Butler Black Faculty Members
Dr. Jason Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the Lacy School of Business, where he teaches Data Analysis and Business Modeling, Business Intelligence, Data Network Engineering, and introductory management information system courses. With a background in media development, prior to joining the faculty at Butler, he worked in the technical publishing industry. Along with teaching, he currently serves as an IT consultant for regional businesses in the Indianapolis area and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering EECT division. He holds a B.A. in telecommunication arts from Butler University, an M.B.A. from Morehead State University, and Ph.D. in technology management and engineering from Indiana State University. He was the recipient of the 2018 Lacy school of business Dean’s Teaching award, 2023 Experiential teaching award, and was the 22-23 outstanding professor of the year. He lives in Indianapolis, IN. with his wife Sarah and Son Miles.
Ramón Flowers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance in the Jordan College of the Arts, at Butler University. He began his formal dance training on scholarship at the School for the Pennsylvania Ballet, and later attended the School of American Ballet. Four years after joining the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, as the first male African-American dancer, he moved to Europe as a principal ballet dancer for 12 Years. He spent seven years with the legendary, internationally renowned Maurice Béjart, performing in major cities in over 60 countries on every continent. He later moved to Germany to dance with William Forsythe, director of the Frankfurt Ballet, and then to Madrid to work with choreographer Nacho Duato and the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España. He has been offered company contracts with New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Basil Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and Peter Schaufuss Ballet.
He returned to North America to dance with Montreal`s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, where repertoire encompassed pieces by all the choreographers for whom he’d danced in Europe, as well as the works of George Balanchine, which were very familiar to him because of his first training as a teenage student. He then left Canada to return to his first love for dance, musical theatre and was featured in several Broadway shows, including Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Cats, The Lion King, The Green Bird, The Boy From Oz, and Hot Feet, as well as Broadway National Tours with Chita Rivera in The Dancer’s Life, and A Chorus Line, in the role of Richie. While living in NYC he was featured in commercials, film, and Television. Ramon teaches ballet at the American Dance Festival Summer Intensive at Duke University, Alvin Ailey II, has choreographed on the Indianapolis Ballet Company, as well as workshops on the William Forsythe style of movement in NYC during his time away from Butler University. He received his BA in French from The City College of New York, CUNY, and his MFA in Dance from The University of Iowa.
Dr. Terri Jett is originallyfrom Richmond, California and has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies, an M.P.A. fromCSU-Hayward and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from AuburnUniversity. She is a Professor of Political Science, an affiliate facultymember of the Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, the Peace andConflict Studies Program and the Faculty Director for the Butler University Hubfor Black Affairs and Community Engagement.
Dr. Jett is the twice- Emmy nominated moderator of WFYI Simple Civics https://www.wfyi.org/programs/simple-civics and serves on a number of boards includingIndiana Humanities and the Federation of State Humanities Councils.
-BS honors in Biological Sciences-University of Zimbabwe
-MS in Biology-Indiana University of Pennsylvania
-PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
-Postdoc -University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
– Principles of Drug Action 1, 2 & 3
-Precision Medicine Elective
Biomarker discovery, pharmacogenomics, cancer biology, precision/personalized medicine, molecular signaling, mechanisms of drug action, RNA biology (alternative mRNA processing) , next-generation sequencing (Illumina RNA Seq. and PACBIO Iso. Seq.).
Select Service and Awards
-National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Oncology Study Section standing member/reviewer 2021-2027
-2020 New Investigator Award American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
-2017-2018 Butler University Outstanding Professor of the Year
Invited/Selected Talks at National Conferences
1. Title:The role of alternative polyadenylation in cancer. C. Patience Masamha*. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) post-transcriptional control of gene expression: Mechanisms of RNA decay conference. Scottsdale, Arizona. June, 2018.
