Ph.D. Placements

Alphonso Walter Grant, Ph.D.

Alphonso Walter Grant is currently an assistant professor in Art Education, African and African American Studies, Political Science, and Gender Studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He is the first recipient of a dual-title Ph.D. in Art Education (AED) and African American and Diaspora Studies (AFAM) from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Under the co-direction of Dr. Paul C. Taylor and Dr. B. Stephen Carpenter II, the two departments provided him with the theoretical tools to interrogate the stereotypes, stigmas, and subjugations found within Black male masculinity, sexuality, identity, and the esoteric politics of Black visual culture. He is especially grateful to his dissertation committee members and the many professors who supported him in AED and AFAM along his journey at Penn State. 

Mudiwa Pettus

Mudiwa Pettus is a dual title Ph.D. candidate in English and African American & Diaspora Studies. She will defend her dissertation this spring, and, in the fall, she will join the faculty at Medgar Evers College as an Assistant Professor of English Composition and Rhetoric. 

During her years at Penn State, Mudiwa has found an intellectual home among the faculty and graduate students of the African American Studies department. In addition to taking several African American Studies graduate seminars, she is a past coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Diaspora Studies Working Group and a current Africana Research Center dissertation fellow. 

En masse, the department’s faculty has been supportive of Mudiwa’s growth as a scholar and teacher, but the guidance her advisor, Keith Gilyard, has provided is incomparable. He has supported Mudiwa throughout her graduate studies and successful search for a tenure-track position, and has modeled the intellectual rigor and ungrudging mentorship she hopes to emulate in her own career. 

Although Mudiwa will be leaving Penn State, she plans to stay connected to the department. She has issued a standing invitation for you to come visit her in Brooklyn!