Joshua Gisemba Bagaka’s, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, is a professor of educational research design and statistics in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations in the College of Education and Human Services, and Director of Assessment of Student Learning. Professor Bagaka’s received his Bachelor of Education degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Nairobi, and a Master’s of Science in Probabilities and Statistics and Ph.D. in Educational Research Design and Statistics from Michigan State University. His teaching responsibilities are in the graduate educational research courses, educational statistics, and educational program evaluation. His research interests are in teacher, classroom, and school effectiveness on student learning outcomes. He is particularly interested in the utilization of hierarchical linear models in analyzing school, teacher, and classroom effectiveness data. He also served, for seven years as the Director of the Ph.D. in Urban Education program at Cleveland State University. Professor Bagaka’s served on the African Regional Research Fulbright Program to Kenya from August 2010 to April 2011.

Panelists and Speakers

Benard Busaka, M.Phil., Maseno University, Kenya, is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology. Busaka earned his Bachelor of Education (Arts) in History and Geography (1995) and M.Phil. in History (2006) from Kenyatta University in Nairobi. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Archaeology. His interests include Management of the Immovable Archaeological Heritage along the Kenyan Coast. Among his published works are Conservation of the Archaeological Heritage in Kenya’s National Parks: A Critique of Policy and Practice in the Tsavo; and Managing Kenya’s Cultural Heritage: Considerations and Interventions in Protected Areas.

Kathy Curnow, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, is an Associate Professor of Art. She lived in Nigeria from 1983 to 1988, teaching at the Nigerian Television College and continues to travel to Nigeria regularly. She has received major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright program. Professor Kurnow specializes in African art history, publishing on the art of the Benin Kingdom, the Itsekiri, and the Nupe of Nigeria. She is currently working on a book on Benin art in the 16th century. She recently curated a Benin exhibition at Philadelphia’s University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, with a large website ( and the 2014 exhibition “At Home in Africa” for The Galleries@CSU. Her interests also include African American diaspora art history, about which she has published several essays on sculptor Juan Logan. She is eager to involve students in combining art history with new technology, such as virtual worlds, websites, documentaries, and interactive books.

Barbara Hoffman, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Visual Anthropology Center. She earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University. Her doctoral research focused on how language communicates social status among Mande groups in West Africa where society is organized in castes as well as patrilineages, clans, and matrifocal family groups. Her book, Griots at War: Conflict, Conciliation, and Caste in Mande (Indiana University Press, 2000) discusses the intricacies of the Mande caste system where the language of griots — their speech — differentiates them from members of the noble or freeborn caste. Professor Hoffman has also developed an interest in visual anthropology, and during a Fulbright year in Kenya (1997-98) began acquiring footage for a series of ethnographic films on gender and culture change among the Maasai. The first two films in the series, Womanhood and Circumcision: Three Maasai Women Have Their Say, and Making Maasai Men: Growing Courage Toward Circumcision are being distributed by Berkeley Media. Two more films are in post-production in the Department of Anthropology’s Visual Anthropology Center. Nearly every year she works in collaboration with various programs, departments, and offices around campus to bring Africans to the CSU campus for public programs on cultural topics.

Gregory H. Maddox, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, is Professor of History, Dean of the Graduate School, and Interim Associate Provost/Associate Vice-President for Research at TSU, a historically black institution in Houston, Texas. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Northwestern University. He has published works on environmental change in Africa and has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Maddox is author of numerous publications, including Sub-Saharan Africa: An Environmental History (ABC-CLIO, 2006) and co- author of Practicing History in Central Tanzania: Writing, Memory, and Performance (Heinemann, 2006). He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Northwestern University. Maddox has published works on environmental change in Africa and has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He serves as a project advisor to “Curating Kisumu.”

