AFFILIATES

Meet Our Affiliates

Join us in welcoming our AUC Data Science Affiliates! Our Affiliates are dynamic AUC faculty and staff who are actively engaged in advancing data science research or data science teaching. 

Interested in becoming an Affiliate?  Download our Affiliate Guide: Affiliate_Program.PDF

Nathan Alexander

Assistant Professor of Data Science – Morehouse College

nathan.alexander@morehouse.edu

Bio: I am an Assistant Professor at Morehouse College focusing on the interactions between data use, culture and computation. Our research lab connects history, data science, mathematics and sociology to teach and learn about in/justice and futurity, especially as it concerns historically-excluded groups, communities and areas in the U.S.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Mustapha Alhassan

BSW Program Director/Associate Professor of Social Work – Clark Atlanta University

malhassan@cau.edu

Bio: Dr. Alhassan is the Director of the BSW Program and Associate Professor at Clark Atlanta University. His research interests include health disparities and its impact on minorities and human trafficking.

Interests: Visual and Language Based Human-Computer Interaction, Data-driven Urban Planning and Sustainability

Mentewab Ayalew

Associate Professor of Biology – Spelman College

mayalew@spelman.edu

Bio: Dr. Mentewab Ayalew is an Associate Professor of Biology at Spelman College and is on the faculty advisory board of the AUC Data Science Initiative. Her research examines antibiotic production by soil bacteria and resistance mechanisms in plants. She uses a variety of data science tools for sequence analysis and mathematical modeling to interrogate the plant microbiome and the effect of antibiotics on plants. She has put considerable emphasis on the integration of research, teaching and student development as well as supporting an ecosystem that enables Teacher-Scholars at a liberal arts institution. Dr. Ayalew is also the co-director of the Living and Learning in and Interdisciplinary Community of STEM Scholars (LINCS), a program initiated in fall 2015 to foster the intellectual engagement and provide mentoring and development opportunities to students in STEM.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining; High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation; Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

H. Justin Ballenger

Assistant Professor of STEM & Innovation – Morehouse College

dr.justin.ballenger@gmail.com

Bio: Dr. H. Justin Ballenger is an Assistant Professor of STEM & Innovation in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at Morehouse College, where his research focuses on broadening participation in STEM.

Interests: Computational Optimization, Decision, and Control Systems

Peter Baltrus

Associate Professor of Community Health and Preventative Medicine – Morehouse School of Medicine

pbaltrus@msm.edu

Bio: Dr. Baltrus is a social epidemiologist that studies racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic health disparities across a wide-range of outcomes using many data sources including: Medicaid Claims data, nationally representative data sets, and data collected via the Morehouse‐Emory Center for Health Equity(MECA).

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Bryan Briones

STEM Reference Librarian – Robert W. Woodruff AUC Library

bbriones@auctr.edu

Bio: Bryan Briones is STEM Librarian at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. He earned his Master's in Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at San Diego State University.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Michael Burns-Kaurin

Associate Professor of Physics – Spelman College

mburns-k@spelman.edu

Bio: Dr. Michael Burns-Kaurin has taught at Spelman for over 25 years. Among his teaching techniques is the use of computing for simulations and animations.

Interests: High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation

Elycia Daniel

Instructor of Sociology and Criminal Justice – Clark Atlanta University

edaniel@cau.edu

Bio: I am currently a Criminal Justice Instructor in the W. E. B. Dubois Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Clark Atlanta University.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Sonya Dennis

Assistant Professor of Computer Science – Morehouse College

sonya.dennis@morehouse.edu

Bio: Computer Science is my professional background and I have worked in this field both in industry and academia.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Nirajan Dhakal

Assistant Professor of Environmental and Health Sciences – Spelman College

ndhakal@spelman.edu

Bio: I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental and Health Sciences Program at Spelman College.

Interests: High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation

Fernando Esquivel-Suarez

Assistant Professor of English – Spelman College

fesquive@spelman.edu

Bio: Fernando Esquivel-Suárez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Interests: Data visualization

Kinnis Gosha

Hortinius I. Chenault Endowed Division Chair – Morehouse College

kinnis.gosha@morehouse.edu

Bio: Dr. Kinnis Gosha is the Hortinius I. Chenault Endowed Division Chair for Experiential Learning & Interdisciplinary Studies, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Director of the Culturally Relevant Computer Lab at Morehouse College. Dr. Gosha’s research interests include conversational agents, social media data analytics, computer science education, broadening participation in computing, and culturally relevant computing. Gosha also leads Morehouse’s new Software Engineering degree program where he builds collaborations with industry partners to provide his students with a variety of experiential learning experiences. To date, Dr. Gosha has accrued over $20 million in sponsored research funding, 20 federal awards, and over 60 peer-reviewed research publications.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining; Visual and Language Based Human-Computer Interaction; Computational Optimization, Decision, and Control Systems

Ernest Holmes

Google-in-Residence Professor – Morehouse College

ernest@thecodehouse.org

Bio: Ernest Holmes is a 2019 graduate of Morehouse College with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. He currently works as a Software Engineer at Google, and serves as President of CodeHouse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on supporting students of color to the tech industry.

