THE ACUMEN TEAM

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Dr. Shantella Y. Sherman

Dr. Shantella Sherman ​is a historian and journalist whose work documents, deconstructs, and interprets eugenic themes in popular culture, identity formation among African Americans, and reproductive apartheid in carceral spaces and within marginalized communities.  Dr. Sherman serves as public historian for The Acumen Group and publisher of Acumen Magazine, the nation's only student-led, diversity-driven quarterly.  She is a former editor for The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper and RoundLake News Service.  Dr. Sherman is a graduate of Jackson State University and The University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Dr. Wilmer Leon

Wilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D. is a Political Scientist whose primary areas of expertise are Black Politics, American Government, and Public Policy.  For 11 years he was a Lecturer/Teaching Associate in the Political Science Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Currently, Dr. Leon is a nationally broadcast radio talk show host on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126, nationally syndicated columnist, and regular political commentator on national and international news programs.  Leon serves as Acumen's political scientist and commentator.

 

Lee Ross

Lee Ross is a retired corporate financial planner, who serves as Acumen's Research Associate, assisting in collecting and interpreting archival data, editing news stories, and hosting Acumen lectures.  Ms. Ross leads the research team in deconstructing eugenics and determinism themes in legislation during the interwar years within America's Deep South.

Dr. Sophia Johnson-Sparks

Dr. Sophia Johnson-Sparks is a marine biologist specializing in water filtration, contamination, bio-ethics.  Johnson-Sparks serves as medical / health editor for Acumen and leads the research team on genetics, eugenics, determinism, and laboratory sciences. 

Lindiwe Vilakazi 

Lindi Vilakazi is an investigative journalist and social commentator who specializes in housing, food, and health insecurities.   Her research focus at Acumen examines eugenic sterilization practices at Crownsville Hospital in Maryland and Western State Hospital in Virginia.  Within popular culture, Ms. Vilakazi dissects storylines that depict "generational traits" in television series.  She is an associate editor with Acumen, managing both print and digital features. 

Christie Paschakis

Christie Paschakis is a Toronto-based head librarian who serves as Acumen's senior editor.  Her research and editorial interests examine the intersectionality of women's reproductive health and sexual justice -- including access to and availability of rape kits, and understanding consent.   Paschakis provides pop culture assessments of these issues in television series, including Law & Order SVU and Coronation Street, using content analysis surveys and talks. 

Dr. Novella Bridges 

Dr. Bridges serves as Acumen's STEAM editor.  Dr. Bridges has extensive experience leading research in radioisotope composites for cancer, radiochemistry separations, reduction of emissions on large vehicles and locomotives, production of hydrogen for fuel cells, and development of novel catalytic systems. She has a B.S. (Chemistry) from Jackson State University; and a Ph.D. (Inorganic Chemistry) from LSU.  Dr. Bridges was named one of the 24 Most Distinguished Women in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering for the International Year of Chemistry and several other awards.  Dr. Bridges holds several invention reports and one patent; in addition to owning Bridging Youth To STEM, LLC. She works with organizations to develop STEM-based learning and curriculum development for service-learning programs.