The 2018-'20 Cohort:

About the Cohort


Tayla Ash

Tayla Ash is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Center for Health Equity Research at School of Public Health. She is a social epidemiologist by training and her research centers on childhood obesity prevention. Specifically, Tayla’s work has largely focused on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities for childhood obesity and related risk factors. She examines how social, cultural, and environmental factors directly influence children’s energy balance behaviors. She also examines how these same factors indirectly impact children’s diet and activity by way of parenting practices. Tayla’s dissertation focused on sleep as a risk factor for childhood obesity and demonstrated that differences in sleep duration across race/ethnicity emerge within the first six months of life and cannot be fully explained by socioeconomic status. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, her work has expanded the literature on contextual influences of infant sleep. Tayla received her S.D. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she double majored in Social & Behavioral Sciences and Public Health Nutrition. Prior to that, she received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles and an M.P.H. from the Yale School of Public Health. At Brown, Tayla’s work will be moving beyond epidemiology and expanding into intervention development, implementation, and evaluation.​

Charrise Barron

Charrise Barron is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. While her research, writing, and presentations have explored a range of topics in African American religion, music, and history, her current book project centers on contemporary gospel music. This work illuminates the marked shifts away from previous eras of gospel performance and culture which have defined the last twenty-five years of the genre.


Dr. Barron received her PhD in African and African American Studies, with a secondary field of study in ethnomusicology, from Harvard University. She also holds a Master of Divinity summa cum laude from Yale Divinity School. Dr. Barron is a Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Doctoral Fellowship alumna, and a member of the Harvard University Society of Horizons Scholars.


C. Malik Boykin

C. Malik Boykin is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. His research focuses on intergroup relations, mentorship, prejudice, and racial identity. He is working to publish a manuscript based on his dissertation which demonstrates several psychological processes associated with endorsing negative stereotypes about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Malik received his Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from UC Berkeley, his M.A. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) – after first attending Howard University. He has previously secured funding from the Ford Fellowship Foundation, the Greater Good Science Center, and the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology to conduct his research. 


Nitana Hicks Greendeer

Nitana Hicks Greendeer ’03, a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, returns to Brown as a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. Having completed her Ph.D. at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College in 2015, Nitana most recently worked for her tribe as the Education Department Director.


Nitana has worked for the past 15 years with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project as a teacher and researcher and continues to work currently as a Fluency Coach for teachers of the program’s Wôpanâak Language immersion school, Mukayuhsak Weekuw.


Nitana’s research interests include culture-based education and culturally appropriate curricular models, language education and Indian Education.


Lindsey Jones

Lindsey Elizabeth Jones is a historian of the twentieth century United States whose research ties together the history of African American education, black women’s history, and the history of black girlhood. She is currently developing a book manuscript examining the interplay of social control, protection, and resistance informing “delinquent” black girls’ experiences within the nascent juvenile justice system of Jim Crow Virginia, with specific focus upon the case of the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls (a reformatory founded by the Virginia State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1915). Drawing upon an array of under-examined archival source material, this project incorporates juvenile reformatories into the history of black women’s post-Emancipation educational institution-building, contributes greater age-specificity to historical scholarship on black female incarceration in the South, and lends historical context to contemporary discourse on the criminalization of black girls. Lindsey received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, and her B.A. in Linguistics from Washington University in St. Louis.


Gretel Rodríguez

Gretel Rodríguez is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in History of Art and Architecture. Her research focuses on the art and archaeology of ancient Rome with an emphasis on the design and ancient reception of monumental architecture. Dr. Rodríguez received her MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. Her archaeological experience includes working for the Oplontis Project, the excavation of a Roman residential complex in the Bay of Naples. Her current project explores individual viewing responses to honorific architecture throughout the Roman empire, illuminating aspects of ancient diversity, migrations, conquest, and acculturation. She is also editor of Roman archaeology for the Database of Religious History (DRH), a global digital humanities initiative hosted at the University of British Columbia.