Interests: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing

Angelita Howard

Assistant Dean – Morehouse School of Medicine

ahoward@msm.edu

Bio: Dr. Angelita Howard serves as Assistant Dean for Online Education and Expanded Programs and an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), where she has been integral in the development and implementation of strategic plans in collaboration with academic staff for new and ongoing online program expansion. Her current research includes faculty teaching and learning, self-directed studies, adaptive leadership and engagement in biotechnology and health informatics industries workforce development, resulting in the Master of Science in Biotechnology that she directs ranking #1 in the country.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining; Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence; Data Privacy and Privacy-preserving Computation

Kenya Jones

Associate Professor of Social Work – Clark Atlanta University

kjones1@cau.edu

Bio: Dr. Jones, an associate professor tenured faculty member within the Whitney M. Young, School of Social Work.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Erdi Kara

Assistant Professor of Mathematics – Spelman College

erdikara@spelman.edu

Bio: I am an assistant professor of Mathematics at Spelman College. My research focuses on numerical partial differential equations applied to problems arising in fluid dynamics and mathematical oncology. In addition, I study applications of neural networks in computer vision.

Interests: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation

Youseung Kim

Associate Professor of Social Work – Clark Atlanta University

ykim2@cau.edu

Bio: Youseung Kim, MSW, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor with tenure of Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, and an Affiliate Faculty to the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University. Through participating in numerous research projects including the projects he served as a PI, he has been improving the expertise in developing a feasible research design, data management and analysis skills, and administration of research projects. His research interests evolve around social determinants of health disparity in the underrepresented communities, and cultural influences on health beliefs and behaviors among African American males.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Ivis King

Assistant Professor of Social Work – Clark Atlanta University

iking@cau.edu

Bio: Prior to my current role as Assistant Professor at Clark Atlanta University, in the WMYJ School of Social Work, I worked for approximately 17 years with the Georgia Human Services-Division of Family and Children Services.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Shonda Lawrence

Associate Professor of Social Work & PhD Program Director – Clark Atlanta University

slawrence@cau.edu

Bio: Dr. Shonda Lawrence is an Associate Professor in Social Work and currently serves as the Director of the Ph.D. Program and Center for Children and Families.

Interests: Data Privacy and Privacy-preserving Computation

Celeste Lee

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Spelman Census Information Center – Spelman College

clee@spelman.edu

Bio: Dr. Celeste N. Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology at Spelman College

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

James Lillard

Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Immunology & Senior Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, and Commercialization – Morehouse School of Medicine

jlillard@msm.edu

Bio: Dr. Lillard has authored over 300 scientific communications, including over 50 patents, focused on immunology, nanotechnology, and oncology. He established the Office of Translational Technologies, where he serves as its Director.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Binod Manandhar

Assistant Professor in Department of Mathematical Sciences – Clark Atlanta University

bmanandhar@cau.edu

Bio: An assistant professor, Dr. Binod Manandhar, department of Mathematical Sciences at Clark Atlanta University is a Bayesian Statistician. His current research focuses on Bayesian methodology. He has worked on hierarchical Bayesian models like models for continuously and positively skewed and noisy data. He earned his master’s degree in statistics from the University of North Florida and PhD in statistics from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Before, he worked as a postdoc scholar at the City University of New York, Michigan State University and University of Houston. At University of Houston, he taught statistics to the Master of Science in Statistics and Data Science program.

Interests: Biostatistics, High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation

Eric Mintz

Professor of Chemistry & Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives – Clark Atlanta University

emintz@cau.edu

Bio: Dr. Mintz is a full professor of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University. His research focuses on the preparation and characterization of polymer matrix composites (PMCs), emphasizing bio-based PMCs.

Interests: Materials data science and informatics to accelerate materials innovation

Rosaline Odom

Assistant Director, Research, Learning, and Technology Services – Robert W. Woodruff AUC Library

rodom@auctr.edu

Bio: Rosaline Odom is Assistant Director of Research, Learning & Technology Services at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. She graduated from Fisk University (B.A., Chemistry) and also earned M.S. degrees in Chemistry and Library Science (Clark Atlanta University).

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Oyebade Kunle Oyerinde

Associate Professor – Clark Atlanta University

ooyerinde@cau.edu

Bio: Oyebade Kunle Oyerinde has a Ph.D. in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University (#1 in Best Public Affairs Programs). Apart from being a former Ph.D. student of Elinor Ostrom (2009 Nobel prize winner in Economics) and Amos Sawyer (former Liberian president), Oyerinde is the 2016 Best Public Administration Professor. Teaching is a joy to Oyerinde as he facilitates student success in Public Affairs and Data Analysis. He has published and presented on issues including data science application in public administration, land rights, economic development, and democratic governance.

