Co-Founder/Organizer & Podcast Co-Host
Casey Boyd-Swan, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Kent State University. Dr. Boyd-Swan has a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy.

Her research focuses on public policy issues related to parental employment, early education labor markets, and child and family well-being.


Co-Founder/Organizer & Podcast Co-Host
Ashley Nickels, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. Dr. Nickels has a Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a specialization in Community Development.

Her research focuses on urban politics, local governance, and community-based organizations/ nonprofits.


Podcast Co-Host & Research Co-PI (Race and Democracy in Northeast Ohio)

Dr. Shemariah J. Arki identifies as an educator, an activist and an organizer. Currently serving as an assistant professor in the department of Africana Studies, the director of the Center for Pan African Culture, both at Kent State University, and the Founder and Program Director of the Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy, she is an intersectional feminist scholar with expert knowledge and skills to develop, implement, facilitate and evaluate curricula that promote institutional equity, communication, and access for traditionally marginalized students and families. Her latest publication, Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls, is an ethnographic anthology that amplifies the voices of Black girls in the classroom through the process of counternarratives, constraining teachers and school administrators to speak back to the culture of silence inherent in today’s diverse classrooms.


Podcast Co-Host & Research Co-PI (Race and Democracy in Northeast Ohio)

Dr. Anuj Gurung serves as the postdoctoral research fellow at School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. His research interests include refugee integration, refugee and immigrant identities, and community-based conflict resolution. His academic pieces have been featured in International Area Studies Review and Peace and Conflict Studies. He also works as the Development Associate for North Hill Community Development Corporation. His previous engagements include work with International Institute of Akron, ActionAid (Washington DC), and United Nations Refugee Agency (Nepal).


Spring 2022 – Research & Outreach Assistant

Brooke Moeller is a recent Kent State graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Global Studies, and Economics. Her research interests include urban politics, community engagement, and economic development. Since presenting her award-winning research on the Competing Narratives of Neighborhood Change, she aims to continue her search in understanding narratives surrounding Race and Democracy in Northeast Ohio with the Growing Democracy Project.


Spring 2022 – Intern (Race & Democracy)

Erik Gomez is a junior majoring in political science. He serves as the Director of Governmental Affairs for Undergraduate Student Government at Kent State. In this role he leads the Kent State Votes initiative where he collaborates with students, faculty and staff to get students registered to vote. Erik also advocates for students by tracking legislation that may affect the student body. Erik is currently tracking Ohio House Bills 322 and 327, which is aimed to criminalize teaching diversity, race and “divisive concepts” in K-12 schools and Universities.


Spring 2022 – Research Assistant (Cleveland, Community Development & Local Democracy)

Cora Smith undergraduate majoring in International Relations with a minor in Political Science and a TEFL Certificate.


Podcast Sound Engineer
Gheramy Demery, Golden Ox Studio