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Meet the IDEAL Fellows

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2022 Fellows

A second cohort of early-career scholars will join the Stanford campus community for three years beginning in fall 2022.

Jamal Batts

(Image credit: Courtesy Jamal Batts)

Scholar, curator and writer Jamal Batts, PhD, will join the Department of Art and Art History. He received his PhD from the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

His work reflects on the relationship between Black queer contemporary visual art and the intricacies of sexual risk.

Batts is a 2021-22 University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, a Curator-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, a 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, a 2020 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow and a ONE National Lesbian & Gay Archives LGBTQ Research Fellow. His writing appears in publications such as the catalog for The New Museum’s “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” Open SpaceASAP/J and New Life Quarterly. He is a member of the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic.


Hector Callejas

(Image credit: Courtesy Hector Callejas)

Hector Callejas (mestizo/Latino) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He will join the Department of Anthropology. He researches and teaches on Latin American and Latinx studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, sociocultural anthropology, human geography and decolonial methodologies. He received his MA and BA from Cal.

His research has been funded by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies; a Graduate Student Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation; and a Chancellor’s Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley. He has received competitive research awards from various units at Cal: the Native American Studies program, the Center for Race and Gender, the Myer’s Center for Research of Native American Issues and the Ethnic Studies department.

Callejas is from the predominantly Mexican Latinx community in Sacramento, California. His parents immigrated from El Salvador and Guatemala during the civil wars in the early 1980s.


Walter Gordon

(Image credit: Courtesy Walter Gordon)

Working at the intersection of African American literary studies and the environmental humanities, Walter Gordon studies the links among race, literature, energy and ecology, particularly in relation to questions of labor and theories of modernity. He will join the Department of English.

Most recently, Gordon served as the 2021-22 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Public Energy Humanities at the University of Alberta, in collaboration with the Petrocultures Research Group and Transitions in Energy, Culture and Society. Raised in Berkeley, California, he received his MA and PhD from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and attended Oberlin College as an undergraduate.

Gordon is currently working on two main projects: a digital, interactive adaptation of Shirley Graham Du Bois’ 1941 tragedy Dust to Earth, and a monograph titled Prime Movers: Energy and Modernity in African American Literature, which tracks the interlinked cultural legacies of King Coal and Jim Crow and highlights other entanglements of race and energy across the 20th century.


Adam Simpson

(Image credit: Courtesy Adam Simpson)

Adam Simpson is currently a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford, advised by Professor William Mitch. He will continue as a fellow in that department.

Simpson will advance his research at the nexus of public health, sociology and environmental engineering so that he can develop an environmental justice framework for studying foods in low-socioeconomic neighborhoods.

His work focuses on predicting the initial transformation products of food-based biomolecules and biopolymers, as toxic chemicals, caused by chemical disinfection processes on foods. His work has been supported by multiple fellowships, including a Stanford Graduate Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) fellowship.

Simpson will receive his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in May 2022. He earned his MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and his BS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


Yuhe Faye Wang

(Image credit: Courtesy Yuhe Faye Wang)

Yuhe Faye Wang is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Yale University. She holds an MPhil in American Studies from Yale University and a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies with a focus in Economics from Pomona College. She will join the Department of History.

Her work centers on the intersections of Asian American history, legal history, the history of the North American West and studies of racial capitalism in the 19th century. Her current project investigates how the civil rights of corporations in the United States were built upon the civil rights of Chinese immigrants, and how a series of Supreme Court decisions entangled constitutional protections against racial discrimination with corporate law in the decades immediately after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.

2021 Fellows

The inaugural cohort of five early-career scholars joined Stanford in September 2021.

Catherine Duarte

Catherine Duarte is based in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health in the School of Medicine. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and her master of science in the social and behavorial sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As a doctoral student, Duarte was selected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Policy Research Scholars program.

Duarte’s work focuses on examining how education and legal system policy and practices are associated with racial/ethnic health inequities throughout the life course to support systems-level interventions. 


Kelly Nguyen

Kelly Nguyen is based in the Department of Classics in the School of Humanities and Sciences. She is a refugee from Vietnam and a first-generation high school and college graduate. Nguyen received her PhD in ancient history from Brown University and her BA in classics and archaeology with honors and highest distinction from Stanford University. She was the recipient of a 2021 University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship award. 

Her interdisciplinary research and teaching engage classical studies in a comparative manner to explore imperialism, forced displacement and race and ethnicity. Her dissertation was the first major study to examine the history of Greco-Roman classical reception within Vietnamese contexts.

Nguyen co-founded the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus, a professional organization dedicated to increasing diversity within the field of classics, and has served as the inaugural coordinator of its international mentorship program. She also has served as the chair of the board of directors for the Center for Southeast Asians, a non-profit serving the refugee and immigrant populations of Rhode Island, and has consulted on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.


Jordan Starck

Jordan Starck is based in the Department of Psychology in the School of Humanities and Sciences. He received his PhD in social psychology and social policy from Princeton University. Starck graduated from Davidson College with a BS in psychology and his professional educator's license, after which he spent four years as a high school teacher and youth program coordinator. 

His research to date has focused on the reasons organizations embrace diversity, examining the psychological factors shaping people’s preferred approaches and the downstream consequences of different approaches. He also examines racial bias and its role in perpetuating racial disadvantage, particularly in the context of education and the justice system.


Eujin Park

Eujin Park is an IDEAL Provostial Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Dr. Park draws upon Critical Race Theory, Asian American Studies, and community engaged research to examine how Asian American youth and families negotiate with race in and through educational institutions.

Her work investigates the processes through which Asian Americans actively shape and challenge their racialization via education. In examining education as a racializing institution, Dr. Park considers the constellation of formal and informal learning spaces that includes homes, schools, and communities. She recently conducted an ethnographic investigation of community-based educational spaces in the Chicago-area Asian American community, which highlighted the role of community spaces in youths’ educational experiences and understandings of racializing discourses. 

In addition to publishing and presenting her work in multiple academic venues, Dr. Park draws upon her research in her work with youth in community-based organizations. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a concentration in Social Sciences and a Minor in Qualitative Methods. She also holds an M.A. from UW-Madison and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Michela Simmons

Michaela Simmons is based in the Department of Sociology in the School of Humanities and Sciences. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She attended the University of California, San Diego, for her undergraduate studies, where she earned a BA in sociology and fine arts.

Broadly, she studies the intersections of racial inequality, poverty and the welfare state. Her dissertation examined the racial politics of foster care development in the early 20th century and centered the experiences of foster youth within the larger sociological frameworks of race, family and childhood. As a doctoral student, she worked as a graduate writing assistant helping students gain confidence and strength of voice in their written work.