2016 College Educators Research Fellows

2016 College Educators Research Fellows

Kelly McEnany, Sociology, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Project Title: “The Changing Yucatec Maya Family”

Kelly McEnany has been a Sociology instructor at A-B Tech Community College for 16 years. She focuses on a global perspective in her courses and promotes a global understanding on campus. She has networked with Asheville Sister Cities to create a low-cost internship program in Valladolid, Mexico, with a personalized project-based approach for meaningful learning. She has also brought students to study culture and history in Scotland, and to explore economics and business in Ireland. She also utilizes technologies such as wikis for students to connect and interact with students in Japan. She presents at conferences about globalization and immigration, utilizing technology to connect students to the world, and networking with colleagues to reach students from all backgrounds and abilities. She teaches Introduction to Sociology, and loves to open up the discipline of Sociology to students from every major, as a way to better understand our place in the world.

Kelly has lived in Asheville since 1996, and enjoys the local performing arts, long walks, and good friends.


Uchenna P. Vasser, PhD, Spanish, Winston-Salem State University

Project Title: “Black Female Representation and Ecological (Dis)Eases in Afro-Romances of Latin America and the Caribbean”

Uchenna P. Vasser is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Winston-Salem State University. Her areas of research and scholarship include Afro-Colombian and Afro-Cuban literatures focusing on such themes as transculturation, cultural hybridity, women and the environment, and identity construction. Among her recent publications are “Visions from the Margins: Miguel Barnet’s Biografía de un cimarrón and Ivor Miller’s Voice of the Leopard” (2015), “Africanidad and the Representation of the Female Character in Three Novels by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2014), and “The Double Bind: Women and the Environment in Chambacú, Black Slum and A Saint is Born in Chimá by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2013).

Dr. Vasser earned the Doctorate degree in Romance Languages with a concentration in Portuguese from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from the Ohio State University, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Spanish from Schiller International University. She is the recipient of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governor’s Faculty Doctoral Study Assignment Program Award, 1998 to 1999, the 2016 UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ College Educators Research Fellowship award, the 2016 China Studies Institute (CSI) Zhi-Xing China Academic Impact Fellowship Program award, and numerous other distinguished awards.

Dr. Vasser is the current Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

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