Gordon Obote Magaga, M.Phil., Maseno University, Kenya, is Lecturer and Chair of the Department of History and Archaeology. He is a project leader in the NEH-funded “Curating Kisumu” project. Magaga received his B.Ed. degree at Kenyatta University in 1989, and M.Phil. at Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, in 1991. He joined Maseno University as an Assistant-Lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology in 1992. He was promoted to the rank of a lecturer in 1994. He became the Chair of the Department of History and Archaeology in 2006. He has therefore worked at Maseno University for the last twenty-one years. As a member of the Maseno University Senate, Magaga has been indelibly linked with the growth and evolution of the university. As a member of the Department of History and Archaeology, Magaga has carried out meticulous research on important historical topics on western Kenya, including the “Sexual Maturation amongst the Luo Girl in Kenya;” the “Reconstructing the History of Got Ramogi;” “Economic Change in Sakwa 1850 – 1963;” “Living on the Edge: Rustling, Raids and Banditry in Kenya’s North-Eastern Frontier”; “Gunda Bunche: Historical Earth Bank Enclosures”; “The African Dream, 1920-1963”; and “Credit Institutions in Kenya ’s Rural Development: A Survey of Bondo District.” He has published some of his research findings in peer-reviewed books and journals. His latest article entitled, “The Nyayo Era and Single Party: 1978–2002” was published in W. R. Ochieng, ed., Fifty Years in Kenya’s Independence: 1963 to 2013. His current research topics include “Tribalising Ethnicity: Survey of 2013 Elections in Kenya,” and “Rural Backwardness in Kenya: Who is to blame?” Prior to joining Maseno University, Obote Magaga served as a Tutorial Fellow in the Department of History at Moi University.

Angel David Nieves, Ph.D., Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the American Studies Program. He is also a founding member of the Cinema and New Media Studies (CNMS) Program there. He is currently Co-Directing Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), a $1.75 million Mellon Foundation Grant funded project ( and has raised over $2.4 million in total support of digital humanities research at Hamilton. His early work in the digital humanities and critical race theory (CRT) began with a prototype for Soweto ’76: A Living Digital Archive while he served as a Faculty Fellow at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park (2006-2008) ( His co-edited book (w/Leslie Alexander), ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (University Press of Colorado, 2008), examines African American efforts to claim space in American society despite fierce resistance. Nieves has published essays in the Journal of Planning History; Places Journal: A Forum of Design for the Public Realm; International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics; Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies; and in several edited collections, including Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing With Difficult Heritage (Routledge, 2009) and The Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities: The Challenges of Change (UPenn Press, 2014). He was also the Associate Editor (2010-2014), of Fire!!!: A Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, the first on-line only journal of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Dr. Nieves was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Africa Network, a consortium of national liberal arts colleges that actively promotes the study of Africa through scholarship and teaching. He also acts as an advisor to the permanent exhibit, “The Power of Place,” for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015. Nieves’ scholarly work and community-based activism engages critically with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South. Most recently he worked with a team of undergraduate research assistants from Middlebury College on the Soweto Historical GIS (SHGIS) Project. He serves as a project advisor to “Curating Kisumu.”

Leonard Odhiambo Obiero, Maseno University, Kenya, is a Level IV student and History major.  Leonard coordinated developing content for the MaCleKi website/app project, serving as a leader among his classmates in Gordon Obote Magaga’s teaching exchange with Meshack Owino in spring 2015.

Agnes Adhiambo Odinga-Oluoch, Ph.D., Minnesota State University, Mankato, is an Associate Professor of History. She joined the History Department in the Fall of 2007. Dr. Odinga earned both her B.Ed. (Hons) and M.A. from Kenyatta University in Kenya. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota in 2001. In 2001-2002, she was a Post Doctoral Associate at the Minnesota Population Center, where she successfully facilitated the acquisition and integration of Kenya Census Micro- data into IPUMS database. Dr. Odinga has interests in interdisciplinary comparative research, writing and teaching. She specializes in African History and teaches African survey courses, gender and women’s history, in addition to Introduction to World History, 1500 to the present. Her research and writing interests are in the areas of gender and medicine in 20th century East Africa. Dr. Odinga is currently working on a book titled “Women, Medicine and Social Change: A Social History of Reproduction in South Nyanza, Kenya, 1920-1980.” Dr. Odinga actively serves as a Board Member in several Non-Profit Organizations in the Twin Cities.

