Turning 100:
Alumni Stories from Business, Music & Law

Fall 2012
<< previous story  |  next story >>

Noted African and Black Diaspora Scholar Appointed to Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professorship

The African and black diaspora studies program and the Center for Black Diaspora in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences hosted a reception on Oct. 11 to welcome Daniel McNeil, the 2012-13 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor. On Nov. 8, McNeil presented a talk titled “‘America is not the world’: The after-life of James Baldwin” at the DePaul Art Museum.

“The African and black diaspora studies program is excited to have Dr. McNeil’s contribution to its academic offerings,” says Julie E. Moody-Freeman, program director and assistant professor. “In winter 2013, he will be teaching the course Black Cultural Criticism: Race, Representation, and Resistance.”

McNeil comes to DePaul from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, where his research and teaching focus on the shape and contours of a Black Atlantic—a transnational and intercultural formation forged, in the first instance, by the transatlantic slave trade. His most recent book is “Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs,” part of the Routledge Studies on African and Black Diaspora series.

McNeil is completing a manuscript on black cultural criticism inspired by the explorative, provocative and imaginative work of anti-colonial intellectuals in the 1950s and ’60s.

In addition to his work at Newcastle, McNeil has taught courses on media, culture and society at the University of Toronto, University of Hull and Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation.

“I am most delighted that we have been able to recruit such a noted scholar for this position,” says Professor Sandra Jackson, director of the Center for Black Diaspora.

Maria Hinojosa Named as Sor Juana InÚs de la Cruz Chair

Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa joined the faculty of Latin American and Latino studies as the Sor Juana InÚs de la Cruz Chair, an appointment that began this fall. She is founder and president of The Futuro Media Group, which produces NPR’s “Latino USA.”

Born in Mexico and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Hinojosa has documented the stories of Latinos in America throughout her 25-year career. She currently hosts the PBS interview show “Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One.” She was honored in November with the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for her courageous reporting on the lives of people who are rarely the focus of mainstream media.

“The Latin American and Latino studies program is delighted to have Maria Hinojosa as one of our faculty members. She is a distinguished journalist who has done more than anyone to bring the diverse realities of Latino communities to U.S. audiences. We are certain that students and the DePaul community will be enriched by their interactions with her,” says Professor Lourdes Torres.

A special screening of “America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa: Clarkson, Georgia” in early October celebrated Hinojosa’s appointment. Produced by The Futuro Media Group as part of PBS’ “Need to Know” Election 2012 special presentation, the film is an intimate look at how changing demographics are reshaping the political landscape of this country.

Former Kraft Foods Executive Named VP for HR at DePaul

Stephanie Smith, who was senior vice president of human resources for Kraft Foods North America until September 2010, joined DePaul on Nov. 26 as vice president for human resources. She will step into the post that has been held on an interim basis by DePaul’s Deputy General Counsel Kathy Stieber.

“I am drawn to DePaul because it is a mission- and values-driven institution. It will be extremely rewarding to work in service to future generations,” says Smith, a first-generation college graduate.

Over the course of a 30-year corporate career, she says, “I’ve been well-trained at looking at strategic plans and determining the HR implications that can help grow the plan. I look forward to working in collaboration with faculty, staff and administration to achieve the vision for the university.”

“We are thrilled to have such an accomplished and dedicated leader as Stephanie Smith on our human resources team,” says the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M, president of DePaul University.

Smith has long been active in the community, serving on the board of trustees for Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the board of directors for the Yellow Tractor Program, which advocates for sustainable growth and food security by building vegetable and fruit gardens. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, a nonprofit organization of African-American executives whose mission is to develop leaders and build an inclusive leadership pipeline in companies and institutions.

A native of Detroit, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.