IRW Staff

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Director: Nicole R. Fleetwood

Nicole R. Fleetwood is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University. Fleetwood received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature and her B.Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University (Ohio). Her articles appear in American Quarterly, Signs, Social Text, tdr: the journal of performance studies, and edited anthologies.  Her book Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press 2011) is the recipient of the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize of the American Studies Association.  She has worked as a consultant and has collaborated with a number of arts organizations and programs.  Currently, she is working on two books. One is a study of racial icons, commissioned by Rutgers University Press. The second is a study of prison art and visuality in which she examines a range of visual art and practices emerging inside prisons and about prison life, including photography, painting, and collaborative works with arts organizations and commissioned artists.

Areas of research and teaching: visual culture and media studies, black cultural studies, gender theory, sexuality studies; American cultural history; popular culture; and culture and technology studies.




Associate Director: Sarah Tobias

Sarah Tobias's work bridges academia and public policy. A feminist theorist and LGBT activist, she is co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families (University of Michigan Press, 2007) and author of "Several Steps Behind: Lesbian and Gay Adoption" in Sally Haslanger and Charlotte Witt (eds.), Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays (Cornell University Press, 2005), as well as co-author and editor of numerous policy-related reports and articles. Prior to joining the IRW in January 2010, she spent over 8 years working in the nonprofit sector and also taught at Rutgers-Newark, the City University of New York (Baruch College and Queens College), and Columbia University. In addition to serving as Associate Director of the IRW, Sarah is affiliate faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, England.




Administrative Assistant: Colleen Martin

Colleen Martin ensures the smooth running of the IRW's lectures and seminars and coordinates the efforts of the Institute's work-study students.  She is responsible for purchasing, accounting and scheduling, among other functions.  She has been at Rutgers for 14 years, working in University Accounting, Payroll and The Office of Research and Economic Development before joining the IRW in December 2013. Her interests include women's rights, human rights and popular culture. 



IRW Learning Community Coordinator: Tenisha Howard

Tenisha S. Howard is a Ph.D. candidate in African American and African Studies with specializations in Higher Education/Education Administration at Michigan State University. Her research includes but is not limited to examining race/ethnicity and gender issues in post-secondary education, leadership issues amongst female faculty and administrators, academic counseling, and mentorship; education reform and community service learning, regional and international cultural issues studies. Her dissertation research focuses on the underrepresentation of women in the STEM fields. She is an Upward Bound Alum of Stevens Institute of Technology, and an alumna of Rutgers University EOF Program and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. Graduating with high honors from Rutgers University-Douglass College, Tenisha double majored in Africana Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She also has a Master’s degree from Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center.  She believes “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says I'm possible!” ~Audrey Hepburn 




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IRW building

Institute for Research on Women

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