Kefa M. Otiso, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, is Professor of Geography at Bowling Green State University. Professor Otiso is author of Culture and Customs of Uganda (Greenwood Press, 2006) and numerous chapters and articles on Kenya. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2000.

Meshack Owino, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, is an Associate Professor of History. He is co-director of the NEH-funded project “Curating Kisumu: Adapting Mobile Humanities Interpretation in East Africa.” He teaches courses on Pre-Colonial and Modern Africa as well as regional and country-specific courses on Africa. He is currently working on developing new teaching courses focusing on “Military history of modern Africa,” “Modern Kenya,” and “Prospects and Challenges of Development in Africa since Independence.” Dr. Owino’s research interests are on the experience of African soldiers in pre-colonial and colonial Africa. He has published many articles on African soldiers in pre-colonial and colonial Kenya. He also has research interests in the origins and nature of African states; ethnicity and politics; and democracy and human rights in modern Africa. Dr. Owino earned his M.Phil. at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Rice University, Houston, Texas. Before joining CSU, he served as an assistant professor at Bloomsburg University (Pennsylvania). He has also worked at several other universities, including: as an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas); visiting professor at Stanford University (Palo Alto, California); and assistant lecturer at Egerton University, Kenya. He is currently working on two projects: “A Military History of the Luo of Western Kenya during the Pre-colonial Period,” and “The Experience of Kenya African Soldiers in the Second World War.”

Tom Scheinfeldt, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, is Associate Professor in the Departments of Digital Media & Design and History and Director of Digital Humanities in the Digital Media Center. Formerly Managing Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, he has directed several award-winning digital humanities projects, including THATCamp, Omeka, and the September 11 Digital Archive. Trained as an historian of science and public historian with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford, Dr. Scheinfeldt has written and lectured extensively about the history of museums and the role of history in culture. Among his publications, he is a recent contributor to Debates in Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press) and co-editor of Hacking the Academy (University of Michigan Press). He blogs about digital humanities and the business of digital humanities at Found History and co-hosts the Digital Campus podcast will his colleagues Dan Cohen, Amanda French, Mills Kelly, and Stephen Robertson. He serves as a project advisor to “Curating Kisumu.” You can follow him on Twitter (@foundhistory) and LinkedIn.

J. Mark Souther, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, is Director of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities (CPHDH) and Associate Professor of History. He specializes in 20th-century U.S., urban, and public history. Professor Souther is the author of the award-winning New Orleans on Parade: Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006, 2013), co-editor of American Tourism: Constructing a National Tradition (Chicago: Center for American Places, 2012), and author of articles in numerous journals, including the Journal of American History and Journal of Urban History. Souther directs CPHDH projects, including the Cleveland Historical website and app, Cleveland Voices, and Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. He is co-director of the Curatescape mobile publishing framework, a recipient of three successive NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-up Grants, including “Curating Kisumu: Adapting Mobile Humanities Interpretation in East Africa,” of which he is PI and co-director. You can follow him on Twitter (@marksouther).

Erin J. Bell, M.L.I.S., Cleveland State University, is Technology Director and Project Coordinator of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities, where he coordinates staff research, processing and publication of archival collections, workshops and public programming, and educational technology initiatives. He was Director and Audio Engineer for the Center’s Euclid Corridor History Project in 2007-2008. He has also worked as a freelance web designer and consultant for educational technology and public history projects. Bell co-organized THATCamp Columbus, an “un-conference” for digital humanities, in 2010, as well as THATCamp Oral History, in 2012. He served as co-PI of the Mobile Museum Initiative, a 2012-13 NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant, and is lead web developer for the Curatescape project. Bell earned his B.A. in History at Cleveland State University and M.L.I.S. at Kent State University. He is on the project team of the NEH-funded project “Curating Kisumu.”