2016 - 2017 Fellows

2016 - 2017 Fellows

The CMM Institute is pleased to welcome three new Fellows for 2016.  In keeping with the theme of this year’s CMM Learning Exchange, the Fellows projects reflect engagement with “embodied communication” in its various forms.

The 2016 CMM Institute Fellows and projects are:

Judith Enriquez-Gibson, J.G.EnriquezGibson@ljmu.ac.uk
Topic: Untold Stories of Embodied Gender in Academic Networks

Versha Anderson, vjanders@asu.edu
Topic: Intercultural Transitions: The Integration of Syrian Refugees and German Citizens

Ann Ritter aritter@email.fielding.edu

Topic: Spiritual Consciousness and Direct Experiences of the Divine Within the Quaker Lineage

The work of this year’s CMMI Fellows will be featured at the CMM Learning Exchange in Oracle, Arizona, October 14-17, 2016, co-sponsored by Columbia University.  For more information and registration, see: http://cmminstitute.net/events/2016-cmm-learning-exchange-embodying-cmm

Biographical information and project descriptions for the 2016 CMMI Fellows:

Judith Enriquez-Gibson is a Senior Lecturer in Education Informatics at Liverpool John Moores University. Her work and research interests engage with various disciplinary spaces that probe the relationship between technology and education.  She participates and contributes to academic conversations and topics related to e-learning and technology-enhanced learning by engaging with the neglected aspects of technology use, computer-mediated communication and open movement in education. Her recent work has focused on corporeality, that is, the place of (our) bodies in technological productions and practices. Outside her academic commitments, she does enjoy exploring the outdoors and has various attempts at reading leisurely without falling into the trappings of citations and discourse analyses.

Project Description:
Drawing from practice and materialist approaches, Judith’s project focuses on how gender is embodied in nonverbal communication and how this may produce or counter inequalities in academic networking practices. The accounts or stories of full-time academics and researchers are enacted through intra-views (‘views among’), instead of interviews (‘views between’). In an intra-view, a participant is no longer a discreet subject. The relational potential of absent and present non-humans are listened to. Hence, nonverbal behaviors or cues are noted and transcribed, emphasizing a multi-sensorial experience not necessarily verbalized. Through “intra-views,” Judith encounters and shares the ‘untold stories’ of absent and present bodies, feelings, places, time, images, artifacts and other non-human things in an embodied encounter about academic networking. The material production of this project includes the LUUUTT model, CMM approaches, study participants, a tape-recorder, a transcription method, and the surroundings where the “intra-views” take place. All of these produce particular ‘mattering’ about gendered networks, excluding other potential “matterings” outside the aim and scope of this study. The untold stories of our gendered bodies will contribute to a personal and professional development of a more open understanding of the reach, value and limits of academic networking.

Versha J. Anderson - is a doctoral student at Arizona State University in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Her research focuses on intercultural and international communication centered on exploring conflict and negotiation, facilitation, dialogue, and peacebuilding. She received her Master’s from Colorado State University in Communication focusing on activist rhetoric and her Bachelor’s from the University of Rhode Island with a major in Communication and minors in Business and English. Her academic advisors are Dr. Jess Alberts and Dr. Benjamin Broome.

Project Description:
Versha’s Fellows project is a study of positive intercultural interactions between German citizens and Syrian refugees, applying the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) theory to understand cultural adaptation and intercultural transitions between these populations. She plans to travel to Munich in Summer 2016 to collect the stories of interaction from these two participant groups, focusing on positive experiences and examples of successful interaction. Her study aims to go beyond broad perceptions to understanding the essence of positive lived experiences and interactions between German citizens and Syrian refugees, offering practical implications for how we can facilitate positive intercultural interaction between other diverse groups undergoing intercultural transitions.

