Mona Berman (President)
Mona Berman is an artist, art dealer, curator, educator, and consultant specializing in both contemporary art and material culture. Her primary interest in ethnographic jewelry and textiles takes her to many parts of the world, most notably to Asia.
Mona received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University.
Mona received an artist grant from the CT Commission on the Arts. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally.
As art dealer, Mona's clients include major Fortune 500 corporations, national museums, architects, designers, and private collectors. While Director of Mona Berman Gallery from 1979- 86, Mona curated exhibitions, many of which were widely acclaimed by reviewers of major publications, including Art in America and The New York Times. Connecticut Magazine named the gallery 'Best of Connecticut.' Mona has written articles and book reviews for professional journals and art publications and catalogs for exhibitions and corporate collections. She has provided curatorial services for Wesleyan University's Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and for corporations such as General Electric and The Travelers where she was Director of the headquarters gallery.
She has provided curatorial services for the Yale Art Gallery and recently conducted a Master Class in conjunction with the inaugural exhibition of the Gallery's new Indo-Pacific Department.
Mona helped draft Connecticut’s first Arts Advocacy Legislation, has been a reviewer for the US Dept of Higher Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Competition, and a juror for Connecticut’s Per Cent for Arts Program. She was recently appointed to the Board of New Haven's Cultural Affairs Commission. She served on panels that help third world artists create economically viable, well designed, indigenous products and spent five years on the Board of Directors of a Khmer NGO women’s development center in Cambodia.
In addition to her membership in NCIS, Mona is a member American Council for Southern Asian Art, College Art Association, and the Textile Society of America. She has taught at Hampshire College, Fairfield University, and other CT. institutions.
Margaret Clements (Secretary)
Margaret Clements is founder and director of The Center for Knowledge Diffusion--a 501c3 research organization. This non profit has been organized to promote educational access by reducing barriers to opportunity across five substantive areas: (1) impact analysis of activities related to knowledge diffusion; (2) higher education patenting and licensing activities; (3) talent development; (4) higher education finance as it pertains to student retention and access; and, (5) school policy research. These research domains are connected by a commitment to create avenues for the realization of potential. By integrating meaningful mentoring opportunities for students, researchers, and faculty, we actively promote the diffusion of knowledge across multiple disciplines. Dr. Clements is a graduate of Indiana University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Honors English. After living and working in Italy for more than eight years, she returned to Indiana University to pursue her doctorate in Education Policy Studies and Higher Education Administration. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Recent funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration enables her to pursue an active research agenda.
Cynthia Greenwood (Board member)
Cynthia Greenwood is an author, independent scholar, and performing arts critic based in Houston. Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare's Plays, she has devoted the majority of her writing career to researching the lives and struggles of performing and visual artists. She is co-author of a brief biography of classical singer Roberta Dodd Crawford and has written reports, profiles, and reviews for such publications as The New York Times, Playbill, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the San Antonio Express-News and other metropolitan newspapers and magazines. She is a fourth-semester doctoral student in the field of English Renaissance drama at The University of Houston. Most recently, she has contributed pieces to the Houston Chronicle and PlayShakespeare.com.
From 1988-1997, Cynthia taught American and British literature, film, and English composition full-time at Wharton County Junior College, near Houston. From 1998-2002 she served as the opera and classical music critic for the Houston Press. Currently, Cynthia works as a communications consultant for the Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, and her responsibilities include producing and editing all content for CorrDefense, a tri-annual online magazine. Since she started her own business in 1999, her principal clients have included a professional engineering society, an online publisher, and several large companies within the energy and energy-trading sector. She serves on the First Amendment Committee of the American Association of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), while also belonging to the Author’s Guild, the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Association of America, and the Modern Language Association.
Piri Halasz (Board member)
At Barnard, Piri Halasz majored in English. She next worked for Time magazine, as a researcher, then as a writer. At the end of this period, she wrote about art for Time, and became more interested in art than in Time. She left, went to graduate school, and took her PhD in art history from Columbia. Since leaving Time, she has published more than 200 articles in 13 publications ranging from The New York Times to the College Art Journal, and most recently, artcritical.com. In addition, she publishes From the Mayor’s Doorstep, an online column/newsletter that also appears in hard copy. She has taught at Columbia, Hunter College, C. W. Post Center/Long Island University, Molloy College and Bethany College (WV). Her books: A Swinger’s Guide to London (Coward McCann, 1967; pb iUniverse, Authors Guild “back in print” program, 2010) and A Memoir of Creativity: abstract painting, politics & the media, 1956-2008 (iUniverse, 2009). The latter won a gold medal in the category of Writing/Publishing from the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and was reviewed by Ann Lee Morgan in The Independent Scholar (January 2011).
