Newest NCIS Members Focus on Politics, Linguistics and More

NCIS welcomes our newest members, whose fields include linguistics, education policy, communication and politics.

Darnella Davis received her doctorate in Education Policy from The George Washington University, where she researched federal Indian education policy, producing a study that asked how a culturally relevant curriculum engages Native Americans, statistically the poorest performing student group in the United States. Dr. Davis holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she also taught drawing and color theory. She began her advanced education with a scholarship to the Parsons School of Design, studied French language and civilization at the University of Dakar in Senegal, and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan. 

During her career as a research analyst, Dr. Davis wrote technical reports and edited publications on equality of access to rigorous curricula for traditionally underperforming K-12 public school students. In her work as a writer, researcher, artist, teacher, yoga practitioner, and samba enthusiast, Dr. Davis has consolidated many of her interests in Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage, A Personal History of the Allotment Era, a book that covers 130 years of her racially-mixed family history and their place in our nation’s current racial discourse (forthcoming in 2018 from the University of New Mexico Press). Her next project examines Alexis de Tocqueville’s thoughts about the future of the three races that inhabited the U.S. in 1830 and their long-term impact on democracy.

Can Küçükali holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. In his doctoral thesis, later published as a book, he conceptualized discursive strategies as hegemonic projects and analyzed their functions in the policymaking process of Turkish politics. His areas of interest include aggression and legitimation in political discourse, Critical Discourse Analysis, political discourse analysis and rhetorical strategies. He also published articles on Turkish and German politics. Recently, he has published an open access book, Discursive Political Analysis.

Elizabeth Jonick-Grant graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami University with a B.A. in sociology and philosophy and holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Miami University with a special emphasis on ethics. Dr. Joniak-Grant received an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA with a special emphasis on deviance, homelessness, interaction, social control, institutions, and qualitative research methods, particularly ethnography and in-depth interviewing. While at UCLA she conducted research on a drop-in center for homeless youth, a mobile van unit conducting HIV testing in high-risk populations, and spent three years conducting ethnographic research with homeless youth living on the streets. She also oversaw a variety of undergraduate and graduate ethnographic projects in her role as a teaching fellow. Currently Dr. Joniak-Grant serves as a consulting patient representative for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.

Julie Hunsberger received her Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Duquesne University.

James Horrox is an independent researcher and freelance editor based in Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D in Politics and has published on a range of humanities and social science subjects, primarily focusing on communities and the voluntary sector, neotribalism, and 19th/early 20th century European social and political thought. He has worked as an Associate Lecturer at Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the Open University.