused on African cinema, documentary and Black world experience.

Professor Linda Villarosa

PROFESSOR LINDA VILLAROSA Headshot looking into the camera. she is standing in front of a brick wall

Phone: 212-650-7272


Office: Shepard 463

She research and teaches journalism  


Professor Yaari Felber-Seligman

Yaari Felber-Seligman looking into the camera and is outside

Phone: 212-650-7469


Office: NAC 4/145 or NAC 2/127C

Professor Felber-Seligman (pronouns: they/them/theirs) specializes in the history of pre-1700s eastern Africa and comparative world history. They teach courses relating to African history of all eras and periodically also teach courses in early World History. Felber-Seligman is particularly interested in the use of non-documentary sources, comparative trade history, African encounters with others, Africa’s contributions to world history, gender studies, and LGBTQ+ history.

Professor Laurie Woodard

Laurie Woodard is looking into the camera and smiling

Phone: 212-650-3918


Office: NAC 6/145 or NAC 5/129B 

Laurie Woodard began her professional life as a dancer with the Dance Theater of Harlem. She completed her BA in History at Columbia University and her Ph. D in History and African American Studies at Yale University. Her research focuses upon the intersection between the cultural and political realms and employs interdisciplinary methodologies, drawing from performance studies, critical race theory, and women and gender studies. She was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Schomburg Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship and the Sylvia Arden Boone Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and American Quarterly. She is the recipient of a 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Award and is currently completing a manuscript on the life and work of performing artist and civil rights activist Fredi Washington.