Butler Black Faculty Members

Olujide Akinbo
Professor – Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jason Davidson
Jason Davidson

Jason Davidson is a faculty member 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 and an M.B.A. from Morehead State University. He lives in Indianapolis, IN. with his wife Sarah and Son Miles.  

Ramon Flowers
Ramon Flowers
Assistant Professor – Dance

Ramón Flowers is an Assistant 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.

Lisa Hines
Lisa Hines
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Lisa Hines is a lecturer of entrepreneurship and marketing courses at the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. Her background includes several years of work experience in brand management, promotions, and operations functions in organizations of various sizes. Lisa’s entrepreneurial experience includes developing new products for consumer goods manufacturers, identifying new market opportunities for online retailers, and providing marketing services for non-profits and small businesses. She coordinates the First Year Business Experience (FBE) program for the Lacy School of Business, where first year students gain exposure to various business disciplines, build team skills, and develop business plans. Lisa holds a B.S. in Accounting from the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University and an MBA in Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Antwain Hunter
Antwain Hunter
Associate Professor – History

Antwain K. Hunter is a U.S. historian working on slavery and emancipation in the Antebellum South. He is a native of Leominster, Massachusetts and earned his B.A. in History at Westfield State College before heading to the University of Connecticut for his M.A., also in History. Dr. Hunter earned his Ph.D. in the Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University. He teaches courses that cover topics and eras in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Colonial America, the American Revolution, American Slavery, the U.S. South, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Transatlantic World.

Dr. Hunter’s current book project examines the legal and community dynamics of black North Carolinians’ firearm use in the colonial and antebellum eras. His recent publications include, “‘A nuisance requiring correction’: Firearm Laws, Black Mobility, and White Property in Antebellum Eastern North Carolina” in the North Carolina Historical Review; “‘In the Exercise of a Sound Discretion, Who, of This Class of Persons, Shall Have a Right to the License…’: Family, Race, and Firearms in Antebellum North Carolina” in the Journal of Family History; and “‘Patriots,’ ‘Cowards,’ and‘Men Disloyal at Heart:’ Labor and Politics at the Springfield Armory,1861-1865” in the Journal of Military History. He was also an on-screen contributing historian for America: Facts vs. Fiction’s episode on the Civil War (aired March 4, 2017 on AHC) and on the President Benjamin Harrison documentary “A President at the Crossroads” (aired October 19, 2017 on PBS/WFYI).

When he’s not working, Dr. Hunter likes engaging Butler students as a Faculty in Residence, fishing from his kayak, playing the guitar, watching college sports, playing hurling and Gaelic football with the Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association, cooking, and traveling to new places.

Terri Jett
Terri Jett
Faculty Director of the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

Dr. Terri Jett is a Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity. Dr. Jett is also an affiliate faculty member of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Program. She teaches courses on U.S. politics with a focus on the experiences of African Americans and other ethnic minorities such as Black Political Thought and The Politics of Alice Walker. Her research focus is on the post-Civil Rights Movement experiences of African Americans in rural communities in the southern U.S. and she is currently writing on the recent discrimination settlements of Black, Native American, Women and Latino farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture for discrimination and revisiting the conversation that James Baldwin held with Margaret Mead on race 50 years ago. Her expected books are titled "Fighting for Farming Justice: Diversity, Food Access and the USDA" and "Talking About Race: James Baldwin and Margaret Mead Then and Now."

Dr. Jett has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Auburn University. She currently serves on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU), Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Public Library and Indianapolis-Marion County Land Improvement Bond Bank. 

India Johnson
India Johnson
Associate Professor, Psychology
C. Patience Masamha
C. Patience Masamha
Associate Professor – Pharmaceutical Sciences


Education

-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 


Courses

– Principles of Drug Action 1, 2 & 3 

-Precision Medicine Elective


Research interests

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


Publications 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=masamha+cp


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.

         * Presenter

Masamha Lab Website

https://research.butler.edu/masamha-lab/

NaShara Mitchell
NaShara Mitchell
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

NaShara Mitchell is a SUCCESS advocate reframing gaps to opportunities.  NaShara is a Lecturer in the Lacy School of Business and Innovation Lab Director at Butler University where her work focuses on interdisciplinary applied learning and people-centered innovation. In 2018, she was named Professor of the Year by the MBA program. NaShara earned her BA from DePauw University, and Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University.

Nick Mmbaga
Nick Mmbaga
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Dr. NickMmbaga is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. His current research focuses on how stigma, identity, and collective judgments of organizations influence strategic decision making in entrepreneurial contexts. His research has been published in leading journals such as Journal of Business Venturing and Organizational Research Methods, and other publication outlets. He has taught a variety of courses focused on entrepreneurship and currently teaches real business experience at Butler University. Before his academic career, Nick founded several small businesses. He is the current chairman of Pauline and Thomas Healthcare, Inc., a company that operates in 6 different counties and employs approximately 100 people in Tennessee. Nick is also a key collaborator on an NSF grant focused on technology transfer from universities.

Brandy Mmbaga
Brandy Mmbaga
Assistant Dean for Community Engagement
Faculty Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Ogbonnaya Omenka
Ogbonnaya Omenka
Assistant Professor – Health Sciences
Derek Reid
Derek Reid
Professor – Dance

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.

Marvin Scott
Professor – Sociology
Sheryl-Ann Stephen
Sheryl-Ann Stephen
Associate Professor of Finance

Born on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Dr. Sheryl-Ann K. Stephen is the Chair of the Finance Department and an Associate 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 Turner
Robin Turner
Associate Professor – Political Science

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