Interests: Theoretic and Algorithmic Foundations of Data Science; Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining; Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Tinaz Pavri

Professor of Political Science & Division Chair for Social Sciences and Education – Spelman College

tpavri@spelman.edu

Bio: Tinaz Pavri is Division Chair for Social Sciences and Education at Spelman College and Founding Director of the Asian Studies Program.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Chuang Peng

Professor of Mathematics and Computational Sciences – Morehouse College

chuang.peng@morehouse.edu

Bio: Dr. Chuang Peng, professor of Mathematics at More house College, graduated from University of Georgia in 1995 and joined Morehouse since then, and taught a wide range of mathematics courses from freshmen to seniors.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Yvonne Phillips

Adjunct Professor of Computer Science – Morehouse College

yvonne.phillips@morehouse.edu

Bio: I am a Data Science creative that has designed data modeling processes to create algorithms and predictive models and perform custom analysis.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Teri Platt

Associate Professor of Public Administration – Clark Atlanta University

tplatt@cau.edu

Bio: Dr. Teri Platt is interested in the capacity of data science to explore questions of social justices, racial disparities and justice in areas of public health and political participation.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Jamie Pleasant

Professor of Marketing & Dean of Graduate Education – Clark Atlanta University

jpleasant@cau.edu

Bio: Georgia Tech Ph.D. Clark Atlanta University MBA Benedict College B.S. Physics Clemson University Marketing Studies Mensa (lifetime member) Alpha Phi Alpha (lifetime member) Polyhistor

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Angelia Pressley

Instructor of Management – Clark Atlanta University

angeliapressley@gmail.com

Bio: I have been a business owner for 23 years and understand data should be the basis for decisions in public relations and marketing overall.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Emeline Renz

Instructor of Sociology and Criminal Justice – Clark Atlanta University

erenz@cau.edu

Bio: With over 15 years of experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an analyst, instructor and researcher, Ms. EmelineRenz holds a Masters in Geography from SUNY Albany and a GIS Professional Certification from the GISCI.

Interests: Computational Logic and Formal Methods in Computing

Rosetta Ross

Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies – Spelman College

rross@spelman.edu

Bio: Rosetta E. Ross is professor of religion at Spelman College. Exploring religious meaning in black women’s activism, she pioneered scholarship on spirituality in black women’s civil rights participation.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Seyhan Salman

Assistant Professor of Chemistry – Clark Atlanta University

ssalman@cau.edu

Bio: Theoretical and computational chemist with a strong interdisciplinary research background in partnership with academia and industry.

Interests: High-Performance Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation

Jeticia Sistrunk

Assistant Professor of Biology – Spelman College

jsistru2@spelman.edu

Bio: Dr. Jeticia Sistrunk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Spelman College.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Perry Sweeper

Professor of Practice in Experiential Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies – Morehouse College

perry.sweeper@morehouse.edu

Bio: Dr. Perry Sweeper is a Professor of Practice in the Division of Experiential Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies at Morehouse College

Interests: Visual and Language Based Human-Computer Interaction

Yonas Tekle

Associate Professor of Biology – Spelman College

ytekle@spelman.edu

Bio: My lab implements the basic principles of evolution to study the diversity, origin and relationships of medical and non medical microbes.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Bhikhari Tharu

Assistant Professor of Mathematics – Spelman College

btharu@spelman.edu

Bio: Statistical analysis and modeling are my primary interest. The research interests include Bayesian Statistical Analysis, Epidemiology of Cancer, Environmental Statistics, Survival Analysis, Longitudinal Data Analysis, and Functional Data Analysis.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Alfred Watkins

Senior Assistant Professor and Academic Program Director of Computer Science – Morehouse College

alfred.watkins@morehouse.edu

Bio: Dr. Alfred Watkins serves as the Academic Program Director of Computer Science at Morehouse College.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining

Myron Williams

Associate Professor of Chemistry – Clark Atlanta University

mnwill@cau.edu

Bio: I am a molecular geneticist and associate professor of chemistry at Clark Atlanta. Although I’ve worked on diverse laboratory projects with agricultural, biomedical, and industrial applications, I believe that computational modeling and simulation of biological phenomena can provide novel insights and dramatically reduce the time and expense associated with “wet lab” experiments. Using genomic and metabolic databases, we are attempting to model the complex microbial communities and metabolic transformations that take place in biogas digesters, a waste-to-energy technology that can have enormous impacts for reducing pollution and energy consumption that cause climate change, as well as alleviating poverty in Africa.

Interests: Computational Medicine, Bioinformatics, and Genomics

Unislawa Williams

Associate Professor of Political Science – Spelman College

uwilliams@spelman.edu

Bio: Unislawa Williams, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where sheteaches courses related to data science, quantitative methodology, and research methods

Interests: Data Ethics

Kevin Womack

Adjunct Professor of Experiential Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies – Morehouse College

kevin.womack@morehouse.edu

Bio: Kevin Womack is a 2019 graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major inComputer Science and Mathematics.

Interests: Big Data Knowledge Discovery, Management, and Mining