Kendra Leonard (ex officio, editor of TIS)
Jacquelynne Modeste (Board member)
Jacquelynne Modeste is an educator and business consultant. Life-long lover of jazz and travel, Jackie merged these passions with her keen interest in analytics and developed a practical theory of collaborative relationships. The Global Roundhouse is an umbrella organization Jackie founded that provides corporate executive training for the improvement of management and business practices and portfolio and management workshops for its youth group, In the Pocket. Jackie thinks a lot about the relationship between jazz, multinational corporations, and democracy. Current thoughts can be found on her blog, http://www.theglobalroundhouse.com. Jackie is a member of the Alumni Board of Columbia University and a member of the International Committee of the American Studies Association. Presently a member of the Ethnic Studies Center at the City University of New York, Jackie is also a new blogger for Harvard Business Review.
In her “spare time” she conducts research for her new book, Global Swing: Emerging Democracies, Emerging Markets, and Jazz. Jackie lives in New York City with her two amazing sons.
Michael Posluns (Board member)
Nicole Salomone (Vice President)
Nicole brings nearly a decade of executive level administrative support, most of which has been in healthcare/non-profit, to NCIS. No job is too big or little and she prides herself on thinking outside of the box. She published her novella Forgotten (2011), which brings 18th century/medicine of the American Revolution to the average reader. She is listed as a co-author on a peer-review article on Mary Edwards Walker, which was accepted and has been slotted for print in the journal: The American Surgeon. She has presented at the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science (PACHS), the Medical Historical Society of New Jersey (MHSNJ) and Temple University, and is a lecturer in the Thomas Jefferson University History of Medicine lecture series. Outside of academia, she has spent nearly 15 years teaching Renaissance focused re-enactors the theoretical and practical sociology of 17th and 18th century dance, and currently teaches classes on 16th century English medicine and modern research techniques.
Klara Seddon (Board member)
Klara Seddon is an art historian and food scholar specializing in East Asian material culture and foodways. In 2009 Klara co-founded the Institute for Cultural Research, NY, a scholarly research organization providing research services in the humanities. Klara is the ICR’s Research Director, specializing in projects relating to art history and performance. She received her Master’s degree from the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City, where she focused on Ming dynasty tea culture in private scholars’ retreats and public teahouses. Her research interests are in the areas of material/visual culture, women’s studies, digital culture, and food studies in East Asia. Klara is the author of the blog, the five o’clock teaspoon, featuring analysis of contemporary and historical foodways. Her current research on women’s media arts in Japan and Korea examines the intersections between art and craft production and women’s traditional labor roles in digital communities on the Internet. She has served on the NCIS Board of Directors since 2010.
Kathleen Sheldon (Board member)
After I received my Ph.D. in African history from UCLA in 1988, with a dissertation on working women in Mozambique, I began a decade of adjunct, part-time, and temporary teaching positions in southern California. For personal and family reasons, I was not interested in relocating in search of a permanent position elsewhere, so I remained at UCLA, where I benefitted immensely from my research affiliation at the Center for the Study of Women. The Research Scholars program supports about thirty researchers every year, not with stipends or office space, but with library access and the opportunity to participate as part of an academic community.
I was elected to the Board of the African Studies Association (ASA) (2004-2007), and have contributed in a variety of positions for the ASA Women’s Caucus, the Western Association of Women Historians, and on the Program Committee for the 2008 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, among other service positions. I was also a founder of the Lusophone African Studies Organization, and continue as chair as well as editing our listserv, h-luso-africa. I was an appointed member of the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women for ten years, and currently I serve on the board of the Santa Monica Public Library.
My books include Pounders of Grain: A History of Women, Work, and Politics in Mozambique (2002) and the Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa (2005) which was re-released in paperback with the title The A to Z of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa (2010). My recent publications include “Creating an Archive of Working Women’s Oral Histories in Beira, Mozambique” in Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources (2010), and “Cape Verdean and Mozambican Women’s Literature: Liberating the National and Seizing the Intimate,” with Isabel Fêo P. B. Rodrigues, in African Studies Review 53, 3 (2010): 77-99. I was also an associate editor for the New Encyclopedia of Africa (2007), and editor for women’s entries for the six-volume Dictionary of African Biography (Oxford University Press, 2011). I am currently on the editorial board for the African Studies section of Oxford Bibliographies, which will be available online in 2012.
David Sonenschein (Treasurer)
Early Member of NCIS in 1989, former NCIS Board Secretary, longtime Book Review Editor of TIS and adjunct member of the board. Academically trained and with field experience in anthropology, sociology, and psychology, Sonenschein fled the academia and has been writing and publishing as an Independent Scholar since 1973. He has been a Member of NCIS for over 25 years and has served in various capacities. His areas of research are human sexualities and American popular culture.