BU D&I Welcomes Second STARS Cohort

Launched in Fall 2022, the BU D&I STARS Program (Supporting Thriving, Achievement, Retention & Success) is a learning community of early career BU faculty on the Charles River Campus who meet regularly throughout the academic year to engage in professional development, mentoring, and community-building opportunities. This program is specifically designed to support underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who are within their first two years of an academic teaching position. STARS participants are nominated each year by their college deans, and this year represent a variety of disciplines from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Theology, and School of Law. Meet the 2023-24 STARS cohort below!

Heba Alnajada 

Assistant Professor, History of Art & Architecture 

Heba is an Assistant Professor of Global Modern and Contemporary Architecture in the History of Art & Architecture Department at Boston University. Her research focuses on migration history, particularly the intersection of refugees, the built environment, law, and the modern history of the Middle East. Before joining BU, she was the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History at the University of California, Davis. She received her PhD in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley. Her academic research builds on several years of professional experience in architectural NGOs, urban planning, and heritage preservation projects in Yemen, Libya, Jordan, and Palestine. 

Jade Brown 

Clinical Associate Professor, Law  

Jade Brown is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Access to Justice Clinic at BU Law, where she teaches the art of lawyering to students in the areas of employment, housing, and consumer law. She also co-teaches the Access to Justice Seminar, in which she examines forces that limit access to justice including poverty, racism, gender bias, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, and the intersectionality of marginalized identities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jade started the BU Law MADE Project, wherein students utilize the MA Defense for Eviction (MADE) Online Portal to help tenants file responsive pleadings in eviction cases. In 2022, the White House and the Department of Justice highlighted this and other efforts by BU Law to respond to the eviction crisis. 

Previously, Jade was a Staff Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), where she practiced housing and consumer law. At GBLS she represented consumers in a variety of cases including eviction, foreclosure, debt collection, credit reporting and fraud cases. Jade also helped develop a highly regarded Lawyer for the Day Debt Clinic to represent consumers sued by debt collectors in small claims court. Jade is a graduate of Boston University School of Law. 

Eunil David Cho 

Assistant Professor, Theology 

Eunil David Cho (he/him/his) is Assistant Professor of Spiritual Care and Counseling at Boston University School of Theology. He is a theologian who teaches in the area of practical theology, spiritual care, chaplaincy, and religion and health. As a researcher, he uses social scientific approaches to study religion to examine the “lived theology” or “lived religion” of ordinary people, particularly how marginalized communities engage in faith practices to resist oppression and engage in meaning making. Prior to joining BU, he was Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Christian University (2020-2022) and the Director of the Writing Center at Candler School of Theology at Emory University (2017-2019). At Emory, he worked as a writing instructor and served as an academic consultant, primarily serving international students, student groups of color, first-generation students, and second-career graduate students. He received his PhD and MDiv from Emory University and a BA from the University of Michigan. 

Jilene Adelina Chan Chua 

Assistant Professor, History 

Jilene A. C. Chua is a cultural historian of Asian/American history. She was born in Manila (the capital city of the Philippines) and grew up in Richland, Washington (the frozen French fry capital of the world). Her research on twentieth-century Philippines intersects US empire, Chinese migration, Southeast Asia, and comparative racialization. Her current project uses legal sources, oral histories, and community archives to access stories of Chinese migrants living under US colonial rule in the Philippines. In response to scholarship emphasizing the Philippines as a US colony, she identifies how the Philippines were also part of vibrant Southeast Asian networks which sometimes undermined US imperial governance. 

Andreana Cunningham 

Assistant Professor, Anthropology 

Andreana (Andree) Cunningham is an interdisciplinary anthropologist whose research integrates bioarchaeological and archival evidence to examine the biosocial effects of the slave trade. She is specifically interested in the patterns of variation that existed for enslaved people in regions that are not traditionally placed in dialogue (currently the Caribbean, South Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean). Her research also examines the ways these sites of the slave trade can be used to reimagine theory and practice around heritage preservation and community engagement. 

Angelo Petrigh 

Clinical Associate Professor, Law 

Angelo Petrigh is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic. Prior to coming to BU, he was the Training Director at the Bronx Defenders, where he worked for 12 years as a public defender representing clients in a variety of cases. He teaches and writes about the criminal legal system, and his recent article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology discusses the judiciary’s resistance to New York’s 2020 criminal law reforms. 

Darien Pollock 

Assistant Professor, Philosophy 

Darien Pollock is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boston University. His research interests include social ontology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, ethics, the philosophy of law, and an emerging discourse he calls the “philosophy of social movements.” He is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Street Knowledge,” in which he offers a novel approach to philosophical questions regarding “bottom-up” social change.

In addition to his work as an academic philosopher, Professor Pollock is the President and Founder of the Street Philosophy Institute (SPI), a community organization dedicated to helping underserved communities develop democratic skillsets by providing them access to intellectual tools and resources in the humanities and sciences 

Catalina Rodríguez 

Assistant Professor, Romance Studies 

Catalina Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture in the Department of Romance Studies. She holds a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from Northwestern University. Her research and teaching interests center on Latin American literature and culture from the nineteenth century onward, with a focus on gender and sexuality studies, women’s literature, theories of authorship, ecofeminism and queer literature. She is currently working on her first book, which analyzes the prominence of gendered pseudonyms in nineteenth-century Latin America and its implications for notions of “female literature” and “women’s writing.” Her research has appeared in the Latin American Literary Review and Taller de Letras. Recently she co-curated Proscrita en esta tierra (Himpar 2023), an anthology of Josefa Acevedo (1803-1861), one of the first women writers of Colombia.  

Christine M. Slaughter 

Assistant Professor, Political Science 

Christine Slaughter examines African American politics with a focus on how economic inequality, gender, and psychological resources such as resilience influence the frequency and substance of African American political engagement and behavior. 

Her research has been published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, PS: Politics and Political Science, and PHILLIS: The Journal for Research on African American Women (PHILLIS). She is the author of forthcoming book chapters focused on intersectionality in political behavior. Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, the American Political Science Association, and the National Science Foundation. At the University of California, Los Angeles, she received support from the Institute of American Cultures and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.  

She received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2021 and held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and the University of California, Irvine.