2. Title:Multiple mechanisms driving alternative polyadenylation of cyclin D1 (CCND1) pre-mRNA processing. C. P. Masamha* and E.J. Wagner. RNA recognition and regulation symposium. Experimental Biology/ American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting. San Diego, California. April 2018.
3. Title: Evading miRNA regulation through alternative polyadenylation in glioblastoma. Chioniso Patience Masamha*, Zheng Xia, Jingxuan Yang, Todd Albrecht, Scott Collum, Min Li, Wei Li, Ann-Bin Shyu and Eric J.Wagner. Symposia on Cancer Research 2014. Illuminating Genomic Dark Matter “ncRNA in Disease and Cancer”, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Houston, Texas. October 2014.
4. Title: CFlm25 links global change in APA to cell growth control and glioblastoma survival. Masamha C.P*., Xia Z., Albrecht T.R., Li W., Shyu A-B., and Wagner, E.J. RNA 18th Annual Conference. Davos, Switzerland. June 2013.
Masamha Lab Website
NaShara Mitchell is a SUCCESS advocate reframing gaps to opportunities in education and community. As a Clinical Professor in the Lacy School of Business and Innovation Lab Director at Butler University her work focuses on interdisciplinary learning and social innovation through people-centered approaches. She teaches a variety of courses across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in entrepreneurship, law, and the global environment in both in-person and online formats. In 2018, she was named Professor of the Year by the MBA program. She translates research into practice with student ideas and alumni startups in the Innovation Lab where they can Think It, Build It, Test It, Scale It.
Beyond academia, NaShara founded several small businesses and serves as an advisor to for-profit and nonprofit organizations. NaShara earned her BA from DePauw University along with a Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University.
Corey Reed is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty member in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) program at Butler University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, double majoring in English and Philosophy, his Master of Arts degree from the University of Louisville in Comparative Humanities, and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. His dissertation was entitled “Black-Male Imagos and Counternarrative Resistance: An Africana Existentialist Framework for Black-Male Analysis.” He specializes in Africana Philosophy and the Critical Philosophy of Race and Racism, with sub-interests in Existentialism, Phenomenology, Feminism/Male Theory, 20th Century French Continental Philosophy, and Aesthetics.
His article publications include:
“Signifying the Sound: Criteria for Black Art Movements” (Journal of Aesthetic Education: Winter 2023)
“#ProtectBlackWomen and Other Hashtags: Using Amílcar Cabral’s Resistance and Decolonization Framework as an Ethic for Obligations Between Black Agents” (C.L.R. James Journal: Winter 2022).
“Existential Patriarchy: Marginalized Men, Bad Faith, and Lived Experience” (Simone de Beauvoir Studies: Spring 2024)
His book chapter publications include:
“Freedom Anchoring: Teaching Philosophy as a Dialogic Endeavor” from The Art of Teaching Philosophy (forthcoming)
“Corresponding Contracts: The Intersectional Charles Mills” from The Philosophy of Charles Mills: Race and the Relations of Power (forthcoming)
“Baldwin’s Existential Phenomenology: What Lies Do to the Negro” from The Routledge Companion to James Baldwin (forthcoming)
He also co-authored a Higher Education Ethics Case Study featured in the book Ethics in Higher Education: Promoting Equity and Inclusion Through Case-Based Inquiry (2021) with a corresponding podcast episode featured here: https://ethicsandeducation.wceruw.org/podcast/hbcus-present-and-future-ethics-in-higher-ed-2/ . Some of the courses he has taught include Feminist Theory, Biomedical Ethics, Contemporary Moral Problems, Philosophy of Race and Racism, Existentialism, African-American Philosophy, and Africana Philosophy.
