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Faculty Directory

The Michigan State University African Studies Center has close to a hundred Core Faculty with experience on Africa, probably one of the largest in the nation. The Center features many scholars in social science, agricultural economics, African languages, the arts and humanities, education, health and medicine and many other fields.

The faculty members are listed alphabetically by college and departmental affiliation, noting geographical areas of Africa experience, and teaching and research interests.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the African Studies Center's Core Faculty, please fill out the Membership Request form

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Veronique Theriault Department: Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics
Countries/Research: Benin; Burkina Faso; Mali
Email: theria13(at)

Jakana Thomas Department: Political Science
Email: thoma977(at)

Denise Troutman Department: Writing, Rhetoric & American Culture
Email: troutma1(at)

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Biography: Troutman has a PhD in Linguistics from Michigan State University and has a joint appointment with Linguistics. She is winner of the 2001-2002 Fulbright Award, 2003-2004 American Fellowship, and the 2009-2010 Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) Scholarship. Research interests: discourse analysis, women and language, African American women and language practices, linguistic politeness in the African American speech community, Ebonics.

David Tschirley Department: Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics
Countries/Research: Mozambique; Zambia; Kenya; Malawi; Uganda; Tanzania; Ethiopia
Email: tschirle(at)

Michael Wahman Department: Political Science
Email: wahmanmi(at)

Edward Walker Department: Microbiology & Molecular Genetics CNS
Countries/Research: Kenya; Uganda; Malawi; Mali; Cameroon
Email: walker(at)

Ethan Watrall Department: Anthropology
Email: watrall(at)

Dave Weatherspoon Department: Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics
Countries/Research: Southern/Eastern Africa
Email: weathe42(at)

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Biography: Lorraine Weatherspoon is an Associate Professor and Didactics Program in Dietetics Director. Her interests are in the role of dietary, lifestyle and ecological factors in the risk, prevention and management of diet-related health disparities and chronic diseases. She also has a special Interest in Type 2 diabetes, maternal and child nutrition, and nutrition in HIV/AIDS.

Lorraine Weatherspoon Department: Food Science & Human Nutrition ANR
Countries/Research: Botswana; Swaziland; Tanzania
Email: weathe43(at)

Bethany Wilinski Department: Teacher Education
Countries/Research: Tanzania
Email: bethanyw(at)

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Biography: Bethany Wilinski joins the faculty at MSU in January 2015. She is interested in domestic and international early childhood education policy. Her research focuses on how teachers make sense of and implement early childhood policies and how policy shapes families access to early childhood programs. Her international work is based in Tanzania, where she is involved in research, curriculum development, and teacher training projects for Michigan State University's Tanzania Partnership Program.