Ann Ritter is an author, consultant and educator; therapist in yoga and alternative health-care field; and part-time working artist.  She is presently a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University, where she has been studying theories of human development and social construction in communication as a way of unlocking the experiences of contemporary Quaker men and women whose faith and practice incline and urge them toward social justice and the making of better social worlds.

Project Description:
The Quaker faith was founded by mystics who had direct, bodily-held experiences of the divine, yet today, mystical connections by individual practicing Quakers often put such members at the margins of Quaker congregations and communities.  Ann’s research considers how gracefully an individual mystic accepts the feeling of being outside the mainstream of a Quaker theology as a function of his or her degree of spiritual maturity and development of consciousness. Ann considers this as an embodied phenomenon of Quaker mysticism, using the lens of CMM to consider how this embodiment acts in “expressing” versus “suppressing” a position, related to Barnett Pearce’s notions of “Selves and forms of consciousness as they emerge through the process of communication” self in community/self in relationship with the divine. Her intention for this work is to “give authentic voice” to a particular subgroup of contemporary Quakers who exemplify self-realized development, and possibly supporting Quakerism in finding its rightful place among 21st Century faith and social-justice movements.

2016 CMM Learning Exchange Fellows:

Wilfried Zoungrana
Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt
Third World Approaches in International Law and International Relations

Wilfried Zoungrana holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt and has recently successfully defended his PhD thesis on International Relations and Terrorism at the University of Erfurt. At the CMM learning exchange, he will be looking at how CMM and Third World Approaches in International Law and International Relations can mutually enrich each other in theory and practice.

Aleksandra Kasymova
California State University in Fullerton
Intergroup Peacebuilding Communication Program: Training U.S. American and Russian Young Leaders to Become Mindful Intercultural ‘Bridge-Builders’

Aleksandra Kasymova is a Fulbright scholar from Russia, who recently completed her Master’s Degree in Communication Studies at California State University. Her area of specialization is intercultural communication, conflict, and intergroup dialogue. In particular, she focuses on the transformative power of communication and how it can contribute to the development of better public diplomacy initiatives and peacebuilding actions between individuals of different nations. After completion of the program, she wants to return to Russia and work in the sphere of conflict transformation by fostering intercultural understanding and cooperation between the people of Russia and peoples of other countries. With her recently completed master-degree theory applied project, which draws from CMM models and interview data, she has designed a 4-day training program that will help future U.S. American and Russian leaders to move through the tensions of their differences to a place of constructive dialogue.


Kimberly Loh
Columbia University
Sustainable Peace through Mediation

Kimberly Loh is currently undertaking her Master’s degree in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University, and has a previous background in law and ethical philosophy. In July 2016 she traveled to Uganda to undertake fieldwork as a research fellow, looking at peacebuilding and reconciliation work in post-conflict settings. Her research explores mediation and dialogue-based processes, and considers whether CMM Models can provide process tools to assist the mediator and parties in developing their perceptions and narratives within a conflict, thereby opening up opportunities to cultivate greater ownership and equity in sustainable peaceful solutions.


Santos Flores
University of North Carolina
Youth Development and Brazilian Capoeira Angola

Santos Flores’ research interest intersects youth development through sports, peace and social justice education, and Somatic (Kinesiological) treatments. Youth that are exposed to systemic violence, war, and other forms of social stress display syndromes referred to as stress-related somatic disorders. Understanding the relationship between violence, stress, and somatic syndromes will help in clarifying the consequences of violence exposure to long-term health and health related quality of life. From a Community Youth Development perspective, his research inquiry begins with Capoeira Angola a global phenomenon with roots in African and African diasporic cultures of Brazil. Through this sport, he looks at the way youth become empowered as informal “bodies” of knowledge that are living proof of successful ordinary ‘everyday resistance’ to historical and contemporary systemic conflicts. Youth sports as an embodied tool for assessing social constructs (e.g. race, poverty, gender) will require that a social analysis aims for conflict transformation through the development of critical consciousness and peace education.


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