Derek Reid; Associate Professor, began his training at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet in his native Washington, D.C. He subsequently studied in intensive dance programs with Rosella Hightower in Cannes, France,Milwaukee Ballet, and Richmond Ballet. He began attending Butler University in 1984, where he received a B.F.A. in Dance. Mr. Reid’s professional dance careers panned over fifteen years, during which time he performed with the Louisville Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal and Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. He performed and created leading roles in works by such internationally acclaimed choreographers as Choo San Goh, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, James Kudelka, Mark Morris and Ohad Naharin. His repertoire ranged from the classical to the contemporary. His roles have included the prince in The Nutcracker, Siegfriedin Swan Lake and various roles in works by choreographic masters such as Antony Tudor, Vaslav Nijinsky, Irina Nijinska, Agnes de Mille, and George Balanchine.
Mr. Reid’s television credits include PBS’s production ofDance Theatre of Harlem’s Fall River Legend, choreographed by Agnes de Mille, as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Dancers for Life gala, in which he performed the pas de deux from Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement. A special highlight of his career was dancing Duato’s Cor Perdut at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece with the Gala des Etoiles, sharing the stage with dancers likeDamian Woetzel, Darcie Bussel and Carlos Acosta.
Mr. Reid’s professional teaching career began with the Northwest Florida Ballet in 1985 and continued through his Associate Directorship of the Fort Wayne Ballet from 2000-2004 and his guest/master classes across the country. In his current position as Associate Professor ofDance at Butler, Mr. Reid teaches Dance History, Classical Ballet technique, Classical and Contemporary Pas de Deux, Choreography, and his core curriculum contribution to the university Black Dance in the American Tradition. While creating original choreographic works for Fort Wayne Ballet, Northwest Florida Ballet, and Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, Mr. Reid offers original works to the Butler Ballet in both the classical and contemporary veins. With an eye towards the history and tradition of classical technique, Mr. Reid continues to search for new ideas to stimulate students and advocate for the continued embracing ofthe fine arts. In 2012 he received a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership and Service Learning from Gonzaga University.
Born on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Dr. Sheryl-Ann K. Stephen is a Full Professor of Finance in the Lacy School of Business. Dr. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Economics from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in Nova Scotia, Canada; an MBA, also from SMU; and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her primary teaching areas are Corporate Finance, Financial Management, and Financial Markets and Institutions. Dr. Stephen’s main areas of research are Corporate Finance,Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Financial Education. Her research has been published in the Research in International Business and Finance, Journal of Applied Business and Economics, the Journal of Accounting and Finance, the Journal of Financial Education, and the Journal of Learning in Higher Education, among others. When she’s not teaching, or doing research, she can be found learning new languages, and traveling the world.
Robin L. Turner is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Butler University in the USA and an honorary research associate of the Society, Work, and Politics Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Turner served as the founding director of the Social Justice and Diversity Butler University Core Curriculum requirement from 2017 to 2019. She earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley and a masters degree in social science (African politics) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including political science, gender studies, African studies, development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography.
Dr. Turner’s research focuses principally on how public policies shape rural political economies, influence identities, and affect people’s behavior in southern Africa. She uses interviews, ethnography, and archival research to examine the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and to look closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape local political economies and influence constructions of identity. She has published on topics ranging from the politics of tradition; dispossession, property, and nature tourism; and field research to decolonial pedagogy.
Dr. Turner teaches courses that help students better understand the perspectives, experiences, and political strategies of historically marginalized people in Africa, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Her courses contribute to the political science major and minor, to the core curriculum, and to several interdisciplinary programs She led the the development of a new Global and Historical Studies course centered on the question, "What is Freedom," with grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Her recent course offerings include:
- PO 151 Introduction to Comparative Politics
- PO 350-SAC African Politics
- PO 351-SJD Politics of Gender & Sexuality in Africa
- PO 352 Comparative Political Economy
- PO 354-SJD Environmental Justice
- PO 490 Senior Seminar on Women and Politics across the World
- PO 490 Senior Seminar on Political Economy
- GHS 206-SJD Resistance and Reaction: Resistance and Reaction: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa
- GHS 210-SJD Freedom and Movement in the Transatlantic World