The Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows program allows Brown to identify promising recent Ph.D. graduates from underrepresented groups, who may then be recruited into tenure-track faculty positions. 

Current Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows


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Jonathan Collins

Jonathan Collins is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University as well as a Visiting Professor of Political Science and Education.  His research interests center on race, democratic governance, and public policy - particularly education policy.  He is in the process of developing a book a manuscript from this dissertation, which was entitled, Talking in the Halls: Deliberative Democracy, Local Institutions, and School Board Governance. His previous research has appeared in the academic journals Local Government Studies and the Harvard Journal of African American Policy. His public commentary has appeared in the Washington Post and Mic. Collins received his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, his M.A. in African-American Studies, and his B.A. in English from Morehouse College.


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Richard Mariita

Richard Mariita was born in Bogesaka, Kisii South, Kenya. He attended Bogesaka  and Rianchaga elementary schools prior to joining Nyamagwa Boys’ High School. After receiving his B.S. in biological sciences he received the Vice-chancellor's scholarship for his MS. (Microbiology) from Kenyatta University, Kenya. He had lots of fun working in the lab of his longtime friend and mentor, Prof. Paul Okemo. Richard attended Auburn University and earned his Ph.D in 2016. For his Ph.D in the Moss lab, his role was to use bioinformatic tools to map the dispersion of antibiotic resistance determinants in the environment. While at Auburn, he was a Cell and Molecular Biosciences  (CMB) as well as an NSF/EPSCoR fellow. He attended 10 regional and national conferences, the prestigious Microbial Diversity course at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA and STAMPS (also in Woods Hole). He received 16 awards through his 4 year (2012-2016) PhD program at Auburn University, among them Dean’s Research best student, PhD category. He joined Brown University  and is currently in the Sello lab at the Chemistry Department as Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow. His interests include Molecular Biology and Post-translational regulation, Genomics, Microbial Ecology and Host-Microbe Interactions. 


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Almita A. Miranda

Almita A. Miranda is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Miranda is a cultural anthropologist with research interests in race/ethnicity, gender, political economy, (im)migration, citizenship, transnationalism, Latinx families and grassroots organizing in the U.S. and Mexico. Miranda’s research focuses on Mexican mixed-status families, examining the ways in which undocumented immigrants, return migrants, and U.S. citizens navigate the legal and social constraints to which their family's uncertain status exposes them. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Chicago, IL and Zacatecas, Mexico, Miranda explores larger questions of state power and liminal subject-formation; race, legality, and citizenship; intra-household gender relations; and shifting patterns of kin and transnational migrant networks in the neoliberal era. Her work has received funding from the National Science Foundation (GRF), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, and Dartmouth's César Chávez Dissertation Fellowship, among others. Miranda received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University.


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Jennifer Pabelonia Nazareno


Jennifer Pabelonia Nazareno is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Public Health and the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship. Jennifer is a medical sociologist and her research interests are focused in the sociology of health and include: the structural and social determinants of health/health inequalities; biopolitics of aging, chronic illness and (dis)ability; political economy and the organization of care; and race, ethnicity, gender and class. Jennifer’s research centers on the impacts of economic globalization on the organizational structure of the U.S. long-term care and mental health care systems. She examines how such structures arrange and shape the public-private divide, immigrant entrepreneurship, reimbursement schemes and care provider-care recipient relationships. Jennifer’s dissertation won the UCSF Anselm Strauss Award for Most Distinguished Qualitative Dissertation by providing a critical analysis on how immigrant Filipino women-owned care businesses have come to oversee and manage the health and illness of aging racial/ethnic minorities and destitute populations for over the past 40 years. She elucidates the underlying neoliberal environment characterized by the intersection of welfare state austerity policies and the globalization of the care labor force that played a role in the emergence of this instinct type of gendered, ethnic entrepreneurship. Jennifer received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


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Kaustubh Thirumalai

Kaustubh is a climate scientist whose research attempts to gain information about the interaction between the atmosphere and oceans on timescales ranging from decades to millennia. Kaustubh’s research uses a combination of observations, proxy archives, and modeling simulations to elucidate important processes at play in the Earth-climate system. He is interested in understanding how the Earth's climate changed in the past, what caused these changes, and how such knowledge can help anticipate future changes in the climate. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University, Kaustubh is working on understanding past variations in Indian Monsoon rainfall using marine and terrestrial proxy archives. Kaustubh obtained his Ph.D. and M.S. in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Kaustubh is originally from Bengaluru, India.


Mariaelena Huambachano


Mariaelena is a native Peruvian scholar and citizen of New Zealand. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in International Business from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Her doctoral dissertation focused on a comparative study of the knowledge systems of Māori of New Zealand, and Quechua of Peru. Specifically, she examined the good living philosophies of Allin Kawsay/Buen Vivir in Peru and Mauri Ora in New Zealand to understand food security, food sovereignty and the relationship between them as seen through an Indigenous lens, and contributions to food and environmental policy. This study used the ‘Khipu Model’ an innovative Indigenous research framework developed by Mariaelena. This investigation contributes to food security by outlining an alternative ‘Food sovereignty framework’ underpinned by Indigenous cultural and environmental indicators of well-being. She is currently working to turn this document into a book manuscript.

She is passionate about environmental and social justice and has established a community engaged project ‘Right to Food Security/Sovereignty Project’ at Brown University. Mariaelena research interests include food security/sovereignty, environmental sustainability, Indigenous economies, entrepreneurship, law and governance, and research methodologies.

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Emma Amador


Emma Amador is a historian of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans in the United States, whose research focuses on women, gender, and sexuality.  She is an Assistant Professor of History and Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs with a PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, an MA from UConn, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.  Amador is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the history of welfare, territorial social citizenship, and welfare rights in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora.  This project examines how the U.S. welfare state became a site where Puerto Ricans have struggled for social justice, labor reform, and decolonization.  Her article “Organizing Puerto Rican Domestics: Resistance and Household Labor Reform in the Puerto Rican Diaspora after 1930” was published in ILWCH: International Labor and Working-Class History and a second article, “‘Women Ask Relief for Puerto Ricans’: Territorial Citizenship, the Social Security Act, and Puerto Rican Communities, 1933-1939” was published in LABOR.  She has taught courses in Latino/a history and gender history, as well as Caribbean and Latin American History. She has received research and writing support from the Ford Foundation, the Rackham Graduate School of the University of Michigan, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY, and the Duke University SITPA Program.